Book Signing at Holy Spirit

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book signingBook Four! Sucked into Cyberspace. I’m finished. Writing is exhausting and exciting at the same time. Looking back on the journey I’ve made, the predominent feeling is definitely exhaustion. That’s until you get a chance to take your paperback to a book signing or author night. What a rush! I’d have to say, the most exciting part was seeing the line of young people lining up to buy my book. Needless to say, I sold out. Thanks to everyone who made my dream a reality. And thanks to Holy Spirit for allowing me to come and share my work.

The Writers Journal

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journalThe act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt

I often find a sense of peace after I write even a few thoughts down on paper. Whether I’m making a list and checking completed tasks off, prewriting for a book, or sharing thoughts in my spiritual journal, pen to paper brings mental harmony. Let’s face it, I’m a word guy!

Oh the Pain

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SnoopyWriting“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

If you’ve ever had the urge to write and get a story out of your system or tell the world about an important topic, then you know the pain. The ideas of your untold story ruminate inside you until the urge to share overwhelms you. You do have a choice. You must sit down and write.

On Writing

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rewriteI’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener

Of all the writing quotes, this one speaks volumes to me about the persistence of the writing craft. It’s my new favorite quote. I’ve often told friends that I’m acually not a great writer, but I’m persistent. I think most writers feel this way from time to time.

The Writing Craft

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I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener

Of all the writing quotes, this one speaks volumes to me about the persistence of the writing craft. It’s my new favorite quote. I’ve often told friends that I’m acually not a great writer, but I’m persistent. I think most writers feel this way from time to time.

Writer’s Block

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7e1de-sevenbasicplotsWriting fiction or nonfiction is not for the faint hearted. It takes discipline, determination, a lot of time, good ideas, and of course–talent.

Like many writers, I have a hard time finishing writing projects. When I say writing project, you know that statement can be relative. Truth be told, I have a lot of irons in the fire as most writers do. I have a middle grade novella done that is resting, an early reader chapter book finished and waiting on pictures, and many other writing projects surging through my consciousness. But the current project has taken longer to get started than I anticipated. I usually get stuck on one aspect of the story and this manuscript is no exception, but my persistent gene will not let me down. Pushing aside the subtlety, I’m still working on what the character wants. In the draft I’m writing, the main character loves adventures because of a prize at the end.

How do you handle writer’s block? What are some of your tricks?

Here are some tips I’ve found that work for me. The idea is to get your brain working and to stop the cycle of writer’s block.

1. Go for a walk or exercise

2. Talk it out with a friend

3. Evaluate your plot plan

4. Develop your character’s backstory

5. Write anything

6. Research an aspect of your story



20 Ways to Encourage Reading

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download (1)Studies show that the more kids read, the better they read and the more pleasure they get out of reading. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Children who read very little usually have poor reading skills. Reading can be a struggle for many children. Recently, I read an article written by RIF that had some great tips on how to encourage reading and I wanted to share some of that article with you.

Why do children at times not like reading? Read the statements below and ask yourself if they sound familiar.

  • It’s boring. 
  • I don’t have the time.
  • It’s too hard.
  • It’s not important.
  • It’s no fun.

20 Ways to Encourage Reading

I’ve stated why some kids don’t like to read, now for some ways to turn that frown upside down.

1. Scout for things your children might like to read. Use their interests and hobbies as starting points.

2. Leave all sorts of reading materials including books, magazines, and colorful catalogs in conspicuous places around your home.

3. Notice what attracts your children’s attention, even if they only look at the pictures. Then build on that interest; read a short selection aloud, or simply bring home more information on the same subject.

4. Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.

5. Take your children to the library regularly. Explore the children’s section together. Ask a librarian to suggest books and magazines your children might enjoy.

6. Present reading as an activity with a purpose—a way to gather useful information for, say, making paper airplanes, identifying a doll or stamp in your child‘s collection, or planning a family trip.

7. Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Older children enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring audience.

8. Play games that are reading-related. Check your closet for spelling games played with letter tiles or dice, or board games that require players to read spaces, cards, and directions.

9. Perhaps over dinner, while you’re running errands, or in another informal setting, share your reactions to things you read, and encourage your children to do likewise.

10. Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork—the 20 minutes before lights out, just after dinner, or whatever fits into your household schedule. As little as 10 minutes of free reading a day can help improve your child’s skills and habits.

11. Read aloud to your child, especially a child who is discouraged by his or her own poor reading skills. The pleasure of listening to you read, rather than struggling alone, may restore your child’s initial enthusiasm for books and reading.

12. Encourage your child to read aloud to you an exciting passage in a book, an interesting tidbit in the newspaper, or a joke in a joke book. When children read aloud, don’t feel they have to get every word right. Even good readers skip or mispronounce words now and then.

13. On gift-giving occasions, give books and magazines based on your child’s current interests.

14. Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.

15. Introduce the bookmark. Remind your youngster that you don’t have to finish a book in one sitting; you can stop after a few pages, or a chapter, and pick up where you left off at another time. Don’t try to persuade your child to finish a book he or she doesn’t like. Recommend putting the book aside and trying another.

16. Treat your children to an evening of laughter and entertainment featuring books! Many children (parents, too) regard reading as a serious activity. A joke book, a story told in riddles, or a funny passage read aloud can reveal another side of reading.

17. Extend your child’s positive reading experiences. For example, if your youngster enjoyed a book about dinosaurs, follow-up with a visit to a natural history museum.

18. Offer other special incentives to encourage your child’s reading. Allow your youngster to stay up an extra 15 minutes to finish a chapter; promise to take your child to see a movie after he or she has finished the book on which it was based; relieve your child of a regular chore to free up time for reading.

19. Limit your children’s television viewing in an effort to make time for other activities, such as reading. But never use TV as a reward for reading, or a punishment for not reading.

20. Not all reading takes place between the covers of a book. What about menus, road signs, food labels, and sheet music? Take advantage of countless spur-of-the-moment opportunities for reading during the course of your family’s busy day.

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