Monday, July 29, 2013

Bookclub for kids

Four years ago I started an adventure based on love.  The love to read, the love of a good book, the love for great illustration and mostly the love I have for my daughter.

I started a children's bookclub for my daughter and her friends.  The children had just finished Kindergarten and teetered with excitement on the edge of this new skill- reading.  Everyone made their selection and we filled our summer with books.

At first the children were happy just to name the characters and draw their own illustration to go with each book.  Now, in their fourth summer, they're digging deeper, discussing plot, themes, character traits and even their favorite author's unique writing styles.


First rule of bookclub, Is talk about bookclub. 

If you're talking about books with friends, you're more likely to be reading books.  And reading ten books through the summer isn't a bad result when disguised as spending time with friends. 


Second rule of bookclub, Is it's your bookclub.

Simply stated that after the initial organizing (selecting books and scheduling dates) the kids run the show.  A basic questionaire for the children to use as a guide was given, but I expressed that by no means do they have to stick to that structure.  What happened next was magical.
The kids started acting out the stories by pretending to be their favorite characters in the book.  The artwork they brought in was inspired.  They brought in book related treats to share with their friends.  Their laughter was contagious and the books came to life in front of my eyes.
As an author, I know my personal experience with books, the reason I write.  As a parent, I want my daughter to have the same connection I have with books.  The way this bookclub touches my heart confirms how important writing for this audience is.
I will be sharing posts from our bookclub, Chapters, Chat, Chillin, and Children.  Please know that our group has grown and given rise to a younger sibling group with some cross over of classic moments that had to shared.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Something to Blog About

Here a blog, there a blog, everywhere a blog, blog. 

It seems that everyone has something to say and the need to blog about it.  There are blogs I can't wait to read and others that just make me wonder, why?

For the last year, I have been writing posts and saving them to publish at a later date.  You know that day in the future, the one that will come when someone (who isn't related to me) is actually interested in what I have to say.  Until then, I continue to write, revise and blog. Wondering? Who will read it?  Why will they read it?

More research, more conversations with colleagues, more lectures about the importance of building a platform for my writing career, all the while searching for the answer... who will read it? 

The answer is simple, I have stories to tell.  The time has come to accept and validate this life that has chosen me.   I'm a writer and guess what?  Writers write and share their stories with...wait for it.... readers. 

This entry feels like and introduction, an interview or maybe a first date. I thought I would share a bit of my neurosis with you.  Yes, I'm a list girl, a planner, a coordinator and some (who will remain nameless) may add control freak.  I live my life with a direct line into my heart and soul.  My writing wasn't a choice it's a defining part of me, and has been a constant throughout my life.  Now, I consciously set out to write by combining my heart with truth, the kind of truth that I love reading.  Along with being a heartful type A, add a side of Dreamer, that's me.  Here's my first list to share with you.

Items to blog about in the future

1.  Moments that take your breath away
2.  A writer's life
3.  Funny, awkward, twisted takes on life
4.  Through my daughter's eyes
5.  Working to make this a better world
6.  Stuff, (including but not limited to) books, articles, converstaions, movies, music, art...
7.  Gossip, things I 'have' to induldge in
8.  Kidlit
9.  Adjectives... just because
10. Who knew.  Helpful things I pick up along the way

I plan to go where the wind blows, hopefully in an honest, truthful, passionate, funny, caring and inspiring way.  (See #9)

I hope, after reading my blog, you leave with one of my title's adjectives.