Posts Tagged ‘childrens literature’

Now, the summer vacation for kids around my home is over, it is back to the evening shift at my job. That’s a good thing! I will now have time to travel to schools!! Here we go and I love it!

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I am now 75% through writing my presentation for the SCBWI of Chicago, I am looking into what I need to do to make a photo slide show to play during my speech. Once I have it written, I am going all in on the slideshow!

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I am excited to have my bookmarks and postcards in for Barney & Lexi and they look spot on with my hopes. I am excited to get them out to schools in the U.S. and help give Barney & Lexi more push!

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I woke up to a busy morning, having three orders for Barney & Lexi to go out. Florida, Georgia and Kentucky readers will be receiving their copies this week. Just swung by the post office and got my daily mail sent out.

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Also got an email from Two Tomatoes Records, in appreciation of my gifting copies of Barney & Lexi to them during the trip to Moline with my kids. I was grateful to read the email and thank them for their kindness.

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Welp, off to work. My goal, this being the last year that I work for anyone but myself. Let’s go get it!! Have a great day guys!!!

Just got home from TEDx Hilliard, where Lynden and I had the most amazing time of 2017!

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We made it to Indiana and picked up our rental car, (I love my Jimmy but, at 260,000 miles, wasn’t chancing a breakdown). We packed up and set out across the Midwest for our five hour drive to Columbus, Ohio.

0807171524_HDRThe five hours flew by and before we knew it we had reached our hotel. With the exception of an accident on the bypass in Indy, (which I hope the drive is alright), we were not slowed by construction or weather.

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We arrived at the Marriott and I have to say, that of all of the hotels, this one was splendid! Clean, friendly and accommodating, My trip last month with Ethan and Rylen to Moine, the hotel left me with a checklist for my next trip and this hotel in Hilliard passed with high marks.

Lynden and I took in the spa and got in an hour workout before bed. We both got some of the best sleep that night. Waking refreshed, we took up an invite from friend, Coyte Cooper for lunch before the seminar.

Coyte was one of the speakers for TEDx Hilliard and impactful. One thing I get excited about making friends in a positive circle is that I see bars that must be set to reach my own desires and goals. You get outside of your own element when around others and that is a perfect opportunity to learn from others!

One thing about Columbus, Ohio, the city does not simply fade into the countryside, it is one intersection busy and chaotic and then half a mile down the road is cornfield and patched blacktop road. The ted talk was being held in Bradley Hilliard High School and lived up to the expectations of being a part of the TED seminars family!

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What followed was three hours of being reminded just how powerful the human mind is and what is truly possible! Every speaker brought their best, amazed the audience and made every person think about their true potential! One young lady, Miss Frankie Soleil, used music to battle here enemies and while, not in entirety, the clip below show just how amazing she was!

In all, 13 amazing people made their mark and I am so excited to see Lynden pumped about the experience. We met Coyte backstage and I got both of my books of his that I have read, signed and we wished one another a safe trip back home, ours to Illinois and his to Washington.

0809171015_HDRWe returned to the hotel, got in a 30 minute workout and turned in. Before leaving that morning, I left my mark, hoping that one child will be given a copy of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville that I left behind. I think reading is so important at any age but especially to young children!

On our way home, Lynden found Badda Bing Pizzeria on Google in the town of Springfield, Ohio. Talk about having flare and an uptown feeling, the calzones we ordered were great and the service and atmosphere were wonderful. We highly recommend Badda Bing Pizzeria to everyone!

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Returning home, I feel my own growth and know that I made moments with my wonderful son that neither of us will forget! Make memories with the ones you love and grow yourself, every chance you get!

 

Back in April, I submitted Barney & Lexi to Kirkus Review for a book review. Kirkus Review is a longstanding organization that gives unbiased reviews on books, looking for a boost from having a favorable review from them. Some books gain positive reviews, while some gain not-so-positive ones. Kirkus Review has earned a reputation over many, many years of being a pulse on books ability to sell in the literary marketplace.

Today, (Monday) my review came back. When I first read the notification, I cleared my mind and told myself, “Regardless of the outcome, I did it and didn’t let doubt hold me back.” Knowing that Kirkus Reviews are straight up and favor no genre, author or any other mean in the literary world, I knew that what they saw in my story could be different from what I saw in it. However, forward progress only moves in one direction, and that next step was to open that review and be proud, regardless.

I read through the review, and when finished, closed my eyes and thank my God above for His favor. Kirkus Review of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville was positive and while being unbiased, the end result was that Barney & Lexi walked away being considered, good characters.

*Following is two excerpts from the Kirkus Review and for professional purposes, I need to let it be known that in no way, have the excerpts been altered from their original review. *

“Fox (The Adventures of Marky, Slash & Levy, 2014) brings out the personalities of his animal characters well.” – Kirkus Review

“A mild story with good characterization.” – Kirkus Review

Positive reviews from Kirkus Review can often be a boost for any author and is one reason I paid for my review. That’s right, I paid for this review. Kirkus Reveiw builds its reputation as being unbiased but only reviews works done by authors who pay for their services. While it cost me a bit of money for my review, to have a favorable review of Barney & Lexi made the cost irrelevant compared to the benefit of having a review with Kirkus Review after it.

This review is great and I am honored to be given my review for Barney & Lexi, but this review didn’t happen because I paid a service fee and out popped a review. This review came because I spend many, many nights up after everyone else was sound asleep, writing, editing and working hard to bring Barney & Lexi to life. The result of hard work was a great review. The result of believing in my work and not allowing anything stop me from succeeding or, at the very least, learn from the steps I have taken.

I am not sure what it is that you may be thinking of doing in your life, but I want you to know that it is 100% possible. The only thing stopping anyone on this Earth is not their parents, their friends, their boss or the system. Its the person in the mirror…YOU! You are the result of the hard work or lack of work you put in. If I had sat around at home an thought, “Oh man, $450.00 is too much for a simple review,” then I would have never done it. What I did believe is that, “This 450.00 review could lead into a career, earning $850,000 a year.”

The truth is, most times, the people closest to you will not always see your dream the way you see it. You may start out and feel your all alone. I can’t begin to tell you what 12 years out of 14 was like when no one knew my name or could even guess close to it. If your willing to put in the late nights, the early mornings, if your willing to go all in, despite the naysayers, it will happen. It may not happen in six months, it may not happen in a year, (in fact, mine beginning to see the light has taken almost 14 years,) but if you put in the hard work, the result will be ultimately your dream come true!

In one week, Lynden and I will be on our way to Columbus to sit in on TEDx hillard. My good friend, Coyte G. Cooper PhD. will be speaking at TEDx for the first time. In a seminar of positive mindsets and elevated focus for achieving success. I am proud to support Coyte in what will be the first of many presentations given at these events. I’m proud to have spent the last year and a half learning from Coyte and taking my own success to an entirely new level!

Part of that level has been seeing signs everywhere as I work hard to succeed. Today, one sign revealed itself! As you know, I will be presenting to the SCBWI in Chicago September 14th. This is the largest organization for children’s book writers in the country and hand down, so very generous. I was informed that as part of my presentation, the SCBWI will be renewing my membership for next year! That’s $100.00, just for showing up and doing what I love doing! Success is not always a dollar in the hand but reward of value given at the climax of hard work paying off.

What ever you are wanting in your life, chase it and make it your reality. You really can have what you want!

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Work was busy, ready for evenings to begin in August and for schools to get back in session so Barney & Lexi and The Lizard Wizard can meet more students and inspire them to create!!

Although school is out for the summer, it WILL NOT slow this author down! I just got an e-mail, letting me know that an article I have written for Tri-State OUTDOORS Magazine is past the layout process and will go to print very soon and is scheduled for a July 1st release date!

Last night, I began work on my outline for my presentation with the SCBWI in Chicago, this September. I might only get one shot at an opportunity like this and am gong to shoot for the moon, because even if I miss, I’ll still find myself among the stars!

With some needed e-mails sent out and work caught up to this moment, I am heading out with Lynden, Ethan and Rylen, to watch them play baseball in the country league, Chauncey Community Baseball. I hope everyone has a great evening and wonderful Tuesday!

I was able to write page an half of The Boondock Kids and with that, planning to take a jog before picking up my kids for the weekend. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

With dinner underway, The Boondock Kids begin to explain that Kelmare is taking them to Serabantha Castle and to see Queen Zardanin.

This concerned Rascone until Kelmare explained that they would be looking throw a telescope from the safe distance of Raven Pass. It was then questioned about the safety of the kids journey when Rascone explained that Queen Zardanin was not on her throne by those of Spyderia but, by her own force through her ability to control magic in order to control others.

Kelmare then lightened the discussion by explaining that they were going to be able to still view the queen safely because most of the time, she was not one to put others in danger and only did so when her reign was threatened by others.

Rascone explained that she held control of the Zephermyte Army and that would likely secure her reign until her time comes to pass naturally.

Surprisingly, The Boondock Kids remain just as intrigued to see her. Kelmare explained that he hoped to use his telescope to view one of the queens daily appearance ceremonies at the castle.

 

The date is not yet official, but I have been invited to travel to Chicago in September and speak to members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I have always want to attend one of these meetings and never thought in 13 years that I would be speaking at my first one. I hope by then that I will have my 8th book, a bedtime story entitled ‘The Lizard Wizard” finished enough to showcase it and Barney & Lexi during my presentation. One look at where I believe I will be speaking and I am excited and grateful. Hard work and more hard work can pay off, you just have to keep working and keep believing!

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The last page of The Boondock Kids, saw Mario, Louis, Sindy & Cristena, finding out their was no food in their bowls and no drink in their cups.

It was from there that the four friends appeared puzzled. Rascone did not realize that The Boondock Kids had never seen Woodenware before. He then explained to his four new friends that with Woodenware, one could wish up any meal they desired and it would be created. This idea made the four friends very excited and unanimously, they all agree they wanted macaroni and cheese for supper.

They thought of mac n cheese, but when they took the lids off of their bowls, they found nothing was there. Rascone then suggested to them that they focus very hard on their meal in detail. Being a meal that was not known to Spyderia, the Woodware would have to learn it before creating it.

They placed the lids back on their bowls and focused. After a moment, Kelmare  asked them to look this time. When they removed the lids, Mario, Louis, Sindy & Cristena found a bowl full of steamy, cheesy macaroni in front of them. Mario and Louis were the first to try their dinner and found it to be the best ever. Sindy and Cristena began to eat theirs and could not disagree.

When they became thirsty, they each thought of their favorite drink and watched as the cups began to fill with just what they had imagined. Mario had soda, Louis had apple juice, Sindy had sweet tea and Cristena chose milk.

As they ate Rascone was overwhelmed with how great the meal looked and was encouraged to create his own. At first taste, Rascone was shocked at how delicious his meal was and encouraged Kelmare to try the new coarse as well. Everyone sat around the short table and basket in the marvel of their new discoveries.

So, it’s about time to head to my evening job, I wish you a pleasant afternoon and many of your own discoveries!