Work the Creative Muscle #imagination #becreative

Kids have great imaginations, but often they struggle to get it all down… bit like adults really, although we tend to lose the magic with our busy lives.
This is really sad. For me writing is my outlet, my way of staying young. The amazing thing about creativity is that it’s a muscle. The more you work it the stronger it becomes.
My girls have excellent imaginations; they do creative training every day, even when they should be doing something else. Still I’d rather that than no imagination.
Any way writing is a passion, outlet for me and it is something I encourage in my girls. I guess the problem is they are often asked to write something particular – a letter, a story, a recount, a narrative, an argument… Now I am a teacher and all this is important. I would just like to see more creative writing that is actually creative. The possibilities are endless. All you need is a pencil, piece of paper and your imagination.
I love this quote from the Imagination Institute at EPCOT centre…

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So take it for a burn, create, create, create!

Well that wraps up August, now it’s on to the Chapter Book Challenge – Lite. I can’t wait to get started I have some great idea for my super hero series. Looking forward to doing some writing!
Have fun!

Taking time out to write #findwhatworksforyou

I often read bout writer’s retreats. I wonder if they look like this???

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I don’t actually think going to a writer’s retreat would work for me. I’d probably get there and have no way of getting any writing done. I’d experience my first ever writer’s block… there would still be other things to do, like walk, exercise… I bet I could still procrastinate.

I think the chaos in my life makes me a better writer. Yes I’d like more time, but pretty sure I’d end up like this…

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Have any of you been to a writer retreat? Would love to hear how it went… Have fun!

Stitch Says Author Interview: Melissa Gijsbers #Aussieauthor

Stitch here:
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I’m jumping for joy because my friend Melissa Gijsbers is finally making one of her dreams come true. Let’s find out more!!!!

Hi Stitch,
Thank you for having me back again on your blog, especially at this exciting time in my publishing journey.
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Anytime Melissa, it’s wonderful to find out more about your writing journey. Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
My latest book is Swallow Me, NOW! due for publication in October 2014. Last time I was interviewed, I mentioned this book, and it now has a title!
I hope this book will help other children who have been bullied that it will help them come forward to seek help to stop the bullies.

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Sounds great and I love the name!

Did you publish with a traditional publishing house or did you go the indie route?
With this book, I’m publishing somewhere in the middle of these two. Lilly Pilly Press (http://www.lillypillypress.com/) are publishing my book, however I have creative control as with indie publishing.
I’m also funding the book and as a way to get pre-sales, I have launched a crowdfunding campaign through Pozible. The campaign is at http://www.pozible.com/project/184562

Sometimes the middle ground is the best place to start.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
For Swallow Me, NOW! the ideas came from a number of difference sources. These include:
• My experiences as a missionary kid in Nepal from 1983-86
• My experiences adjusting to life back in Australia, including being bullied
• Experiences of my children being bullied at school and how things were dealt with by their schools
A lot in the book is a fictionalised account of what happened, for example, the two room school in Pokhara, Nepal, I described in my book may no longer be a two room school, but I don’t doubt it is still much smaller than a school here in Australia.

Life experiences shape the style of author we become.

What are your future aspirations as an author?
My hope is Swallow Me, NOW! is the first in a series of books set in the fictional “Green Oaks Primary School”. Each book will tell the story of a different student with a different issue. The second book is currently being edited and due for release in 2015.

That’s exciting – can’t wait to see more from you.

What inspires you to write these stories?
The “Green Oaks Primary School” books have been inspired by a number of different things. The first book was inspired by my own experiences, and future books are inspired mostly by my kids. They will have an experience at school and then ask me to write that story! The list of ideas seems to grow every day!

Kids are a great source of inspiration, second only to dogs!

Where can people contact you?
I can be contacted at my blog – www.melissawrites.com.au – or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MelissaGijsbers
My website – www.melissagijsbers.com – will be ready very soon.

Thank you again for interviewing me on your blog again. If anyone wants to pre-order a copy of Swallow Me, NOW! they can get one or two, along with some other goodies, at http://www.pozible.com/project/184562

Great to have you back Melissa and we hope your campaign is successful. Can’t wait to receive our copies and post a review here on Stitch Says. Until then keep reading, keep writing!

Stitch Says Book Review: From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson #kidsbook

Stitch here:
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It’s been a really long day and I have done lots of running. Now I’m very tired, but I have an awesome book to tell you all about. This one is worth staying up late to read.

From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson by Nikki Bennett

From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson by Nikki Bennett web

What an amazing book. It is full of wonderful images and imaginative characters. The children in this story have the most incredible way of dealing with difficult situations. It is beautiful how some of the adults help them as they learn to cope with the loss of their parents and the changes of their new lives. Kids have a fantastically innocent view of the world and this book captures all of that magic. It is a book that children will enjoy and relate to. Adults will also enjoy reading from the view of a child and will also find aspects of their own childhood in these pages. I loved this book and hope to read more from this author.

Stitch Says gives it 5 woofs!

You can check out your own copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Magical-Mind-Mindy-Munson-ebook/dp/B00LC1BGVI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408962965&sr=8-1&keywords=from+the+magical+mind+of+mindy+munson

Keep reading, keep writing!

Story time #bestpartoftheday

I often get asked why I write? Well the answer is I love to create characters and stories. It’s as simple as that. However of the time I have learnt that there is something even more fun than writing.
STORY TIME!!!!

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Yep this is a ritual in our house and it is loud. We chant our favourite books. The girls will also get up and dance at times. They laugh, tell their own stories from the ones I am reading and we all read. It’s fun. In fact story time is the best way to end a day. No matter how hard work had been, how horrible the weather or even if we’ve had a bad day, we finish with an awesome time reading together.
Now I know every household is different and people get home at different times, but if you don’t do story time I think you are missing out. It doesn’t even have to be long. Five minutes before bed…. While the dinner is in the oven. If you have kids put the computer, phone, etc away… pick up a book and enter a whole new world…. Have fun!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: Finding Fuzzy #kidsbook

Chewie here

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I like to find lots of things. The other day I found and orange tree, just stuck there in the ground… well I fixed that!!! Okay I know I know, anyway here is a book about finding fuzzy!

Finding Fuzzy by Cat Michaels

 

Title: Finding Fuzzy: A “You-Decide Tale” of a Lost Friend (Sweet T Tales) | Author: Cat Michaels | Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns | Publication Date: March 26, 2014 | Publisher: 2101 Ink | Pages: 44 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10 | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)

Summary: Illustrated chapter book for early readers (Gr. K-3)

Blue sky …
Warm sea …
Sugar-sand beach …
The perfect family vacation on the Carolina coast …

Except the trip takes a nosedive when Jenna loses Fuzzy, her plush blue rabbit pal. Jenna learns to carry on without him. But when she stumbles across a secret, she faces the toughest decision of her young life. And YOU, the reader, will help her make that choice and come up with the ending of this You-Decide tale. Don’t worry. Cat shows you how in her book and on her website.

So, slip on your flip-flops and join Jenna at the shore. It’s time to decide YOUR ending for Finding Fuzzy.

Caution: Irene A. Jahn’s ocean-themed watercolors have been known to cause beach fever.

“Finding Fuzzy” placed second in the Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children’s book authors, in the category of chapter books.

Purple Dragonfly Award - Second Place - Finding Fuzzy

 

Book Preview

 

Purchase

Amazon

 

The Buzz About the Book

Finding Fuzzy is an early chapter book featuring the opportunity for children to create their own ending to a sweet, summertime story. The main character, Jenna, has a decision to make when she discovers that her beloved stuffed bunny she had lost is now being used to protect a litter of kittens. After weighing out all of the possible outcomes, it is up to the reader to decide what happens next in the story. I thought this was a unique concept that will interest children, especially ones who are interested in writing their own stories (like my daughter!). I recommend this book to parents, homeschoolers, and teachers with children between the ages of 5 and 10.” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“The story is sweet, and suitable for all children. The book is set up to get kids to think and discuss what they would do in a certain situation–in this case, giving up a precious friend (the stuffed bunny.) I could see using this in either a classroom setting or as a bedtime story. The watercolor illustrations really capture a beachy mood and create a great visual for kids as well.. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Nikki B., Goodreads

“Cat Michaels has put young readers in a position to solve the dilemma. Readers must brainstorm and utilize their critical thinking skills to write the ending to Jenna’s story. This quick to read chapter book has small colorful illustrations that help readers imagine the beach. Readers will also find that the author has created a world where they use all five senses. The back of the book has tips for parents and teachers to help their readers.. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Kristi B., Goodreads

“This is a book with a difference. The space where the ending should be is blank, leaving readers with the opportunity to take a far more pro-active role in the unfolding of the story. It’s time to get creative. It’s time to give the story your own ending! There’s room for a picture as well, so the budding author can test out their illustration skills too!” ~ 5 Star Review, Peachy Emma, Amazon

“The genius here is that Cat has picked the perfect storyline to make your would be writers put themselves into Jenna’s shoes and truly understand how she feels.It’s the stuffed animal, every child has one and every child is very attached to it. This is a great book for it’s educational value as far as letting the kids use their imagination to come up with their own conclusion. —-5 stars for this one!” ~ Bookroom Reviews, Amazon

 

About the Author: Cat Michaels

Cat Michaels AuthorCAT MICHAELS started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since. After earning an M.S. degree in special education from the University of Kansas, she spent two decades helping students from kindergarten to college reach their potential.

She also managed communication and resource development programs for an international high-tech company that included writing press releases and articles for trade journals. After recession and downsizings, she returned to her education roots, serving at a community college as a writing coach and learning specialist for students with Asperger’s syndrome and learning disabilities.

Cat spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or twinge of mystery, that open young minds to new ways of thinking and looking at the world. Illustrations by watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns help bring that world to life. Cat and her family live in North Carolina where she designs playful gardens, dabbles in all things digital, and writes.

* Download free pdf of chapter 1 and You-Decide pages by visiting http://www.catmichaelswriter.com/finding-fuzzy-a-you-decide-tale-of-a-lost-friend.html *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+

 

FREE Short Story Offer

Subscribe by email to Cat’s Connections to receive updates, special offers, and to be among the first to hear about new releases by Cat Michaels. PLUS, when you sign up, you will receive a short story penned just for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings by Cat Michaels. Click on the cover below to subscribe to Cat’s Connections.

PLUS… email subscribers to Cat’s Connections will also receive 5 extra in the giveaway below.

Driving to Dillon by Cat Michaels

 

* Giveaway *

Amazon gift card - 30

Prize: One winner will receive a $30 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize

Contest ends: September 19, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cat Michaels and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Keep reading, keep writing!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: Karmack #bookblast

Chewie here:
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With another cool book to check out!

Karmack by J.C. Whyte

Title: Karmack | Author: J.C. Whyte | Publication Date: June 6, 2013 | Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing | Pages: 140 | Recommended Age: 7+

Summary: A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts!

Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all.

Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!

“Karmack” won First Place in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children’s book authors, in the category of chapter books (e-Books).

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards - logo

Purchase the Book

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Muse It Up Publishing

Barnes and Noble * Omnilit * Bookstrand

 

The Buzz About the Book

“Karmack is a well-written, middle grade book tackling the difficult topic of bullying from the perspective of the bully. The character development is absolutely brilliant as the reader witnesses the transformation of Sully from an aggressive, angry bully to a positive role model and respected leader among his peers. While the concept of karma is not for everyone, I found myself agreeing with the main message of how our actions have consequences, intended or otherwise. I would recommend this book to middle grade classrooms as a great book to generate discussion around bullying.” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“A wonderful story about growing up and treating others with respect, Karmack is well paced, funny, and manages to teach important lessons without coming off preachy.” ~ Jess W., Amazon

“A fun read with important lessons for us all about Karma, and why bullies have more to balance than most people. Great for ages 9 up, child centered, non-preachy, action packed, great classroom read aloud.” ~ Carolyn W., Amazon

“What an AMAZINGLY FUN story! EVERYONE needs to read it! Full of FUN, FANTASY, and FANTASTIC REVENGE on a bully! Fun for ALL ages!” ~ Shauna W., Amazon

“Karmack is a captivating pre-teen fantasy and author J.C. Whyte has created a strong cast of characters that are well developed and quite likable. As the story progresses, the suspense builds to a delightful outcome that is sure to keep readers anticipating Whyte’s next round of literary treasures. We look forward to seeing more from this author.” ~ Literary Classics Book Review, Amazon

 

About The Author: J.C. Whyte

J.C. White Author of KarmackWhen J.C. Whyte was eleven, her 6th grade teacher gave a class assignment to write a poem about a sport. Realizing her classmates would probably choose popular American sports like baseball or football, J.C. decided to write about something different: golf. And to her complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she was thereby encouraged to keep writing.

Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. J.C. was horrified! She wanted to enjoy her summer, not spend it reading! You see, J.C. was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids back then didn’t have all the fun books to choose from today. But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told J.C.’s mother she could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was absolute genius! Although she didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), J.C. submitted one which made her teacher laugh out loud in class. And she got an “A” on her summer reading assignment. J.C. has never forgotten that wise teacher who let her play to her strengths.

So from the age of eleven, J.C. knew she wanted to be a writer. Yet by the time she reached college, she understood that writing stories seldom paid the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications Management. Then for many years she channeled her creative energies in the field of Public Relations.

Marriage, kids, and several more degrees and occupations later (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school – mostly for the challenge of writing creative arguments for the court. But while in law school, she became a columnist for the student newsletter, writing humorous pieces on the strange and quirky life of a law student. She was absolutely thrilled when one of these articles was chosen for publication in The National Jurist, a magazine distributed to law students throughout the US.

But after graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing. And with publication of her middle grade novel Karmack, she’s come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.

Website | Goodreads

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize

Contest ends: September 18, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, J.C. Whyte and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Keep reading, keep writing!

The other side of the story #differentpointofview

One thing I love to do when I am planning a story is look at from the other side. For example I might write a few notes about how the villain would view the hero. This might not be used in the story. It does however influence how I write that character. It can also change the view of the hero.
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Telling everyone’s story is important. I guess one day I may end up writing an anthology from the villain’s point of view. This is actually a very cool idea… great now I have another project.

Anyway I am writing some villain notes at the moment. These villains are in a kid’s book, so they are villains, but they’re not that bad. I don’t want kids not being able to sleep. I have one villain in mind that is a bit more. He will be a part of my longer story for older children. I am having fun planning from his point of view at the moment. He has a very unique view of the world.

Taking this approach teaches me so much more about my characters. It means I get more story ideas, plots and even new characters. Give it a go… Have fun!

Writer’s Reveal: When I Grow Up #neverwantotgrowup

It’s that time again… Writer’s reveal. This month’s topic is a bit of fun.
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When I grow up…

Well it’s simple I intend to NEVER GROW UP!!!!
Ha that’s why I write children’s books. I can live in my own little fantasy land. Of course sometimes the big bad world tries to creep in, but I shut it out with a good book and a hot Milo (You Aussies know what I’m talking about!).

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Growing up is an interesting thing in itself. I think kids these days grow up too quickly. My own children love to play and fantasize, which is great. Although taking two super heroes shopping can be a little embarrassing. Well it would be if I was a grown up… Sometimes people give them funny looks because they are talking nonstop about how they would save whatever animal is in danger. To these far too grown up people I would love to stick my tongue out at them. Kids need to be kids and they need to work their imaginations. It’s like resistance training to get stronger. The more you imagine, the better your imagination gets. In this day and age we are too set in our ways. Everything needs to happen on a deadline. While this is certainly part of life that we need to deal with we also need time out to play.

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It’s funny how as you do grow up you start to open your eyes a bit and realise how good it was to be a kid. All I can say is that being an adult does not mean you have to give up all those childlike games. If you like reading kid’s books then read them, if you like playing sports, then play, if you like to eat cookie dough, then have some (too much will give you a belly ache, but you only live once! So get out there and have some fun!!!!

To read about growing up check out the rest of the writer’s reveal team:
http://jaycwolfe.com.
www.aparentinglife.com
www.melissawrites.com.au
http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com
http://emhawker.blogspot.com
http://leeannewalker1.wordpress.com/

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Have Fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor #kidsbook

Stitch here with a detective book for kids:
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This one is Frankie Dupont And The Mystery Of Enderby Manor
by Julie Anne Grasso
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Kids love detective stories, especially when the detectives are kids. Frankie Dupont has to solve a mystery to rescue his missing cousin. This mystery gets bigger and stranger as the book continues, which keeps the reader guessing. Frankie also ends up on a tight deadline, that keeps the story flowing.
It’s a great read that budding detectives will enjoy.

Stitch Says gives it four woofs.

To check out your own copy go to: http://www.amazon.com/Frankie-Dupont-Mystery-Enderby-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00LPPEA0A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408413576&sr=8-1&keywords=frankie+dupont+and+the+mystery+of+enderby+manor

Keep reading, keep writing!