The Final Day #ChaBooCha

It’s the last day of March, only a few short hours to complete the Chapter Book Challenge for 2016!

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Did I do it? Why YES I did! Yay for me!

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Jumping for joy because my Zoo Log draft is complete. It’s bad, needs a massive amount of work, but it is complete. JOB DONE!

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Miles to go, but I have lift off! Now back to those million other things I need to do. Two weeks until holidays and my checklist has begun. More soon – have fun!

First Drafts Explained #amwriting #ChaBooCha

So many people ask me how I can write a chapter book or two (one year I managed three) in a month. Well it’s simple, I write the first draft!

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The first draft is a curious thing. It is rough, raw and often will not resemble the finished product at all. However the first draft is critical to all writing.

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So how do your write a chapter book in a month? Here are the key ideas to success:
1. Have an idea (planning may be important)
2. Sit down and type / write
3. DO NOT EDIT
4. Plod on no matter what
5. Fix everything later
6. Complete the story

It’s not rocket science if you want to write a book then write it. Editing, rewriting, all that can come later, but only if you actually have a first draft!

So get writing and have fun!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: Children’s books #beachboundbooks

Hi it’s the long awaited return of Chewie and his book blasts…

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BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for two charming books by Lisa Marie Schinski, That’th what I thaid! & The Sore Prickly Bear. The blast will run March 28-30, 2016.

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About the Books

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Title: The Sore Prickly Bear
Author: Lisa Marie Schinski
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Number of Pages: 30
Summary: Fuzzy has a very bad day that keeps getting worse. He is faced with many challenges and doesn’t understand why these things are happening to him. Everyone has had a bad day, week, month or even years. He will make you laugh because everyone can relate to Fuzzy in some way. Things always have a way of working out in the end and sometimes even better than it was before!

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

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Title: That’th what I thaid!: R’s and S’s
Author: Lisa Marie Schinski
Illustrator: Lauren Panco
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Number of Pages: 32
Summary: Stitchie is a happy bunny that is having a hard time saying her R’s and S’s. She thinks her friends are making fun of her but they just laugh because they think it sounds funny. They love Stitchie, and in the end, Stitchie practices and meets the best teacher who helps her says her R’s and S’s perfectly. She runs into the woods to share with her friends how far she has come!!

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

About the Author: Lisa Marie Schinski


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I was born and raised in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. I currently reside in King of Prussia. I wrote the story about the Sore Prickly Bear when I was 8 years old. My teacher, Mrs. Ulrich encouraged me to write and also gave me the young author’s award. I found this book after my mom passed away last year. I had a great childhood but when I wrote this book, my parents got divorced, we moved and I changed schools. A lot of changes for an 8 year old. So I guess I felt like Fuzzy.

Around October 2015, I took the book into work to show my friends because this past year and a half has been very hard for me and my family. I knew when I showed my friends, they would laugh and cry because my life was again Fuzzy’s. My friends, Denice, Dee, Candace, Rick, Gina, Tara, Nancy, Tamara and Gina encouraged me to publish this book. So here I am!

I am now 46 years old. I have a great job, great friends, and great family. But there are still days that feel very bad and very unfair.

My goal for publishing this book is to help children understand that bad things happen and bad days happen. But when we have friends and family in our life to help us laugh at ourselves, we can heal and move forward. Everyone has a bad day, week, month or even years. My dream is to share this story for children to know they are not alone and everyone has a bad day.

I am so grateful for my family and friends.

“That’th what I thaid” was published in February 2016. Lauren Panco inspired me to write this story. It is for children who have a hard time with their R’s and S’s. I think many of us have! I want children to know it’s ok to sound different and with practice, it changes. Don’t let anyone make fun of you. We are all perfect the way we are!

Website ~ Twitter ~ Etsy ~ LinkedIn

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More to come – keep reading, keep writing!

Easter Writing Update #ChaBooCha

Happy Easter everyone. I hope the four day break was filled with fun, chocolate and time to write.

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I got to go on a research trip today and have some ideas to improve my current manuscript that is part of the Chapter Book Challenge. So I guess I should update you on where I am. I have written about 8000 words and funnily enough I can almost say the first draft is done. It’s raw with a capital RAW, but that’s what first drafts are!

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I still have until Thursday to officially complete the challenge so I still have work to do. There was lots of other things I wanted to achieve this month to. The count down is on.

Some more exciting news hopefully before the week is out. Have  a little bit of work to do, but will update you all soon. Would love to hear how everyone else is going.

Have fun!

Books for Easter #getthemquick

I still have copies of my books here or you just have time to order them for Easter. A new book goes so well with a chocolate. Getting your child the Not So Boring Book will keep them amused over the four day break too! Check them out on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

or email me on ashley@ahowland.org

Easter

Have fun!

Time is flying #shouldbewriting #chaboocha

Right so it’s the 20th of March…

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How am I going? Well I have actually written around 6000 words and the story is starting to take shape. Not sure if I will get it finished, but Easter is coming so I have a few days off work. that might mean my brain is capable of concentrating for a decent amount of time without getting distracted. At the moment I can only do short bursts, but that’s okay. At least I am writing!

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I have been a bit slack on the blogging front, but I am getting back into the swing of things. More soon – have fun!

A Different Challenge #beingmum

We have a tradition at our house… everyone gets a birthday cake that has to be made at home! It’s something I started with my kids because although life is busy I think it is important to take the time and do something on our birthdays. A cake means so much more. It represents what they like during that stage of their life and how much effort I am always willing to put in for a birthday.

The girls love choosing their cakes – thanks to pinterest they get lots to choose from. I have made some interesting cakes over the years. From Mickey Mouse, to the crocodile from Peter Pan, to the little mermaid and Stitch (Lilo and Stitch).

It’s turned into a bit of a game. Which is fun to test my creativity – I am not a cake decorator! One of my favourite was Snow White and the seven smurfs on a pirate ship!

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This is what happens when you have creative kids…

The pink dolphin was fun!

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This year for Miss 9 it was Star Wars challenge…

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I am never going to make a living from decorating cakes – but every year I make my kids feel special and they have something to remember, which makes it all worth while!

Now I need to get back to my writing – have fun!

Not So Boring Book #1 Write Your Own Story #getwriting

I am sooooo excited!!! My new book, the Not So Boring Book #1 Write your Own Story is being used by teachers to get kids writing!

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I wrote this book because I love to write with my own kids. They get so much happiness out of writing and I just wanted to share this with other kids (and adults). To have some teachers pick up on the book and share it with their classes is awesome. This is how one classroom looked…

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So amazing to think my books are inspiring young people to write and read. It’s exactly why I decided to become a published author. I cold have kept my stories for my kids, but I wanted to share it with many more. The great thing is these kids are actually writing, check this book out!

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It works, my book gets kids writing. If you would like your own copy you can order it from Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Not-So-Boring-Book-Creative/dp/1511728205
It is also available on CreateSpace or you can contact me directly at ashley@ahowland.org

Get writing today – have fun!

Happy Birthday Munchie #birthdaytime

Today my big kid turns 9! That’s pretty cool. She already has three stories published…

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And she has inspired many of my stories. We have even worked on developing characters together. she helped me develop one of my super heroes

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The great thing about this character is while I write stories about the whole super team she writes about Lightning Lilly. This means we can produce these books together! There is nothing better than coming up with story idas with your children. Both my girls are helping me with ideas for this month’s chapter book challenge.

Miss 9 does more than write, she has recently become a book reviewer, which she loves! There is nothing better than getting a new book in the post.

She’s smart, funny, full of energy and thinks creatively, oh and she loves to challenge me to make the best cakes… this was an old one…

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This years will be a bigger challenge, will post if it works – have fun!