Award Time Fun

reality-blog-award-logoA wonderful honor to have been chosen for the Reality Blog Award. Many thanks to my new friend MisBehaved Woman…

Please stop by to sample her blog. It’s excellent!

The award requires me to answer the following questions:

1. If you could change something what would you change?

I’d like to hear the truth from politicians for a change, but to keep my request realistic, how about  starting with term limits in the US Congress?

2. If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

Every age is a wonder unto itself.

3. What one thing really scares you?

That my grandchildren may not have the freedoms that I have enjoyed when they are my age.

4. What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?

I’d love to write a book based upon my blog posts…I believe I will accomplish it too!

5. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

My own granddaughter. I’d be very interested to see the world through the eyes of a child in today’s world.

I nominate the following blogs for this award:

Strawberryindigo x

Subhan Zein x

Mona x

Please stop by and tell them Sillyfrog sent you! 😉

Searching for Clues: Short Stories

The Oxford Book of English Short Stories
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (Photo credit: dalcrose)

A well-written short story is ripe with clues.

In one of my more recent blog posts, (In Defense of BIG kids…) I make a point about how often people can overlook keywords and how it can be responsible for misunderstandings.

Today, I added a blog post to my category Random Word Stories. These are short stories that I create using random words. The fun part is that I create the stories as an exercise. I limit my writing to “one sitting” which has never gone on for more than an hour. When I polish my ideas for posting, I find the adding of details, as clues, to be the deciding factor between just a story and a good story.

It occurred to me, shortly after my exercise, how valuable short stories are when training young readers to recognize clues. This would translate very well to the greater purpose of kids learning to discriminate among clues and keywords they deal with elsewhere.

I’ve provided a link, above, to my newest story.

There are poignant questions that could be asked about the story.

  • What may have clouded Mia’s judgement in selecting a roommate?
  • Did her occupation affect her judgement?
  • What might she have done differently?
  • What may have been warning signs of Holt’s problems?
  • The story ends on a humorous note…what may she have asked on the questionnaire?
  • What did bubblegum have to do with anything?

Certainly, there seems to be much material for discussion in such a short piece. Short stories make great homework assignments too. Their weight is not encumbering when it comes to time spent.

Perhaps I have stumbled upon a marketable use for my better stories? My new project will be to make them age and subject appropriate, of course.  🙂

20,002 hits!

Hurray! I have passed a milestone worth a mention. My blog has had 20,000 hits.

Not all people who come to my blog, via a link , actually read it but I hope that most of them have enjoyed the content. I certainly have had lots of fun in the writing experience, the friends I’ve made, and the keeping of a memoir of my thoughts.

So here’s a thank-you to all who have visited and, especially, those who make a habit of visiting!

I appreciate it. 🙂

~Susan aka sillyfrogfrogeffect

Patience Trumps Writer’s Block

The discouraged Nenene suffering from writer's...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think writers are best defined as mentally bipolar. Either you are up or down, there’s no in-between.

I have little time for writing and when a great opportunity for uninterrupted creativity arises, I’m usually at a loss. My cycle of inspiration gets out of sync with my opportunities. Maybe I’m trying too hard? Have I used up all my genius already?

ADD of the brain makes me want new exciting projects once I have dabbled and have felt adequate at a writing task. My gut reminds me that dedication and toil separates those who want to be authors from those who are. I don’t really believe it though.

Instead, I wait. I don’t stop thinking…but inspiration has its own timing and I believe if it is pursued too aggressively, it can dissipate like a cloud observed for scientific study rather than one noticed by a dreamer.

This post, this day…I refuse to give up…What I can do is wait.

What Kids Want: An insight For Writers

English: The Children's Literature Barnstar
English: The Children’s Literature Barnstar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our upstate New York town where we camp on weekends, has become a ghost town. We’ve watched it lose many businesses over almost twenty years. Our property taxes are higher on our woodland retreat than at our residence in Massachusetts. We have no town maintained road, sewer, water or electricity there BUT the town has a wonderful little library.

There is always a smiling face behind the desk (some folks volunteer their services) and a sign with upcoming events for families. The children’s area is very inviting and the staff display their weekly recommendations for interesting adult reading too.

My granddaughter will be 7 years old in September. On our most resent visit, she was searching for chapter books. Katherine has reading ability appropriate for her age but a desire to move on to books that offer a better ongoing story. There were few to satisfy this appetite. I also found that she preferred hardcover books to soft-bound. Hardcover books represent a better story in her 6-year-old reasoning.

I’m not at the stage in my “writing for children” adventure to produce such a book. I want to offer this accidentally discovered void in children’s literature to folks who may have been unaware of it and could take advantage. It is a critical time for Kat. She has watched the adults in her life use bookmarks and enjoy stories that unfold. Most importantly, she is deeply interested now. As she becomes a more social kid at the ripe ages of 7 and 8, she may move away from reading for fun.

I remember my own search for a better story, at a similar age. I also remember not being able to find “chapter books”  to meet my early needs either. I quickly lost interest and did not return to recreational reading for 20 years.

This is a shout out from a grandmother to those who are looking for a special writing arena yet to be marketed. I believe there’s a consumer group to satisfy with early reader chapter books.

News to all writers!

Novel Inspiration (Starts November 1, 2010) : For those poets who write fiction or have considered doing so, [Inter] National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. This is an exercise in by–passing your internal editor and getting a jump-start on your novel. After the NaNoWriMo is over, you continue on your own to expand, edit, and refine your draft. In its tenth year now, NaNoWriMo had 167,150 participants world-wide last year. 32,178 completed the 50,000 word challenge. Sixty NaNoWriMo novels have been published including the New York Times bestseller, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. A few community members- including Olivia – are already registered and ready-to-go on November 1. For information on 2010 NaNo, link HERE.
I signed up…sounds like fun!

Embracing Cute

My blogging experience has been so exciting. Initially, I started to compile projects for a book about keeping kids creative. Kids are my passion and their beginning experiences set the tone for their entire lives.

My second mission was to leave a book of thoughts specifically for my granddaughter to treasure later in life. I’m not disciplined enough to keep a journal, and I have to admit, I enjoy making friends and getting feedback too. Being a day care provider can be awfully isolating.

Then I found the Jingle Poetry community, actually they found me. Jingle is an amazingly diligent talent scout and I am still numb from her choice of MY work. I have not had one unkind comment from any member of the group. Their motto of encouragement certainly fits. Not only do the poet’s comment frequently but with long, intuitive messages as well.

I realized once the encouragement began that I, quite possibly, could be a serious and accomplished writer beyond my initial intentions. This pleased me immensely 🙂 A new goal for a person who has given up so much time and creativity on behalf of  kids could finally realize her own dream!

In my “About Me” statement, I reveal my admiration of Dr. Seuss. Many of the sincere comments from other writers on my poetry, were increasingly containing the word cute.

It is a dark confession of mine that “cute” held a condescending tone to my newborn professional approach and was not completely well received. Intellectually, I never thought it meant to be unkind but my heart deflated a bit at its frequent use.

What was Dr. Seuss but silly and amusing AND cute?

Heck, why that word pushed my” buttons ” will remain a mystery from now on.

Cute…I like the sound.

Dr. Seuss would be proud. 🙂

Love to all my Jingle Poetry Friends!