Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 22, 2012
“Our Annual Hayride–A Fall Family Tradition”
“A Writer’s Playground” promotes kid-friendly family fun. Today, I’d like to share a story with you. It’s the story of our annual hayride.
Six years ago or so, our son decided to take his family to a commercial hayride. The outing didn’t go well due to faulty farm equipment. Everyone left disappointed. Our son left determined to find quality family-friendly fun. Next, he approached us about having a hayride on the family “farm.” Our son owns a tractor, which he inherited from his grandfather. We have a trailer. Our son and his wife have two young sons. Toss in a little hay and poof–instant hayride. That first year, our hayride was pretty much that simple. We invited a few guests, set out some decorations (not scary) and a table with hot chocolate and snacks. Thus, the tradition began. The next year, more family members, co-workers, their children, and friends were invited. Additional decorations were added. Today, we’re up to 50-60 in attendance each year.
There’s no admission charge, although this year, my husband did try to collect hands. Uugh!
Admission–One Hand. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen
Most everyone brings treats to share, not hands. Many come decked out in Halloween costumes. Everyone takes a hayride, or two, or more. Some help drive the tractor, under expert supervision of course. Youngsters play kickball, roll down the hill, or jump out at the trailer as it passes. One year, there were horse rides. This year, there was a trailer pulled by a four wheeler. It’s a day everyone looks forward to.
Little Scarecrow–Hayride. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen
Spiders Join In. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen
Hayride on the Go. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen
What traditions does your family have that will always be special to you? Please write a comment and let others hear your creative ideas. You may persuade someone to try something new and increase their family traditions. Have fun making wonderful memories!
Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: decorations for Halloween, driving a tractor, Fall traditions, family fun, family-friendly fun, Halloween costumes, hayride, kid-friendly, scarecrows, tractor and a trailer, traditions | 20 Comments »
Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 6, 2012
“Congratulations to Lisa Fowler, winner of Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt” by Linda Martin Andersen
Congratulations to Lisa Fowler! You are the winner of the debut picture book Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt. Donna will contact you for your postal address. Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground” and leaving a comment. Come back soon and bring a friend.
Thanks again, Donna, for the interview and for donating the copy of Being Frank. It’s a great book. A special thanks to all who visited “A Writer’s Playground” and left comments for this contest. I appreciate you!
Please come back tomorrow, Sunday Oct. 7, and meet Meg Smith, a Newbery Judge–one of 15 in the US. Wow!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: A Writer's Playground, Being Frank, contest winner, Donna Earnhardt, Linda Martin Andersen, Meg Smith, Newbery judge | Leave a Comment »
Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 2, 2012
“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.
Today, we have a chance to meet someone who likes wordplay so much that she chose it as the title of her first published picture book–Being Frank. The title is a play on words because the main character’s name is Frank and the book is about being frank with others.
Being Frank means–being honest without worrying if someone’s feelings might be hurt, telling it like it is, being straightforward, outspoken, or blunt.
Donna Earnhardt, author of Being Frank
Illustrator of Being Frank:Andrea Castellani
Check out the illustrations.
Flashlight Press, publishing company of Being Frank
Available at Amazon.com. See address below:
Read all about it! Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani was released October 2012 by Flashlight Press. Donna is one of my good writer friends. I wanted you to meet her; so I invited her for a visit.
Please welcome Donna Earnhardt.
1. Being Frank, your debut picture book, is now published. I’m so excited for you. How does it feel? Do you keep pinching yourself to see if it’s real?
I am so excited I think I’ve left footprints on the ceiling. Unfortunately, my dust bunnies don’t clean up there, either.
2. “A Writer’s Playground” is a great place for readers to learn about careers. Could you share with us about your decision to become a writer and the steps you took to reach your goal?
I have been writing since I was a little girl. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I decided to start writing and submitting my work. I learned a lot in those first few years…especially what NOT to do! Joining other writing groups and learning about the business of writing helped tremendously, too.
3. Donna, what inspired your book Being Frank?
A mix of things inspired me. As a parent, I want to speak the truth in love – and I want my children to do the same. But we don’t always do a great job of it! I wasn’t thinking specifically about that fact when the first line of the book came into my brain – and it didn’t really hit me that the book was about that until AFTER I’d written it. Also, my dad’s first name was Frank. So it’s a cool tribute to his memory!
4. “A Writer’s Playground” encourages good character traits on and off the playground. Would you speak about what it means to be frank? When could being frank cause problems?
Telling the truth is a good thing – always. But delivering the message in such a way that the hearer receives it in the way it is intended is the tricky part. If your best friend has grass in her hair and asks if she looks okay, you’ll want to tell her she has grass in her hair. But if she has on a shirt that she loves… but happens to be your least favorite color… you don’t need to point that out. If she asks, “How does this green shirt look on me?”, you need to listen to what she is really asking. She’s not asking if YOU like the color. She’s asking if you think she looks nice. You can think she looks nice without loving the color. Find the positive and go with it! If, however, she asks if you like the color, be truthful… but kind. You could answer, “You know that purple is my favorite color, but that green looks really nice on you.”
Again – it’s the truth. You just have to figure out how to share it without hurting others.
5. Donna, would Frank, your book’s main character, have any good character trait tips for readers?
Hmmm… he would probably NOT be the best one to ask that question! But if you did ask him, he would probably tell you it’s best if you don’t tell your teacher she has bad breath. Nothing good can come from it. Just pop a mint in your mouth and then offer her one. If she asks why, respond, “I didn’t want to be rude and keep them all to myself.” You’ll be telling the truth and doing it in a nice way!
6. Donna, did you have a favorite playground as a child? Do you recall learning any valuable lessons there? What were they?
Oooh.. that’s a deep question! I played on the playground at Cordova Elementary School. But I mainly played with my sister, cousins and neighborhood friends in our backyards. I learned a lot in both places.
I think the biggest thing I learned is that you can’t force people to be your friends. And if you feel like you have to do that, then they are probably not the folks you need in your life.
7. Could you share what you are writing at this time?
I just finished up a couple of new picture books and a new chapter book. The CB is set in the Outer Banks of NC. I hope to get out there one day! I am also working on a mystery (for adults) that I started over 10 years ago.
8. Donna, is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers here?
Thanks to all who have read this interview, bought my book already or intend to! This is a dream come true and I’m so very thankful for this whole experience. And thank you, Linda, for being such a great interviewer AND friend!
Let’s all thank Donna Earnhardt for visiting “A Writer’s Playground” today. And now for a special GIVEAWAY announcement.
Please leave a comment and your email address below to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of Being Frank. The contest is open to anyone in the USA and ends at midnight EST on Friday, October 5, 2012. The winner will be announced on Monday, October 8, 2012.
Don’t forget to shop for a copy of Being Frank at the websites above or at a local store near you.
Thank you Donna Earnhardt for the interview and for making this giveaway possible.
Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen
Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: Andrea Castellani, asking questions, Being Frank, debut picture book, Donna Earnhardt, dust bunnies, Flashlight Press, footprints on the ceiling, frank, giveaway, interview, neighborhood friends, playground, positive, telling the truth | 16 Comments »