A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for October, 2015

It’s Fall or Is it?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 29, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “A Writer’s Playground” –A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.”

Excuse this interruption, but.. have you commented on Deanna Klingel’s guest post for a chance to win a handmade Origami bookmark?  It’s a great way to celebrate World Origami Days and Deanna’s upcoming book, Blue-Eyed Doll.  Enter by 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2015.  Click here to leave a comment:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/celebrating-world-origami-days-with-deanna-klingel-bookmark-giveaway/  Thank you.

Another request, please consider sending a poem or get well message to Joy Acey, a poet and friend, who has been unable to post to her daily poetry blog recently, due to a hurt hand.  Click here to cheer her day:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/  Thank you again. 

And now to return to our regularly scheduled program.” (I always wanted to say that.)

“It’s Fall or is It?” by Linda Martin Andersen

Here’s a writing prompt for you…

“It’s Fall or is It?”  The pictures below show something that doesn’t seem right.  Contrary to the norm.  A contradiction.  See definition here:  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contradiction

Irises usually bloom in spring.  I promise I photographed these the same day as the burn bushes glowing red with fall color.  How can this be?  Were the irises transplanted and then burst into bloom on a warm fall day?  I don’t know.  Any other thoughts?

Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

Burn bushes at T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, NC. Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

Burn bushes at T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, NC. Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

Iris in bloom at T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, NC. Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

Iris in bloom at T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, NC. Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

 

Think of other contradictions you’ve seen or heard and use them to prompt a writing exercise.  Here are a few more suggestions:

  1. He’s rich. (referring to a homeless man)
  2. I can make it on my own. (Can anyone, really?)
  3. A lion who is cowardly (Wizard of Oz).  Other book characters?

 

 

As always, thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend.  I hope you’ll leave a writing prompt suggestion of your own Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you

 

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Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Project Notebooks–Pass it On

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 27, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “A Writer’s Playground” –A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.”

“Project Notebooks–Pass it On” by Linda Martin Andersen

Recently, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater featured a guest blogger who keeps project notebooks.  Meet Jeff Anderson and learn what inspired his notebooks, which led to a children’s book series.  Leave a comment at Amy’s site for a chance to win a copy of Zack Delacruz–Me and My Big Mouth.

To register to win, leave a comment at this site:

http://www.sharingournotebooks.amylv.com/2015/10/jeff-anderson-project-journal.html?showComment=1445942937348#c2917384762047036816

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Reading, Science, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Celebrating World Origami Days with Deanna Klingel. Bookmark Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 20, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  Picture

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen. Created by Deanna K. Klingel, author.

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen. Created by Deanna K. Klingel, author.

“Celebrating World Origami Days With Deanna Klingel.  Bookmark giveaway.” by Linda Martin Andersen

Meet Deanna Klingel, author of these books and more under contract.  Recently, I commented on Deanna Klingel’s Facebook page.  Here’s a photo of a lovely Origami bookmark she sent me as a gift.  Would you like to have a chance to win one too?But first let’s see what the creator of this lovely bookmark and numerous books is up to.

Picture Avery's Crossroad PicturePicturePicture  Picture   Picture  PicturePicture

World Origami Week is Oct. 24–Nov. 11, 2015.  To celebrate, I invited Deanna Klingel to appear as a special guest author here at “A Writer’s Playground.” Thank you for accepting my invitation Deanna.

Years ago, I met Deanna at a writers’ conference and shortly after that, she published her first book. I didn’t have anything to do with that achievement, but I am certainly proud of her.

Deanna, please answer these questions for children and adults who would like to know more about you and your writing:

1.How long have you been writing? What age do you write for? I’ve really been writing all my life, but writing for publication only since my children grew up. I concentrate mostly on middle grade-YA, but I also have picture books for Pre K, and novels for high school.

2.What topics have you have written about for children? Please list each book and its main topic. Why did you choose these topics? Who publishes your books? How did you find these publishers? I have several different publishers because I write in many different genres. Some publishers don’t do picture books, others don’t publish non-fiction, some don’t want YA. One must really define and refine before finding the right publisher. Finding them is a combination of research, timing and luck.

The first book published was Just for the Moment, The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. This is a non-fiction collection of moments when my two therapy dogs made a difference in other people’s lives with their work as therapy dogs. I didn’t write it for children, but school librarians tell me the kids love it. I wrote it to educate about the therapy dog mission and to share my dogs. I self-published this book with Dog Ear Publishing in Indianapolis, because my dogs were elderly goldens. I wanted the book published while they were still alive. It was their book. Traditional publishing is a lengthy process. My dogs didn’t have that much time.

The next two, Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’s Crossroad are middle grade historical fiction, both are Stars & Flags National Book Award winners. Set in Virginia in 1861-1865, it’s the story of Avery Junior Bennett and his hound dog Gunner. My character, Avery, nudged me into this story which was published by BJU Press/Journey Forth. I’d about given up when their acquisitions editor talked with me at a conference and asked if she might see the manuscript.

Bread Upon the Water is nonfiction YA, the true story of a boy from South Vietnam who escapes as a boat person in order to follow his calling to the priesthood. Father Tien is a friend whose amazing story is an inspiration and needs to be read. It’s published by Rafka Press in Phoenix, which specializes in Catholic themes, a perfect home for this book.

Cracks in the Ice is YA fiction, a novel of a girl with a dream of Olympic gold in figure skating. This book was a Selah Award finalist. I wrote it after reading a YA “best seller” that glorified alcoholism as fun, cool and not dangerous, and never calling it by name. I wanted to tell young people the truth. Write Integrity in Georgia agreed and they published it.

Rock and a Hard Place, A Lithuanian Love Story, is biography about two people with a fascinating life, now in their 80s. The title refers to being caught between a Russian invasion and a German betrayal, and the love of country. It’s important history that’s being repeated today in Ukraine. Shari Parker Publishing, Texas, who I’d met at a conference, published it.

Amanda and the Lazy Garden Fairy, for primary readers, is a humorous picture book that deals with responsibility, written for the developing sense of humor. I wrote it for fun. This one is published by Progressive Phoenix Rising Press in Texas. I heard the CEO speak at a conference and took a chance. I was so happy with their product, I next submitted The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, which they’ve also published.

Jim Limber is historical fiction. Actually, the first third of the book is nonfiction, biography based on the personal writings of Varina Davis. The middle third is historical fiction, the final third is Choose-Your-Own-Ending. It’s for YA readers. It’s a lot of fun, and adults are liking it, too. When I first heard the story of Jim Limber from a reenactor who embodies Varina Davis, I was fascinated. I started researching and discovered how much there was to this story. I headed for the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA, where I did the actual research.

The Little Beth Series is a Pre K-first grade picture book series of backyard nature. The intent is to get the kids outdoors and looking. The first is Beth’s Birds, and the second, soon to be released, is Beth’s Backyard Friends. This series was originally published by Peak City in Apex, NC, but recently they closed their business. Progressive Rising Phoenix rescued Little Beth and are publishing the entire series.

Later this year Walker Hound of Park Avenue, a chapter book about an incident in our animal shelter, will join the family at Progressive Rising Phoenix.

3.  What is your upcoming book Blue-eyed Doll about? When will it be available for purchase? Blue-Eyed Doll is releasing probably after the first of the year, from 4RV Publishing in Edmonton, Oklahoma. I don’t have a date yet, but the launch party is May 5. This is YA/ historical fiction about an actual event here in the United States in 1927. Nearly 13,000 dolls, collected by boys and girls across the country were shipped with passports and visas to the children in Japan as a world peace initiative. My story is about a little girl who wants to participate in this class project and send a friendship doll. She has to circumvent her bigoted father. The story tells how that project affected her world vision for the rest of her life. Her doll, Isabella, has her own story that catches up to Ruth Mary in the end. The story spans 1927-1947.

4.  I recently received an Origami bookmark that you made by hand. It is beautiful and I love mine. Why are you making these special bookmarks? I’m glad you liked it. I made 200 to promote the book Blue-Eyed Doll. (There’s a little blurb on the back, in case you missed that.) After the Friendship Dolls arrived, Japan reciprocated by sending beautifully crafted dolls to the U.S. known as the Ambassador Dolls. My little bookmarks represent the Ambassador Dolls.

5.  What are some places you plan to visit to tell about your doll book? Will you visit Japan? How do you decide where you will visit? I’m not going to Japan, but I do have some exciting places scheduled. I have a Power Point Presentation and costumes ready to go. There are several Ambassador Dolls in museums in the U.S. I contacted them all as soon as the book was under contract. Several of them are interested in having the program and putting their doll on display. The launch on May 5 is at a doll museum in my own state of North Carolina, in Spencer. Then I’m going to South Dakota and Montana, Maine, and other states that haven’t yet settled on a date. My program is for museum audiences as well as libraries and schools. It’s going to be great fun.

6.  Do you travel alone to school visits and other places where you are invited to speak? I usually do travel alone. I love to drive. I’ve gone to Texas, and Mississippi, as well as all the southeast. Occasionally my husband goes if it seems interesting, such as the 150th at Appomattox, or if it’s within a day to a family member. He’s going out west with me, we’re making that a vacation. I had a friend who used to enjoy going to the Civil War reenactments with me, but she’s moved to Oregon. I hope I can get out there.

7.  What is the largest audience you have ever spoken to? The smallest? Probably the largest was a middle school in Albemarle, North Carolina. The entire school was in the gym at the same time! The smallest was probably a precious little museum in Exmore on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I think there were about seven or eight. Some museums have auditoriums, so those are usually pretty big groups. Appomattox should have been huge, but the weather and logistics were a disaster, so it turned out small.

8.  Do you find your own illustrators for your books or does the editor do that? My picture books are illustrated by Steve Daniels, a professional, who happens to be a friend as well, and he’s known to PRPP. Walker Hound’s illustrators came through PRPP.

9.  Who are Lily and Jessie? What makes them special? Do they ever attend school visits or other programs? Lily and Jessie were my two golden therapy dogs about whom Just for the Moment was written. They both had long and happy lives, I miss them still. You can read about all their beautiful visits and what makes them special in their book.

10. Promoting your books Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’s Crossroad takes you to reenactments and other historical sites. What is an experience you’ll never forget from one of these trips? I’ve had fun selling my books at reenactments. I’ve been to little towns I would never have known about and met the most wonderful, interesting Americans. I’ve a treasure chest of memories. I record them in my mini blog, Selling Books on Mondays and Thursdays. I share what I learn about travel, writing and marketing while on the road selling my books, like a little travelogue. One of my favorites is the story of the Bucket Truck Man, a true American, in Iuca, MS. Another time in KY, a little girl was so excited about her Halloween costume she jumped up and down telling me about it. She was going as Claire, the Civil War hospital nurse in my Avery and Gunner books. That really touched me.

11. What would you like to share that you haven’t been asked? Please do! My favorite blog is yours Linda. It reminds me of all the fun I had raising my kids, learning with them, helping school projects, and leading Scout troops and events. I relive the fun, creative parts of my life when I read your blog. Thanks so much for inviting me in.

Deanna, what a pleasure to have you visit and share more about yourself.  I also appreciate your compliment about my blog.  Thanks also for agreeing to donate one of your lovely bookmarks to celebrate the 2016 release of Blue-eyed Doll.  

Readers, to learn more about Deanna K. Klingel, please visit her here:  http://www.booksbydeanna.com/books.html

(Purchasing information is available here)

Writers, Deanna posts about selling books here on Mondays and Thursdays.  Good marketing tips and tips on school visits and other presentations.  See here:  http://www.booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books.html

If you’d like your name entered in a drawing for a handmade Origami bookmark, please comment below.  A random winner will be selected on October 31, 2015 at 7 p.m. EST.

Readers, I look forward to your comments.  Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Careers, crafts, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Tractors, A Cemetery, and A Final Send-Off

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 14, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground” –A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.”

What is a send-off?  What is a final send-off?

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/send-off

Hayride on the Go. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

Hayride on the Go. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

In the past, I associated October with tractor pulled hayrides, Halloween, and autumn leaves. 

Recently, I learned of a unique final send-off for a beloved gentleman.  His procession to the cemetery was led by a line of tractors.  I loved it.  It took place right down the road from where I live.  The local newspaper featured articles and photos.  See here:

A salute to Byron Suggs, the man who received this special send-off:

http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/sunday-salute-byron-suggs-was-farmer-mechanic-family-man/article_f1a21d1d-ff7f-5833-ba7f-33bea4f737f7.html

And then another article about Byron Suggs, a founding member of South River Antique Tractor Club.  This club made sure Byron Suggs’ send-off was memorable.  See a video of the tractors at the cemetery.

http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/tractor-procession-pays-tribute-to-cedar-creek-farmer/article_39ab71b9-46ef-51da-ba68-99e66a0f565c.html

Photographs of a special final send-off–a tractor led procession:

http://photo.fayobserver.com/?ssid=4364&sid=1&category=103

I realize I’m a southern country girl, but anybody who saw this procession would have to admit that it was a unique send-off and a powerful salute.

From now on, I’ll associate tractors with cemeteries and final send-offs, as well as hayrides. 

What’s the most unusual final send-off you’ve ever seen?  I hope you’ll leave a comment here.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Character Traits, History, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , | 16 Comments »

 
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