A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

  • Copyright Notice

    Copyright © 2016 Linda Martin Andersen.

    Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this
    material without express and written permission
    from Linda Martin Andersen is strictly prohibited.

    Excerpts and links may be used, provided that
    full and clear credit is given to Linda Martin Andersen
    with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Nothing Says Joy in the Morning Like…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 21, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Nothing Says Joy in the Morning Like…” by Linda Martin Andersen

Personal grief hit me hard in June.  It left me too sad to do some things I enjoy, such as making small home decorating changes.  Fortunately, my  creativity is returning.  This brings me great joy!

Yesterday, I decided to replace the coffee station in my kitchen.  I purchased a bamboo napkin holder and serving tray to hold my coffee maker and condiments.   This simple decorating change filled me with joy.  Now as I pour myself a cup of coffee, I’m reminded to start my day with joy.  I was also reminded of two Folgers’ coffee jingles:  “Nothing says morning like Folgers in your cup. ” Also:  “The best part of waking up in Folgers in your cup.”

These jingles influenced my writing and this blog title.  Writing and word play bring me joy.  Choosing to change my coffee station brought me two joys:  creative decorating and writing.

What caused this positive change?  Time for a moment of truth…I added too much water to my coffee pot which caused it to boil over and ruin my  tray.  Cause and effect.  That’s one accident I’m glad happened.  😉  It started positive wheels turning.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7LXSQ85jpw

These jingles influenced my writing.  Can you recognize their influence in my blog title?  Writing and word play bring me joy.

What brings you joy in the morning and throughout the day?

Bamboo Coffee Station. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen.

Bamboo Coffee Station. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Look around your bedroom and locate things that bring you joy.  Write or tell about them.

2.  Look for things that bring you joy on your ride to school.  Write or tell about them.

3.  Begin a Joy Journal.  Record things that bring you joy throughout the day.

4.  Write an acronym for JOY.  Here is a site for word suggestions:  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/phonetic/y.shtml

Example of an acronym for  JOY:  J–Jump  O–orbit Y–yell

5.  Write a phrase acronym for JOY.  Example:  J–Jump  O–over  Y–yokes (burdens).  Discuss the meaning of this phrase with an adult.

6.  Do you know someone named Joy?  Tell ways this person brings joy to the world.  Example:  Joy Acey:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2016/09/sharks-and-minnows.html

7.  Do you know a song about Joy?  Change some of the lyrics to include things that bring you joy.

8.  Complete this writing prompt:  Nothing says joy in the morning like…

9.  Here are two Folgers’ coffee jingles:  “Nothing says morning like Folgers in your cup. ” Also:  “The best part of waking up in Folgers in your cup.”  Use these jingles as writing prompts to create your own personal jingle or slogan.

10.  What is your definition of joy?  Expand your definition with personal examples.

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

Advertisements

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, humor, music, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Inspired to Create a Poster

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 2, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart

“Inspired to Create a Poster,” by Linda Martin Andersen

Today, I read a note that inspired me to create a poster.  What has inspired you today?

 

 

 

Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, art, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Q is for Question Marks, Quilts, and Quests

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 19, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Q is for Question Marks, Quilts, and Quests” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Q is for Question Marks–and with that comes lots of questions

Some Q & A activities, just for fun…

  • Walk around your house with a question in mind.  Can you answer the question before your walk is complete?  For example:  What items in my house or yard begin with the letter “Q?”  I thought of quarter, quilt, and flowering quince.
  • In what class or classes at school would you expect to see a lot of question marks?  Give an example.
  • What written language uses inverted question marks?  How did you find the answer to this question?
  • What animal(s) is sometimes described as having a curly Q tail?
  • What is a good study skill habit that centers around questions when reading nonfiction?
  • What “W” questions and one “H” question are good to ask when writing a story?
  • Do you ever question your ability to do something?  What helps you build your confidence in situations like this?

Q is for Quilts

Years ago, I bought a quilt rack to display some of my oldest quilts.  Another special one was a gift from my mother-in-law.  Nice gift.  I also have commercially made quilts.  (See the photos below).    On our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband gave me a handmade quilt.  I was so excited.  I received a baby quilt for one son when he was born. The other son received a crocheted blanket.  I have featured a quilted apron at this blog.  You would think with this love of quilts and handmade things that I would quilt, but I don’t.  I’d rather admire someone else’s handiwork.  How about you?

IMG_0635

 

Commercial quilt--larger view. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Commercial quilt–larger view. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Q is for Quests

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/quest

I used to work as a school counselor in elementary schools.  When I taught classroom guidance, I often used a resource called  “Lions Quest Skills for Growing.”  Years later, I met a former student who told me he remembered me coming to his class and teaching lessons, and he remembered getting to hug Quinton the Bear–Q Bear, the program’s mascot.  He went on to say I was one of his favorite teachers.  It didn’t hurt that he got to hug Q Bear too. 😉

What are you on a quest for?

What “Q” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, art, Character Traits, crafts, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, goal setting, History, Homeschool Activities, Reading, Sewing, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

P is for Pinwheels, Pillows, and Painted Cows

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 19, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “P is for Pinwheels, Pillows, and Painted Cows” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

P is for Pinwheels

Pinwheel in my yard. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Pinwheel in my yard. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

In April, pinwheels are seen about town for Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Learn more here:

http://www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/learn_more/

https://youtu.be/NhjJD32ida8

P is for Pillows

OhBaby

Posted with permission by Katherine Scraper.  This post tells how a nursery theme inspired a customized gift.

https://pillowsalamode.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/elephants/

P is for Painted Cows

Meet A. Cow, an exhibit for the Cow Parade, a charity event for children's hospitals. Photo-- Fayetteville, NC, home of the Airborne. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen.

Meet A. Cow, an exhibit for the Cow Parade, a charity event for children’s hospitals. Photo– Fayetteville, NC, home of the Airborne. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen.

Cow--Military 045

 

A fellow blogger, Carol Campbell–writersdream9  shared the post below featuring painted cows.  I hope you enjoy them too.

https://writersdream9.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/peace-with-allflash-fiction/#comment-13875

What “P” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, art, Calendar Events, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Reading, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

C is for Cotton, Concentrator, and Christmas Card Bowl

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 4, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “C is for Cotton, Concentrators, and Christmas Card Bowl” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

An ABC Find:

First Presbyterian Church. Copyright 2012. Linda Martin Andersen

First Presbyterian Church. Copyright 2012. Linda Martin Andersen

Yesterday, I discovered an ABC Find.  While driving, I turned from  Ann Street onto Bow Street, where our church sits on the corner. I like that the word “church” completed the ABC find.  I never noticed this ABC Find until participating in the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge;  yet I’ve passed by these street signs all my life.

C is for Cotton

 I live near cotton fields.  I tease that it’s as close to snow-covered fields as southerners usually get.  Squint and see if you can imagine snow.

Riddle:  What do you call a cotton-picking good friend?

Answer: A cotton harvester.

Fall 2012. Close up. Copyright Linda Andersen

Fall 2012. Close up. Copyright Linda Andersen

Fall 2012. Copyright Linda Andersen

Fall 2012. Copyright Linda Andersen

 

C is for Concentrator

IMG_0583  Two of my family members now require oxygen and concentrators provide it for home use.  This model comes with a top attachment that refills small portable cylinders, often referred to as tanks.  “E” cylinders, larger ones, are most often delivered by medical suppliers.  Patients place these on carts for portable use.  Smaller tanks are sometimes carried on the patient’s shoulder.  Do you know anyone who requires supplemental oxygen?  I’m thankful concentrators are a medical option available for patients who want to remain in their homes.

C is for Christmas Card Bowl

Years ago, when shopping in an antique/vintage shop, I spotted some reduced Christmas merchandise.  I fell in love with a set of bowls made from Christmas cards and stitched together.  Have you ever recycled cards?  What did you make?

Christmas Card Bowls. Copyright 2015. Linda Martin Andersen

Christmas Card Bowls. Copyright 2015. Linda Martin Andersen

What “C” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, art, crafts, creative play, Environmental Concerns, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Easter in the Hospital

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 16, 2016


 

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing
prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those
young at heart.  “Easter in the Hospital” by Linda Martin Andersen

The Youth at our church will soon prepare Easter baskets for children in the hospital.  Donated items are being collected to fill baskets.  Last year, the youth group filled 30 baskets.  This year they hope to meet or possibly surpass that goal.  A fun-filled afternoon is planned for Palm Sunday following a covered dish meal.  This good will gesture will bring joy to many sick children away from home.

Being in the hospital is difficult any time of year.  Hospital stays are hard on the patient as well as the family.  Even grown-ups look for entertainment during long hours there, if it’s just a trip to the snack machine or a walk around the halls.  The last time I stayed with a hospitalized family member, I observed that disposable medication cups reminded me of break-apart plastic eggs.   I started saving some and I now I’d like to share my project with you.  Check the photo below to find the two med cup eggs pictured here.  Not exactly egg shaped and they’re held together with bandage wrap tape, but an idea was born out of a need for creativity and humor during a stressful time.

Find the Med Cup Eggs. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Find the Med Cup Eggs. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Another simple medicine cup Easter craft would be to transform these into miniature baskets.  Perhaps a pipe cleaner could be used for a handle or wired craft ribbon.  I hope you never find yourself celebrating Easter from a hospital bed, but find a way to have some fun if you do.

Our grandsons came to visit at the hospital and proved that creative play can exist, no matter where you are.  They wadded up colored newspaper ads and tossed them at the waste basket.  Sometimes they’d toss to the ceiling and dunk it into the trashcan below.  Sometimes, balls whirled across the room, almost like a snowball fight.  A trashcan target was placed on either side of the room.  Later, when I told my niece about the boys’ playfulness, she spoke her wise wisdom of 16 years, “Boys can make a ball out of anything.  Even a string. ”  LOVED it!

Writing Prompts:

  1. Have you ever been hospitalized?  Name things that helped cheer you up.
  2. What do you think makes the best gifts for someone in the hospital?  Why?
  3. Tell about a time you cheered up someone who was sick.
  4. Tell about a time someone surprised you with something very nice.
  5. When you were worried about someone who was sick, what helped you stay calm?
  6. How can you  shine where you are?
  7. What do you see around you that can bring joy in some small way?
  8. Name some simple joys you can bring to others.
  9. What do you think:  Can boys make a ball out of anything?
  10. What will you do this Easter season that you’d like to share with others?

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment about Easter or hospital stays.  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, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, humor, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Celebrate Every Day

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 8, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “Celebrate Every Day” by Linda Martin Andersen

Each month at “A Writer’s Playground,” I post information about monthly calendar days to observe.

This post is a reminder to celebrate every day of the month!  Not with a party and cake, but by living life to the fullest!

Yesterday, I read an article in “The Fayetteville Observer” by Alicia Rancilio of the Associated Press about customizing your own decorative planning tools.  This reminded me of scrapbooking days.

Just like coloring books are now something for all ages, so are decorative planning creations.  One 14-year-old interviewed in the article, creates a planner page to help her “conquer the week.”  That sounds more than decorative.  That sounds empowering.

Erin Condren, a customized planner business owner, suggests combining  planning with “truly celebrating every day.” http://www.erincondren.com/ 

And for those who say they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies… the best line of the article:  “The great thing is, there are no rules.”

Read Alicia Rancilio’s article below:

http://www.fayobserver.com/living/to-do-lists-turn-creative-with-stickers-tape-and-colors/article_a996f8e5-496f-5bf8-a291-c09f55196f8e.html

Look for other lovely tools that encourage creativity.  At our local farmer’s market, I purchased a hand-made sketch book for my niece that was covered  in a fabric that looked like batik.   What is batik?  Learn more here:   http://www.batikguild.org.uk/whatisbatik.asp 

Suggested Writing Prompts: 

  1. What is a red letter day?  When did you have one?  Describe it.
  2. Have you had a sick day lately?  What did friends and family do to cheer you up and help you to feel better?
  3. List the steps for creating a decorated planner page others can try.

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, crafts, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Before and After–Apron Remodel

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 24, 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.”

“Before and After–Apron Remodel” by Linda Martin Andersen

“I didn’t know people wore aprons anymore,” my sister said when she learned that our mother was sewing one for me.  “Well I do,” I responded.  Mostly, I wear the one from a couple of decades ago when I “moonlighted” as a part-time waitress.  See definition of moonlighting here:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moonlighting

I prefer a bib style apron, as did my grandmother.  I inherited  a few of her aprons, which  I wear on special occasions.  Or I did until their last wash left them thread-bare.  I decided it was time to put these aprons on “inactive duty” and buy some new ones.

While shopping at the local downtown Farmer’s Market, I spotted some handmade aprons.  I asked the vender if I could see the one hanging behind her in the booth.  I loved its quilted skirt.  Somehow the bib didn’t seem quite right to me.  It was a little “loud” as my grandmother would have said.  The bib pattern was mostly red, not pink or lavender like the skirt.  Too bad it wasn’t the same material, so the two sections would blend perfectly.   I tried to think how I could modify the bib–perhaps add a lace panel to soften the color.  But as I stated to the clerk, “I’m not a lace kind of girl.” As I pondered some more, the clerk discounted the price, saying that people didn’t like the quilted bottom–that it was too heavy.  Funny, because that was what attracted me to it.  The vendor wanted to move on the sale.  I bought the apron and walked away determined to find a way to change it to “fit” me.

At home, I tried on the apron again and decided I could sacrifice some of the skirt length.  If I did, stripes could be added across the bib to tie the two sections together.  There was enough material to make three stripes.  Sounded just right to me.  I also needed a way to adjust the tie around the neck.

Next step:  Call in the expert.  My mother took my vision and added her skills.  That’s teamwork! Thanks, Mama.  I’m pleased with the outcome.

Apron--Before. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Apron–Before. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

After--Apron. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Apron–After. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

This is pretty much how I approach my writing.  I get a story idea–the before.  I write it, get it critiqued, revise and I may even try to sell it.  If I am not successful, I usually decide to let the story rest.  Time to write some new stories, I think.  But every once in a while, something reminds me to pull an old story back out for a remodel.  And guess what?  The one that’s calling me now is about aprons.  Imagine that! I’m thinking on how to modify it.   I’m hoping I’m not still tied to the story’s apron strings.  For explanation of this expression see here:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/apron-strings

After I revise the apron story, I’ll call in “experts.”  My critique partners.  I’m thankful for them.  And after making additional changes, I’ll shop my story.  Finding just the right buyer will be my apron celebration story!

Writing Prompt:  Have you ever been tied to someone or something’s apron strings?  Who helps move your projects from before to after? Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  I look forward to your comments.  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, Careers, crafts, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Sewing, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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 »

Where Are You Hanging Out This Summer?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 25, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Where Are You Hanging Out This Summer?”

Are you hanging out by the pool, the beach, with friends, at the mall, etc.?

For more definitions of “hanging out,” check here:  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hanging+out

Windsocks are often hanging out…

A windsock can be a decorative yard ornament.

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

OR windsocks can serve as a device that shows the direction and strength of the wind at airfields.

This morning, I observed one of Nature’s Windsocks 

I saw an elm leaf suspended in the air and twirling in the breeze–one of nature’s windsocks.  I approached for a closer look.   The leaf hung from a spider’s thread.  The leaf was a hitch-hiker going for a free ride.  It was hanging out in the air.  Cool, huh?

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

Looking for a little summer science study?

  • Why do spiders dangle a leaf from their webs or does the wind blow them there?  At the Physics Forums site listed below, leaves like these are called Christmas ornaments or toys.  Reference:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/why-do-spiders-dangle-a-leaf-from-their-webs.539341/

Looking for a summer craft activity? 

 Looking for a summer writing prompt?

  • Write about a leaf caught in a spider’s thread and show how the leaf might explain his behavior.  What will leaf’s response be if Mother Leaf asks:
  1. It’s about time you showed up.  Where have you been?  I’ve been worried sick about you.
  2. Did you get lost?
  3. Did you follow the flight plan we talked about?
  4. Did you tell your brother and sisters goodbye or just float on away?
  5. Did you remember to dry yourself after the rain shower last night?
  • What are some silly responses leaf could give?  For example, I was just hanging out/around.
  • What other plants/trees can show the direction of the wind and its strength, like a windsock?  Write a story about one of them.

Share something you wrote based on this post or an experience you had with one of nature’s windsocks. 

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Comments are appreciated.  If you’re under 13 years old, please ask a trusted adult to post for you.

Posted in crafts, Family Discussions, Reading, Science, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: