Creative Every Day Challenge: May 2019

May 9th, 2019, One Comment

Happy May! My daughter's birthday was this month and her birthday party of a sleep under (like a sleep over, but everyone goes home at 7) with 19 eight year olds, threw me off my schedule! So I apologize for the delay. Inspired by wonderfully optimistic 8 year old, this month's totally optional theme is Happiness

As a reminder, you can learn more about the Creative Every Day Challenge here and sign up here. There will be a monthly check-in here on the blog and you can also share anytime in the Facebook group. If you share on Twitter or Instagram, feel free to use the hashtag #creativeeveryday2019. 

Spring Fling

April 18th, 2019, 11 Comments

 

via GIPHY

Sam's Stormy Night
 
Boom! Bang!
Sam scrambled under his bed.
A pair of yellow eyes stared back at him.
 
“Stormy! You’re afraid of thunder too?”
“Meow!”
“Mom picked the worst name for you.”
 
Boom! Crash!
“Achoo!”
“Let’s get out from under the bed, Stormy. It’s dusty.”
 
Bam! Boom! Crash!
Lightning lit up the room and cast large shadows of Sam and Stormy on the wall.
“Ohhh, cool shadows,” shivered Sam.
With the next bolt of lightning, Sam made a bunny shadow hop across the room. Another flash! Sam made a barking shadow dog. When the room lit up again, Stormy swatted at Sam’s fluttering shadow butterfly. With each new burst, Stormy zoomed after her own shadow.
“Maybe Stormy isn’t such a bad name for you after all.”
 
Before they knew it, the spring storm had passed. Sam was soon sound asleep, snuggled up with Stormy, who purred as loud as rolling thunder.
 
::::
 
Hi all, I spotted this fun Spring Fling writing contest and decided to join in! It's a great exercise in creative play and has some great prizes if you write children's literature! There is still some time to join in if you're interested. The rules are that you have to write a Spring related story inspired by a gif in 150 words or less. You can read all the details here. Good luck to anyone who enters! 
Continue to read Spring Fling

Creative Every Day Check In for April 2019

April 1st, 2019, No Comments

Happy April and Happy Spring! Yesterday I planted some flower and veggie seeds with my kids and we're excited to see them grow! Hopefully! haha 

As a reminder, you can learn more about the Creative Every Day Challenge here and sign up here. There will be a monthly check-in here on the blog and you can also share anytime in the Facebook group. If you share on Twitter or Instagram, feel free to use the hashtag #creativeeveryday2019. April's totally optional theme is Open. Be open to all the possibilities this creative month can bring your way!

Creative Every Day Check-In for March 2019

March 6th, 2019, No Comments

It's March! Sorry for the delay. I was away for a few days soaking up some sun in Florida and visiting family. It was hard to come back to snow!

As a reminder, you can learn more about the Creative Every Day Challenge here and sign up here. There will be a monthly check-in here on the blog and you can also share anytime in the Facebook group. If you share on Twitter or Instagram, feel free to use the hashtag #creativeeveryday2019. March's totally optional theme is Transition. Hopefully we'll be transitioning into the warmer temps of Spring soon. But I'm in New England, so who knows! Happy creating! 

Creative Every Day Check-In: February 2019

February 3rd, 2019, No Comments

Happy February! As a reminder, you can learn more about the Creative Every Day Challenge here and sign up here. There will be a monthly check-in here on the blog and you can also share anytime in the Facebook group. If you share on Twitter or Instagram, feel free to use the hashtag #creativeeveryday2019. February's totally optional theme is Texture. Happy creating! 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019

January 25th, 2019, No Comments

Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day! I was so excited to get a book to review. 


I read What the Wind Can Tell You by Sarah Jette, a lovely middle grade novel. It is a real and also hopeful story. I especially loved the relationship between Isabel and her brother Julian, who has a severe form of epilepsy. Isabel shows such determination and strength as she includes her brother in her science fair project studying the wind. There's a bit of fantasy in the story, which surprised and delighted me, but it's also somehow very down to earth and touching. I love the resolution that Isabel and her family come to in the end. I recommend checking it out or sharing it with a young person in your life!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library GuildTheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot MommyBiracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDescendant of Poseidon ReadsEducators Spin on it Growing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s ClassKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Interview with Alexia Vernon, author of Step Into Your Moxie

January 17th, 2019, No Comments

 

I was recently given a copy of Step Into Your Moxie by Alexia Vernon. The book was full of great tips on how to step into your truest, most powerful self, so that you can express the things that you are here to share with the world. I liked her tips on how to speak back to the voices in our heads with questions like, "What are other possible options?" and "How is my judgment undermining me?" The way she describes it makes me think of a tool I use, which is to imagine what the nicest mom in the world would say to me as a way to counteract negative self-talk. I hope you enjoy this interview with Alexa and if you want more, check out her book


What does it mean to “step into your moxie”?

Stepping into your moxie is the ability to walk into any room, or onto any stage, present your ideas, unapologetically, and have them move people to take action. I love the word moxie because it suggests a way of thinking, a way of feeling, and a way of behaving that activates speaking up and disrupting the status quo. This is what Step into Your Moxie is all about — amplifying your voice, visibility, and influence in the world — even if, especially if, you have previously struggled to do so in your work, your community, or in your personal life.

You encourage your readers to identify their go-to filler words and use the practice of “Stop and Smile” to weed them out. Tell us more.

To step into the fullest expression of your moxie, it’s vital to ditch words and phrases that sabotage your influence. Many of these ineffectual words emerge as vocalized thinking, or as filler words, which we speak when we are not exactly sure what to say next. I’m referring to words and phrases like um, so, like, okay, anyway(s), and you know. We use them when our brains and mouths fall out of step, and we need a moment to realign. These are some of the most damaging words to our own (and others’) perception of our moxie, and fortunately, some of the easiest to weed out. Enter the practice of Stop and Smile. When you Stop and Smile, you literally stop what you are saying, even if it’s midsentence. And you smile, and breathe, and make eye contact with whomever you are speaking to (rather than concede to the temptation to double-check that the sky is still blue or that your shoes are scuff-free). Whether you Stop and Smile for a millisecond or for half a minute, you resist the temptation to vocalize your thinking with an um, so, like, okay, anyway(s), or you know, and prioritize connection over verbal communication.

You say it is important to “begin with the end in mind” when devising communication. Can you explain what you mean?

Most of us devise our communication the same way — from the beginning to the end. Spoiler alert: this is the wrong way! Because when you craft your communication linearly, it often does not lead you to your destination — or powerfully move people to take action on your ideas. Whether your goal is to prepare for and master a daring conversation, a negotiation, or a presentation, when you “begin with the end in mind,” you start by asking yourself: What is my call to action? Then, you ask yourself: What does my audience (whether it’s an audience of 1 or 100) need to hear from me right before? And how is this leading them toward my call to action? You answer this question for yourself. And then you keep asking: What does my audience need to hear from me before that? until you work yourself back to the start of what you want to say.

You encourage your readers to stop labeling the sensations they feel in their body during visibility opportunities fear. What do you propose they do instead?

If you are anything like me, or at least who I used to be, my hunch is that when you are on the cusp of doing (and especially saying) something big, important, and paradigm shifting, you label what you are experiencing in your body as fear. However, what you are feeling in these moments is your body acknowledging that you are on the cusp of something important. If you mine your life to uncover the moments when you felt like you busted through your own glass ceiling — when you spoke your truth, negotiated your worth, crushed a sales call, or found the words to have a daring conversation — my hunch is you didn’t feel like you were on a beach vacation. Rather, you felt like a colony of butterflies had migrated for the winter into your thoracic cavity. This is normal. This is you on the brink of stepping into your moxie. And the last thing you want to do is to shove that sensation back down or create a narrative around it that positions you as a victim or martyr rather than as a protagonist — which is what you are. If you want to consistently step into your moxie, speak up and out, and do it in a way that moves people to take action, you must learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. That starts with giving yourself ample opportunities to role-play what you plan to say so that you’re old hat at feeling your sensation and speaking through it by the time you have an audience, whether that’s an audience of one or one million, or something in between.

What advice can you offer women who need to have a daring conversation but aren’t sure where or how to begin?

This is one of my favorite chapters in the book, “Conflict Is the Pits, Until It Isn’t.” When you find yourself in situations in which you know conflict is possible, and similarly know that a conversation needs to happen to prevent you from feeling like you are trying to tread water in a sinkhole, you have four choices. First, you can avoid the conversation. Second, you can wing the conversation. Third, you can mentally script what you plan to say, and have the conversation over and over in your head. Or fourth, you can plan out your conversation, role-play it, and then show up and have it. Clearly, my preference is for readers to choose number four. In order for it to feel like a viable option, it’s important to shift from seeing the kind of conversation you know you need to have as “difficult” to seeing it as “daring.” For difficult conversations happen when you see yourself as the recipient of conflict (real or perceived) rather than as the co-creator of your situation. When you choose compassion, curiosity, creativity, and collaboration, you shift a difficult conversation into a daring one.

# # #

Alexia Vernon is the author of Step into Your Moxie. Branded a “Moxie Maven” by President Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement, she is a sought-after speaking and leadership coach who delivers transformational keynotes and corporate trainings for Fortune 500 companies and other professional groups and organizations, including the United Nations and TEDx. Visit her online at www.alexiavernon.com.

Creative Every Day Check-In for January 2019

January 1st, 2019, One Comment

Happy New Year! I'm excited to embark on another year of creativity with all of you. As a reminder, you can learn more about the Creative Every Day Challenge here and sign up here. There will be a monthly check-in here on the blog and you can also share anytime in the Facebook group. If you share on Twitter or Instagram, feel free to use the hashtag #creativeeveryday2019. January's totally optional theme is Goals. I'd love to hear about yours! Happy creating! 

Creative Every Day 2019

December 6th, 2018, 17 Comments

Use the link below to sign up and commit to the Creative Every Day Challenge in 2019. You can also simply comment below to sign up if you can't use the form. This is a low pressure challenge, but I hope it's an ongoing reminder to commit yourself to a creative lifestyle. I believe creativity can be found in everything from the mundane, every day activities to the more formal pursuits of art-making. It all feeds into the same well of creativity within you!

There will be a monthly check-in post here on the blog, but you can also check in anytime on the Facebook group or you can use the #ced2019 hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. 

I'd love to hear what your creative goals are for 2019. I'd like to continue painting and develop dummies for some of my children's book ideas, so I can start submitting them to agents and publishers. 

Here are my totally optional themes for 2019. Feel free to use them, interpret them however you'd like, or ignore them. Up to you! 

January: Goals

February: Texture

March: Transition

April: Open

May: Happiness

June: Color

July: Risk

August: Waves

September: Figure

October: Empty/Full

November: Art Every Day Month

December: Giving

Continue to read Creative Every Day 2019

Creative Every Day Check-In for December 2018: Present

December 1st, 2018, 2 Comments

Happy December! I can hardly believe we're wrapping up 2018 already. This month's totally optional theme is Present (which could mean a gift or being present or the gift of being present.) :-) I'll have information about the challenge for 2019 soon. In the meantime, happy creating! 


Wandering Thoughts is one of the pieces I created during Art Every Day Month. I'll share more soon! The original and prints are available here. And my 2019 calendars are also available here