Friday, December 16, 2016

11 Sites and Apps to Help Writers Get Organized

Websites

Set a deadline. Fill out a questionnaire about your characters. Lots of other nice features.

Hit TRY in the lower right-hand corner of the black box to use this tool for free. Write or get a punishment (an annoying sound).

Don’t like negative reinforcement? Written Kitten uses positive reinforcement. You get shown a kitten as a reward for writing.

Lock yourself out of all websites except the ones that will help you with your productivity.

This app is a real life saver. Tells you about sentences that might be too long. Tells you about adverbs. Just in general, a nice editing app.

Write stories, create characters, brainstorm, and set deadlines

Organize your novel and save it to the cloud.

I swear by Google Docs. I write all my first drafts here, just in case! If your computer randomly restarts or crashes or something else awful happens, your work will still be waiting for you in Google Docs.

Write 750 words (or 3 pages) a day. The site is in French.




Apps

WriteOMeter



Set deadlines and reward yourself if you meet the deadlines. Sends you reminders about your word count.

Character Story Planner

Like WordCradle, but a phone app.

Did I miss a good one? Please let me know in the comments!







Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Princess Who Rescued Herself: A List Of Princess Books to Inspire

If you are raising a girl, then I'm sure you've heard of "princess culture", but who wants their daughter to end up with a Cinderella complex? That's why I've put together this list of princesses who can rescue themselves. Some of them even rescue others. Overall, this is a list of books with princesses AND positive messages.

#5 Don't Want To Be A Princess by Kally Mayer


This little girl isn't sure why she would even want to be a princess! Are princesses allowed to fart or do fun things. The whole book is a fun romp for those who don't REALLY want to be a princess. This book also shows that girls can be whatever they want to be and shouldn't just limit themselves to princesses.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/PRINCESS-Rhyming-Picture-Beginner-Princess-ebook/dp/B00IZGKSR6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1467496738&sr=1-1&keywords=Don%27t+want+to+be+a+princess+kally+mayer

#4 The Smartest Princess by Mary Lee


You don't need to be pretty or dainty in The Smartest Princess. You just need to be smart. Princesses compete in an annual competition and if the winner is not already a princess, then she will become one.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Smartest-Princess-Mary-Princesses-Book-ebook/dp/B00CYXW2JS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1467496523&sr=1-1&keywords=the+smartest+princess+by+mary+lee


#3 Princess Charlotte And The Pea by Sally Huss



The prince wants to find a girl sensitive to find a pea under dozens of mattresses. You know, the classic story. And he finds her, but the story doesn't end there. Oh no. Princess Charlotte would also like to test the prince on how sensitive HE is. And that's why I love this retelling of The Princess And The Pea.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Books-PRINCESS-CHARLOTTE-Illustrations-ebook/dp/B0116JCU1K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1467497579&sr=1-1&keywords=Sally+Huss+princess+charlotte+and+the+pea

#2 A Moat Is Not A Goat: Poems For Clever Little Girls By Elsa Takaoka


While this book isn't completely princesses focused, it does include princess characters, which is why I chose to include it on this list. It's also completely focused on empowering girls and encouraging them to be their authentic selves. I have a paperback copy of this book and I treasure it.

There are lots of adorable poems and the stories will make you feel proud to be a girl!

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Moat-Not-Goat-Clever-Little-ebook/dp/B00Q1NTJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1467497227&sr=1-1&keywords=a+moat+is++not+a+goat

#1 The Mystic Princesses And The Whirlpool


This is one of my absolute favorite princess books for a multitude of reasons. The biggest one is not only are the princesses in this book capable of rescuing themselves, but they also rescue someone else. A girl named Harmony needs protection from the children of Ares and the princesses are up for the job. Kids who read this book will learn about important life skills like self-defense and being aware of your surroundings while sliding down rainbows, riding dolphins, turning into birds. What more could you ask for in a princess book?

I own a paperback of this one too and cherish it as well!

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Book-Mystic-Princesses-Whirlpool-ebook/dp/B00LE0N0WA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1467497283&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mystic+princesses+and+the+whirlpool

I'd love to hear from you. What books would you add to this list?



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Disney's Zootopia Sends A Much Needed Message For Everyone


Disney's Zootopia is cute from front to back, especially with an adorable bunny as the lead character. All Judy Hopps has ever wanted is to be a police officer, and she'll stop at nothing until she achieves her dream. Despite several setbacks, such as being beaten up by a bully, being told by her father, "It's okay to have dreams, as long as you don't believe in them to hard", and being pushed around in the police academy, Judy never gives up.




But that's not the only take home message in this great movie. There's a not-so-subtle message in this movie about how prejudice can hurt groups of people. And it's a message that kids today need to hear. I won't get too deep into detail, because I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but I will say this. In this movie, predators and prey live together in "harmony" in the city of Zootopia. However, prey still have some internalized beliefs about the predators that may be harmful. But here's the question, can they overcome their prejudice to once again live in harmony? Or will the predators be banished.


Aside from the good messages, the movie is cute, funny, and smart. And while the ending is somewhat predictable, the movie is still sure to become a favorite of kids and adults. 

Upon checking other reviews, after writing this one, I've noticed that some people think Zootopia's anti-prejudice message is a miss. I disagree.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts on Zootopia?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Book Announcement: THE FAIRY'S BUBBLE WAND


I'm pleased to announce that over the last few months I've been working on a new children's book, The Fairy's Bubble Wand. 

In The Fairy's Bubble Wand, two girls from entirely different worlds must go on the journey of a life time and learn to believe in themselves while they're at it.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Fay feels like a fairy failure when she doesn't pass her test. Because her father is the king, she worries that she'll just be a disappointment to everyone. But when her father turns out to be missing, Fay knows she's the right person to search for him. 

Vidaya doesn't want her sister to go away for college. She has very few friends and is worried that she'll be lonely. But things change for Vidaya when her sister's gift opens up a magical new world. 

Vidaya and Fay go on a journey to remember, taking on marshmallow pirates, ice fairies, and even a changing forest. 

99 cents until April 5, 2016 only! Regularly priced at $2.99

Why do I believe this book is so important? It's essential for kids to learn to become independent, and in order to become independent, they need to believe in themselves. I hope that kids will read The Fairy's Bubble Wand and absorb that message. I can believe in myself. I can be independent. I can do anything I put my mind to.

The Fairy's Bubble Wand is now available for pre-order and will be released on March 25, 2016.


Monday, February 16, 2015

The Book That Made Me Smile

If you look at the date of the last post on this blog, you will notice that it was quite a while ago! I haven't really blogged since the car accident I was in 9 months and a day ago. Thanks to a very dear friend, PJ LaRue, there was a blog blast hosted by Mother Daughter book reviews. If you are curious about what happened to me you can read more here. 


By this time you're probably wondering why I'm blogging. To tell you about my accident? No, I'm not ready to rehash that yet. 

Earlier today I passed photo of myself taken shortly after my accident. In this photo, I hadn't woken up yet. It's a very somber photo and it's also a cruel reminder of things lost in the accident. I can't tell you why, but I broke down and I began to cry very hard. I could no longer focus on my art which is what I was originally intending to look at. So I closed that folder. 

When I closed it there was a book up on my Kindle Cloud Reader. It's called Doc Tails: Snow On My Face.

So I started reading this book, and then my tears dissipated. I broke into a grin. When that silly dog licked his face I started giggling. This book erased every bad feeling I was having and reminded me that life is great.

It is a short, sweet, and simple book about a dog named Doc playing in the snow. The pictures are bright and the text is very easy to follow. I loved this book and it now holds a special place in my heart.

Who knew a happy puppy playing in the snow would get me blogging again?

You can find Doc Tails: Snow On My Face on Amazon.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Featured In The Gaurdian Witness! Plus, representing underrepresented characters.

https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/53636472e4b08a82d90e008c/966982

Destiny and Faith love to explore and love to learn. But there's something else that makes these girls and their friends unique. They are rare in children's books.

"Mixed race twins go on a ghost hunt, accompanied by a friend who happens to be deaf. Lots of fun, with useful ghost hunting hints plus a sign language diagram." is how Destiny And Faith's Summer Adventures is described on the GuardianWitness site, submitted by Magiciansfire.

Why were the twins featured on this website. Because they are the answer to a question that many readers have been asking. Why aren't there more characters like me?

Not too long ago there was a huge Twitter campaign with the hashtag #weneeddiversebooks and many Tweeters sent in reasons why they think we need more diverse books!

The Guardian's campaign has extended to include #diversifyyourshelves and is having people send in their books with underrepresented characters.


You can see a list of their featured diverse books here.

https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/53636472e4b08a82d90e008c

You can visit my friend Magiciansfire here.
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

13 Crazy Promotion Ideas For Your Book!




 

I try to dream up ways to get a book noticed. I am thinking of them all the time. Here are a few things (not all are crazy) that I have thought up, some of which I've tried and some of which, I have not.

# Donate a copy to the library

# Request small or second hand book shops carry a few copies and share the profit. (This would probably work best with the smallest, personally owned book shops.)
Shops that carry my books
 
 
(Notice they're not all book stores? Not every place you approach has to be a bookshop!)
 

# Slip flyers, bookmarks, or business cards with your website/book name on them into similar books at the library. (For example, if you write mystery then slip it in a mystery book)

# Ask the library if you can do a reading. My local children's library likes to have people come in and read picture books to the children.

# Email everybody in your address book about your new book or your website

# Blog about it (Isn't this one mentioned way too much)

# Make trailers (using copyright free material) and post them on Youtube. I actually did this for Tokka Tuomela: Sixth Grader At Large

# Someone in this forum mentioned standing near a stop-light and selling books to passing cars. People in my town sell newspapers this way and I would consider also handing out flyers to passing cars (since it's quicker and flyers are free)

# Have an author website. If you don't have one you should get one. I use weebly as a host. They have a very user-friendly interface.

# Have an eBay auction with a signed copy of your book as the prize. You could also include other prizes such as related bookmarks and a signed photo of the author. You could include a better known book (and auction it off as a two book set). You could consider giving all or part of the money won to a charity.
 
#Consider Doing a giveaway with a noteworthy blogger. I did a giveaway of a signed Tell Me How You Say Good Night with Marilyn Panton of Storywraps.

# Ask local bookshops and your library to post flyers in their windows/on their bulletin boards. A lot of the places in my small town have bulletin boards full of flyers. In some small towns, especially where the internet is still not in every household, a flyer may be worth more than a website.

# Ask review sites/review blogs to review your book. It's better to go to the smaller, independent blogs. They have more time and are more likely to get to your book. They tend to have dedicated readers as well.

# Post a free sample chapter of each book on your website or blog.