Behind the Scenes:
I have been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do for my new series of picture books. These will be shorter than my last series and are meant to appeal to younger kids. I will also be designing all-new characters and watercolor illustrations.
It’s amazing how much goes into one of these simple, short stories. They SEEM simple. But they’re really not. I’m learning a lot from classes from Arree Chung of Storyteller Academy. One of the things he says to do is a morning journal, or think about things on a long walk, and then write your thoughts down afterward. I’ve been doing this and it’s lots of fun thinking about times from long ago - when I was a kid. Some of these memories will likely become stories! But there’s more to expression than just memories… How can you encourage your kids to express themselves?
Learning to express yourself is crucial to your mental health.
1) Manage stress using one or more of the following:
Present moment awareness
Leading a balanced life
Conflict management skills
2) Learn to express yourself to improve relationships (either verbally or in writing) by:
Not being silent. Keeping strong feelings inside can make us SICK.
Never lie about how you feel.
Break down your emotions so you can understand them and communicate better.
Turn anger into words, but calm down first. Keep yourself under control and your tone calm. Otherwise, your words will fall on deaf ears. Explain how you feel using “I” instead of “You” messages.
3) Don’t worry about what other people think.
4) Don’t compare yourself to others.
5) Be true to yourself. You are unique and have lots to offer the world.
Blast From the Past:
When I was in middle school and high school, I used to write down my thoughts to figure out problems I might have had. Sometimes it was conflict-related. Sometimes it was relationship-oriented. But what I found was that when I tried to put my thoughts down on paper with words, it really helped me PROCESS my thoughts. I asked myself questions like, “What did I think about ______ and why?” After doing this regularly for awhile, I could express myself better because I understood my feelings. I call this “JOURNALING”.
(Parents, if your child is very young and unable to read or write yet but can speak, practice asking these kinds of questions of them.) For kids who can read this and also write, ask yourself these kinds of questions:
What do you like to do? Why?
What have you done or where have you gone recently? (like an activity or trip). Describe your favorite or least favorite parts. Just talk. Put your thoughts and feelings into words. Writing is just talking written down.
What do you like about your family or friends? Why?
For those of you who are old enough to write, write a little bit about your day, every day. Just a few sentences will do.. You don’t need to make it long. You’ll be surprised how much this helps you understand yourself and your own feelings.
Who are you?
Take this EASY quiz. No wrong answers here!
Click button “Launch Me” to play…
In June, Sarah won a custom watercolor painting from me. Here’s a photo of it. Congratulations… enjoy!
July’s winner is Liz! She won a different kind of giveaway: a fun journal with two pages of really cool stickers, a package of pencils, and super-colorful fish erasers. I hope to see a picture next month! Here’s a photo of what you’ve won:
FREE AUDIOBOOK FOR EVERYONE
Everyone wins here. Just email me, request a code, and download a FREE audiobook from Audible. It’s my first book, Feebs to the Rescue. I think you’ll love the narrator. HURRY! Only 10 codes available.
My husband and I have been VERY busy working on a house that literally needed everything. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and have had a great time restoring it. Here is a picture of the guys working on the outside in the back. I’m taking the picture but am usually busy inside. The good-looking guy on the left is my husband, Ed.
And, I’m speaking to my writer’s group this month about “Author Website Must-Haves”. (ACFW-KC West Chapter) If you know of a Christian who is an author (or would-be author), this would be a great place to learn and connect. This month’s meeting is Saturday, July 13th from 1:00-3:00pm at the Bonner Springs Library. Visitors can come twice for free. Learn more at our website.
Also, I’m excited to be asked to offer my books for sale after a VBS at a local church this month. The theme is character and they contacted me after meeting me at a conference last spring. :)
I didn’t receive any photos this month, but I know many of you are on vacations and having a blast this summer. Feel free to send something anytime to my email and I’ll include it in the next month’s gallery section.