Saturday, May 07, 2016

A Mother's Day Book Bag Gift

Tomorrow is Mother's Day! Let's make a book bag gift for Mom!

We have been looking at book bag ideas for children and teens. Today, let’s talk about a book bag for Mom.
Here are the steps to putting together a book bag she is sure to love.
Read the post at Christian Children's Authors.

Monday, March 28, 2016

10 Reasons I Attend the Write-to-Publish Conference

I have attended the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, IL for more than ten years. AND I will attend the conference again this year.

Why would I attend the same writer's conference again - and again?
  1. Location - The Write-to-Publish Conference is on the campus of Wheaton College. It is a venue that is saturated in prayer. You sense that as you walk and pray. It is obvious that God's Holy Spirit is there filling, guiding, and encouraging attendees.
  2. Fellowship - I have made life-long writer friends at the conference. I look forward to hearing about their writing successes and prayer needs, as well as their personal news. Someone got married. Another had a baby. A third is moving. 
  3. Networking - Through WTP, I have made connections with established, published authors. They have become my mentors.
  4. Appointments - Each conferee has the opportunity to meet with editors and/or agents. The number of one-to-one appointments depends on the number of days that you attend the conference. The appointments are wonderful opportunities to share your work with an industry professional, as well as to get feedback and perhaps that nod to send your proposal to the publisher.
  5. Continuing classes - The conference offers ongoing classes for writers at every level of the writing journey. These classes meet daily during the conference. 
  6. Breakout sessions - In addition to the continuing classes, there are many breakout sessions. Just about every imaginable topic is covered. When I first attended the conference, every topic was new to me. Even now, I find many sessions to attend. There is something for every writer, at every level.
  7. CDs - Conferees can purchase CDs of sessions they miss as well as those they just want to hear again.
  8. Panels - Editors, agents, and freelance writers make up the panels sprinkled throughout the conference. Those listening should have pen and paper ready for an incredible amount of information.
  9. Accountability - I appreciate the accountability of attending the same conference annually. I am called to evaluate where I am in my own writing journey. Have I been true to the convictions I experienced the year before? What is God calling me to do in the upcoming year?
  10. Worship - Conferees gather every morning and evening for worship with author Cynthia Ruchti. In the evenings, a speaker (this year, Jesse Florea from Focus on the Family) addresses the spiritual side of writing. I tell people it is like a sermon for writers.
Will I see you at the Write-to-Publish Conference?

I now volunteer at the conference registration. Be sure to introduce yourself to me when you check in. Let's plan to share a meal and talk about the wonderful things God is doing with your calling as a writer.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Interview with Diane Stortz

I am very excited to share this interview with Diane Stortz. Diane is an author and former editorial director whose heart's desire is to "tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord" (Psalm 78:4). Her most recent release is I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

What is unique about this Bible storybook?
The focus of the book is on the names and descriptive titles of God in the Bible. So every story shows how either an Old Testament or New Testament name tells us more about who God is. For example, the story of Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, shows us that God is The LORD Who Heals. Each story also contains a short devotion about the name and what it means for a child's daily life. There's also a prayer, a "Learn More" section, and a "What Happened Next?" section that links all the stories together from Genesis through Revelation.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? 
"I'm not sure! Some time back, I was introduced to the idea of reading the Bible to get to know God -- as opposed to studying it for information or as rules to be followed. Since this book is designed to help children get to know God better, I suppose the idea actually began forming then.

You've written the Bible storybooks besides this one. Why is this type of book important to you?
I love creating engaging books based on the Bible that children want to return to again and again! An age-appropriate Bible storybook makes such a good entry point for children to engage with God's Word. When the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, he noted that Timothy's faith began with this mother and grandmother and with the Scripture they taught him: "From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Sometimes parents get introduced to God and the Word through a good Bible storybook too!

I hope you will take a few minutes to check out this lovely new book from Diane. It would make a perfect gift for a baby shower, birthday, or Easter!

I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God
ISBN-13: 9780529120663

I'd like to thank Diane for this interview and pray many blessings on her writing and the lives it will touch.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Three Reasons to Give Children Books for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming! Many children will be showered with cards and candy. Both are sweet expressions of love, but books also offer a great Valentine's Day gift option. Here are three reasons to consider books for a child or preteen's Valentine's Day treat.
  1. Books can be shared between parent and child or between grandparent and grandchild. Children crave time with the adults in their lives. Sharing a book is a great way to spend time and a perfect invitation to discuss the important things of the Bible.
  2. Books can teach the nature of God's love. Whether the recipient is a preschooler listening to a Bible storybook, a beginning reader reading an easy text Bible story, or a tween completing a devotional, books are a fantastic way to introduce or reinforce the concept of God's love.
  3. Children can enjoy books again and again. Young readers love being able to read books on their own. They love rereading the same books, savoring the success of becoming an independent reader. What joy to give a book to a beginning reader for Valentine's Day! What a privilege to give the child a book that affirms God's love for him. Middle grade readers also love books. They are at such a critical time in life. Suddenly, they must decide what they believe and what choices they will make when mom and dad are not always with them. Offering the right books can help middle graders make God-honoring choices.
Will you share a book with a child this Valentine's Day?

I pray that you and your family will have a sweet Valentine's Day spending time together and enjoying words that bring your child closer to God.


A portion of this post appeared first on the Christian Children's Authors blog. Have you visited us there?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Write Exciting Things for Children

Today, I am on the Write2Ignite! blog. I hope you will stop by.

Some of you know that I am a teacher as well as an author. I learn from my students and fellow teachers every single day, even  - and sometimes especially - those who are brand new to the profession.

What does teaching have in common with writing?

Monday, January 18, 2016

If You Take a Children's Author to a Bookstore

If you take a children's author to a bookstore, what will she do?
  • She will carefully examine the new releases specially displayed for young readers to see.
  • She will make check out the end cap displays of the titles that have gained a high level of popularity.
  • She will stop to look at the seasonal books, with an eye for her own proposal ideas... and
    consider purchasing a few (or more) for the young readers in her family. 
  • She will explore the creative, reading areas that call to young readers and their families and
    consider making such a magical place, again, for her own young reader family members.
  • She will stop to chat with the manager about what is popular with kids and what the manager wishes would be published.
  • She will search for books in all the genres she writes - devotionals, nonfiction, chapter books, and middle grade fiction.
  • She will sit for a bit and make notes, all the while listening to the excited requests from young readers for this title or that one.
  • She will check the shelves for her own titles and be thankful for the opportunity to be there.
What do you like to do when you visit a bookstore? 

Monday, January 04, 2016

Bedtime Bible Story Routines

This is the first Monday in January. Many kids are returning to school. Many parents are returning to work. Many of us are returning to the our routines.

Some activities will be the same as before Christmas. They are established routines. Other activities will be new ones that we hope will reach the routine status.

The New Year is a wonderful time to start a bedtime Bible story routine.

What are some benefits of a bedtime Bible story routine? Here are four benefits for the child who ends the day with a Bible story.
  1. Predictability at the end of the day
  2. Calming activity to wind down
  3. Reassurance that Jesus loves them
  4. A natural connection to bedtime prayers
What benefits would you add to the list? What are some of your favorite bedtime Bible story books for children?