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Our Favorite Children’s Stories

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I take Ryan to Aroma Joes twice a week before daycare for a chocolate glazed sprinkle donut. Though he usually asks daily, “Is it time for Aroma Joe’s house?” One morning, as we pulled up to the window, the young lady saw Ryan sitting in his car seat in the back and said, “Hi honey, you’re so cute!” Ryan looked up at her and said matter-of-factly, “I just farted in my seat.” She said, “Well that’s good I guess!”
I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday! I got an Ipad for Christmas! This is going to speed up my research and writing. I can easily pick it up at any point during the night in bed, as that is usually when I’m struck with ideas and thoughts. I won’t have to try to remember in the morning or start up the desktop computer downstairs. This is amazing and I’m so grateful. I was also lucky enough to get a scanner from my parents for my illustrations so I can not only upload them for publishing through CreateSpace but also to share them with you. I’m in the works on finishing some more books and have decided to not only continue with self-publishing Ryan’s Moon, but to try all avenues available too. So I will be submitting to an agent to try the traditional route and also send out to traditional publishers without an agent as I have done in the past. I have decided to pursue all types of publishing in order to test the waters. It is highly advised in the writing world now. So my main focus will still be to self-publish Ryan’s Moon but I will send out query letters and manuscripts also. I think this is going to be a great experiment so that I can share it with all of you.
Growing up, some of my favorite books included Alice in Wonderland, choose your own adventures, Little Critter and all the little golden books. Some I remembered, but I also searched 80’s children’s books and the past came rushing back to me.
We all remember our favorite stories as children. They were such an important part of our lives. Some of them taught us lessons, some taught us feelings and some just made us laugh. While researching I found a special site dedicated to helping young readers. It has a page with video interviews of tons of children’s book authors from some of our classic stories and from our new loved stories. They give helpful advice and tell their personal stories of how they got to where they are today. They also tell the background of how the stories were created. I listened to all of them. Some are Julia Andrews (Mary Poppins), Judy Blume, Eric Carle (The very Hungry Caterpillar) and Katherine Patterson (Bridge to Terabithia). Here is the link to the author’s interview page if you would like to see them too;
http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/
I went on from there to actually research further into some of these stories and found some amazing things. I’d like to share some of them with you. In this blog I will share the story behind Winnie-the-Pooh.

Ryan’s favorite teddy is Winnie-the-Pooh. Given to him by his Nammy (my mom). He takes him everywhere. Pooh is now part of the family. Second favorite is his stuffed animal Eeyore (he calls Ogey). He calls them his “babies”.
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Winnie-the-Pooh is one of the most recognizable characters in children’s literature, along with: Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl. But how did it all begin? Here is what I have learned:
Alan Alexander Milne had already achieved success as a writer for a magazine and as a playwright and mystery author. He might never have written for children had it not been for the birth of his son, Christopher Robin Milne, in 1920.
Back in 1921, a small stuffed bear, bought from Harrods department store, was given to Christopher Robin (called Billy), from his mom. This bear was called Edward at first, and sometimes Big Bear, or Teddy Bear. The story of how Christopher’s toy became known as Winnie-the-Pooh has two parts—Winnie and Pooh.
A real bear named Winnie was a popular attraction at the London Zoo. At the outbreak of World War I, a Canadian veterinary surgeon was on his way from Winnipeg to join the second Canadian Infantry Brigade when he bought a bear cub from the hunter who’d shot the cub’s mother. The young officer named the cub Winnie (for Winnipeg), and the bear accompanied him to England and became the company’s unofficial mascot. When the soldiers left for France, Winnie was left in the care of the London Zoo, and it was there that Christopher Robin discovered her. Winnie was incredibly tame, and on one occasion Christopher was allowed into Winnie’s cage to feed her. Although the real Winnie did not like honey, she did have a sweet tooth and preferred condensed milk to raw meat.
The name “Pooh,” rather surprisingly, came not from a bear but a swan. In the introduction to When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne referred to the swan in the poem “The Mirror”: He says, “Christopher Robin, who feeds this swan in the mornings, has given him the name of ‘Pooh.’ This is a very fine name for a swan, because, if you call him and he doesn’t come (which is a thing swans are good at), then you can pretend that you were just saying ‘Pooh!’ to show him how little you wanted him.”
Other stuffed animals joined Winnie-the-Pooh in Christopher Robin’s nursery, including Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger. Christopher and his mother played with them together, and Christopher invented voices and personalities for the animals that inspired his dad.
A. A. Milne called Owl and Rabbit “my own unaided work.” They were the only two characters drawn not from Christopher’s toys but from the natural world near Cotchford Farm, the Milnes’ property in Sussex. Winnie-the-Pooh had adventures with Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit, and Tigger in the 100 Aker (Acre) Wood (based on the Ashdown Forest in southern England, located near the Milne family home).
In 2008, the dolls were moved to the newly created Children’s Room at the main New York Public library where they can be seen today.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. Thank you for joining me. Happy 2014 everyone!

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Social Media

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When Ryan turned two, he would hold up both of his pointer fingers and say, “Three thumbs up!”
Now at almost three, when he gets excited about something he yells, “Rock star!” I have no idea where this came from, or for that matter, where most of what he says comes from. He has quite the sense of humor and I foresee him being the “Class Clown”. Uh oh….

Social Media
Let me give you an overview of what I have found to be the most important piece of information I can give. No matter what avenue you decide on, forming an incredible author’s platform is the absolute most important. It’s soooooo important. It must be started NOW. What is an author’s platform? For each writer it needs to be suited to their own individual wants. For instance, you want to pick at least two social media sites. For me, I prefer Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. I also have chosen to start a blog. My blog automatically posts notifications to my Twitter and Facebook when published. This gets your name out there. It also will email anyone who signs up for my blogs email notifications on my home page. It’s all about making connections. The community I have chosen for my website is WordPress.com. It allows me to connect with other writers and authors and the ability for us to share each other’s blogs and links with each other’s friend lists. This in turn will create more contacts and followers in the writing community. And remember it’s not all about you! It’s really all about reciprocity. It’s important to follow others bloggers, Facebook and Twitter sites and share their links, posts and blogs. Scratching each other’s backs allows you to spread your writer’s wings. Researching and sharing from others bloggers sites not only helps both of you in this respect, but you can learn from each other too. And in this ever changing publishing world, that is extremely important. So not only do I have to write stories, illustrate, write blogs, work on Goodreads, comment and answer questions, but I also need to research constantly for blog content and share others information on the social media sites I have chosen. Remember not to bite off more than you can chew! Start small and work your way up. The worst thing you can do is pick a ton of avenues to work with and get so overwhelmed that you quit. With that comes to my next “work in progress”, setting a schedule. I have a day to day schedule set up, but I’m sure as I get rolling that will change. I need to stay flexible and find out what works for me. So set a schedule for your work and as you go along you will find the best way to approach it. But you have to just start!
Your author’s platform should be started ASAP. Do not wait until your book is ready for editing! The sooner you start, the more connections you will make. Then, when it’s time to publish, whether traditional route or indie, you have a following. This is key. To hear more on author’s platforms, please see Joanne’s podcasts and interviews. Some that I have found extremely helpful are:
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2009/03/30/podcast-roger-c-parker/
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2009/04/28/podcast-seth-harwood-podcasting-platform/
Have a wonderful day everyone!

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My Holiday Blog

Taz

Hello my friends and family!

I unfortunately have not written a blog in a while. I have been inundated with all the Christmas crafts that Ryan and I are making for presents this year together. 88 individual crafts to be exact! Am I a lunatic? Some say yes! But this week we have finished them and now I am just wrapping here and there for the next month or so and getting some ready to be shipped out to relatives I do not see at Christmas, sadly. But they are thought of often and our little gifts are just a little way to let them know this.
My intent and self-expectations were to write a blog a week. I’m going to keep my goal to give myself something to strive for, but with the holidays I may not be able to do this this month.
Along with our Christmas crafts, another reason for the lack of blogging is that RYAN HAS HIT THE SO-CALLED “TERRIBLE TWO’S”. I would like to go on the record and officially change the name to “THE HORRIFIC, DISTURBING, UNEXPLAINABLE TASMANIAN DEVIL PERIOD”. HOLY CRAP BATMAN….what happens to a child that within a 24 hour period they go from the loving child you have always known to a Tasmanian “super storm” devil, to last an unknown length of time? One who would surely devour their mother in one bite, if only they took the time to stop screaming long enough to serve her up on a silver platter. Well at least he would be eating something, as he seems to have gone on some sort of strike from anything that doesn’t start with the word chocolate. Is there some sort of toddler revolt that has taken place across the country that I have not heard about??? If that’s the case, maybe I should take away all his toy phones, as that must be their form of communication in this potential toddler revolution. Needless to say, I love that little guy through good times and bad. I enjoy every second with him of everyday. My Ryan, my angel (with devil horns of course).

Anywho, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and families. Stay tuned!
Thanks all and Happy Holidays!