Thursday, November 13, 2014

Author Visits Part II

Author Visits Part II- Put Yourself Out There!

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that my daughter, Jess, was invited to my son's elementary school to give a talk about writing and her book, From the Ashes.  Because it was her first time doing something like this, I asked you guys for some advice and tips that had worked for you.

Jess, Alyss, and Ryan at Writing Day
Jess who is only 18, was anxious about the whole thing and thought she wouldn't know what to say. Using some of the great ideas you guys shared,  I helped her plan out a presentation.  She also got permission to have her sister Alyssa, 16, come along and be her helper (aka moral support).  

From your comments, we decided it was best to involve the kids as much as possible in the talk.  Jess decided her main topic would be character development and she would walk the kids through creating their own characters.  She made a worksheet for them where they could fill in character traits like hair color, skin color, birthplace, etc.

Jess and Alyssa stayed up late together the night before, working out all the little details of the speech including jokes and gestures that they would use to liven it up.  They were going to have to give the presentation 5 times to different groups of 20-30 kids from 4th-6th grade and it was supposed to last 30 minutes.  We timed them.  It was only 8 minutes of actual rehearsed material, the rest would have to be them winging it.  

Last Friday, was the big day.  Jess was so nervous that day she actually puked before we left for the school.  I wished I could have stayed to watch them, but I left and hoped for the best!

Turns out they had a great time and so did the kids.  It was amazing to hear what the kids came up with for character traits.  One had a translucent mullet hair-do, one was born on a rainbow, and one had E.T and Chuck Norris as parents.

The teacher who invited Jess, told me when I picked them up that the kids loved their presentation more than any of the other speakers.

Over the weekend, Alyssa was walking around our little town square and a girl approached her and said, "Hey you were one of the girls that spoke yesterday, right?  I loved you and your sister's presentation.  All the other speakers were stupid and yours was actually fun!" (I love how blunt kids are!).  Then Jess's old English teacher texted her saying that she tutors a girl who went to Jess's presentation and she was so inspired and excited by what she had said!    

All in all it was a wonderful experience for everyone.  So even if you're shy don't hesitate to put yourself out there and speak at a school about writing, but make sure you have an activity that the kids can participate in to show off their own creativity and it will be a big success!  

Thanks so much to all of you who gave us suggestions!

Have a great weekend!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Well it's already time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.  The IWSG was created by Alex J Cavanaugh and is co-hosted by many other awesome blogger buddies.  It's a place where we can tell our hopes and fears about writing and offer encouragement to others.  

I feel pretty good this month, mostly because I love this time of year.  I love the colors and nothing is better than having my whole family to our house for Thanksgiving.

One thing I've been struggling with recently is focusing on a single project.  I have a number of things I'm working on.  I'm rewriting my fantasy novel, working on an article, and developing ideas for a chick-lit book.

Carving out time to write is difficult enough but when I'm splitting that time amongst different manuscripts it seems impossible to finish any of them.  I know I should probably focus on one thing at a time, but some days I'm drawn away by some phantom force pulling me in another direction.  

If you have any tips on how to stay focused on one project at a time, feel free to tell me.  In the mean time, I'll be working my way through three manuscripts hoping to finish at least one of them by next year!

Kathy :)