Children are our Future! They are tomorrow's Here's what I learned for a Holiday Forum. You’ve heard so many people say it: children are the future scientists, politicians, doctors and teachers. They will inherit all of our accomplishments, whether they are successes or failures.
This special day is dedicated to all of the children, so that they may enjoy these carefree years while they last and be ready for the responsibilities that await them. So let’s live it up, kids!
The History of Universal Children’s DayUniversal Children’s Day was first announced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1954.
Originally, there were 2 goals this day was to help achieve: to encourage children of all races, creeds and religions to spend time together, getting to know each other and appreciating each other’s differences, and to prompt governments worldwide to pay more attention to the welfare of their youngest citizens. Although Universal Children’s Day takes place on November 20th, each country that participates in the festivities has its own date set aside for this purpose—in South Sudan, for example, Children’s Day is celebrated on December 23rd, in Cuba on the third Sunday of July, and in Poland on June 1st.
Since its establishment as a holiday, Universal Children’s Day has been tied to many different, honorable causes, such as the commitment to stopping HIV/AIDS by 2015.
Another one of the goals Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations aspires to reach is for every child to have access to an education and be able to attend school. Promoting peace, respect and concern for the environment among the world’s children are also considered to be of utmost importance.
How to Celebrate Universal Children’s Day If you have children or grandchildren ask them what they would like to do. You might tell them about or teach them games you played as a child in the days before electronics were such a part of life:
Wide games - Statue, Red Rover, Tag, Freeze tag, Blind Man's Bluff, Dodgeball, marbles, jacks Board games - Monopoly, Risk, Candy Land, etc. Non electronic - card games etc. You get the idea! Above all talk and listen to them. Encourage the future.
On the subject of children - my series title. -
People often ask me about my Series Title Children of Stone. Once they receive a negative answer to the question "Is it a children's book?" prospective readers usually ask how I came about the title. I recount that over 50 years ago, I was inspired by a reproduction of a sculpture in my high school lobby. It resembled the one posted here. My Creative Writing teacher, at about that time, introduced a poem by e e cummings called
Children in Stone
these children singing in stone
a silence of stone these
little children wound with stone
flowers opening for
of stone are
a song more silent
than silence these always
singing wreathed with singing
blossoms children of
stone with blossoming
know if a
forever to always children singing forever
a song made
of silent as stone silence of
People say the poem is about death and a monument to children in a graveyard, but I saw it as a timeless chant of otherworldly creatures who were like children. This was the beginning of an idea.
How would they be like children? Oddly enough, as the idea for my aliens developed, I saw a number of ways they might be perceived as "Children" of a higher and more advanced culture. The difference was they were not adrift. They were on a mission to reclaim one who long ago had gone rogue and make creatures of it's own.
1. The were "children of" a higher form of life that was no longer corporeal.
2. When they came to earth they needed hosts "like parents" to help them move around.
3. Like children, they changed the life of those who encountered them. Yes children change you. Ask any parent.
4. On Earth they presented as silicon based life forms, but had come from another dimensions that didn't translate well into carbon based form. How many times have we thought of our children as aliens?
5. They looked like gemstones and were implanted in the host, near the third eye. It's a stretch comparison but aren't all children at times like jewels? Oddly, you see this "stone in the third eye" presented in an number of ancient art images, particularly Buddhist & Hindu Art.
6. When they were inserted in a host, they "downloaded" information from other realms and also were able to "talk to" a hosts DNA effecting repairs, enhancements, connectivity with the spirit world, and a much longer life...Like a USB drive. Information on a little drive is, in effect, a "child" of as larger information base.
7. The drawback was that they had been from a semi-hive culture in their world. They broke away and came to a culture where we are independent. When they combined with humans this emerged as psychic communication. Humans could privatize their thoughts and "go rogue" but it took effort. Marai was fairly stubborn, so he was an early lesson for the Children of Stone.
Children? Maybe, maybe not. It makes me think of the products of out information age, and even social media communication like our children and our legacy.
Last week Bill McCormick introduced himself and related his writing life.
Today he presents his character Geldish
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Hi Mary, I’m Geldish. You’re the first maker (human) I’ve ever met. Hopefully you’ll be the last.
2. Tell us where and when you were born.
I was born after the gen-O-pod revolution. That’s the event we celebrate when all the makers were annihilated.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I’m just a regular Rangka. I like my pit-weed pipe, the occasional flagon of skank, and meat platters.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
I grew up just outside of Go-Chi (Chicago) with my brothers, sisters, mom and dad.
5. How old are you?
I’m just under one thousand Suns (years) old.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
It was okay. I was a young wizard (that’s our nickname, we don’t do spells or anything stupid like that) just learning how to use my powers of magnetism when my entire family was wiped out by Xhaknar.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
It will surprise you to know I was married when Xhaknar attacked. I carry her death with me always.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
9. What are you obsessed with?
Xhaknar. I won’t rest until he’s dead.
10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
My clan, the few of us who remain in the temple of Azarep, worship an idol we got from a thrift store. It seems as logical as anything else I’ve seen. Overall my beliefs tend to focus on all beings having the chance to better themselves, to live on a peaceful planet.
11. Biggest fear?
I used to fear death but, after all my flesh was ripped off by Xhaknar’s mutant virus, I’ve found little to scare me.
12. What line will you never cross?
There may be one, I haven’t found it yet.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
When I was a small (child) I was learning to play Ti-Zam from the local game master. In less than a Sun I’d beaten him honestly. It was the proudest moment of my life. I’d worked hard and earned it. The worst? Well, that whole losing my flesh to a mutant disease thing springs to mind.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
After I’d lost my flesh a succubus saw me eating while I wasn’t wearing a robe. That particular sight should haunt her dreams forever. Her screams sure haunt mine.
15. Biggest secret?
I have no idea what I’m doing and everyone keeps following me anyway.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Make lots of goldens (money), kill Xhaknar, and bring water to Go-Chi.
Thanks Geldish! Here's hoping you succeed in your quest!
We’re In This Together: How To Help Other Authors Succeed
Posted on May 27, 2017 by ANGELA ACKERMAN
Here's an abstract of a great article on the way all of us need to help our fellow authors. The full article is at this address.
A common query Becca and I get is, “Why do you do what you do?” It’s a fair question, because in order for us to coach writers through our books, speaking, and our One Stop for Writers site, we’ve had to temporarily put our fiction-writing on hold.
Not an easy decision. But the fact is we love to see dreams realized. This is why we do it. As writers ourselves, we know the power of THIS particular dream–a book in hand, our name paired with the title, and the knowledge that readers are losing themselves in a world we’ve created.
We celebrate each time someone we know achieves this dream–and how could we not? It’s so wonderful to see all that hard work pay off! .
Let’s look more at book releases in general and talk about what we can do to help the authors we know.
Launching a Book: Behind the Scenes
When an author releases a book, it’s all smiles and excitement…on the outside.
What we don’t see is the anxiety going on within: will this book find its readers?
Will it become lost in the glut of fiction available?
If I share my excitement too freely, will people see it as unwanted promotion?
These worries are universal among authors.
And, with the saturation of promotion these days, it’s important we don’t push a book too hard ourselves.
Inside, we hope others will step up and help.
(And BOOM, this is what community is about, right? Stepping up!)
If you know an author who is releasing a book and you want to help, here’s a few things you can do (beyond the obvious of purchasing the book).
1: Ask your local library to bring the book in.
Many libraries have an online form and they often pay attention to requests. Click here to find a library near you…and why not request a particular book while you’re at it?
If it is an ebook release, first encourage your author friend to make the ebook available to a service like OverDrive.
2: Leave a review.
This is the clear obvious one, but often people stop at only submitting it to Goodreads or Amazon.
Please cut and paste the review to all the main sites the book is being sold (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and if it applies, Smashwords.)
For example, you can review a book on Amazon and Goodreads. If it isn't at other sites, add it. (if you’ve read this book, please give it some review love?)
3: Place the book on appropriate lists.
If you loved reading the book, help others find it.
Goodreads has many great lists you can add books to, or start your own.
Think of how much it will help if reviewers add a book to some of the “best” lists so others also find it.
4: Visit Pinterest and pin the book & link to appropriate boards. We want to get that cover and link out there, right? If you have a board for books you love, add it. Look for group boards you can contribute it to (if the book’s genre is a match or it covers an area of interest that the board is about).
Another tip: if you write a similar book as your author friend, then pin their book to boards where yours is.
5: Blog about the book or author.
If your blog audience is readers who may like this book, please blog about the book. It doesn’t have to be full of promo–just tell your readers what made it special, and link to the book and the author. Or ask the author for an interview, or to guest post.
These posts can then be shared on social media, finding even more readers. The aiuthor might return the favor and send readers your way.
6: Share the author’s content when it fits your audience.
Authors are in many places, which gives us an opportunity to help their content be found by retweeting and reposting…as long as it matches our audience. Chances are, your author friend may have many social accounts.
7: Upvote their best reviews on Amazon so they rise to the top. This is a simple thing that can really help! Simply “like” the best reviews that you agree with so these are the first ones potential readers see.
8: “Stumble” the author’s blog pages which will best help readers find them. StumbleUpon is something that’s been around forever. This site allows you to submit pages to be “stumbled,” meaning that people who are interested in that page’s content (which you create tags for) may find it when they use the Stumble it tool. You can submit your own posts (which I do) and traffic comes from those pages & tags FOREVER. Handy right?
9: Use your connections. Sooner or later we all realize that marketing is all about relationships, not promotion. You know people. I know people. Chances are, these aren’t the same people. If you can think about a connection you have (in real life, online, in media, etc.) that might help your author friend, then do what you can to make a match. Trust me, what goes around comes around.
10: Ask what they need.
This one is the most important, and I don’t know about you, but I am pretty terrible about asking people for help. (I like to be the helper, not ask for help, and frankly this hurts me a bit.) I think a lot of authors are like me so if you have an author friend who has a book out, ask them how you can best help. Marketing a book is tricky. Often other people can promote more directly than the author themselves can. Your offer of help will likely erase some of the anxiety that hits when your author friend is grappling with book marketing.
We’re all in this together. Let’s help one another out the best we can!
And now a word (or several) from Claire Buss, Latest author to grace the
Children of Stone Blog!
Who are you as a person? (brief bio paragraph)
I am a stay at home mum to my little boy who is 4.5 years old and a baby girl on the way, due on the 26th November. My husband is a policeman and very supportive of my writing career. I love to read, bake, spend time with my friends and watch movies.
How long have you been a writer?
I used to write a lot when I was younger but life and lack of confidence got in the way so it wasn't until a local writing competition in 2015 that the writing bug came back with a bang. There's no stopping me now.
Are you Traditionally or Indie published?
If not yet, what are you considering?
I am indie published so far although my first book is published by a paid independent press called New Generation Publishing. It was part of the book writing competition prize. The rest of my books were self published through KDP.
What writers inspired you? Favorite Authors?
I'm always inspired by good writing, whether it comes from big, established names or from hard working indies. My favorite authors, off the top of my headare Sir Terry Pratchett, Ben Aaronovitch, Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, Stephen King and Becky Chambers to name a few.
What is your book/series about (elevator speech or quick tweet post)
In The Rose Thief, Chief Thief-Catcher Ned Spinks must apprehend the Rose Thief before the Emperor's magical red rose is stolen and love is lost to everyone.
What is the setting and genre?
The Rose Thief is a humorous fantasy novel set in a magical world, beginning in the city of Roshaven and traveling through different parts of the realm.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Favourite character is probably Jenni, Ned's second in command. She's a sprite with powerful magic and talks in a strong common vernacular. She's definitely a large part of the comic relief for this book but she's also reliable and Ned relies on her a great deal.
What character is most like you?
Ooh I don't know - possibly 14 but I don't think there's too much of me in any one character.
If you had a supernatural power, what would it be?
I'd... um... you see, the thing is... with great power comes great responsibility and I just don't know if I'm ready for that! I honestly have no idea, maybe the ability to create extra time out of nothing? That would be pretty good.
Would you say your book has a message or underlying theme? What is it?
The Rose Thief wasn't written with a particular message but I think there are a few themes - friendship and love but it was mostly written with humour in mind. It's supposed to make you smile as you read.
How are you marketing your book?
I have an author website and try to maintain a regular presence on various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I have an author profile on Goodreads and an author YouTube channel so I try to share different sorts of things. I also have a monthly author newsletter keeping readers up to date with current and new projects - http://eepurl.com/csWd0f
I've been doing author interviews and submitting The Rose Thief details to various indie book promotion sites. I'm holding a launch party on Facebook for The Rose Thief on Friday 10th November so I try to keep the marketing flowing naturally without being too sales focused.
A wonderful thing has happened! Hollywood wants to make a movie of your book! You get to pick the actors & actresses. You want________________for your lead characters.
Right - I've got to think about this, important stuff! Ned Spinks would be played by a slightly younger than now Russell Crowe. Jenni would be played by a mischievous Scarlett Johansson. Maybe 14 could be played by Sandra Bullock. This is really hard
What Favorite foods
My favourite food is completely mood related. Sometimes it's cake, sometimes it's Italian. I enjoy cooking and have a real appreciation for food made with love.
What makes you laugh/cry?
The oddest things haha. I do love a bit of old school humour like Morecombe & Wise sketches. Quite often the amusing bits aimed at adults in animated films will have me crying with laughter. I'm a sucker for good puns in books - the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde tickle me as does everything written by Terry Pratchett.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy cross-stitching, baking, watching movies and traveling. I like pottering around new places with no plan, exploring little nooks and crannies and trying out yummy food in tucked away cafes and restaurants.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I do enjoy the Marvel movies. TV wise I like Arrow, The Flash, The Great British Bake Off, Supernatural and older shows like Buffy and Angel. Joss Whedon is a legend.
Firefly should never have been cancelled. I just finished binge watching Stranger Things season 1 and 2 on Netflicks - how great is Netflicks? Got lots of to-watch shows on my list, one day!
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I have a life sciences degree and once dreamed of being a marine biologist. I'm also a qualified marketer, adult ICT tutor and NVQ assessor so I have a few strings to my bow. But now that I've found writing, I don't think I could ever do anything else.
What are you working on right now?
I am doing my best to hit 1000 words a day for NaNoWriMo and start work on the sequel to my dystopian novel The Gaia Effect. I'm slightly behind but I'm not too worried about the word count, just getting to grips with ideas for the story and seeing what happens with the characters is great.
What future plans do you have in writing?
I have the beginnings of a book about my beloved book club, an idea for a techno-western, another planned book of humorous short stories, more stories from the world of The Rose Thief. There may well be a third book in the series for The Gaia Effect, I have an idea for a fairy-tale retelling and a top secret series of books which will take a great deal of research to get them off the ground but I'm really excited about it. Lots to keep me busy.
What links or website do you have? List them below.