Sunday, October 29, 2006

Purse-onally Yours, the sequel

Well, folks, it's been a week and even though not too many of you took a chance on posting your guesses, I'll reveal the answers. If you are not acquainted with the writings of one or more of these authors, may I suggest you check them out? Not only are they lovely purse models, they also write like nobody's business. You won't find better authors anywhere.

I learned last week that I can't seem to line up my words next to the pictures, so I'm going to list the answers and then the picture proof will follow.

1. Mary DeMuth
2. Deborah Gyapong
3. Lisa Samson
4. Kathy Ide
5. Brandilyn Collins
6. Linda Windsor
7. Deborah Raney
8. Liz Curtis Higgs

Please check out their websites and blogs and expecially their books.
Abundant blessings, all!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Purse-onally Yours

A few weeks ago I was privileged to speak at the North Hills Annual Women’s Brunch. The topic was Purse-onally Yours and was themed around what our purses say about our personalities. I thought this was a great idea and so in preparing for my talk, I asked some authors if they’d allow me to take pictures of their purses, just to see if people could identify the genre based on the purse. I had so much fun and such a great response that I thought I’d share the game with you all. As you are guessing, I’m hoping you will be brave and post your guesses. However, if you see your own purse here, please don’t give it away. I’ll post the answers with lovely pictures of the owners next weekend. In the meantime, please pack your purses with care (okay guys, your wallets). Grab your salt packets, a flashlight, and some tissues because when we let our God-given personalities shine for His glory and flavor the world around us, there’s going to be a few tears along the way and some messes to help clean up.

And now, have some fun! (Okay, small problem--I've been fighting with blogger and can't seem to align any numbers or letters next to the pictures for identification so, there's eight of them. Just do your best).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Art of Reading and Reaching Another Generation

A classroom off the school library comes with perks.

I have to admit, I’m a fan of writers who write well for children. But when they can inspire and impact a child to write, they’ve just imprinted their seal on the next generation—providing good books and good readers for more years to come.

One such author, Jack Gantos, visited our school this past week. And, lucky me, I was able to just open my door and hear him—and the laughter and interest of class after class of would-be authors.

I’d had the privilege of hearing Mr. Gantos a few years ago. This time, whenever I heard our librarian speak of him to a class, I volunteered how they were in for such a treat. So, with teachers, our librarian, and myself prepping the way and sharing the excitement, Mr. Gantos was ushered through waiting crowds of children who’d either caught the excitement or were ripe to see if the hype matched reality.

Everyone left satisfied.

What I found so amazing is that he delivered to the kids a simple plan of genius. When he was done, they were eager to start a journal just like he had done as a child—and let me tell you, if Jack Gantos had been my child, he wouldn’t have had younger siblings. Somewhere there is a chair among the saints for his mother. Something about his stories of breaking his brother’s arm or letting the Pagoda brothers launch him through the air, or the favorite one where he dropped a roach down his sister’s throat while she was sleeping (which led to him being locked out of the house buck naked) grabs the attention of even the most callous sixth grader and makes excellent fodder for his Jack Henry books. Personally I’m just glad he survived his youth and can write about it now.

Mr. Gantos repeated a phrase I’ve heard reiterated over and over by other authors, editors and agents—paraphrased: you must read if you want to write well. He expands this thought on his website where he bravely shares another of his journals. Here’s the link, you'll need to scroll down a bit on the journal page. Check out the entry for 7/31/05 and you'll see what I mean. And I have to agree with him. The writer in me also understands his post of 7/08/05—the excitement of a new book.

For a better understanding of what Mr. Gantos does with kids, check out this link to an article on his school presentations.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading a Jack Gantos book, I recommend you check them out—Rotten Ralph books, the Jack Henry series (highly autobiographical) and the Joey Pigza books. Be prepared to laugh and be transported--two very special blessings.

Abundant blessings!