Fun First Events

Since the official release of Believing In Horses on March 21st, I discovered that book events are fun.  My clever and talented brother developed a talk show format for presentations in schools, “Books Alive with Reed Moore,” which gets kids participating and interested in the subject.  Reed Moore (also known as the Believing In Horses EdUCator) made the kids laugh, think, and unable to wait to ask questions.  Even those who appeared disinterested at first couldn’t help but be motivated by Reed Moore’s energy!  Tremendous audiences at Harmony Hills Elementary School, Silver Spring, MD, and Tracey’s Elementary School, Tracy’s Landing, MD, read aloud, played along with the activities, and asked thoughtful questions.  Parents and teachers groaned at some of the campy jokes, but something in common happened across the rooms no matter the age:  sparks.

Eddy Ormond and Valerie Ormond at Books Alive with Reed Moore

Eddy Ormond (left) and Valerie Ormond speak to students at Tracey’s Elementary School as part of the “Books Alive with Reed Moore” Tour.

Author Kathi Appelt, mentioned in my last blog, recommends writing like your fingers are “on fire.”  Author Valerie Sherwood encourages writing about what genuinely interests you so words “catch fire” with readers.  I’m sure if I searched, I’d find many other fiery writing quotes, but I think you get the point.  However, I discovered it is one thing to hear and read others’ advice, and quite another to see that sparkle in people’s eyes in person when a book comes alive.  [Read more…]

Just Add Magic

 

 

Just Add Magic

Abracadabra–it’s official:  I AM a writer.  I learned this, among other things, while attending my first all-day writing conference, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia Region Spring Conference.  Over 190 attendees included beginner and experienced writers, illustrators, editors, agents, and more.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to make some new acquaintances, including Cindy Callaghan, author of Just Add Magic, which seemed an appropriate image for this blog, for reasons you’ll understand if you read to the end (not fair, I know!).

Since I don’t think anyone wants to hear my play-by-play description of the conference, I’m going to report a short takeaway from each speaker I saw.  (Due to breakout sessions, I could not see/hear all speakers).  My highlights may not be the same as someone else’s, but that’s part of the beauty of conferences – the ability to listen for the messages applicable to you. [Read more…]

Kids Are Heroes

It’s Kids Are Heroes Week, and October 23rd is Kids Are Heroes Day.  When I found out about this, it reminded me of one of the reasons I wrote Believing In Horses.  Sometimes it seems people are so focused on the negative, they fail to see the positive.   So many of our youth are actively involved in trying to help today; at Freedom Hills Horse Rescue’s last fundraiser, young girls were selling food rather than riding horses – talk about commitment!  A colleague recently told me about her daughter’s efforts to try and save a local park.  If you take a moment and click on the Kids Are Heroes web site, you’ll be overwhelmed by just a few of the incredible projects kids take on these days — all positive.

A nine-year-old girl started Kids Are Heroes –talk about a hero.  One of the stories on the web site is about another young girl, Maria, who started “Read Indeed,” a literary organization in which Maria wishes to collect and distribute ONE MILLION books to needy kids by the time she is eighteen.  So far she has collected and distributed over 400,000 since early last year!  She’s helped kids locally and as far away as Africa, Costa Rica, and the Phillipines.  You go, Maria!  [Read more…]

Combining Passion and Work

I had originally planned to write more about the World Equestrian Games, but I can’t seem to get past something that’s foremost in my mind right now:  having a passion for what you do.  I attended the “Get Motivated, Inc.” seminar in Washington, DC, this week, and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these events, I’d highly recommend it.  I attended because I had attended a similar event over ten years ago, and many of the speakers’ insights changed my life for the better.  Both events stressed the importance of trying to find a way to combine your passion with your work.  [Read more…]