Mental Notes

My family took a day trip to the beach the other day.  I had intended to do some writing while I sat and relaxed, but I ended up looking, listening, and observing everything. The day was unexpectedly cold and cloudy. The sand was smooth in some areas, grainy in others.  The waves boomed and crashed and hissed, kicking up handfuls of mist as they collided into each other. As the waves grew in intensity, the surge sometimes reached out and swept over sand castles and beach chairs. There were people of all ages, wearing a variety of clothes, with some speaking German or Dutch. All of them seemed to enjoy their time, making the best of the weather and the ominous surf.

Sometimes I think we need to just watch. We need to capture images in our heads so we can draw more vivid word pictures when we write. I’m glad I just didn’t sit and write. I’m glad I took mental notes so I can use them for another day. I already have some ideas in mind.

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Finding Answers; Sharing Solutions

Research is vital to any good article, especially one that needs to be substantiated with accurate information. I just finished my research for a story that is due next week. Although I haven’t stopped to add up the number of resources I’ve used as of yet (I will very soon to type up my bibliography), I did refer to many books, articles, and websites.

I really enjoy researching. I guess it’s that hidden detective in me, always pursuing those little clues that will lead to the ultimate solution. And now with the internet, I can visit locations and gather data that I would normally have had to travel many miles to acquire.

Yes, research is fun. But now comes the most challenging part: taking ALL that information and transforming it into an interesting, yet concise story that educates and entertains my young readers. I guess this is why I like writing: I can fulfill that urge to find the answers to my many questions, and then I can turn around and share that knowledge with others. What a wonderful job I have!

What a Moment!

This past Sunday my book was listed as Book of the Month for my church, with people having the opportunity to purchase copies at a table in the courtyard. This was a really nice honor, since it was very rare for our pastor to include children’s books among his recommendations.

In between services I normally sit in the courtyard near the book table as I wait for my husband who serves in another part of the church. But this time I didn’t want to sit too close, so my kids and I moved several tables away.

While we were waiting, a few people approached me so I could sign their books. It was my pleasure to do so, and at one point someone asked me to be sure to put the date on it, too. It wasn’t until much later that I recognized the significance of that moment. I was signing my name onto a book about the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2010: exactly 234 years after the original document was signed by two of our Founding Fathers!

Eight years ago I would never have dreamed that I would be a writer with a book published about