Many of you know that I am all about social media. I blog (clearly), I facebook, My instagram, pinterest and linked in are always maintained. I care about online interaction. You get it.I am not able to feel good about this month (National Bullying Prevention Month) coming to a close without dedicating a blog post to the issue and connection between social media and social responsibility. In the last month I have used my online platforms to build new relationships, to share about my family, my business and my own personal thoughts about life in general. I also (unfortunately) have had interactions that could be labeled as negative and offensive. I have been called names, I have been disrespected and I have been messaged with undesirable content. I share this because I talk to parents and young people on a regular basis about cyber responsibility. What we put out there leaves a lasting impact. What we say to others does not dissolve or disappear. Even if it does not stay on screen it stays in the mind of others. Our words are valuable and everlasting. My goal and mission is not to preach but to prepare our community to think before we tweet. Bullying is typically associated with consistent offenses but it starts with one offense. This means that even one negative and hateful message adds to the atmosphere of relational aggression. In no way am I asking to censor, edit or control the emotions and thoughts that we put into the digital climate but I am asking for careful thought and understanding before pushing send. A few questions to consider: Would I say this in person to someone? If this message was a screen shot would I be okay with it being shared? Even though October is almost gone-our motives and desire to eradicate the harm of cyber-bullying has to be a year-round effort. -Read something great
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
When I was in the 7th grade I won a scary story writing contest at my middle school. The prize was receiving a free signed book from a published author and being able to meet him at his book signing in Rochester Hills, Michigan. This experience was a pivotal opportunity for me. I was a girl who was bullied in school and tormented on a regular basis. I recall winning this contest not only being a confidence booster but also a sign that I was more than the insults that others hurled at me. I was able to put words on paper and make others interested. My thoughts mattered. I remember being in my happy place listening to the process involved in developing stories and thinking that one day I would love to do the same thing. This was an incredible treat for me. I am looking forward to seeing many of my readers this weekend at participating Barnes & Noble Booksellers. I love to meet my readers in the bookstore. It is an amazing opportunity to connect, listen, share and learn. I always look for kids that remind me of myself. Those who are eager to meet an author, those who are interested in their own dreams being realized one day and those who need to be reminded of their worth. In the spirit of paying it forward I would like to have a small contest of my own. This upcoming weekend I have a treat for those who purchase one of my books and who mentions this blog post. In the spirit of giving and bringing forward a positive harvest I am giving away a "mystery" item at each signing. Feel free to share with those who might be interested. Saturday: Rochester 11-1. Sunday: Troy 4-6. Monday: Northville 5-7. Read Something Great!
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Today marks the 1st day of National bullying prevention month. I am often asked at what age should we talk to our kids about bullying and related behaviors. I am pleased to share that many pre-schools and early learning centers have asked me to read my books to their students and talk to parents about pro-social education. It is never too early to teach our kids to be kind. To share with them the importance of caring about others and to try to use practical examples to allow them to work on compassion development. As many of you know I have my own little tot and we are already working on feelings identification exercises. Bookstores and resource stores like Self-esteem shop carry many tools to begin this process. If we can teach young people early how to recognize emotions it is a great step in the process of pro-social learning. Does your center need assistance? Can your family benefit from a personal consultation on emotional understanding and prevention? Please let me know. This Friday I will be at Kindercare centers reading my picture book series to students and beginning the process of pro-social education. If you need an Unbully kit we send great resources through the mail that includes information, tools and resources that aid in prevention. -Read something great
Monday, September 29, 2014
Readers, The leaves are changing colors, cider is warm and the air is crisp and fresh. I hope that you are inspired. When changes occur in the environment it is the biggest reminder that nothing stays the same. What are you thinking about doing to shake things up in your life? Is there a project that you have been putting off? Do you need to finish that book that you keep starting and stopping? Take advantage of this time to invest in your own transition. This Fall I am looking forward to school visits, outreach events and I have a 3 day book signing weekend in Michigan at Barnes & Noble. Saturday October 11th I will be at the Rochester store from 11-1. On Sunday October 12th I am signing my collection at the Troy B&N from 4-6 and last but certainly not least I will be at the Northville & Haggerty Barnes & Noble highlighting my YA books. I hope to see you at one of these events or if you have time-all of them. I am really looking forward to celebrating this season as a mom with my one year old baby boy (or should I say toddler?). So far he is enjoying Fall walks, playmates and practicing coloring without eating the crayons...Just like grown-ups little ones constantly are changing too. I'd love to hear about your plans! Read something great.
Monday, March 24, 2014
What are you reading? Do you remember when you had to read? In school we were assigned chapters, books and reports that forced us to pick up a book and research. If you are no longer in school and have a job that does not require you to read-books may not be a top priority. Have you ever thought about assigning yourself a reading project? You could give yourself a chapter of a novel to journal about. You could read a book that you loved as a kid and compare how you feel about it now to how you felt as a kid. You decide! What will you read? How will you process it? If you have someone special in your life you could make it a joint endeavor. Reading month is not over-let's make it special. I read with my little guy everyday and it is our favorite past-time. -read something great
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
This is the time when chatter turns to love. It is everywhere! People are planning special days, kids are making crafts and dances are popping up everywhere. How are you doing? Does this time of year make you think of a special someone? I created "I Love Myself Because" simply because I wanted little girls to love themselves. I wanted them to treasure all of the unique qualities about themselves that stand out and that may be surprising. I wanted them to love themselves because they are givers, they are kind, they are leaders, they are aware of their weaknesses. I did not want them to focus on a significant other when they thought about their reasons for loving themselves. Their is nothing wrong with having a crush or even a special someone. My point is that I want them to know that first and foremost they are a special someone. What are you doing this year? Regardless if you are spending Valentines day alone or with others-I have a bit of homework for you. Write a list of why you love yourself. It will make you smile. -Read something great
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Ok Readers! This is the time to say than you. Feel thanks and give more! I agree that we should feel this way everyday but November is a nice reminder for us. What will you do to encourage, love, share, give and care? My goal was not to rhyme but it was to make you think. How can we make our selves better people by thinking of others a bit more? That sounds a little selfish doesn't it? Isn't it funny that when we give to those around us we truly give to ourselves? I give myself secret giving challenges and it is always ironic how I feel when I am not acknowledged for my kindness. Although it is great to be recognized for giving-isnt it better when we are not? It is better for our own hearts when a kind gesture is not rewarded because it challenges the true motive for being thoughtful. Do I give for others to say how sweet I am-or do I give because I should. Because it is needed. Because it is my belief that giving is better than receiving? Feel free to share your thoughts on my morning ramblings. Keep in mind we are headed into the season when everyone is expecting gifts and even kids are writing lists about what they would like to appear under their own proverbial and literal trees…how can we teach them to savor and cherish the message of the giving tree and appreciate sharing a bit more than thinking about what they would like to get. I have a lot to teach this little guy about giving back and he reminds me everyday why I should give without expectation. -Read something great