Professionals Against Bullying

Friday, October 30, 2009

Falling for Fall...

I have to admit that I have been known to brag about Spring as my favorite season. I was born in the Spring-so naturally having cake in my honor may have influenced that vote. Something magical has happened this Fall to give Spring a run for the money. I have actually taken the time out to appreciate the beautiful leaves and colors that represent Autumn in Michigan. Fall is such an inspirational time because it allows people to take time to reflect on change. The green leaves and flowers may take a recess but in their place we get to experience the beauty of red and orange leaves decorating the trees and this can be both calming and breath taking.
Have you thought about change in your life? It may start with taking away something that you regard as needed and beautiful but change may actually enhance your circumstances in a greater way. As you think about your goals and your dreams, take a second to reflect on the way that you are going about your mission and decide if it needs a make-over.
While you are pondering ...take time out to have a walk and look at the beauty around you-it's great for inspiration! Read something great!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Yesterday I attended a funeral of a truly inspiring man. This man was 73 years old and had changed many lives in the course of living his own. It was hard to find a empty seat in the packed church and many people recalled the times that he had encouraged them or helped them in some way. As I sat and listened to the memories being recalled by others it made me ponder. I know that Phil, my friend that passed was amazing and spiritual.
I also thought about all of the times that I encountered him and how he always made me feel very special. I left with sadness that in my lifetime I would never hear his greeting "Hiya Tara" to me again...but I also left with a lesson.
Phil's final lesson for me in life was that I should make sure that I remember what is really important....People. Phil had a way of making people feel like they were important despite their socio-economic, racial, or gender status.
I hope that my life is one that mirrors a similar reaction. For example, I realize from people's compliments that I have strengths that encourage people greatly. Many tell me that my smile has a way of uplifting others. I realize this means that I need to use it generously.
What is your gift? What do you want to be remembered by? How can you get closer to that goal? One of my biggest goals is to change lives with the books that I write. I don't "just" want to have monetary benefit...I want to have impact that surpasses dollar signs. I hope that my books can be used to teach children how to read, how to interact with others, how to feel great about themselves and how to be better citizens in this world. I also want my books to be a resource for parents to use to discuss the tough issues.
Today think about your life, your goals and what people say about you and decide if alterations need to be made.
Read something great!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Words that motivate...notes about 100% Real

Hey Readers!
Did you notice that 100% Real has a feature in the beginning of the book that allows you to write me an email or mail me a letter? I love to receive feedback from my readers of the "Who I Am" series. Your words help me to stay motivated as I work on more books and related projects. Your notes also help me to realize that my books are changing the lives of children for the better. The email that I received from a reader yesterday focused on appreciating the friendship between Janelle & Zoey.
The reader thought that Janelle was a great friend to Zoey and mentioned that it is hard to be a new student and it is nice to have someone be nice to you.
What is your example of a great friendship? Do you have a friend that goes out of their way to be nice to you for no reason? I'd love to hear your thoughts about 100% Real! It is always great to know your thoughts-keep the emails and feedback coming.
Read something great!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thank you for being 100% Real Fans!!


Saturday was my first official signing for the newest book in the "Who I Am" series...100% Real. I met so many wonderful readers who loved the message of the book, Zoey and the illustrations! I want to personally thank the staff of Borders, the people who bought signed copies of 100% Real and those that spread the word about this event.

A special thank you to Spike (of 95.5), Natalie & Nicole for making my day!!

The message of my series is simple and my books are meant to help children feel great about themselves and to help them to see the value in embracing others.

Stay tuned for more pictures from Saturday's signing!

Read something great!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


On November 21st people young and not-so young will gather around the country in appreciation of literacy! If you are in Michigan I invite you to come see the "Who I Am" Literacy Team at our I Love Literacy Reading Party. You will have the opportunity to donate books old & new, discuss your favorite book and be around like-minded people that have a passion for reading. This event is family friendly so grab a book and join us for this free event. More details to come in future post! Our event will be from 3-5 at the Northville Public Library.
Read something great!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Literacy Donations For Little Girls, Big Dreams...

I am currently working closely with a very special group of young women. Little Girls, Big Dreams is a non-profit literacy charity located in Pontiac, Michigan. The girls are 1st-4th grade elementary school children who stay after school and work very hard to improve their reading, writing, comprehension and more.
My goal is to help them with a Creative Writing workshop in November and at the end of my visit give them 2 of my books signed personally to each participant. I am asking for the help of the community to be able to help me in this endeavor. November is fast approaching and I am asking for your help in helping these great young ladies. If you would like to give to Little Girls, Big Dreams Literacy Project with Tara Michener please donate using the box on the side bar and choose a book to be given.
I will make sure that I include a blog post with the event on this site after my visit. The picture featured here is of me and Natania Swirski, Founder of Little Girls, Big Dreams. Let's make a difference together!

Read Something great!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thanks to young Readers...from Tara Michener

I had a very fun & full weekend! As you know my newest book 100% Real launched on Saturday. Some of my guests were children that had read "Who I Am Not What I Am" and they made up their own works of art, answered trivia and shared their support! Without their support my book series would not exist! A big thank you to the kids who came to enjoy lunch and "Who I Am" news!
Many kids said encouraging things on the paper table cloths and others made their own interpretation of Janelle and the "Who I Am" series! This was too good not to share. Remember to share the "Who I Am" series with a child that you care about.
Read something great!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

And the new illustrator is...

Yesterday's "Who I Am" Launch Lunch was fantastic! Many supporters of self-esteem and diversity came and enjoyed great food, fun and the love of reading! It was held at the beautiful Bonefish Grill in Novi and we had the whole place to ourselves! A special thank you to my friends at Bonefish for providing such a great meal and dining experience for true "Who I Am" series fans! The big news that was revealed yesterday was regarding my new illustrator. Jason Michener (My husband) is a talented artist and he dedicated many hours to all of the beautiful artwork in 100% Real. He is the creative genius that created Zoey's look. It was a wonderful experience collaborating with my husband on this book. If you have not ordered your copy yet-don't delay! Signed copies are available on my site.
Read something great!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Busy life? Try busy kits...


As I continue to network with positive people & comapnies I will continue to tell you about them!

One of the best gifts that we can give each other is information so here goes....Today my blog will feature an interview that I had with Lorraine Akemann of "My Busy Kit"

I hope that you enjoy!

T-Lorraine, tell me the goal of your business?

L-My Busy Kit makes portable activities for kids to encourage independent play. Our goal is to make family travel smoother by providing children with tools to build their imaginations while out and about.

T- Who or what inspired you to do what you are doing?

L-My business partner took a road trip to Mexico in 2007 with her husband and three kids. They had a clear sheet bag full of random, interesting gadgets that the kids loved. We figured, why stop at one? Let's find and test as many assortments as we can, and see if it works for other families.

T- How long have you been in business?
L-Since April of 2007
T- Are you in conjunction with any charities or other organizations?
L-Yes, we have donated activity kits to our local children's hospital, and regularly give kits to preschools and families in need.
T- Who is your ideal client?

L-Parents who are about to hop on an airplane or take a road trip with their kids.

T- Tell me about your biggest accomplishment with busykits?

L-In business terms, our biggest accomplishment is our account with a bookstore at San Francisco International Airport, which is a great niche location for selling our kits. Personally, the biggest accomplishment is the family balance of being able to work from home during school hours, and dedicate after-school hours to my daughters.

T- How can our readers find out more info about your business?
L-We would love to have folks visit us online at to preview our products and read our story. In addition, we started a blog about tips for traveling with kids at

Readers, I hope that you enjoyed hearing about Lorraine and "My Busy Kits". I love to see others making a living doing what they love and thought that you would too. Feel free to place a comment on the site if you wish about this post and if you would like to see more interviews or any other specific question that you might have for Lorraine!

On a side not today is the official launch of 100% Real please be sure to order your signed copy!

Read something great!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Anything is possible...

Hi Readers!
I cannot help but to reflect on my literary journey from time to time. Today is a very significant day because tomorrow Zoey (my newest character) will be unveiled to the world! 100% Real is the second book in the "Who I Am" series. It has the same values of "Who I Am Not What I Am" in the sense that it promotes positive messages for children and helps them to embrace self-esteem and diversity.
Last year at this time I had already put in my two weeks notice at my former job. I remember walking through the halls and saying my goodbyes just in case I missed someone before October 28th (which would be my last day).
I had hope and I was excited. Many people questioned my choice and said that I was making a mistake by quitting my day job to begin a new venture as a full-time author, diversity advocate and speaker. I had to smile at those people and remind myself that we differed in our faith and that they were entitled to their opinion.
Today I am still smiling, hopeful and even more faithful than I was that day as I hugged
co-workers and exchanged info.
I am sharing this specific entry with you because I am so happy that I can be a living example of a dream come true. I am also thrilled that not only can I reach my goals but that I can help others do the same.
In a year I have traveled to New york City, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, Chicago and more to promote "Who I Am Not What I Am". I have met so many people that were grateful for the message of my book and that continue to email me and ask me when is the next one coming out.
I have been able to serve on many diversity boards ones that have local status and some that are on a national level. I created a powerful networking alliance for professional African-American women to connect, promote and enhance using their business brand.
I have been blessed to help out with non-profits that tackle the cause of Autism, Literacy and more.
I have taught seminars on self-esteem, creative writing, social media and diversity.
My husband and I are still very active in mentoring a great group of young people at our church (that we refuse to share our age with because we want them to think we are as cool as they are).
So please share in this happy day with me by writing down your dreams and by one. Make a nice long list and muster up the faith that no matter how impossible your list may be...anything is possible!
I have no regrets... only satisfaction that I made the right choice by taking action.
Read something great!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So many great events are coming up with the "Who I Am" series. Please stay tuned to my blog for the latest & greatest! Saturday, October 17, 2009 everyone will be able to get a up-close & personal look at Zoey and 100% Real!
My goal is to promote self-esteem and diversity through my children's book. I really want any child to be able to pick up my books and be able to relate to the characters and to feel great about themselves. Is their a book that changed your life as a child? Share it with us!
We want to know...add a comment or email me at
Once you send it in you will be entered in a contest to receive "Who I Am" merchandise! I am so grateful for your support and for your love of my series. Can't wait to chat soon and let you know where I'll be next!
:) Read something great!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Many of you are familiar with Janelle, the main character of "Who I Am Not What I Am".
I would like to introduce you to Janelle's new friend and the main character of
"100% Real"...ZOEY! If you have been waiting patiently or impatiently...the wait is over!
Zoey will be unveiled this weekend at a private Launch party and after that you can feel free to purchase as many copies of "100% Real" as possible. Remember that pre-order's can be made on this website. This book is great for elementary school level children and under.
The illustrations in "100% Real" are bright and beautiful and the story is very compelling and enforces the issues of self-esteem and diversity. The "Who I Am" series is dedicated to providing quality stories that feature characters that are diverse and that face real-life issues that many children face today. I can't wait to share her story with you... Read something great!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Readers, I wanted to update you on an amazing experience that I had on Sunday. Autism Speaks is a great charitable organization that is driving change in many lives. Please take a peek at some of the pictures that we were able to take as we shared in this annual walk celebration. Remember that you can still donate even if you were not able to walk! Please email me if you would like to contribute at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A "Who I Am" Guest...Welcome Glitterful Felt Stories

I've been networking with amazing people making differences with literacy campaigns, fun stories and more.

This blog post will feature an amazing individual who is doing just that with her business.

Shelby Barone is the founder of Glitterful Felt Stories, An interactive introduction to literacy.

Check out this interview meant to Inspire & Inform...Enjoy Readers!

Shelby, what is the purpose of your business?

I make felt board stories that help get young children excited about reading!

They help make storytime interactive, creating a lifelong love for reading!

That's awesome-This sounds like a very creative idea to make reading more enjoyable and visual. How does it change the lives of youngsters?

It changes lives of many young children by getting them excited about reading! It also encourages children to use their imagination!

It sounds like it! Are you involved with any charitable programs?

My children and I volunteer our time reading to elder people at our local senior center

What an amazing example to your children and the community.

How did you get your start with GlitterfulFelt Stories?

I was a preschool teacher with a degree in Early Childhood education. Local teachers have always purchased my felt stories from me since I first became a teacher. After the birth of my 3rd child who was born with many life threatening conditions I found that I needed something to help with his medical bills...that was when I first started selling online.

Wow... Is this your sole business?


Shelby, how can others get involved with your business?

We will soon be launching sales respresentative positions!

Tell me about one of your best experiences in your current career?

When my son goes for his weekly transfusions at Children's Hospital he always brings in felt stories for his other friends and we let them take their stories home. At a following clinic appointment we ran into another mother that we had seen before and she told me that her son's felt stories brought so much joy to him during his past hospitalization. It brought tears to my eyes. :)

Do you visit schools, etc.?

Yes! I volunteer my time at my children's schools.

How long have you been in business?

Since 1995

Have you won any awards or honors?

Yes, my blog has won a couple of awards...that I was so grateful for!

Well thanks for sharing with my readership your amazing talent and heart for literacy.

I have a feeling that we will be seeing Shelby gain many more honors and awards in the near future.

If you would like to access some of Shelby's work and/or order please go to

Be creative with storytime & read something great!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


One thing in this life that you have control of are your thoughts. It is ironic but those very thoughts dictate your actions, your character and in essence your life. How often do you think of your dreams and goals? Many people are nervous about putting the effort into a vision let's start with the thinking cycle before we move on to practical application. How positive are your thoughts? Do you believe that you can reach your goals? I remember being a little girl and being told that I had a vivid imagination. In middle school a friend drew a "say no to drugs" poster. She felt pretty proud of herself and she should have because the poster was nice.

I asked her to show it to one of the teachers that started a school campaign and maybe we could have the drawings copied and made into replicas all around the school. I shared with her the fun and awareness that would come from making the theme into a skit or a featured assembly. She looked at me with her mouth open and simply said you think too big and you are blowing this out of proportion. We never did anything with her creation. It set in her notebook and no one was ever able to see the effort she put into the beautiful and descriptive drawing.

We did not tell our teacher...we simply did nothing. In retrospect...I still think it could have been great to at least try and present it and see how lives could change from a simple picture. But my friend had thoughts that held her back from exposing her creation to the rest of the school. She thought that it should not be a big deal. Obviously it was her drawing and her choice but this made me think about her words to me..."You think too big".
Can someone really think too big or is their faith too small? When I told a girl that I wanted to be an author she smiled at me and said "yeah right" the class laughed and told the teacher about their desires to obtain more traditional careers.
Did they laugh because they thought it was funny? No...I think they laughed because they could not envision "Tara Michener author of the Who I Am Series," Celebrating diversity and
self-esteem in kids.
This is not a hit towards the kids that I grew up with but something that I am asking you the reader to ponder in your own life. Do you encounter people on your job, at school or in your family or circle that don't believe in your dreams?
How does this change your thinking about yourself? If we choose to think big there is nothing that we cannot accomplish! Keep your thoughts positive and faithful and you will be surprised at the reward that follows.
Read something great!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall into Fun!

Readers, I have great news for you! Autumn in Michigan is filled with great experiences such as cider mills, beautiful scenery and my favorite item-my upcoming book tour! I am so excited to let you know that I will be at area book stores, schools, etc. promoting 100% Real the newest book in the "Who I Am" series very soon. This book features Janelle, the girl that everyone fell in love with in "Who I Am Not What I Am" and introduces the newest character Zoey!

Zoey and Janelle have a great friendship and are a great example to many kids of what true friendship means. If are under 18 and you want to enter my newest writing contest on what friendship means to sure to email me a 1 page story or essay on the subject of friendship and you can win "Who I Am" merchandise and be featured on my blog. The deadline is October 20th! Email entries at subject should be Friendship contest. I look forward to seeing you this Fall!

Read Something great!