An Open Book

the-open-book-with-key

The other week a notification popped up on my WordPress account which announced I’d published my 100th blog! I was gobsmacked. I never thought I’d have so much to say. It felt good that I’d reached this milestone but it also poked at some mixed emotions I’d rather ignore.

Since I started writing for children so many people have mentioned that they too have a book inside them that they want to write. Some have been nudged into action; some have done nothing whilst others have built a list of excuses. At some point in my life I’ve done all three and continue to do so on some level but I’m convinced that all the emotions I encounter as I try to realise my ambitions are being felt everywhere in the world in some form or other. You may not have that hankering to be a writer but perhaps you’re setting up a new marshmallow making business or about to host the biggest beauty event you’ve ever attempted or dipping out of the corporate life to become a painter. Whatever it is for you, be prepared to be bombarded with emotions.

My writing journey is a continuous leap into the unknown full of surprises and disappointments, twists and turns. I’m already beginning to see that it’s not a simple question of getting from A to B, the path can branch off into many uncharted locations with little or no signposts to indicate which way is the right direction.

“Explore as many opportunities as you can” I hear the experts say.

“See where they take you” they encourage.

So when My Trending Stories contacted me with a blogging opportunity I decided to take the plunge and join this new community of wordaholics. It’s already exploding with mind-melting articles so I saw it as a chance for me to blog about the raw side of how it feels to try something new and follow your heart, the bits we don’t talk about so much, the feelings which go hand in hand with the bumpy path of turning aspiration into reality.

It’s not just a blog about my writing career, it’s a blog about human emotion, perseverance and anyone dealing with change and looking to try out something new. I’ve posted up a couple of blogs already so head over to An Open Book if you or anyone you know is in a similar position and looking for some ideas on how to magnify the good feelings and get beyond the bad feelings when trying to achieve their dream.

#BFCB #BooksForChildrenBlog

@lonerganbooks

Why Children’s Books Matter

The Infinite Playground

I love it when I find a blog which instantly throws my mind into chatter overload. Words, images and sounds start to explode. It gets noisy in there!

Middle Grade Strikes Back – #coverkidsbooks published one such blog concerning the limited media coverage assigned to children’s books and why we should be seeing more about children’s books in the press. One of the main reasons I started blogging about children’s book reviews, events and crafts was because as a parent I found I was struggling to find a variety of books for my children to try. I was always being exposed to the same limited selection which we’d either already read or they just didn’t appeal to my children. Of course since launching my blog, now I actively seek out alternative books and look in other places to find new ones but still it often takes some digging. Coupled with the recent disappointing news that the Guardian will soon no longer be adding to their online children’s books web page (aimed at children), I knew the only way to quieten my mind on why books are so important for children was to take on Middle Grade Strikes Back’s challenge and write a response. My little voice wanted to join the crowd to help it cheer louder and ideas started to leak out…

“Books are like people.”

I think books are like people. They each have their own personality and ultimately, it’s not what’s on the outside of a book that matters it’s what’s on the inside. The content of a book offers every child a paradox. On the one hand they have the opportunity to discover the world beyond their front door by absorbing the plentiful fresh ideas and opinions spread across the pages; whilst on the other hand they’re drawn into exploring the world within themselves through the questions and thoughts triggered every time they read a new book.

It was at this point as I wrote my blog that it became clear I needed something much sharper to express the enormity of the value books can add to children’s lives. I was looking for a perspective changer. Something children and their parents could relate to.

Why do children’s books matter so much?

So the best way I knew how to translate these feelings about why children’s books matter to me was to write this rhyme.

the-infinite-playground-2

 

A wider coverage of children’s books can only mean a greater choice is more readily available, making it easier to find the perfect fit for each child so they too have the opportunity to learn, experience and understand our world and who they are. I’d like to see not just the big names getting coverage but also new authors, niche authors, non-fiction authors and without doubt the illustrators as major contributors to many children’s book sales.

So thank you to Middle Grade Strikes Back for reminding me what drives me to keep persevering with writing children’s books and why I started blogging about children’s books in the first place.

 

Beautiful Blogger Award

The Beautiful Blogger Award

I often shy away from chain posts on Facebook or email as I’m not a big fan of making people feel guilty, fearful or inadequate if they don’t adhere to the chain post demands but being nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award was a wonderful surprise for me and brought a smile to my face on a particularly frustrating day. Blogging can be a lonely world, where you often have to just keep forging ahead and hoping your readers are enjoying your posts too. By participating in this award I see it as though I’m receiving a thumbs up and keep blogging! So a huge thank you to Marcia Strykowski for nominating and acknowledging me and my blog.

Despite the unintended delay with this post due to the interference of daily life, I love that I have the chance to pass on the recognition to some of the many deserving blogs out there and the time, effort and emotions each one has put into both their design and content.

Here are the rules once someone is nominated:

  1. Link to the blogger who took the time to nominate you.
  2. List seven random things about yourself.
  3. Nominate seven creative, beautiful bloggers.
  4. Notify the amazing people that you nominated for the award.

Here are seven random things about me:

  1. I never drink tea or coffee because I hate the taste but I love coffee flavoured sweets and cakes.
  2. My favourite colour is purple.
  3. My husband and I part-own a martial arts gym.
  4. When I was a toddler I got thrown out of playgroup for being too disruptive.
  5. I am a complete and utter chocoholic.
  6. I am a big Sci-Fi fan – Star Wars, X-files, Stargate and Avatar are my favourites.
  7. I don’t have a pet but I adore penguins.

Please visit and enjoy the seven following blogs I’ve nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award:

  1. Doodlemum
  2. @ShashaSelfLove
  3. Fly Softly My Love
  4. Making Them Readers
  5. craftapple
  6. cookingwithshy
  7. The Penguin Lady Blog

Please don’t feel you have to write a post to acknowledge this award if you don’t want to and there’s no time limit for those busy bloggers who do wish to do so in a few weeks time, but do enjoy some extra traffic to your blog. Happy blogging.