There’s nothing quite like coming off of a writer’s conference…
The feeling of renewal, encouragement, refreshment. Reminders of why we writers write–combined with physical exhaustion and complete mental brain-drain from processing all the information and ideas.
I would like to thank Maranatha Christian Writers Conference for featuring me as a last-minute, full-in speaker, and I hope those I met with and spoke to received at least some encouragement, as I was encouraged. And always learning new things.
It was an honor and privilege, special thanks to Eddie Jones for not physically taking the microphone away from me. And to Sherry Hoppen, for trusting Eddie and taking a chance on me. I had a blast! To all the coordinators and staff and volunteers, a huge shout of appreciation! Thank you! And to Maranatha College and Bible Institute, I am deeply grateful for such accommodations.
Highly recommend this conference, the grounds, the professional speakers, the chance encounters with other writers who remind you of why you continue doing what you’re doing.
As a writer, I have been helped along the way, and I have long held a passion for helping other writers as I have been helped. I may have enough personal projects to fill a publishers pipeline for a year-if I only got them submitted-though in all I take great joy in knowing I have helped other writers along the way. We work in blood sweat and tears.
Luke 12:6-7 (New Living Translation) “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Inspired and shared during prayer meeting with The Father’s House OC
Parenting four children was not something I ever planned. And yet, after having children, my life is forever changed.
And each of my children amaze me in different ways-every single day! So different from each other, from me, from where I was at their age. Parenting is not for the weak! I have learned from my children and from my many mistakes, and I have learned concepts of patience, grace, and have been able to look upon my own parents with adult eyes.
I have watched each grow from an infant sleeping in my shoulder’s crook to adults entering the world. First the eldest son, then my second son, and now my eldest daughter.
Though I had not planned them, upon the boys leaving later, a story occurred to me. At different moments, different times, the analogies came to me, a dedication or “sending off letter” of sorts.
And yet, for you my oldest daughter, upon witnessing your immeasurable independence, you flew away with arms wide, a Phoenix prospering, and I watched… treasuring each moment in my heart.
Though I couldn’t come up with the wittiest, perfect analogy to describe you, but ALWAYS, in my mind, I said over and over, “Watch out world!”
Wherever your path leads, you are a leader and a force with a will of iron and resolve and knowledge which you have learned through hard work and harder experiences. You had become an independent woman to be reckoned with!
But with that constant Watch Out World I also felt a hole. A physical hole, like I envisioned the scene in Death Becomes You. My heart ached for you, for the desire to be near you; with pride in your independence and drive.
And then, upon your departure for your junior year of college, in the midst of a crazy world, I have come to understand that hole, and also the fact that it has been filled! A hole because I realized I was no longer needed.
Though now I realize the hole in my heart has been Being filled all along, filled, as I watch you grow and learn and go forth into this world—gentle as the lamb but bold as the wolf.
My heart is filled with joy at seeing you grow to be the independent, beautiful, knowledable, amazing artist and person—with a great sense of humor—keep Humor always!
And remember the teachings you have learned, and when you are older, they will lead you and guide you at every turn.
And when you do need me, I am thankful you call upon me for advice and help. I could ask for nothing more!
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” -Luke 4:18, quoted by Jesus from Book of Isaiah
“Elijah: Prayer Warrior,” illustration by Kyle Douglas Henry
I have always loved poetry, and I am excited to see a resurgence of titles for all ages. In case you missed my roundup of Poetry Recommendations for National Poetey Month 2020, see a sampling here, compiled with help from Laura Standel, blogger and blogger @AReadingWarrior.
Find these books and more at ChildressInk.com, and ChildressInk, Book Reviews on Facebook, not to mention the Girls’ Life Magazine “Must-Reads”, always looking to share children’s books of excellence, infant to YA to Adult Interest.
Simon B. Rhymin’, by Dwayne Reed, March 2021, Little, Brown & Co. Books For Young Readers, Ages: 8-12,9780316538978
April is National Poetry month, and in case you missed this roundup in ChildtessInk.com, here are a few highlights below. I have always loved poetry all the time, and I am excited to see more coming from publishers for all ages!
“America’s Favorite Rapping Teacher” brings his passion for rapping and teaching together is this utterly heartwarming and much-needed tale that reminds young readers to follow their dreams, all while finding and keeping the beat of their own path.
A humorous and heartwarming bounce-to-the-beat underdog story about a young rapper whose rhymes help bring his community together.
Eleven-year-old Simon Barnes dreams of becoming a world-famous rapper that everyone calls Notorious D.O.G. But for now, he’s just a Chicago fifth grader who’s small for his age and afraid to use his voice.
Simon prefers to lay low at school and at home, even though he’s constantly spitting rhymes in his head. But when his new teacher assigns the class an oral presentation on something that affects their community, Simon must face his fears.
With some help from an unexpected ally and his neighborhood crew, will Simon gain the confidence to rap his way to an A and prove that one kid can make a difference in his ‘hood?
Upbeat and heartfelt, Simon B. Rhymin’ is a sure-fire hit!
—Lincoln Peirce, New York Times bestselling creator,
Big Nate and Max & the Midknights
I love Simon. I love his heart, his rhythm and rhyme. We’ve been needing his voice for a long, long time.
—Liesl Shurtliff, New York Times bestselling author of Rump
An authentic voice, strong friendships and loads of laughs make rhymin’ Simon a winner. —Tom Watson, author of Stick Dog
A heartwarming tale that combines Black boy joy with community connection.
Dwayne Reed has succeeded in writing a story about a boy who is enjoying his life, exploring this theme without overtly coming across as teaching a lesson to readers.
—School Library Connection
A Fire Like You by Upile Chisala
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
March 10, 2020
Genre: Poetry, Adult,
Description: This is the third book of a collection of poetry that deals with themes of love, loss, and desire. Upile Chisala explores identity and what it means to be a black Malawian woman while reflecting on her life and promoting empowerment and self-love.