Life, Literary Conference, Nonprofit Life, Parenting, writing

Resolution Who?

I heard July was the new January.

Back to resolutions!

It’s a new tomorrow!

Just another six months and maybe I’ll get into the swing of things!

It’s been a humid few months and Ramadan was a doozy. An incredible doozy with 4.75 becoming my new favorite number (more on that later).

Highlights to look forward to:

  • Book Cover Reveal!!!! #pieces
  • Muslim Women’s Literary Conference in Toronto!! #MWLC2018
  • Ribaat on the Road #ribaatsummer2018
  • and an extra special secret pending flight confirmations

Toodles, new friends and oldie goldies.

May this be a summer of consistency.

 

 

Book Reviews, Life, Parenting, writing

#ReadYourWorld

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is ALIVE and thriving today, January 27th!

I was thrilled to take part in this amazing phenomena of enjoying and promoting diversity in literature, especially children’s literature. Not only was I impressed with Drummer Girl’s ability to connect with readers and win literary awards back to back to back – but the books I read and reviewed as a Multicultural Book Day Reviewer were inspiring and so telling of the intense power children’s literature has on creating positive cultural change.

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Carole P. Roman is a Social Studies teacher turned children’s book author with an interesting series of books. With this series, readers are delightfully taken into her vantage point as an educator of humanities and culture and swept away onto a platform that can resonate with young readers. With each book, the gap between an unknown place and people becomes narrower until a relationship develops with the young protagonists.

As a person that comes from a diverse background and writer myself, I admit to being weary. Were these series of books going to be a flat attempt at looking into different cultures? How would they speak to me and my children who could relate authentically to another language, a separate set of customs, and draw light on a demographic that’s categorized as foreign?

 

Once I put down my hater-ade and reminded myself my social studies teachers were my absolutely favorite while I was in elementary school, I was pleasantly surprised.

The If You Were Me and Lived In… series crossed the globe and handled everyday topics from different cultures in a smooth fashion. I especially enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in Mars due to its imaginative lens into a world outside anyone’s reality.

Rocket-Bye was perfect in it’s rhythmic exploration of something adventurous toddlers could fall asleep to at bedtime. The language is easy for early readers as they find their way through the story and build their own foundation as readers.

Oh Susannah, It’s in the Bag will prompt a converastion with grade school children on how to handle stress and overwhelming feelings . With such a big life lesson straining between the pages, the explosion was comfortably wrapped into the calm closure and support of the Susannah’s parents arms.

A wide thank you to the 5th year of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day festivities found in the blogosphere and social media platforms. I’ll enjoy browsing more books to add to our personal library and reading lists.

 

(Drummer Girl Picture Credit: Thanks Mamanushka!)

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5 th year and was founded by Valarie
Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise
awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school
bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of
young readers, parents and educators.
MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. View our 2018 MCBD
Medallion Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-sponsors/mcbd2018-
medallion-level- sponsors/
View our 2018 MCBD Author Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-
sponsors/2018-author- sponsors/
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the
book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this
event. View our CoHosts: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and
crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12
books) that will be given away at the party!
http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party- great-conversations- fun-prizes-
chance-readyourworld- 1-27- 18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and
Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom- empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our
official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
Life, Parenting, writing

WRITING RESOLUTIONS FOR 2018

I have a number of resolutions for this new year. Last year flew by and with it, a myriad of intentions and plans that snuck away in the middle of the daily grind. I imagined happy writing places in great detail to ensure I was mentally prepared to conquer any obstacle that wiggled its way into my ability to write regularly. My work spaces were set up with all the necessary tools within reach. I prepped my coffees, teas, and treats for missions accomplished. I was even blessed to have a number of planners and journals to keep me motivated and aware of my writing goals. The preparations were foolproof.

And even so, I failed miserably.

I wasn’t able to keep up a regular writing cycle. I mused and fell asleep. I wrote in my head and let the thoughts drift away before my fingers hit a keyboard. The bubbling soups, dinging laundry machines, and alarms signaling pick ups and drop offs were the roadblocks that kept my writing (and reading) at bay.

This year, I want to aim for less pomp and circumstance. I’ll have the essential keyboard and idea on hand and give it a whirl before thinking too much. I can squeeze out 10 minutes of solid writing time before my brain cells snooze and my fingers begin to slur the typed words.

January 2018 comes as a fresh, unblemished year. My writing goals can be crafted and re-crafted; the intents and purposes shifting with the seasons (or pseudo-seasons, as we have in Houston).

I thoroughly enjoy the idea of stereotypical writing dreamscapes. A corner in a cozy cabin warmed by a crackling fire or a busy coffee shop with a cup of joe next to a laptop. The rustle of papers accentuated by the striking of a freshly sharpened pencil or a large desk with billowing curtains overlooking a vast sea. All these images (and then some) hold a firmly nostalgic place in my writing life.

What I have in reality, though, is starkly different.

Five kids don’t leave many pencils freshly sharpened. Coffee shops weren’t made for a trio of toddlers and laptops don’t remain unmarred by sticky hands or spills for long. Seas equal beaches, which equal grains of sand stuck to your eyelashes, and cabin fireplaces…well you can only imagine the allergies.

So this year my resolution is to write with what I got, not what I dream of having. To pull up the big girl pants and get to work!

Some goals I’m going to keep in mind and keep me chugging along on the daily, weekly, and monthly:

  1. Daily writing – fiction, nonfiction, blogging, or articles
  2. Weekly reading – the goal, again this year, will be 50 books
  3. Weekly review of writing topics – make sure I have topics on hand when I get to sitting down and writing
  4. Monthly assessment of writing – do more of what’s working and toss out what’s not

Do you need a daily or weekly team to help you stay motivated and keep working toward your writing goals this year? Join the Daybreak Press Writing Circle on WhatsApp as a virtual support system and keep company with those who are walking a similar path. Join in at bitly.com/daybreakwritingcircle

Originally published on the Daybreak Press Blog