Kid Lit for HaitiLater today, I am jetting off to London for book research, but before I go, I want to tell you about a wonderful organization started by the father of a dear friend and fellow author, Kim Tomsic. Kim lives here in Boulder and is one of the most generous spirits I know, and she has worked long and hard to put together this fabulous auction for kidlit authors. Needless to say I didn’t hesitate to contribute a couple of items, and I hope you will all consider bidding and/or donating to this wonderful organization. I’ve included information about the charity and the auction verbatim from Kim since time is short. There is a LOT more information on her blog if you are interested. Happy bidding! 🙂

About the charity (from Kim)

My father started this charity after he helped build a community center in 2009/2010 in Pignon, Haiti (a community with a water poverty index even lower than that of Calcutta, India). After he built the community center, he continued volunteering in Haiti and couldn’t help but notice the lack of medical care—one hospital he visited had a total of four doctors for the entire city. It didn’t take long for my dad to have his big idea—to form a charity to provide scholarships for Haitian students who want to go to medical school to become a doctor or nurse.

The terms of the scholarships we provide for the Haitian students require the student to remain in and work in Haiti for a minimum of five years upon graduation. We hope this will be a step in helping Haiti become a self-sustaining nation. Our scholarship students were hand selected from a pool of bright individuals who had no funds for school, because they’d lost either one or both parent in the 2011 earthquake; or they come from a family with a monthly income of less than $30/month (if you’d like to learn more about Christila—a young lady who my Colorado student-volunteers support—click here)

What is Kid-Lit for Haiti?

Kid Lit for Haiti is an online auction found at www.kimscritiquingcorner.blogspot.com. The auction features talent donated by authors, illustrators, editors, art directors, and agents.  100% of the proceeds goes toward scholarships for the students supported by the 501c3 Nonprofit organization called The Friends of HaitiInc.

What kinds of things are included?

Manuscript critiques, Mentorships, Signed Books, Advanced reader copy books, Portfolio reviews, Book club set, Social Media Consultation, Membership in 12×12, and access to Julie’s online course: How to Make Money as a Writer.

Who is participating?

Melissa Manlove, Editor from Chronicle Children’s Books—manuscript critique (2000 words = up to five of your picture books critiqued!!!)

Jennifer Rofé, Agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA)—Five Page PB, MG or YA critique

Denise Vega,award-winning author/teacher/mentor— picture book critique

Denise Vega, awardwinning author/teacher/mentor—critique of first fifteen pages of YA or MG

Denise Vega, award-winning author/teacher/mentor—set of 8 books to use for book club or classroom

Denise Vega, award-winning author/teacher/mentor—set of four novels in hard coverMelissa Manlove, Editor from Chronicle Children’s Books—manuscript critique (2000 words = up to five of your picture books critiqued!!!)

Jennifer Rofé, Agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA)—Five Page PB, MG or YA critique

Denise Vega,award-winning author/teacher/mentor— picture book critique

Denise Vega, awardwinning author/teacher/mentor—critique of first fifteen pages of YA or MG

Denise Vega, award-winning author/teacher/mentor—set of 8 books to use for book club or classroom

Denise Vega, award-winning author/teacher/mentor—set of four novels in hard cover

Tricia Lawrence, Agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (EMLA)—Fifteen page MG or YA critique

Julie Hedlund,author/creator/social media guru—offering 2015 Silver membership in 12×12

Julie Hedlund,author/creator/social-media guru—course How to Make Money as a Writer

Kate Messner, award-winning writer/teacher/TED talk celeb—signed ARCs (advanced reader copy) ofboth of her Jan. 2015 publications

Dan Lazar, Agent at Writers House— critique of three chapters (up to fifty pages!)

Lindsay Eland, award-winning author, RA for the RMC SCBWI, mentor—offering critique

Stephen Mooser (!!!!),award-winning author and co-founder of the SCBWI—signed book

Stephen Mooser (!!!),award-winning author and co-founder of the SCBWI—critique

Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor winning author—offering two signed books

Matt de la Peña, award-winning author—offering two signed books

Giuseppe Castellano, Art Director at Penguin Random House, award winning illustrator, SCBWI mentor –Giuseppe is offering an illustrator’s portfolio review

Giuseppe Castellano, Art Director at Penguin Random House, award winning illustrator, SCBWI –he is also offering an illustrator mentorship in which he will work with an illustrator to bring one illustration from sketch to final–offering in-depth critiques at each stage (via email or on-line face-to-face platform.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi, critically acclaimed illustrator, and now author-illustrator–signed and doodled copy of any book she has illustrated PLUS social media platform critique

Six Separate Critiques on the first 10 pages of your PB, MG, or YA Manuscript

Help spread the word and WIN signed books in the process!

Please support #KidLitForHaiti by sharing on Twitter or Facebook  (you can find a share-icon button at the end of the blogpost.) Then place a comment at www.KimsCritiquingCorner.Blogspot.Com indicating where you shared–ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive some fabulous SIGNED Books!!! Help us spread the word!

How to bid:

See Kim’s blog

When does the auction open and close?

The auction is now open! Items have varying closing dates. Please check each item for respective closing date (ranging from December 11, 2014 to December 16, 2014).

Tell me more about the charity Kid-Lit for Haiti supports

Visit: www.kimscritiquingcorner.blogspot.com for the full details.

Categories: Children's Books, Picture Books, Publishing, Writing · Tags: , , ,

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Rocky coming home after 4 days in intensive care!

Rocky coming home after 4 days in intensive care!

As I said in this week’s Gratitude Sunday post, I am beyond grateful for EVERYONE who helped with Rocky’s care and recovery in the aftermath of his shooting. I am still overwhelmed by all of the love and support received from every corner of our lives.

One thing I didn’t mention is that many people offered to donate funds toward Rocky’s care and/or set up a website to take donations. Taking these kind people up on their offers was tempting because his expenses were, as you can imagine, significant and unplanned. Paying those expenses are, without a doubt, a hardship for us, but the truth is I DO have savings and I DO have a loving and supportive family to help me. Many others have neither. So once the dust settles and I get caught up a bit, I am going to do a fundraiser in support of the emergency funds at both Rocky’s family veterinary hospital and the emergency hospital where he spent most of his time following the shooting. These funds are used to care for animals when the owners truly cannot pay and/or stray animals are found suffering and brought in for care.

In the meantime, there IS a way you can help me and my family, and that is by supporting my work, as the financial impact of this tragedy goes beyond the veterinary costs and into lost income.

The month of January is when I earn the bulk of my income for the calendar year because registration for the 12 x 12 picture 12 x 12 new badgebook writing challenge is open and the greatest number of people sign up. I lost a full week of work during what should have been the busiest week of registration. So if you are a current member of 12 x 12 or a fellow writer who believes the challenge is worthwhile, sharing the news that registration is open and/or how much you are enjoying 12 x 12 on Facebook, Twitter, etc. would be fantastic. Here are several “Click to Tweets” that can be used on Twitter or cut and pasted into Facebook.

Calling all #picturebook writers! Join 500+ of your peers in the #12x challenge. Write, revise, critique, submit. http://ow.ly/t5BIy (Click to Tweet this)

So glad I joined @JulieFHedlund’s #12x challenge for #picturebook writers. Amazing community and resources! http://ow.ly/t5BIy #kidlit (Click to Tweet this)

Want to submit #picturebook mss to an #agent each month? Join #12x at the GOLD level. http://ow.ly/t5Cdf #publishing #kidlit (Click to Tweet this)

For Facebook: January 2014 is drawing to a close. If you haven’t joined the 12 x 12 picture book writing challenge yet, you’ll need to act quickly if you want to submit to an agent in February. Three different membership levels provide something for everyone. Soon registration will be closed until 2015. Hope to see you there! http://www.juliehedlund.com/registration-for-2014/

Available in bookstores everywhere!

Available in bookstores everywhere!

Another way you can support my work, if you have children in your lives who enjoy books, is by purchasing a copy of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS. If you have an iPad, you can get the interactive versions of the two apps featured in the book, TROOP and A SHIVER OF SHARKS (2014 Digital Book Award Winner!).

Another way to help is by leaving honest reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads if you already own a hard copy of TROOP. The book has very few ratings and reviews at the moment, both of which are needed to make it appear higher in searches.

Lastly, I am running a giveaway of TROOP on Goodreads right now to help spread the word about the book AND build an audience before my next book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN comes out in the fall. Simply sharing the giveaway on Twitter and/or Facebook would be appreciated.

Thank you all so much! If none of these options work for you, simply sending positive thoughts goes a long, long way. 🙂

Categories: 12 x 12, A Shiver of Sharks, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Agents, Apps, Charity, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, Dogs, Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Picture Books, Social Media, Volunteer/Community, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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This mug can be yours!!

Want to proclaim your participation in 12 x 12 while donating to a worthy cause?  Or perhaps you just want to contribute to a worthy cause and get some cool gear.  Either way, the 12 x 12 in 2012 Cafe Press store officially opened its “doors” today.

One hundred percent of the proceeds of sales in the 12 x 12 store will be donated to First Book, a nonprofit which has distributed more than 85 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.

From the First Book website:

  • First Book increases children’s interest in reading. Two separate studies found that “high interest in reading” triples among children who received new books from First Book.
  • First Book empowers teachers. 99.2 percent of programs that receive books from First Book are able to increase their literacy efforts and offer new curriculum activities, including parent engagement programs.
  • First Book improves literacy in the home. With First Book’s resources, families are able to create home libraries for the first time. More than 70 percent of children who received books through First Book reported increased reading at home.
  • First Book engages a growing number of programs. More than 25,000 programs are registered with First Book and hundreds more join each week.
  • First Book is mission-driven and highly efficient. 95 cents of every dollar donated to First Book supports our efforts to provide new books to children in need.
Head on over to the store and get the goods!
Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Charity, Children's Books, Picture Book Month · Tags: , , , , , , ,

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What's on YOUR list?

ETA: As soon as I published this post, I immediately thought of more things I want to do and places I want to see. Rather than keeping track of them elsewhere, I will add them to the lists here.  I will also cross them off when I’ve completed them (except for the last list, because most of those things are ongoing rather than one-time).

For my 300th post, I decided to write a Bucket List – things I want to do before I die.  I divided the list into three (loose) categories of 100 each:  1) Places I Want to Visit, 2) Things I Want to Do (many of which include specific places), and 3) Ways I Want to Make a Difference in the World.

Making the first list was a snap.  I did not allow myself to include places I’ve already visited but want to see again, and even so, I had no trouble choosing 100 places.  I could never travel enough or see enough of the world.  I would go to every last corner of the earth of I could.  So I guess it’s good that I now have priorities!

The second list was more difficult.  I really had to stretch myself and give myself permission to dream big without allowing the censor to whisper, “Oh that’s not possible!”

The third list was by far the most difficult.  I always think in the nebulous terms of, “I want to make a difference,” but I never specify HOW exactly.  Now that I’ve reached 40, I realize it’s time I start not only thinking about it but doing some things.  For that reason, this was a very good exercise for me.  I think we should all think about not just what we want to do for ourselves but what mark we want to leave on the world.

One final comment: I did not include things that would require others to make specific choices.  For instance, I could easily have put, ‘See my kids get married’ or ‘Watch Michigan win a National Championship Game live’, but that would require outcomes I have no control over.  So I kept the list tightly focused on things that I would be capable (theoretically) of doing without being dependent on the decisions or actions of others.

Places to Visit

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

  1. Kenya – Masai Mara
  2. Egypt – Cairo, Pyramids, Red Sea, Nile
  3. Morocco – Marrakech, Fez, Tangier, Sahara
  4. South Africa
  5. Tanzania/Mt. Kilamanjaro
  6. Mauritius
  7. Namibia – Etosha National Park, Skeleton Coast
  8. Zimbabwe
  9. Bwindi National Park, Uganda
  10. Seychelles
  11. Australia

    Sydney Harbor

  12. New Zealand
  13. Madagascar
  14. Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara
  15. Thailand
  16. Vietnam
  17. Indonesia/Bali
  18. China – Shanghai, Beijing, Great Wall
  19. Tibet
  20. Nepal
  21. Bhutan
  22. The Taj Mahal, India
  23. Mumbai, India
  24. The ghats of Varanasi, India
  25. Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur
  26. Windsor Castle, England
  27. Cornwall, England
  28. The Lake District, England
  29. Scottish Highlands
  30. Ireland
  31. Crete, Greece
  32. Santorini, Greece
  33. Zakinthos, Greece

    Zakynthos, Greece

  34. Rhodes, Greece
  35. Symi, Greece
  36. Barcelona, Spain
  37. Sevilla, Spain
  38. Valencia, Spain
  39. Cordoba & Granada, Spain
  40. Provence, France
  41. Carcassone, France
  42. Normandy, France
  43. Amalfi Coast, Italy
  44. Bologna, Italy, March 2012
  45. Siena, Italy
  46. Tuscan countryside, Italy
  47. Sicily, Italy
  48. Lake Garda, Italy
  49. Salzburg, Austria
  50. Vienna, Austria
  51. Berlin, Germany
  52. Black Forest, Germany
  53. Swiss Alps
  54. Lucerne, Switzerland
  55. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  56. Croatia
  57. Budapest, Hungary
  58. St. Petersburg, Russia
  59. Sweden
  60. Norway

    Norway Fjord

  61. Iceland
  62. Hebrides Islands
  63. Rio de Janeiro
  64. Amazon Rainforest
  65. Argentina – Buenos Aires
  66. Chile
  67. Peru
  68. Macchu Picchu
  69. Patagonia – Argentina and Chile
  70. Alaska
  71. Many Glacier Lodge – Glacier National Park
  72. Charleston, South Carolina
  73. Savannah, Georgia
  74. Cape Cod, Massachussets
  75. New Hampshire in the autumn
  76. Moab, Utah
  77. Monument Valley, Utah
  78. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
  79. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
  80. Florida Everglades
  81. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
  82. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
  83. Hawaii – Big Island, Maui, Kauai
  84. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  85. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  86. Finger Lakes Region, New York
  87. Badlands, South Dakota

    South Dakota Badlands

  88. Yosemite National Park, California
  89. Santa Barbara, California
  90. Quebec City, Canada
  91. Niagara Falls, Canada
  92. Banff National Park, Canada
  93. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  94. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
  95. Baja California, Mexico
  96. Chiapas, Mexico
  97. Nicaragua
  98. Belize
  99. St. Lucia
  100. St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  101. Basque Region of Spain
  102. Cuba

Things I Want to Do

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller

  1. Publish many books for children
  2. Write and publish travel articles
  3. Write and publish personal essays
  4. Make The New York Times Bestseller list
  5. Write a novel (at least one). I almost don’t even care if I ever publish one.  I just want to write one.
  6. Write down my father’s “Greatest Hits” (i.e. his best stories)
  7. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  8. Dive in the Red Sea, Egypt
  9. Dive in Palau, Micronesia
  10. Camel-trek in the Sinai desert
  11. Go cage diving to see Great White Sharks
  12. Dive in a kelp forest
  13. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu during a full moon
  14. Ride in a hot air balloon
  15. Take my kids to Disney World
  16. See a wolf in the wild
  17. Go to the Rose Bowl when Michigan is playing
  18. Ski Jackson Hole
  19. Ski at every resort in Colorado
  20. Ski the Dolomites in Italy
  21. Ski the Alps
  22. Learn to ski moguls like an expert
  23. Learn to ski in powder like an expert
  24. Go heli-skiing
  25. Take a photography course
  26. Stand on the field at The Big House
  27. Perfect Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand) pose in yoga
  28. Take an Italian language immersion class in Italy
  29. Take a flamenco dancing class in Spain
  30. Learn to speak fluent Italian
  31. Read The Divine Comedy in Italian
  32. Take surfing lessons
  33. Touch an elephant

    Photo from my brother

  34. Swim with dolphins
  35. Attend an Eckhart Tolle retreat
  36. Meet the Dalai Lama
  37. Attend an Olympic Games
  38. Spend Hogmanay in Edinburgh
  39. Spend a few nights on The Royal Scotsman
  40. Compete in a “mini” triathlon
  41. Run another half marathon
  42. Oktoberfest in Munich
  43. Take cooking classes in Italy and France
  44. Do wine-tasting tours in Italy and France
  45. Wine-tasting tour in South Africa
  46. See the Northern Lights
  47. Successfully grow broccoli in my garden
  48. Learn how to build an Excel spreadsheet
  49. Perform in a play
  50. Become a writing coach/teacher
  51. Attend at least one World Cup game
  52. Earn a living from writing and writing-related work
  53. See a whale in the wild
  54. Take my daughter to Rancho la Puerta
  55. Attend the Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park
  56. Do yoga in India
  57. Make meditation a regular practice in my life
  58. Write and e-publish a travel memoir
  59. Finally read David Copperfield to the end
  60. Learn Colorado history
  61. Polar Bear safari in Cape Churchill, Canada
  62. Bake a cake at altitude that doesn’t sink in the middle
  63. Go Deep Sea fishing
  64. See an opera at La Scala in Milan
  65. Carnavale in Venice
  66. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
  67. Stand on the North Pole

    Absolut bar at the Ice Hotel

  68. Stay at the Ice Hotel in Sweden
  69. Take my kids to see Les Mis
  70. Sleep under the stars in the Sahara desert
  71. Take a helicopter ride to see a live volcano
  72. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  73. Bush-walking in Seven Spirit Bay, Australia
  74. Hike in Tasmania, Australia
  75. Hike The Grand Traverse and Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
  76. Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora
  77. See the Iditarod – Anchorage, Alaska
  78. Kayak in The Inside Passage and Glacier Bay, Alaska
  79. Ride the Durango and Silverton steam train
  80. Swim with Manatees in Florida
  81. Attend the Highlights Foundation Writer’s Workshop at Chautauqua
  82. Go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras
  83. Go to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM
  84. Go back to Camogli, Italy for the Sagra del Pesce
  85. Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula
  86. Learn to play poker
  87. Ride a zipline in the jungle
  88. Put all of our home movies together so we can watch them on TV
  89. Digitize all of my “paper” photos
  90. Organize all photos into digital albums
  91. Complete all twelve weeks of The Artist’s Way
  92. Go on a yoga/meditation retreat
  93. Bag one of Colorado’s “Fourteeners.” Preferably Long’s Peak, which I can see from my front window
  94. Write poetry more often – not for publication, just for myself
  95. Climb a 50 ft. indoor rock wall (which my daughter can do!)

    la Tomatina - Bunol Spain

  96. Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway
  97. See a meteor shower
  98. See every Michelangelo sculpture
  99. Participate in la Tomatina – Tomato fight!
  100. Learn more about my family history/geneology
  101. Attend a local “festa” in rural Italy
  102. See a Harp Seal in the wild

Ways I Want to Make a Difference

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

  1. Raise responsible, independent, compassionate children. If I fail at this, nothing else will matter.
  2. Ensure my children receive a good education so they can contribute to the world.
  3. Love my children boundlessly
  4. Teach my kids to be appreciative
  5. Encourage the kids in their natural sense of wonder
  6. Expose my kids to as many experiences in the natural world as possible
  7. Expose my kids to as many cultures as possible
  8. Read as many books to my kids as possible
  9. Look my kids in the eyes when I speak with them
  10. Be as good of a mother to my kids as my mother was to me
  11. Donate a portion of my personal proceeds from the sales of my (future) books to benefit related charities
  12. Make an annual donation of food and blankets to the Humane Society
  13. Adopt another dog or two (eventually – Rocky is enough for now!)
  14. Continue teaching critical thinking skills via the Junior Great Books program
  15. Help bring healthy, whole food to all school cafeterias by supporting the School Food Project and Food, Family, Farming foundation
  16. Donate annually to National Public Radio and PBS
  17. Donate annually to National Resources Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife
  18. Donate annually to The Sierra Club
  19. Shop for gifts through organizations such as Unicef and National Wildlife Federation
  20. Advocate sexual and reproductive health education and rights for women around the world – through donations and Kiva lending
  21. Continue making micro-loans through Kiva
  22. Vote in every election
  23. Take Volunteer Vacations
  24. Teach creative writing to children
  25. Teach writing workshops for adults
  26. Mentor new writers
  27. Lead writing retreats that inspire women to give time to their creativity
  28. Create a scholarship for these retreats
  29. Help others live creative lives with passion
  30. Support small, family-run businesses as much as possible
  31. Grow vegetables in my garden every year
  32. Plant trees in my yard and in the community
  33. Each time I shop, buy one item for donation and put it in a box.  When the box is full, take it in to the food bank.
  34. Buy organic food as much as possible
  35. Shop at farmer’s markets more often
  36. Continue serving on the PTO at my kids’ school
  37. Support fellow writers by buying their books
  38. Be “responsible for the energy I bring” – from Jill Bolte Taylor – more info here
  39. Be a better listener
  40. Practice patience
  41. Do a better job of keeping in touch with people who are important to me
  42. Volunteer to spend time with an elderly person
  43. Practice living in the present moment so I can bring my full attention to the people I am with/what I am doing.
  44. Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge for charity
  45. Complete A Course in Miracles
  46. Continue my Gratitude Sunday posts
  47. Consistently donate clothing, toys and other items that we no longer use
  48. Sponsor families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas every year
  49. Find ways to volunteer with my kids
  50. Write letters to authorities advocating my views on issues that are important to me
  51. Help Em sell Girl Scout cookies
  52. Pick up litter at every opportunity
  53. Participate in 5K, 10K and other runs that benefit charity
  54. Donate my talents (writing critiques, editing, etc.) to online auctions to benefit charity
  55. Make eye contact with people and smile
  56. Whenever possible, say people’s names out loud to them
  57. Remember to say “thank you” for each and every kindness and courtesy
  58. Use my blog to create awareness of important issues
  59. Read banned books and make sure my kids read banned books
  60. Support the arts by providing funding for Kickstarter projects
  61. Use my public speaking skills to motivate people
  62. Recycle and compost as much as we can
  63. Solar power our home
  64. Use only non-toxic cleaning products
  65. Always take re-usable bags when I go shopping
  66. Tip well for good service
  67. Give compliments often
  68. Do nice things for strangers for no reason
  69. Promote the good work of others
  70. Don’t ignore people who are suffering – instead reach out to them
  71. Conserve energy – turn off unused lights, unplug appliances, etc.
  72. Write more Thank You notes
  73. Get my Christmas cards out every year
  74. Participate in Crayons to Calculators each year
  75. Participate in Turn Off the T.V. Week each year
  76. Start collecting Box Tops for education
  77. Write notes to authors of books I love letting them know
  78. Volunteer in a disaster recovery effort
  79. Keep the computer turned off from the time my kids come home from school until they go to bed
  80. Once a month, have a family game night
  81. Read out loud to the kids as a family activity more often
  82. Treat my family with respect
  83. Do not buy meat from factory farms
  84. Give without expecting anything in return
  85. Observe the beauty in the world aloud to others
  86. Practice forgiveness – work on forgiving those who have hurt me
  87. Invite a neighbor over for a cocktail
  88. Talk to my aunts and uncle so I can record stories of their childhood
  89. Cook meals for friends more often
  90. Teach the kids how to cook traditional family recipes
  91. Volunteer in a women’s shelter
  92. Volunteer, at least once, among the very poor
  93. Volunteer to promote literacy among both children and adults
  94. Read, with an open mind, articles and books written by people whose views are very different from my own
  95. Value experiences over stuff and teach my kids to do the same
  96. Help educate others about the importance of wild predators in the food chain
  97. Write more book reviews to support books (and authors) I love
  98. Learn about Feng Shui so I can apply some of it to my house
  99. Do a better job of remembering the birthdays of friends and family members and to actually send cards
  100. Advocate for art and physical education in public schools

Do you have a Bucket List?  If not, do you want to make one?  Here are some additional resources to get you started:

43 Things

Barefoot List

Creating a Bucket List

Categories: Authors, Charity, Children's Books, College Football, Cooking, Creativity, Dogs, ebooks, Entertaining, Family, Friendship, Garden, Goals, Gratitude Sunday, Holidays, Parenting, Picture Books, Poetry, Publishing, Self Publishing, Skiing, Social Media, Spirituality, Travel, Travel Writing, Volunteer/Community, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Today I’m combining two blogging events – Book or Treat and Blog Action Day 2010.

Book or Treat is an annual fundraiser for Unicef, designed to bring book lovers together to blog for the cause.  Blog Action Day “is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action.” The topic for Blog Action Day this year is: water.  That topic dovetails nicely with Unicef, whose mission is to bring the number of children who die as a result of preventable causes to zero.  Obviously, giving children access to clean drinking water is imperative for preventing illness, dehydration and death.  In addition to providing health care and immunizations to children, Unicef places a huge emphasis on providing children with safe water to drink.

Here are some of the statistics on the impact of clean water, provided on the Blog Action Day website:

  • Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
  • 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old.
  • The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.
  • In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection.
  • Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families.

So this October, please consider making a donation through Book or Treat to Unicef.  No amount is too small!  You can either click on the logo or the embedded link to get there.  You can also join the blog party and write a post of your own.

Now, on to the fun Halloween stuff, which is what the Book or Treat blog party is meant to focus on.  I decided to reminisce about costumes past.  Now that I’m a mother, it always amazes me how huge Halloween is now.  It goes on for the entire month of October with countless numbers of themed events, parties, etc.  By the time it’s over, I almost feel as worn out as I do at the end of the Christmas season.

When I was a kid, my mom used to take me to the Benjamin Franklin on Main Street about a week before Halloween to buy my plastic costume – the ones with the paper painted masks with the flimsy elastic band in the back that almost always broke before the end of the night.  Also, the mouth holes were too small, which never failed to make my face sweat (and then freeze because it was usually quite cold on Halloween night in Northern Michigan).  The only specific character I remember dressing up as from those years was Bugs Bunny.

A couple of other memorable costumes were a monster mask my brother made for me out of an empty milk carton and the year I dressed up as a “Fudgie.”  A Fudgie is a tourist in Northern Michigan, so named to describe all the people who come up there to buy the famous Mackinac Island fudge (for more on Mackinac Island and its fudge, see this post).  I wore polyester plaid pants, rolled up of course, a mis-matched shirt and a camera hanging around my neck.

What about you?  Do you have any particular costumes from your childhood you remember?

Categories: Charity, Holidays · Tags: , , , , , ,

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