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(from Cheryl Rainfield: Avid Reader, Teen Fiction Writer, and Book-a-holic. Focus on Children & Teen Books)

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Posts reviews of picture books and teen fiction; suggests useful book sites, software, and book-related products; some news about children's books, and more.
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1. Be gentle with yourself. You deserve your love and compassion.

be-gentle-20141217_161804-450Be gentle with yourself. You deserve your love and compassion.

If you’re a perfectionist, or you grew up in a household with a stern, critical, or abusive parent or caretaker, on had a partner who was, then you may struggle–like I have–with being kind and gentle to yourself. You may be harsh to yourself, even cruel. But you deserve your love and compassion; you really do! And when you’re loving with yourself, when you give yourself the same compassion you would a friend, you’ll find that you’re happier and things don’t seem as hard. So try to be gentle with yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard. Think of yourself the way you would a friend. Figure out what you need to feel happier or more at ease, and then allow yourself that.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Be gentle with yourself. You deserve your love and compassion. as of 12/17/2014 5:38:00 PM
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2. You deserve to be loved and cherished–by others and by yourself.

deserve-loved-20141216_105838-450
You deserve to be loved and cherished–by others and by yourself. I hope you’re treated with love–by your friends and family, by people around you, and by yourself. It’s important both how others treat us, and how we treat ourselves. Keep taking in the love and compassion, and rejecting any ill treatment. You only deserve good things.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on You deserve to be loved and cherished–by others and by yourself. as of 12/16/2014 12:24:00 PM
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3. Follow your dreams. You are worth believing in.

follow-dreams-20141215_141018-450Follow your dreams. You are worth believing in. Whatever it is you want and need to do–then do that. You matter, and your dreams are important. It may take a while to get your dream, so don’t give up. Keep reminding yourself of why you want it, and keep moving forward. It will come.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Follow your dreams. You are worth believing in. as of 12/15/2014 2:48:00 PM
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4. Notice the love around you. Take it in.

notice-love-20141213_105126-450Notice the love around you. Take it in. You may have more love around you than you know. I get love from friends and from my little dog Petal, and they all make up my chosen family. I’ve also experienced kindness, acceptance, and compassion from strangers, acquaintances, and friends, and to me those are all forms of love.

I didn’t grow up with love. My parents abused and tortured me, and so did many other family members and their friends. I was bullied as a child and teen. I was taught to hate myself. So it became hard for me to trust that people could actually like me, never mind love me. But people (and animals) do. And I know they do for you, too.

This time of year especially, or any time that is hard for you, it’s important to take in the love, to not let it bounce off your defenses or reject it.

Notice the love, kindness, and compassion around you. Take it in and really embrace it. You deserve that love, and you’ll feel happier taking it in.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Notice the love around you. Take it in. as of 12/14/2014 12:00:00 PM
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5. Love and accept your body. You’re beautiful as you are.

love-body-20141213_102205-450Love and accept your body. You’re beautiful as you are.

We’re all given constant messages from advertisements and the media that we’re not good enough as we are, that we need to fix or change something about ourselves. But that’s just done to create insecurity so companies can sell products and services, and also sometimes by society to keep some people in power. It’s not based on actual beauty.

You don’t need to change anything; you are beautiful as you are. Truly! Soul shines out of people’s eyes and faces–true beauty–and that’s what draws me to someone. I also see beauty in each of us. If you look at people with an artist’s eye, as well as a compassionate or soul eye, you’ll see the beauty, too. I hope you can look at yourself that way and realize you’re beautiful just as you are.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

2 Comments on Love and accept your body. You’re beautiful as you are., last added: 12/13/2014
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6. Recognize your progress and triumphs. Celebrate them!

recognize-triumphs-20141212_110849-450Recognize your progress and triumphs. Celebrate them!

Sometimes we forget to take time to see how far we’ve come, or to celebrate our progress. We’re focused on the next goal. But it’s important to take time to appreciate our successes and progress. I hope you see how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished, and you celebrate it. Celebrate yourself.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Recognize your progress and triumphs. Celebrate them! as of 12/12/2014 12:54:00 PM
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7. Take time to do what makes you feel good or happy. Remember to have fun. :)

take-time-feel-good-20141211_114242-450Take the time to do what makes you feel good or happy. Remember to have fun. :) It’s so important to do things we enjoy, that give us pleasure. So many of us work so hard, we forget about happiness, and joy, and little things that can make us happy we’re here. For me it can be blowing bubbles, hugging a friend, playing with my little dog Petal, reading a book. Noticing a beautiful sunrise, looking at something that feels beautiful, eating chocolate. :) Really being in the moment and enjoying it. Whatever that is for you, whatever brings you good feeling, I hope you keep taking time to do it.

I think it can be especially hard to remember to do feel-good things when you’re going through something stressful, or a crisis, or a hard time of year. But then it’s all the more important to do those things. So keep doing things that remind yourself you’re glad to be here, or that give you some enjoyment, or that help you connect with others. I wish you joy.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Take time to do what makes you feel good or happy. Remember to have fun. :) as of 12/11/2014 12:40:00 PM
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8. You are lovable. And you are loved.

you-are-loved-20141210_095553-450You are lovable. Just be being here, by existing in this world, you are lovable. And you are loved.

Take that in for a minute. Sit with it. Believe it. Because it’s true. Even if you feel like no one around you loves you or appreciates you, there are people who do; sometimes we just can’t see it. Don’t forget your animal friends as well; they give us unconditional love. :)

If you were abused or had critical parents, if you’ve experienced bullying or homophobia or racism or hatred directed at you, it may be hard to believe or take in, but it’s important to, if you can. You are lovable, you deserve love and good treatment, and you are loved. I’m glad you’re here. And I hope you are, too.

So let this be my hug to you, even if we never meet in person. I wrap my arms around you tightly, and I say again: “You are loved.”


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on You are lovable. And you are loved. as of 12/10/2014 12:48:00 PM
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9. Reach out to the people who love you.

reach-out-20141209_085023-450Reach out to the people who love you. The people you love. They want to hear from you. Whether you’re in a good space or going through a hard time, your friends and others you love want to be there for you and with you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and let them know what’s going on. Think about it in reverse: do you want to hear when someone you love has something happy or something painful going on in their life? Of course you do! So, they do, too.

Keep reaching out to the people who care about you. It’s especially important when you’re going through a hard time. If you can, don’t let yourself get isolated. Keep those connections strong. Because human connection, those bonds we make, help us want to be alive and celebrate life.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Reach out to the people who love you. as of 1/1/1900
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10. Allow yourself to take in the good things people say about you–and know they are true.

take-in-good-20141207_185513-450
Allow yourself to take in the good things people say about you–and know they are true.

If you’re a survivor of abuse or if you had critical parents, you may struggle with believing in the good in you, and you may dismiss compliments or positive things others say about you. I do. But when people say good things about you, they mean it, and it’s important to allow the good things in, to really appreciate all the good you do.

One thing that may help you with this is to repeat to yourself the good things other people have said to you. Or write them out (or ask the person to), and then read them over again.

06-take-in-good--you-400


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

2 Comments on Allow yourself to take in the good things people say about you–and know they are true., last added: 12/9/2014
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11. You matter.

you-matter-best-20141207_094503(0)You matter. You really do. You might not see right now how many lives you touch–just by a kind word, a smile, listening to friend or loving someone, telling someone something they need to hear right at that moment–but you matter. Everything you do and say affects someone, and you have a place in this world.

I hope you can treat yourself with the same kindness, compassion, and love that you do your friends and other loved ones. Hope you realize that you matter, and it’s good you’re here.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on You matter. as of 12/7/2014 10:59:00 AM
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12. You are beautiful–inside and out.

you-are-beautiful-20141203_174012-450You are beautiful–inside and out. We are given so many messages by the media about how we should look, messages that are meant to make us insecure about our bodies so we will buy their products. Messages that focus on outer beauty and appearance. And sometimes family or well-meaning friends can add to our insecurities. But you are beautiful just as you are. I see it. I know it.

True beauty for me shines out in people’s eyes, through our souls, through the way we talk and act and interact with people. What makes me want to be around someone and spend time with them is their inner beauty. It’s whether they’re kind and compassionate, whether they are loving and thoughtful. Those are the kinds of things that make me want to spend time with someone and make me glad to see them. And I think inner beauty shows in our bodies–most especially in our eyes and faces. Who we are and how we are matters.

If you can stand back and look at yourself the way a friend or family member who dearly loves you see you, I think you will see that you ARE beautiful. Outside and in. If you struggle with that, try telling yourself you’re beautiful while looking yourself in the mirror. Write yourself a note and tell it to yourself over and over; the messages we tell ourselves matter and go in there. And believe me when I say: You are beautiful, inside and out.

07-beautiful-inside--you-450-right

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13. If you’re having a hard time, remember: It *will* get better.

hard-time-will-get-better-20141201_173159-450If you’re having a hard time, remember: it *will* get better. It usually doesn’t feel like it when you’re having a hard time, especially if you’re in crisis, or really triggered or scared or in deep pain, but you will move through it, and things will get lighter, easier, and better again. So if you’re having a rough time, try to find ways to keep breathing through it, and try to hold on to knowing that it WILL get better. You just have to get through the rough period.

It can help to use positive distraction–to read a good book, watch a movie, talk with a friend, go for a walk and notice the beauty around you. It can help to talk to a friend, loved one, or therapist and be heard. Hugs and safe touch can also help. So does getting out the emotion in safe ways–writing, drawing, dancing, screaming into a pillow, going for a run. It can help to read (and re-read) positive messages from people you care about, and to think about good times you’ve had. And remember that there are always crisis lines if you need them–through phone, email, and text, such as RAINN.

Sometimes you can change/lighten your mood and help you feel good again by using these techniques, and sometimes it may just help you through. I hope you use these, and any other safe ways that don’t hurt you.

Please keep yourself safe, treat yourself gently, and keep holding on to the belief that things will get better–because they will.

If you need to, please read my posts Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself

, Reasons Not To Kill Yourself, or contact one of the crisis lines on this list (most respond to calls, text, and email.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

2 Comments on If you’re having a hard time, remember: It *will* get better., last added: 12/5/2014
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14. Trust yourself. You know what you need.

trust-yourself-20141201_165807-450Trust yourself. You know what you need. We’re given constant messages from the media about what we need and how we should be. But we are each individuals, influenced by our past experiences–and we are not all the same. I’m queer. You might not be. I need to write, to have a voice through my writing, and to reach others. Maybe you have a voice in a different way. I need to talk about traumatic or painful things with trusted friends and a therapist–but sometimes I need time to think about them first. I also need time for fun, play, and hugs. Maybe you’re different. I love time to myself to read. Maybe you don’t. I need time with friends, but I also need quiet time. Figure out what it is you need, and follow that. Listen inside, and your heart will tell you what you need–to be happy, to be safe, to take care of yourself.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Trust yourself. You know what you need. as of 12/4/2014 11:19:00 AM
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15. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a dear friend.

be-kind-to-you-20141201_164542-450Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a dear friend.

If you’re an abuse or trauma survivor like me, or you were bullied or had someone treat you badly, or you have low self-esteem, you may struggle with being kind to yourself. You may even hate yourself. But you don’t deserve your hate or ill treatment, ever. You DO deserve kindness and compassion. And you are the one who is with you every minute of every day. How you treat yourself impacts how you feel. So I hope you treat yourself kindly.

If you have a hard time being kind to yourself, try treating yourself the way you would a dear friend. Think of what you’d say to this friend you love if they were in the same situation, and talk that way to yourself.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a dear friend. as of 12/3/2014 10:35:00 AM
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16. Take good, gentle care of yourself. You deserve your tenderness.

take-good-care-20141201_162949-450Take good, gentle care of yourself. You deserve your tenderness. It’s so easy to absorb negative messages from others–our parents, the media, people around us. So easy to work so hard we forget to find joy or take a moment to breathe. Or to forget sometimes that we might need some time alone, or time to read a book, look at the clouds, savor a special food and really enjoy it.

This is your life. You deserve to take gentle care of yourself, to treat yourself with kindness, tenderness, and compassion–the way you would a friend. I hope you’re gentle with yourself, and keep finding ways to take good care of you.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on Take good, gentle care of yourself. You deserve your tenderness. as of 12/2/2014 10:03:00 AM
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17. You are not alone. You will find others who understand.

you-are-not-alone-20141201_143640-450Know this: You are not alone. No matter what it is you’ve been through, no matter what you feel or think–whether you’re queer, are a sexual abuse or trauma survivor, have used self-harm to cope, experienced sexism or racism or homophobia, been bullied, love your best friend and they don’t know it, struggled with fitting in or feeling loved–you are NOT alone. Other people have gone through the same thing.

I think when we feel alone in something, it makes our pain so much stronger, so I want you to know this: you are not alone, and other people really do get it. And if you don’t have people around you right now who feel or think the same way or who have been through similar things–hang in there. You will find them. Just keep looking. Keep your heart open. And don’t give up.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

0 Comments on You are not alone. You will find others who understand. as of 12/1/2014 5:36:00 PM
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18. If you’re writing for #NaNoWriMo (or any time) keep going!

writing-20141124_111949

If you’re writing a novel, you have something you want–or maybe need–to say. Something that’s important to you. Keep going! Keep writing, listening to your heart and letting the words flow from your heart to your fingertips, and out into your pen or your keyboard.

When you’re writing a first draft (or editing a second or fifth or tenth draft), there’s often a point about mid-way or three-quarters of the way through when you start to feel exhaustion from working so hard, or you may even start doubting your work. But don’t listen to that. You have something you need to say. Something that will matter to other people. So keep writing. Keep letting the words spill out onto the page. Someday, that novel may reach other people and change their lives for the better. Someday, your words may help others know that they’re not alone, or things can get better, or they may just help someone else escape from something painful in their life for a while and gain a little good feeling.

So keep going. Don’t stop now. You can do it!

Love from a fellow book lover and writer.

PS

This was my first year taking part in #NaNoWriMo (though I’ve written and published 6 books), and I LOVED it.

I love writing quickly. I always write first drafts of my books quickly; I think it keeps me firmly in my writing mode, where I’m deeply connected to my creativity, inner voice, and what I need to say, rather than my editor mode, where I’m looking at the language and content and picking it apart to make it stronger and better. I think first drafts are meant to be written quickly, so we stay in the hearts and minds of our characters and the writing. At least, that’s what works best for me.

So whether you normally write quickly or not, #NaNoWriMo may be the perfect time to jump into writing flat-out fast, getting all the words out on the page before the editor in your head chimes in. The perfect time to keep the words flowing forward.

Write what you want, what you need. Enjoy it! And if you reach your 50,000-word goal for #NaNoWriMo this year, take heart in seeing “winner” pop up after you validate your manuscript, or watching the video of other writers cheering and clapping you on. Writing can be such a solitary endeavor; I wish we always had “winner” pop up and a cheering crowd for every new book and every new draft we completed. But we can imagine our own cheerleaders, or let our friends know and celebrate with them.

Keep writing. Enjoy the process. You can do this!

And then take a well-deserved break. I know I am. (smiling)

0 Comments on If you’re writing for #NaNoWriMo (or any time) keep going! as of 1/1/1900
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19. My Anti-Bully Dear Teen Me letter. #OneVoice Against Bullying

OneVoice-EntTeen-webbanner-ad8-STATIC(476x286)

Dear Teen Me,

I know you have no safe place—not at home being abused, and not at school being bullied. You are an easy target: shy, scared, jumping at touch, not looking people in the eyes—the marks of someone who’s been hurt. You’re afraid all the time. You hate yourself instead of your abusers and tormentors. You cut to cope. You think about killing yourself. But you keep hanging in there. You’re stronger than you know.

I know you think you’re weak. All the terrible things that happen to you at home. The way you struggle to stand up to your own bullies. But do you remember that Spring day on the way home from school when those boys were running after a girl with coke-bottle glasses and ill-fitting clothes, hooting and hollering at her, calling her names, throwing things? Do you remember how you ran after them, shouting at them to leave her alone? How angry and protective you felt? And how when the boys turned and saw you they ran away?

Do you remember the look in the girl’s eyes—the surprise and the relief that someone cared enough to stand up for her? Or how you walked her home even though it was out of your way just so she’d stay safe? And how you listened to all the horrible things she’d been through and told her she didn’t deserve any of it? That wasn’t weakness, Cheryl. That was strength. I am so very proud of you for standing up to those boys. For helping that girl find a small pocket of safety.

So what if you couldn’t do that for yourself yet? You were still being abused at home. You had victim tortured into you. But still you stood up for others. And you did it over and over again—with that same girl on other walks home, with a girl being harassed by a drunk man on the streetcar, with another girl being sexually harassed, with children being hit by their parents. You tried to protect other kids and teens the way you needed to have someone protect you. You were brave, even though you didn’t feel like you were.

I know you still feel ashamed for some of the bullying you endured, for the way you couldn’t protect yourself. Like the time you were wearily leaning against your girlfriend’s shoulder on the bus and the driver stopped the bus and told you to separate or you’d have to get off. You argued with him, but he was enraged and in authority, and you were too tired and scared so you pulled away from your girlfriend and sat there, feeling humiliated and ashamed and later angry at yourself, wishing you’d written down his number and reported him. Or like the boys in school who would poke you and then hoot and laugh when you jumped—over and over again. You were so angry and ashamed because you couldn’t stop yourself from jumping, couldn’t fight back. Or like the time that man said that he should have sex with you so you wouldn’t be queer—suggesting rape would “fix” you. You froze when he and the other men laughed, fear gripping you, and it took you long moments to tell them that that wasn’t okay. You still feel ashamed that you didn’t stand up to them more strongly. To all your bullies. But you don’t deserve that shame or the anger you turn on yourself. It belongs to the people who hurt you.

And you know what? You often did stand up for yourself, even though it felt like they won. Sometimes it’s okay to not challenge too hard for your own safety. And the other times? Come on, you were a traumatized, bullied kid. Have more compassion for yourself. Yes, you wish you’d done more. Or that someone else had stood up for you. But it’s time to let that go, and to recognize your own strength.
I know you’re hurting—so badly that you don’t want to be here. That every day feels like another day you can’t endure. But I’m glad you’re here. You have a place in this world. Never forget that. And there are good people, even if you haven’t met many of them yet. Just keep hanging on. You will find more and more people with love in their hearts instead of hate.

I want you to be proud of who you are. You’re a survivor, a strong, gentle soul who doesn’t hurt others even though most others hurt you. You have compassion and kindness for others even though you don’t experience that yourself. And you will put even more goodness into the world with your writing. Yes, you will publish books! So be gentle with yourself. Let yourself love yourself, just a little. Let go of the hate and shame that aren’t yours. And know that things will get better. You will find true friends, kindness, love. You will find hope. And one day you will be glad that you are here, making a difference in the world.

I pledge to speak out against bullying when I see it & try to make a positive difference in this world, always. #OneVoice


I hope you’ll join us all in taking a stand against bullying. Share the #OneVoice hashtag and let’s let people know that bullying has to stop!

The fantastic YA authors who are taking part in the #OneVoice Campaign all this month include:
Oct. 1- Cole Gibsen
Oct. 2- Ellen Hopkins
Oct. 3- Ann Aguirre
Oct. 4-5- weekend/open
Oct.. 6- Anna Banks
Oct. 7- Shannon Lee Alexander
Oct. 8- Julie Cross
Oct. 9- Alyssa Day writing as Lucy Connors
Oct. 10- Jus Accardo
Oct. 11- D.R. Rosensteel
Oct. 12- Sunday/open
Oct. 13- Rebekah Purdy
Oct. 14- Mary Lindsey
Oct. 15- Tracy Clark
Oct. 16- Chantele Sedgwick
Oct.17- Francesca Zappia and Rachel Caine’s post (Rachel in the morning, Francia in the afternoon)
Oct. 18- Lisa Brown Roberts
Oct. 19- Victoria Scott
Oct. 20- Trinity Faegan
Oct. 21- Tiffany Truitt
Oct. 22- Tara Fuller
Oct. 23-Jennifer Bosworth
Oct. 24- Cheryl Rainfield
Oct. 25- Chloe Jacobs
Oct. 26- Sunday/open
Oct. 27- Carrie Jones
Oct. 28- Sarah Bomley
Oct. 29- Sarah Darer Littman
Oct. 30- Tonya Kuper
Oct. 31- Nikki Urang

I hope you’ll check in (you can go back to look at any post), leave comments, and help spread the word!

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20. STAINED is on sale for $1.99 on #Kindle and #Nook until Oct 31st!

If you loved SCARS, I think you’ll enjoy STAINED–and you may want to get it while it’s deeply discounted. Right now STAINED is on sale for both Kindle and Nook for $1.99–until Oct 31st. I hope you grab yourself a copy. :)

In STAINED, Sarah think she knows what fear is–until she’s abducted. Then she must find a way to save herself.

Like I did with SCARS, I drew on my own trauma and healing experience to write STAINED.

I hope you enjoy it! And if you enjoy it, or like this deal, I hope you’ll let others know about it, too. :)

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21. Mary Amato, author of YA novel Get Happy, on divorce–and win a signed copy!

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I’m happy to host Mary Amato, YA author of Get Happy, today–talking about divorce and writing about painful issues. Readers, if you’d like to win a signed copy of Get Happy, please leave a comment on this post. US and Canada only. (I’m two days late on posting this; I’ve been sick. My apologies!) Take it away, Mary!


One of the central issues of Get Happy is how divorce can affect a child. Minerva’s father leaves when she is two, and she struggles with this throughout her childhood and into her teen years.

Divorce can be messy and the adults involved can sometimes fail to understand what the child needs. Minerva feels as if the subject is taboo and so she bottles up her questions and her emotions, which is the opposite of what she needs.

I know that my adult readers are not going to like the way the parents in this book behave. They aren’t good role models by any means. They’re flawed. They’re human.

To me, it’s important to write about all kinds of experiences because life is messy. Books can provide safe places to explore lots of different emotions.


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Author Bio:
Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s book author, songwriter, musician, puppeteer, and poet. She writes for children of all ages, and is beginning to focus on YA. Her first YA novel was Guitar Notes. Mary lives with her family outside Washington, DC, where she also performs regularly, singing and playing her own songs. Mary is a popular speaker and runs numerous workshops for teachers and students, including many on all aspects of creative writing, even songwriting. The author lives in Silver Spring, MD. You can visit her online at thrumsociety.


Readers! Leave a comment below to win a signed copy of Get Happy! (US and Canada only)

And check out the other stops along the tour.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Reading Nook Reviews: Q&A and giveaway

Fandom Monthly: Giveaway

Rockin Book Reviews: Review and giveaway

Saturday, November 01, 2014
Adventures in YA Publishing: Question

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Children’s Book Review:
Guest Column and giveaway

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22. I am participating in #NaNoWriMo for the first time

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and really loving it. I’ve always written first drafts quickly, but I’ve never taken part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where writers, pre-published and published, try to write a 50,000-word novel–or longer–in a month. I’m glad I’m taking part this year.

I’d forgotten the joy that comes from writing a first draft (I’ve been editing two other books I’ve written, lately). I love writing quickly. I think writing quickly is part of what gets me past the editor in me. While editing is necessary, I think it’s best to come in during the second and further drafts.

I did plan out my book first (using The Anatomy of Story by John Truby, as I always do), so I know the direction I’m going, but I love discovering new things about my characters or a new plot twist or point as I write.

I’m writing about ten pages a day–by hand. I write (and edit) all my books by hand; it feels the most connected to my creativity and inner voice. I’ve been trying to cram writing this new book and then typing it up into each day, but I’m behind in typing it up (and trying to pace myself so I don’t burn myself out). So my updates on how much I’ve written are about four or five days behind on NaNoWriMo. I’m glad people understand that some of us write by hand! (And all this while I’m sick–but I’m having fun!)

I am writing a YA paranormal fantasy set in my HUNTED world, about Gemma, a queer black telekenetic girl who has been sucked into all the anti-Para messages that are constantly being spewed at her–through school, her home and neighborhood, her community, and the media, the church, and the government. This is about a girl who starts out hating herself–because after all she IS a Para, and her own mother abandoned her because of it–but in the end she discovers she’s stronger and better than she realizes. It’s about a girl who’s bought into the oppressive messages in society and is forced to unravel them. A girl who has the family and love she’s always craved, but just hasn’t seen it yet. A girl who, in the end, will have to save herself. It will be a stand-alone fantasy, but it will have some mentions of characters from HUNTED for those readers who loved HUNTED.

If you’d like to connect with me on the NaNoWriMo website, I’m here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/cherylrainfield/novels/endangered-642915/

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23. I am honored to have two of my books mentioned in Bibliotherapy For Teens on SLJ

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I am honored to have two of my books–SCARS and STAINED–included under PTSD/Abuse & Assault in “Bibliotherapy for Teens: Helpful Tips and Recommended Fiction” by librarian Erin E Moulton on School Library Journal’s site. Erin wrote a moving and insightful article on the need for fiction to help readers, and she put together a fantastic list of books librarians, teachers, and readers can turn to for various mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD especially from abuse and assault (and resulting in self-harm), dissociation, eating disorders, bi-polar, and more!

I used books to survive my own abuse and trauma as a child and teen–and I still use books to help me cope with the effects of trauma. So it always feels so good to hear from other readers and from librarians (and teachers) who recommend my books to others, or who read my books themselves and find them helpful. Thank you Erin for helping others find my books!

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24. A lot of writing & marketing ebooks on sale today only for #writers today only. Grab them while you can!

There are a number of writing technique and book marketing ebooks on sale today only (Fri Nov 7, 2014) for only $0.99 on Amazon that, if you’re a writer, published or pre-published, you may want to buy. I’ve snatched up most of the ones I’ve listed here myself. As a writer, I think I can always keep learning and growing, perfecting my craft.

Writing Technique

Mary Buckham’s Writing Active Setting Book 1: Characterization and Sensory Detail.
Mary Buckham teaches courses on writing technique, and I’ve loved very article I’ve read by her, so I snatched this one up immediately. I highly recommend her work.









Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell.

I’ve bought and read James Scott Bell’s books on writing technique before; I know he has solid, helpful advice, so I snatched this one up, too. :)










The Indie Author Power Pack: How To Write, Publish, & Market Your Book

This is a 3-book set, combining: WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT.: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant; LET’S GET DIGITAL: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should by David Gaughran; and HOW TO MARKET A BOOK by Joanna Penn. I know Joanna Penn’s work; she’s the author of many fiction and non-fiction books and blogs at thecreativepenn, so I snatched this deal just for her book, but I’m also really interested in reading Write, Publish, Repeat, and at $0.99 for all three this is a steal.




Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (The Writer’s Toolbox Series) by C. S. Lakin.

C.S. Lakin is an author and a writing coach; I’ve appreciated (and recommended) many of her articles on her blog LiveWriteThrive, so I snatched her book up, too.









Writing a Killer Thriller: An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction by Jodie Renner.

Jodie Renner is an editor offering advice on creating fast-paced, compelling fiction. I think editors, because they see so much work (both good and bad), and because they’ve trained in writing and editing, have a lot to offer writers that we can learn from. So I bought this book, too.










Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction (Busy Writer’s Guides Book 4) by Marcy Kennedy.

Even when we know writing technique and “rules,” sometimes a refresher helps, or hearing it a different way. I liked the conversational tone to her book, so I bought this one, too. :)







Book Promotion

Book Marketing is Dead: Book Promotion Secrets You MUST Know BEFORE You Publish Your Book.

As published authors, we’re expected to market our books. This book sounds like it may have some good advice and takes a different approach than some books and articles I’ve read, so I also bought it.










Goodreads For Authors: How To Use Goodreads To Promote Your Books

I know GoodReads can help readers find our books; I’ve used GoodReads for contests for ARCs and finished books, and I have my blog appear on GoodReads. I’m interested on reading what else authors can do.









How To Get Honest Reviews: 7 Proven Ways to Connect With Readers and Reviewers (Book Marketing Survival Guide Series 1) by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart.

I don’t have trouble getting reviews–I query book bloggers–but if you’re just starting out, or if you haven’t had to do this for yourself before, you may want to get this book. I may still pick it up myself because it looks like they have some things I haven’t thought about before.





2 Comments on A lot of writing & marketing ebooks on sale today only for #writers today only. Grab them while you can!, last added: 11/7/2014
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25. Comments & letters like these two from readers are a HUGE part of why I write

Comments from readers like these two–by Miracle and Annie–are a HUGE part of why I write. It is incredible to hear that my books help people stay alive and get through hard times, or stop cutting and get help, or accept their queerness and come out to others! (beaming) Amazing and so feel-good to have my books help others survive and heal and stay alive–just the way my favorite books helped me. I’m not sure I could have survived the torture and abuse I did without books, so it feels like a gift to me that my books help others, too.

I feel I can share these two letters because they were made publicly. I receive letters like this often–and they fuel me. They are soul food. On my darkest days, they give me light.

So if you have a book that helped you through hard times, don’t hesitate to let the author know!

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