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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Gratitude, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Live Your Life with Gratitude

 

With all the horrible news coming at us at every angle, it's difficult not to get caught up in a tailspin of negative thoughts. Be kind to yourself and those in your life by taking the opportunity each and every day to latch onto the positives in your life with gratitude.

Daily journal writing can set the tone for a day of gratitude and abundance. Don't think you have anything to write out, think again. Concerned your writing won't flow, don't worry. Your journal writing is for your eyes only.

Start your journal session with at least three positive aspects of your life. Write about what makes each one so wonderful and how you are grateful for each, no matter how small or big. 

For every small blessing turns into a chock full day of gratitude?

Love Snoopy and Charlie Brown!!!!


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters ~ December 2015 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Historical Fiction 1st Place, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

















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2. Stacey’s One Little Word of 2016

2015 was not my best year ever. In April, my world felt like it was turned upside-down in a matter of 12 hours. Three months later, just as a new normal set in,… Continue reading

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3. Happy Thanksgiving 2015


Wishing you all a Blessed Thanksgiving. 

During this time (and every day) it is important
to reflect and appreciate our blessings...
Small and large.

For living your life with gratitude,
 blessings will be plentiful!

God Bless!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters ~ December 2015 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Historical Fiction 1st Place, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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4. Uplift: Be Thankful

Hi folks, I'm continuing my Uplift series. A short one this week but full of riches!

One way to cause your work to soar is to be thankful. We choke on our successes when we don't take the time to thank others for their helpfulness. Acknowledging others is a way of sharing your success; it's a trans-formative process. It acknowledges you did not create work in a vacuum. You are interconnected with all around you;  without the spokes to your wheel, you never go far.

Some keep a gratitude journal to remember all the great things that they wants to give thanks about. Others take time every day to be thankful. There is no best way. Thankfulness helps lift me from a depressed state and gives me hope. It helps me avoid stifling my imagination, choking my growth, and losing my joy. Being thankful makes the ties that bind to be much stronger.

Thankfulness is getting above the waves of life and surfing over a turbulent ocean. You will find your way, day by day. Complexity does not equal better. Thankfulness simplifies you and puts you in touch with the better parts of yourself. It sweetens hard work. It helps you approach work in a way is not "crazy making."

Giving thanks makes you strong, so difficult to knock over. It makes you a better person. The act of thankfulness leads you to right choices and will move you closer to wherever you want to be. A thankful heart is better than a pain reliever;  it can cure what ails you.

Finally, if you want your work to sing? Sing the praises of others. Giving honor and acknowledgement to those people who have helped you along the way. Enrich your life.
We live in troubled times; it's comforting to know that one simple act can do so much for everyone.

I will be back next week with more Uplift.

Here is the week's doodle, The Peace Monument, Bamako, Mali.



A quote for your pocket. 

Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. Robert Louis Stevenson

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5. Dear Bunny: On gratitude and butterflies

I thought I could begin this post by asking whether you want your kids to be happy.

But I figured that even as a rhetorical question, it seemed a little silly. Of course we want our kids to be happy. Perhaps a harder question to answer is “How do we help our kids to be happy?”

Everything I’ve seen on fostering happiness says one key component is nurturing gratitude: learning to see the good and great things around us, focussing on the good rather than that which makes us bitter.

dearbunnytitleDear Bunny… written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Blanca Gómez is a very quiet, gentle way into having that discussion with our kids. Just what does make them happy and what are they grateful for?

A young child’s friend – a stuffed bunny – asks “What’s your favourite thing in the world?“. The girl likes so many things she decides to write them all down, and over the course of the pages that follow we see how even simple delights such as swinging high or splashing in the bath are what make her happy. What gives her the greatest joy, however, is that she has a good friend to share all these moments with – her beloved bunny.

There’s a gentleness and lightness of touch to both text and illustration which ensures this charming book never veers towards the saccharine. It’s a tender, reflective book, ideal for reading at bedtime, a sort of secular prayer. Moments of honesty and innocence inject a dash of humour, bringing the real child back into focus.

dearbunnyinside1

Subdued earthy tones in Gómez’s illustrations add to a sense of warmth and peacefulness. An interesting mix of highly patterned detail with much plainer expanses creates a sense of space, perhaps just the sort that is needed to quietly contemplate what brings us joy.

dearbunnyinside2

Sometimes it is hard to tell a friend how grateful we are for them – how much easier it is to tell a toy! But this lovely book makes it easier for us all to talk about good and positive things, and a book which spreads happiness is a very good book indeed.

dearbunnyinside3

Inspired by the illustration on the book’s front cover the girls and I set about making butterflies. Although it is hard to see it in the image above, the butterflies have gold foil edges to their wings – a delightful detail in the book’s production – and so our butterflies too had to have a brush with gold. Here’s how we made them:

butterflyinstructions

makingbutterflies

makingbutterflies2

I rather think that a bouquet of butterflies works just as well as a bunch of flowers!

makingbutterflies3

makingbutterflies4

makingbutterflies5

Now seeing as Dear Bunny… is all about our favourite things and what we’re grateful for, here are my seven favourite things in the world (at this precise moment in time):

  • The way my 10 year wears her happiness on her sleeves.
  • The way my 7 year old gets cross when I tell her it really IS time to leave for school and she HAS to put down the book she is reading RIGHT NOW!
  • Listening to my husband read a trilogy about the 100 years’ war to my kids at bed time and getting into long bilingual conversations with them about all the details.
  • Orkney. Orkney has my heart. Simply and utterly.
  • The taste of the first mouthful of coffee in the morning. I really love my coffee.
  • My daily bike ride along a river near where we live, watching the seasons change.
  • The knowledge that I have some apple crumble waiting for me for lunch….

  • What are your favourite things in the world right now?

    Whilst making our butterflies we listened to:

  • Grateful by Charity and the JAMband
  • Gratitude by Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips
  • I Think I’m a Bunny by Todd McHatton

  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading Dear Bunny… include:

  • Creating a gratitude paper chain. If you make paper chains this coming Christmas, why not write on each strip something you’re grateful for, or something which makes you happy. Then you can string happiness all around you!
  • Trying out some of the activities in this brilliant non-fiction book – Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy by Bernadette Russell.
  • Once you’ve heard what makes your kids happy, actually going out and doing some of those activities! Stomping through puddles? Throwing piles of autumn leaves? Running as fast as you can down a hill? Go on… you’ll love it!

  • If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:

  • Butterflies, mud and stick-on velcro – a review of Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle and Julie Paschkis
  • Creating a what-makes-me-happy lift the flap book
  • Watching the night sky with your kids
  • happinessfurtherlinks

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    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

    2 Comments on Dear Bunny: On gratitude and butterflies, last added: 10/23/2015
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    6. Mayhem, Milestones, and Practicing Gratitude…

    This has been one hell of a tough year so far. It started in February when my then-publisher decided to close their doors, leaving many authors either scrambling to find a new publisher or deciding to try the self-publishing route. I was lucky. I immediately hooked up with Mirror World Publishing whom I met at the Windsor-Essex Book Expo in November 2014, and signed two contracts with them. It was truly a serendipity experience. And I am so grateful.

    Both my books were polished and re-released world-wide within six months. My first book, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantiswas re-launched in June, and Legend of the Timekeepers in August. I went from a stressful situation to relief, and yes, worked hard with my new publisher to get the books back on the shelves. It was a fresh start. A clean slate. And I am so grateful.

    Then, I got the reminder that life’s too short, too precious to waste.  This past July, my youngest brother succumbed to cancer. He was only 49, and was diagnosed with a double-wammy of a rare muscle disease and cancer of an unknown primary about 1 ½ years ago. You can never predict something like that is going to happen. Ever. But we know it can—and does. Who knows when life can change for us or those around us? So be grateful for your health. If life’s not what you want, go out and find a new one. If life’s great, live it to the fullest and be thankful every day for all that you’ve been fortunate to do and have. Whatever stage of life you’re in find a way to enjoy it and to maximize your circumstances. I know I’m moving forward with my life. And I am so grateful.

    This past August, my hubby and I celebrated our 30thAnniversary—a milestone in this day and age. We booked a cruise to the Western Caribbean in November to mark this momentous occasion and to get a little R&R. It’s a first for us who always seem to put our needs and wants on the backburner of life. So we decided that it’s our time to enjoy what we’ve worked so hard for during the last thirty years together. And I am so grateful.

    As I write this post, the combine harvester is reaping the soybeans in the field behind our home. It was a tough year, even for those soybeans with the relentless spring rains, and unpredictable elements. A reminder perhaps, that each year brings different challenges, and new life experiences. I urge you to find what gives you fulfillment, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment. Appreciate the little things and laugh at yourself. Find the courage to change, to rebound, to persist, to pursue, to seek, to speak out, to trust in others, and to cut away the relationships that cause you pain or do not bear fruit. I have. And I am so grateful.


    How has your year been so far? What have you been grateful for? Would love to read your comments! Thank you for investing your time in reading my blog! I am so grateful. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!

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    7. second grade rocks

    our school has a really big rock out in front
    "Letter by letter, the bigger the better--
    Great big words!"                                      --Michael Mark & Tom Chapin

    And so a new school year begins, with a change from the tiniest full-timers at the school--the kindergarteners--to the not-very-much-bigger second-graders.  Looking back now at my consternation* over this change, I realize that I believed that 7-year-olds would be simultaneously* less innocent and more challenging* than 5-year-olds, less imaginative* and more conservative* than 5-year-olds, less new and sparkly and more ordinary*.

    I must have had rocks in my head.  Second grade rocks, especially in the first week of school!  They do not consider themselves too grown-up to enjoy the same greetings and singing games as the 5's, but when you say "Please line up," they already know how to do it.  They were thrilled to climb all over the big rock, but they were able to stop climbing and thoughtfully describe it. And they are very into vocabulary* and learning great big words as well as different words for the same thing.  Just yesterday we compared vomit, puke, barf and throw up in our discussion of the very few things that might interrupt our work on Independent Reading Stamina.  (We reached 10 minutes by Thursday, without nausea* or emesis.*)  Perhaps "Magic Pebbles" would not be a wrong class name after all...thesey are small and shiny and smooth and powerful, just like Sylvester's Magic Pebble.

    You'll understand why the following might be the first Poetry Friday poem for our Poetry Anthologies.  I found it in The Walker Book of Poetry for Children

    Flint | Christina Rossetti

    An emerald is as green as grass,
           A ruby red as blood;
    A sapphire shines as blue as heaven;
          A flint lies in the mud.

    A diamond is a brilliant stone,
         To catch the world's desire;
    An opal holds a fiery spark;
         But a flint holds fire.

    The round-up today is with Linda Baie at TeacherDance, one of the several Poetry Friday participants who generously contributed to my DonorsChoose project.  I'm thrilled and grateful to say that my request for 4 Kindle Fire HD tablets, intended for allowing kids to enjoy the ever-growing array of online read-aloud sites and apps, was fully funded in less than a week!  However, it's not too late to help,  Any additional donations will come to my classroom in the form of gift cards that I can use to purchase headphones and cases for the tablets.  Long live crowd-funding, and thanks!


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    8. the rush

    Thanks once again to Tabatha for making it happen!
    Well, here it is...the rush of adrenaline that comes at this time of year: the calendreal limits of the summer, the moment when projects must be finished, first days to prepare for, new classrooms to discover the delights of.  With these also come that "oh no!" feeling of realizing that some plans have to be abandoned--such as my plan to properly round up today the riches I received from my Summer Poem Swap partners this year.  Instead I offer this instadraft in your plural honor:



    Summery

    This is how I sum it up,
    full of gratitude:
    Some were early,
    some were late,
    colored, plain and luscious.
    Some are moving,
    some are still,
    folded, flat and precious. 


    To know that you sat,
    walked, shopped, thought,
    scribbled, cobbled;
    To know that you sought
    to say something to me,
    for me, of me--
    that you made your words
    a gift of art--
    your gifts are greater than the
    sum of all their parts.

    [draft] Heidi Mordhorst 2015
    all rights reserved 

    The round-up is in the comments today at Reading to the Core, where Catherine is grieving and the rest of us are with her. Of all things, poetry may suffice.



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    9. thoughts on dispositional gratitude, from my son and David Brooks

    Did you read David Brooks on "The Structure of Gratitude" last week in the New York Times? His thoughts on being grateful, on "the sort of laughter of the heart that comes about after some surprising kindness"? His thoughts on those who seem "thankful practically all of the time"?

    Specifically:

    These people may have big ambitions, but they have preserved small anticipations. As most people get on in life and earn more status, they often get used to more respect and nicer treatment. But people with dispositional gratitude take nothing for granted. They take a beginner’s thrill at a word of praise, at another’s good performance or at each sunny day. These people are present-minded and hyperresponsive.

    This kind of dispositional gratitude is worth dissecting because it induces a mentality that stands in counterbalance to the mainstream threads of our culture.


    Brooks concludes: "People with grateful dispositions see their efforts grandly but not themselves. Life doesn’t surpass their dreams but it nicely surpasses their expectations."

    I was struck by this column when I first read it. I thought of the most grateful person I know—my son—who  never fails to see the beauty in a day, the goodness in another, the possibility in an hour. Among the countless things I've learned from him is the power of looking for and seeing the good. It's a better way to greet the day. And it gets you going places.

    So that my texts and calls from my son are always cast in light. Beautiful day, he'll say, on heading out. Good day at the office, he'll say at day's end. Just talked to a really cool person in the park. Just ran by the river, and it's gorgeous out there.

    Beautiful day. Good day. Great day. Gorgeous. My son's messages are bits of magic—interruptions in any darkness or churning I might be feeling at that instant. Wait, I'll think when the phone pings and it's him. It really is a beautiful day. Or, yeah. Every day can be conceived or reconceived into some kind of happy.

    Why not do that reconceiving, my son reminds me. Why not reap the rewards of looking for brightness? I don't always get it right; sometimes I wallow. But then a sunshine text comes in, and I think: Yeah. Right. Why not be grateful?

    And so this post script. My son knows precisely what he wants to do with his life (the perfect job taps his great strengths in statistics, new media, pop culture, demographics, and trend spotting) and two months ago, he was hired as a contract employee at the perfect company. A six-month job, but glory, he was going to take it, and every day he's been there—happy to stay late, happy to do more, happy to take on more training, happy to do, happy to be around people he respects and people who clearly respect him. My son wasn't going to worry (like his mother tends to worry) that it was just a six-month contract. He was just going to love the days he had. He was going to remind me, when the topic arose, how lucky he was to be where he was. Right now. The future would come. But someday.

    Turns out my son didn't have to worry. Turns out he was right all along. The future would come, and earlier this week he was offered a full-time job at this company that he loves.

    I have to think his aura of gratitude worked in his favor. I have to keep learning from him.


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    10. Gratitude Post: David Diaz, mentoring, found object art inspiration

    Many thanks to my friend David Diaz for his friendship and mentorship. I got to know David through the SCBWI, when I was chosen for the SCBWI-LA Illustration Mentorship program in 2010. David has been recently touching base with many of the Mentees, past and present, to find out how they're doing...he is doing this on his own time and volition, not because it's an official part of the program. He and I chatted yesterday, and I had the chance to thank him again for his early advice. I also told him how my venture into found object doodles started because of HIM, at one of his Lost Weekends.

    You can find out more about David on Wikipedia, Facebook and an Illustrator Spotlight via Kidlit411.

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    11. What a Bragger!, by Lee Ann Mancini | Dedicated Review

    There are many reasons that kids choose to brag but one doesn’t always understand why. In Lee Ann Mancini’s moralistic picture book, What a Bragger!, young readers are introduced to a character, Melissa Blowfish, who brags in order to cover up that she is poor.

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    12. G is for Gratitude - A to Z 2015 Challenge



    With all the horrible news coming at us at every angle, it's difficult not to get caught up in a tailspin of negative thoughts. Be kind to yourself and those in your life by taking the opportunity each and every day to latch onto the positives in your life with gratitude.

    Daily journal writing can set the tone for a day of gratitude and abundance. Don't think you have anything to write out, think again. Concerned your writing won't flow, don't worry. Your journal writing is for your eyes only.

    Start your journal session with at least three positive aspects of your life. Write about what makes each one so wonderful and how you are grateful for each, no matter how small or big. Did you know that every small blessing turns into a chock full day of inspiration and gratitude?


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Best wishes,
    Donna M. McDine
    Multi Award-winning Children's Author

    Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

    Connect with
    A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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    13. Last Stop on Market Street – Diversity Reading Challenge 2015

     Today’s Diversity Read/Review falls into categories #1 and #2. The author Matt de la Peña  is half Mexican/half white and the illustrator Christian Robinson is African-American. Title: Last Stop Market Street Written by: Matt de la Peña Illustrated by: Christian Robinson Published by: G. … Continue reading

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    14. Happy New Year!


    Wishing one and all a Blessed New Year!

    May you take the time to...

    laugh more often
    love more often
    take chances more often
    offer forgiveness more often
    less judgment more often
    and live with more gratitude each and every day!

    God Bless!

    Interested in staying up to date of my writing world and special offers, join 506 parents, teachers, and publishing colleagues and receive two FREE e-Books... "The Story Behind the Book" and "Marketing Tips e-Book"...
    iContact Email Marketing You Can Trust
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Best wishes,
    Donna M. McDine
    Multi Award-winning Children's Author

    Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

    Connect with

    A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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    15. Gratitude Sets the Tone for a Positive Day


    Last week I chatted about living a life of gratitude and journal writing. I hope you have taken the time out to do such each and every day! The positive benefits on your life are immense!

    Today, I'd like to touch a bit on what I'm grateful for...

    My husband... Tom - we've been together 29 years and of course we have hit our bumps in the road, but we always manage to circle back around and be there for each other.

    My daughters... Nicole and Hayley - my girls fill me with pride and awe every day of their lives. Whether it be their steadfast focus on their individual goals or overcoming adversity in their lives they inspire me daily!

    My family... no matter what obstacles have been thrown my way, my family... immediate and extended are always my loudest cheerleaders.

    My girlfriends.... My mantra to my daughters is to hold on tight to your girlfriends for they are the ones who will always be there at a drop of a hat in your good and bad times, no questions asked. A great big shout out to (in alpha order)... Cynthia, Dawn, Lynn, Mary, Maureen, Michelle, Theresa and last but not least... of course my twin sister, Debbie!

    Crittin' Chicks Critique Group... I big shout out goes to Karin and Marilyn.... without their expert and thorough critiques of my works-in-progress I would not be where I am today! Ladies enjoy the holiday season festivities and see you January 2015 as we recommence our critique sessions!

    Wishing you all a daily life of gratitude.

    I'll be offline through the new year enjoying the magic of the season and being present in each and every moment.

    Cheers!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Best wishes,
    Donna M. McDine
    Multi Award-winning Children's Author

    Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

    Connect with

    A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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    16. The Antidote to December Stress: Teach Students to Write about Gratitude

    This time of year can be overwhelming, for teachers and students alike. Writing about gratitude is one way to stay present and positive.

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    17. Live a Life of Gratitude


    With all the horrible news coming at us at every angle, it's difficult not to get caught up in a tailspin of negative thoughts. Be kind to yourself and those in your life by taking the opportunity each and every day to latch onto the positives in your life with gratitude.

    Daily journal writing can set the tone for a day of gratitude and abundance. Don't think you have anything to write out, think again. Concerned your writing won't flow, don't worry. Your journal writing is for your eyes only.

    Start your journal session with at least three positive aspects of your life. Write about what makes each one so wonderful and how you are grateful for each, no matter how small or big. Did you know that every small blessing turns into a chock full day of inspiration and gratitude?

    Need direction? (Please note this is not an advertisement or affiliate link... I just wanted to share Tina Games' information with you since I had such a positive experience in her journaling retreat).... 

    "When I participated in Tina Games' Journaling by the Moonlight retreat I had an amazing and positive experience. Taking the time out for myself and focusing on my goals and desires set a path for positive attitude and clarification in my life... both professionally and personally. On a daily basis (sometimes twice a day, depending what's going on) I continue to journal and I always walk away feeling refreshed. I encourage you to treat yourself and take the time out to visit Tina's website. See below..." 

    Tina Games, Life Purpose Intuitive and Creativity Coach
    Author of "Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery" and Host of "Life Purpose Legacy" on Contact Talk Radio offers an amazing journal writing retreat and it's worth checking it out. 


    Wishing you all the best in positive attitude and gratitude. 

    Happy journaling! 

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Best wishes,
    Donna M. McDine
    Multi Award-winning Children's Author

    Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

    Connect with

    A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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    18. Comic: Being Thankful

     

    I've decided that the girl's name is Keiko.  Haven't come up with a name for the baby yet, though.

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    19. The late gratitude

    Very often we find that strangers help us in the most strangest way possible.  Most of the the times we are not able to pass our thanks to them because life changes every single day with people moving on as well. Which is why I think there should be no delay in thanking someone. Three years ago, when I first sent out my first script to a dozen publishers, I got more rejections than expected. 

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    20. Stepping Back into the Water

    When I set off on my long-distance swim three months ago, I stepped into the surf and headed into the unknown water of brain surgery like a swimmer being carried by rapids over the steep falls ahead, hoping that I'd survive the drop and emerge safely in the calm pool of water below.  Weeks later, the first time that I sat down to write after the surgery, my head still sore and my thinking

    13 Comments on Stepping Back into the Water, last added: 7/17/2013
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    21. Thursday Three: Hide and Seek

    Some library books I liked that helpfully fit into a theme of hide and seek. But they all also have classroom or home use for demonstrating values like working together, gratitude, and acceptance without being heavy-handed.


    Come Back, Moon
    by David Kherdian, illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian

    Beach Lane Books, 2013
    Come Back, Moon
    When Bear is bothered by the light of moon and can’t sleep, he steals the moon. Under the clever leadership of fox, the forest animals work together to get it back. Simple text makes this ideal for younger storytimes or even as a beginning reader book. The soft, watercolor illustrations bring to life a serene forest scene, with special acknowledgement to the orange fox — who looks so darn cute and cuddly. The book would also be useful for themes of working together and conflict resolution.


    Never Ever
    by Jo Empson

    Child's Play, 2012
    Never Ever
    A girl complains that nothing exciting ever happens, yet as she walks with her stuffed bunny a world of excitement is going on around her. Flying pigs, a flower-loving gorilla, and a brave lion join her on her walk — right into a dragon’s mouth! But she continues to be unimpressed, even with one more surprise in store. The illustrations in watercolor and pencil depict a world both gentle — with the soft blues of the girl’s dress and pink of the pigs — and lively in the yellow flowers and bright green dragon. Simple in words and concept, but high in imagination, this book is an invitation to play and think about what is right in front of us.


    How to Hide a Lion
    by Helen Stephens

    Henry Holt, 2013
    How to Hide a Lion
    The book sets it up nicely: “One hot day, a lion strolled into town to buy a hat. But the townspeople were scared of lions, so the lion ran away.” A little girl find the lion, and decides to help him out with a bandage, a comb-out, and mostly by hiding him. But her mom finds him, screams, and the lion runs away. Hiding himself in town, he finds an opportunity to save the day and is accepted by the townspeople. Fun story that has an actual plot line to it. The bright yellow lion is visually captivating, and the relationship with the girl is adorable. The book would also be a good example for not judging someone too quickly.



    Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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    22. birthday discoveries psa...

     
    Readers, I have now become a woman d'un certain âge.  Many would say that with age comes wisdom; I maintain that my main function in the world is to be enthusiastic, not wise.  And yet I do have some recent discoveries to share with you--a sort of public service announcement, a list of birthday discoveries that you might not want to miss.  (And, as various Documentations of Interventions must be completed for various students exhibiting various needs for intervention, my PSA will be merely a list of thanks with links.)

    0) Thanks to Mary Lee: reading must be risked (see number 11 at link) despite and because of that gone feeling you get from the ideal book for the moment.

    1) Thanks to the Wyngate Arts Exhibition:   "The Cup Song" is a perfect variety show number for elementary school girls--far more appropriate than, say, "Please Don't Stop the Music."

    2) Thanks to Mark and Kim at Baltimore's Area 405's Supper and a MovieParis, Texas is a film worth returning to 1984 for.

    3) Thanks to DJ Ivan and lots of my friends:  dance party knows no age, and the "tea dance" is a concept that deserves a popular general update!

    4)  Thanks to my mom, personal shopper:  a bright new fruit bowl can just transform one's attitude in the kitchen. 






    5) Thanks to my own good sense:  on the first sunny warm afternoon of nominal spring, three spa treatments is plenty and four is just excessive.

    6) Thanks to writerly friends Tabatha Yeatts and Laura Shovan:  virtual is very fine, but you can't beat lunch with Pisces persons at a nice vegan restaurant with gifties from Robyn Hood Black's artsyletters shop.

    7) Thanks to British in-laws Teresa O'Brien and John White:  poets Liz Cashdan, Gillian Clarke, Rebecca Elson, Beatrice Garland, Christopher Reid.  Golly.

    8)  Thanks to creative, clever, caring offspring:  coupons for fancy meals, ten-minute massages, and happy playlists.  Something to look forward to is a great gift.  (And unlinkable children is probably also a great gift.)

    9) Thanks to beloved spouse:  Sonos upstairs, Sonos downstairs, Sonos all around!  Please don't stop the music.  And also The Flavour Thesaurus, a synaesthetizing thing of joy.

    10)  Thanks to my juicy little universe:  gratitude is good medicine

    Today's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Kara at the intriguingly-named blog Rogue Anthropologist.  Wishing you all some of this same birthday enthusiasm this week, birthday or not!


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    23. 12 Kids’ Books on Showing Thankfulness & Being Grateful

    As we begin a season of reflection and celebration, we are pleased to share some of our favorite books on thankfulness and being grateful that will help young readers on their journey to understanding gratitude.

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    24. A Happy Birthday (and THANK YOU) to my Simon & Schuster Children's editor, Justin Chanda, who helped me find my books


    My dedication at the front of my VERY FIRST solo picture book, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? (comes out from Simon & Schuster Children's in May 2015)

    Since Justin Chanda "discovered" me at the 2010 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles (and after many, many years of rejections), my children's book career has taken off. Every so often I still pause in the middle of whatever I'm doing and think to myself OH MY GOSH I'M ACTUALLY MAKING A LIVING WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN'S BOOKS and hyperventilate a bit but then calm down because I have upcoming deadlines and need to get back to work.

    For you, @inkygirl!! (Also for me, because, well, it's @judyblume!)

    A photo posted by Jpchanda (@jpchanda) on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:37pm PDT

    This past year has been especially crazygood, with my illustrations appearing in JUDY BLUME reissues from Atheneum (JUDY BLUUUUUUUUUME!!!!!!) as well as NAKED!, a second picture book with Michael Ian Black and Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. And then S&S sent me on my very first book tour!

     

    So @michaelianblack and @inkygirl popped by to celebrate #Naked!!

    A photo posted by Jpchanda (@jpchanda) on Apr 4, 2014 at 1:24pm PDT

    Do you see that wand that Justin is holding in one of the photos above? A while back, I was posting about the Judy Blume illustration project as well as NAKED! coming out in 2014, and someone asked me if I had a fairy godmother. Yes, I told them, and my fairy godmother's name is JUSTIN CHANDA. I presented Justin with a labelled Fairy Godmother wand at the Simon & Schuster Children's meet & greeting with Michael Ian Black and me. This a photo that my husband took, just after I gave Justin the wand and was about to give him a big hug:

    Photo: Jeff Ridpath.

    Apparently Justin has taken the Wand to several Simon & Schuster Children's meetings since. :-)

    And just recently, I got to see the color proofs for WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?, which is going to be my very first solo children's book. I think it really didn't hit me that I'm actually going to be a children's book AUTHOR as well as illustrator until I saw those proofs. The book comes out from Simon & Schuster in May 2015, woohoo!

    Now that I've been working with Justin for four years, I feel even more lucky. He's a brilliant editor. I'm learning so much from him about the craft and business of making children's books. Justin has the ability to bring out the best in those who work with him, pushing them hard but also trusting their creative instincts.

    I'm grateful to SO many people who have encouraged me along the way and could not be where I am now without them. Justin Chanda was the first editor to give me my Big Break, to believe in me enough to offer me that first book contract, and mere words cannot express how much I appreciate what he did and continues to do for my career.

    Happy birthday, Justin, and THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME FIND MY BOOKS!

     Also see my Thank You To Justin Chanda and Simon & Schuster Children's.

    Me hanging with the incomparable @inkygirl at #la14scbwi

    A photo posted by Jpchanda (@jpchanda) on Aug 8, 2014 at 10:33pm PDT

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    25. Fruits of your Labors…

    Sharing the Good things in Life with my BFF
    The upcoming American Thanksgiving paves the way for the holiday season, and because many of my author friends live in the USA, I feel I’m celebrating being thankful right along with them. Thanksgiving (both in Canada and America) not only gives us time to be with family and friends, but to think about what we’re truly grateful for. It’s also a time for us to reflect on the past year, and take stock in what we have reaped and accomplished thus far. As some of you know, I moved from cottage country to the warmer southern climate of Ontario this summer, and have never looked back. So in keeping with the spirit of giving thanks, I’d like to share one of my experiences since moving down here that I’ll always be grateful for…

    Living in wine country has its benefits. So when my BFF came down for a visit this past September, it was a no-brainer on where to take her. Setting a course for a couple of wineries, getting lost for about 15 minutes, then finally getting back on track, we made it to the first winery, and we were not disappointed.

    To be honest, I’ve never been to a wine tasting. Usually they’re free if you purchase a bottle. We both tried a few—my BFF preferring red, and I going to the light side, our palette’s danced and tonsils rocked to the taste of each wine sampled. My house warming gift consisted of a rather nice chardonnay. Salute!

    Next, we asked for directions to the next winery (far be it for us to put our faith in an out-dated GPS). We found it easily, and met up with a whole lot of bikers on their Ride for MS. What a fun group! We met kindred spirits and wine lovers in two participants named Sharon and Mike, and did a selfie with them! Fun times! Of course more wine was sampled and bought before we cashed in our chips and headed back home.

    This whole experience has taught me something. It takes a lot of time to grow, nurture, and prepare grapes before the wine making process begins and after the wine is bottled. It’s a huge industry that relies on many people. So how would you compare making wine to writing a book? It comes down to this: some wines take years to be released into the world, while others maybe months. Authors can crank out words like stomping on grapes until they’re satisfied with the tone and flavor. Other authors take their time, allowing their words to ferment for a while, let breathe, until they too are ready to uncork their properties. However you write, and whatever you write, you can be sure of one thing: everyone’s tastes are different, and there’s bound to be an audience just for you.


    What or who are you grateful for this time of the season? Your health? Your family? Your job? Red or white? Fiction or non-fiction? For me, it’s our new home, living closer to family, and knowing in my heart that it was time for a change. Oh, yeah, and white, definitely white. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!

    And a Good Time was had by All!

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