A week ago I attended the SCBWI-Carolinas Writers Conference in Charlotte, NC. I learned a few key things that I believe will improve my writing. That makes the conference a success for me–well worth the investment of time and money.
My daughter lives nearby, so I didn’t need to spend money on the hotel. That’s always a plus.
I made some new writing friends like Andrew Barton, Tami Boyce, Dena McMurdie, Sarah Meade, Carrie Brown and Christine Boatwright. Great to me meet all of you!
But probably the best part of the conference for me was reconnecting with old friends like Samantha Bell, Teresa Fannin, Donna Earnhardt, Kelly Dyksterhouse, Meghan Hoyt, Debbie Allmand, Linda Phillips, Carol Baldwin, Vijaya Bodach and Joan Edwards.
It recharges me to sync with old friends. I’ve made some writing friends in my new home in Louisville, KY. But I think it will take a while to build a tribe like I had in NC. A tribe of people who love me, pray for me, and help me to become a better writer. Thanks, ya’ll.
Many people have helped to make God’s Blessings of Fall a real, live book. I am truly grateful to them and to God. Some of those folks are blogging about God’s Blessings of Fall and about my process of bringing it to life. Special thanks to them. They are listed below.
Please visit their blogs and thank them for helping to make God’s Blessings of Fall a success in the world of books.
Joyce McCullough Tues. Oct. 1 joycemccullough.com
Amberly Clowe Wed. Oct. 2 http://amberlykristenclowe.com/blog/
Write2Ignite Mon. Oct. 14 http://write2ignite.com
Sally Cressman Fri. Oct. 18 http://www.sallycressman.com/
Laura Sassi Mon. Oct. 21 https://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/
My blog Wed. Oct. 23 Announce my Book Giveaway
Nancy Sanders Thu. Oct. 24 http://nancyisanders.com/blogzone/
Sally Matheny Fri. Oct. 25 https://www.sallymatheny.com/blog/
CCA Blog Sat. Oct. 26 https://christianchildrensauthors.com/
Kay Alonso Mon. Oct. 28 https://babydevotions.com/
My blog Wed. Oct. 29 Giveaway my Book
Carol Baldwin Mon. Nov. 4 http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/
Linda Ray Center Fri. Nov. 15 https://www.lindaraycenter.com
There are several reasons I wrote my Bountiful Blessings series of picture books (God’s Blessings of Fall will be available this week!). One of those is the importance of prayer in young children’s lives. Prayer is usually a natural consequence of gratitude. Seeing God as our Creator and Giver of blessings, I hope, will point young children to prayer.
I also hope it will become a part of your family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions—pausing to bless God for creating the beauty of the season of fall.
Once young children learn that they CAN converse with God they just assume that it happens any time, any place, under any circumstance.
In Luke 18:17 Jesus says, “I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” I say we need to pray like little children pray.
I don’t think we need to teach little children to pray. But we do need to get them ready to trust God and pray to Him.
God has wired the human brain to make connections. When young children feel that we love and value them they will connect those same feelings to God, their Heavenly Father.
We teach babies and toddlers this by holding them close to our bodies, by making sure they are fed, warm, clean. By keeping them in safe places, by protecting them and helping them meet each new challenge. If they feel safe with us they will connect it to feeling safe with God.
When a conversation is going on with your little one, stop what you are doing and look into their face. Pay attention. Look at them while you answer their question. You are teaching your little one two critical life skills: how to listen and pay attention when other people speak, and the knowledge that God stops and listens when we go to Him in prayer.
Say “thank you” to them often. As soon as they can sit in a highchair fold their little hands together and recite a simple “Thank you, God, for our food. Amen.” Teach them that all the things in our lives are gifts from God.
When we gently and lovingly teach these things to our toddlers and preschoolers it will be second nature for them to talk to God, to assume He is listening, and to expect Him to answer.
That is prayer in its purest sense.
Four Seasons Make a Year by Anne Rockwell
The Reasons for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
Fall Leaves Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E. H. Runstad
Fall Leaves Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad
The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Leaves Fall Down by Lisa Marie Bullard
Apples and Pumpkins by Julia Rawlinson
Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow
How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum
Apples by Gail Gibbons
Apples, Apples Everywhere Learning about Apple Harvest by Robin Koontz
Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum
Little Boo by Steven Wunderli
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White