Things I found, things I am saving for winter

Cory's Pinecone Mound


How To Be A Lion

How To Be A Lion plays on the gentle giant trope, but with a modern twist. Product descriptions say it is about bullying, but there are signs in the text that it is really about toxic masculinity. The protagonist is a Lion and a poet, who befriends a small duck. The lion battles expectations to be strong and fierce. He uses his strength to stand up for his values, himself, and his friend. 

The Story of Ferdinand is one of my favorite books of all time and How To Be A Lion shares a lot in common with it. Anyway, I think where Ferdinand is about how there are safety and strength in ignoring taunts to violence, How To Be A Lion is more about subverting what it means to be a lion. 
​By Ed Vere

I Am The Storm

This is a beautiful book.The first I have seen to feature an illustration with face masks. A little book to mark this tumultuous time and give children hope that every storm ends. 
By Jane Yolen

  • I also read Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor​, which is basically the story of a bird whose flying capabilities are doubted mostly by animals who can't fly. . . turns out the little bird actually knows what he is doing. Haters gonna hate. 
  • Right now, I am in the middle of reading several books. Usually, I am only in the middle of two, and when more than two are added to my reading list it is usually because I have become disinterested in one of them. Often I will drop the book I am disinterested in when I finally accept that our relationship is over. Who has time to read bad books? This time I haven't become disinterested in a book, I just discovered a new one and couldn't wait to start. Mort(e)​ has taken over my reading time. 
  • Jess Keating​ is dropping inspiring reels for authors and artists on her Instagram page.

  • If you are interested in family stories or connecting with distant living relatives, Roots Tech by Family Search​ launched this week. I see this as the perfect time to write down a story about a deceased relative you love and share it with those who knew them.
  • I am always looking for ways to tackle anxiety. I wrote about my experience dealing with anxiety that inhibits work performance and my effort to view it from a different perspective​. 
  • This week I met with my SCBWI group for the first time after a long hiatus. One question that always comes up is whether or not to trust an illustrator with their creative freedom. So I found the perfect example of what an illustrator can do with creative freedom, and why at times you may want to let an illustration speak for itself​. 
  • A peer reminded me to be mindful of writing age-appropriate characters. Something that Maurice Sendak said echoed in my mind: "I don't write for children. I write and someone says it's for children." I recognize that I tend to write and then let the audience decide the age of the characters. So, I may need some tips when it comes to writing young voices. I found an article with a list of “Do's” and “Dont's,”​ although I will take it with a grain of salt because for every "don't" I can think of an example that did it masterfully. 

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I have always been a better dreamer than a doer for whatever reason, which is why it is important to me that I keep this newsletter going. Thanks for staying with me! 

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world." -Harriet Tubman 



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