Ruckus Reader is here!

Parents, got an iPad or iPhone? Do your kids hijack your electronics to use apps? In search of apps perfect for your little readers? Look no further than the Ruckus Reader.

Specially made for kids, Ruckus Media offers a variety of apps for young readers through 8 years old.Very user friendly, kids can choose to have the story told to them or read it out loud. Cool graphics, great music and classic stories come to life with the Ruckus Reader. The kids can use the apps over and over again for reading fun!

 

And that’s not all. Parents, the Ruckus Reader also “gives parents feedback on how their kids are doing and tips on how to help.” It reinforces national educational standards for preschooler through second grade. The Ruckus Reader has been given thumbs up from Daily Candy, Parents.com, Five Minutes for Mom and Mediabistro. To learn more, check out Ruckus Reader today!

World Teacher Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is a prompt about teachers. According to Brownielocks, today is World Teacher Day. In celebration of teachers (of all kinds and ages), today’s prompt for you is to write about a significant learning moment and who taught you that lesson.

In school or even at home, we are conditioned to think that learning only takes place at school and only for a limited time. I believe that learning can happen anywhere and that it is a life-long process. I hope that I continue learning something new everyday. So, it honor of your favorite teacher, write something. A poem, limerick, story, memory, etc. You get the point. Get to it Freshman Writers!

Happy Writing!

Here’s my bit:

I met one of my favorite teachers on March 14, 2001 at 4:32am. He finally showed up after having me wait for several months. He was bright-eyed and curious, staring at me with big, beautiful, brown eyes. That first night we spent together, I learned that I would never sleep normally again. Thanks kiddo for being one of my favorite teachers!

3 Ways to Be Kind to Editors & Writers

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being kind to Editors & Writers. September marks Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month. We all know that there’s so much negativity in the world today. This month, I wanted to share my tips for spreading the love. Here are some ways to spread kindness all around and keep the positivity going. Enjoy!

1. Be polite. Remember that good manners (online and off) speak volumes about who you are.

2. Sharing is Caring. Freshman Writers, you have expertise in something. Share what you know if a writer/editor asks. And even if you don’t, pass it along to others in your circle. You never know who you can help.

3. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.  The world of freelance writers is small, even though cyberspace can seem huge. People communicate to one another; especially editors & writers. Stay positive on-line and share negativity offline with trusted friends. When I get upset about something, I talk to friends offline to gain perspective. In this way, I get my feelings out without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the positive energy flowing all around you; both online and off.

Happy Writing!

June 4th is Drawing/Pencil Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. I was’t sure of what to post this week until I came across Brownlocks.com’s June Calendar. According to the site, June 4th is Drawing Day or Pencil Day.

Normally, writers think about pens and notebooks or computers. But, do you remember what life was like before computers and pens? I can think about the hours I spent doing homework with my trusted pencil – allowing me to erase my mistakes and keep going. Pencils are cool tools for writers that can often be forgotten with the need to move a bit faster.

Today Freshman Writers, I encourage you to pick up a pencil and draw. Make character sketches for your fiction piece or doodle until you get out of a funk.  You can use it to write outlines for your projects, freewrite or even do some mind-mapping to see where your ideas take you.

For more cool information on pencils (history and such) check out this site.

Happy Writing and Happy Friday!

 

And the Bad Mother Award goes to…….

Raising a liar? The Chicago Tribune reported that the story of the Botox Mom was a hoax and that she did it for cash! What does that say about her as a parent – lying about something to collect money?

According to the article, she was paid $200 to read a script of incident by The Sun. This modest fee led to another for $10,000 for licensing rights of pictures to Good Morning America.

Regardless of how horrible the idea of injecting a child with Botox, even worse is the fact that she is a prime example of a poor role model for her daughter. Lie and get money is the lesson here. Do whatever you have to do NOT to be yourself, don’t be open with people and you’ll get paid for it. Sure, you may feel bad for not telling the truth and then getting caught in a lie, but you’ll make money off of it.

Do I feel this woman should lose custody of her daughter now? Well, she was caught lying and not actually injecting her daughter with Botox. The former is not as physically harmful as the latter so I’d say no she shouldn’t lose custody. However, she SHOULD be mandated to take a parenting class and forced to pay back the money she obtained.

Hopefully, the bad press that this woman receives over the hoax will be enough of a motivator to get her to show her daughter what it means to be honest and decent rather than untrustworthy and dishonest.

Use Your Senses – Do you hear what I hear?

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. “Do you hear what I hear” is a popular Christmas song, but for me,  it’s an inspiring way to write.

In my last post I challenged you to use your senses to get you writing. We writers can often get bogged down by the writing process and get side-tracked. Sometimes we forget that writing is about using all of our senses – listening is a great one to use.

My day job requires me to listen to people  – everyday I listen for needs, requests and feelings. Part of my job is to be an active listener – ie – giving my full attention to someone else. I pay attention to the content of the statement and then repeat it. I also pay attention to what isn’t said out loud. Hearing something – ie in the background – is very different from actively listening to something and being able to repeat what you heard.

Your challenge, Freshman Writers, is to sit on your own and close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you for five minutes and then write about it. Did you hear a train rolling by (as I do everyday at work) or did you hear the buzzing of a bee? If you have a hard time recalling the sounds you hear, try using a digital recorder or use the voice note function on your smart phone if you have one.

If you can take the sounds you hear and convert them into words, you can help your writing shine by being more descriptive and expressive. Your readers will be able to understand how the screeching of a howler monkey can resemble nails on a chalkboard and cause you to grind your teeth in reaction. Not pretty sounds by any means, but you get my point – those sounds are painful to the ear.

Use your hearing sense to write and see what you come up with. Feel free to come back and share your experience.

Happy Writing!

Catching up with myself

This week brought me one major accomplishment – passing my licensing exam. I rarely share it here, but one career goal is to be a licensed professional in my field.  No more waiting for the exam date, no more stressing out over what I know or don’t know and no more darn studying.

I’d been studying for seven months now and felt stuck in other aspects of my life because I was waiting to pass this one exam. I stuck with it because I knew that gaining my licensure would open many doors.  I’m in shock right now that something I set out to do six years ago has finally come to pass.

I realized that this morning as I shared the news with a friend. Six years from the time I started grad school until now. The first thing I wanted to do was sleep because I hadn’t slept well for several nights prior to the exam. To suddenly have the weight of this lifted from my shoulders and see this huge goal achieved has really caused me to stop and reflect on what I want to do next.

Of course, the next step is to find a new dayjob with my shiny, new license (ie better pay and better hours). Then I started thinking of what else I wanted to accomplish because I really can do anything I put my mind to.  So, I thought about my writing.

I’ve felt stunted in the writing process simply because it wasn’t my central focus for the last several months. I still wrote, but not in a planful way because I didn’t make the time for it. My time was for studying and building up my self-confidence for the exam.

I’ve now been doing research on breaking into magazines (yet again), but with small goals in mind. I’m starting with fillers just to get my feet wet. I’m also doing research on effective blogging so that I can grow The Freshman Writer blog as well as to market myself better as a blogger in general.

I can see that my writing talent now is in blogging. Since I know I can blog, why not put my energy into it? Other ways I’m catching up with myself is to focus on things that I love doing – writing, reading and having time to myself. I really missed just being me.

Sharing is Caring

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope you are well and writing. I am a believer that sharing is caring and I want to share some great information with you Freshman Writers.

Today’s post is a collection of some of my favorite websites for writers at all levels. As writers, we will continue to learn and grow in order for writing to improve. You can also (if this is your thing) end up teaching other beginning writers or at least give them advice to help get them started.

In keeping with this tradition, here my list of favorite websites that I go to for tips on writing. Some are new and others are classics that I love visiting over and over again. Check them out, see what gets your attention and get to writing.

Keep learning and happy writing!

Women on writing

Writing world

Freelance Writing Gigs

WM Freelance Writing Connection

The Renegade Writer

Freelance Writing at About

Mridu Khullar

Funds For Writers

Problogger

Media Bistro

Writing Moments Galore

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s posts is about writing moments. I recently realized that we have a chance to learn things about writing that we can pick up anywhere and everywhere. In the last post over at my portfolio, I wrote about a learning moment after being at a kids’ party yesterday and another while helping kiddo with a homework assignment.

Learning moments come whenever we gain insight into something new. Maybe a new way of looking at something or a new way of understanding yourself. For example, at that party (held in a large kid-friendly restaurant/play place), I realized how much I hated listening to kids’ music. Once in awhile okay, but not for four hours straight. I also realized how far I really am from my son’s toddler days. And now, I’ve got some ideas to blog about.

Freshman Writers – if you worry about finding ideas to write about, look no further than your everyday life. What do you do on your free time? What is work like for you? Who do you like/dislike? I’ve found ideas just through observing others, acknowledging my feelings, or just reading something.

So the next time you think you’ve nothing to write about, Freshman Writers, take a look around you because the writing moments are all around.

Happy Writing!

A Writer’s Learning Moment

This morning before school, kiddo had to finish a writing assignment. He was given a list of words and instructed to write a story, poem or song using at least 12 words. He complained that it was hard (he hates doing anything homework-related) and needed help.
After reading the list myself, I could understand why kiddo had a hard time. He had to create something new with a list of random words that didn’t seem to match at all. I looked to see how they were all connected. Kiddo already had a title – “Dinner Blanket” and wrote it down. He just didn’t know what to do with it.
I told him to look at the words on the list related to dinner; there were several so he was able to write about cooking. He also chose a character (me of course) and a setting. He then wrote about the cooking part and ended the story with the blanket. Pretty good story overall.
What I realized was that my tutoring style could work for my own writing. Maybe I’ll write my own story for kiddo to read. 🙂 I smell inspiration coming.