New Year = New Plans.

No matter how many times we grumble and grouse about new year’s resolutions, many of us still look forward to a fresh start and chance to do things differently in the new year.  As a writer, I usually make goals that reflect my aspirations and hopes in the writing field.  Completing a draft of a new novel.  Sending a finished project to my agent, hoping for a sale.  Reading as many MG, YA, and PB’s as I can throughout the year.  These have been recurring goals as I browse past journal entries.

This year I want to add something new:  For every PB, MG, and YA book I read, I hope to post a review on Amazon and Goodreads to boost the visibility of my author friends and help spread the word about books I really enjoy.  Popular authors like Kate DiCamillo, Neil Gaiman, Katherine Applegate, Jacqueline Woodson, etc, don’t have to worry about getting reviews.  Everything they write is featured everywhere we look.  Rightly so and deserved.

But for many of us who have written quality books for children, and received praise and accolades from friends and acquaintances, as well as the children we write for, I want to take it one step further.  It takes only a few moments to write a sentence or two stating what you enjoyed about a book.  It goes a long way toward helping an unknown author receive recognition and maybe sell a few more books.  (Caveat: If you don’t like a book, spare the author any venomous reviews.  There is enough negativity in this world.)

I hope some of you will join me in spreading the word and “paying it forward” for a favorite author.

Here’s a link to a printable calendar for keeping track of all those reviews…or for setting your own goals.

https://www.redtedart.com/free-cute-printable-calendar/

HAPPY NEW YEAR and Happy Reading!

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The Gift of STAR WARS: Kids Crafts of Favorite Characters.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of a new Star Wars Movie.  Especially one featuring the original characters.  For the Star Wars fans in your house, why not check out the amazing crafts, food items and activities found on the Red Ted Art site. In addition to the YODA  craft below, it features Princess Leia Cupcakes, Chewie Cookies, Wookies, Death Star Watermelon, Milk Carton Storm Troopers, and many more fun to make crafts.

You can start off with the easy YODA craft that even the youngest children can make.

yoda craftJust follow the pattern shown.  Here’s the link to the site for more than 30 STAR WARS activities, crafts and recipes.  http://www.redtedart.com/2014/12/26/30-star-wars-crafts-activities/

Have fun, and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!