A Writers Gift

christmasever

Christmas Time is Around the Corner so I thought I would give you a few inspiration thoughts about the season of giving. Christmas time should be a time of reflection —a time of giving to your family and friends. At Thanksgiving we gave thanks for the people we love and the things that God has given us, but why not continue on that thanks by giving to others. Writers often give their time to inspire, edify and encourage others through their writing. Many think that writing is easy but few take on that career choice. To me a writer has to enjoy what they do and have the gift of writing —the gift of putting thoughts and imaginations on paper.

So my gift to you this season is the following poem. I encourage you to give to someone else this year in the form of writing. Writing helps us to relax, inspires us to love others, works our imagination and helps us be creative.

Remember Christmas is a time of giving not a time of regret. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season. Give honor to him before anyone else this season. Without him we wouldn’t have any reason to celebrate at all. Hope you all have a merry Christmas and happy New Year.

What do I see this Christmas Eve?christmas

I see Love and kindness throughout the land,
Christmas music is played by the band.
Children are happy decorating the tree,
The Christmas star is shining for all to see.
People’s hearts are merry and gay,
For it has been a joyous day.

Up above the choir is singing,
Heaven’s bells are ringing.
All are singing in one accord,
Praising Jesus our King and Lord.
Way beyond the clouds and blue,
God’s love for me tis true.
I see the Lamb of God on the throne,
He loves us all and we are not alone.

The angels are hovering close by,
because Christmas is drawing nigh.
A turtle dove is reposing on a tree,
Tis there to show me that peace is upon me.
I see a miracle as Christmas draws nigh,
The world is merry while angels rejoice on high.

Broken Bridges by Roy Kindelberger

Author Interview:

Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

After teaching kindergarten for eighteen years, this is my first year teaching second grade. I love teaching. The kids are so much fun. I’m a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. I’m also a member of SCBWI and Haiku Northwest. My debut middle-grade novel, Broken Bridges was published August 15th, 2013, by Black Rose Writing. My short stories and poetry have been published online: http://www.sfcmagazine.com/ and
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/index.html. I’ve also written fiction and nonfiction passages for the education market. I love sharing stories with my children and students. We are always looking out for a story, book, poem, or song that makes a difference in our lives. Some other things I enjoy are reading, spending time with my two daughters, watching football, practicing Yoga and Tai Chi, drinking tea and being outside. My favorite TV show is I-CARLY. Yes, I’ve suddenly found myself watching it myself, laughing, and my daughters have left the room. I admit to being a Star Wars nerd too. Friends and family shake their heads. “There’s another Star Wars book?” “Yes! There’re hundreds. Now let me tell you about the one I’m reading…” They are sorry they asked and quickly disappear. Finally, my lost love, the 1800s and the west, I’ve seen all the Clint Eastwood movies and read a lot of Larry McMurtry and Louis L’Amour novels. I also love non-fiction about this era. I was born north of Pittsburgh. I live with my beautiful wife and two wonderful children in Washington State.
Broken Bridges front cover
Which book are you currently promoting?

I’m currently promoting Broken Bridges.
Here’s the synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Rey is sent to an old rundown steel town near Pittsburgh, where he has to deal with his aging grandparents, isolated dad, missing mom, bullies, broken bridges, and horseradish sauce.
While Rey sits on an airplane bound for Pittsburgh, he clutches a crumpled note. It’s been forty-one days since his mom left – no word since. Rey is being sent to Pittsburgh for the summer to stay with his grandparents, so his dad can pull his life together. Rey is timid, unsure, yet has to make choices. These choices lead him to become more confident, as he makes the transition from child to teenager. Arriving in the middle of a heat wave he quickly runs into trouble with bullies and is in several difficult situations. Through it all he finds a true friend, Jason and discovers a mentor in his grandfather. Both bonds are put to the test when his grandfather becomes extremely sick and Rey has a final confrontation with the bullies. And then there are his parents.
Will things ever return to normal?

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

When I was eight I moved out to the west coast. Each summer, I’d stay with my grandparents in a town just north of Pittsburgh for about two or three weeks. I just took experiences from my childhood, twisted and embellished them. So really I’d remember something funny, sad, happy, or intriguing and ask myself, “Can I weave this into the story?” Or as another writer friend would ask, “What if?”

What can you tell us about your main characters?

Some of this is covered in the synopsis. I’ll try and go into a little more depth.

The story is told from twelve year old Rey’s perspective, his slice of life. Rey starts the story unsure and insecure. At first, Rey is not looking forward to staying the summer in a small, hot, run-down town with nothing to do. Rey deals with situations with humor and determination. It’s his summer of growth.

His grandpa, Pap, becomes his mentor who has faith in him. Pap tells stories to Rey that make him laugh and think. Writing about Pap, reminded me of my own grandpa. I remember my grandpa had faith in me and always had a story to tell. That’s what I wanted him to be for Rey. Rey’s friend, Jason is pretty angry. Jason’s determination seems to get him and Rey into trouble. Yet they are good friends and balance each other out. Jason’s story is one that I’m working on. Rey’s grandma is sort of the stabilizing force. She uses reason. His grandma is big on memories, especially happy ones.

What made you decide to become a writer?

As a teacher, I read a lot of books. I started out writing for my students or writing stories they could read and enjoy. The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. A few years later, I took a course at The Institute of Children’s Literature and joined The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. As I read and wrote more, it just became part of who I am. I just found I had stories to tell.

Do you have a general idea of what direction you want the plot to take ahead of time?

I usually have a starting point even if it’s just backstory. Sometimes I have some sort of ending too, I usually then take the story from there. With Broken Bridges, I had the beginning, the end, and some of the middle. In the beginning, I cut a lot of the backstory and weaved some of it throughout the novel. The ending, I added some stuff and made sure everything came together. For the middle, I added and made connections with the other parts of the story.

Have you ever had second doubts about a story you’ve written?

I try not to have second doubts. I believe that limits my writing. If those doubts creep up, I try to learn from them, so I can become a better writer. Really it’s a fine line, a balancing act. There are so many ups and downs as a writer. I could receive rejection letter after rejection letter but then a letter would come and say, “We’d love to publish your story.”

What other projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently submitting a picture book, written in verse, to publishers and agents. I’m also getting ready to submit a text for a graphic novel. I started to write a sequel to Broken Bridges. Right now I’m writing it from Rey’s friend, Jason’s perspective. The first chapter is in the eBook version of Broken Bridges. A lot of my time right now is with promotion and teaching a new grade level (2nd).

How long have you been writing?

I started writing for my students in 1999. I started to write for publication in 2003. My first story was published in 2007. It was a short story about a little girl, who blamed things she did on her imaginary friend, Jingo. I’ve been fortunate to publish something in each of the years since.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us that we have not already covered?

You can reach me at RoyKindelberger@roykindelberger.com or visit my website: http://www.RoyKindelberger.com. Also if Broken Bridges is not in the Amazon Kindle store it will be shortly. You can find out more information where to purchase it on the link below:

http://www.roykindelberger.com/broken-bridges.html

Now for a little fun, choose an answer from these questions. (Place xx by answer or fill in blank)
1. If you could live anywhere, would you rather live:
a. mountains
b. beach
c. in the country XX

2. What would you prefer?
a. salty foods XX
b. sweets
c. both

3. If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
________

My first answer would have been my Kindle but how would I keep it charged? My second one was water, but I thought that wasn’t very exciting. So I chose a book that I read five times in one year. I’m sure I’d find plenty of time to read it while stranded on a desert island. The book would be Star Wars: Traitor, by Matthew Stover. It doesn’t star any of the main characters from the movies. Instead, its main characters are Han Solo and Princess Leia’s son and a long lost Jedi. I’ll stop there with my Star Wars ramblings.

4. Tell me something about yourself that might be funny to others? (other than writing)
This is an interesting one. My kids and students think I’m funny, and many adults think that I think that I’m funny.

A teacher: “I’m really worried about the weight of our classes.”

Concerned principal: “Hmmm, I know, but there is not much more we can do.”

Me straight faced: “What about the height?”

They both stare. “What do you…”

The teacher: Rolls his eyes, laughs and tell me to go away.

The principal: “I can’t believe I haven’t learned to not to fall for such nonsense.”

My daughters and students laugh at many things I say whether it’s meant to be funny or not.

I’m just a big kid.

5. Tell us something that you did that might be considered dangerous.

This memory seems to stand out in my mind. When I was seven a couple of my friends went on a bike ride. It was a hot humid day, and we lived in the country, in Western Pennsylvania. This is back in the day when we rode everywhere and without helmets. We stopped under these shady pine trees. We found a tree to climb. It was a perfect climbing tree. What I remember is, I was way up high and the branch below me broke. I remember my feet dangling before I found safety on another branch. What I remember the most was the fear. I wrote a poem about this incident:

You can reach Roy Kindelberger at: http://www.roykindelberger.com/

Author Links:

 

Website: http://www.roykindelberger.com/index.html 

Blog: http://www.roykindelberger.com/dagoblog.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roy.kindelberger

Buy Links:

Black Rose Writing: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/~shop/broken-bridges/194121/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1612962424/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1376951854&sr=8-1&keywords=Roy+Kindelberger&condition=new

A Time of Reflection

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There should come a point in everyone’s life, a time of reflection. A time to look back and do an examination of the things you have done, whether they be accomplishments, failures, good deeds, mistakes, experiences and so on. They teach you in nursing school that people usually come to this point, a time of reflection, when they are in their forties. I say that people should examine themselves daily. This world would be a better place if everyone examined themselves on a daily basis, looking over things they have done that day. Then, evaluating ways to have lived the day better.

I look at my past as not something that I want to re-live. I have come to a point in live where I have discovered something better. I have realized that things could have been better in my life, if I would have focused everyday on living for Christ and not for myself.

I want you to take a look at what things are important to you. Now, sit down and make an honest list of things you want in life and things that you love about your life. After you have made your list,  Now look at the things that are important to you and examine them. Why are they so important?

  •  Does your list contain material possessions?
  • Does your list contain your values?
  • Does your list include your family?
  • Does your list include God and your faith?
  • Does your list include things that don’t really matter?

Now look at your list and see if there are things you would change.  If you are being truly honest, you would see that there are things that you can change,  things you can improve on, things that should matter, and things that shouldn’t.  If you die tomorrow, would your list change.  Would you be happy with the things that you hold most dear?  Or would you be the same self-confident, self involved person that you are.  Does your family mean anything to you?  Or, do you care more about possessions?  What truly makes you happy?

I hope that I have given you a reason to improve your life and a reason to reflect back.  You and only you can make a difference in the lives of others.  I see my list, I see changes that can be made and things I want to change.  What about you?

The Difference in Writing For Children and Adults

There should be a distinct difference in writing for Children than Adults, because of the subject matter.  Children are not capable of understanding the same things as an adult would.  A theme, topic, or focus is much different for children, because their ability to grasp material and their awareness to data is much more limited than someone much older.  A child’s communication and intellectual skills require memory, understanding and concentration.  It is harder for a child with a small attention span to be able to sit down and read a story than a child with a longer one. Secondly children have to be able to reason and separate what they have read, understand the difference in what is fiction or fantasy.  Next children have to understand vocabulary and understand descriptive language that is talked about in the story.  Last of all, children have to be able to develop their own ideas of what they are reading, from things that  they have learned about in the past.  You would not talk about a complex topic to a small child that has no possible understanding of the subject.

To be able to write or teach a young child, you have to be able to get down to their level of thinking by considering their intellectual development or understanding capabilities.  This can be done by repetition of words, simple sentences vs. complex sentences and the use of pictures for descriptive purposes.

Written by Tracy Kauffman

Tracy Kauffman is a Fiction Fantasy author from North Alabama.  She is married and has two children.  She graduated Calhoun College with an associate degree in Applied Science.  She loves writing stories for children and young adults.  She works part-time at a nursing home with some fantastic elderly folks who inspire her. She loves hearing their interesting stories and often jokes that she has several mothers and fathers there. She started writing short stories and poetry when she was a teenager. She wants to help bring joy to the world today by her books.

As an author, she wants to write books that will edify, encourage and be decent for children and young adults.

Tracy Kauffman has written Gwendolyn’s Wish-a children’s book that is about a young girl who receives a special parrot that can grant wishes.  It is written for an elementary to secondary age reader.

Her website: http://tracykauffman.yolasite.com

Her book is available at Amazon in soft cover and Kindle E book format:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=gwendolyn%27s+wish

Also available in Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/gwendolyn-s-wish?keyword=gwendolyn%27s+wish&store=nookstore

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gwendolyns-Wish/book-LpLxEkBpfUGU9odBbZPagA/page1.html?s=DZN3nIN280CWdEwN8P6Uvg&r=1

The Importance of Reading

I wanted to share with you why books are so important books and give you some tips on what makes up a book. Not only do we need to know how to write a word or sentence, we need to learn to write paragraphs, essays, and stories. With an active imagination, you can go to other worlds or made up worlds. We can experience new things in a book. Books can change our lives and other people’s lives. Look at some books that have inspired us. What about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz.

The writers of these books had to learn to write before they could tell their stories. Where do you think their stories came from? Their imagination, their own life experiences. Maybe they got the idea to write a book from watching their uncle deliver mail, or maybe from their animals. They might have had a dog that could chase people up trees. Maybe they had a bird that could sing. There are a lot of characters from books that were made up about real people. One of my books, Southern Adventures is about me. A favorite character will be remembered forever like Clifford the big red dog or Dr. Seuss. One of my favorites is Sami from Gwendolyn’s Wish.

Writing a story or book starts with an imagination and using that imagination to be creative. I ask myself, who is going to be the main character of the story? What is the plot is the events that make up the story? Where is the story going to take place or the setting? The setting is a time such as in the future, the past or present. It is also the place, for example: on a far away countryside or a different world. Reading can make up smarter. Without reading we wouldn’t know anything that we know today. Our forefathers have taught us more than we know.

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A theme, topic, or focus is much different for children, because their ability to grasp material and their awareness to data is much more limited than someone much older. A child’s communication and intellectual skills require memory, understanding and concentration. It is harder for a child with a small attention span to be able to sit down and read a story than a child with a longer one.

Secondly children have to be able to reason and separate what they have read, understand the difference in what is fiction or fantasy.

Next children have to understand vocabulary and understand descriptive language that is talked about in the story.

Last of all, children have to be able to develop their own ideas of what they are reading, from things that they have learned about in the past. You would not talk about a complex topic to a small child that has no possible understanding of the subject.

To be able to write or teach a young child, you have to be able to get down to their level of thinking by considering their intellectual development or understanding capabilities. This can be done by

1. repetition of words,

2. simple sentences vs. complex sentences and

3. the use of pictures for descriptive purposes.

Tracy Kauffman is the author of Southern Adventures, Richard the Lionheart, My Boyfriend the Squire.  To order any of these books you can order through her website at: tracykauffman.com

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Sources

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