Friday, November 16, 2012
Guest Post: Kids LOVE Their P's with author Traci McDonald
So much of what we do as parents is getting our children to do things that are good for them; things they hate. When my older boys were little, we fooled them into thinking they loved vegetables by disguising them as games and treats. My 12 year old’s favorite snack is still ‘Ants on a Log’. (Celery, peanut butter, and raisins) I can’t get him to eat salad, spaghetti or green beans, but the fun parts of his childhood are still sweet. He would probably be crushed if I told him he was eating vegetables.
All three of my sons are writing based on their love of books when they were children. My 13 year old has an outline for an intermediate story about kids in middle school with super powers that save the world. My 12 year old is an avid reader and is currently working on a young adult story about a kid who can slip through the layers of time to another century. Even my 7 year old is writing a chapter book called Dragon Girl and a comic book about a boy with ten lives. They are amazing kids, but I noticed three particular things from their childhood that have made a difference to their writing.
The 3 P’s of inspiring their creativity has been:
First: Pens—Now this does not literally mean pens. It can be pencils, paints, markers or any other writing implement. Being able to write down an idea, draw a super hero or quote a line of dialogue, is important to my budding writers. Funny jokes or quotes they hear end up in their books. Characters they drew when they were young kids become the heroes of entire stories. So much happens on computers these days that we forget how important it is for our children to be able to stop something they are doing when they have an idea and write it down.
Second: Paper—One year for Christmas, we bought a box of over 5,000 sheets of paper. If someone wants to make their own book, we break out the paper and use it to make one. Book outlines can be mapped out on sheets of paper that can be taped together or hung from a wall for them to work on. To just be able to grab a sheet of paper and tell a story is good practice. Being a blind mom, my kids will want to tell me a story from school or about playing with their friends. I get overloaded with too much noise and so I have them write it down, and then read it to me when we have a quiet moment.
Last: Pictures—From the time my children were little, I had them describe pictures to me. What color something is, what they can compare it to. Using descriptors paint pictures in my mind because I can’t see. Picture books are great for this as well as magazines, covers of books and comics. Some of our favorite places to go and ‘look’ at pictures are bookstores and libraries.
Most people are visually stimulated and children are especially so. Helping them find fun, fantastic pictures will not only stimulate their imaginations, but it also interests them in reading, and all writers read religiously.
Now, admittedly sometimes these P’s are accepted and welcomed like their vegetable counterparts, with upturned noses and threats of vomiting. If we have patience, try to make it fun and have it be a regular part of life. It will help take the sting out when it is time for them to eat their P’s.
About the Author:
Debut author Traci McDonald has been a writer since she figured out how to make words on a page. Traci wrote for English classes like most people, but she wrote everything else in between. Traci won minor competitions with short stories, poetry and lyrics before becoming visually impaired. That is just a political correct way of saying Traci McDonald is blind. Traci lost her eyesight 17 years ago, but it never stopped her from living life and following her dreams. She has struggled with her health and raising kids, prior to the publication of her first novel. Traci is very excited to see her dream in life coming true. She lives in a small cozy town in the Mojave Desert, less than 150 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Traci McDonald has four other books in the process of becoming published and a whole list of others she plans to write.
You can find out more about Traci McDonald and her debut romance novel during her World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/8nejedq
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