Three Things A Writer Needs According to Faulkner

Here are three things a writer needs according to Faulkner.

This is a terrific thought and so very true.  Thanks Mr. Faulkner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was sixteen years old, I decided I wanted to put to pen my story of a girl who wants to be a Kabuki actor, but couldn’t because she was female.

For over twenty-five years I never got further than the first chapter of the book which was then titled, Two For the Kabuki for as many years.

Experience:

Thank goodness I waited to write it.  I need experience both as a human being on this earth and teacher.  Without the experiences, my book would have been very superficial and not what it became.

I used to blame myself for waiting so long to write it.  As if I didn’t write it, someone else might do so first.  Maybe so.

Observation:

I needed all those years to observe people.  A great place to do so was in my drama classroom. For twenty years, I taught middle school students.  Middle school is the most complex of all the years for a child.  They arrive to you as an eleven year old and leave as nearly a fourteen year old.  Wow.  Think about that!

The middle school years are the ones of the body changing, hormones a moaning, pimples, facial hair, squeaky voices and lack of poise.  Even the greatest athlete of the group can trip over himself on the way to the cafeteria.

I noticed the girl give up their long locks of hair and trying something more daring right around seventh grade.  As if the approaching high school years beckon them to mature in to the young adult they will become.

I listen to people’s conversations a lot, or rather I eaves drop on conversations.  Who needs to write original dialogue? People sometimes express themselves far better than I can.   I keep my ears peaked at all times.

Imagination:

I have quite an imagination.  I’m still afraid of the dark and think strange noises are some alien trying to get me. I won’t put my foot outside the sheets and when I do, it stays on top of the mattress.  No dangling my vulnerable foot over the edge of the bed.

Because of my experience as an actress and director, I rarely have trouble getting the juices to flow once I open the door to them.  Frankly, I have more trouble prioritizing which creative activity I should do first.  I always seem to have several irons in the fire–teacherspayteachers products, this blog, social sites to keep up, a play version of Bumbling Bea and a book or two rolling around in my mind.

I wish I could put one first over the rest, but I simply can’t.

But Mr. Faulkner obviously knows what he’s talking about.  If I could write what he did, maybe I’d be quoted instead of him.

Nah, I doubt it.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net or here.  I’d love to here from you.

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National Haiku Day Bumbling Bea Style

April 15 is National Haiku Day. I’m going to honor national haiku day Bumbling Bea style.

You gotta wonder who thinks up these national days….

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

When I think of Haiku, I think of gorgeous flowering trees in Japan.

I’m sure there are poets who write them without thinking like I do.

I did a little researching and found Creative.Writing.Now. com.  It’s a website founded by writing teachers about writing.  One of their pages is about haiku poetry.  

The following are typical of haiku:

  • A focus on nature.

  • A “season word” such as “snow” which tells the reader what time of year it is.

  • A division somewhere in the poem, which focuses first on one thing, than on another. The relationship between these two parts is sometimes surprising.

  • Instead of saying how a scene makes him or her feel, the poet shows the details that caused that emotion. If the sight of an empty winter sky made the poet feel lonely, describing that sky can give the same feeling to the reader.

In honor of National Haiku Day, April 15 I created a few haiku about the characters of my award winning book, Bumbling Bea. There are several acknowledgements to the Japanese culture in the story so it only seemed fitting.

 My haiku aren’t about trees, flowers and clouds, but they are about the nature of human beings.  (Get it, get it?)

Bumbling Bea

Beatrice about Michiko:

Laughing and bowing

Her voice strong and dramatic

I wish I was her.

Bumbling Bea

Michiko thoughts about her mother:

You loudly scold me

Stretching, growing up I cry

This life’s mine not yours.

Bumbling Bea

Peter’s reflection about the  Michiko sabotage:

Devil leaves of three

Softly touch innocent skin

Oozing mounds erupt.

Bumbling Bea

Bumbling Bea would say:

I take over you

blurting outrageous things

Always regretting them.

Mr. Brace quips:

As father I’m bound

To family duties

Begrudging all.

Mrs. Brace to Mr. Brace:

Can’t you see I’m sad?

It’s hard to forget

Happy days, sweet nights.

BB chapter 16

The Cast’s thoughts:

Performance is super

Michiko adds spice and flare

But what’s with the freeze?

Lost?  You won’t be once you read my book.  Check it out here:

http://tinyurl.cpm/n5at3o

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check out my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

 

Student Survival: The Importance of Pleasure Reading for a Kid

So, let’s talk about pleasure reading for a kid.

Recently, I was looking for a  pleasure reading book to purchase for my upcoming trip over seas. I was having a difficult time finding one. I saw a child who was nearly eating a book while he read it–in the time I looked over one aisle of books, he read three (all right, they were short, but still…)

 

books

Some people are selective about the genres they read.  I usually gravitate toward books with quirky characters in ordinary appearing plots. I say “ordinary appearing” because it is always intriguing to find the characters going somewhere else than you expected.

However, I am known to cheat and read the last chapter of a book if a. the story is moving too slowly for me or b. I’m dying to know what happens. When I was a child, my mother would scold me for doing so–still haven’t kicked the habit.  Sorry, Mom.

I worry about kids’ reading preferences. It seems many writers write for whatever trend is popular the time. A few years ago, it was zombies and time travelers. Not every child wants to read fantasy or graphic novels.  That’s why I penned Bumbling Bea.  If you haven’t picked up my book, you might want to try it.  I promise you, it isn’t your run of the mill plot! Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/n5at3oh

I ran on to an article concerning this concern and I thought you’d be interested, too.

Indie Book

Promoting the Pleasures of Reading: Why It Matters to Kids and to Country

June 10, 2017

Advocacy, Inquiry, Literacy, Reading, Teachingpleasure reading

by Lu Ann McNabb

This post is written by member Jeffrey Wilhelm.

Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want and Why We Should Let Them was this past year’s winner of the NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in English Education.

The research findings that we report in Reading Unbound have profound implications for us as teachers, for our students, and for democracy.

In our book, we argue that pleasure reading is a civil rights issue. Why? Because fine-grained longitudinal studies (e.g., the British Cohort study: Sullivan & Brown, 2013; and John Guthrie’s analysis of PISA data, 2004, among many others) demonstrate that pleasure reading in youth is the most explanatory factor in both cognitive progress and social mobility over time.

pleasure reading

Pleasure reading is more powerful than parents’ educational attainment or socioeconomic status.

This means that pleasure reading is THE way to address social inequalities in terms of actualizing our students’ full potential and overcoming barriers to satisfying and successful lives.

We think that our data explain why pleasure reading leads to cognitive growth and social mobility.

The major takeaway for teachers is to focus on pleasure in our teaching. Pleasure has many forms: play pleasure/immersive pleasure, when you get lost in a book—this is a prerequisite pleasure and we can foster it in various ways, such as teaching with an inquiry approach, using drama and visualization strategies, etc.; work pleasure, where you get a functional and immediately applicable tool for doing something in your life; inner work pleasure, where you imaginatively rehearse for your life and consider what kind of person you want to be; intellectual pleasure, where you figure out what things mean and how texts were constructed to convey meanings and effects; and social pleasure, in which you relate to authors, characters, other readers, and yourself by staking your own identity.

Kids (like all other human beings!) do what they find pleasurable. You get good at what you do and then outgrow yourself by developing new related interests and capacities.

Book

Play pleasure develops the capacity to engage and immerse oneself, to visualize meanings and relate to characters. It is the desire to love and be loved. Work pleasure is the love of getting something functional done. Work pleasure is about the love of application and visible signs of accomplishment. Readers engaging in this pleasure cultivate transfer of strategies and insights to life.

Inner work pleasure involves imaginatively rehearsing what kind of person one wants to be. As our informant Helen asserted: “It’s not really learning about yourself, it’s learning about what you could be . . . .” and “Characters are ways of thinking really . . . They are ways of being you can try on.”

Inner work is the love of transformation—of connecting to something greater, of striving to become something more. When our informants engaged in this pleasure, they expressed and developed a growth mindset and a sense of personal and social possibility.

 pleasure reading

Intellectual pleasure is pursued for the joy of figuring things out; it develops the capacity to see connections and solve problems. Our informants developed resilience, grit, and proactivity through the exercise of this pleasure. Erik Erikson argued that staking one’s identity is the primary task of early to late adolescence and that this is achieved through evolving interests and competence.

Social pleasure involves this human developmental project because it involves relating to authors, characters, other readers, and the self in ways that stake identity. Social pleasure is the love of connection—to the self, others, community, and to doing significant work together.

This pleasure develops social imagination: the capacity to experience the world from other perspectives; to learn from and appreciate others distant from us in time, space, and experience; and the willingness to relate, reciprocate, attend to, and help others different from ourselves.

In other words, it promotes cognitive progress, wisdom, wholeness, and the democratic project. In fact, all of the pleasures were found to do this.

Our data clearly establish that students gravitate to the kinds of books they need to navigate their current life challenges, and that many ancillary benefits accrue in the realms of cognition, psychology, emotional development, and socialness. So much so that we developed the mantra: Kids read what they need!

 

This finding led us to be more trusting of kids’ choices and to ask them about why they chose to read what they did, and eventually to championing these choices. We likewise found that each of the marginalized genres we studied (romance, horror, vampire, fantasy, and dystopia) provided specific benefits and helped students navigate different individual developmental challenges.

Our data also establish that young people are doing sophisticated intellectual work in their pleasure reading, much of it just the kind of work that the Common Core and other next generation standards call for. So making pleasure more central to our practice is not in conflict with working to achieve standards.

girl reading

Standards and all the other significant goals described here can be achieved if teachers value interpretive complexity as much as they do textual complexity, if they create inquiry contexts that reward entering a story world and doing psychological and social work in addition to more traditional academic goals, and if they provide opportunities for choice and meaningful conversation.

Given the benefits of each pleasure, we are convinced that pleasure reading is not only a civil right, it is a social necessity of democracy.

That is why we urge you to promote pleasure reading in your classroom and school, and it is why our book is filled with practical ideas for how to do so while promoting each of the five pleasures. It is monumental work—and it is work we must undertake with the greatest urgency—particularly at this moment in history.

books

What are some of your favorite genres to read? Perhaps you have a child who might enjoy reading my book, Bumbling Bea simply for the fun of it.  I think they’ll enjoy it!

Check it out here:  https://www.amazon.com/Bumbling-Bea-Deborah-Baldwin/dp/1500390356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516988757&sr=8-1&keywords=Bumbling+Bea

I’d love to hear from you.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

Book reviewers

In Praise of Book Reviewers

I’d like to praise book reviewers those who read books and review them. You are wonderful, did you know this?

But first–

(This is on behalf of all authors. If you take this personally, that’s on you. 😊)

Dear well meaning friends and family,

I have news that may be a bit disparaging of you and that is not my intent.

It is challenging for me to continue to support your endeavors, show interest in your life and interests when it is not reciprocal.  I bet you know of which I am speaking.

You know the copy of my book you begged me to give to you? Do you remember how you promised (practically on a stack of Bibles, as they say) you would post a book review for me?

Then you didn’t read my book OR write a review?

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Everyone gets busy some times, or we forget what we have promised or whatever.

There are lot of whatevers…

Simply put, word of mouth advertising is the best form of advertising bar non.

Have you ever attended a movie and shared your opinion of it with a friend? That’s worth of mouth advertising.

Writing a review is simple.

Here is an example of what a review can look like:

“I liked the story a lot.  It was funny with great characters and an unusual message.  I recommend you read this book.”

“Although I usually don’t care to read  romance novels, this one was pretty good and worth my time to read it.” (Notice this one is less positive, but still does the job.)

Ta-da!

Then post your review on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, etc.

YOU DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN THE PLOT.  That’s someone else’s job.

Your job is to show support for the book and author.

Writing a book review is no different than buying your friend’s cake at the church bazaar, some popcorn from the BoyScouts booth at the mall or magazines from your neighbor’s marching band student. It’s like attending your brother’s performance in a community theatre production or enjoying your neighbor’s booth at an arts festival in your community.

You are showing support in all of these circumstances.

Oh….you say. That’s it?

That’s it.

What if I only have negative things to say?

Surely you can speak generally about the book and give it some kind of support.

You have to understand writing a book and being an indie author ain’t an easy job.

We do everything for our books–marketing, publicity, book talks, book fairs, interviews, selects its cover, art work, write its description, etc.  EVERYTHING.

You could say writing a review is a symbolic pat on the back of the author  acknowledging their hard work.

Can I leave a review anonymously?

Yes, you can.

Can I give my friend’s book a rating lower than five stars? Will it hurt them?

No, it won’t hurt them exactly.  In fact, giving a book four stars instead of five seems a more authentic score–Amazon’s algorithms love that.

Become a book reviewer for some indie author.  I know they would appreciate it.

Remember, we are all in this together.

Still needing help? Go to: httpst://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015FQ85SW/ref=as_li_tlie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B015FQ85SW&linkCode=as2&tag=annbeg-20&linkId=FZPEP65RAKNMOKO2

Thanks!

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check out my website at DeborahBaldwin.netIn Praise of Book Reviewers

It’s Cyber Monday Every Day at Dramamommaspeaks.com

Bumbling Bea copy

At Dramamommaspeaks, every Monday (or every day for that matter) is Cyber Monday.

I have a great gift for you here at Dramamommaspeaks.com

Are you beginning to think about purchasing gifts for the up coming holidays?

Do you have a reader in mind?

Maybe they’d enjoy mine.  Here is a short description for you:

Beatrice thinks she has no acting talent but that doesn’t stop her from auditioning for the annual middle school play. Easy! Except Michiko, a new girl from Japan, shows up and ruins everything! So begins Beatrice’s diabolical plan to scare away Michiko. But Michiko has goals of her own with no plans to leave soon. Beatrice is sometimes sarcastic, sometimes very funny and always honest. What’s a girl to do?  Plenty.

I bet they’d love a book with the author’s autograph.

Do I have the deal for you!

We are now on Etsy.com where I am only selling autographed copies.

For the same price as I would sell the book at a festival or book talk, I will sign your book for FREE.

Go to https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dramamommaspeaks

Part of the challenge for indie authors is getting the word out about our books.  You can help me with this by purchasing a book for a young friend.  Or, you can purchase the book yourself.

I’m always seeking more reviews for Bumbling Bea, too.  You’d be surprised at how many people of different ages have read Bumbling Bea.  That’s one of the most fun parts of my journey as a writer.  I get to see how the story affects different people and what they take away from it.

I will try to impress you now…

I have been a drama teacher and director for thirty-nine years.

I have won awards for both.

I am an award winning author. I’ve been interviewed several times about Bumbling Bea, the most recent was a podcast with a world wide membership.  Check it out here:  http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/9/3/0/930c33253e57a3ca/Deborah_Baldwin.mp3c_id=18480362&expiration=1515362648&hwt=f6571e878f770624d2dd0babf9fa6108

Check out reviews at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.com  I think you’ll be pleased. Remember:  Cyber Monday is every day at Dramamommaspeaks.com.

And as always–

contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

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I'm glad I'm an Indie Author

The 10 Reasons I’m Glad I am an Indie Author

The 10 Reasons I’m Glad I am an Indie Author is popular with my followers.

I’m listening to our grand daughter as she giggles with her grandpa. They are playing a rowdy game of  Peek-a-boo.   She’ll whimper a little like she’s unhappy and he’ll think of something else to do with her to make her happy.

That’s when I think of how glad I am to be an Indie author.

indie-book

I think if I had an agent and publisher, I might be spending time communicating with them and not enjoying our little bundle of energy.

Working for myself  as an indie author gives me some  great advantages:

I answer to myself. I don’t have to make phone calls and negotiate with anyone.  Negotiating is tiring, although usually good comes out of those kind of meetings.  I like to compromise.

I have no time constraints or deadlines. If I don’t want to work on the adaptation of Bumbling Bea into a play, I don’t have to do so.  Trust me, there are so many facets of indie publishing.  I can use my time wisely just about anywhere my cursor lands.  I accept the reality of this, however.  I know if I don’t finish a scene then I might not make my self imposed deadline, but that’s something for me to deal with.

I have no budget limits except those in my own pocketbook. I have to be careful with my budget now that I am retired.  Currently, I’m not directing any project or doing any extra teaching.  I think I’m in a transition period. It’s easy to overspend on advertising and marketing which is of course the crux of the work.

I set the price of both the paperback and ebook version. Because it’s mine, I can change the price any time I choose with the trust help of Amazon.  Usually, I can change the price in a matter of hours.

boy reading .jpg

 I receive a higher royalty for each copy than through traditional publishing. If you think I’m getting rich here you are sorely mistaken.  That wasn’t my goal, although the extra money is always welcome, you know?

I have complete creative control. I decide on everything pertaining to my book–its color, font style, size, synopsis, description, retailers, giveaways, etc.  This aspect reminds me of directing plays.  It was very fun to work with my illustrator, H. Russ Brown.  If I had gone the traditional publishing route, I wouldn’t have the team creativity we enjoy.

I have editorial control. Generally, this is a great asset.  It can be challenging some times because if I see an error (and I do see errors), I decide whether the error should be fixed and the book reprinted.

 In turn, I can also do a second printing.  That’s why Bumbling Bea received a new exterior in February of 2016.  I thought she needed some updating on both the outside and the story as well.  You ask what did I do?  You’ll have to read Bumbling Bea to find out!

I retain all the rights in a global market. If Bumbling Bea ever goes big and I mean IF, I reap the fruits of my labor, not someone elsewhere.

girl reading .jpg

Bumbling Bea is a book of a particular niche market. For readers who are interested in theatre and are young teens, Bumbling Bea is for you.   However,  we discovered readers of many ages and students of various grade levels enjoy the story, because it is relatable.

I’ve received reviews from grandmothers, teenagers, college students, actors, singers, dancers and even athletes.  That’s quite a broad appeal.

I will admit, I have good days and not so good days.  I like working by myself but at times I crave conversation with a friend or two to help me work out whatever my writing challenge I’m having.

Whenever that occurs, I chat with my  Indie Writers Cooperative Facebook group to gain perspective again.  They are a wonderful resource to me as unbiased listeners and peers.  The group was created in the fall of 2016 and to date we have more than 500 members. I think that speaks volumes about the importance of having a place to sound off with a group that understands you.

“But Deborah, what if an agent contacts you and wants to represent your book.  What will you do?”  I’ve spoken with two agents in the past. One wanted me to completely revamp the story turning it into a YA one and the other was overworked. So, if someone calls, I’ll call them back that’s for sure!From there, we’ll see…

So, there’s the ten reasons I’m glad I am an indie author.

Independent publishing is here to stay. Please enjoy a read on my behalf.

book

Write me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check out my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

Bumbling Bea

Exclusive Interview of My Main Character

http://www.tabislick.com/2017/09/bumblinginterview.html

Recently, my main character Beatrice Brace was selected for an exclusive interview with the Slick Writing Corner blog.  Thank you so much to Tabi and the Slick writing Corner.   Here is the interview:

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*Intro music begins to play as lights hit front stage*

Tabi: Welcome back! How’s everyone feeling tonight?

*Audience goes wild, clapping their hands and whistling enthusiastically*

Tabi: Awesome, well thank you all for joining us. Tonight we have a very special guest all the way from Chesapeake, Virginia put your hands together for Beatrice Brace!

*Beatrice enters the stage as the audience applaud*

*The two take a seat and the audience follows their lead*

Tabi: So, Beatrice, I hear you’re trying out for the lead role in your 8th grade school play. Could you tell us a little bit about the part you’ll be auditioning for?

Beatrice: I want to play the leading role of Pocahontas in our annual school play about Pocahontas and John Smith. Even though the script isn’t very factual and sort of dumb, I still want to play the lead role.

Tabi: And why is that?

Beatrice: This is my last time to audition for the school play. My Grandpa Percy passed away during the play rehearsal time when I was in sixth grade and in seventh grade I had to have my tonsils taken out and missed the show. So if I’m going to perform Pocahontas, this is my last time. Plus, if I get the leading part, I’m guaranteed to make friends with the popular kids before we move to high school next year. High school really scares me.

Tabi: High school can seem pretty scary, but once you’re there it usually gets less scary. You mentioned being guaranteed friends with the popular crowd, could you explain this a little bit?

Beatrice: Popular kids like other kids who are in the limelight.  Somehow they think that will rub off on them, so they stick close to them to survive. I think I’m stupid, pudgy and not very talented. If I am cast as Pocahontas at least for a Nano second, I’ll be popular with those kids. There are only three other eighth grade students auditioningmy two friends Jerri and Peter and this Japanese girl, Michiko. The three of us are shoe-ins. I don’t know about Michiko.

Tabi: Could you tell us a little bit about Michiko?

Beatrice: Ugh. Okay, if I have to… Michiko Tannabe is a girl who is visiting from Japan for the school year. She is the same age as I, but a complete opposite of me. She is petite, slender, delicate, very talented and super smart. She wears cat ears and dramatizes everything in her life.

Tabi: I guess auditioning for the school play makes sense then.

Beatrice: I think she’s kinda pushy and a know-it-all. My alter ego, Bumbling Bea, takes care of her for me. Well, I should say Bumbling Bea tries to take care of Michiko for me, but it backfires big time thanks to Peter’s failed sabotage attempt with poison ivy.

Tabi *Look of shock*: Poison ivy? Yikes! Unless you’re like me and are in the 15% who aren’t allergic. And what is or who is Bumbling Bea?

Beatrice: As I mentioned, she’s my alter egosarcastic, rude and a know it all. She says too much and needs to think before she speaks. Ha! If she did, she’d vanish. She shows up out of nowhere and takes over. Whenever I am awkward or unsure, Bumbling Bea blurts something to make me feel better about myself.

Tabi: I see. And what about your friends, what are Jerri and Peter like?

Beatrice: I think everyone should have a Jerri in their life. She’s the kind of friend who can speak honestly to me about myself.

Tabi: That’s a good kind of friends to have. And what about Peter?

Beatrice: I think everyone probably has a friend like Peter in their life, too. He’s kind of nerdy and awkward, but hysterically funny at the same time. Sometimes I just call him “P” to get his attention.

*Beatrice’s alter ego takes over*

Bumbling Bea: There’s a reason, but I’m not gonna share that, too. Jeez!

*Beatrice returns. Tabi glances with concern to the audience before returning her attention to Beatrice*

Tabi: Uh-uh… I see. And how did you meet these two?

Beatrice: We met in kindergarten and have been pals ever since. We live in the same neighborhood and together we ride our bikes to school every day.

Tabi: How nice! It’s good to have friends nearby. On a different note, let’s get to know you a little bit more. What’s your favorite song on the radio?

Beatrice: I like “Lights” by Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift’s “I’m only Me When I’m With You”?

Tabi: Really? What do you like about these songs?

Beatrice: When I first heard “Lights” I looked up the meaning of the song.  One opinion is that it is about depression and how she beats it.  Sometimes I’m depressed, but I always remember whatever is bothering me will pass in time.  I just like Taylor’s song because I can dance to it.  

Tabi: What about your favorite movie?

Beatrice: I like all the Stars Wars movies and Marvel Comics, especially Wonder Woman.  She’s awesome!

Tabi: I agree! Wonder Woman is my absolute favorite. Good choice! And do you play a sport?

*Bumbling Bea takes over, giving Tabi a look like she’s a crazy person*

Bumbling Bea: Heck no.

*The Audience laughs*

Tabi: Haha, okay moving on. So if you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Bumbling Bea: Anywhere but here.

*The audience watches as Beatrice returns*

Beatrice: I’d like to visit England and see Stonehenge and Stratford on Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Tabi: Ahh, now the auditioning for the play makes more sense. Do you dream of acting in one of Shakespeare’s plays?

Beatrice:  I doubt it.  His plays are in iambic pentameter, you know?  I’m afraid I’d forget the lines and mess up the rhythm of them while doing so.  

Tabi: Well, I wish you the best of luck in auditioning for Pocahontas. Now, you said Michiko is also auditioning for the part, correct?

Beatrice: Yes.

Tabi: What would you say is her best quality?

Beatrice: Michiko is fearless and driven. She doesn’t care if other students like her. She knows what she wants and goes for it.

Tabi: Those are great qualities. What do your friends think of Michiko?

Beatrice: Jerri becomes fast friends with Michiko. It takes Peter longer, because he’s more interested in making money to buy a scooter than anything else. At first, he doesn’t even notice her.

Tabi: and what do you think Michiko thinks of you?

Beatrice: I think Michiko doesn’t even notice me until she is forced to work with me on the play. She probably thinks I’m stupid and boring. Maybe she’s right, but I’m not going to give her the satisfaction of thinking so. I’ll show her!

*Michiko enters the stage unexpectedly*

Michiko: Oh, Beatrice. I brought you some of my mother’s almond cookies which you like so much.

*Awww sounds ensue from the crowd at the touching gesture*

Beatrice: Thank you, I guess.

Michiko: What are you doing?

Beatrice: I’m being interviewed about my Bumbling Bea story.

Michiko: Oh that story. I’m glad we’re past that, aren’t you? It was a crazy time for both of us.

*Michiko turns to Tabi*

Michiko: Tabi, has Beatrice shared how it ends?

Tabi: Why, no actually.

Beatrice: No, duh. And I’m not gonna. She’ll have to read it.

Michiko: Exactly! I agree with you, Beatrice. It wouldn’t be any fun to know the ending before you read the book. Then you’d have to call the book a different name.

*Beatrice looks confused by this*

Beatrice: What? I don’t get it, Michiko.

Michiko: Beatrice, you’d have to call the book a different name because the story would be backwards. You could give it a title like Fable of Bea Bumbling. That would be a good name for a play. I can see it now, a group of sound effects men are lined up on the stage with their gongs reads to announce your entrance. A narrator, me, promenades to the center of the stage and strikes a dramatic pose. A Kabuki pose would be best, I think.

Beatrice: Oh brother. Here we go again.

Tabi: Okay, well that’s all the time we have this evening. Don’t forget to go and grab your copy of Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin!

*Outro music begins*

Tabi: Next Friday we’ll be joined by a real, live private investigator who solves murders around Absentia and he’ll  be here to show us how it’s done. Come on, you know you don’t want to miss the exclusive interview with Felix the Fox!

Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/120288238627586

If you’d like more information about the Slick Writing Corner, check it out here:

*Intro music begins to play as lights hit front stage*

Tabi: Welcome back! How’s everyone feeling tonight?

*Audience goes wild, clapping their hands and whistling enthusiastically*

crowd cheering

Tabi: Awesome, well thank you all for joining us. Tonight we have a very special guest all the way from Chesapeake, Virginia put your hands together for Beatrice Brace!

*Beatrice enters the stage as the audience applaud*

*The two take a seat and the audience follows their lead*

Tabi: So, Beatrice, I hear you’re trying out for the lead role in your 8th grade school play. Could you tell us a little bit about the part you’ll be auditioning for?

Beatrice: I want to play the leading role of Pocahontas in our annual school play about Pocahontas and John Smith. Even though the script isn’t very factual and sort of dumb, I still want to play the lead role.

Tabi: And why is that?

Beatrice: This is my last time to audition for the school play. My Grandpa Percy passed away during the play rehearsal time when I was in sixth grade and in seventh grade I had to have my tonsils taken out and missed the show. So if I’m going to perform Pocahontas, this is my last time. Plus, if I get the leading part, I’m guaranteed to make friends with the popular kids before we move to high school next year. High school really scares me.

Tabi: High school can seem pretty scary, but once you’re there it usually gets less scary. You mentioned being guaranteed friends with the popular crowd, could you explain this a little bit?

Beatrice: Popular kids like other kids who are in the limelight.  Somehow they think that will rub off on them, so they stick close to them to survive. I think I’m stupid, pudgy and not very talented. If I am cast as Pocahontas at least for a Nano second, I’ll be popular with those kids. There are only three other eighth grade students auditioningmy two friends Jerri and Peter and this Japanese girl, Michiko. The three of us are shoe-ins. I don’t know about Michiko.

Tabi: Could you tell us a little bit about Michiko?

Beatrice: Ugh. Okay, if I have to… Michiko Tannabe is a girl who is visiting from Japan for the school year. She is the same age as I, but a complete opposite of me. She is petite, slender, delicate, very talented and super smart. She wears cat ears and dramatizes everything in her life.

Tabi: I guess auditioning for the school play makes sense then.

Beatrice: I think she’s kinda pushy and a know-it-all. My alter ego, Bumbling Bea, takes care of her for me. Well, I should say Bumbling Bea tries to take care of Michiko for me, but it backfires big time thanks to Peter’s failed sabotage attempt with poison ivy.

Tabi *Look of shock*: Poison ivy? Yikes! Unless you’re like me and are in the 15% who aren’t allergic. And what is or who is Bumbling Bea?

Beatrice: As I mentioned, she’s my alter egosarcastic, rude and a know it all. She says too much and needs to think before she speaks. Ha! If she did, she’d vanish. She shows up out of nowhere and takes over. Whenever I am awkward or unsure, Bumbling Bea blurts something to make me feel better about myself.

Tabi: I see. And what about your friends, what are Jerri and Peter like?

Beatrice: I think everyone should have a Jerri in their life. She’s the kind of friend who can speak honestly to me about myself.

Tabi: That’s a good kind of friend to have. And what about Peter?

Beatrice: I think everyone probably has a friend like Peter in their life, too. He’s kind of nerdy and awkward, but hysterically funny at the same time. Sometimes I just call him “P” to get his attention.

*Beatrice’s alter ego takes over*

Bumbling Bea: There’s a reason, but I’m not gonna share that, too. Jeez!

*Beatrice returns. Tabi glances with concern to the audience before returning her attention to Beatrice*

Tabi: Uh-uh… I see. And how did you meet these two?

Beatrice: We met in kindergarten and have been pals ever since. We live in the same neighborhood and together we ride our bikes to school every day.

Tabi: How nice! It’s good to have friends nearby. On a different note, let’s get to know you a little bit more. What’s your favorite song on the radio?

Beatrice: I like “Lights” by Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift’s “I’m only Me When I’m With You”?

Tabi: Really? What do you like about these songs?

Beatrice: When I first heard “Lights” I looked up the meaning of the song.  One opinion is that it is about depression and how she beats it.  Sometimes I’m depressed, but I always remember whatever is bothering me will pass in time.  I just like Taylor’s song because I can dance to it.  

Tabi: What about your favorite movie?

Beatrice: I like all the Stars Wars movies and Marvel Comics, especially Wonder Woman.  She’s awesome!

Tabi: I agree! Wonder Woman is my absolute favorite. Good choice! And do you play a sport?

*Bumbling Bea takes over, giving Tabi a look like she’s a crazy person*

Bumbling Bea: Heck no.

*The Audience laughs*

Tabi: Haha, okay moving on. So if you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Bumbling Bea: Anywhere but here.

*The audience watches as Beatrice returns*

Beatrice: I’d like to visit England and see Stonehenge and Stratford on Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Tabi: Ahh, now the auditioning for the play makes more sense. Do you dream of acting in one of Shakespeare’s plays?

Beatrice:  I doubt it.  His plays are in iambic pentameter, you know?  I’m afraid I’d forget the lines and mess up the rhythm of them while doing so.  

Tabi: Well, I wish you the best of luck in auditioning for Pocahontas. Now, you said Michiko is also auditioning for the part, correct?

Beatrice: Yes.

Tabi: What would you say is her best quality?

Beatrice: Michiko is fearless and driven. She doesn’t care if other students like her. She knows what she wants and goes for it.

Tabi: Those are great qualities. What do your friends think of Michiko?

Beatrice: Jerri becomes fast friends with Michiko. It takes Peter longer, because he’s more interested in making money to buy a scooter than anything else. At first, he doesn’t even notice her.

Tabi: and what do you think Michiko thinks of you?

Beatrice: I think Michiko doesn’t even notice me until she is forced to work with me on the play. She probably thinks I’m stupid and boring. Maybe she’s right, but I’m not going to give her the satisfaction of thinking so. I’ll show her!

*Michiko enters the stage unexpectedly*

Michiko: Oh, Beatrice. I brought you some of my mother’s almond cookies which you like so much.

*Awww sounds ensue from the crowd at the touching gesture*

Beatrice: Thank you, I guess.

Michiko: What are you doing?

Beatrice: I’m being interviewed about my Bumbling Bea story.

Michiko: Oh that story. I’m glad we’re past that, aren’t you? It was a crazy time for both of us.

*Michiko turns to Tabi*

Michiko: Tabi, has Beatrice shared how it ends?

Tabi: Why, no actually.

Beatrice: No, duh. And I’m not gonna. She’ll have to read it.

Michiko: Exactly! I agree with you, Beatrice. It wouldn’t be any fun to know the ending before you read the book. Then you’d have to call the book a different name.

*Beatrice looks confused by this*

Beatrice: What? I don’t get it, Michiko.

Michiko: Beatrice, you’d have to call the book a different name because the story would be backwards. You could give it a title like Fable of Bea Bumbling. That would be a good name for a play. I can see it now, a group of sound effects men are lined up on the stage with their gongs reads to announce your entrance. A narrator, me, promenades to the center of the stage and strikes a dramatic pose. A Kabuki pose would be best, I think.

Beatrice: Oh brother. Here we go again.

Tabi: Okay, well that’s all the time we have this evening. Don’t forget to go and grab your copy of Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin!

*Outro music begins*

Tabi: Next Friday we’ll be joined by a real, live private investigator who solves murders around Absentia and he’ll  be here to show us how it’s done. Come on, you know you don’t want to miss the exclusive interview with Felix the Fox!

Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/120288238627586

An exclusive interview of my main character, Beatrice.  This is such a clever idea.  Thanks to Tabi Slick for inviting us.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

Revolutionary Program for Bored Kids on Airplanes

Here’s an article about a revolutionary program for bored kids on an airplane.  How cool!

Recently, my husband I flew across the ocean to England. There were several kids on board. One little girl had a terrible time on the trip because her mother didn’t bring many things for the girl to do. Then I ran onto this article about a pilot program being tried on Easyjet! .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Jet Launches ‘Flybraries’ Book Club To Keep Kids Entertained On Flights And Encourage Reading
Huffington post U.K.

An airline has come up with the perfect solution to keep kids entertained on flights, while also encouraging their passion to read.

EasyJet has today  launched ‘Flybraries’ (flying libraries), which will see 7,000 books take to the skies in 147 planes.

The launch followed a survey of 2,000 parents, which found 83% think their kids read less than they did when they were children.

Children will be offered books to read on the plane from a book trolley.
They have to leave the books on the plane when they land, but they can download free samples of other classics to read afterwards from the easyJet bookclub.

The airline has teamed up with Jaqueline Wilson and Puffin Classics to compile a selection of books kids will enjoy.

Books onboard flights include ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’, ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ and ‘The Railway Children’.
Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who is supporting the campaign, said: “The long summer break is the ideal opportunity for children to get stuck into a great story.
“Books stimulate a child’s imagination and development. Reading soothes, entertains, grows vocabulary and exercises the mind and a flight is the perfect place to escape into a literary adventure. That’s why I think this campaign is such a clever match.”

EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said: “Our in-flight lending library means young passengers can pick up a brilliant book during their flight and then return it to the seat pocket at the end of the flight for the next customer to enjoy onboard.

“We think it will be popular with parents and children alike.”
To find out more, visit easyJet’s bookclub online here. http://www.easyjet.com/en/bookclub?awc=6296_1504300509_e305347aaa9fe84b6c2185488f5c9b97&utm_medium=Afiliacion&utm_source=Awin_UK&utm_campaign=home&amc=aff.easyjet.27953.32832.19310
Contact me at Dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

Kabuki Theatre

Kabuki Theatre Website

national kabuki theatre website

The Kabuki Theatre website is  Michiko Approved. 😊

Kabuki At Kyoto’s Minamiza Theater

Here is my post on Kabuki theatre and the reasons females are excluded from performing:

Kabuki Theatre for Girls

You may wonder why the kabuki theatre is so important to Michiko, the antagonist of my book, Bumbling Bea.

Michiko wants to be a kabuki actor when she grows up, but that’s never going to occur for her.

She’s a female and the theatre is performed by males only.

It’s a bummer, but it’s the way it is and has been for hundred of years.

What’s a girl to do?

Integrate kabuki theatre and acting into everything you can–that’s Michiko’s plan.

Except she meets her match in the middle school play she is participating in during the story of Bumbling Bea.

Although the school play is about Pocahontas and John Smith (and a very poor representation of them, I might say), she persists.

Lots of funny things happen during the play–bouncing red soccer balls, paper airplanes flying through the performance just to name a few.

And lots of funny things happen in the book, too.

Do you have a middle grade students in your home? Or are you one?

I think you might enjoy Bumbling Bea–at least other kids your age have, especially girls.

The main, character, Beatrice Brace is a snarky, funny self deprecating girl who is bewildered by her parents, the fact that she isn’t in the school play and the threats of the looming high school years ahead of her.

Sound familiar?

When I created Bumbling Bea, I knew the story would be about a girl who wanted to play the leading role in the school play.

That’s all I knew.

Everything else in the book floated into my brain and out on the writing paper.

Michiko appeared one day and her presence was so strong, she became the antagonist of the story.

So take a look at the national kabuki theatre website, check out Bumbling Bea at https:// www.tinyurl.com/n5at3oh and get back to me with your thoughts.

I’d love to hear from you!

Five Happy Stories of Childhood

Five Happy Stories of Childhood for National Tell a Story Day

STORYTELLER

I have five happy stories of childhood for National Tell a Story Day.

I’ve always been a story teller.  I think I come by it naturally.  Do you?

April 27 is National Tell a Story Day.  I didn’t know there was a day set aside for this prior to writing this post.  I’m glad the art of art of storytelling  is acknowledged.  It’s a day when people are encouraged to get together and tell stories to one another.

The origin of theatre can be traced back to the cave dwellers.  Caves in Africa, France and Spain demonstrate a close connection of storytelling with present day theatre.  If a cave dweller came home from a day of hunting, we know at some point someone drew pictures on the walls of the cave.  They appear to tell a story.

Don’t we all tell each other stories daily?  I know I do.

I’d prefer to tell a story to my husband when I’m explaining about something that occurred during my day.  Sometimes it’s a short one–“There was a huge line at the grocery store and only two cashiers” or “Did you hear what Senator So and So said today?”

The story gets the ball rolling, that’s for sure.

Do you have family members who can entertain your for hours with family stories?  I have heard the same stories so many times, I have them memorized and can chime in on the punch lines.  I’m never bored by them.  Sometimes the stories are all I have left of that person. The stories bring them back to life if only momentarily.

My father was quite a character– a doctor, smart and intense.  His intelligence outweighed his emotions, though.  He could get scary mad, but he also had a playful side which I adored.

Five Stories of Childhood

1.  Once in the coldest part of winter, my father drove my mother’s new car (a Nash) on an iced over river, so my brothers and sisters could play Crack the Whip with a rope tow behind the car.  Unfortunately, the ice broke beneath the car sinking it during the festivities pulling my siblings along with it.  I remember my mother and I  being called to rescue them in Dad’s old truck. Mom’s car was never the same. In the winter when you sat on the car seats, they crinkled with ice crystals within them.

five happy stories of childhood for national Tell a Story Day

2.  When I was in 8th grade, my father took me fishing at Bennett Springs, Missouri on opening day of spring fishing season.  He asked me to get his tackle box for him seconds before the horn sounded signaling fishing could commence. I was careless and didn’t put the tackle box back on the rocky enbankment as I was told to do. It slid down the rocks which threw out its contents bobbing along through everyone’s fishing line.  Oops.

3. Another time, my father thought it would be fun to fly (we had a small airplane) to an airport closeby and have lunch after church.  Dad was so excited by his idea, he failed to consider the huge rainstorm the evening before hand.  We landed on what was supposed to be a dirt airstrip. Instead we became terribly stuck in a quagmire of mud and two hours from home with no transportation or rain boots.  It was a long day.

five happy stories of childhood for national Tell a Story Day

4.  It was a scorching hot day.  I never do well with heat.  While camping, my dad ordered me to get out and scout ahead for a particular campsite where were planned to park our thirty-five foot Airstream.  Again, I was kinda attitude filled (ninth grade) and hadn’t wanted to walk ahead of the rig in the oppressive heat.  Indignantly, I radioed him everything was fine. I didn’t see the two parallel trees on either side of the narrow road.  Trusting my asssessment, my father drove forward  and wedged the rig between the trees putting us in everyone’s way for at least an hour. To make matters worse, it was a brand new Airstream with all the horns and whistles.

five happy stories of childhood for national Tell a Story day
Kites flying

5.  My dad and I were avid kite flyers.  Once, he surprised me with a special kite.  It was pretty cool at the time. (Although now I have my eye on a dragon kite.) It was a beauty. The shiny red, black, yellow, pink and orange silk could be seen from blocks away.

On a trip to S. Dakota to see our friends, we attempted to fly the kite from the bluff behind their home.  It flew  with such ease and grace.  Everything was going fantastic, until the kite string snapped. Our beautiful kite fell from the sky toppling over itself like a broken winged bird.  We frantically dashed down the bluff to the kite laying helpless about four blocks away from us. Luckily, we were able to rescue it from a farmer’s field right before he fertilized the row.

Now the kite hangs on my office wall safe and sound along with Dad’s University of Kansas school of medicine diploma.

Ah, those were the days…..

If Dad was alive today, I’d call him and ask him to tell me a story in honor of national Tell a Story Day.

He’d chuckle and gladly weave a tale.

Five happy stories of childhood for national Tell a Story Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it:  my five stories of childhood for national Tell a Story day. I hope you enjoyed them.

Contact me at Dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or Deborah Baldwin.net