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Some Random Thoughts on My Trip to NYC May 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 10:13 pm

I just spent a few days in New York City attending my first Book Expo America with my publisher Headline Kids. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back again next year. Here are just a few random thoughts I had about the entire trip.

1. Books may be dead, but not among librarians. They want books of every size, shape and genre!

2. People can be polite waiting in line. There were lines galore for popular authors signing their latest releases. Everyone waited their turn without pushing, shoving or making rude comments.

3. There is still a market for romance and young adult fiction as evidenced by the long lines for these types of books.

4. We traveled by train from Baltimore to NYC. It was a great way to get there, but it does take you through areas you would never see otherwise. All along the East Coast route you go by many vacant row houses and abandoned factories that harkened back to a time when this country produced goods and shipped via train rather than import everything from China and transport via truck.

5. Baltimore has some rough areas that rival anything New York can produce.

6. There really is a Starbucks on every corner.

7. NYC is very crowded and very vertical. It can make one a bit claustrophobic.

8. It seems that a Starbucks cup in your hand and earnubs in your ears are as important accessories as shoes and sunglasses.

9. There are men and women in NYC that are very fashionable. And then there are some with a very unique sense of fashion.

10. It seems many women in NYC are like women in Paris. They carry the nylon Longchamp bag as their “everyday” bag. I saw many in various shapes and sizes. I was a proud carrying member of that group. I love my Longchamp bags! They are durable and never go out of style.

11. The city is always busy, but the makeup of the crowd is different at different times of day. Before 8am it’s full of suits. By 10am it’s mostly tourists. Then the after 5 crowd are people walking their dogs. Then you have the theatre crowd, the after dinner theatre crowd, and finally after 10pm the nightlife crowd starts to come out.

12. The last night we were there, we headed back to our hotel room around 10pm. It seemed too early as the nightlife was just getting started.

13. Want to get somewhere? Walk.


Literacy for Children May 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 2:25 pm

Last week I had the good fortune to read “Antics in the Attic” at the Marshall Street School’s Literacy Night. In a time where electronic gaming rules and writing has been reduced to LOL, TTYL some may lose sight of literacy. Of course as a writer and a reader I think it’s very important and I love the idea of a literacy night for young people. It’s a great time for family, fellowship and to learn something new. The school provided some great tips that I thought were worth sharing. By doing just a few of these we will help form the next generation of great writers.

Literacy Activities to do at Home:
Read to your children before bedtime every night.
Bake our favorite recipe and cook meals together.
Tell stories to your children about when you were growing up and about when they were born.
Tell traditional stories about your culture.
Play games together.
Look at family photos together and talk about them.
Take lots of pictures and do scrapbooking.

Tips for Parents on Reading:
Let them see you reading.
Share books together.
Point out the print that is all around you. Look at street signs, grocery store labels and posters.
Choose a book from the library or from your home. It’s even better if you let your children choose.
Take turns reading aloud or tell the story by looking at the pictures.
Talk about what’s happening in the story.
Help your children with difficult words.
Praise your children for reading.

Tips for Parents on Writing
Let your children watch when you do basic writing tasks such as filling in forms, paying bills, writing birthday cards and writing shopping lists.
Let them put a scribble or drawing around their name on a greeting card.
Encourage them to scribble and draw (in appropriate places of course!). This is the beginning stage of writing.
Make sure you always have writing materials available. This includes lots of paper, pens, pencils, crayons and markers, old envelopes or greeting cards for kids to copy, little blank books for children to make their stories and a box to keep all the materials.