PUT ME IN YOUR HEART

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My picture book HOW BIG IS A HEART? is all about the arrival of a new baby and one little boy’s feelings about being the big brother.

 

The book really does make a great gift should you find yourself invited to a baby shower for a family where a soon-to-be big sibling (full, half, or step) is involved. You can give a copy to the soon-to-be big sibling, helping to make sure they aren’t feeling left out or overlooked.

But thinking about baby showers made me realize it could really become a family affair. So I added a few items to my CafePress store–tote / diaper bags for Mom featuring a HOW BIG IS A HEART?-inspired graphic as well as a few sweet “Put me in your heart” items (onesies, shirts, etc.) for the soon-to-be little sibling. Because that’s exactly what you want older siblings to do–make space for their little sister or brother in their hearts…

 

NEW ITEMS AT HOLLY SCHINDLER OFF THE PAGE

I’ve been working on expanding the offerings in my CafePress store, Holly Schindler Off the Page.

Well. Expanding and doing a bit of modeling. 😉

Quotes from my work –

I started with one of the most referenced quotes from my PLAYING HURT series. (“The heart is a compass…”) Here I am in a T-shirt featuring the quote:

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Inspirational products for writers, teachers, grammar nuts –

DSC00337.JPGThis is my not-so-secret favorite of my new products: An I-am-going-to-turn-someday-into-today declaration that puts punctuation center-stage! (And, in this case, it’s on a coffee mug, so that’s an extra bonus.)

 

 

 

Whatever you do, make sure you shine!

If ever there was a single word to live by, it’s this one. It’s become something of a motto shared by teachers and young readers, as well.

Got an idea for a product you’d like to see at the store? Give me a shout: hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

NOW AVAILABLE: HOW BIG IS A HEART?

I’m delighted to announce that my first picture book, HOW BIG IS A HEART?, is now available. The book centers on Gavin, a young boy who is facing the imminent arrival of a baby brother–all while believing that he’s fallen out of favor in his family in the midst of the new-baby bustle. An interaction with a grandmother with a sweet tooth (and slightly better insight than the rest of Gavin’s relatives) begins to convince him otherwise.

HOW BIG IS A HEART? features bright watercolor hearts and pages. But the goal with these illustrations is to highlight the story, not overshadow it. Also, the text of HOW BIG IS A HEART? is perfect for slightly older readers as well–those familiar with my MG THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY will find a somewhat similar voice or lyrical style in these pages.

The book is a perfect fit for those children who are also going to become big siblings (it’s even a nice gift to bring to a shower when older siblings–full, step, or half–are involved). But it’s also a sweet tale of love within a family, which makes it a good choice for any young reader. The book can prompt those readers to consider how they want to fill their own hearts.

HOW BIG IS A HEART? is available on Amazon. The paperback features a glossy cover (for slightly better durability), and the e-book is discounted to $1.99 (or is a free read for those in KU):

HeartCover2Gavin doesn’t want a little brother.

His mother will have to toss Gavin out of her heart to make room for a new baby.

Yes, Gavin’s become a regular piece of junk you get rid of at a garage sale—out with the old to make way for the new.

Or is he?

How big is his mother’s heart, exactly?

Only Memaw really knows…

 

TODAY, MY … WILL BE A !

You’ve decided to do it–you’re taking that daunting first step! You’ve decided to tackle that elusive goal, the thing you’ve been putting off for another day. You’re going to write your novel, go back to school, brave open mic night, train for a marathon, learn to speak a second language. Whatever it is, you’ve officially taken the first step–and now you need something to celebrate turning your “someday” (…) into “right now” (!)

That’s why I put together these products in my Cafe Press store. Nothing feels better than finally taking a first step. First steps need to be recognized–they’re the most important steps you’ll ever take!

FORTHCOMING PICTURE BOOK: HOW BIG IS A HEART?

I’m delighted to announce that my first picture book for young readers is forthcoming; this book has been with me for years, and I’m delighted to finally be sending it out into the world:

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Gavin doesn’t want a little brother.

His mother will have to toss Gavin out of her heart to make room for a new baby.

Yes, Gavin’s become a regular piece of junk you get rid of at a garage sale—out with the old to make way for the new.

Or is he?

How big is his mother’s heart, exactly?

Only Memaw really knows…

How Big Is a Heart? will make a great gift book for any child in a growing family, and will be available in both e-book and print forms.

Sign up for my Picture Book Newsletter to receive the announcement of the official release date, discounts, and giveaways.

POWERING THROUGH FRUSTRATION

51jn4uqtjkl-_sx412_bo1204203200_I’ve been seeing this topic show up repeatedly–in conversations on Facebook as well as on Reddit during my recent Ask Me Anything session: How do you deal with frustration and the feeling that what you’re writing is garbage?

I’m a big advocate of (for lack of a more sophisticated term) “fun days.” These aren’t days off from writing; instead, they’re days in which you push aside your current WIP to write something only for you. Could be anything–a poem, short story, anecdote, picture book text. But it’s short, and it’s never intended to see the light of day, and its sole purpose is entertaining you.

This technique is basically a spin on Dr. Seuss’s “Midnight Paintings”–works he created with the intention of never showing them in his lifetime. Because they wouldn’t be critiqued, he was never guilty of self-censoring, and he could let his imagination run wild.

I find “fun days” can do wonders for your outlook. It literally does bring the fun back to writing. It reminds you of why you ever thought you could make it as a professional writer.

These “fun days” can also accidentally help inform your own WIP (the one that’s currently giving you fits). This is also true of Seuss’s Midnight Paintings; now that Seuss’s late-night works are available to the public, it’s easy to recognize how they inspired or contributed to the Seuss books we’re all familiar with.

If you’d like a little more inspiration for your own “fun days” or “midnight works,” try to snag a copy of THE CAT BEHIND THE HAT (the title appears to be out of print, but I did manage to grab an affordable copy on eBay).