It’s National Handwriting Day!

23 Jan

Move over Thanksgiving! I might have a new favorite holiday!

I just found out that today, January 23rd, is National Handwriting Day and I just had to jump on here and do a quick post (which is a bit ironic as I’m typing! ha!)

Let me just say that I don’t know if there is anything that warms my heart more than opening a handwritten letter! In a world that continues to gravitate towards electronic communications, I try to find as many excuses to write by hand as possible and you should too!

Here are a few examples…

I leave handwritten love notes for my family (under their pillows!) when I go away on an overnight trip.

I hand write my notes when I interview a story source. (And I don’t even use short-hand!)

I have an actual planner (three cheers for ErinCondren.com!) that I hand write all of my appointments and reminders in.

I have handwritten notes about ideas of books I’d like to write stashed all over the house.

I hand write my grocery list and my to do list for the day…because who doesn’t love to cross things off?!

And I absolutely love to stop and make time in my day for handwritten notes to friends and family that I love and don’t see every day.

I’ve even been known to slip a handwritten note into my kids’ lunch box (carrying on my mom’s tradition.)

What I think is funny is that the beauty of a handwritten note is in the eye of the beholder. I just had a friend tell me the other day that I should have been a teacher because I have teacher handwriting. It made me laugh because Matt and the kids think that my handwriting is terribly sloppy! (To their credit, they usually see my writing when it’s in a hurry.)

But here’s what I want to tell you about handwritten notes…it doesn’t matter how long or short they are. It doesn’t matter if your handwriting is pristine or sloppy. It doesn’t even matter if you spell things wrong, or cross things off or you use beautiful paper or a scrap that you torn off an a receipt.

Words matter and seeing them in the way that only you can write them matters to those who read them. 

So it’s probably not surprising that I am a saver of handwritten things. Here’s proof. Just a couple of the file folders I have full of notes I’ve gotten from people I love…

letters

Like this one…

love note

Happy National Handwriting Day to you and yours!

Now, go hand write a note!

xoxo

ps…For a little extra fun, follow this Twitter feed to see the creative ways that brands and organizations are celebrating this important holiday (you might just win a signed baseball!)

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my word

6 Jan

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been on this blog…like I think perhaps this blog is in serious hibernation mode. It’s sub-zero outside my office door so I don’t blame it. Some mornings I feel the need to stay snuggled in tight. Maybe bears and bees and bats have the right idea about winter.

Anyway, I decided to jump back on here today and write up a short post on my word for 2018.

This is a new venture for me. I’ve seen many friends post about or mention that they pick a word for the year. It’s like making a resolution (which I never seem to be very good at) in a way, but it seems more forgiving and flexible and fulfilling.

There are a lot of online resources to help you give some serious thought to what your word might be. My One Word, One Word 365, and a variety of other bloggers offer ideas and inspiration and more guidance than I can in this short post.

So how did I pick my word? For a hot second I thought about a word lottery…I mean there are so many words that I love and to pick one that will inform a whole year seems a bit daunting. But that really wasn’t the point. I didn’t want to just pick a word and see if it would stick.

I won’t be cheesy and say that my word appeared to me in a dream. I didn’t necessarily pray on it or spend hours passing words over in my mind. It didn’t just pop into my head. For me–for my first year doing this exercise–it was more of a feeling. A sense of the word just kind of sneaked up on me the other day and the more I said the word or thought about the word the more it seemed to fit for me for right now.

My word for 2018 is CONFIDENCE.

my word

I picked this word because I want confidence to inform all my choices and actions in 2018!

I want to be confident that each day I am doing my best as a wife and mother.

I want to be confident that I can make healthy choices to take care of my mind, body, and heart.

I want to be confident that my writing abilities are my best gift and that I should continue to rely on them to make a living that I am passionate about day in and day out.

I want to be confident that when I see a pitch for story ideas for a publication I’ve never written for that my ideas are worthy of being considered.

I want to be confident that I can and will write books for children.

I want to be confident that my new side hustle (more on that in another post) will not only be a fun challenge but will also connect me with inspiring new people.

I want to be confident in my feelings and in my compassion and in my faith.

I want to be confident that I am being kind and raising kind humans.

I want to be confident that I can tackle my “to read” list on Goodreads.

I want to be confident that I’m doing my best to keep in touch with the people who are important to me.

I want to be confident that I’ll explore new places and love the places the most that feel like home.

I want to be confident that I am living my best life.

I want to be confident…in all things…all year long.

So here’s to humble confidence in 2018!

confidence quote

ps…share your word if you’d like…I’d love to hear what will help guide you through 2018!

back in the saddle

28 Aug

Oh, well, hello there!

It’s been quite a long time…like an embarrassingly long time! Seriously, don’t look at the date of my last post. It’s ancient history!

But here we are, now. The kids just started the 2014-2015 school year (hooray!) and I’m now focused on full-time freelance writing (newspapers, magazine, websites…oh my!) and writing creatively for kids (fingers crossed that it eventually means a book contract!) It’s just me and our doggie sitting around in a quiet house for the better part of the day.

I did kick back and relax for a bit (when the new couch arrived!!!)

I’m only three days in to this “new normal” (honestly I’m still adjusting to the quiet and am glad I have the dog to talk to) so I don’t have it all figured out just yet. But I did realize–or was finally honest with myself–that I’ve ignored this blog for far too long. And that writing here needs to be a part of my new normal routine.

So today, I have no wisdom or nugget of interest to share (let’s be honest…I’m not sure that I ever do!) I just wanted to write and say that I’ll be back writing here…and writing with purpose…soon!

I pinky promise!

This summer’s adventures included a family trail ride by horseback. I rode a lovely and gentle horse named Ray. Here’s proof…

I’ll admit I was a bit nervous (as I don’t get to go horseback riding often and my kids were riding on their own!) but I climbed up into that saddle and enjoyed every minute (except for the aching tailbone the next day!)

So today I’m climbing back into the blogging saddle. I’m not necessarily nervous (at least not the same kind of nervous from being around large, beautiful horses) but it did take some convincing and it’s sure to be a much longer ride.

Giddy up!

 

let’s all unplug…

16 May

A long baseball game tonight didn’t leave us much time to read…or rather as much time as we’d all like to read. But we did manage to pick up a new picture book at the library today and couldn’t wait to dive in.

We read Dan Yaccarino’sDoug Unplugged“.

doug unplugged

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story follows a bright little robot–named Doug (which was Tom’s favorite part about the story)–who is hooked up to a machine by his parents each morning so he can download all sorts of information and be a smart little robot. But one day, he notices a pigeon on his windowsill while downloading and wonders what he might learn about pigeons (and other things) if he unplugs and goes outside.

And so he does just that. A lovely little adventure unfolds and the kids and I had fun following Doug through his day as he learned, unplugged style. (Lucy noted her favorite part of the book was that he just kept learning…good answer!)

Not only are the story entertaining and the illustrations playfully, but in this super cyber-connected world we live in, this book also has a poignant message…one that kids and adults alike can take to heart.

So tomorrow, or this weekend make time to unplug and observe the world around you. You, like Doug, will be amazed at what you learn!

Godspeed!

doug really unplugged

and the winners are…

15 May

Part of the fun of Children’s Book Week is finding out the winners of the annual Children’s Choice Book Awards!

trophy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winners were announced on Monday…and they are…

KINDERGARTEN TO SECOND GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

THIRD GRADE TO FOURTH GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook/Macmillan)

FIFTH GRADE TO SIXTH GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Dork Diaries 4: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess by Rachel Renée Russell (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster)

TEEN BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Dutton/Penguin)

AUTHOR OF THE YEAR
Jeff Kinney for Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel (Amulet Books/Abrams)

ILLUSTRATOR OF THE YEAR
Robin Preiss Glasser for Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

More than 1,000,000 kids cast their vote this year. So take their word for it and pick up one (or all!) of these books. I know I will!

ps…You can read more about the Children’s Choice Book Awards on the Children’s Book Council website.

my kind of week…

14 May

[Cue slightly out of tune, jolly voice]

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

No I’m not anticipating Christmas and snowy landscapes (it just finally warmed up here in Iowa for Pete’s sake!)

IT’S CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK!

CBW-champion-FINAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It just might be my favorite week of the year! I fully admit, I’m acting like a kid at Christmas. I can barely contain my excitement and want to spend part of my day bouncing up and down and squealing with delight…pausing now and then to read!

Clearly, I love books for children! I really do! I want to read them…all of them. I want to write them. I want my kids to want to read and write them.

So I am, of course, all for a week that celebrates all that is wonderful about the world of children’s literature.

Today I wanted to make sure you knew this important week was happening. I just want to get you excited! I’ll be spending the rest of the week sharing some book reviews on recent reads (or listens–have you discovered books on tape in your car with the kiddos yet?!) here at the Giorgio household.

But please don’t contain your excitement! Share what you are reading, loved to read as a kid or would like to read in the near future. For that matter, I would recommend that in honor of Children’s Book Week (which runs now through May 19th, by the way) that you pick up a copy of your favorite book from your childhood. Picture book, chapter book. young adult romance. Whatever it was. Pick it up and read it again. I PROMISE you’ll be as delighted this time through as you were the first time you read it.

See you tomorrow…

the importance of kindness…

5 Mar

I just finished reading “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.

wonder book cover

It tells the story of a young boy, August Pullman, who is about to enter the 5th grade and a mainstream school for the very first time. Now to most middle schoolers, the idea of starting a new school is intimidating enough. But for August, or Auggie, the idea is especially painful. Auggie was born with a severe facial deformity that even he knows is hard to look at. The story unfolds as Auggie learns to manage the world of middle school. It is very interestingly told not only through the eyes of Auggie but also through the perspective of several of the other pre-teen and teenage characters that come into his life.

One of my favorite parts of the book is that Auggie’s English teacher Mr. Browne gives the students a new precept to consider each month. The first precept the students are introduced to is: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

It’s a simple but powerful phrase. The message is carried throughout the whole book–in a very middle school way–and leaves the reader thinking about the ways we treat and talk about others.

“Wonder” is one of those books that sticks with you after you are finished reading. Many books do of course, but this book had me thinking about how important it is that we remind our children day in and day out of the importance of kindness. The book couldn’t be more timely, as bullying is a hot topic is schools and in the media. For me, it’s one of the things I worry most about as a parent…that others aren’t unkind to my children and that my children always practice kindness.

If you have or know a 4th, 5th or 6th grader encourage them to read this book. In fact most all of us could learn a lot from Auggie Pullman and the other pre-teen and teenage characters this story revolves around. Our world needs to hear its message of kindness.

But we can’t just stop and acknowledge we need more kindness.  The author certainly didn’t stop with writing the book. She is challenging readers to commit to choosing kind at every opportunity.

Check it out and take the pledge here. And just choose kind!