“Oh What a Year It Has Been”

2014

I have to start by saying “I did it” my first resolution that I actually accomplished. Exactly one year ago today I wrote on a piece of paper I will publish my first children’s book…and I DID!!!!

As 2013 comes to an end I am reminded of the many amazing things that it brought. The Rainbow Pants became real. For anyone out there who has wanted to write their own book someday, my best advice…DO IT!!! There are no words to that feeling when your first book arrives in the mail, trust me.

I am grateful to my amazing illustrator Lindsay Weirich who is filled with talent and is a true professional artist. Thank you to all of the people at Maine Author’s Publishing, a true professional publishing house that I am honored to call my publisher. I am indebted to all of the readers who have purchased or borrowed The Rainbow Pants from their local library, Thank you to all of you.

As 2014 begins remember that a new page must be written.  You have a fresh sheet of paper in front of you, a sharp pencil, and a belief of new beginnings. I hope you all wear your rainbow pants with pride and accomplish all of your dreams!!!

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The Rainbow Pants was on NBC’s The Today Show … sort of

today show

One question how do you promote your book? If you are a new author you are not going to get calls from t.v. shows asking for an interview. So you have to think outside of the box. Last Week was Thanksgiving, every year we travel to New York to visit with family. One of our favorite places to go is the big apple.

Coming from a small town in Maine, my boys are always looking up at the tall skyscrapers and flashing lights of time square. I am just as taken from these amazing sights. Well we decided to hit Rockefeller center with The Rainbow Pants in hand, hoping to give our copies to Al, Matt, Savannah, Or my favorite Willie Geist but unfortunately they did not come by us when we were outside. The camera did pan us in the crowd so I can say” The Rainbow Pants was on The Today Show, sort of”.   In the photo above you will see my three boys each holding a copy of The Rainbow Pants in the plaza at Rockefeller center. Always trying to think outside the box when promoting your book!!

A Cold Winter Day and Sharing a Blanket or Two….

igloo

Ok so I know it is not really winter yet, Dec 20th is the actual date, but here in New England it is freezing. I am lucky to have a warm wood stove burning hot, keeping my family warm. It is days like today that I can’t help but think of the families who are out in the cold with no place to go. Today my kids and I decided to go through our closets and find blankets and jackets to donate to our local homeless shelter. Here in America, we are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, a time to stop and pause to give thanks for all we have. I challenge to all of us: look to see what else you can do this holiday season to help a person in need.

When I wrote The Rainbow Pants, I wanted to be sure to use a rainbow because I think of rainbows as hope, encouragement, and new beginnings. So my “Holiday Rainbow Hope” is for people to find warmth and full bellies.

What is your “Holiday Rainbow Hope”?

Day of the Dead Celebration

sugar skull rainbow

With Halloween just around the corner, I was hoping to find other customs and celebrations around the world that looked at this autumn/fall holiday in a different way.  Than as if my local library was talking to me, I happen upon a “Day of the Dead Celebration”.

The Orrington Public Library held it’s Day of the Dead, a little early: on October 29th.  It was different to think of death  in celebration and remembrance of our lost family and friends instead of the custom of Halloween where dead is to be feared.  Decorating sugar skulls, (see before picture above) which were made by our very talented librarian Audrey Snowden.  I think my kids skulls, in the end, looked like rainbow colored clowns,  but they had fun.  sugar skull

We were served Pan de Muertos – Day of the dead bread, it was a round, sweet bread with shapes on top which are suggestive of bones, sprinkled with sugar. Our drink was a very unique horchata, which was a Mexican rice milk , cinnamon, cream, vanilla and of course rice.

For my first experience with a Day of the Dead celebration it was super fun, educational and I can’t wait until next year to learn more!!!

sugar skull done

School Visits by Authors & a Roadtrip

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I couple of weeks ago I was able to go to a training in Connecticut about how to do a school visit by an author. The one thing I learned when I became a published author is that if you truly want to do this as a career, you need to do other things than just write. Unless of course you are J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or John Grisham, but even they had to do some leg work in the beginning.

NO matter if you are traditionally published, self published, or indie published you need to learn how to market and promote your book. My background is in teaching and guidance counseling so of course I feel right at home in front of a class filled with kids, or so I thought. I had my first school visit in September and wasn’t sure “what was the right way to do this?” What I learned was there is no “right way”.

At the Windsor Public Library in Connecticut, which was a beautiful library, the training was done by an amazing children’s book author: Alexis O’Neill, who wrote The Recess Queen and Loud Emily. She had great tips about using props and the kids in the audience. She had many other great ideas and we did some small group work. I am very excited to get out there and plan some school visits with what I learned from Alexis.

Of course when not “learning” on this trip I did enjoy all the shopping from Connecticut all the way back home to Maine.

The Rainbow Pants is in The MAP Fall/Winter Catalog

Fall catalog

I am very excited to announce that The Rainbow Pants is in the MAP (Maine Authors Publishing) Fall/Winter Catalog. What is that, you might ask? Well that is how book stores, schools, libraries, and individuals can purchase some amazing books.

At the Maine Author’s Publishing they put out two catalogs a year. You can find The Rainbow Pants on page 15 with a great write up about the book, author Kelly Brooks-Bay and illustrator Lindsay Weirich.

Still feels surreal to think one of my books is actually in print and in the hands of readers everywhere.  Thank you to everyone who have supported me along the way and here’s to The Rainbow Pants getting into bookstores across the world!!

Come say “Hello” at the Common Ground Fair this weekend!!!

common ground fair

So excited that I will be one of the many authors representing The Maine Authors Publishing company at the Common Ground Fair in Unity Maine. This is a true traditional country fair that draws thousands of people to the amazing talents of rural Maine.

At the Common Ground Fairyou will see handmade pottery, stone ware, all natural foods, fleece products, bands, dancers, delicious food, there is really too much to mention.

I am honored to be signing my book The Rainbow Pants at this annual event. I will be there from 12-3. It is going to be hard to pull myself away from all the cool and unique exhibits. It is suppose to be a sunny, beautiful, autumn day on Saturday so come on down and say “Hello”.