Saturday, May 11, 2013

When Do I Get To Live?

I get up at around 7 am and fall asleep by 11:30pm, on most work days. In all of these waking hours I am not sure when I get to be me.

If you think about it, how much time in the day do we have to ourselves, where we cannot only do what we want but express who we are? Sometimes I feel like I only lived for a few minutes in the course of an entire day.

The day is filled with chores and tasks – shower, eat, exercise, pay bills, clean, get dressed, tend to our kids, commute back and forth, work, run errands, etc. These things fill our day so we need to make the most of the time when we are off the clock. But usually we find ourselves physically and mentally drained, so we end up doing passive, repetitive things like watch TV, snack, talk on the phone, play video games, text, shop online, surf the net, etc. But when do we really get to do something that is free of obligation and demands? When do we get to express who we really are?

Perhaps it is in everything that we do that we live out who we really are. The way you tend to a task or express yourself in a work memo says a lot about you. Maybe amid all of the little daily things that we just try to get through is when we actually can become the person we strive to be in our off-hours?

For me, I get to be me with this blog. Sure it doesn’t pay the bills or make me famous but it touches lives and most of all it wills me to create, write and share in a way that feels natural and fulfilling.

It may seem like you have little time to live out your passions, dreams, or joys, but if you can make the best of every moment and meet the challenges of the present you may just find you are living out who you really are.

Interview With Author Julia Dweck

1. What type of books do you write? I write for young readers, ages 4-8. My stories are part of a new genre-hybrid called “edutainment.” My background is in elementary education and this is a natural extension of what I already do in the classroom. The underlying message of my stories is a celebration of our unique differences. I attempt to convey this through humorous subject matter and relatable situations. Most of my stories are written in rhyme. I find it especially helpful in setting a particular mood or tone. Moreover, rhyme is an effective way to engage young readers who can anticipate the end rhymes, while developing phonemic awareness. My bottom line is to entertain and inspire imagination.

2. What is your newest book about? My newest eBook is WHERE ARE THE DINOS? which was illustrated by talented cartoonist Bob Ostrom. It’s loosely based on my primary students’ endless questions about dinosaurs. I love their enthusiasm and based my lead character, a curious and tireless little pup, on them. I wanted the story to express the innocence, curiosity, and energy of youth, while engaging the reader to want to learn more about these mysterious creatures of the past. I’ve included lots of action and humor to entertain and inspire the imaginations. The book includes intriguing dinosaur facts, a word scramble, and even a dinosaur drawing lesson with Bob to extend the learning. These additional resources make this a fun story and valuable tool for home or school usage. The eBook edition has been popular and is currently ranked in the top 20 on Amazon’s Bestsellers in Children’s Color Picture Books.

3. What inspired you to write? I’ve always been a writer at heart and an avid daydreamer ever since I was a child. Back then, if I wasn’t writing a story, you would find me reading. I connected with the sensitivity, creativity, and imagination of the books I read. I’m also a great fan of the joy, energy and enthusiasm of childhood. Children have such a zest for life and are always so present. I admire and respect that. The time I spent raising my sons was the best time of my life. Teaching and writing have been ways for me to capture time in a bottle. So I guess you could say that children have inspired me to write. I love the look on their faces when they are enjoying one of my stories. It’s so uplifting and inspires me to want to write more.

4. What is the writing process like for you? I write whenever an idea comes to mind. Stories lie in wait all around. They may be hidden in a joke or a conversation. They may be scattered through a dream or tucked inside a secret. It’s challenging to be present enough to catch these inspirational moments before they drift away. Once an idea comes to mind, I need to be relaxed enough to allow it to tell itself through me. That means allowing myself to be open and go where the story takes me.

5. What did you do before you became an author? First I was a mother and after that, I became a teacher. I’m still working with students in grades 1-5 as a gifted specialist. I teach by day and write my stories each night and weekend.

6. How does it feel to be a published author?  It feels wonderful to know that my stories are getting out there into the hands of children. I’ve been sharing my stories as a mom and teacher for a long time. Now my audience of readers and listeners has grown. That’s exciting.

7. Any advice for struggling writers?  My advice would be to find a writing group in which you can share and critique stories.  It’s valuable to get feedback from your peers. There are also editors that you can hire to strengthen your writing. You need to get the honest feedback and appraisal of others in order to grow. 

8. Where do you see book publishing heading? Like everything else, books are evolving. The past decade has seen great developments in the digital world. Stories are becoming more interactive and responsive to the reader. There’s no end to the possibilities that lie in store for us ahead.
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“Don’t criticize something you don’t understand.”
“Don’t quote the bible; live it.’
“Lots of things that feel bad are good for you. Lots of things that feel good are bad for you.”
“If you cannot change a bad situation change your reaction to it.’
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
--1001 Things We Should Have Told Our Kids Had They Ever Listened by Judy Woods Knight
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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