Write! Now! by Anthony D. Fredericks

Write Angles

A Monthly Column by Anthony D. Fredericks

Write! Now!

This month’s column is different. There are no photographs. There are no illustrations. It’s just the basics: Black letters, white background.

If you’ve been following the news the past few weeks you know this country is in crisis . . . a very deep and commanding crisis. Voices are calling, crying for justice in an unjust world—a world in which eight minutes and forty-six seconds have forced us to look at who we are and what we believe. A world in which eight minutes and forty-six seconds ended one man’s life and catapulted the American consciousness into a familiar, yet uncomfortable, fact of life: Racism is this country’s ultimate pandemic.

Vice President Joe Biden put it succinctly when he said, “I thought we had made enormous progress when we finally elected an African-American president. I thought you could defeat hate, you could kill hate. But the point is, you can’t.”

The shadows of Jim Crow–like conditions continue their seep through the American landscape and the American conscience. Like unseen microbes, they lurk in politics, skulk in commerce, loiter in neighborhoods, prowl through school systems, and stalk the unknowing. They are a miasma that both corrupts and depletes.

However, we have the power (and the morality) to address this infection. We are writers! Our words carry power; they carry influence; and most importantly, they carry the winds of change. What we write has the promise to transform minds, alter perception, and effect a more positive attitude about a community we affectionately know as “humankind.”

A children’s book has enormous potential to address both a social injustice and personal decision. Innosanto Nagara’s A is for Activist opens kids’ eyes to the values of community, equality, and justice. This is a book that inspires hope for the future in concert with a call to action. Commanding illustrations combine with a dynamic text to show young readers that there are things worth standing up for, irrespective of age, ethnicity, geography, or station. It is a message of promise.

Read Jacqueline Woodson’s Each Kindness and, no matter your age, your education, or your political perspective, you are changed! In a mere 32 pages, Woodson offers us insight into who we can become as human beings . . . who we can become as neighbors to each other. The lesson is subtle, yet commanding; it is personal, yet universal. This is not a book with a moral; it is a book with a conscience. Your conscience. My conscience.

And so, a generation awaits our words. What will we say and what will we share? The time is ready. The audience is waiting. Write! Now!

______________

Tony is a writer of children’s books.

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Registration Is Open for Virtual Illustrator Day!

Eastern PA SCBWI  Proudly Presents

Virtual Illustrator Day 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Every year Illustrator Day is a special day dedicated to our illustration members, and 2020 is extra special because it is being brought to your own homes via Zoom! Hear presentations by author-illustrator Lee Harper, senior designer Andrea Miller, editor Katie Heit, and highly sought after agent Christy Ewers. Whether you’re published or have just joined SCBWI, you don’t want to miss our annual event for illustrators.

Pick your level of commitment when you register. Join us for the faculty presentations, or go a step further and register for the Art Director Assignment to receive feedback on your work from Andrea Miller or Katie Heit!

Need more? Register for a Zoom one-on-one portfolio, dummy, or manuscript critique with a publishing professional. Author-illustrator Lee Harper, senior designer Andrea Miller, editor Katie Heit, and agent Christy Ewers are excited to meet our illustrators and help you take your art, stories, and career to the next level!

Read about our faculty here.


Scholarship Information

This year Eastern PA SCBWI will offer two scholarships that will cover the cost of event registration. Additional expenses, including registration for the Art Director Assignment and one-on-one critiques are not included. Any current EPA SCBWI member may apply. 

Thanks to an anonymous donor we will also offer one additional scholarship to an under-represented illustrator, either an Eastern PA SCBWI member or someone outside of our region who is a member of SCBWI.

Scholarship applications are due June 30, 2020. For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit our registration page at https://epa.scbwi.org/events/illustrator-day/.


Registration Details

To register, visit our registration page at https://epa.scbwi.org/events/illustrator-day/.

The cost is $90 for SCBWI members, $100 for nonmembers, and $72 for student members.

Optional Extras

Art Director Assignment: Please read the instructions for the Art Director Assignment by following this link. Register online. Cost is $10. Complete your illustration at home and upload a medium resolution JPG to a shared Dropbox folder* by September 5. Receive feedback from senior designer Andrea Miller or editor Katie Heit in an open format at the meeting. (Feedback provided orally in front of all attendees.)  *Link to the Dropbox folder will be provided by August 1.

One-on-One Critiques: (Please only register for one critique; either one portfolio critique or one manuscript/dummy critique.) Critique materials are due by August 14.

Portfolio Review via Zoom link: Register online. Members $45, nonmembers $55. Please see our registration page for submission guidelines. Portfolio critiques are 15 minutes long. Feedback will be provided orally. Your portfolio should include six or fewer portfolio-ready illustrations/sketches.

Manuscript Critique or Dummy Critique: Register online. Members $45, nonmembers $55. Please see our registration page for submission guidelines. Manuscript critiques are 15 minutes long with written comments provided.

 

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A Cafe Chat with Author Susan Russell, by Laura Parnum

IDA

Greetings from the EasternPennPoints Café. Our virtual café is open, as always, and I’ve just filled my mug with some jasmine green tea. Today I am joined by author Susan Russell, who is the cofounder of Archimedes’ Printing Shoppe in Philadelphia. Archimedes has just launched their inaugural children’s book series, Gata Unbound, and I’m excited to learn all about the book and that process.

Laura: Welcome, Susan! Although we are social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m so happy you’re joining me in a virtual café chat. I hope you’re enjoying a tasty beverage or snack.

Susan: Thank you so much, Laura! I’m so happy to be here. I’ve just filled my glass with iced black tea with a little lemon and stevia. Been drinking a lot of that lately with this warm Philly spring. I’m feeling very antioxidated, if that can be considered a thing!

Laura: Sounds great. First off, I’m interested in learning more about Archimedes’ Printing Shoppe. The company is relatively new, founded in 2019 by a group of animal lovers and activists. Can you tell us a little about your company and its mission?

Susan: We like to style ourselves as a feel-goode (with an “e”) company, because we combine old-fashioned fun (books, stickers, shirts, posters) with purpose, and try as much as possible at these early stages to pay attention to the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and fiscal responsibility. My partners, journalist Lucy Noland (who was the main evening anchor at a Philadelphia television station) and humane educator and artist Kaity Lacy, have been active in the Philadelphia animal welfare community for years. I’m newer to the scene, but was quite active in Chicago. In addition to other living beings, we all have a lot of respect for the good Mother Earth, so when making “goodes,” we try to be as conscious as we can of our footprint.

Gata unboundLaura: The Gata Unbound series, which you co-authored, is your inaugural children’s book series. Tell us a little about it and how our readers can get a copy.

Susan: Readers can head to our website www.archimedesprintingshoppe.com and order books and sundry goodes.

Gata Unbound, as the name suggests, is a children’s book series for ailurophiles of all ages. Its colorful cast of characters includes a rare male calico cat, an old inventor, a psycatherapist and cathropologist, a baker of Greek descent, and many, many more. The theme that wends its way through the series is a critical life-saving innovation for community cats, called trap-neuter-return or “TNR” for short. Many cities, including Philadelphia, have ardent TNR advocates who understand that the best way not to euthanize thousands of beautiful cats in overcrowded municipal shelters is to reduce the populations in the communities by trapping, spay/neutering, and vaccinating them and then, if feasible, returning them to their communities or finding them homes, especially the very young kittens. It’s a complicated topic, and no doubt everyone has an opinion, but as a former animal shelter director in two big cities I can attest first-hand that TNR is a critical life-saving tool in the proverbial toolbox.

Laura: What challenges have you faced in launching this series?

Susan: Well, COVID-19 has indeed been a challenge for the world, not just for the launch of a book. We had book launches planned, you know, the old-fashioned meet and talk to people kind at books stores, and in partnership with organizations like HSUS, and in bookstores in Philadelphia and New York, but that got a little trickier after COVID hit. So, part of our challenge is getting the word out far and wide in a time of COVID! And to that effect, we are taking the advice of wise ol’ Heraclitus, and taking the unknown way because the known way is an impasse. So we will virtually launch our books following social distancing guidelines, and we’ll continue to engage folks in the conversation via less conventional channels and innovative means. We all work, and we’re all involved in the development of these books, so paying close attention to this aspect of things is indeed challenging, but critical.

Laura: Are there more Gata Unbound books to come?

Susan: There are many! On Monday, June 15, 2020, we will virtually launch Gata Unbound Volume 1 in the deep woods of Philly, which was the closest thing to approximating our cat character’s “territory” in the books. Volume 1 contains two books, Klein’s Weird Evening and Archimedes’ Ear. Volume 2 is in the process of being illustrated by Kaity, and contains books three and four. Book five is written. And book six is in the works. We envision many adventures for our fun, comical characters, which get introduced as the series unfolds, and we can’t wait to travel to all of those places with them, and have the world join us.

Laura: And what else is in the works for Archimedes?

Susan: Archimedes has a number of books in the hopper. In addition to children’s books, we also have an adult parody book, which we released on June 7 on a farm in New Jersey with my coauthor Erica Brown and illustrator Maggie McMahon. Its title is probably not appropriate for young readers and it is aimed at older readers, age 14 and up. It’s based on real-life events—we couldn’t make this stuff up—and it’s also about animals, a common theme in our oeuvre. These animals just happen to be a pig, a rooster, and a dog—rescued animals all.

Laura: I love cats, but unfortunately, I’m allergic to them. Right now I’m watching my pet turtle, Hamlet, climb up and down on his aquarium float. I’d love to hear about your cats—their names, personalities, and what they’re currently up to.

Susan: You know, my partner Lucy has a sweet turtle. I love those little creatures. I only have five cats at the moment, but they are all characters. Larry is a fitness enthusiast (please see photos), but like many of us, no matter how hard he works out, those last ten pounds just keep on keepin’ on. Then there is Bob Jr., an orange tabby cat who is named after my dad, and who is the embodiment of peace and love, brothers and sisters. Every cat likes to sleep with him. They might not like each other, but they all like him. There’s Ms. Margaret. She’s a little prickly, but beautiful and practical, and a very good editor. And then there are my kitties with the missing bits: sweet tailless Paulie (or as he likes to say “tail-free”), and my three-legged Gorgeous George, who is truly the best wrestler of the pride, despite his missing forelimb. Over the past year, I lost my fierce nasty, eccentric calico Kate (she used to write the best Christmas letters) and my enigmatic Abyssinian mix, Isis, to ripe old ages, which I suppose if one must go, it’s not a bad way. We are hoping to bring in a new foster, William Shatner, a kitty from Philly’s streets, within the next week or so, as our last foster, three-legged Ned Divine was adopted by a wonderful family roughly a month ago. My five cats are very busy helping me edit the Gata series, and we are going broke on Temptations, as they will not, and nor should they, work for free.

Gorgeous George cat

Larry (top left), Bob Jr. (top right), Margaret (center left), Paulie (center right), and Gorgeous George (bottom).

Laura: Thanks so much for chatting with me, and I wish you the best of luck with Gata Unbound and all of your upcoming projects!

Susan: Thank you so much, Laura, for this wonderful opportunity!

The authors and illustrator will be holding a virtual book launch for Gata Unbound on June 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. EST on Facebook (@Archimedesprintingshoppe or @LucyNoland), Twitter (@ArchimedesPrint), and Instagram (@ArchimedesPrint). To find out more about Gata Unbound and Philadelphia-based Archimedes’ Printing Shoppe, visit www.archimedesprintingshoppe.com.

Susan RussellA founding member of Archimedes’ Printing Shoppe & Sundry Goodes, Susan Russell has a love for animals that runs deep. She is especially inspired by the ill-mannered and ill-tempered. And it is that inspiration that fueled her leadership of the municipal shelters in Chicago and Philadelphia in their life-saving efforts. A writer, attorney, animal advocate, and volunteer, Russell has also authored the award-winning coffee table book titled, A Ruff Road Home: The Court Case Dogs of Chicago, and has self-published three children’s books: Shelter Dog KissesWe Can’t Go There, We’re Bears, and Mr. Bird and Mr. Cat: How ’Bout That! They are all available on Amazon.

Susan and her incredibly patient spouse are the parents of a houseful of wildly intellectual and book-loving cats. When these felines aren’t lounging in various boxes, they’re editing the Gata Unbound series and serve as consultants on the project.

 

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Eastern PA Hosts Upcoming Webinar With Literary Agent Adria Goetz

webinar

Webinar: Writing that Crosses Over Christian and Secular Markets with Adria Goetz

Writing successfully for one market can be daunting. But what about crafting stories that fit into two markets? Stories that fit in both the Christian and secular world? Is this type of crossover writing career achievable in the times we live? In this webinar, literary agent Adria Goetz will discuss her experience helping clients build careers across both marketplaces.

The live webinar will be held this Thursday, June 11, at 8:00 p.m. EST. For those who register, the recording will be available for two weeks following the event. A limited number of optional written critiques are still available, which can be added on at registration for an additional fee.

Get to know your instructor: Adria Goetz is a Literary Agent with Seattle-based Martin Literary Media Management. She represents picture books, middle grade, young adult, adult fiction, and quirky gift books and devotionals. She represents books for both the general market and the Christian market. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a creative writing emphasis, as well as the Columbia Publishing Course. In 2019, she was selected as a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree. She was recently proud to represent Taste Your Words by Bonnie Clark, Nothing by Natalee Creech, My Breakfast with Jesus by Tina Cho, Gritty and Graceful: 15 Inspiring Women of the Bible by Caryn Rivadeneira, and Knit, Pray, Share by Lisa Hennessy. Adria lives in an old Victorian farmhouse with her husband Alex and their two darling cats, Maple and Mulberry. To learn more about Adria and what she is (and isn’t) looking for, check out her wish list at adriagoetz.com. She tweets at @adriamgoetz.

To register for the webinar, please visit our registration page at https://epa.scbwi.org/events/writing-that-crosses-over-christian-and-secular-markets/

The cost is $15 for SCBWI members and $25 for nonmembers.

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The Best, by Anthony D. Fredericks

Write Angles Logo

A Monthly Column by Anthony D. Fredericks

The Best

emailRecently, a former high school classmate contacted me and asked if I would be willing to review a story she was submitting for publication. I readily agreed and, soon thereafter, her story arrived. In her prefatory remarks, she included the following statement: “I made three false starts and wasn’t thrilled with what I submitted, but did anyway in hopes that an editor’s critique might help me.”

I cringed!

I spent the rest of the morning composing an emphatic response about the importance of ALWAYS submitting your best work . . . not your “okay work” . . . not your “maybe work” . . . and not your “perhaps work.” I explained (with some occasional, but necessary, ranting) that anything less than her best work is a disservice to the craft of writing as well as the integrity of writers. It’s cheating whoever reads it and cheating herself (as a budding professional). I told her that the best reputation you can have as a writer is to always submit your best. Never second best, never half-done, never “in hopes that an editor’s critique might help me.” In submitting anything less than your best, you sell yourself short.

Every. Single. Time.

tsunami wavesIn early 2005, my wife and I took a two-week trip to Hawaii. While there, I heard stories about a devastating tsunami that hit the Islands on April 1, 1946. I visited the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo and talked to a leading tsunami expert at the University of Hawaii. I eventually came away with a story about the tsunami’s effect on a single family. When I returned home, I began drafting a fictionalized account of that family for a potential children’s book entitled The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather’s Story. The story took me eleven months and twenty-six drafts to write. I wanted each word to be the perfect word, each sentence to be meticulously crafted, and each paragraph to be thorough and precise. I wanted this story to be at its best!

Eventually my agent submitted the story to Sleeping Bear Press. A few weeks later an editor wrote and said she “absolutely loved this story.” A contract was signed and she plunged into her editorial responsibilities. A month later she wrote me and said that, “I only needed to modify three sentences. Everything else was perfect!” She implored me to send additional book manuscripts. My reward: two more contracts with Sleeping Bear Press (A is for Anaconda: A Rainforest Alphabet and P is for Prairie Dog: A Prairie Alphabet). The final rewards: The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather’s Story (https://amzn.to/2WKtkOe) won the Storytelling World Awards Honor (2008) and was included on the Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year List (2007). It’s also accumulated some pretty nice five-star reviews on Amazon.

Your best work. Always!

paper and penIt has been said that writing is all about revising and rewriting. The early words you put into the computer will not be your best, nor will they necessarily be the final words in your book. They are, quite simply, early stuff. I always consider those initial drafts as visual representations of what’s inside my head: they are beginning ideas, thoughts, and concepts recorded on a computer screen. They may be nothing more than a random and haphazard collection of words, sentences, and (rarely) paragraphs. They are without form, messy, and frequently chaotic. It is from this jumble of disorganized and messy thoughts that a book will arise.

However, what makes a book a book is the level of revision we put into it (see last month’s column). Throwing words on a computer screen is just a first step. It’s what we do with those words, over time, that will spawn a book that parents, teachers, and the kids themselves will want to read—hopefully over and over again.

college professorFor several years, I taught an undergraduate course on “Writing Children’s Literature.” As expected, there were several required writing assignments. I always gave students the option of submitting as many drafts of an assignment as they wished. On each draft of a paper, I often penned some open-ended questions (e.g., “How do you think this character’s major flaw could be highlighted with dialogue?”) along with various suggestions for improvement (e.g., “Consider strengthening your verbs and eliminating some adjectives.”). When a student felt she was ready to submit a final draft (for a grade), she had to place it directly in my hands (rather than leave it on the classroom desk or slide it under my office door). I always looked her in the eye and asked, “Is this your best work?” Often, the answer was, “Yes.” Other times, she would look at me sheepishly and say, “You know what? I think it might need another revision or two.”

Your best work. Always!

_________________

Fizzle cover

 

A retired professor of education and resident of York, PA, Tony is an award-winning writer of more than 50 children’s books. His latest adult trade book, Fizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity (https://amzn.to/3cjY6Ez), has had its release date pushed back to October 1, 2020. In the meantime, readers interested in free materials to assess and enhance their own creativity can access them on Tony’s website (www.anthonydfredericks.com).

 

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Together at Heart, by Andree Santini

Together at Heart

What have you been creating since staying home due to the pandemic? I’ve been busy the last two months conceiving, writing, illustrating, editing, formatting, and indie-publishing my first picture book.

Indirectly about COVID-19, Together at Heart While We’re Apart is a simple picture book to help lift children’s spirits and cope with changes resulting from the worldwide pandemic. Friends living apart learn in new ways, stay connected and hopeful, grow in strength and resiliency, and look forward to being together again with friends, cousins, and grandparents. The story and illustrations normalize new practices like staying home, connecting with friends and family remotely, hand-washing, wearing masks and gloves, and sharing and caring. It encourages deep heart connection and positivity and is a message of hope for today and the future.

unnamed

I’ve learned so much in the process of making this book, and drew on notes from past SCBWI events and from my many unfinished books that went to the wayside for one reason or another. (Hmm, did this book take forty years or two months to make?) I would have preferred finding an editor/agent and publisher, but because of the time-sensitive theme of my story, I decided it was more important to get this out there quickly in the hopes that it may help families during this difficult time of social distancing.

You can find more at andreesantini.com. The Kindle version of Together at Heart While We’re Apart is now available at Amazon, and the e-book can also be purchased through Apple, Kobo, and other stores. Currently, the paperback version is stuck in Amazon review because KDP is backlogged, so I’m still learning and looking for a second way to get a print-on-demand version published quickly, possibly with IngramSpark or LuLu. I’m abysmal at social media and self-promotion, so any suggestions, reviews, shares, or likes are appreciated. I made this for children everywhere, and next may make a YouTube video of the whole book to get it out there to children far and wide. So many steps! Once finished (Will it ever finish?), I’ll compile my indie learnings in another post.

 


andree headAndree Santini teaches, writes, and illustrates to promote positive imagination and balanced movement toward creative, joyful well-being. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2011. Also a chemist, she has over twenty-five years of experience inventing art products for children and holds seven US patents with additional patents pending. You can find her creative blog at www.inspirationforcreativity.com, and you can visit her website at www.andreesantini.com.

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Member News — April 2020

Member News is a new monthly feature on the EasternPennPoints blog. We want to celebrate our members’ good news and help spread the word far and wide. Send us your children’s-book-related news—book deals, releases, awards, author or illustrator events (signings, launch parties, appearances), etc. If you’d like your news to be included in next month’s column, please e-mail Laura Parnum at epa-ara@scbwi.org before May 20.

Here’s some exciting news from members in our region this month:

 

EVERYONELOVESAPARADE!*

In March, author Andrea Denish launched her picture book Everyone Loves a Parade! (Boyds Mills Press) illustrated by Guilherme Franco. Everyone loves a parade, right? Well, almost everyone! Music, costumes, food, and fun. The sights and sounds of a parade are exciting! From Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year to St. Patrick’s Day and LGBTQ+ Pride, each celebration is a joy for kids, and most adults. With rhyming text and bold illustrations, children will love this festive and humorous look at some of the country’s most well-known parades that features a surprise ending.


 

trophy-153395__480

Eastern PA SCBWIs co-RA Lindsay Bandy has won SCBWIs WOOP award for her YA historical fiction work in progress, Doublethink. The WOOP award is a grant for SCBWI regional team members for a Work of Outstanding Progress. Doublethink, is set in Hamburg, Germany, 1957, and chronicles the teen years of two Polish children stolen by Nazis—one of whom developed dissociative identity disorder (DID) as a result of trauma and must now grapple with the multiple personalities vying for control of her life. Lindsay hopes to use the grant to offer compensation to personal connections she has made with individuals with DID who have provided valuable feedback to ensure she is sensitively and accurately representing life with the condition. She also hopes to attend Toi Magazines conference in San Francisco in November, where many advocates, psychologists, and DID systems are convening for the “Entitle(DID) to Life” event.


 

10,000 Writing Ideas book cover

Author and EasternPennPoints columnist (“Write Angles”) Tony Fredericks recently published his latest e-book: 10,000 Writing Ideas: Essential Strategies for Every Writer. This book offers writers (of all stripes) a plethora of story possibilities that “will keep their minds running at ‘warp speed’ and their fingers dancing across the keyboard.” Fiction or nonfiction, picture books or YA novels, 32 pages to 300-plus pages, writers can use this book to generate a whirlwind of creative story ideas for characters, plots, themes, settings, and dialogue. The e-book is available here.


 

Tenth Avenue Cowboy cover

Linda Oatman High’s 2008 book, Tenth Avenue Cowboy, which was illustrated by Bill Farnsworth, will be released in paperback in March 2021 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. We are thrilled to see it coming back!


 

Highlights

Amy Beth Sisson’s article “Nature Pattern” appeared in the March issue of Highlights magazine. The article introduces the idea of fractals to very young children through examples from nature.


 

shaking-hands-2499612__480

This month, author Nicole Wolverton signed with agent Anne Tibbets of D4EO Literary Agency, for representation for her YA fiction. Here’s to a long and productive literary partnership!


 

lasmusasnew

Hilda Eunice Burgos recently presented in a webinar with Aida Salazar entitled “Writing Difficult and Taboo Topics for Middle Grade.” They discussed how literature can help middle grade readers navigate the complexities and sometimes harsh realities of life. The webinar was launched by Las Musas as part of a free webinar series to connect Las Musas authors with readers, writers, and educators around the globe. For more information about the webinar series, click here.


 

If you have good news to share, please send it to epa-ara@scbwi.org to be included in next month’s Member News column.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: Happy Earth Day, by Rebecca Jane Hoenig

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Happy Earth Day Final

Happy Earth Day

by Rebecca Jane Hoenig

 


Rebecca Jane Hoenig is a recently retired teacher, currently following her dream to write and illustrate children’s books. You can visit her website at www.rebeccajanehoenig.com.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: Let Nature Offer Her Gentle Healing, by Andree Santini

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Flowering tree

Let Nature Offer Her Gentle Healing

by Andree Santini

All of nature is about change, growth, and transformation. We’re part of nature, and so we too change, grow, and transform. We come, we live, and we go.

Spring is a great time to step outside and watch the changes unfolding around us. It’s a time for hope; for wonder; for soaking in the beauty; for feeling grateful for the gifts nature offers us; for planting and patience; and for feeling connected to Earth, to all its life forms, and to all people around the planet. It’s a reminder to take care of our home, Earth, because she takes care of us. Connecting deeply to nature helps us feel our beauty and strength as well as our vulnerability. It helps us to contemplate and embrace life’s mysteries.

We can let nature offer her gentle healing to help us stay well, strong, and hopeful. Maybe try sitting with a tree or examining some flowers today, or turn over a rock and watch some insects. Or just sit and breathe in some fresh air. Immerse yourself in nature’s creativity, and let her inspire yours.

 


Andree Santini teaches, writes, and illustrates to promote positive imagination and balanced movement towards creative, joyful well-being. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2011. Also a chemist, she has over 25 years of experience inventing art products for children, and holds seven US patents with additional patents pending. Andree learned to paint and draw while testing thousands of exploratory formulas in the lab. Mostly a self-taught artist, she has also studied drawing with Sean Delonas, watercolors with Ann Lindsay and Dana Van Horn, and illustration with Chuck Vlasics and Sean Delonas. You can find her creative blog at www.inspirationforcreativity, and you can visit her website at www.andreesantini.com.

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