Growing up, I never thought of myself as being creative. I was a worker bee. I loved getting things done, and I still do. But when I started writing, I began to recognize that I have an imagination, that I connect the dots differently than other people do.
As I started writing I began to create more things than I ever imagined. This post is all about those things. It’s also a call to you – to recognize your own creativity, that you see the world differently from anyone else.
The things I create most days of the week . . .
#1. My Blog – I wrote the first one back in November of 2016. It was about swimming with dolphins. That was even the title. I thought I knew what I wanted to write, but it bombed. It didn’t work out the way I planned. Reality showed me what really worked.
This is the one I wrote last night about OSU football trivia. I started the original post last year, but now I’m into my second season.
Over the last seven years, I’ve written over 445 posts. If you compare the first to the last, I’ve changed a lot as a writer since 2016.
The things I create once a week . . .
(There are six of them.)
#2. My Reads – Once a week when my blog is done, I pick a book to share. In the early days, they didn’t match. I just picked a book I loved from my local library and reviewed it. Sometimes I pick picture books. Sometimes chapter books. I post them on my website under the button, My Reads, and I also post it on Amazon. Did you know whenever you review a book online, it helps the author, the illustrator, and the publisher. It’s a great thing to do!
Fandango Stew was the first picture book I reviewed back in October of 2016. Think Stone Soup, but Tex Mex style. Link: http://www.rindabeach.com/my-reads/fandango-stew-review
Stick and Stone is the last picture book I reviewed this September. It’s about two opposites who discover that a common enemy can turn them into friends. Would you believe I’ve done over 235 picture book reviews in the last 7 years?
The Extincts was the first chapter book I reviewed back in September of 2016. I still remember it! It was that good! Imagine getting a job at a farm that specializes in extinct animals. I HAD to read it!
The Peddler of Wisdom is the last chapter book I reviewed back in July. I read it a few years ago,, and it finally matched one of my blogs. Imagine traveling back in time to 17th century France, AND you meet the ultimate fortune teller, Nostradamus. Would you believe I’ve done over 106 chapter book reviews in the last 7 years? Link: http://www.rindabeach.com/my-reads/review-of-the-peddler-of-wisdom
#3. Vlogs – Once a week I take a blog and turn it into a video. Behind the scenes, I write and revise a script, make the slides, and finally practice and record the video. I post it on social media every Sunday at 4PM. You’ll find it on Facebook, Instagram, and X, but not on my web site.
The first screenshot is from my first vlog. I recorded it back in May of 2021. It’s about the things I remember from visiting the Madison’s house in Virginia. I shared two links – the video and the original blog. Video: https://fb.watch/5PUG1rUGDC/ Blog: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/the-things-i-remember-from-my-visit-with-james-and-dolly-madison
The second is from last weekend. It started when I heard a song in an Amazon Prime ad, Always Something There to Remind Me. I did some research, and then I shared its story. Here are its links:
#4. Saturday Reads– I also look for a picture book that goes along with my vlog. I write and revise a script. Then I practice and record it. Every Saturday at 4PM I post it on Facebook, Instagram, and X . Sorry, but it’s not on my web site.
I did my first read-aloud in November of 2021. I used a real book, but I didn’t like the way it looked. I shared the screen with it, but the book should fill it, not me. The title – Twenty-One Steps. It’s about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C. If you’d like to see my first try at reading online, try this link: Video: https://www.facebook.com/BeachGirlPress/videos/677802673204597
I did the second one last weekend. I use eBooks now because the book fills the screen. I’m tiny, except for the beginning and the end. I picked Lupe Lopez – Rock Star Rules. It’s about the first day of school, when a Kindergarten drummer meets her new teacher. Oh, no!
#5. Your Newsletter– I work on one newsletter over the course of a week until it’s ready to publish. This is the original I started with. I would cut and paste it into an email. It looked great with its words and illustrations, but it was a real pain to set up.
I moved on . . . I sent the letter as an attachment, and I didn’t have to reformat anything, but I ran into another problem. Some addresses have programs that won’t accept attachments for security reasons.
Don’t worry! I still use this form. It’s my writing template for my blogs and book reviews. I write and revise here before I post anything online. It has served me well for seven years.
This is the newsletter form I use now. It’s not pretty, but it’s easy to glance and find the links you’d like to check out. I’ll stay with it, until I find a better way to serve my subscribers.
#6. Pinterest– While I’m working on my newsletter, that’s when I add new posts to Pinterest. If you’re looking for specific content that I’ve written, this is a great way to find it. I have boards set up by curriculum content and standards.
Half the boards are science. They include Earth/Space, Life, and Physical Science. The other half are social studies. They include Economy, Geography, Government, and History.
Three boards are for language arts. One is actually named that. It’s where I put posts about reading and writing. The other two boards are named Classroom Reads. One is for picture books, and the other is for chapter books. Each of the ten boards are subdivided into topics and standards. I hope they help you find what you’re looking for.
#7. Google Spreadsheets– I add new posts to my spreadsheets while I’m working on my newsletter. You’ll never see it – it’s just for me. It’s how I track my content. I add each blog, book review, and video so I can find it and use it again. And you can use it too. How?
If you’re looking for something for your classroom or for your child, email me. I’ll use a key word to see if I can find what you’re looking for. If I do, I’ll send you the link. If I don’t, I might decide to write a post, just for you.
The things I create and hope will be published, someday . . .
#8. My Unpublished Manuscripts – I have eleven manuscripts stashed away in my computer . Someday I hope they’ll be published traditionally. I listed them below in the order they were created.
I have two manuscripts featuring bats. The first is awful. I dragged in Herman the German, and the second is a chapter book that combines fantasy with what really happened with my bat. Someone suggested a third version, a middle grade fantasy, but it’s in the idea stage for now. None of my bat stories are ready for submission.
I wrote about ants next. It started as a chapter book and somehow morphed into a middle grade novel. It’s gone through three rounds of revision, and I’ve sent it out on a few queries, but nothing yet – maybe someday 😊
My dog story came next. I started with what really happened, but it didn’t work so I fictionalized it to move the story. It started and stayed a picture book, but it’s my least successful manuscript. Something’s missing, but I haven’t figured out what . . . yet.
My safety story started as an idea for a chapter book, but it became a picture book. It’s been sent on many queries, but it really needs the right publisher to take it on, and I believe in my heart someday that will happen.
The duck manuscript is done, but it needs the right publisher to take a chance on it . . . so it’s still waiting in the wings of my computer.
My nativity story is also done. I’ll share it after I query an agent. You submit one story for consideration. If they like it, you need two or three others ready to share. An agent must know if they can afford to take a chance on you.
I have a manuscript about a new baby. It’s only 100 words. I’m hoping someday it will become a board book. It’s agent- ready whenever I get that request for more work.
Would you believe I have a story about a blue poison dart frog? It’s the one I’m submitting whenever I query. It’s my strongest manuscript, and I hope it nets me an agent . . . someday😊
The next two stories are WIP’s. That’s writer-speak for Works In Progress. The first is about community helpers. I started. Then I had to stop to work on the next idea.
I’m writing a middle grade novel about the founding fathers. It’s historical fiction, but it still demands tons of research. It will be 57 chapters long. So far I’ve drafted 13 and polished the first three. My goal is to polish the first 50 pages, then submit it to agents and publishers. My fingers are crossed it will find a good home.
#9. My Published Books – I have three published books. They’re not sitting in my computer . . . they’re on Amazon and in local bookstores. It’s lovely when your writing turns into a real book.
Neil came first in 2019. He’s in a chapter book that’s all about his first dream . . . to build a wind tunnel like the Wright Brothers. (For grades 2 - 4)
Lake Fun came out in 2020, and Zoe in 2021. They both allow kids to read a story, then journal about their own experiences. Zoe is a chapter book, and Lake Fun is a picture book. (For grades 2- 4)
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!