Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Claire's Day - Inspiration

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in the Claire's Day Book Festival in Maumee, Ohio. I've never seen such a fantastically-organized and well-attended book festival! The venues for Claire's night (the Toledo Library) and Claire's Day (The Maumee Library grounds) were awesome. But what makes this festival so amazing is the mission of Claire's Day: "... to honor Claire Lynsey Rubini by inspiring children and families of all ages to be lifelong readers through exposure to a variety of literary opportunities and experiences."

Claire Rubini was a young girl who loved books, music, and storytelling. Sadly, she died much too young of a heart condition. Her parents, inspired by an article about former First Lady Nancy Reagan's involvement with the Texas Book Festival, decided to honor Claire's memory by sharing her love of books, and creating a major book event to Ohio. Now, 11 years later, the Festival impacts over 15,000 children each year. Not only does it provide a free venue for young readers to get face time with their favorite authors, it also established the C.A.R.E (Claire's Awards for Reading Excellence) Awards to encourage students to up their reading game, and be recognized for their efforts.

You can read more about Claire's Day here:

One of the things that struck me this weekend was how something that began with such a sad event turned into something magical that impacts the lives of countless kids.

I think if we look outside ourselves, we can find the inspiration to make great things happen around us. As writers, we have the opportunity to reach and impact readers every day with our work. Can you imagine anything greater?

So, this week's writing tip is: Be inspired!

This Week's Links:

"I'm Bored" Shop - (Proceeds to benefit Breaking the Chain, a nonprofit literacy cause founded by super teen and literacy advocate, Riley Carney. Breaking the chain works to put new books in high-risk, high-need elementary and middle schools. (Zazzle)

Writer's Butt Wednesday: Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater! (Ginger Calem)

12 Deadly Grammatical Errors (ReadWriteWeb)

11 Mistakes Writers Make When Approaching Literary Agents (Huffington Post)

10 Commandments of Writing a Thriller (Writer's Digest)

7 POV Basics (Jody Hedlund)

7 Ways to Write a Stand-Alone Book with Series Potential (Writer's Digest)

3 Things to Know About Exposition and Telling (Victoria Mixon)

2 Tips That Will Make Plotting Easier (The Other Side of the Story)

Open Ended (book endings) (Gail Carson Levine)

Writing and Illustrating a Picture Book for S&S, pt.1 (Inky girl)
Writing and Illustrating a Picture Book for S&S, pt.2 (Inky girl)

Respecting Your Natural Rhythms (Writer Unboxed)

It's the Details, Writers! (The Book Deal)

Think Like an Author (Query Tracker)

How a Book is Born (Weldon Owen)

Confusion is Not The Same as Mystery (

Editing: Crossing Words off Your List (The Other Side of the Story)

How Not To Write a Series (Jennifer Laughran)

Creativity Under Pressure (Writing and Rambling)

Thrum Me, Baby, One More Time (Knight Agency Blog)

Words That Should Never Appear in Your Query (Janet Reid)

Flesh it Out (Genreality)

First Page Analysis: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Project Mayhem)

Developing a Story Idea (Mystery Writing is Murder)

How to Free the Genius Inside You (James Killick)

How to Choreograph Direct Action Scenes (Writers University)

Undercover Soundtrack (Discovering Characters Through Music) (Memories of a Future Life)

Now go be inspired (or better yet, inspire someone) and write!