Daily Quote: Goals

Spring has sprung dear readers!

I recently finished reading author Kwame Alexander’s Newbery-winning novel in verse The Crossover.  I thought I would share with you one of my favorite quotes from the poem entitled “Basketball Rule #3.”

“Never let anyone lower your goals.  Others’ expectations of you are determined by their limitations of life.  The sky is your limit, sons.  Always shoot for the sun and you will shine.”

Happy Friday 🙂

 

 

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Collecting Words

I recently finished reading the book A Snicker of Magic about a girl who sees words all around her and collects them.  She shares them with her best friend but is too shy to turn them into poetry and speak them in front of a group.

Here are some of her words and what she says about them.

Offering

Sacred

Everlasting

“Words that belonged in a sanctuary filled up the spaces between the three of us.  But those words looked as fine there as they’d ever looked in a church, and I wondered if there was something sacred, something everlasting, about melted ice cream and summer days and good stories.” –Natalie Lloyd, author

I believe sharing stories is a sacred act.  It creates an everlasting bond between you and the listener.  Don’t be afraid to use your words or share your stories.  The world needs them to survive.  Stories are the glue that holds us all together.

I used to be afraid to share my stories, too, but not anymore.

As an exercise, I decided to collect some of my own words and see if  I could string them together into something meaningful.

Marshmallow

Poppy

Magic

Magic marshmallow dreaming leads to red poppy success.

Try collecting your own words and fitting them together like a child playing with blocks.  You might just build something really unique.  Something that can hold you up.  Something that can change the world.

 

I Kissed a Frog

Not really, but according to the book I just finished, kissing frogs is the equivalent of going after your dreams, the things that make you happy and fulfilled.  The frog is the very thing holding you back, so why should you kiss it?  Because you can always transform something negative into something positive and change your life forever.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Kiss That Frog by Brian Tracy.

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.” —Bruce Barton

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” —from John Milton’s poem “Paradise Lost”

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.  There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.” —Orison Swett Marden

The final quote I want to share comes from a middle grade novel I just finished reading called A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.  It’s funny how once you start focusing on an idea, the more it shows up in your life in different places.

“It’s as simple and difficult as that.  Sad memories don’t just come in ice cream, you know.  Everything you touch, everything you smell, everything you taste, every picture you see—all of that has the potential to call up a sad memory.  You can’t choose what comes up first.  But you can choose to replace it with something good.  I choose to think on the good parts.”

May positive thoughts bloom in your mind instead of weeds 🙂

 

NJ SCBWI Conference 2014

Illustrator Floyd Cooper teaches us how to use negative space to create a painting.

So I’m back from a recent SCBWI conference in New Jersey. Can I just say, wow! Action packed. I’m still processing it. Some people call it conference hangover 😉 The travel alone was an adventure. A quick recap on that. I took a plane from Detroit, but my first flight was cancelled. I had to shuttle over to another terminal to check in a second time with another airline. I then took a taxi to the hotel because it was too late to take the train. On the way back, I took the hotel shuttle to the train station. Then had to take another shuttle to the airport. Then another shuttle at the airport to my terminal. Then the plane ride back. All while carrying a backpack, an art portfolio, and a small suitcase. But was it worth it? Yes! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

This conference focused a lot on illustration. I appreciated the chance to take actual mini art classes as well as attend lectures. We also had a lot of opportunities to connect with industry professionals. Yet the conference had an intimate setting, which was nice. Sometimes you feel like a small fish in a big pond at these types of events. But NJ, it’s like my sister group now.

There’s a lot I could share with you here, but I think what would be most valuable would be to share some quotes from the final keynote speaker, Rachel Vail.  She wrote an adorable picture book called Piggy Bunny and a middle grade series about a worrier named Justin Case.  (Get it?  Just in case…LOL)

She said she learned that bravery isn’t the opposite of worry.  (Translation: It’s acting in the face of worry.)

Vail also shared a wonderful Van Gogh quote that I’d never heard before.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Other advice:

1. Beware of nice lunches.  (They might serve bad news with a smile.)

2. You can survive ground zero.  (Translation: You can start over.  Revise your entire manuscript.  Fix your painting.  Write another book.)

3. Sometimes you have to chip away at your creation with your fingernails.

4. Listen to children.  (They have their own stories to tell.  Let them know they matter.  Try to remember the first adult who listened to you…)

I remember being like Justin Case.  Thinking and worrying.  Imagining.  Quietly observing.  My grandfather listened and taught me about poetry and art.  My grandmother listened and taught me piano lessons.

Did it make a difference?  Yes.  Do I still worry?  Sometimes.  But am I also brave?  People tell me so.

My wish for you:  Go forth and be brave!  But you have my permission to worry, too.  It’s the secret ingredient that leads to success when coupled with action.  May your worries fuel your creative work.  YOU can make it happen!

 

 

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