Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

DARE TO DREAM BIG!: The Power of One!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Imagine This: You’re a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who wants to go to school, but the Taliban opposes the education of girls and they have already destroyed many schools. So what do you do?

Who: You’re Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani girl

What: You’re shot three times in the head and neck by a Taliban gunman.

Where: Pakistan

When: October 9, 2012

This is the inspiring story of 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai who headed a campaign in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education.

You have already been an activist for several years. At age 11, you worked as an anonymous blogger for the BBC to advocate freedom of education and expose information about your Taliban-ruled area of Pakistan.

And since then, you have headed a campaign in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education.

On October 9 you’re shot in the head three times by a Taliban gunman on your school bus on your way home from school. You’re in critical condition and are airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

In response to your extraordinary courage, people all over the world are calling for you to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Today there is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the assassination attempt by the Taliban did not scare young girls away from going to school. Instead, the shooting has galvanized support for the rights of women and girls in regions where the Taliban is established, and new schools are being planned for poor children in sixteen areas. Thanks to Malala, thousands more children, girls as well as boys, will receive the education they deserve.

The bad news is that even as Malala recovers from her injuries at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, there are new attacks being planned against her. One of these retaliatory groups is a new British-based Islamist group which will be issuing a religious decree against Malala

Thank you, Malala, for caring enough to make a difference!

Postscript: Bonnie Lloyd, a professor of sociology in Rochester, New York, has started a petition on Change.org asking Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. Stop by http://www.change.org/petitions/take-a-stand-for-the-girl-who-stood-up-nominate-malala-for-the-nobel-peace-prize to see Bonnie’s petition.

For More about Malala:

Something to Think about: How do you think Malala had the courage to take on such a powerful group as the Taliban?

 

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Willoughby and I hope you enjoyed this week’s true story and will be back next week for another story to inspire you to DARE TO DREAM BIG!

 Reminder: To be eligible for the weekly drawing for an autographed copy of one of my books (your choice of book), please leave a comment.

(Two Restrictions)

1) There must be a minimum of 10 visitor comments

2) Only U.S. residents please to save on mailing costs.


THIS WEEK’S WINNER IS SANDY NACHLINGER

CONGRATULATIONS, SANDY!

 

DARE TO DREAM BIG!: The Power of One!

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Imagine This: You’re a 12-year-old Canadian boy who is inspired by the life and death of a 12-year-old Pakistani boy named Igbal Masih who spoke out against child slavery. You want to carry on Igbal’s mission to end child slavery, but what can you do?

 Who: You’re Craig Kielburger, a 12-year-old Canadian boy

What: Free the Children

Where: Canada

When: You begin your campaign in 1995 at age 12.

This is the inspiring story of 12-year-old Craig Kielburger who was inspired by the life and death of 10-year-old Igbal Masih who was killed at age 12 as a result of his speaking out against child slavery.

At age 12 you read about Igbal Masih and his story changes your life forever. You see Iqbal as a hero for speaking out against child labor and child slavery, and you understand that a young person can indeed make a difference.

You set out to educate yourself about human rights and become so passionate about the issue that you end up traveling through South Asia to see the horrors for yourself. When you return home to Canada, you and a group of your friends found Kids Can Free The Children.

Believing that education is one of the best ways to fight child labor, your program links schools in developing countries with schools in North America, Europe, and industrialized countries around the world.

It’s the students themselves at these schools who work to find solutions which include collecting and distributing supplies for over 100,000 school and health kits (an additional 9000 kits, blankets, and warm clothes were recently shipped to help war-affected children in Afghanistan) and raising money and helping to build more than 300 rural schools (2000 school kits, desks and chairs, and 3000 text books were recently sent to Sierra Leone to help locals open their new school in Freetown).

As FTC grows, you travel the world, meeting with heads of state and Nobel Prize winners, receiving international awards, sharing your convictions with global leaders, and appearing on television shows like 60 Minutes and Oprah, which brings FTC recognition and support.

Today Free the Children has grown into the largest international network of children helping children, with more than 100,000 youth involved in 35 countries. The campaigns focus on child-labor issues, children and poverty, war-affected children, education, and children’s rights.

Thank you, Craig, for caring enough to make a difference!

Postscript: For more about Kids Can Free The Children

For More about: Craig Kielburger

 Something to Think about: What do you think about kids helping kids?

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Willoughby and I hope you enjoyed this week’s true story and will be back next week for another story to inspire you to DARE TO DREAM BIG!

 

 Reminder: To be eligible for the weekly drawing for an autographed copy of one of my books (your choice of book), please leave a comment.

(Two Restrictions)

1) There must be a minimum of 10 visitor comments

2) Only U.S. residents please to save on mailing costs.



 

The Next Big Thing: Welcome to my page and the next stop of the “Next Big Thing” Blog Hop Tour through Fiction!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

We’re blog hopping our way through some great reads.  For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop . . . it’s a lot like a treasure hunt – once you find something on one blog, you hop on over to the next blog link for more treasure.  In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books.  Some are still being written, some are just being released.  Either way, for fiction lovers . . . it’s a treasure and I’d like to thank Joy Williams for tagging me to participate.

(Click this link to find out about Joy’s book.)

In this particular post, I hope I answer 10 questions and you get to learn about one of my favorite works and how 13-year-old Leslie emerged onto the scene as the main character of her own book.  And, as usual, comments and questions are always welcome!

Q & A

What is the working title of your book? Keepin’ It Real: A Young Teen Talks with God

Where did the idea come from for the book? I was a discussion facilitator for our girls’ confirmation group and the girls asked some really great questions. Questions like:

How do you know that God is real in your life?

Does God really answer our prayers?

If God is a loving and caring God, why does He allow so many bad things to happen?

What genre does your book fall under? It’s labeled Teen Fiction/Christian Living and I think that’s a pretty apt description. Leslie has just turned thirteen and is having a very bad year. Not only is she stuck in a new school where she doesn’t know anyone, but she’s also stuck in a “life group” at her church where the leader of her small discussion group asks tough questions that she can’t answer.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?  I think my invitation to the reader is pretty apt here: “Come along and join Leslie on her faith journey as she writes letters to God and in the process begins to find answers to some of her questions.”

Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? It’s published by CSS Publishing, a Christian publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I wrote my book during my year-long journey with breast cancer and it was one of the prime motivators that kept me going during my chronic bout with the nausea and the “blahs” from the chemotherapy.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I haven’t really read any other books in this genre which uses the diary format in quite the way I’ve used it.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? As I mentioned earlier, the girls in my confirmation group were the inspiration for my book. They asked some great questions and I wanted Leslie to ask some of the same questions in my/her book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I think readers respond readily to Leslie’s honesty as she works through her frustrations, her feelings of inadequacy, and her feelings of social and personal isolation without losing her innate sense of humor.

Do you have a favorite review you would like to mention? I actually have two favorites:

“Keepin’ It Real is sassy and sensitive. It’s an honest look at a young girl’s struggles—and insights—as she faces puberty and searches for faith.” Mary Lou Carney, Christian Author

“Anyone who is (or who ever has been) 13 will identify with Leslie’s struggles to make sense of her family, her faith, her own thoughts, and the world. Through her letters to God, Leslie deals with questions as big as the very nature of God and as small as why Mom gets so bent out of shape about how the bathroom towels are folded. Sandra Humphrey has done a beautiful job of not only creating a very believable character, but more importantly, of showing young readers how inextricably faith is linked to the issues of everyday life.”

Lynn Gilliam, Editor,  Pockets

Do you have a new book you would like to mention?  Making Bad Stuff Good is being formally launched at the 59th Annual NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Convention November 15-18 in Denver, Colorado.

The book is written for tweens as nonfiction in fiction format, and the premise of the book is that how we respond to what happens to us is more important than what actually happens to us. Attitude Is Everything!

List of my tagged blog hop buds for next week.  Check out their blogs next Wednesday to read about their WIPs and New Releases:

 

Monica Brinkman

T.R. Heinan

Delinda McCann

 D.M. Pirrone

Peggy Strack