Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Choose Your Characters Wisely

Writers spend hours upon hours choosing their characters, plotting scenes, and crafting the perfect story. And as a writer, I respect the art and craft of writing. However, we need to make sure that the message we're sending to our young readers is a positive one.

I'm not usually one to rant and complain, but there is a common theme I keep noticing in the books I read to my children that I feel needs to be addressed.

How many of you are familiar with the original version of The Three Little Pigs? Or even the Disney version?

I imagine many of us are. In the 1890 version of English Fairy Tales written by Joseph Jacobs (and most of the versions thereafter) the three little pigs are male. However, today when I pick up a modern-day version of the Three Little Pigs, the one who builds the house of bricks or the sturdiest material (aka the "smart one") is female.

For example, there's this one:


And this one:


And this one:

And I'm sure there are more...

Now, don't get me wrong. I love all these books and own every one of them. But the other day as I was reading one of them to two of my sons, the older one asked, "Why do all the stories have the girl as the smart one and the boys as the dumb ones?"

His question broke my heart. Of course, I had noticed this common theme with these modern-day retellings of the three little pigs, but I guess I'd hoped my boys wouldn't notice. But no, they are too SMART for that.

I'm sorry, I'm all for diversity in books, heck if it doesn't seem diverse enough to have three male pigs, then by all means put some females in there. But when boys are bombarded over and over with books claiming that they are the dumb ones, what kind of impression are we leaving on them?

Obviously, I'm a little more sensitive to this since I'm a mother of FIVE boys. And I want them to grow up knowing they are good, smart, and kind. And after all I try to teach them in my own home, I don't want them to ever question it—not because of a book, or a movie, or the media. 

And hopefully, if you've never taken the time to think about the kinds of messages we're sending to the young people of the world through our books and media, perhaps this blog post will inspire you to.

Over and out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Defying Reason Blog Tour: Guest Post by Elizabeth Seckman

As a big fan of Elizabeth's romance novels, I feel especially lucky to help celebrate the release of her latest novel, Defying Reason. And you guys are in for a treat because Elizabeth is here on my blog today. So, take it away, Elizabeth!


Hi Kristin! Thanks for having me over!

People always ask me why I write romance. I really only have one good reason- I love love. It's a little word, but it is the basis for all the good in life- like families, friendships, relationships....

But as adults, we sometimes complicate things. What about heart breaks, unrequited love, co- dependent, selfish love...? Doesn't that ruin my love illusions?

Nope. I will still bet my money on love. Yes, we humans can figure out a way to muck up almost everything. We can take something as simple as love and turn it into a whole self-help section.

That's why, when life is complicated, we need to rely on children to guide us. They have a better grasp of the complex things, like computers and love....

If you don't have time, or are in a public place and can't watch the are my favorite statements by these wise children:

~Love makes you feel brave and mighty.

~If you take someone to Hawaii, they'll fall in love with you.

~Love just one invented it. 

The Blurb:

Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long line of trouble-making, white trash stock.
Tanner Coulter comes from a longer line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.
Jo graduated college top of her class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.
Tanner dropped out of college, trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.

A family crisis throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand- drawing believer in true love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever- after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots. The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but dreams daily of the beach. 

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG February: Never Give Up

Greetings, IWSG friends and followers! It's time for another group posting of the IWSG. Created by the amazing Alex Cavanaugh, this monthly blog hop is a way for writers to offer encouragement and support to one another while airing their own insecurities and sharing their successes. It's not too late to sign up if you want to join our group! Click HERE to join.


The main thing I want to accomplish with this blog post today is to inspire anyone out there who might be feeling down about their writing, who might be ready to quit, or who might be feeling the beat down of rejections or bad reviews.

This business is hard and sometimes you have to have super tough, rhinoceros-hide type skin. If you take anything away from this IWSG post, it's that you should never give up. If you love to write but aren't yet published—don't give up. If you're an author who has a publishing contract, but your readership is low—don't give up. If you're a writer who's struggling to make it to the bestsellers list—don't give up. And if you're wondering why I'm repeating the same words over and over, it's because I need to hear them more than anyone else. So, as you read through these quotes, commit yourself to move forward, work harder, and NEVER GIVE UP.