It started as a spark of inspiration. Watching children spending so much of their day using screen time and particularly video games, I wondered what if the reason children are so drawn to it is because there’s another force behind it. Someone or something makes the pull irresistable.
The Writing Process:
I decided I would write this during the annual NANOWRIMO challenge (National Novel Writing Month) challenge . While the novel wasn’t finished with the first draft at the end of November, I was well on my way. My first draft finished in January. Once I finished, I set the book aside for a while before moving on to editing.
After a month, I began the editing process. I went through the story several times before hiring a professional editor. This step is really important. No matter how well you know your book, you need a separate pair of unbiased eyes to help make the book the best it can be.
My favorite part has been hiring the illustrator. I worked with Junior of Junior’s Digital Designs a few years ago and loved their work. The team was the first group that came to mind knowing that my book included gaming characters.
Souled is a novel about Ethan and his friends who end up getting trapped in a video game.
When Ethan and his friends play the much anticipated new game Seeker, they are thrown into a new world where the lines of reality and gaming are blurred. As people close to Ethan, including his sister, start to disappear, Ethan and his team must free the trapped souls, defeat the dark wizard and stop the destruction before he and his friends are trapped forever.
This is a tough thing to post, but I want to be sure my energies are utilized the best they can be. We were on day 6 of the campaign and at 17%. In order for this to succeed in reaching the goal I chose, I should have been over 30%. So I chose to stop the All or Nothing Kickstarter and relaunch it here with a better goal and more flexibility.
WAIT! HEAR ME OUT!
That isn’t a bad thing, really.
In fact, it just means I’m going to go about this another way. I wanted the Kickstarter so I could get a decent print run but that’s not the only way to publish a book.
Instead, I relaunched this on Indigogo. Any funds I raise will cover your rewards and printing in a smaller quantity. The good news about this, with the nature of my plan, is there will be no risk to either you or me. Those who order a book, will get their books. No matter how much is raised.
We also won’t have to wait as long for delivery of the books.
As an author and a teacher, these past few months have had me concerned about how all of these things are affecting our children. First, the isolation. Then the fear of illness. Then the missing out of milestones. Finally, the boredom.
Just when things started to look up, a scary wave of civil unrest broke out. Our children are hearing us, watching us and learning from us. As adults and leaders, we have to do better.
Whether or not things improve right away or further down the line, I think it is important we pay attention to the kids. They might not be obvious about it, but it does affect them and stress them out. So what can we do?
Here are some things I’ve come up with and ideas I’ve used before.
When they see the negativity and feel that the world is a hopeless, dangerous place, follow the advice Mister Rogers shared: “Look for the helpers.” There will always be helpers. Have them share with you what they discover.
Start a gratitude or Positivity journal. This trains our brains to look for the good and positve things in our lives. They could write down one, or two or however many items they want. It doesn’t need to be huge. Maybe it was a beautiful sunny day. Maybe they read a favorite book. Maybe they had their favorite dinner.
Encourage them to talk about what they’re feeling. Sometimes all they need is an ear.
Offer a variety of things to do – especially if they are still quaranteened. Is there a TV marathon they want to watch? Do they want to do a livingroom campout complete with favorite snacks? Is there a Monopoly tournament (or life, or Sorry, etc). Maybe they can help set up the new garden? The temptation might be for them to withdrawl into one thing – such as video games. Change it up a little bit. My teenager grumbled a bit with the garden help, but afterwards he told me he felt “accomplished.”
Give them something creative to do. Do they like art? Many illustrators offer art tips. The illustrator of Angel Donor, Samantha Bell has a great selection here.
Do something kind for someone. Does someone in the neighborhood need help with anything? Maybe they saw someone be mean or discriminate against their friend. Letting them know that being a friend to that person can go a long way.
As always, if you are worried about their mental health or physical health, get in touch with their doctor right away for the best individualized advice for them.
What are some ideas you have to help our children get through these times? Do you have any reading suggestions for children that would help ease their stress?
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