kids

How To Have a Successful Author Visit

my author visit at smart cookie II 073113

my author visit at smart cookie II 073113Hey folks! I just want to share with you how one can have a successful author visit. I've done a few of them; most have been great; while a couple have been okay, but all in all, I love presenting my books and character Loopiethotamus to a school full of budding little world innovators!! Here goes....

1. Prayer, prayer, prayer!! Yes, I am a Christian and I love my Lord Jesus Christ. In everything, I make sure I pray and allow Him to be in control of all things! We can't control other's actions, or lack thereof, but we can sure go to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to guide our mouths, minds, hearts and spirits! Love me some Holy Spirit!!!

2. Prepare, prepare, prepare!! There is nothing like being fully prepared to get up in front of how ever many children and teachers and give your all. Before the visit, make sure you have the school contact person's email and phone number. Ask as many questions as possible of that individual so you are prepared for the day. It's also nice to request that that contact person, usually the librarian, prepare the students of your arrival. My character has a value motto which has a lot of different core values that explain who is he is. I make sure to share that with the librarian so that when I come in and discuss it with the kids, they’re not looking at me with that “deer in headlights look;” you know the one!

3. Don’t procrastinate until the last minute!! This kind of goes along with preparation, but you want to make sure you are really thinking about all that you want to do in the day so that you are ready to go! If you’re going to do a PowerPoint presentation, make sure you have looked at it more than once to verify everything in its proper order. If you are going to have activities, make sure you know exactly what you are going to be doing and that you have everything you need.

4. Rehearse the day with someone you know! It’s really cool if you have kids of your own because you can just sit them on the sofa and go over your entire presentation with them. They make for good listeners- sometimes! LOL! But, it’s nice to rehearse so you can determine any issues early on and fix them before the big day!

5. Make it fun!! There’s nothing like a boring author visit. I don’t want to see kids yawning and looking up at the ceiling counting all of the ceiling tiles. Of course, depending on the age level, there will be kids that have short attention spans. Yet, I want them to be engaged and enthusiastic. I want them eager to ask me questions and show that they are having a good experience. Wow! Those are a lot of “E” words I just used! But, seriously, I want to provide excellence to the kids and have them leaving excited for me to revisit. Wow! There I go again with those “E” words. My son’s name is Elijah, so go figure! LOL!

6. And lastly, once the day is all said and done- Look for God’s purpose in all that the day presented itself with. If you messed up, because truly, no one is perfect and we can mess up sometimes, don’t beat yourself up about it. God will bring another opportunity for you to do a better job. Look for ways to improve yourself. Try something new. But most importantly, be YOU!! Well…at least the high-spirited, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed YOU!!

Author, Ayana Sala Baugh of the children’s book series, “Loopiethotamus, the Chihuahua Who Thinks He is a Hippopotamus.”

Website: http://www.loopiebooks.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Loopiethotamus

Twitter: @Loopiebooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ayanasala

Imagination=Dreams=Creativity

cloudsThe imagination is a terrible thing to waste!! When you tap into the colors of your imagination, you'll find so many wonderful dreams and endeavors. I have come to understand that my imagination is precious. At one point, I believe I lost a part of my imagination. As a child, I was forced to see and experience things that no child should have to experience. Innocence was taken away from me. Unfortunately, this happens far too often with children. They're stripped of their child-like innocence. Reality sets in and they forget how to dream. Thank God, He created Loopiethotamus for me in 2006. Who ever thought a Chihuahua and a Hippopotamus would ever cross paths??? Then in 2009, God created my son Elijah. Elijah's imagination intertwines with mine. With these two wonderful entities, I am able to feed my imagination each day.

I love thinking outside of the box and coming up with ideas for my books. I love to see the smiles on children's faces when they hear a Loopiethotamus story. They laugh at some of the "out of this world" stuff I've come up with and it just makes my heart swell up with love. The questions they ask are something else too! Creativity is an awesome thing! It allows you to explore the innermost parts of your being!!

We need to teach our children that it's okay to dream. It's okay to imagine beyond the stars! And it's okay to create something from nothing!!! When our stamp is on something that no one else has thought about, it shows uniqueness. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made of God. He has given to each of us a level of creativity and imagination.

Imagination=Dreams=Creativity!! Dare to Be Hipp-O!!!

Sometimes I Can’t Believe I Published My Book

Dare to Dream 5I remember when I used to write poetry all of the time. I was about 14 years old and I would write and write and write. It would go from writing letters to God and writing poetry. Back in 2004, I had gotten some material in the mail about writing children’s books. I sent a story to that organization and was accepted into the program for writing children’s books, but I couldn’t afford the tuition. I don’t even remember at this time how much the tuition was. When I began writing my first Loopiethotamus book, I didn’t believe in my writing. I didn’t have any knowledge of how I would go about publishing a book. Publishing a book I don’t think was even in my mind at that time, for that matter. My husband would always tell me to keep writing. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. Finally, I wrote another book and another, and found I was actually writing a series.

I thank God that I had my husband and my friend Nicole by my side to help to believe in myself and my dreams. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but sometimes you can find yourself stuck when you don’t know how to go about it.

My first book, “Loopiethotamus, The Chihuahua Who Thinks He is a Hippopotamus- His Life,” was published March 2011. The second book, “His Journey” was published in September 2011. And the third book, “A Loopiethotamus Christmas” was published in August 2012.

Sometimes I still can’t believe I published my books, but I am grateful that I was able to take a leap of faith and work to have my dream come true. There are many more things to come. This is so far a 22-book series, so more books will be coming out.

I will tell anyone that has a dream to keep at it. Never give up. It is so easy to sit on your dreams and not believe they will come true, but that is a lie. When you work hard and believe in yourself, anything is possible. I could not do this all by myself. I thank God for a wonderful platform of friends and family that have helped me along this journey. God bless you and all of your dreams, big and small.

Believe in Yourself or At Least Start with Just Believing

Dare to Dream 1Loopiethotamus' character allows you to believe even when others put you down and try to convince you otherwise. It takes courage and strength to keep on moving when others try to make it impossible. With children, it's so important to instill confidence in them. It's so important to encourage them to be the best they can be. Sometimes it can be very difficult to believe in yourself. If you have been told time and time again that you’re nothing, you begin to believe that you’re nothing. But for God.

But for God, that He allows people to come into your life that truly only see the goodness in you. These people help you to see the greatness in yourself too. It may take a push, a knock, and even years, but when God has something for you, He has it, and His promises never are broken. God has a season and right time for everything. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives. God loves the children; they are His blessings. Never allow someone to make you feel less than what God says you are, His child. You were created by Him for greatness! Reach for the stars and always remember that the sky is the limit! Take heart and know- Matthew 19:26- "With God, all things are possible."