“If you want yo…

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

― Albert Einstein

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Why I Love Kids Movies

So this evening I went to see the new Despicable Me 2 movie with some friends. Not only did I find the minions hilarious (they honestly make the movie), I also spilt nacho dip all over myself. Now I’m not here to give away any spoilers, I’m actually here to talk about why I love to watch kids movies, and why I think they’re great resources for those looking to get into children’s literature.

Like children’s books, kids movies are usually uncomplicated. I personally find that the simple things, are very hard to dislike. If you are looking at writing a children’s book, or YA (young adult) fiction, I recommend watching kids movies in a theatre full of children as a form of research.

Here’s why:

  1. First off, you get to watch the reactions the kids have to certain themes throughout the movie. This can help you know what most kids find fun, and what they find boring.
  2. An easy way to spark new ideas, is to build on old ones. For example, take what used to be known as a stool, add a back to it, and BAM you’ve got yourself a chair.
  3. Movies that are specifically directed towards children can often bring out your inner child/preteen. Seriously, I laughed at the minions when they made fart sounds with their mouths. I usually find fart sounds annoying and gross.
  4. It’s entertaining and can be very relaxing as well. If you’re stressed out from writing, studying, or even just your day in general, go watch a children’s movie. They rarely disappoint, and they’re usually hilarious. Plus, laughter helps to relieve stress.
  5. You can connect with your audience. You can easily observe them in their natural habitat: listen to the way they speak, look at how they are dressed, and watch what they do. As long as you can observe and become somewhat connected with your audience, you are on the right track.

Now I’m not saying that watching kids movies is the GREATEST and only way that you can do research on children for your books, but it is very easy, beneficial, and it doesn’t seem “weird” or “creepy.”

There are also many other ways that you can do research on kids that are safe, and not considered “creepy.” For instance, you can volunteer with children, or babysit for a friend or family member who has kids. If you have kids of your own, simply get your research from them.

In the end, I promise you’ll get great results, and it will make it so much easier for you to write your books!

Before I go, let me just say that Despicable Me 2 is WAY better than the first movie. I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good laugh and likes clean humour.

Cleaning My Room

The other day I decided to start cleaning out my room. As a kid (well I still am a kid but that’s besides the point), I would hoard old school work, random notes I wrote to myself as reminders, torn socks that my parents constantly told me to throw out, and several short stories that I never want another soul to read (really bad fan-fictions). After tossing the things I’d hoarded from grades four to eleven off of my book shelf, I almost felt…free. It was as if those memories of bad report cards, and rants about fights I had with my friends were gone. I’d let go of all the things that seemed to occasionally pop back into my life and cause me to remember those somewhat depressing childhood memories (I was bullied in early elementary school).
The reason I had to clean off my bookshelf in the first place, was because one of the shelves had fallen due to all the weight it was under.
I guess you could the bookshelf was a metaphor, it was representing all things I was holding on to that were putting some sort of pressure on me.
Now that those things are gone, I’m no longer under that pressure. I am light as a feather, and I’m ready to begin a new stage in my life.
Today, I started emptying out my dresser. I got the same feeling again but yet, somehow it was a little different. I was almost excited to toss the old clothes from my drawers and onto my bed. I was practically flinging them around, and I started building a mountain out of them. I even quoted Jay Gatsby, from the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I have a man who sends me shirts from Europe.” I was actually enjoying the release.
When I was younger, I used to dread having to clean my room but now it seems as though it is another sign that I’m growing up. Growing up means, letting go, and as I’ve also learned recently sometimes means saying goodbye. However, though goodbye is a sad thing, it’s never forever. Letting go, and moving on are all apart of life. If you never move on, you’ll never mature, and you’ll never grow.
I sound so old…I guess life does that to you. I still can’t believe I learned this just by cleaning my room.

Tips for Writing Books for Kids

  1. Find your inner child: to write for kids, you need to become a kid.
  2. Take risks: If you want to write the word fart, WRITE IT!
  3. Talk to kids: Seriously, you can have some pretty great conversations with a 4 year old about why they don’t like hotdogs.
  4. Read kids books: Find that old Curious George and read Monkey, READ!
  5. Ask people about their kids: Sometimes people’s kids do some pretty whacky stuff.
  6. Think about what you did as a kid: Did you cut off your sisters doll heads? Did you think if you poured milk in the garden the tomatoes would turn white?
  7. Be CREATIVE! Do I really need to explain this? PURPLE!
  8. Be real: seriously write from your heart okay? You and the pencil…or keyboard or whatever…ARE ONE!

I’ll be giving tips often. If there’s anything specific you want to ask me about, feel free to comment. There are no bad/dumb questions. There are only bad/dumb answers.