Monday, January 24, 2011

Guest Post - Author Vivian Kirkfield

This week's guest post comes from Vivian Kirkfield, author of Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-esteem Through Reading, Crafting, and Cooking. I had the wonderful chance to work with Vivian on a review/giveaway of her book a few weeks back, and she and I clicked as lovers of the written word. In fact, she has started hanging around these parts checking out all of YOUR writing too!

Vivian also has a blog called Positive Parental Participation. Vivian made the jump from teacher/lover of words to professional writer. Here are her words about her journey:

My love affair with children’s picture books began over fifty years ago. As I helped my mother turn the pages of THE LITTLE HOUSE by Virginia Lee Burton, a new and exciting world was revealed to me and I knew, even then, that books would always be an integral part of my life. During my school years, books were like air to me. I remember one summer I took out STACKS of books from the library and sat in the backyard and read them, one after the other. When I had finished the stack, I went back to the library to take out another stack. Perhaps that’s why my first “real” job was at the children’s section of the local library during my freshmen year of college.

The leap from being a lover of books to becoming a lover of writing was not a very big one for me. I’ve always loved to write and, in elementary school, I carried around a small spiral notebook and would jot down little poems. As a kindergarten teacher, I developed a program that utilized children’s picture books, not only for entertainment and enjoyment, but also to help young children deal with the challenges they encounter in those early years. But it wasn’t until my own children were born that I began to write my own picture book stories. And perhaps I have my husband to thank for that.

You see, my husband is an avid fly-fisherman and years ago he also refinished bamboo fly rods - he actually wrote a book on the subject back in 1986 that is still considered the “bible” of rod restoration and repair. When our first child was a toddler, we often accompanied my husband on his business trips. Keeping a very young child peaceful and happy while sitting in a car for several hours is no mean accomplishment. I was NEVER without a large pad of paper and a selection of pencils and crayons. While my husband was in his meeting, I would be “entertaining” our son with a story-on-demand about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I still have many of those stories and hope one day to see them published. But my book for parents and teachers of preschoolers, based on the reading, crafting and cooking program I had developed during my teaching years was published in September of 2010. And again, my husband was the catalyst for encouraging me to follow through on a project that I had toyed with for many years.

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” are the well-known words of Thomas Edison. I think this holds true when it comes to writing.

Whether it is a short story, poem, magazine article, full-length novel, children’s picture book or work of non-fiction, we need to:
· Keep on writing….and revising…and writing some more.
· Read what other people are writing in your genre.
· Be open to suggestion and advice, but remain true to your own style.
· Connect with other writers…they will encourage you on your path to publication!

Thank you, Vivian, for stopping by The Red Dress Club and sharing your story and advice with us! We hope we will see you around much more!

If you want to contact Vivian, you can find her information on her website or you can follow her on twitter at @viviankirkfield

No comments: