Thursday, October 1, 2015

Highlights Foundation: A Crash Course in Children's Book Publishing

When you grow up, you sometimes forget that there is magic left in the world. Maybe it comes in different forms, but if you stop, once in a while, and take in the beauty that surrounds you, you can see that it is still there.

I was privileged to receive some much needed magic in my life, recently.

The Barn
High up in the Pocono Mountains, I attended a writers workshop for publishing children's books, a course given by the Highlights Foundation.

The material that was presented, and the instructors, themselves, were invaluable.  Each one of them taught us something different, new, and even fascinating.

The classes were a great source of information which I intend to follow, as I attempt to publish my first children's book. But even more than that, the facility and surroundings seemed to ease my mind and allow me to open up.

I had several new ideas and I started writing a few stories.  I even wrote a children's poem about an owl.

It was about 5:30 am on the second day, I was outside looking up at the stars.  I saw Orion, Taurus, and the Seven Sisters. I was also fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of three shooting stars, all of which I wished upon.  I also saw one star that slowly moved across the sky for about ten seconds, until it turned out its light and said goodbye.

As I stood there admiring the early morning sky, I heard a noise in the distance. It wasn't something I was familiar with. At first I thought it was a dog or a wolf.  As I listened closer, I heard a hoot-hoot-hoot, hoot-hoot-who.  I think that was the first time I ever heard an owl.

Not only has my trip been inspiring and beautiful, but it has been a gift; one I hope to share with the world. Who knows how many books I will write, or how many people they will reach, but if I can make just one child smile, that is all the fulfillment I'll ever need.

Listen to your heart, it may be trying to tell you exactly what you need.  Embrace the magic that surrounds you. Be open. Be honest. And love like no other.

Thank you, Bobbie Combs, Harold Underdown, Jo KnowlesLindsay Barrett GeorgeSneed B. Collard III, Allison Kane, and Patrick Greenish, Jr. for all of your inspiration, guidance, and teachings.
I'd also like to thank each of my classmates. It was great meeting all of you, you made the workshop fun and your spirits are motivating.
Finally, thank you, Jo Lloyd and Kent L. Brown, Jr., without whom my trip would not have been possible.

The Highlights Foundation puts on a wonderful workshop program. I would recommend it to anyone.

Last day: Bobbie Combs, Jo Knowles, Harold Underdown

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