Challenges Can Be Good by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Here’s a little article I wrote as a Picture Book Idea Month (now STORYSTORM) success story.

Challenges Can Be Good

I don’t like NaNoWriMo. There. I said it. National Novel Writing Month is not for me. It did, however, lead me to the perfect challenges.

Discouraged after failing NaNoWriMo—miserably—twice, I came to the realization that the stress of cranking out 50,000 words during one of the busiest months of the year sours me on writing. It’s as torturous as dragging sandpaper across your sunburned belly.

In October 2010, many of my writing friends were brainstorming over their upcoming NaNoWriMo projects. Feeling left out, I decided to explore other options. That’s how I stumbled upon Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). Creating 30 picture book ideas over the 30 days of November seemed daunting, but I gave it a shot and I made it. Now, what was I going to do with those 30 ideas?

Thankfully, there is National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee), an annual event the first week of May where you endeavor to write 7 picture books in 7 days. When I participated in May 2011, I developed an idea from PiBoIdMo that would become my third published book, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving (Guardian Angel Publishing, Nov 2016).

Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving shows ten-year-old Macy using quick thinking and ingenuity to save dinner when the dog swipes the turkey off the table. Without PiBoIdMo, this book may never have existed. It’s not the warm, message-driven story that I usually write. There is a set of fighting twins, a frazzled mom, and a turkey-stealing dog. Not so sweet. Pushing my boundaries to win this challenge allowed me to explore a fun and zany side I don’t often indulge.

Satisfied with my first dabble into PiBoIdMo, I participated again in 2012. Guardian Angel Publishing has Amos Faces His Bully under contract. This story was my first idea for PiBoIdMo in 2012. I can’t wait to see it published.

Just like you need to find a good writing spot and develop a writing routine, finding the right challenge for you can lead to greater success. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself. The rewards can be great.

 

 

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, and Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com

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And Now…For This Announcement

HEAR THIS

As you have probably noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to. Seems I must be a good real estate agent, because I have been very busy and some have told me it’s unusual for a newbie to have such a successful first year. Yay me!

So, after careful consideration, I decided to put my writer’s blog–Little Shepherd–on hiatus for a while. The good news is that the updates I used to make there–announcements of when I blog at Christian Children’s Authors, goal updates, writing news, and the sharing of youth ministry resources–will appear here at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Thanks for your readership.

Cheryl Malandrions Guest on RRRadio-RFK: Stories for Children –January 3rd

Stories for Children Publishing, LLC

Website: http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/

M E D I A R E L E A S E
CONTACT: VS Grenier
Owner & Founder, Stories for Children Publishing, LLC
Email: VSGrenier@storiesforchildrenpublishing.com
Phone: 435-625-1743

For Immediate Release

Cheryl Malandrions Guest on RRRadio-RFK: Stories for Children –January 3rd

Come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s Robin Falls Kids Show: Stories for Children! The hosts (VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham and Tiffany Strelitz Haber) will chat with author Cheryl Malandrions about her book “Little Shepherd.” They’ll also discuss writing, the publishing industry, and Cheryl’s experiences with virtual tours.

Cheryl Malandrions will also be sharing writing tips and trials and tribulations of the writer’s life.

The show will be live, January 3, 2011 at 1pm EST (12pm Central, 11am MST, and 10am PST). You can tune in at the RRRadio’s site at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio or you can listen/call in at (646) 595-4478. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)

In addition, Stories for Children Publishing will be touring Cheryl Malandrions’ book, “Little Shepherd” all month long. You can find her World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/CherylMalandrinos.aspx. Make sure to stop by and interact with Cheryl and each host at the different stops by leaving a comment and/or question. Cheryl Malandrions will be checking in throughout the tour.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, she is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.

You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.

Not only will you have the opportunity to meet Cheryl, but this will be the perfect time to meet and learn about the hosts VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham and Tiffany Strelitz Haber, and their show on Blog Talk Radio-RFK: Stories for Children. You can learn about their exciting writing careers, along with Stories for Children Publishing and its many divisions.

To learn more about Cheryl Malandrions visit http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/CherylMalandrions.aspx

Learn more about Stories for Children Publishing, LLC at: http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/
###

Full Media Kit, Photos and more are available upon request electronically.

TC&TBC – 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 213 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 378 posts. There were 318 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 70mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 15th with 146 views. The most popular post that day was Cover Art for The Little Shepherd Boy by Cheryl C. Malandrinos.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mail.yahoo.com, facebook.com, mrtinfish.moonfruit.com, en.wordpress.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for dr seuss books, dr. seuss books, dr seuss book, oh the thinks you can think, and dr. seuss book.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Cover Art for The Little Shepherd Boy by Cheryl C. Malandrinos April 2010
52 comments

2

Answer to Dr. Seuss Trivia Question March 2010
4 comments

3

TC&TBC’s Top 10 Favorite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens and Teens January 2010
15 comments

4

Princess Tea by Janeen A. Sarlin with Noelle Shipley October 2009

5

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! March 2010
6 comments

Purchase Autographed Copies of Little Shepherd for Your Little Person

Autographed books make special presents. I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of Little Shepherd for your little person this holiday season.

Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

Read an excerpt!

Off in the distance, a wolf howled. Obed moved closer to his flock, scanning the hills for any sign of a pack that might race in and steal his sheep. His family depended upon the sheep for food and their wool for clothing. No sheep would be lost under his watch.

He shivered inside his cloak. While the days were getting warmer, the nights still chilled him. He walked over to the large fire blazing inside the pit. He rubbed his hands together and held them up to the fire to warm them.

Above him, the sky twinkled with millions of stars. Obed couldn’t remember a night so clear.

Suddenly, a bright light filled the sky.

Obed trembled. “Father, what is happening?”

His father dropped to the ground, his right hand blocking his eyes from the intense light.

Obed pulled the edges of his cloak closer to his face as he squinted up at the mysterious form hovering overhead. He shivered, but this time it was not because of the cold.

Read what critics are saying about Little Shepherd!

“It’s a great book for families during the holidays looking to bring more depth and understanding to the standard nativity story.”

–Christy’s World of Books

Little Shepherd is a great Christmas story for children between the ages of 4-8 that inspires faith and trust in something that cannot be seen, but can be felt in the heart and in the soul. This book would make a great addition to any Christmas collection as well as in any religious setting.”

–The Crypto-Capers Review

“Your first reaction may be, oh goodness another story on the birth of Christ. Toss those thoughts away and immerse yourself and your children into the magical arrival of Christ the Lord. Children’s author, Cheryl C. Malandrinos has re-explored and created a beautiful re-enactment of Christ the Lord’s birth in a unique and awe inspiring rendition which surely will become classical reading in Christian religious school studies and home libraries.

The old time illustrations expertly created by illustrator, Eugene Ruble will leave you feeling that you journeyed through the countryside with Obed and his fellow shepherds.”

–Donna McDine, award-winning author of The Golden Pathway

Autographed copies can be ordered by contacting me at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. Please place “Little Shepherd” on the subject line. Autographed copies sell for $10 with a flat shipping rate of $3 to ship anywhere in the United States. Additional shipping charges will apply for orders outside of the US.

Can accept PayPal and bank checks or money orders (no personal checks).



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From the Family Bookshelf

 

Yes, I’ve been a very bad blogger. Actually, I’ve been blogging, just not here. 🙂 With the release of Little Shepherd at the end of August, I’ve been slammed with book promotion. I started a new blog dedicated solely to my book, which you can find here. I’m also in the midst of planning my two-and-a-half month virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. The tour starts on October 4th and runs through December 17th. There will be great giveaways during the tour, so make sure you check in with my Little Shepherd blog to find out all the details.

It’s been about a month since I posted a From the Family Bookshelf column. I’ve done a lot of reading in that time, Dad not so much. The Lil Diva and the Lil Princess are now back in school, so their reading has picked up some. Let’s talk about some of these books.

I know you will probably find this hard to believe, but Dad is still reading Vince Flynn’s The Third Option. The poor guy gets home from work and he’s lucky if he gets a page or two in before nodding off each night. My father-in-law just received a bag full of books by one of the hubby’s favorite authors. I wonder when he’ll have time to read those.

The Lil Diva, despite kicking and screaming, now has to read 30 minutes a day in class and 20 minutes each night. Every night she has to write out her reflections from this 20 minutes of reading and turn it in. It has been a battle. Right now she’s readingHarry the Homeless Puppy by Holly Webb. She loves Webb’s books, so she reads them more than once.

I bought the Lil Princess a copy of Purple Princess Wins the Prize by Alyssa Crowne at the book fair a few weeks ago. She’s already plowing through that. She reads a little each night, though often I find her reading to herself after school.

As for me, the mom of this bunch, I finished Renters Win, Home Owners Lose by Tom Graneau and then moved on to complete:

A Friend in the Storm by Cheryl Ricker (Christian nonfiction/devotional)

Firebrand by P.K. Eden (fantasy)

A Woman’s Walk in Grace by Catherine Martin (Christian Living)

The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller (biography)

Reviews for all the books mentioned above appear at The Book Connection.

I also reviewed A Wish and A Prayer by Beth Bence Reinke, If Babies Went to School by Barbara Lock, The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine, The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale by Sneed Collard III, and The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories  by Carolyn Wolfe here.

I finished Grounds for Murder by John Russo, a cozy mystery released by Canadian e-Publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. I’ll be posting my review of that one soon. I’m currently reading the YA novel,  The Space Between Trees, by Katie Williams.

That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. I hope you’ll check back again soon for more news of great books.

Video Trailer for Little Shepherd

In case you hadn’t heard, my first children’s book, Little Shepherd is now available at the publisher’s website and Amazon.com! Autographed copies can be ordered directly through me for a cost of $9.95 plus shipping. Please email me at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com with “Book Order” on the subject line and provide me with the following:

* Name
* Mailing address
* Quantity
* How you would like the book(s) autographed

Payment can be made by PayPal or by bank check or money order.

Here’s a video trailer I created today to share some of the lovely illustrations Eugene Ruble created for the book.

Thanks for your support. I hope you enjoy the trailer!