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Mummy Chatter
Lady Bird Walking

Hello and welcome to Mummy Chatter!

You thought you were going to the Children’s Writer’s Resource, well you are, in a round about sort of way. As well as being the editor of the Children's Writer's Resource, author/illustrator of children’s eBooks, I am also a mummy – I know it’s spelled mommy here in the US, and I always use this version in my books, but being from England, I will always be mummy! I thought it would be nice to share a little of my life with you each month (Don’t worry, it will have some relevance to writing for children.) I am calling this column, Mummy Chatter. If you don’t have time for a chat, click on one of the pink boxes belowand you’re in. I’ll miss you, but maybe next month?

I have been living it up in Hawaii. Well, actually, I presented a session on eBooks at Read To Me International’s Feed Me A Story Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. My breakout session was E is for eBooks – Exciting, Easy, Educational, Entertaining, Economical and Environment-friendly.

A friend had sent a copy of my eBook, Max and Me, to Read To Me International. They had fallen in love with it and invited me to present a session on eBooks during their first annual Feed Me a Story Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. I, of course, accepted the invitation – it was Hawaii after all and any opportunity to get your name, and the titles of your books, out there is a gift. This conference was a gift with a capital “G”. The conference was two days and you can’t be in Hawaii for less than a week, so…

Then…I panicked. Could I talk for an hour and a quarter on eBooks? (My husband had no doubts whatsoever! After the fact, believe me, I could have spoken for four hours there is so much to tell!)

I was thoroughly impressed with the interest over there in eBooks from teachers, parents and librarians. Everyone was genuinely interested in this new media. Many of the people I talked to already read books on their computers with their children.

Presenting, public speaking, was a fabulous experience, it’s something we as authors need to do, and do well, because we must promote ourselves, and our product. There are several thousand books published each year, some good, some not so good, and the ones that sell are the ones that are promoted well.

Read my breakout session E is for eBooks - Exciting, Easy, Educational, Entertaining, Economical and Environment-friendly.

After my breakout session, I sold several copies of my eBooks on CD. I signed autographs and took photos with attendees – I was a celebrity for a couple of days! (Daddy was at home with the boys, albeit on the beach in Hawaii, while I got to swan about with my laptop and a purse and chitter chatter with adults.)
I hung out with bestselling and award-winning children’s author, Mem Fox. Mem Fox and Me
Fox is the prolific author of Wombat Divine, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Tough Boris, Whoever You Are, and several other titles and was keynote speaker at the Feed Me A Story Conference on Thursday. She kept the audience riveted (you could have heard a pin drop) as she regaled us with tales from her life as the “Read to me lady” at home in Australia. She read her book “Tough Boris” and had us spell bound - What an absolute delight she is! We should all aspire to write the ultimate read-aloud story for children (picture book, middle reader, or beyond).

Fox who was a professor in Literary Education in Adelaide, South Australia is also author of books for adults, I highly recommend Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our children Will Change Their Lives Forever, and Radical Reflections: Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning, and Living as educational and entertaining resources for the writer of children’s literature.

I found new friends in Shelly Mecum, author of the best seller, God’s Photo Album. (Now there’s a woman undeterred by obstacles!) and Valeria Garcia, mom of two of the book’s contributors.Mem et al
I also met Nancy Carlson, prolific author and illustrator of I LIKE ME, ABC I Like Me, It’s Going to be Perfect, and several other books. Carlson was keynote speaker at the conference on the Friday.

Wally Amos (he of Famous Amos fame) hosted the entire event – a highly entertaining and down-to-earth individual. His book Watermelon Magic is a great inspirational resource. It’s about tenacity, perseverance, belief and spirit – characteristics one needs in abundance to succeed in the children’s writing field.

The conference was a refreshing change from snotty noses and poopy bums and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was glad to get back to wrestling with my boys. OK, I admit it, I’m as nutty as a fruitcake, but where do you think I get my ideas?

Until next time.

Mummy aka Sharon Martini
_______________________________________

Oh! My goodness! Where has the year gone?

I blink to excavate a foreign object from my left eye. Or was I crawling under the boys' beds to extract long-lost socks and undies. (I swear there was an army of scanties under there. I know because I've heard them marching around at night, squealing in a high-pitched whine "Wee, wee, no wash for me!" Then again, maybe that was Moses and Malik.)

Well, anyway, I turn around and its December!

Huge chunks of time pass in the blink of an eye and I have to wonder, What the bubble gum have I done? (Well there was the conference in Hawaii, my Doernbecher Cards For Kids winning art work, a first Art Show and Sale, school visits, in addition to my regular (favorite) 24/7 job as Chief Nose and Bottom Wiper, Owee kisser/healer, etc. etc.)

I do vaguely remember Halloween, but wasn't that last year's?

Is it the fact that I have been blessed with the two most rambunctious, but really, really cute, rascals this side of the Mississippi? Did time somehow wash away while I stood watching soccer scrimmages in the rain? Is the world spinning faster on its axis, or am I just getting old?

Who knows? I do know that in all this maniacal, maneuvering of time, (one day its Monday, then its Friday, then Sunday, then Friday all over again) I am amassing tons of fiction fodder. Kindergarten calls. First tooth falls. Munificent tooth fairies visit (who ever heard of $5.00 for a milk tooth?) Malik refuses to blow his nose in church while "God" is talking. Best friends are made, lost, and made again.

Sometimes, I don't remember what day, month or year it is, but I would need a year to fill you in on all the stories I haven't yet written - maybe next year.

See you next year!

Sharon Martini

(*Mummy is English for mommy and in Egypt, Africa, they're ancient and divine!)

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