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My Long Journey to Becoming a Published Children’s Book Author June 25, 2018

Posted by flashlightblog in Author Notes, Book News, Flashlight Press, Imagination, Individuality, Interviews, Self-Esteem, Too Much Glue, Values.
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Written by Jason Lefebvre for Kids’ BookBuzz

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My first attempt at writing a picture book came in 1998.

I thought the story was amazing. It wasn’t.

Fortunately, I was twenty-two years old, I had just completed my Bachelor’s degree in English, and I knew everything. I spent the next year of my life making all the wrong moves, trying to get my story published. I submitted on my own to large houses that only accept agented materials, wrote stories that I labeled as picture books, but were five thousand words long, and put together ridiculous query letters daring publishing houses to pass on what was sure to be the next great work in children’s literature.

Almost immediately, I had a need for actual employment. I began working in a preschool surrounded by picture books that were actually good and got a part-time job as a Children’s Librarian to make ends meet. Slowly, I began to realize something awful. My stories weren’t good, and my way of getting them published was even worse. The twenty-two-year-old who knew everything had become a twenty-three-year-old who knew nothing. It was the perfect starting point.

The next few years were spent taking the business of writing and publishing seriously. There were groups to join and books to read. I joined SCBWI or the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It was an amazing resource putting me in touch with people and organizations that understood from experience what it took to get something published. I read any picture book that I came across and borrowed from the limitless imaginations of the kids in my class and the ones that came through the library. If you want to write picture books, find a job working with children. It’s basically cheating.

While writing picture books was starting to make a little sense, the submission process was still frustrating. At a time when most houses still only accepted submissions via snail mail, a writer could wait six months to a year for a form letter response that basically said “thanks, but no thanks.”  I had begun to receive a few personalized rejections. In the world of submissions, a “no” that is personalized is viewed as a positive, so I kept at it. (more…)

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Celebrating National Bread Month and the 250th Anniversary of the Sandwich November 7, 2012

Posted by flashlightblog in Food, Individuality, Peer Pressure, Self-Esteem.
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Re-posted with permission from Desiree Glaze of WeeShare:

I love bread.  In fact, my entire family enjoys eating bread.  Did you know that this is National Bread Month?  I am pretty sure this calls for a celebration– let’s all go eat some bread!

The great thing about bread is that it and other grain foods actually provide many essential nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy and help fight diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and birth defects.  I try to choose breads and even cereals that use whole grains, as whole grains are a great source of complex carbs and fiber and they are naturally low in fat.  Enriched grains are a great option as well because not only do they contain complex carbs, but they are also one of the major sources for iron and folic acid in our diets.

The key to maximizing your health and your energy is to take a look at everything that is on your plate.  Balance is essential.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating six one ounce servings of grain foods each day.  This can come in the form of buns, sandwich bread, tortillas, bagels, crackers, and a variety of other grain foods.

One really easy way to incorporate grains into your diet is with a sandwich.  You can add some meat, fresh veggies, and cheese, and suddenly you’ve got an entree that is packed with ingredients from many of the food groups!
2012 actually marks the 250th Anniversary of the Sandwich! America’s love affair with the sandwich dates back to England in 1762 when Sir John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, didn’t want to put his cards down in the midst of a marathon game of poker, so requested his meat be served to him between two slices of bread. A fabulous new “food form” was born – and our passion for sandwiches continues to this day. With Americans consuming over a billion sandwiches a year – for breakfast, lunch and dinner – sandwiches may in fact be our most popular national dish.

Why does it seems that we love sandwiches so much?  Well…

  • Sandwiches are one of the easiest, most versatile and convenient ways to make a healthy meal for individuals or families.
  • Bread is the most important ingredient in making a healthy and delicious sandwich; it is the foundation of a great meal any time of day.
  • The complex carbohydrates in bread and other grain-based foods provide lasting energy the human body needs on a daily basis.

Sandwiches are definitely a part of my family’s life.  Growing up, I remember frequently taking peanut butter sandwiches in my lunch to school.  Now, I highly prefer a BLT.  I know that some people like mayo on their BLT’s, but I stick with lightly toasted bread, crispy bacon, tomato {preferably with a touch of salt}, and some iceberg lettuce.  My little vegetarian daughter prefers her sandwiches with bread and a slice of Muenster cheese.  My husband likes to pile his up with a variety of meats and cheeses as well as tomato, lettuce, and a variety of other toppings.
We eat sandwiches whenever we’re spending the day outdoors hiking, kayaking, or at the park.  Nothing beats a family picnic in the beautiful sunshine.  We’ve also been known to enjoy sandwiches at home for lunch or even as a light dinner.  Sandwiches truly are versatile.

Since it’s National Bread Month and the 250th Anniversary of the Sandwich, the Grain Foods Foundation has teamed up with celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio to share four exclusive sandwich recipes.

Chef Voltaggio has been around food virtually his entire life.  He grew up in an agricultural community where he tended the garden and baled hay right alongside his family.  After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Voltaggio worked alongside many other famous chefs both here and abroad.  Now, he is getting ready to open his third restaurant, which will be located in Washington DC.
You can view all four recipes that Chef Voltaggio created for the Grain Foods Foundation by visiting their website.  However, I wanted to highlight one of them– the Avocado CLT.  Just looking at this sandwich makes my mouth water.  Perhaps that’s what I get for viewing recipes when I’m hungry!  This sandwich features whole grain bread as well as tasty ingredients like avocado, cucumber and tomato.  There are also directions to whip up a goat cheese mousse and spread to use on the sandwich.

So, this month as we all celebrate National Bread Month and the 250th Anniversary of the Sandwich, I’d love to know… what’s YOUR favorite sandwich to eat?

Disclosure:  I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

image from Carla’s Sandwich – written by Debbie Herman, illustrated by Sheila Bailey

 

 

 

Flashlight Press responds: Carla would make these recipes and eat the results. They’re all favorites!

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