Blimey! Do ye know it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day in the morn? To me fellow seadogs and swashbucklers, ahoy, me hearties! It be a fine day to celebrate. In our abode we be celebratin’ with me three buckos by dressin’, talkin’, treasure huntin’ and playin’ like a buckineer. What be ye doin’ with yer young lads and lassies on this fine international hol-i-day?
If ye needs some brainstorms, here be spots to take a looksie:
Me Crew’s favorite swashbucklin’ books fer this here occasion:
I’ll be honest. I would make a lousy pirate. I don’t have my ear (or ears, for that matter) pierced, I don’t have a single tattoo, I’m a bit scared of deep and dark shark-infested water, not too adventurous when it comes to deep-fried dishes with eight tentacles, and I really don’t care much for swimming. Most especially, I’m a bit of a chicken. With all that treasure hunting, pillaging, looting, shooting cannons, and marooning, risks are what one might say defines a pirate. Yep, a bit of a landlubber I be.
I read this awesome article on risk taking a while back by Leila on Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids. She shared her experiences with taking risks (and she’s taken some pretty awe-inspiring ones!).
She says: “’The best things in life are dangerous’: I’m not so sure about that one. But I do know that it’s those adventures that come with some risk that make me feel most alive. And that is where I get the strength and will to face those fears.”
After reading, I was set on being a bit more piratic. Taking a step or two out of my comfort zone, even if it means being a bit uncomfortable (imagine that!). I’m not sure I’m up for any skydiving or deep-sea diving, but let me tell you about a dream I’ve had for many, many years.
Children’s books are my passion. My husband spent many a date at the children’s book store before we got married. Consequently, my boys have a decent stash in their bedroom and we frequent the library often. I love children’s books, and I have always thought it would be the most amazing thing to see my name on the cover (along with an illustrator, because, let’s face it. Art is not my forte). So over the years I’ve jotted down lots of ideas, wrote a few stories (not that I’m the next Eric Carle by any means), researched lots of publishing companies, and chickened out over and over and over. Apparently, being a children’s book author is the second most competitive job, following behind a choreographer (can you say depressing?). I did absolutely nothing because of the fear of almost certain rejection. I didn’t take the risk, I never sent in a single manuscript.
Imagine living in a risk-free world! We would miss out on literally everything we have. Risk doesn’t have to mean you’re the best. It doesn’t have to mean the world knows your accomplishments, or that you make astounding breakthroughs. It means you take something you love or are passionate about and give it a try, despite your fear and hesitations (or maybe even because of it!). I have no intentions to compete with the popularity or sheer brilliance of the Berenstain Bears or Pirate Pete. It appears I’d have better luck trying out for the WNBA. But here goes following a dream and giving it a try. I hope we can all take a look at our dreams and take a few risks in order to enjoy the thrills of life.
So on future International Talk Like A Pirate holidays, as you sit with your little lad and lassies all guzzied up in their pirate best, maybe ye can share this story by a pirate-dreamin’ landlubber who finally took the plunge and got her feet a wee bit wet.
Here be an excerpt from me most recent story, because I daren’t put it all out there and have some billage rat plunder it!
Cap’n Green Hook McGray
He was the meanest, the dirtiest, the gruffest and toughest scallywag to set sail on the briny blue.
He plundered, he looted, and that ain’t the worst he would do.
His crew, they all feared him, “Aye, Aye!” They would say.
Thoughts of the plank made them swiftly obey.
His name: The greedy, the despicable, Cap’n Gristle McGray.
Now pirates all have a weakness, any landlubber knows.
They sail the high seas where ‘er the wind blows.
With a map in one hand and the wheel in the other,
Their eyes are set on treasure chests full of doubloons to plunder.
And to the end…
So that there’s the story of Cap’n “Green Hook” McGray,
And how he finally pursued his dreams that day.
His crew no longer fears him, and though a pirate he be,
He’s the best gosh darn gardener to set sail on the sea!
This 68 year old landlubber child loved this. Well done! Your children are very lucky to have a playful mum like you.
Thank you, Carole! I’m excited to take a look at your writings. Your book Tissue of Lies sounds intriguing and I’ll certainly add it to my list to read. You have some great accomplishments!
Thank you for your kind comment, and I’m delighted you’ve added my book to your reading list.
Excellent! You have to take the risk, lady. You’re onto something here and this is only a sample! I’d make a lousy pirate too, but this is one plank you have to walk!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh, I so appreciate your feedback! I really, really wanted to put the whole story up and get feedback from other writers, but then imagined someone stealing it and chickened out. I’ve had some epic children’s story flops, but I’m very pleased with how this one turned out. I’m not sure yet, but I’m thinking I just might try the self-publish route for now. I’m excited that you thought the little excerpts were worth the read!
This is wonderful. I am so touched that my post inspired you. And I am so impressed by how well you speak pirate! I can’t speak it to save my life! (My little boy gives me funny looks when I read pirate books to him)
About your book writing/publishing dream… Self publishing is growing faster than anyone can believe. What this means is that you can make your dreams come true! You sit down and write your story, put together a small team to make the book perfect, and then send it off into the world! Authors who are traditionally published still have to do all the marketing work, which is what you’ll be doing.
Eric Carle and the Berenstein Bears are great, but there is always room for more! And the “market” is changing… Our kids don’t necessarily like all the stuff we used to. Their world is not like the world we grew up in. You can do this. It’s hard, hard work. I have been working on a book for over a year now and there is still much to be done. But i really want this. I want to make it happen!
I’m no pro, but I’ve been working on this for a little while now and actually published one “test” book to see how the system works. I’ve learned a lot and continue to learn. If you need anything at all, please let me know. We’ll chat whenever you like and I’ll share with you my experiences.
Thanks for the mention. Means a lot to me 🙂
Ha, writing and speaking pirate are two very different things! My kids definitely prefer my husband to read them pirate stories because he’s somuch better.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to see your book on your site a few weeks ago! It’s a lovely book, and the artwork is fantastic. It has a great message that I think many kids and adults struggle with at some point. Both my kids and I enjoyed reading it very much! I have a billion questions and would absolutely love some advice from someone with your expertise and experience. Right now my questions are a bit of a jumble, but I’ll write them down and send them your way. I would so appreciate to hear your opinion and what has worked and not worked. I’m excited to see your newest one when it’s finished!
Thank you so much for your encouragement! I’m excited (and a bit nervous) to get this process started. I’m sure there’s much involved that I haven’t even considered, so any sort of advice you can give, I would be thrilled to have!!
You don’t know how much it means to me that you all enjoyed my first book! Seriously, I have no words!
And yes please, anything you want to talk about, I am here. I’ll send you my number and we can chat whenever you like. I have learned so much and am still learning. And like I said, the dynamics of the self publishing industry are ridiculous. Every day there’s something new, something crucial, and you have to keep up. And that’s not always easy with the kiddos to take care of.
I’ll be waiting to hear from you 🙂
Now, I’m not a writer, but I have read quite a few children’s books, and honestly– I LOVE what you wrote. You have so much talent! This post was also really touching and thought-provoking. It reminded me of how I felt when I submitted an article to a magazine. I had never thought of myself as a great writer, but lo and behold, they are going to publish it! And I have to say, it was risky, but it made my heart feel alive! I also felt the risk when I started blogging. I was so nervous, and honestly still am, but it is exciting! Please let us know if you decide to publish! 🙂 Thank you for the post!
Marla, congratulations on the magazine article!! I think you are a wonderful writer! What magazine will it be published in? I’d love to read it when it comes out. That is wonderful. I’m so excited for you! 🙂 And I agree with blogging… It was certainly a risk for me as well, but it’s been fun and exhilarating to write down thoughts and connect with others around the world.
Oh, thank you for your kind words! I so appreciate hearing that. I would love to hear your opinion of all of it. I’ve read lots of articles that say rhyming is going out of style in children’s books, but I think they’re the most fun to read as a parent, and isn’t it good for kids to play with words like that? Regardless, it’s been fun to think about and write and share, and that’s what’s most important, right? I’ll let you know what happens from here, but I’m feeling more determined than ever now. 🙂
That is so weird that people say rhyming is going out of style! For me, children’s books that rhyme are by far my favorite. I love that they are easy to memorize and remember. I hope that you make the jump and go for it if you want to. It is often surprising how others can see the talent we have better than ourselves. I loved reading what you wrote!
And as far as my article, it will be posted on an online magazine of sorts– Power of Mom’s, to be exact. I’ll be one of their authors and I’m really excited! I will be posting it when they publish it probably around the end of the year. Thank you for your support 🙂
I just looked at the power of moms site, and it looks awesome! Your writing and positive attitude will fit right in there. I’m excited to read the article once it’s published!
I have a great illustrator working on my story, so I guess there’s no turning back now. It makes me so nervous, there’s so much more to it than I had guessed. But I’m excited at the same time. Guess we’ll see what happens! Sometimes we just have to take that leap and see where we land.
I just read your response to Marla and wanted to tell you I heard my librarian say that rhyming is the first step to learning to read. She is constantly doing rhyming with the kids in her story time. I love the sing songy way you linked the story together and like Marla think this is great!! I would definitely buy it if you publish!
Sasha, thank you, thank you! I’m so glad you told me what your librarian said. This week I’ve been going between discouraged and excited about this whole endeavor. It’s a bit more complicated than I would have guessed, but I I’m pretty set on making it happen one way or another. I so very much appreciate your encouragment!!
Pingback: Books, Buccaneers, and Books about Buccaneers – Catching Crawfish