Characters with Agency

Critique partners talked about characters with agency. I wondered what exactly does the term, characters with agency, refer to in writing picture books. I began researching to uncover the meaning. I found it is simply a character who can take initiative to solve his or her own problems.

Stories should include characters who can take action regarding the issues occurring in their world. Characters should not depend on parents or others to solve their problems.

I was writing a story about friendships. I found it difficult to write resolutions that relied on the actions of the main character. I wanted friends to help with solutions. I struggled until I changed the point of view for my story. When I wrote in a different point of view, I uncovered ways for the main character to create his solutions.

I wondered if other writers had similar difficulties. Do you believe characters should solve their own problems? How do your stories handle problems?

1. Do you establish the character as the hero of heroine of your story?

2. Do you have a friend rescue the main character? Or Do you think this is acceptable?

3. Do you have strong feelings that the main character solves the problem?

I Can Change my Mind

I reversed a decision that I recently made: In March, I told my supervisor I would work another year, but last week I decided to tell my her that if she could find someone else to do the work, I would like to retire yet again. I say “yet again” because it will be the third job from which I have actually retired.

It was so easy, things worked out perfectly. Another person was leaving and looking for part time work. She could easily step up to do the work. Therefore I worked my last day at this job on Thursday. Thinking about the adage, third time is a charm, maybe I can actually retire this time.

Today I read this scripture from Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

It answered my struggles. I found it after reading today’s post from (In)courage. I was encouraged to let go of things that cause undue stress, the part time job did create stress in my life. I was encouraged to let go of things that keep me awake at night, the nights before I worked at the part time sure did keep me awake and cause restless sleep. I was encouraged to grab hold of what brings joy, making art and writing does bring me joy, I get lost in the process.

Current plans are to write and illustrate. I’m enrolled in Storyteller Academy, a writing and artistic community that offers a variety of classes and encouraging community. I’m a member of 12X12 writing community and I haven’t spent as much time as I would like so hopefully I can get back in the flow of this supportive community. I belong to SCWBI where I make wonderful connections with other writers/illustrators and find great workshops about making art and writing.,

Decision made: it is time for me to let go of what is blocking my peace and find my joy..

Apple Blossom

#SOL2021 Day 31

It’s the last day of the 2021 SOL challenge!

The month was long, yet passed quickly.

My participation was not perfect, I missed writing two days.

My writing was not the best ever, but I learned new ways to write a poem using the Golden Shovel technique.

My writing was not the worst ever, I love writing haikus and counted 6 this month.

In this time of isolation, I connected with other slicers and found some new blogs to follow.

My writing was bolstered by comments from other slicers.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful community of writers!

#SOL2021 Day 30

Today we met a friend and her mom for lunch at the restaurant I wrote about a short time ago. I was so excited to see and visit with her again so I wrote a haiku to honor our time.

Excitement stirring

Sharing local restaurant

With far away friends

The Dirigible Plum wrote a slice about books publisher the year she was born, 1972, and I was inspired to search which books were published the year I was born, 1952.

You can read her SOL about the books published in 1972 here:

the year in books

I was amused to find Charlotte’s Web! Kids have been reading that book forever!

Then I found a few that I have actually read and enjoyed.

This one I read in a college Children’s Literature class and quickly fell in love with the story.

And this one has been a favorite of mine for a long time.

I had no clue these books were published so long ago!

#SOL2021 Day 28 Golden Shovel Poetry

I missed writing for two days. I’d been so dedicated. But I seemed to get lost. I read a book about a woman who fell, bumped her head and forgot 10 years of her life. I could not get it out of my mind and I even felt her confusion, so much that I could not focus on writing anything. I finished the book last night and my mind is clearer. Today I read a post about writing a golden shovel poem. I love the challenge of writing to specific, new guidelines so I’m writing a golden shovel poem.

Here is the link to the SOL where I first discovered this type of writing poetry: Golden Shovel Poetry

I subscribe to A Poem a Day. I used a line from today’s poem, The seder’s order because it is Psalm Sunday, always a special day in my memory of going to church with Grandma.

Here is the line I chose:

The songs string us like beads on the hour.

Read my poem below. I had to put us at the end instead of using it as a subject of the sentence! I just could not break that rule of grammar, even in a poem.

The old rugged cross, amazing grace and I’ll fly away

Songs in my heart

String me straight back to my childhood

Taking all of us

Like we sat

Beads in a row

On the strike of twelve

The preaching stopped

Hour at end

#SOL2021 Day 25

Lately, I’ve been remembering more of my dreams. they are weird and cause me to question what triggered them.

In one dream I was managing a circus. Hmm, not much different than being a junior high school principal.

In another dream I was visiting a niece’s house without her knowledge. Hmm, it had belonged to her grandparents and we spent many fun times there.

So those dreams may have been rooted in my past, not so weird after all.

#SOL2021 Day 24

I’m jumping on the bandwagon and trying to write this form of telling you who I am.

Depending on when you met me I might have been:

an only child, a 5 year old wanting to write in cursive, an egg gatherer, a hog waterer, a cotton picker, a cowgirl, a tomboy, a cousin, a big sister, a bike rider, a reluctant reader, a licensed driver, a factory worker, a wife, a home owner, a college student, a student of nature, a crafter, a teacher, a library board member, a writer, a farm owner, a researcher, a psychological examiner, a cross stitcher, a mom, a Halloween costume maker, a counselor, a reader, a researcher, a speaker, a lifelong learner, a professional development provider, a principal, a consultant, a college instructor, a bug collector, a stream team member, a painter, a quilt maker and a retired educator who works part time as a psych examiner.

I probably should try to revise this another day…..

#SOL2021 Day 23

Having received both COVID vaccinations makes feel less likely to contract the virus. I still wear a mask and use hand sanitizer when I go to work, get groceries or anytime I’m anywhere other people are around. We still avoid crowds, even family gatherings where we can’t be socially distant.

Today I heard about a couple perks that got us driving 50 miles.

1. Staples will laminate your vaccination record for free.

2. Krispy Kreme will give you a free donut if you show them your vaccination card, every day for the rest of the year!

Around 2 pm we decided had worked hard and felt that we deserved a treat.

We cleaned up and headed toward the nearest Krispy Kreme, 50 miles away.

When the clerk at Staples laminated our cards, I told her I was going to a Krispy Kreme to show them the card and get a free donut. She was amazed and said she might just do that later!

While in Staples I remembered I was out of note pads and purchased those.

On to Krispy Kreme. When we ordered in the drive through we told her we wanted to get our COVID donuts and she ask if we had our stickers. We said yes and proceeded to order a large coffee and two more donuts with chocolate icing.

At the window she ask to see the proof so we flashed her the newly laminated cards. We jokingly told her we’d be back tomorrow and she laughed. We said it was only 50 miles. She gave us our order and the 2 free donuts. She told us they were freshly made and boy were they! It melted in my mouth.

What a nice treat for doing something I desperately wanted.