How to Transform Your Non-Reader Into a Reader: Guest Post By Fiona Ingram

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Silhouette of a girl reading a book.

As all parents know, books, reading, and comprehension skills are paramount in the development of their child’s learning abilities and imagination, and indeed in life learning and understanding of the world. But you know all that … so, how does one change a non-reader into an avid reader? Don’t leave it up to school and the teachers. Kids spend more time at home than in school (believe it or not), so don’t lay the burden of your child’s literacy on the school. Literacy is so important that it is every parent’s duty to make sure their child reads and (hopefully) enjoys it.

What many parents don’t realize is that although a child can learn to read, enjoymentof reading is not automatic; it is learned by association. When a parent reads with a child, that feeling of togetherness, that special time, creates in the child a sense of enjoyment that they then associate with reading, and thus as they grow up, reading is associated with pleasure.

There may be several reasons why your child isn’t keen on reading. If you’ve ruled out physiological problems with eyes and attention span, then it could just be that your child perceives books as ‘boring’ and reading a chore. How do you change this?

• Capture the imagination of your child.You’ve seen how a child will sit for hours working out a game or puzzle that intrigues them. Excitement and interest are the keys to getting your child into those bookshelves. Take a look at what makes them light up, what makes them talk excitedly. You want to hold their attention, sustain their interest, and create a hunger for more and more books!

• Children follow by exampleso if you’re a reader, now make a point of your child seeing you read—except read (with avid interest) something you’d like them to read. Don’t put the television on as a matter of course. Rather sit with a book so they become curious as to what could possibly keep you so occupied. It’ll be natural for them to want to see (read) what has kept you so captivated. You can fuel this by exclaiming how much you can’t wait to continue the book if you have to interrupt with dinner or other commitments.

• Choose topics your child is interested in, even if it’s Miley Cyrus’ biography. Textbooks or school reading books may not be the spark to ignite your child’s imagination. Your child may also not be interested in the classics you loved as a child. It doesn’t matter what they read, as long as they read. Age appropriate magazines (get a subscription addressed directly to your child) are also suitable. Collectibles such as ‘part series’ (science, the planets, animals, music/pop stars) are also very good and keep the child’s interest ongoing.

• Invite your child to read with you.“I think you’ll like this!” is a wonderful inducement to make the child feel special—something he or she can share with a parent makes the child feel important. Together you can enjoy the marvelous world contained within those pages. Your child will find your enthusiasm infectious. (You could even let them ‘help’ you with one or two words you might be ‘struggling’ with.)

• Be innovative. For example, reading to each other or acting out the various characters’ parts will make it fun (children love acting), and if another parent or enthusiastic family members are the audience, the ‘cast’ must work hard to entertain. You could spend some time beforehand polishing your skills together, reading alternate paragraphs, or picking particular characters. This is a great moment to show off your Repertoire of Funny Voices as well. Make it more memorable by having a special dinner and getting your child to write out ‘invitations’ to the rest of the family.

  • Audio books are a wonderful way of helping your child concentrate and develop listening skills while you’re driving. After a few minutes, stop the tape and ask your child questions about what they just heard. Make it interesting by asking what they think will happen next, or what they would do in a certain situation. This will help your child engage in the literary process in a fun way.

Shared laughter is an incredibly bonding and uplifting experience. By now your child should start seeing reading as a fun experience. Later, they will develop their own tastes and read on their own.

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

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The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper

Book Summary 

A plane crash! Lost in the jungle! Hunted by their old enemy, will Adam, Justin, and Kim survive long enough to find the Third Stone of Power? With only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, the kids make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the lost city of stone gods, where the Stone of Power might be located. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

 

Print Length: 318 Pages

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Adventure

Publisher: Bublish, Incorporated (November 2017)

ISBN: 978-1946229465

 

The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper is available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

About the Author

Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers. She has now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in her middle grade adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book,

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! She also teaches online novel writing for aspiring authors and she finds that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds her enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. She loves doing research for her book series. Fiona loves animals and has written two animal rescue stories. She has two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

 

You can find Fiona at –

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/

 

Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

 

Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com

 

Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

 

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram

 

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WOW Blog Tour Guest Post by Millie “Professor Gore” On How a Workshop on Screen Writing Made me a Better Writer!

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Front Cover Color Corrected-All is Assuredly Well- Millie Gore.jpg

Guest Post by Millie “Professor Gore” On How a Workshop on Screen Writing Made me a Better Writer!

Hey everyone I have a special treat for you since I am a part of the Wow blog tour to promote All is Assuredly Well! , and I’m hosting an author today who wrote a guest post for the blog!

And here is the post on:

How a Workshop on Screen Writing Made Me a Better Writer

I hadn’t planned to attend the workshop session on screen writing at the conference. The screen writing workshop was a general session, so I selected one of the small breakout sessions because I never plan to write a screenplay. However, I realized within five minutes that the break-out session I’d chosen was for the rawest novice writers, and I was wasting my time. So I left.

I crossed the hall, slid into the back of the general session room, and plopped my butt into the closest chair on the back row. Within minutes, I was scolding myself for having missed part of the session.

Permit me to give you an overview of what I learned about dialogue in that session, along with a bit of what I’ve learned from other sources since that day.

Dialogue is action. Action can be your protagonist climbing down a fire escape, or it can be your protagonist telling a fireman that her cat is inside. I’d thought that dialogue and action were separate entities. They’re not. Dialogue is a type of action. Action can be your protagonist swallowing a microchip, or it can be her saying, “Our only way out is through the sewer.”

Dialogue must move the story forward in some way. If it doesn’t, it’s distancing the readers from your story. And they’ll stop reading.

Dialogue moves the story forward by fulfilling one of five functions.

First, dialogue as action can reveal information about your character. In Apocalypse Now, Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore says, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” My goodness. That tells us a lot about who he is. Napalm kills people. In the most horrible fashion.

In my award-winning WOW story, An Adventuresome Sort of a Person, Madeline says to an accordion player, I will pay you handsomely to come home with me and play for an hour. Come along,” she commanded. From that one line of dialogue, what do you know about Madeline?

Second, dialogue as action can reveal information about your story. In Apollo 13, Tom Hanks says, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” (I get chills writing that!)

In the WOW story, I used this dialogue to reveal information about the story. Madeline’s secretary rushed into her library. “Madam, what is the meaning of all this? You disappear for hours, you come home with a pretzel tied around your neck, and you bring an accordion player for tea? Have you lost your mind?”

Third, dialogue as action can set the tone. “I see dead people.” This line from Sixth Sense certainly sets the tone, doesn’t it?

In my award winning short story, Knight, about a little girl whose mother has schizophrenia, these lines of dialogue set the tone. “The dragon is breathing fire,” Mama whispered.  She buried my head in her bosom till I couldn’t breathe.  “Don’t make a sound.”

 

Fourth, dialogue as action can set the scene. The most famous, sparse dialogue to set a scene has to be Betty Davis’s line in Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf: when she declares, “What a dump!”

In my story, Tiny Dancer, a young mouse hears music in the forest and wants to follow it. Her father forbids it. In the following dialogue, I set the scene of their forest by having him tell her about the day his brother disappeared.

Her daddy sighed, hugged her closer, and continued. “We flew over rocks and around trees. We clambered over branches and through bushes. We went to the very end of the woods to the place where we mice never cross.”

Finally, dialogue as action can reveal the theme. Remember this quote by Elwood P. Dowd (played by Jimmy Stewart) in Harvey? “There are two ways to live well, you can be smart or pleasant. I’ve been smart for years, and I recommend pleasant.”

In An Adventuresome Sort of a Person, I used dialogue to reveal the theme of the story.

She patted the couch next to her, and her secretary sat down. “I have spent my entire life socializing with boring, predictable, egotistical people whom I despise. I have always done what was expected of me. Yet I have wondered about the persons who live other sorts of lives, adventuresome sorts of persons: persons who wear pretzels around their necks, persons who stand on street corners and play musical instruments. What I need,” she said, “Is to become an adventuresome sort of a person. Tomorrow I turn 85, so I intend to start having adventures. And I will have them for as long as I am able. When I am on my death bed, I do not wish to wonder what might have been.” She patted the secretary’s hand. His mouth hung open.

The takeaways?

First, sometimes attending a session at a conference that you don’t think pertains to you can yield tremendous benefits by giving you a new pair of eyes.

Second, dialogue is action.

Third, if the dialogue doesn’t move your story forward, hit the delete button.

Fourth, you can use dialogue to reveal character, story, or theme, or to set tone or scene.

“Don’t be afraid to try it, Sweetie. You might find out that you like it,” I said.

Formal Picture Millie.jpg

Professor M. C. Gore holds the doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas. She taught first grade through graduate school for 36 years in New Mexico, Missouri, and Texas. She was a professional horse wrangler and wilderness guide and continues to play clarinet in two community bands. She is Professor Emeritus from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas where she held two distinguished professorships. Her books for teachers and parents are shelved in over a thousand libraries throughout the world. She is retired and lives in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

Phil Wilson Head for Bio

Maestro Phillip Wilson was a public-school band director, music teacher, composer, and arranger for 28 years. His primary instrument is the trumpet, and he is also a campañero (bell ringer). Although he is over 80, he continues to serve as Music Director and Cantor at his church. He is a life-long resident of New Mexico and was born in Santa Fe. Although his genotype is Dutch and Scotch-Irish, his soul is Hispanic. He was Professor Gore’s music teacher and band director, and although the loving biological father of seven musical children, he is a soul-father of the hundreds of students he has taught.

Angie Trotter

Artist Angie F. M. Trotter holds a BA in Religion and Fine Art. Her pen and ink illustrations are a fusion of icons, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass window design, and her spiritual life. She is also a chronic migraine suffer and her art helps calm her symptoms. Her mother was a folk artist; her father was an architect and fine artist, so she has been surrounded by art her whole life. Her work has been compared to the masters of the Golden Age of British book illustration. She lives in Arkansas.