Use What You Have

When I first got the idea for Ella’s Greatest Adventures, I asked myself so many questions. “Where can I find an illustrator?” “How can I afford this?” “How can I write a book and work on my other goals?” Everyday created a new question and I felt like I had to answer those nagging questions before I could start anything. On top of the questions I felt like I had to answer, I wasn’t overly excited about becoming an author because I knew it involved public speaking. I didn’t mind the writing part, I did that everyday in my journal but speaking to crowds gave me anxiety.

It reminds me of one of my favorite people in the bible that goes by the name of Moses. Moses had an assignment from God to go back to Egypt to lead his people out slavery. Like me, Moses was not excited about his assignment (Check out Exodus Ch 3 &4). Moses gave God so many excuses as to why he wasn’t qualified and yet received confirmation after confirmation he would not be alone. Moses was also reminded to use what he had in his hand, a staff.

Back to my story, I didn’t think I was qualified to write a children’s book because I thought I had to be well prepared. Like Moses and his staff, I used what I had available which was my pen and paper. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed and distracted by a long list of things to do when God just wants you to start with what’s in front of you.

If you ever felt how I felt, doing something out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to just start with the tools you have available and God will be with you every step of the way.

 

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Draw Near To God

 

I am excited for what’s happening in the month of June. My first children’s book will be published!! What started as an idea being in a comic-con convention to an actual illustrated book was an adventure and I cannot imagine doing it by myself.

Well, maybe that’s a lie. When I got my first idea for writing a book I thought I could do it myself. I knew the book would be dental related and drawing couldn’t be that hard…so I thought. I figured out quickly I needed an illustrator.

First, my husband went on forums  to find an illustrator for me. A lot of people responded but did not meet the criteria. People responded to my post that did not believe in my book idea so they would back out. There were people that responded with sketches that appeared as if they were rushing, missing important details. It was frustrating trying to find an illustrator.

When I exhausted my obvious options I decided to pray and ask God for my illustrator. I had an idea for how I wanted my characters to look but I needed someone to capture that on paper. I prayed for the illustrator’s personality to sync with mine since I was working with them. I was led to looking for an illustrator in a Facebook group and within a day or two later three people responded.

I asked God to narrow down my list of illustrators and give me the best one for my first book, the rest was history…

There were sooo many lessons I learned from working with an illustrator. Staying humble, being open for critique, patience, etc, etc. The biggest lesson was I couldn’t complete my book without God or my illustrator. As it starts off in Peter 4:8 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you..” I had to spend time in his presence and then spend time learning the way he wanted the book . Yes, I would’ve drawn the characters myself but at the same time I felt nudges from my heavenly father saying ‘I want yours done a certain way.’ Working with the illustrator taught me a lot and to trust God knows what’s best.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

 

In 600 Words or less

For those that may not know I have been working towards completing my first children’s book. I’m happy to confess I’m close to being finished … YAYYYY!!!!!!youth-active-jump-happy-40815.jpegThe journey had a few challenging moments however, when I needed encouragement one of the sources I plugged into was my husband, Marcus. He never leaves home without a notebook and pen, from working behind the scenes of newspapers and featured in comics, to publishing his first book From The Mind of Marcus E.T.: Freaky and Fantastical 500 Words or LessI wanted to share my inspiration with you all. Enjoy!

Q: At what age did you start writing?

A: I’ve been writing stories since I was 8. I won my first writing contest and spelling bee when I was 9 years old.

Q: Wow, what was the writing contest about?

A: It was a narrative poem about me creating a robot to replace the friends I was angry with, which was inspired by a real-life situation at the time.

Q: *Laughing* Interesting! What were some other stories you created during that time?

A: I wrote my first two books by hand and made the covers out of construction paper. One titled Animania, about a world where everyone in my 3rd grade class being their favorite animal and living in one community together. The other was called Catimorphs, about me and my closer friends being Power Ranger-type heroes who could also change into large cats and use special armor to fight aliens (based on Power Rangers and Animorphs).

Q: I can definitely see how Power Rangers and Animorphs played a role in those stories. Were there any other shows that inspired you growing up?

A: One of the most influential series for me when I was younger was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Q: True! I liked playing their game on Nintendo. So any-hoo I see the pattern of how you gravitate towards sci-fi/ action stories, why is that?

A: I’ve always enjoyed action/adventure stories,sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I appreciate thought-provoking stories, especially with good twist endings, and stories with a powerful message.

Q: Speaking of stories with good twist endings, you’ve recently published your first book less than a month ago, congrats! Where did the idea come from?

A: My book, Freaky and Fantastical 500 Words or Less, was a 6-month project where I recreated my dreams and nightmares, reinvented some of my favorite tales, and explored the all-important “what-if” question.

Q: Who would you say is your ideal reader for this book?

A: I thought of family, friends and associates who always said they could never find time to read for fun. So I created a flash fiction anthology with time restraints in mind, also challenging myself to limit my word count for each story to a multiple of 100.

Q: You know I’m definitely a fan already! As I work in the lab I mostly listen to podcasts and scroll through my phone so reading this book would entertain my time for sure especially since this book can be read via phone/ computer. I know you’re constantly writing and will be sharing more throughout the remaining of the year. How can people connect with you?

A: My website is Penandswordink.weebly.com . Twitter is @MarcusET3 and you could also check out my author page on Amazon Marcus E.T

Q: Sweet! Any last words of inspiration  you’d like to share?

A: The best thing about being a creator and fiction writer is that you don’t need to be an expert in anything. You only need to know what stories you enjoy reading and writing, and the only limiter is you.

 

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Write now not later

When I was a young girl I would write in my diary almost everyday. I wrote poems, short stories, but my favorite was journaling. I had friends and my mom to share things with but it was something about opening up to a blank sheet of paper. As an introvert I was considered the ‘listener’ so writing was my turn to vent. Overtime I wrote less and less because some of my experiences I didn’t want to remember the details of them if I ever were to reflect .

Time eventually revealed my love for dentistry. I was fascinated with it all and as I was planning to take the test for dental school my boyfriend (now husband) inspired me with the idea to share my story with others. I didn’t like the idea at first because blogging to me was like giving others access to your thoughts and I was scared. The name , IntrovertedFillings, came to me so clear I knew it was meant to be.

Last year, I went to a comic-con with my husband to be a supporter and we attended a children’s book workshop. I don’t remember a word they said but I left feeling inspired to do something. I played with the thought of writing a children’s book related to dentistry for a few days then asked myself,” why not?” The lord answered that question into a book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures.

Never would I have guessed that writing consistently as a young girl would lead into something bigger. So if you’re feeling prompted to do something , know that ‘write’ now is your best time!

Overcoming the fear of dentists

I had the opportunity to shadow all kinds of dentists and the specialty that caught my interest was pediatric dentistry. In this field dentists focus on oral health of children from babies through teenage years. The patients are unpredictable , some cooperate while others have no problem letting everyone know they are terrified of dentists.

tips-to-tame-childs-fear-of-dentist-webCould it be from the bright lights? The weird looking dental instruments? Or the fact dentists are working in their personal space? I agree the dental office can be intimidating and the thought of someone handling vulnerable areas in the mouth is enough to run away . However there are some tips that may help children on their next dental visit.

According to NCPediatricDentistry, they recommend that you talk about dentists positively. Create a good experience by sharing stories related to dentists. If you could only think of that one bad experience you had share other people stories. Reward them for being brave. One of the things I enjoyed from my dental visits was the toy treasure chest. If I was good during my appointment (which was all the time lol) the dentist allowed me to pick one toy from the chest, very encouraging! I went to one office to shadow and they rewarded children by giving them a gold coin to use for their toy/ gumball machine.23034455_m

Explain that the dentist is a friend. I could tell the difference between the child that received ‘pep talk’ before their dental appointment vs the one that cry hysterically as their parents talk to them at the moment. I think it helps children and dentists when the parents already explain the details of the dental appointment. Playing ‘pretend doctor’ could help lessen anxiety and reading children books about dentistry is a plus!

Take your child to meet the dentist first. As they visit the dentist consistently they’ll hopefully start to recognize them as a friend and become comfortable during their actual appointment. I enjoyed watching fear disappear from children faces when hygienists allow them to hold some of the dental instruments  to let them know there’s nothing to be scared of . When there’s a lot of interaction and communication between the patient and dental staff it makes a big difference.thw7oqr9w0

Select sedation for children. Now for this I wish there was an alternative. Through shadowing I’ve watched and helped dentists keep children seated so they could sedate them properly and it was NOT EASY! I also understand this is necessary for most of their procedures. One thing I enjoyed was how some dental offices kept children preoccupied with iPads and TV as they administered medicine.

There’s so much to learn from the world of dentistry and fear is not one of them. So let’s start painting better pictures for our children and dentists!

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