Swirl and Spark is 3 Years Old!

Hey Guys!

It’s September. Can you even believe it? I mean what the heck. Did someone flip the calendar pages faster this summer? Seriously. What’s the deal? I didn’t even have a chance to acknowledge my blog’s birthday. Not even a mention on the site—and that’s so sad!! So…

Happy 3rd Birthday to Swirl and Spark!!

*cue the confetti and multi colored balloons.*

My Blog Baby /Toddler is 3 years old!

As my faithful followers can attest to, the site has changed a bit since it’s birth on August 16, 2013. I guess it takes a while to find your groove in this great big world of writing and reading and publishing sites. There are so many more out there than even three years ago, with really something for everyone. The key is finding your own niche. So what is Swirl and Spark’s niche? Well, it always has and always will be…

the site for kids at heart who like to write.

So what does that mean exactly? Well, to me it means if you’ re young at heart (no matter if you’re 18 or 88) and you feel that strong pull toward the tween age group (in a non-creepy way), and you love reading middle grade books, writing them, or recommending them to tweens, then this site is mostly for you.

But it’s also for any writer really, because whether you write for adults, teens, tweens, or toddlers, we all share the same challenges, frustrations, and celebrations when it comes to getting the right words down on the page and turning them into a story that sparkles.

With that said, some of the tabs may still focus more on the middle grade age group of 8-12. Like the Book Nook for example. It’s full of my favorite titles and many new releases also (with more to come soon!). Critique Corner is targeted at middle grade writers as well. Since I write middle grade, I feel more qualified to focus these events on middle grade works in progress.

But since this blog is all about writing and books, that means it will always be for everyone. So please don’t shy away if you write YA or picture books. Hopefully some of the stuff in here with be useful to you too!

You may have noticed a new tab recently about my latest freelance venture: College Essay Assist. Obviously with this one, I’m veering away from the tween age group, but hey, I love high school kids too (seriously!) and I love working with them to polish up their college essays even more. So I thought, why not include it on my site, to simplify my life a little more?

I’ve had a lot of interesting stuff happen over the summer, many new experiences that I was positive I was going to blog about at some point this fall. Like, my daughter graduating from high school, my son starting his college visits, and my daughter moving into her college dorm. These have all been big milestones in our house and I thought, “Why not blog about them?”

Well, here’s why not. They are not only my stories to tell. They involve private family moments. And though I sometimes feel like all of you are family, we’re not actually family and my kids deserve some privacy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to write about them! Seriously, I want to really bad!! Writing is a way to work through emotions and boy have their been a lot of them this summer.

But I decided to journal about them for my own personal use, and instead blog about why these types of emotional experiences can be useful to all of you.

We’ve all heard that in order to write well, you need to experience life. How else can you accurately describe the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions in a particular scene? I may never write a story about a girl going off to college, but I certainly may write a story about a character separated from someone they love. And I also may never write a story about a boy walking around a college campus, but I certainly may also write about the awe in a boy’s face when he enters a world much different from his own. By experiencing the pain, awe, and any other emotion that goes along with an experience, I’ll be better able to write more believably about it later. And you will too.

So basically it’s important to get on with your life. Experience it all. Feel it all, even if it’s hard or uncomfortable. Your work will be so much better for it.

So, as I was saying, September is here and even though I miss summer already, I’ve been craving the structure of my normal routine and I have a feeling many of you have been too. I’m thrilled to be getting back to writing, blogging, cooking regular dinners, getting my house in order again, hiking on the trails near my house, watching my son race in his cross country meets, meeting up with my daughter when she can break away from her busy college life, having an anniversary dinner with my prince charming…and drinking my spiced chai lattes!

I hope you enjoy the last of summer’s sun and the anticipation of the crisp autumn air also. And remember what I said. Go experience it all. Do it. Right now. You’ll be happy you did, and not just because your story scenes will be stronger.

Thanks for checking in with me. I’ve been busy writing my next several blog posts too so stop back if you can. I’ll save a spot for you!

*Hugs*

Jackie

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