Friday, June 26, 2015

I Dare You to be Kind

The internet was once a fun place. There were colors and opinions and every once in a while a knot that soon smoothed itself out.

For the last week it looked like this—frazzled and angry and full of hate. Yes, lives matter. But so does the quality of the life you live. Random acts of kindness are lovely and if we could make them more common, everyone’s quality of life would change for the better. #KindnessMatters

People of Earth, I would like to challenge you to make anyone’s day a little better, and I am starting here at home. We had a big storm last night and my kids have packed up brooms and rakes and are off into the neighborhood to help the elderly. They’re stopping at every house where they see an old person trying to clean their yard. They’re stopping everywhere they see a handicapped plate on a car. #KindnessMatters

You may not be physically able to clean yards but you can post something inspiring or adorable on the internet. You can comment on a post in a helpful manner. You can tell someone Good Morning or to Have a nice day. You can complement someone’s nails or tell them they have pretty hair. It isn’t hard, it only takes a few seconds.

We come together when there’s a disaster. We only need to start a little bit at a time and kindness will snowball. What good is it to live when rage is the only emotion we feel? Step out of your anger for two minutes. We have a beautiful life to live. #KindnessMatters.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Writing Teenagers and Food

Okay people let’s get something straight. Teens eat more than burgers and fries and pizza. They don’t drink only fizzy drinks. In fact, they eat pretty much what you do.

Coffee is a big thing now. There’s a Starbucks almost everywhere. Maybe you weren’t allowed to drink coffee as a child, but that isn’t the same as other people. Kids have favorite brands of coffee. They like flavored coffee, and regular, and have a special creamer they prefer. My kids are allowed to drink coffee or tea when they turn 10. A lot of my friends have kids who drink coffee. IT IS A THING. Give it up that they sound too old because they drink coffee. It isn’t liquor. Geez.

When my kids go to the bookstore, they get a coffee. It isn’t only adults who drink coffee. Just like you adults eat pizza and burgers. There isn’t an age limit on food, okay?

My children’s grandmother didn’t drink caffeine for years because there were rumors that it wasn’t good for you. You know how the health waves go. One year a certain thing will kill you, and the next it is good for you and you should have it every single day. You need to keep up and not date your writing with what you were taught as a child. (I didn’t know what gluten was as a teen—now everyone knows.)

The point is that you need to pay attention to the changes and trends in society as a whole. Gluten is bad now, so you’re going to have teen characters who don’t eat gluten. Coffee is cool now so you’re going to have middle grade and young adult characters who drink coffee. You’ll also have kids who don’t eat processed food, and characters who read every label for peanut allergies.

Food is a thing, guys. Pay attention to the world.