OOhhh….look what’s coming…


Happy Holidays everyone! I can’t believe 2014 is nearly over. And with the new year starting, comes all sorts of excitement. New books, new dreams, new goals. All very exciting.

One of my New Year’s goals is to be around the blog a bit more. But, that can’t happen until I finish up this month and enjoy time with my family.

As I head back into my writing cave and prepare for a CRAZY SIX MONTHS filled with releases and more, I wanted to share some exciting news…

My next nonfiction book, and the first one being released in 2015, INDIE AND PROUD is available for preorder NOW. You’ll be seeing the cover blitz around the web this week, along with a few other cool things.

So what’s the book about? Check it out:

You did it!
You achieved your dream of writing and publishing your book. You should be happy. Instead you feel
trapped in an ever-changing publishing race, stressed over the never-ending
to-do list, and frustrated with yourself for continuing to doubt your talents,
despite achieving your goals.

Face it, being a creative is difficult, and achieving some measure of success in the business
doesn’t make you immune to your own fears and doubts. If anything, your
achievements have added even more pressures. Indie and Proud shines a light on those fears and pressures,
providing tools to deal with your frustrations and embrace your passions again.

Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, the book uses everyday examples and stories
from writers and other artists to help artists find and maintain their balance
in the exciting world of independent publishing. With specific strategies to
address self-doubt, underlying fears, and the truly intense nature of being
creative, Indie and Proud is a must
read for anyone ready to embrace everything it means to be Indie.

Check out the early praise:
“The information Christine
has to share is both brilliant and essential for every indie author. She covers
the practical subjects we want to know as well all the things no one wants to
talk about; the stress, the doubts and the emotional rollercoasters that we as
artists struggle with. Christine will help you deal with it all so you can hold
onto your job and love it.”
 – Devri Walls, author of The Solus Series
“I am an indie author, and proud of it. But
give me five minutes, and I might not feel quite as confident about it. That’s
why I’m very grateful for the class, Indie and Proud, that I took from
Christine Fonseca. In her class I learned that fear is a part of every day,
every new and challenging thing–I can either let the fear disable me, or let
it be the driving force to enable me. I’m excited for the book Indie and Proud
because it’ll be like having that amazing and inspiring class in my pocket
every day. I want to be indie and proud all the time–Ms. Fonseca’s book is my
new favorite reminder that yes, I really can do this!
– Ali Cross,
award-winning author of the Become series

This book is the first of many that bridges my coaching and self-help book life with my life as a writer. And yes, it means I’ll be opening up my coaching practice to include writers looking to bring more balance to their lives, as well as my other areas of specialty. But more on that later…

For now, I want to celebrate and say THANK YOU for all of the support over the years.  I’ve decided to give everyone who preorders some very special bonus material – a workbook companion to the novel that highlights and expands on all of the special lessons in the book. This is ONLY available to preorders and will be taken down just after the book releases in February.

So, get your book today.
 

4 years and 9 books later…


I am so excited! 
Today marks my 4th anniversary as a published author. 



Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students came out on October 1, 2010. I remember the day distinctly. It was a small little educational title that was supposed to sell in a tiny niche. My agent at that time was Krista Goering. She believed in the product, and I believed in her. So I promised myself I would do anything and everything possible to make this book a success. I scheduled a twitter party (Thank you Deborah Mersino) for #GTCHAT, had a blog tour and a signing, not to mention book chats scattered throughout the week, and BAM…..

the book was completely sold out on day 1. Seriously.

That day changed my life!

For the first time, this dream of being published was a reality. I felt on top of the world, like nothing could possibly get in my way or stop me. It is a feeling I return to anytime I question my sanity for staying in this business.

Since that amazing day, I have published three more nonfiction titles with my amazing editor Lacy Compton and the team at Prufrock Press, including 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids, the Girl Guide, and most recently Quiet Kids. With their help, another two titles – Raising the Shy Child and I’m Not just Gifted – will be coming in the first six months of 2015. These titles have also led to publishing opportunities with Tiger Beat magazine, Justine Magazine, Parents, Johnson & Johnson and others. I can’t say how excited and life fulfilling it has all been.

In addition to the non-fiction fun, Krista was encouraging with my fiction (an area she did not represent but supported as I tried to find my niche in the very crowded YA market.) I started publishing my fiction in 2012, first through Heather McCorkle’s HUGE help, and then on my own. Drawing on the love and support of my early CPs and writing buds: Elana Johnson, Ali Cross, Michelle McLean and Julie Butcher, I honed my craft until finally, I published the Requiem series, including Lacrimosa, Libera Me, Dominus and the shorts Dies Irae and Mea Culpa. Countless other writers helped along the way, as well as bloggers and fans.

The Requiem series was followed by my thrillers, Transcend and, most recently, Collide. For those keep count, that’s a total of 9 books, 2 shorts and countless articles.

WOW! 
How did that even happen…

Along the way, paths have changed, goals have shifted, friendships morphed. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve nearly quit at least a million times. And I’ve lost and found my voice.

Now, as I entered my fifth year as a published author (and my seventh year writing with the intent to publish), I understand that everything cycles back to the stories too loud to stay quietly present in my head, stories and self-help that is meant to inspire and transcend….this is why I am still here. No, I have not reached my goals. Actually, I’m not even close in some respects. But I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished and what is on the horizon!

I want to thank all of you for sticking with me. I’ve never been the popular girl, the one on the “in”, the one others looked up to.. but with this tribe of writers, I have at least found my voice, my place, my peeps.

I promise to keep the stories coming, to bring more adventure and more love. I promise to tackle the hard topics and continue to make authenticity the norm we all strive for. And I promise to lead by example and honestly approach the next four years with the same passion I’ve tried to maintain and inspire since the beginning!

HUGS, and thanks for making the dream that is my life a reality. 😀

Weekly Update


Hi everyone! The behind the scenes work on the new blog focus and look is coming along….slowly. As I am finishing up the book in preparation for it’s release later this month, my presence on the blogesphere will be somewhat scarce. I have to finish things up around here, as well as major edits that demand my attention and a quick trip out of town before Spring Break ends.

So yes, It’s busy as always around here!

Before I disappear for a while, I wanted to leave you with a couple of things:

1) I just signed the contract for my SIXTH nonfiction book, SUCCESS HABITS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, due out in 2016.

2) For those of you sick of the winter and wondering when summer will ever arrive – check out this pic shot yesterday as I took a little detour from my Dr.’s appointment:

3) I finally formalized my life and parent coaching business and am beginning to take new clients. I’ll be posting information on my website and here soon.
See you all in a few days/weeks…

 

Summer Fun – a change in pace


summer play
summer play

Summer provides the opportunity to be outdoors with sunshine, warmth, and longer days. It is a time for a change in pace, either more or less, faster or more leisurely.

I enjoy moderate temperatures and walks in nature and time to set by a stream or climb a mountain.  It is also a time to enjoy childlike play and watch the children play.

Summer is a natural time for exuberance – jumping for joy, turning in circles, dancing in the rain, running across fields, looking under rocks, or splashing in the water.

Summer is a time for the hard work that leads to new growth resulting in a fall harvest.

Summer is the time of the butterfly dance, the birds’ song, the crickets’ music, and the new borns’ frolics.

Summer continues to involve the day to day routines of working, eating and sleeping and yet oozes with plan and new discoveries.

Summer says it is ok to chase your tail in circles, step right in the middle of a puddle, or lay on your back and watch the clouds pass by.

Summer is Fun – a change of pace.

That One Time at Band Camp….


1-MP900432787For some people, thinking about summer fun triggers images of sitting quietly, absorbing warmth, watching the world go by, resting, and contemplating. For others, splashing by the water’s edge, swimming, and skipping stones.

For me, summer is a chance to go outside and explore the world. Swimming and barbecues are secondary pleasures.

Many of my best memories of summer as a kid come from travelling with my parents and the specialist camps I went to: a computer camp and a theatre camp. The more I talk to gifted adults, the more I realize this is not unusual. For kids who are not challenged sufficiently in school, the summer provides an opportunity to stretch and grow without the restrictions of curriculum. For me, summer gave me time and freedom to engage my brain fully rather than sitting in class waiting for the other kids to catch up.

Travel, whether it is to a nearby national park or a foreign country, provides a level of stimulation that staying at home is hard pressed to match. For people who crave new information, getting into a new environment is a gift.

A new environment plus the opportunity to pursue a passion with other kids who share that passion is an even better gift. A camp that is focused on specific interests is good for all kids, but especially for kids with unusual interests.

There were not a lot of kids in my high school who were as serious about theatre as I was. To spend 3 weeks putting on shows with other kids who shared my obsessions was heaven. And, during the rest of the year, letters from my camp friends alleviated the loneliness I felt at home.

Many of my adult friends had experiences that matched mine. The camp in question may have been band camp, art camp, theatre camp, or science and engineering camp, but the experiences of finding deep friendships and places they felt they belonged were similar.

I craved contact with other actors and directors. My kids crave contact with inventors and builders. Part of my job as a mom involves finding opportunities for them to connect with like-minded kids and summer camps focused on engineering play are an annual part of our lives.

My kids look forward to many things over the summer: no school, swimming, hiking, visiting grandparents, and camping. But nothing beats the anticipation with which they look forward to Camp Invention every year. Nothing.

___________________________________________________

Kate writes about creativity and story-telling as tools for making sense of the world at www.katearmsroberts.com.

It’s June…and SUMMER!!!


Happy June everyone! This month we are all taking about summer and things to do. With the Girl Guide coming out, I though I’d focus my post on one of the themes from The Girl Guide – finding yourself and your unique voice in the world. And what better time to start on that journey than summer! Summer is a great time for renewal. The days are long, the weather, perfect, and the vibe – magical. So, as you’re taking a break from school or work, catching up with friends and family, and venturing out for a special vacation, why not add a little “inner” journey to your adventures and spend part of the summer discovering the “real” you?

Journeying inwards, like any trip, requires a map, some supplies, and an adventurous spirit. Fortunately, these things are easily acquired. A journal can become an ideal map to the inner you. Use it as you spend a little time each day reflecting on your dreams and hopes. Take stock of what you’ve accomplished so far, and plan where you’d like to go in the future. Then, once you have a good sense of your inner dreams and desires, make a plan for the future. Add new experiences, read different books, complete projects you’ve previous abandoned. In doing these things you can begin to cultivate your own authenticity.

And don’t forget to pack an adventurous spirit as you journey inwards. Embrace the you that lives within. You may be surprised the “you” you can get to know this summer.

Adult Enrichment and Creativity


We focus tremendously and appropriately on providing enrichment and stimulating creativity in children. What about us as adults?

Our soul, our intensity, our internal drive thirsts for creative expression and cultivation through enrichment.  This means times for play, pursuit of something new as a result of curiosity, delving into something that seems irrelevant because it caught our attention, getting our hands dirty, listening and daydreaming, excusing ourselves to be with children, and….

Without enrichment and creative expression we lose our ability to make leaps, experience the flow, manifest ideas, identify multiple solutions, or…  We are also grouchy, less energetic, feel lost, withdraw, or become numb.

Part of the process is giving us permission.  Knowing it is OK to have a day that nothing is planned, nothing needs to be accomplished, to have a few minutes of wistful thinking or daydreaming, to indulge yourself in puttering, or to walk beside the river, set on the grass, see pictures in the clouds.

Next what have you put off trying new or did often when younger and do not any more (‘not enough time’).   Yes make a list – your loves, your bucket list, your wishes.  You need to feed your soul with enrichment and opportunities to create.  You’ve made the list now be sure you put it on your schedule.  Do it, enjoy it, allow it, experience it – you, the child, coming out to play.

What will it be to today – doodling, making mud pies (either with dirt or luscious chocolate delicacies), exploring subatomic matter, staying up all night to see the various astronomy wonders or …?  What will bring a smile to your face, a twinkle in your eyes, relaxation to shoulders and at the same time bring you to the excitement and enthusiasm of being on edge?

Embed in your daily schedule (yes one more thing) to put that bounce into your step – enrichment and creativity.

What do you do for enrichment and creativity?  Let us know you could stimulate someone else to pursue an adventure.

_______________________________________________________

Edith meanders through various thoughts and experiences at her howtoinlife.com blog .

What does creativity look like?


164236_10200972033486386_2048216904_nWow, creativity. The thought of forced creativity is scary for me because it’s like saying, “You’re a funny guy. Say something funny.” I have a hard time being creative on the spot. My daughters have no reservation when it comes to being creative though. And now that we are homeschooling, I get to see creativity in motion.

My Wife is really the instigator of the lessons and she lays out the objective and the limited “junk” (straws, spoons, tinfoil, cups, tape, etc..). The girls have a blast creating their own designs and seeing how they work.  There have been some failures along the way, but that’s part of creation. I love watching them come up with a new way of thinking and then seeing if it works in the real world.

The creativity they are allowed at home is boundless. We don’t care if they shoot a marshmallow (or 12) from the dining room into the living room or dog dish. It is just part of the fun.

My oldest doesn’t seem to like numbers. She likes the math concepts and figures out patterns really well, but not the hard numbers. I get that. I was/am horrible at long division and multiplication, but I excel in more challenging math concepts. Drilling for her is punishment in her eyes. So we have dice. We can roll dice and can change the “game” depending on who’s playing. We can use 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, or 30 sided dice and use these to add, subtract, or multiply the numbers shown (division gets complicated at times). This is our creative way of making math more fun. We adapted the idea from a game called Sum Swamp.

Regardless of what the way you use creativity though, I find letting my girls be creative is what really helps them right now. They find new ways to use all sorts of objects. I was told that the average person could only come up with about 30 uses for a clothes hanger. I could come up with 200 pretty well, but I think my girls are getting better than me, and that’s fun. They learn new ways to tackle challenges and that’s what I think we’ll need more of in the future. Just as I agree with Sir Ken Robins in saying that we can kill creativity , I think we can nurture it as well.

I’d like to think that this creativity would be helpful in my children’s future. I know it’s been a blessing at times for me, but a curse others. Maybe if I keep up with the “respect others” lessons it will make things easier on them than I made it on myself.

How do you think creativity will be implemented in the future and should we “teach” creativity?

Love Rollercoaster


I let my wife know I was struggling with this month’s blog post and she had my back.  She had written something a while back and when I told her I was having a hard time with this blog, she shared it with me.  She said that even though it might not fit in with the topic “Joy,” I was welcome to share it.   Jodi has the patience of a saint, which is necessary being married to me. She is my greatest Joy as well, so I think it fits in nicely with this month’s topic. 

Any given day, hour, minute.

What is it like to be married to an ADHD/LD/Gifted person?  For me it’s a well-balanced roller coaster ride.   This ride has many ups and downs.  On any given day, any given hour, any given minute I feel:

Like a Queen – There are times I feel like I’m the only person around and he’s giving me any and all of his attention.  He kisses me any time he’s near me.  He holds my hand wherever we are – in the car, at the table, on the couch, wherever.  He asks me out on dates and really wants to be with me.

Alone – I can sit in the same room with my husband and feel like I’m not even noticed.   I can’t compete with the excitement and business of the computer.   It hurts to try to talk to him and feel like I’m being ignored for a computer game or facebook or email or game statistics, etc.

Special – He does things for me that I love, often times when he clearly doest not want to be doing them (i.e. rubbing my feet).

Dumb –I don’t have the extensive vocabulary he has – he’s a fantastic, eloquent, wonderful writer.   I don’t feel like I can have conversations with him that are even close to stimulating enough.  I don’t feel like I’m interesting enough for him.

Amazed – I am constantly amazed at how smart my husband is.  He is so smart.  He knows things about things – random things – that I had no clue he knows.  And I am constantly amazed at how good he is with our kids.

Left Out – I don’t know the things he goes through.  He has connections with other G/LD (2E) people that I will never have with him.  I try to ask questions, which sometimes are answered and sometimes are not.

Helped – He will help with anything I ask him to.  It has taken some time for me to come to grips with the fact that it probably won’t happen on my time line.  But it will get done.

Frustrated – It frustrates me to have to ask him for things I want.  I want him to be able to read me.  To think of nice things to do for me – without me having to ask for them.  I want him to help out around the house without me having to ask.  Even though logically I know he’s not purposefully ignoring household tasks, it’s hard, sometimes, to not feel like he’s just not doing them because they’re boring (let’s face it – chores are boring – I don’t like them either).

Impressed – I am very impressed at how he can charm the pants off of anyone.  He’s fun to talk to, he’s charismatic, he helps people when he can.  I love being out with him and others and watching the interactions that happen.  People are drawn to him.  They love talking to him.  And I get to say he’s mine!

Stressed – There are times I feel like I’m walking on egg-shells and fear asking him anything.  I watch him and our middle child butt heads and I want so desperately to go in and rescue her.  I’m not sure what is the right thing to do in those situations.

Loved – I know he loves me.  He hugs me.  He kisses me.  He holds my hand.  He listens when I REALLY need him to.  He can comfort me.  He knows what words to use to make me feel better.  He puts his arm around me in the movie theater.  He loves me.  I love him.

For those who are not aware of the title song, or the newer version.

The Joy of Completing a Challenge


Today, I accompanied my eldest child and his class of gifted 4th graders on a field trip to the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Lightbox is the home of the Toronto International Film Festival. As part of their year-round programming, they offer opportunities for kids to learn how to make films. The gifted classes at my son’s school go for a day each year from 4th grade to 8th grade and get more advanced instruction each trip.

The day promised to be challenging, but I hoped it would be rewarding. My son loves visual storytelling, but struggles with group work. I knew that if he could find a spirit of collaboration, he would love the day – but, there was always the possibility of a complete disaster.

At the beginning of the day, the students got a crash course in storytelling and script formatting. They were then divided into groups of 5-6 students and told to write a 2-3 page screenplay for a story involving four kids their age sitting around a table.

My son struggles with rapid idea generation. He has an outrageous and vivid imagination, but is slow to get his first ideas. Somebody else at the table threw out an idea quickly that most of the group loved, but not my guy. We nearly had a melt-down, but with a combination of my coaching and generous suggestions from his group, the writing got underway. Once the group got going, the adults sat back and watched.

After writing for 45 minutes, the groups got up to read their scripts to each other. This served as a pitch session because after the readings, the students would vote on which script would be produced. Knowing the intensities of gifted kids, I worried about how the kids who didn’t have theirs chosen might react.

The leader had a good voting system: secret ballot and each person was to vote for two scripts. The kids had a sense that it was fair. It was nice that they got to vote for their own script even if they thought another script was better; they could feel good both about themselves and their classmates.

As expected, the writers of the winning script were thrilled. Screams and shouts and jumping up and down ensued.

The instructor let them enjoy a little celebration. But, not for long. There was work to be done.

Casting was by lottery, entered only by those who wanted to act. The rest of the class became the directors, assistant directors, sound engineers, camera operators, and slate, working in self-selected teams.

The instructor sent the actors out of the room to memorize their lines and gave each production team a crash course in their responsibilities. He led them through a rehearsal and then they filmed the movie. They had two cameras and two mic booms. The director team took as many takes as they needed to get a good shot. The assistant directors coordinated everybody. Someone slated the takes. They used wide shots and close-ups, and a special point of view shot for an effect called for in the script. The kids worked hard, learning quickly and needing less coaching as the afternoon went on.

Until, they all got tired, seemingly at once.

They had absorbed a huge amount of information, and concentrated hard all day. They could see the finish line. But, the actors started making mistakes and one of the camera operators got a little sloppy. The first three shots each needed 3-5 takes. The fourth and final shot took 11 takes.

As the final shot was reshot and reshot, the energy in the room flagged. The group responded to the line flubs and sloppy camera work with a collective slump.

With the authority of experience, the instructor stepped in, rallied the troops, gave the actors some direction, and got the shot.

The whoops and hollers when the team of student directors called”Cut” were wild. They did another take for luck, but everybody knew they had the footage they needed for the entire film.

They had done it.

As a group, they had gone from knowing nothing about making a film to having shot a film in less than a day.

The footage will be turned over to an editor at the Lightbox who will edit the film, add a title, music, and credits. Within a couple of weeks, the class will be able to watch their two-minute movie on a DVD in their classroom. In expect the joy and celebration of that viewing will be spectacular. Perhaps for some of them, one of the best gifts they receive this year.

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Kate can usually be found writing about writing at www.katearmsroberts.com.