Category Archives: Events

Tiffany Turner To Teach Online Spooky Story Writing Workshop

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It’s getting near that spooky time of year. After over 15 years of teaching a spooky story workshop to my students, I’m offering it for the first time online. Bring Halloween indoors in an academic way, and keep this season spooky, fun and safe! It will be available two ways.

1) This first way to sign up for this workshop is as a full online in-person experience taught by myself live on Zoom. It will be available through the tutoring center called Knowledge Quest. I’ve worked there now for 3 years tutoring students in person and in local schools before the pandemic.

Now, the opportunity to learn from myself, a published author and certified teacher, is through Knowledge Quest. It starts on Oct. 5 through Oct. 29. There are two sessions, one for grades 3-5 and the other for grades 6-8. Each session will have one hour a week for four sessions. Kids will have an hour of instruction and will be walked through activities and given assignments to continue writing between sessions.

**Some at home support, such as looking over the story and doing feedback with your child, will be required.

I’ve taught and developed this spooky story unit over the years and I have put up some parts of it FREE to do through my website. But this is the full unit, developed by me, and available only this upcoming month of October. By the end of the sessions, all the students will have written their own stories that they can share on Halloween night. They will learn character development, create a plot with problem/solution structure, study the spooky genre, and have a lot of fun! They’ll have a chance to unlock the creativity within them.

**Note times are Pacific Daylight Time since I’ll be teaching the workshop live through Zoom. Sign-ups for the live Zoom instructional spooky workshop is through Knowledge Quest.

Find out more and REGISTER HERE!

2) The second way to take the workshop, especially if it would be difficult to in your time zone, is to sign up for my online writing school course. It’s the first course available, and I plan to develop more through the next several months. I’ve decided to develop the spooky story writing workshop first since the basic posts on the blog are so popular, and my students loved it as their favorite story during the school year.

Here is the blurb from my writing school “Keep On Writing”:

Ready to have some fun writing? Here’s a course to help children love writing and enjoy it. I often found children didn’t get to enjoy the writing projects assigned when I was a teacher. So, I developed an, exciting “Spooky Story” writing project for the month of October that I taught for over fifteen years in my classroom. Now, your child can experience the joy of writing and using their imagination.

Taught through a Writing Workshop format, I go over all the steps of writing, prewriting, drafting, revision and proofreading and creating a final draft. Each lesson includes mini-lessons on the craft of writing including organizing ideas through graph organizers, writing dialogue, “Show, Don’t Tell”, plot creation, character creation and conflict, and problem/solution story structure.

Write your own Spooky Story in either a live workshop with Mrs. Turner or in her online writing school. Get spooky and stay safe this Halloween! Use your imagination and write!

When your child finishes the course, they will have a fantastic story of their own creation to share with family and friends. As they go through the writing process, they are asked to work with a family member or guardian with the writing process in which they learn to gain feedback on their writing and make changes. Anyone in the family or through Zoom can fulfill this role making it a bonding activity with your child.

Whether this course is being used during the fall for a Halloween project or any time during the year to engage children in writing, or help adults write for children, it has always been a student and child favorite. I now present to you, the “Spooky Story” Writing Project to help bring the joys of writing to your child.

The online writing school course is $19.99.

LINK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE & REGISTER!

**Happy Halloween!

-Mrs. Turner

New Picture Book Release: “I Don’t Want to Wear a Mask!” Coronavirus Pandemic Back to School Support

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I have a surprise for everyone. I have written a picture book to help support all the parents and teachers during these strange times. It’s called “I Don’t Want to Wear a Mask!”. It helps children validate their feelings with all the strange routine changes, and models a parent lovingly supporting and validating their little one’s emotional turmoil. With all the different return-to-school programs through out the country, structure and safety is what kids need to help them right now. I wanted to help reassure them, and support their emotional needs.

“Back to School” has never been so difficult. Some school districts are returning to in-person school, some are remaining online with distance learning, and others are doing a combination of both depending on their communities. With so many changes, parents and children need support in adapting to these new structures. So, I wrote a loving and supportive book to help children understand the changes around them.

I targeted the preschooler and kindergartener, even though the book could be read up through third grade. It will hopefully lead to discussions and communication with parents, teachers, and the children that are going through this huge, educational upheaval together.

Tiffany Turner is the author of “I Don’t Want to Wear a Mask!” and head editor/writer of this blog.

I am an elementary teacher that has been writing and self-publishing for children since 2007. I’ve also been a teacher for 20 years. I have a middle reader series, and another self-published picture book called “Pumper the Pumpkin.” For this new book, I hired a fabulous illustrator from Columbia, Natalia Cuno. She captures the beautiful warmth and caring that I wanted to convey with this book.

I invite you to check out the book on Amazon.com. It is available as an ebook for many tablets and the Kindle phone app as well as a print edition. I welcome feedback in its many forms, such as reviews or as comments below in this post. I would love to hear what you think and how your child reacts to the book.

We can all get through this together, and remember to wear a mask.

-Tiffany Turner

Back to School 2020 Blog Tour Giveaway Winner Announced!

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Greetings to everyone that stopped by and checked out the blog tour last week. I appreciate all of my followers that read my blog and have followed through the years. It makes it especially important since I’m trying to support all the teachers, parents and children going through the strangest Back to School in our life times.

With the pandemic, we are looking at things differently, facing new challenges and just trying to support each other to get through all the challenges this year. From the pandemic to natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves, 2020 has unleashed a fury. I hope the tour this year helped connect you to authors and their books that will give comfort, help teach your little ones, and inspire your classroom.

With that said, I’d like to announce the winner of the giveaway for the blog tour this year. I am giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to help give a shopping spree to the lucky winner. Hopefully, they can use it to support authors and maybe enjoy some of the fabulous books featured this last week.

And drum roll please, the winner of the Back to School 2020 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card is:

April P.

Congratulations! You’ll be contacted by the email on file for the giveaway.

To everyone else, thank you so much for stopping by and making last week a fabulous event again. Until next year, stay safe, wear a mask, and take care of your family and friends.

-Mrs. Turner

Day 2: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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back2schoolbanner2020Welcome to the second day of the Back to School Blog Tour 2020. This is such an unusual year. So, I’m gathering fantastic authors to help support children and parents during this crazy, pandemic. I’m sure between supervising instruction at home and helping your child, you’d love to hear about how to support their mental wellness. Maybe even your child misses their extra curricular activities such as sports, classes or even music. Supporting children with problems that may still occur is a great way to continue their emotional development, especially if it can be through literature.

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Karen Goeller is the author of the children’s book, “Missy’s Voice”.

Karen Goeller has an athletic background to bring to her authorship. She has taught gymnastics training and coached several State Champions. She has also appeared in many TV shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gotham, Law & Order and other commercial appearances. Her love for writing arose when she had an accident in 2000, and found writing to be a therapy while she was bed-ridden. From her struggles growing up, she has written many gymnastic-themed books to help children through their growing pains. Her book, Missy’s Voice, tells the story of a young singer dealing with bullying at school.

I had a chance to talk to Karen about her childhood reading memories, her writing process, and what writing means to her.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Karen Goeller: I did not like reading as a child, but I enjoy writing and have over twenty published books.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Karen Goeller: I do not have a writing routine. I write when I have the creative bug or when I feel I have something to say. Once I start a project I push through, almost non-stop until finished. 

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Karen Goeller: Writing is expressing thoughts and sharing with the world.

KarenGoeller-missys-voice-coverMissy’s Voice is a story that tells about a young girl that loves to sing. She became popular from the local school talent show, and some of the other girls start to bully her. Will she be able to show them that she is unique? Will jealousy lose to positive kindness as Missy faces her tormentors?

“Missy’s Voice” is available at Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com, and at the author’s website, www.MissysVoice.com.

For more information about about the author, please visit her website at:

www.KarenGoeller.com.

Remember, you have all week to enter the blog tour giveaway for the $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Here’s the link to enter:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e21/

Plus, to support parents, I wrote a blog post a few months ago to help you set up a structure for your little ones to do distance learning at home.

Here is the link to the blog article:

Tips for Parents During the Long Distance Learning During Corona Virus

  • Has downloadable home study rules.
  • Tips to help create structure for learning at home.

More still to come. Check back daily and follow the blog!

Until tomorrow,

-Tiffany Turner

Head writer/Editor

Indie Children’s Authors Connection Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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back2schoolbanner2020Welcome to the first day of the Back to School Blog Tour for 2020. In these unusual times, I wanted to keep to my traditional events and create a fabulous blog tour to support all the teachers and students learning virtually this school year. All the interviews and books mentioned this week would make create read-alouds, novel studies, and independent reading for students as support for these unusual times.

Before I get into my fabulous first author’s interview, I wanted to give you the link to the Blog Tour Giveaway. All week, it will be open to take entries to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Come back each day to enter again. The winner will be announced next week.

Back to School 2020 Blog Tour Giveaway Link Here! (Run through Rafflecopter.com).

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Casey Gale is the author of the children’s book, “Always Together.”

With that introduction, I’d like you to meet my first author. Casey Gale spends a lot of her time helping others to find cost effective housing in her community. She works towards dedicating her time to fight hunger and to assist non-profit organizations to educate families and youth. She’s taken her experiences as well as being a single mom and parent, to create her first children’s book, “Always Together.” This book helps to bridge a relationship between mother and daughter through love.

I had a chance to talk to Casey Gale about her memories of reading as a child, her favorite authors, and what she has in store for future projects.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Casey Gale: I loved going to the bookstore with my grandma and then coming home retreating to my room or the tree house cuddled with pillows and a blanket. I would be taken away on an adventure for hours. Often times I couldn’t bring my current read to school as I would be distracted. J

Now my bag always has a book in it.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Casey Gale: The Nancy Drew series is what really sparked my love of reading.

  • What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Casey Gale: Don’t hesitate, it’s your story, go for it! Whether you pursue a publishing house or self publish, it’s your vision…there are many options for you to achieve your goal of being a published author. Sometimes the fear won’t go away so you’ll have to do it afraid!

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Casey Gale: I have two other books The Adventures of Midnight and Midnight In Maui with the publisher. Midnight is my black cat. I’m also working on a novel that is based on true events.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Casey Gale: Experiencing a vacation, creative and real life, and expressing real life vulnerabilities.

AlwaysTogether-Cvr“Always Together” is a loving letter to all daughters from their mothers. Told with rhyming lines, this story helps convey the inner thoughts of a mother to her daughter as she grows up. It’s an ode told by a mother to help all daughters understand their mother’s love and actions to bring them closer together. In times such as these, stressing love and relationships is something that all mother’s want to reaffirm. Bring comfort and connection with your little one as a read aloud or for the start of the school year.

“Always Together” is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

For more information or to connect with the author, visit her Amazon Author page or at her social media:

Instagram: @caseygaleus
Facebook: @caseygaleofficial

Thanks for stopping by today. Look forward daily posts all week with more featured books, author interviews and links to helpful, supportive blog posts during these crazy, pandemic times. Until tomorrow, keep reading!

-Tiffany Turner

Head writer/Editor

Indie Children’s Authors Connection Blog

 

Coming Soon: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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BacktoSchoolBlogTour2020It’s almost here. The 8th Annual Back to School Blog Tour is ready to launch on Monday, Aug. 31. This year, there will be a line-up of authors and featured books to help support kids, parents and teachers during this challenging year. With changes in routine to going to school masked or online, kids and parents are facing different challenges than ever before. I’ve lined up a variety of authors and their books to help support creative learning, children’s literature and distance learning.

back2schoolbanner2020Here is the line-up of authors for this year:

  1. Casey Gale
  2. Karen Goeller
  3. Devin Martin
  4. Craig R. Hazen
  5. Thomasina M. D’Arezzo

Each author will be featured each day of the blog tour. Feel free to visit information about their blogs/websites and about their featured book. As an added treat, I will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card through a Rafflecopter giveaway. Just visit the link to win all week, and the winner will be announced after the blog tour is over.

Come join all the fun and get to know some new, fabulous children’s authors!

The Back to School Blog Tour will be Monday, Aug. 31 through Friday, Sept. 4. Hosted here by the Indie Children’s Authors Connection.

***Follow my blog to get all of the posts emailed to you.

See you next Monday!

-Tiffany Turner

Interested in Self-Publishing? I Just Wrote the Book On It.

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Tiffany Turner is the self-published author of a children’s fantasy book series and several paranormal romance titles. 

It is now available. All of my self-publishing knowledge over the last thirteen years. I’ve been at this self-publishing thing for awhile now. And I’ve learned a lot. It’s been called a gold rush by some, from about 2009 to 2011, and beyond. I would say that was mostly due to KDP, Kindle Digital Publishing, Amazon’s digital platform. It is now a whole new frontier that I can help you navigate.

From watching and talking to other self published authors on Kindleboards (later Kboards.com) like Hugh Howey, to getting the idea and encouragement to start writing romance after my children’s books, I’ve had quite a journey. I wrote “Get Ready to Push the Button: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing” to make it easy for anyone to get started. All you need is that finished manuscript, and you can be on your way.

All of my hard earned experience has been written down into my beginner’s guide to self-publishing. So, if you’ve been thinking about it, or even wrote a manuscript during lockdown and don’t know what to do now, I’ve got an answer for you. Self-publish!

I’ve been talking to people about how to self-publish on panels at various local conferences including Fanime, San Francisco Comic Con and the Silicon Valley Comic Con over the last few years. Now, you can get all my expertise in one helpful guide, with links for support in an online FB private group. Plus, I’ve worked with a lot of emerging authors through my Fiverr.com gigs. I’ve gotten experience in so many areas from diving into the self-publishing world, and I keep growing with it. Find out how you can make your writing dreams come true, and become a working writer.

Have a manuscript and don’t know what to do?

Have you considered self-publishing?

Get Ready to push the button (3D)-PromoJoin Tiffany Turner as she explains how to get your manuscript ready to finally push that self-publishing button. This beginner’s guide to self-publishing has been put together with Mrs. Turner’s thirteen years of self-publishing experience in romance and children’s book self-publishing. With easy step by step explanations of how to prepare your manuscript, she’ll walk you through in her humorous banter how to:

-Discovering if this self-publishing path is for you.
-Terms & tips you’ll need to navigate the self-publishing world.
-Preparing your manuscript with an easy to follow list of steps.
-How to find the people to help you self-publish such as beta readers, editors, cover designers, formatters and self-publishing platforms.
-What to set up before you self-publish.
-Launching your book.
-Maintaining your self-publishing empire after your first book.

Discover how to get yourself started onto the self-publishing path.

“Get Ready to Push the Button: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing” is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Apple/iBooks, and Rakuten/Kobo.

 

 

 

Interview with Dr. Michael Kinsey

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Dr. Michael Kinsey is the author of the picture book Dreams of Zugunruhe.

In these times, connections are awfully important to maintain. I have found a wonderful expert on this subject, Michael Kinsey, PHD. He is a clinical psychologist that lives in Manhattan. Dr. Kinsey’s specialty is parent-child attachment, and he has written a wonderful book that is called Dreams of Zugunruhe that combines his expertise and love for birds. Through the journey of the Little Tern, children experience empowerment in order to face challenges. I had the chance to ask some questions of Dr. Kinsey about his childhood, his book, and how to support children during this pandemic.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: When I was a child we started a Christmas tradition of reading “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg every Christmas Eve. To this day it’s my favorite children’s book. The illustrations underscore the magic of the story, and I love the message of keeping childlike imagination and fantasy alive into our adult lives.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: I read a lot of Gary Paulsen as a school-aged boy. Not surprisingly, his most popular book, “Hatchet”, was my favorite work of his. Recently I spent a weekend staying at lodge in the Catskills, near where Brian Robeson, the main character in the story, had to survive on his own. I was struck by how my memories of reading that story enhanced my experience of the landscape.

Your question makes me realize that his writing has really influenced my inner world. Multiple times I’ve taken trips to boreal forest in search of experiences with nature. I realize now that my love of nature and particular fascination with boreal forest likely stems from his influence on me. It proves to me that beloved books can really shape our inner world and our life as a whole.

3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Dr. Michael Kinsey: Writing is still something I do as a passion and hobby. I love the idea of rigorous writing routines, but for now I don’t obsess over craft and regular schedules. My method is really to maintain a commitment to listening to the muses when they sing to me, and doing my best to capture the spirit of their message.

4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: My expertise is in parent-child attachment and I like to write about the bonds between parents and their children. Proper parenting is such a delicate balance of providing support while getting out of the way of nature’s oversight of a child’s developmental journey. That’s what Dreams of Zugunruhe is about and I see myself continuing to write on that theme. In the future, I’d like to write on the unique contributions that fathers make to their children. Fathers are important in creating happy and healthy adults and I’d like to provide a vehicle for fathers to provide the guidance children need from them.

5) Why did you become interested in “birding”?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: My love of birds started at a school assembly when I was about 8 years old. A man who rehabilitated hawks and other birds of prey brought some of the birds he cared for to the school. The birds made a huge impression on me. They were an awesome display of paradoxes; they were both fierce and serene, powerful and elegant, hulking and delicate. I was also struck by how dignified they looked in captivity. As a child I think I often felt trapped and admired both the freedom these creatures could have through flight, and the strength they showed while fettered.

The realization I think I had at that time was that these creatures, in all their majesty, could be found and observed if I were willing to pay attention and look for them. This is the link between being a birder and psychologist. Amazement can be achieved remarkably often if we are willing to pay attention and look for what’s hidden in plain sight.

6) Why are connections important during the coronavirus pandemic?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: It’s what humans do and what defines our species. It’s a cliche but also very true that we are social animals.

During times of stress and uncertainty, we instinctively look to friends, family, community, and culture for comfort and support. The inhuman aspect of this pandemic is that we’re told we need to “distance” ourselves from others to survive. Luckily, we as humans have amazing brains that allow us to treat “closeness” and “connections” as abstractions. We have powerful communication tools that allow us to follow our instincts and turn to people we love and trust as attachment needs arise while we maintain the necessary physical distance.

7) What can you suggest for parents in regards to connections now that children are at home for distance learning?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: I do have some suggestions which I’ll make later on, but the main thing I’d like to offer parents is that this is a really challenging time to use opportunistically. A lot of parents I work with really want to use quarantine as an opportunity to connect with their children, but it can feel overwhelming to create opportunities out of a situation where boundaries blur and home is now home as well as school, office, and playroom.

Just because there may be more time and opportunity, does not mean it’s easily harvested. Schedules and structure are helpful. If you can combine schedules and structure with some flexibility and spontaneity, all the better.

Connecting with kids is a very personal thing and each parent will have to find his/her own way to reach each child. Creating space and openness to allow for connection is the hard part. Younger children especially are extremely good at making sure a connection happens if parents can only free up time, attention, and the receptivity to take advantage of opportunities their kids bring to them.

8) What have you been doing at home with your family during the coronavirus lockdown?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: I’m actually not a father yet, but I have recommended to fathers that this is an ideal time to start a project with their kids. A father’s traditional (or stereotypical role) in times of crisis is to insulate children from danger and to provide a model for how to confront challenges. Starting a project, in the yard, in the garage, or in the living room, is a fantastic way to show children that things are safe. If a father can show children that it’s safe enough to immerse his attention completely in a project, then children will truly feel safe.

I think these times also reveal how overvalued the content of a standard educational curriculum can be. Schools do teach valuable skills, yet the value of a traditional education is lessened when parents are at home and available to teach their children important things that they have learned. A skill passed on from father to son is far more valuable than the typical thing a child learns in the average day of school. A project, whether basic repair, woodworking, building a model, learning a sport, etc., promotes feelings of safety, teaches something valuable to a child, and provides quality time between parent and child.

9) What main takeaway would you like to give as support to parents during this time?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: Children are watching and learning during this time, as they always are. Not every parent will be able to use this time as an opportunity for bonding because of economic pressures. That’s fine. Think of this period as an opportunity to show financial resilience, perseverance, and resourcefulness. If you’re a parent who is fortunate enough to have a financial cushion, treat this as an opportunity to bond with or teach your kids something important. This could be as simple as reading a treasured novel together, teaching them something about your work, or have them help you with the daily chores. Show them your coping skills–especially the ones that actually work for you.

To be succinct: parents have a ton to teach their kids.

I really want parents to think of themselves as having something valuable to teach their children, and empower them to supplement (or even replace) the day-to-day educational curriculum with something only they can teach their children.

10) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Dr. Michael Kinsey: Writing is a tool to create connections, and thus moments of temporary relief from the pain of existential isolation.Cover JPEG


Dreams of Zugunruhe
is a charming picture book that captures the ups and downs of leaving home and growing up. It is told through the lens of “Little Tern” that goes on the harrowing journey of migration with his mother. Expressive illustrations enhance the beautiful conversation between the terns. Children will hear the empowerment and encouragement through Mother Tern, and be emboldened as they face the great adventure of life. The urge in birds to migrate is a great springboard to educate and comfort children. It’s a great addition to any home or classroom library.

Dreams of Zugunruhe is available through Amazon. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information, please visit Dr. Kinsey’s website at: https://mindsplain.com.

Reflections on Anne Frank, Hiding, and the Corona Virus Lockdown

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ID 125060942 © Kristina Kostova | Dreamstime.com

The last few weeks, I’ve been supporting parents that are suddenly homeschooling because of the school closures due to the Corona Virus Outbreak. It’s helped to give back in the way that is unique to my teaching and writing background. A full novel study for my first book took two weeks to write and post for all of you. I do hope it has helped bring some light during these bleak times. As I’ve said before, I think we all need some fairies and the Fey in our life right now.

But I’ve also been on a personal journey to help deal with the events that have been happening due to the corona virus outbreak. I live in California in the Silicon Valley. I grew up here. In fact, my book series touches on the orchards I used to play in while growing up here. But at first, it was a ground zero for the outbreak, with Santa Clara County the first to lock down in the US. It was soon followed by the whole state of California.

I’m at high risk since I’m over fifty and a woman with a heart condition. So, I took this all IMMEDIATELY seriously when enough was known on how deadly this virus was becoming. I gave a leave of absence letter to my boss, and did a huge shopping trip to help get through what I thought would be a 3 week lockdown. My last day out in the real world was March 11. On March 12, I started my own lockdown to stay safe. And then, I watched my county and later my whole state join me a few days later.

I do work a lot on line. I have Fiverr.com gigs that I help out other authors with blurbs and interview them for this blog. I self publish all my romance and children’s books, and am currently writing a “How To Self Publish” book.

But somehow, this shelter in place turned into something a lot different than my normal writing schedule. Everyone else was there with me. My friends were online all the time now. People were coming up with awesome, supportive things to cheer up each other. Putting up Christmas lights in the windows and displaying teddy bears for kids to do bear hunts were just some of the things I’ve participated in my neighborhood to connect during these strange times. But it also reminded me and started to feel like something else.

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Outside of the Secret Annex, the building the Frank family hid in during WWII. ID 100750106 © Fedecandoniphoto | Dreamstime.com

I first read Anne Frank when I was eleven. I couldn’t put it down, and I cried endlessly when I got to the end wondering why she had to die. This touched off a lifetime of questions about WWII and the Holocaust. I have since been to the Anne Frank Haus in Amsterdam, stood outside Auschwitz (which was unfortunately closed on the day I visited), and have read many books about the behind the story about the Secret Annex, the helpers, and people that knew Anne.

I turned now back to these books, finding that there were even more memoirs, more information in regards to the hiding saga that has touched so many people. I’ve dived into some recently new memoirs and biographies involving people with the hiding of the Frank family and the other hiders. I’ve never felt more closely in experience with Anne before. She wanted to be a writer. She hid for two years, and I had tried to imagine before what it must have been like for her. I have more of an idea now.

It is strange to say that reading about Anne Frank and the hiding saga that took place almost 80 years ago brings me comfort during a pandemic, but it does. I’ve always had the question of what it was like for Anne. I’ve stood in the Annex in Amsterdam, touched the sink where they washed dishes, and listened to the clock bong the hour. That made the story so real for me tears started to form. And again, I still seek the answer, what was it like for Anne? What did she go through while hiding? Well, I’m living it right now. We all are.

There are some parallels that make Anne’s story true for us today. No. I don’t have Nazis looking for me. But the fear that some invisible enemy is out there is part of my thoughts.  My routine is constantly to clean and try to keep myself safe from it. The anxiety is awful. She must have felt some kind of similar anxiety about being discovered.

I do have helpers bringing me food in the form of delivery services. But the fear is different because the invisible virus could be on what they bring me and I have to wash everything. Of course, this could be akin to the fear of discovery, the attention to keep yourself safe, and to do what was needed to stay safe. I do have to ration and try to get the food I need, always trying to hit the delivery window online, which sometimes can take days. And I have to plan to get the food in advance. It’s like a combination of being a helper and a hider.

This outbreak shows the continued cycle of the struggle for humans to survive and that we can adapt to it all. It has a similar truth that Anne’s story has. And we’re living it together. If we hang in there, we might still have that hope shared with Anne in her writings. She was always positive, and still thought the best about humanity.

I spend my days writing, adult coloring a calendar I got for Christmas to relieve stress, and taking care of my husband and cat in a small, one bedroom condo. I am more fortunate than many, I know. But my mind just can’t help but imagine the similarities between Anne’s, her family’s and the others with them hiding experience must have been like. It is similar to what a lot of people in the world might be experiencing now, together. Trying to stay sane within close quarters of living with others.

There is one thing that is also clear. Anne had no way to know how her ordeal would end. She hoped it would be after the war that she could write her dairy finally as a book. But that never came to pass since she passed away from typhus at a concentration camp after her family and fellow hiders were betrayed, arrested, and sent to the camps. But while she was hiding, she had the most incredible hope. Hope that she would get through everything and have her dreams. Hope that everything would be alright when the war was over. She is quoted in “The Diary of a Young Girl” as saying:

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.

And that’s why I’ve related with her all these years, and so much now. Her life was so similar to ours until it was changed by the war, her family was forced into hiding, and she spent two years waiting for a more positive outcome than what she received. I hope for all of us, we all have a more positive outcome. That we all stay safe, we survive this pandemic together, and live through to the other side to still see the beauty in the world.

Please, do not lose hope. And if it helps any, read “The Dairy of a Young Girl” that was Anne’s dream to publish, but was unable to in the end, and her father made her dream come true. Then, here are some great follow up books that give different perspectives of the hiding experience:

  1. Dairy of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

2) Anne Frank The Untold Story: The Hidden Truth about Elli Vossen, the Youngest Helper of the Secret Annex by Jeroen de Bruyn & Joop van Wijk

3) Holocaust Memoirs of a Bergen-Belsen Survivor (Classmate of Anne Frank)

By Jeannette Blitz Konig

For more information on Anne and the secret annex where she hid, visit the:

Anne Frank Foundation/Anne Frank House Website

So, I invite you to read not only Anne’s story, but that of all the people she touched. It shows how one life can be so special, and how even in the worst of times, kindness can prevail. Like now. Maybe that’s why I’m turning to these books right now. We need the wisdom. We need the guidance of those that have gone through tougher times like our present pandemic situation. And what better resource than the books that survive them all.

If you do choose to read them or would like to talk about them after, please leave messages in the comments. I’d love to hear how you are dealing with the Corona Virus Lockdown, and maybe people in the future will use our stories of struggle for their own inspiration.

-Until next time, stay safe, wash your hands, and appreciate the little things,

-Tiffany Turner

Parent Support for Homeschool: Free Ebook & Online Novel Study

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The Lost Secret of Fairies is FREE on Smashwords for a limited time!

So folks, some of you have been following along with a two week, free novel study. I thank you for that, and am warmed by the feedback I’ve been hearing. Because of this, I wanted to help you out even further.

I have managed to find a way to get the ebook for the novel study, FREE, for a limited time. From now until the end of the month, The Lost Secret of Fairies ebook is FREE. Yes, you heard that right. I’m giving it to you as a gift, along with the entire free online novel study, to help promote reading and learning during these hard times for the world. It is my gift to the world to hopefully help us all get through together. I’m sure fairies are something we all need right now.

Link to Smashwords Free Ebook

Offer extended until May 31, 2020.

I hope you enjoy the story, and for those of you just finding my blog, here is a link to the entire online novel study in order. It takes about 2 weeks to go through the whole novel study. Please leave any comments or feedback on how you are enjoying it. Plus, feel free to add any questions too. I love talking to people and finding out how they enjoyed my book.

summer1The Free Online Lost Secret of Fairies Novel Study

Day 1: Beginning of The Novel Study/Journal Entry Set Up

Day 2: Spooky Writing Online Unit

Day 3: Chapter 1-3 Study Questions

Day 4: Chapter 4-6 Study Questions/Blog Reading Activity

Day 5: Chapter 7-8 Study Questions/Definitions Activity Worksheet

Day 6: Chapter 9-10 Study Questions/Using Fairy Tales & Legends in Lit Paragraph Response Reading Activity

Day 7: Chapter 11-12 Study Questions/ PE Activity

Day 8: End of Book Study Questions/ Summary & Character Change Response Worksheets

Day 9: Theme/Author Message Response Worksheet/Video Lesson

Day 10: Final Essay Test & Grading Rubric with Completion Certificate

Bonus Posts:

Tips for Helping to Create Structure & Schedule For Distance Learning/Homeschooling 

Reflection on the Emotional Impact of the Corona Virus Lockdown: Poem and Journal Response Activity

Just remember, wash your hands, stay safe, and be kind to everyone, because the world needs that right now. Oh, and fairies. We need the World of Fairies too.

So, enjoy, read and write!

Until next time,

Tiffany Turner

***Tiffany Turner is the author of the children’s fantasy series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has had 18 years teaching experience in California as a public elementary teacher. She is currently tutoring in the private sector and continuing to write full time.