Virtual Spring Break ideas for kids

Credit: es.phillipmartin.info

So… Spring is coming up, and just like last year, things are looking a little different. I know we are all itching to get out! Our family included! And this year, our family does have a plan to get out … a little!

But, largely — we will still be at home, so we will still be doing a bit of vicarious vacationing! I’ve compiled a list of wonderful resources to enjoy a virtual vacation!

Don’t forget laundry basket + water in a spray bottle + roller coaster videos

= Ultimate At Home Splash Mountain Experience!!

San Diego Zoo
Smithsonian’s National Zoo Webcams

Canadian Egg Farm
Canadian Apple Orchard
Undeniably Dairy- Visit a Dairy Farm

Yellowstone National Park – visit several locations in the park.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Yosemite National Park, California

Picture Book research at Barnes and Noble

This past sunday, I was able to get out and do something I haven’t done in quite awhile! I walked into a yummy book-scented Barnes and Noble complete with a cd section ala Blockbuster Music, and headed to read some popular picture books! Of course, whenever I pass anything that might of interest to my little one, I get distracted.

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I mean, come on, what 22 month old wouldn’t enjoy a soft barnyard full of chickens, ducks, cows, and pigs? Then again, maybe it delighted me just as much!

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I finally made my way to the picture book section, and pulled out these five fun stories — and devoured them! A new Enya song I’d never heard came on for my listening pleasure making the experience even more pleasurable!

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This little book, “Shh… we have a plan!” by Chris Haughton made me laugh out loud. The tiniest character on the left — That’s my daughter to a “t.”

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I left feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to write my own manuscripts. Being a children’s author certainly has its perks!

Writing and rain

 

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I opened up the front door earlier this evening to check for packages on my doorstep, and while I was not blessed with a bundle of goodies, I did get to take in a deep breath of damp, cool air with a slight musty smell that only comes with new rain. Though it is hours later now, I can still close my eyes and re-create the serenity that washed over me during that moment. I carried my daughter outside to show her the wonder of evening rain. She delighted in it so much, she ran inside telling her Dad “it’s raining.” Later, when putting her to bed for the evening, the tranquility continued. It wasn’t a raging in storm, just a light, constant pitter-pattering. It made me want to write! So after she was sound asleep, and for the first time in what felt like ages, I let words flow from my fingertips.

Hats, hats, and more hats…

Today I spent a relaxing Sunday in Del Mar, CA with my sister and her fiance. We had brunch at The beautiful Brigantine situated adjacent to the Del Mar Race Tracks. They are preparing for the first horse race of the season. I spent much of my youth in San Diego and not once have I headed out to the races. That is going on my bucket list for sure!

After brunch, we made our way to the Cedros District. And we could not help but try on all the gorgeous hats! We can’t show up to the races without fabulous hats after all.

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IMG_1988Several wonderful picture books featuring hats have been published in recent years, such as This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen and If You Have a Hat by Gerald Hawksley. Even so, after today I may just be inspired to pen one of my own!

Library Days: Mission Viejo Library

The return of summer means the return of library days for me. I always find them to be bustling with excitement.

On my way inside I observed this beautiful mosaic butterfly. The tiles reminded me of tiny replicas of the delicious books that awaited me inside.

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Of course, I always make a beeline for the children’s section, specifically the picture book wall. I like to start by looking at the return cart. This way I can see what books fancy young readers. Today I picked five books from this cart to study.

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Ah … I just love devouring new picture books. It helps me improve my craft and reminds me why I write in the first place. I hope to play a small part in passing my love of reading down to the next generation. I still get that ‘Christmas morning’ feeling every time I crack open a new picture book. And the likely reason is that I was exposed to them at a young age. They are that powerful. And I’m so happy to be writing them now!

How will you say 2012?

Happy New Years! It’s 2012!
Like the old saying goes, “You say tomayto, I say tomahto.” Some will call it Two-Thousand-Twelve, some will call it Twenty-Twelve.
Personally, from the years 2000-2011, I referred to the years by their long names.  Two Thousand, Two Thousand-one, etc.  But, a very wise friend, who also happens to be my brother-in-law, pointed out to me that historically this is not how we have referred to the years.  1900 is not referred to as One Thousand-Nine Hundred, but rather Nineteen-Hundred.  It makes sense to me!
So, in 2012, I’m gonna try changing it up, and see if it sticks.  I will refer to the year as Twenty-Twelve, instead of Two-thousand-twelve.
How will you refer to the new year?

PiBoIdMo: I’m a Winner!

From Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo site:
I do solemnly swear that I have faithfully executed the PiBoIdMo 30-ideas-in-30-days challenge, and will, to the best of my ability, parlay my ideas into picture book manuscripts.


Signed: Christine Marie Alemshah


Phew!! I can’t believe I made it through! In 30 Days I have managed to come up with 32 picture book ideas. It was much harder than I thought it would be.  The first two weeks were smooth sailing.  Then, thanksgiving week came and it was like my ideas were separated from my brain by a brick wall.  (It probably didn’t help my mushy brain spending the week in Kauai.  My whole body felt like jello!)  Luckily some days I had multiple ideas, which helped make up for my idea-free days.  I also came up with some fun Hawaii inspired ideas.


I am in love with exactly 1 of my 32 ideas.  I am hoping that will change at some point, but for now I’m going to focus on that story.  Wish me luck!