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Monday, May 26, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY... Remember the Fallen

I wrote this last year, but wanted to share it again. While thankful for all our Veterans and those who serve, remember, today is about the fallen.

From 2013...

My family, like many, will grill steaks and hot dogs on Memorial Day. If the weather is nice, we may go to the pool. If it’s raining, we’ll probably play an epic battle of Trivial Pursuit. No matter what we do or eat, there will be one man in our hearts and minds all day. Uncle Brian—as my children call him. He was my brother-in-law. My husband’s brother. And Nana and Poppy’s (or McParents—as I call them) beloved son.  MSgt Brian P. McAnulty is what is on his grave.

I heard some “fun facts” about Memorial Day on the radio today (as I drove around buying groceries for our cook out).  I just wanted to share them so as everyone enjoys their day, we all take a moment to remember the reason behind the holiday.

Decoration Day
Memorial Day began as Decoration Day—a time when women’s groups in the south decorated graves of the fallen from the Civil War. Exact origins are unknown and highly debated.

May 5, 1868
General John Logan declared Decoration Day as May 30. Flowers were to be placed on the grave of Union and Confederate soldiers in Arlington.

May 30
This is the tradition/original day of observance for Memorial Day. In 1971, the government changed the date to create a 3-day week end.

Waterloo, NY
In May 1966, Lyndon Johnson declared this the birth place of Memorial Day. Waterloo celebrated its first Memorial Day on May 5, 1866.

Last Monday in May
It’s the unofficial beginning of summer. And since 1911, it's the week end (not the day) of the Indy 500.

It became an official Federal Holiday in 1971. (No mail. No banks.) Also the year it changed from the 30th to the last Monday. (As previously mentioned.)

It wasn’t until after WWI that Memorial Day included all soldiers killed in conflict. Until this time it was to remember soldiers from the Civil War.

The Flag
The US Flag should be at half-staff from sun-up until noon.

In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was passed. It asks all Americans to take a moment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.”

I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day. I will. I hope everyone had family and friends to share it with. I will. And I hope everyone take a moment at 3PM to remember the fallen. I will.

We miss you, Uncle Brian. And we think about you every day. We send our love. 

MSgt Brian McAnulty 
Memorial in Iraq

Friday, May 23, 2014

All About Picture Books

Thanks to those who came out last night to hear me talk about picture books. here's most of the reference I spoke about. Feel free to e-mail be questions at kidlitcoach (at) gmail (dot) com or stacy (at) stacymcanulty (dot) com.
Thanks again!

• $$ Society of Children Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) : Paid membership. Great information and conferences. A must for serious kid lit writers.
• Accelerated Reader (AR) Book Finder : Useful for looking up word count in select books.
• Author Tara Lazar : This is specifically about layout but play around because she has other great info and she runs NaPiBoIdMo in November.
• $$ Julie Hedlund 12x12 : A year-long challenge to write 1 PB per month. Offers access to agents and has an active FB page
• $$ The Children’s Book Academy : Offers classes for writers and illustrators.
• $$ Gotham Writers : Offers classes in all things related to writing. Has some great teachers.
• $$ The Highlights Foundation : Excellent retreats! Highly recommended.
• $$ Lulu : A company for those looking to self-publish (print on demand).
• $$ Brenda Novak Auction : Offers access to editors, authors, and agents through the auction. Only in May. Can be pricey.
• Twitter : Use hashtags to find information such as #iamwriting #pitchmadness and follow agents, editors, and authors. @brendadrake does a lot for writers.
• Agent Query : Information on this site is supplied by the agents. May or may not be up-to-date.
• Query Tracker : Fairly up-to-date info on agents and publishers. Fellow authors post lots of helpful information.
• $$ Writers Market : A paid website and may also be available in book form. 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
• $$ Big Sur Writing Workshop : Spend the weekend with a group of agents from the Andrea Brown Agency. Great access to great agents, but very competitive and expensive.
• $$ Xuni Website Design : Designs great websites for authors.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thank You Notes From Mom

Happy Mother's Day (a little late)
Check out this video I helped write. It will make moms smile.