Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blogs. . . what are they good for?

Isn't it funny that only a few years ago we had never heard of a Blog, at least I know I hadn't. But now, there is a blog for everything. You can read environmental blogs, cooking blogs, lifestyle blogs, writing blogs, and you can even read your favorite musician's blog. In a way, it makes us feel like we know people that we in reality don't know at all.

Writers, musicians, and artists can use blogs to reach people and sell their books, music and art. What greater way to reach your fan base and to connect with them. Even some retail stores and corporates are blogging now.

I like blogs that share information with me. I subscribe to many blogs that share freelance writing opportunities and writing markets. I also subscribe to my favorite musician's blogs in hopes I am the lucky winner of some cool merchandise that they give away to their blog subscribers.

Some blogs teach us something. Either an actual process, or an personal emotional lesson. I receive a Bible scripture everyday from K-LOVE. It isn't actually a blog, but an email, but you get my point.

Some people make a living from blogging. With google ads, amazon ads, and with getting traffic to their blogs. One time I saw a huge blog community and couldn't figure out how so many people blogged and commented on this one site. Then I found out that many huge blog sites are that way because the bloggers are paid to blog. I think I read in the news that soon all blog sites that pay their authors to blog will have to post that they are a paid blogging site.

Some of my friends use a personal blog to stay in touch with friends and relatives. They post pictures, videos, and details of trips and events. This seems like a slower paced way of social networking to me in comparison to a facebook or myspace. I think it is a great alternative to those bigger social networking sites. This way, people come to your blog to read about you and aren't distracted by everyone's status or posts, as in facebook.

Some people believe in a cause and want to educate others on the cause. Blogs are a great tool for that as well. And they can be fun to create and update.

As a writer, artist, musician, I think I can speak for all in saying a blog is a way to get noticed and to hopefully land that huge opportunity someday! We can all dream, right? You never know who is reading your blog and what connections that person may have.

Have you updated your blog today? Why not do it now!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've got mail!

When you get a book contract you feel so much excitement. As you are working on that book, the excitement turns in to "work". Once that deadline is meet, it turns into relief. Today, I felt that excitement again when my book arrived on my doorstep. I was so excited to finally see my project, my baby, my ideas all in print. I have had books published for work for hire projects, but this is my first book that was all my idea.

It is my Abraham Lincoln book that is pictured on my blog.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Potty Training Story Contest!

Do you have a good potty training story? How was your and your child's experience with potty training? Tell me your story and you could WIN an autographed copy of my latest book.

I am writing an ebook for an up and coming website. It is an ebook on potty training. I am doing research and collecting stories that may be used in my book and/or on the website. If you would like to share your story or tips, please send me an email or leave it as a comment here. If you want your your first name listed and what state you live in, I can include it if your story/tip if used. Just let me know if you want that recognition.

I can't wait to read your stories and tips!! Tell your friends and family to submit a story because I will be drawing a random winner from all the submitted stories/tips and they will receive an autographed copy of my latest book, "Abraham Lincoln and His Era: Using the American Memory Project to Teach with Primary Sources" that is to be released December 31, 2009, published by Teacher Idea Pres. The book will be shipped to you as soon as I get my order, after December 31.

Please repost this on your blog, Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter page. The more stories, the better!!!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello December!

It's so hard to believe that this is December 1! The Thanksgiving Holiday went really fast and now we are into the Christmas Season. I had a good time spending Thanksgiving time with my family. I finished up a freelance writing project for Carson Dellosa right before Thanksgiving. It was such a fun project but I was glad to have it finished before Thanksgiving. I some exciting news, I am going to be working with someone on a Potty-Training website for parents. I am working on an e-book that will be available on the site soon. I am very excited about this new opportunity and I can't wait to share more news with you all when it's time. Until then, wish me luck on this new opportunity and I will fill you in later.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm writing a book for Carson Dellosa!

I am so excited today! I did a freelance content review for Carson Dellosa last November. I had sent them a proposal that was ultimately rejected but was offered to do a freelance content review for a possible manuscript that they were considering on publishing. I liked doing the review and hoped to hear from them in the future for other freelance projects. Unfortunately, I hadn't heard from the since, until today! This morning, I received an email from Carson Dellosa asking me if I was interested in writing a book for them! You can imagine my surprise! I wanted to write back and say, "YES! YES! YES!" But I took a deep breath and sent a more controlled reply. I can't go into much detail about my book right now. It is for the k-1 age group, which is in my favorite "early childhood" group. I have a tight deadline but I know I can do it. I am a full time preschool teacher in a public school so that means all of my extra time at home I will have a laptop stuck to my lap. But, that's ok. I am very excited about this project. Being an Early Childhood Teacher, I have always loved the books and learning materials that Carson Dellosa offers to teachers/parents. It was always a goal of mine to get published by them. This is definitely a good day. When I can post more about the title of the book and when it will be available, I will. Until then. . . .it's time to get busy writing!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lenox Drinks of the Season Blogging Contest

I am entering a blogging contest with Lenox and Twittermoms. I am blogging about my favorite drink of the Christmas season.
My favorite drink is: Poinsettia Mimosas I found this recipie a few years ago and thought it was great. Here's how you make it:

Poinsettia Mimosas

* 3 or 4 tangerines (optional)
* Maraschino cherries (optional)
* 3 cups cranberry juice, chilled
* 1/4 cup Triple Sec, other orange liqueur, or orange juice
* 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice or grenadine syrup
* 1 750-milliliter bottle champagne or sparkling apple juice, or one 32-ounce bottle carbonated water or lemon-lime carbonated beverage, chilled


1. If using tangerines, use a vegetable peeler or a thin sharp knife to thinly peel the tangerines (refrigerate fruit for another use). Trim peel to form about 6-inch-long spirals. Place a tangerine spiral in each chilled champagne glass, or set spirals aside to add to the rims. If desired, place 1 or 2 maraschino cherries in each glass.

2. In a glass pitcher, combine cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and maraschino cherry juice.

3. For each serving, pour about 1/4 cup cranberry juice mixture into each champagne glass. Add about 1/4 cup champagne, filling glass nearly to the top. Gently stir with an up-and-down motion to mix the drink without destroying the carbonation of the champagne. Makes 12 to 14 (4-ounce) servings.Click here for details

I won!

I just found out that I won a Sketchbook by a wonderful artist Cynthia Narcisi! I follow Cyn's blog and she had a Blog give away. To enter I told her what made me giggle. All you have to do to see what makes me giggle is to scroll down on my Blog until you see the picture of my miniature pinscher, Zoey. She always makes me giggle! In particular, when she sleeps or when she's tired because she sticks her tongue out! Sometimes it sticks out far! I love it! She's so cute and such a one of a kind little dog.
Cyn's sketchbook is called, "This SketchBook Will Make You Giggle". She describes it as: "16 pages of artsy fartsy goodness featuring silly things I've drawn all year." I am very excited and can't wait to get it. Thanks so much Cyn!!
For those of you who aren't following Cyn here is her Blog, be sure to check it out! Cyn's Blog Click Here!

Monday, October 19, 2009

submission tracking

How do you track or keep records of your submissions? In the past, I have just used a word doc to create a table and I kept track of publishers/manuscript/dates/replies. Tonight I did a search online for submission tracking. I found a neat site where you can keep track of your submissions. It creates graphics and organizes your submission information so you can see where you have been sending your manuscripts and where you may want to focus on sending some. I have only messed with it a little tonight. But from what I saw, it seems pretty cool and it is a free site (from what I saw). I registered and recorded my first submission. I am excited to play with it a little more. I guess I will have to send out more submissions so I can add more to it! Let me know if you are familiar with this site and your thoughts on it. Happy writing!
~B The Writers Database(click here)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

featured author at round table discussion

Today, I had the pleasure to attend a meeting of Delta Kappa Gamma, which is a professional organization for women teachers. I was invited to be a featured author for their meeting. There were three local authors present. I have to say that I really enjoyed being there and getting the chance to share my writing experiences with the group. The organization's membership consists of both active and retired teachers from a 6 county area. There are about 25 active members.
We had a nice brunch and talked about what inspired our book topic, the first step in publishing our book, and finished with giving any advice to members of the group that may be interested in submitting work.
My first published credit was a personal experience piece in Relate Magazine about seat belt use. I was involved in a serious car accident when I was 18 and I wrote a piece to help educate teen girls the importance of seat belt use. After this round table discussion, I was approached by a member (an active teacher). She was very interested in my personal experience story and asked if I had ever considered talking to teens in schools about it. After we talked she asked if I cared if she spoke to her administration about having me come and speak to their students. How cool is that? We exchanged emails and phone numbers and will be in touch soon.
I've never done anything like that before but I know I could do it. I had often thought about doing something like that in order to help others to not make the same mistake as I did, by not wearing my seat belt. After thinking about this, I have decided to rewrite my personal experience article on seat belts/car accident and turn it into a brand new article. Then try to get it published in a different magazine.
If you ever get the chance to talk at an author event or a round table discussion I encourage you to do it. No matter how small the group is or no matter how many books your have had published or no matter how few. People are interested in your work and want to hear about how you achieved what you have. And it can open new doors.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

....trendy, holiday, or traditional stamps....

I am getting ready to send out some submissions and interested author information for educational pubs and I noticed the only postage stamps I have at the moment are "The Simpsons". I have to wonder. Should use those stamps or not on my submissions? In the past, I have wondered that same question. At Christmas time, do you put Christmas related stamps on your submissions? And what would a publisher think about a stamp in February that reads, "I love You"?

I have always caved in and went out and bought traditional USA postage stamps that usually merely contain a US Flag to stick on my submissions but do we really have to do that? Does it really matter? Who knows if the pubs even notice the postage stamps on all the submissions they receive? And maybe, just maybe, a submission with a trendy, or unusual stamp would grab their attention and maybe they would look at your submission as from someone that is unique and willing to be themselves.

What's your opinion?

Monday, October 12, 2009

My little Zoey

My Miniature Pinscher, Zoey is very lovable but I am sure she has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Here are some "people" symptoms that she has of the disorder:

* Often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated. (fidgeting with paws)
* Having difficulty remaining seated. (lays down but jumps up anytime someone else gets up or walks out of the room)
* Having difficulty awaiting turn in games or group activities( difficulty waiting her turn for treats and food)
* Having difficulty in following instructions. (doesn't listen when asked to stop barking, or to quickly go potty, or . . . )
* Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. (loves to play, but gets distracted and leaves before we've played very long)
* Often shifting from one uncompleted task to another. (she leaves her toys everywhere and never picks them up!)
* Often talking excessively. (barking)
* Often interrupting or intruding on others. (our other dogs)
* Often not listening to what is being said. (doesn't always like to listen to what we have asked her to do. She will look away when we are having a discussion with her)
* Often forgetting things necessary for tasks or activities. (takes her toys outside and forgets to bring them back in)
* Often engaging in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences. (running too far in the yard, running to the woods, darting outside)
* Being easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. (going outside to potty and getting distracted by everything before she gets her "job" done. It can take 15 mins for her to potty)

Of course this is all in fun and I don't even know if dogs can suffer from ADHD or not and I'm not making light of the disorder. But regardless, little miss Zoey is a piece of work and is one of a kind. But we wouldn't have her any other way! I love you Zoey!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I wanted to share one of my favorite videos to use with young children. I have used it in my preschool class and the children love it. I think this video is also a reminder how I have to think the next time I am writing a picture book or early reader. KEEP IT SIMPLE! This video is nothing special but yet, it is creative and keeps our attention. Sometimes as writers, it is easy to loose your audience if you make it too complicated. My goal for the week: start working on a simple, yet creative picture book or early reader.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vote for Me!! (everyday until Oct. 30)

I applied for the Nature Made SAM-e Complete Good Mood Gig! I need your votes to help me land an awesome job blogging about my good mood. Please bookmark my SAM-e profile site and vote for me everyday. You can vote again each day until Oct. 30. Please tell all your friends. This writing gig would be AWESOME to get!!!


click here to vote

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I have to let you all know about a site that I love! It's called Flashlight Worthy Books. They give book recommendations on every topic you can think of. One article I really liked was the "10 Great Books on Writing" I thought it was very helpful. They gave me a list of books that help writers in the writing process. I also like how Flashlight Worthy doesn't list the "best selling" books, but rather they list the "best" books for the topic. They do the work for you. I recommend this site to anyone that needs to find books on a topic but doesn't have time to search the internet for all the books. They are all right here in a list for you! I also follow them on Twitter. You can follow them too:

Check them out!!!
Flashlight Worthy Books

Monday, October 5, 2009

My new book!

My first book with Teacher Ideas Press is coming out December 2009! It is called, Abraham Lincoln and His Era: Using the American Memory Project to Teach with Primary Sources. It is the perfect springboard for incorporating primary source materials into the classroom. The book is organized around a series of primary sources from the Library of Congress website, specifically the American Memory Collection and Abraham Lincoln's era.

You can find it at:
or do a search on for either me or the title of the book.

Previously I have done a WFH book but this is the first book that I have envisioned, created and sent to a publisher, on my own. I can't wait to see it in print!!

Magazine Markets for Children's Writers 2010

I just got my new copy of "Magazine Markets for Children's Writers 2010" today. I haven't had the chance to look at it in depth, but I can't wait to check it out. When I started writing I hit the magazine market first. I found success and then checked out educational book publishers (WFH) and focused on finding a publisher for my teacher resource book on primary sources. Now, I have had the awesome opportunity to work on some freelance WFH projects with some great educational publishers and I was successful in finding a publisher for my primary sources resource book. (which by the way comes out in December!!! So, I think I will send some submissions to some children's magazines this fall/winter. I just sent my author information off to Capstone Press, I am hopeful about that. I hope to hear from them in the future. I guess I will just keep my fingers crossed! In the meantime, here I come magazine market!!


Kids Euro Festival - my link

Here is my link on the Kids Euro Festival website.

You can also do a search on the Kids Euro Festival website. In the search box, type in my name: Bobbi Ireland. Then my author bio, picture, and story will come up.

So excited about this!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kids Euro Festival!!

I just got word that one of my stories, "Breck and the Dust Bunnies" is going to be at the Kids Euro Festival in Washington, D.C. The festival runs from October 15- November 10. It is a month long arts festival starring the most talented European children's entertainers in more than 100 FREE performances all around the city. Mimes, storytellers, a virtual orchestra, bubble-blowers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts scheduled to appear during almost four weeks of wonderful artistic adventures. Designed for children ages 6-12, the festival will be one of the largest — if not the largest — and most diverse in the country, offered through the cooperation of 27 EU embassies and more than a dozen major cultural institutions.

The festival's website is: My featured story, author bio, and picture will be on their webpage shortly. I also got an email that said my name and the title of my story will also appear in a pamphlet in the Washington Post on October 9th. My story is called, "Breck and the Dust Bunnies". It is a retelling of the Irish folktale, "Paddy Corcoran's Wife" by: William Caleton.

I am very excited that my story will be read aloud and will represent Ireland at the festival. Keep checking the festival's website for my story, picture and bio!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


2009 Graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature
Recommended for the advanced course

2005 Added Teaching Endorsements/Teaching Certificates in Elementary Education and Special Education

Eastern Illinois University
1997 Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Area of Concentration – Fine Arts
Teaching Certificate
Eastern Illinois University

Additional Qualifications
12 years Early Childhood teaching experience
Created learning materials for own classroom use
Utilized Illinois Early Learning Standards daily

Published Credits

“Put Your Right Foot Forward and Learn Your Rights” Fandangle Online Magazine (December 2007) nonfiction on Bill of Rights.
“You Think A Zit Is Bad” Relate Magazine (spring 2008) nonfiction, true story on seatbelt safety.
“Luck of the Irish” Stories For Children Online Magazine (March 2008) nonfiction on St. Patrick’s Day.
“Time To Go Shopping” The Mailbox Magazine for Teachers (date not announced) teaching idea accepted for Early Childhood Education.
“Dads, Teach Your Kids (2 –6 yr olds) About Being Green” WonderDads Publishing (May 2008).
Freelance Writer Gale Publishing (May 2008)
“Bug House” how-to craft activity Pack-O-Fun Magazine (June/July 2008)
“Growing a Spare” Stories For Children Online Magazine (June 2008) nonfiction article on animals that regenerate body parts.
“Math Puzzle” Stories For Children (Aug. 2008)
“Dads, Teach Your Kids (7 – 10 yr olds) About Being Green” Wonderdads Publishing (Sept. 2008)
Created a field-tested lesson plan for the Library of Congress that utilizes Primary Sources, for their website. (Dec. 2008)
Freelance Content Reviewer Carson Dellosa Publishing (Dec. 2008)
Freelance writer/developer for Early Childhood project Good Neighbor Press Early Childhood learning materials for ChildCraft. (April 2009)
“Luck of the Irish” chosen for Stories For Children’s Anthology Volume 2 (June 2009)
“Growing a Spare” special state assessment test publishing credit Pearson Education (June 2009)
“You Want Veggies? Grow Some Bean Sprouts” Stories For Children (June 2009)
“Teaching with Primary Sources and the American Memory Project: Abraham Lincoln Era” Teacher Ideas Press (December 2009 release)
"Breck and the Dust Bunnies" A retelling of the Irish Folk Tale Paddy Corcoran's wife by William Carleton 1888 was a featured story that was read aloud at the 2009 Kids Euro Festival in Washington, D.C.