Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author ‘Post’ Mark


Leave a comment on today’s blog post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of the book.)

For those of you who intently follow Martha Reynolds Writes, you’ve probably read my posts in the past and know that working as one of Santa’s elves is rewarding, but not always easy.  This year is no exception, but not because I spent months slaving over another storybook, or have a bunch of kids’ tales to tell.
Now I finally have activity books to go with each of my storybooks, ‘Post’ Mark—Santa’s Misfit Postman, and ‘Post’ Mark—The North Pole Postman Visits Rhode Island.  While very exciting, it was much more of a feat than I had ever imagined.  “How hard can it really be to have my illustrator draw a bunch of pictures for a couple of coloring books,” I thought.
That was until I had to come up with 32 different creative ideas for the activities, and give the illustrator instructions on what I was trying to achieve with each one.  It was a part of my brain I hadn’t used before, or certainly not for a while.  As a writer, I’m used to conveying messages with words, and this had to be done strictly with black and white drawings.
I also wanted to tie the activities in with the common core, so teachers could use these books in their classroom.  Not only should the activities be fun, but they need to have an educational purpose.
I am very lucky to have an illustrator, and a graphic designer who were both patient, and helpful throughout the editing process.  With their tremendous help, we were able to produce coloring and activity books that hit the mark.  Now, we should be all set when book number three is written, and hopefully can produce the activity book simultaneously with the storybook.
My book giveaway for 2018 will be a copy of both activity books.  Please visit my website, www.northpolepostman.com if you are interested in purchasing ‘Post’ Mark—The North Pole Postman Visits Rhode Island, or ‘Post’ Mark—Santa’s Misfit Postman.
PostMark
Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the Rhode Island Author Expo!

Nov 22 – Meet RI Buffi Wixted


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Does the thought of having to answer your child’s questions about Santa make you realize how fast they are growing up?

A few years ago my son Dixon caught my husband off guard during a walk in the park with the statement, “ Dad, Santa can’t deliver all those presents by himself. It’s just not possible.” My husband told him Santa has lots of helpers and quickly changed the subject to basketball. I think having to answer your child’s questions about Santa causes fear and anxiety for most parents. After hearing about the trip to the park, I decided to write Dixon a letter putting my explanation of Santa’s magic on paper because I feared disappointing him and I didn’t want to stumble over the importance of what I wanted to tell to him. Yes, it had been wonderful experiencing Santa’s magic by receiving all those gifts over the years, but Santa’s magic is much more than mysterious presents that appear under the tree. Santa’s magic is really about celebrating the kindness and generosity of the human spirit. Telling Dixon the truth about Santa was more than revealing a secret; it was a big step moving him away from the innocence of childhood and closer to adolescence.

While writing my letter, it occurred to me that learning the truth about Santa should not be a disappointment, rather it’s an honor for a child to learn the history Santa and why we work so hard to keep his magic alive for each new generation to enjoy. When a child is ready to understand and appreciate the joy of giving, allowing them to participate in the process of keeping Santa’s magic alive, it signifies that he or she is maturing into a kind, generous, and loving individual. At this point my letter changed from explaining the end of one of the most beloved childhood mysteries to becoming a well-deserved invitation for Dixon to become one of Santa’s real elves and join us as members of the secret society who keeps Santa’s magic alive.

After putting up our Christmas tree, my husband and gave Dixon the letter I had written. It explained a little of Santa’s history and gently revealed that we had been the elves sharing Santa’s magic with him in honor of the generosity St. Nicholas had shown centuries ago. To mark this milestone we presented Dixon with a special elf ornament engraved with his name and the date. As he added his new elf ornament to the other milestone ornaments on the family Christmas tree, he became Santa’s newest elf and now shared the important responsibility of keeping Santa’s magic alive for future generations to enjoy. A few tears were shed, but the importance of helping keep the centuries old tradition of anonymous gift giving alive soon outweighed the tears and became a new challenge.

Over the next few years, as the letter was shared with family and friends, it slowly evolved into Elf Pledge Book and became part of the “The Fellowship of Elves Membership Kit” under the pen name Edwin Lionel Flynn (E.L.F.). The educational and interactive membership kit now contains all the items necessary to share the secret of Santa’s magic and make your child an official Elf Fellow – one of Santa’s real helpers.

To learn more about the Fellowship of Elves, please visit our website, our Twitter page, and our Facebook page

Buffi Wixted is a wife, parent, and teacher with 22+ years of classroom experience. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.

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