Speaking my Mind: The Best Posts of 2020

I am proud of my voice. I am soft-spoken when I need to be outspoken when the need arises.

As I review all of the blog posts that I have written over these last tumultuous 12 months, I can honestly say I am 100% proud of every post written on this site.

That being said, there were some blog posts that were “stand-outs,” and I would like to take the opportunity to revisit those posts one last time.

Speaking my Mind: The Best Posts of 2020

What Minnows Have in Common with a Global Pandemic

Things are always scary when we know nothing about the circumstances, and worse- when we have no experience, no frame of reference, and seemingly nowhere to go to get truly concrete answers – because all of the questions just simply cannot be answered right now.

All of us have had different reactions to what is going on right now. No matter what you believe, the only thing that can probably truly give us comfort is concrete answers, and we just have to wait for that.

 

The “ah-ha! moment” that inspired the diverse picture book, Love Is…

It seems that all/most authors have an “ah-ha!” moment that coincides with the inspiration for a book. As I look back at my diverse children’s book publishing journey at my very first book, Love Is…, that specific “ah-ha moment” still brings a smile to my face.

Amplifying Multicultural Author Voices: Multicultural Children’s Book Day

It started with a genuine question from a non-profit that shares a passion for diversity and reading just like Make A Way Media. Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) is an organization that I’ve had the pleasure of working with when I became their first-ever Super Platinum Sponsor.

100 Simple Ways to Be Kind

Now more than ever, the human race needs to really work on…and really be mindful of… what is needed to practice KINDNESS.

Kindness is not a new or novel word. But at a time when our planet seems to be in constant turmoil, I feel all of us need to go the extra mile in remembering the meaning and importance of this word while also being more mindful about what we can do to be KIND.

Supporting Black-Owned Bookstores

Post COVID-19 and the amplification on #BlackLivesMatter, I had read that independently-owned bookstores were flourishing after nearly being ignored into extinction.

I think that speaks to the heart, dedication, uniqueness, and passion of the owners who have fought to keep these much-needed parts of communities afloat. Despite all of the setbacks that 2020 has offered, these proud businesses continue to be fueled by new (and much-needed) awareness.

 

Listen, Talk, Have Faith: Keeping Kids Emotionally Centered During Challenging Times

Who knew 2020 would bring such challenges?!

I know of many people who (at the end of 2019) viewed “2020” as the year of “perfect vision

COVID19. To wear a mask…or to not wear a mask. Police brutality. Riots. Protests. Pain. Suffering. Great political divide. Food insecurities. Job insecurities.

Need I go on?

But I also think that 2020 will be the year that we look back on as the year of a Great Awakening.

Miracles.

Progress.

An eBook Kind of World: Summer Reading eBooks from Make A Way Media

I like paper. I love the smell and the feel and the look, but this is just not the world we live in anymore. We live in an ebook kind of world and I’m okay with it.

There are children now who hold a book in their hands and instead of turning the page, they try to scroll through to the next image. This is their world now and so, for them, I have begun to turn all of my books into ebooks.

Black Lives Matter

..make sure you talk to children about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Dear God, there are thousands more, but just start there. Ask your children to say their names out loud. Ask your children to not forget who they are. And then listen to your children. For a long time. You will be surprised at the kinds of things their little ears are absorbing. Read books to your children about people who look and live differently. Make sure your children listen when others ask for their help. Make sure you model this behavior in their sight.

Banishing Book Deserts in the Louisville Community

It’s been my mission and passion to create and share stories that will resonate with kids from all walks of life and socioeconomic statuses. This company has also strived to create beautiful and timely books that allow young readers to see themselves in stories of faith, love, bravery, adventure, inclusion, and hope. For too long, these diverse and multicultural books have been hard to find or non-existent. Though great strides in showcasing diverse role models within the pages of kids’ books have been made, there is a ton more work to be done.

When L.O.V.E is Spelled T.I.M.E | a book about Dads as Role Models

Maybe there are not a lot of men who would ever think to request a kid’s book as a present for Father’s Day, but I cannot think of a better present for one of life’s many unsung heroes.

Since becoming a children’s author I have met so many people who say they still love and read picture books. It really is something we never grow out of. Books facilitate quality time with kids and an excuse to slow down, step away from smartphones, and an opportunity to bond with others.

And dads need some downtime!

Books Change Lives | A Diverse Booklist for ages 0-18

…the winds of change have been shifting perspectives. Many are actively working to make the children and young adult book world more diverse and multicultural thanks to the dedicated work of initiatives like Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Real Dads Read, the #OwnVoices movement, We Need Diverse Books, It Pays to Read, and publishers like Lee & Low Books.

Simply put: reading changes lives…but our children need to read and see stories with characters of all colors, religions, ethnic origins, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. Having more diverse books written and published is only half the battle.

Looking forward to more words and sharing in 2021!

NOTE: If you’d like one of our It’s Cool to be Kind or Spread Kindness Not Germs, face-covering, visit the Make a Way Media Store!

 

 

GO HERE to preorder your copy of Kayla: A Modern Day Princess (Spring of 2021) OR, support our unique and innovative Kickstarter 5-Book Rapid Release Project!

Kayla Kickstarter

Written by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

This #OwnVoices project is a five-part series set for Rapid Release in the spring and summer of 2021. Following the picture series will be a middle-grade series and a script to continue to tell the story of this dynamic and necessary character.

Why Kickstarter? 

Because this project is innovative and unique!

This Kickstarter Project will be supporting author Deedee Cummings’ mission of Rapid Releasing a picture book series and sharing Black Girl Magic with the world! These five beautifully illustrated books will be released back-to-back so readers can watch Kayla grow up and, through her eyes, see the power of following your dreams.

Kickstarter is wonderful because it gives creators the chance to offer fun rewards, and it fosters a spirit of community giving. There are many amazing themes and topics within the Kayla series, including following your dreams, the bond between mothers and their daughter(s), the importance of representation, and pursuing a career in the performing arts. 

We have a lot of rewards to share with those who support this dream, and Kickstarter is the perfect way to make this vision come to life. 

What is Rapid Releasing? 

Rapid Releasing is the act of releasing 3+ books within a month of each other for maximum buzz, marketing, and visibility. Every time a new book is released, it will stay on Amazon’s Hot New Release list for 30 days. By releasing a Kayla book every 30 days, there will always be one of our beautiful series on the Hot New Release list. It’s an epic way to build buzz and build momentum for the next book in the series!

Rapid Releasing is an expensive and ambitious project, but it is one that the Make A Way Team is committed to implementing and successfully completing. Releasing Kayla: A Modern Day Princess books 2-5 in rapid succession allows readers, parents, caregivers, educators, and librarians to seamlessly share the story of a little Brown girl who grows, evolves, and inspires as the story continues.

Watch social media and this blog to participate, donate, and enjoy some of the wonderful rewards and incentives this project has in store for everyone! And follow these hashtags on Instagram: #moderndayk #moderndayprincess #makeawaymedia #kaylapecchioni #deedeecummings #diversebooks

GO HERE to preorder your copy of Kayla: A Modern Day Princess (Spring of 2021) OR, support our unique and innovative Kickstarter 5-Book Rapid Release Project!

Kayla Kickstarter

Written by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

This #OwnVoices project is a five-part series set for Rapid Release in the spring and summer of 2021. Following the picture series will be a middle-grade series and a script to continue to tell the story of this dynamic and necessary character.

Why Kickstarter? 

Because this project is innovative and unique!

This Kickstarter Project will be supporting author Deedee Cummings’ mission of Rapid Releasing a picture book series and sharing Black Girl Magic with the world! These five beautifully illustrated books will be released back-to-back so readers can watch Kayla grow up and, through her eyes, see the power of following your dreams.

Kickstarter is wonderful because it gives creators the chance to offer fun rewards, and it fosters a spirit of community giving. There are many amazing themes and topics within the Kayla series, including following your dreams, the bond between mothers and their daughter(s), the importance of representation, and pursuing a career in the performing arts. 

We have a lot of rewards to share with those who support this dream, and Kickstarter is the perfect way to make this vision come to life. 

What is Rapid Releasing? 

Rapid Releasing is the act of releasing 3+ books within a month of each other for maximum buzz, marketing, and visibility. Every time a new book is released, it will stay on Amazon’s Hot New Release list for 30 days. By releasing a Kayla book every 30 days, there will always be one of our beautiful series on the Hot New Release list. It’s an epic way to build buzz and build momentum for the next book in the series!

Rapid Releasing is an expensive and ambitious project, but it is one that the Make A Way Team is committed to implementing and successfully completing. Releasing Kayla: A Modern Day Princess books 2-5 in rapid succession allows readers, parents, caregivers, educators, and librarians to seamlessly share the story of a little Brown girl who grows, evolves, and inspires as the story continues.

Watch social media and this blog to participate, donate, and enjoy some of the wonderful rewards and incentives this project has in store for everyone! And follow these hashtags on Instagram: #moderndayk #moderndayprincess #makeawaymedia #kaylapecchioni #deedeecummings #diversebooks

 


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All ten of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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