author moments, perspective

The Story Within a Story

Every story has a hidden story within. The why or the why not of the subject. Maybe the storyteller shared the hints, maybe they didn’t.

For example, I may write a blog post or story that shares a fun adventure but within the story is another story of personal triumph for a person on the journey with me. Maybe it’s even highlight a memory that is meaningful to me yet just a unique story to another. That is the beauty of storytelling.

In our last book we invited children to be authors with us. We did this intentionally. We wanted to provoke learning without telling them they were learning. We wanted to promote creativity. We wanted to share our love for writing. You wouldn’t know that from the book cover, but we left hints all around the book. It’s one of the coolest author notes we share with kids when we read and engage at book signings. Talk about a wow factor. It’s the story within the story.

Often times online we invite our readers to join us on the adventures we write about. We invite, provoke, engage others to do more with what they have. Be a better version of themselves. That’s a story of inspiration from within the bigger story.

Maybe my co-author is writing about something she wants to share and it includes her vantage point. Could there possibly be another vantage point within? Maybe you have to find the hidden door to find the message. Maybe that is her hook within her story. Of course there can be a story within a story, maybe even more than one story.

For each post we write we have many who like, some who don’t like and others who just breeze through the content. Whatever the reason or the season for the read, whatever the outcome is, we enjoy sharing our stories as authors. It’s what we choose to do.

We write our way. We leave clues in one post that may link to another or maybe not at all. We may write about the same topic yet it seems so different based on the voice we use or the vantage point. We may provide a visual or maybe we don’t. No real rhyme nor reason to our madness rather we just create what feels natural much like any other artist.

Our blog is a glimpse or a snapshot of us, not a biography or novel. For a tell-all you will most likely need to purchase our upcoming publications. Our blog space is a tool. A tool to motivate and share who we are with others. Today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Our interests will change over time as will our appearance and influences. This is another reason to check in with our site often. We change like the wind. We bend and flex with life. We share the ebbs and flows of life, even the tough stuff.

Since we are talking about a story within a story, I will share the inner secret of this post: bravery.

We are brave enough to share to the level we do. We are exposed. We have readers from Serbia to Japan and beyond. We are forever thankful for all of our readers (see our reader map below). We have friends and family who read our posts. We may even have business and professional colleagues who see us in a different light on this site.

To visualize the magnitude of our bravery: We could be on a plane and somebody notice us but we not notice them. This is a level of fearlessness that many will never encounter. For that, we share our story of boldness, bravery and unwavering sense of self with the wild and tangled web called the internet. The super highway of today.

We invite readers into our world. We are depositing a piece of us for our future grandchildren to read and learn about. There may be secret clues or passages within but you don’t get the full Monty online. We save the juicy stuff for the books and unfortunately we charge for those.

Until next time.

author moments, celebrations

102, a big THANKS to you!

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Chick 2 chiming in with my own “thank you!” to celebrate our 100-plus-posts milestone.

Gratitude is one of my favorite things, but simply saying thank you doesn’t capture what I want to share.

What has blogging here meant to me?

When I started this journey, I had no idea if people would take the time to read what I had to say.  (I’m not even sure I knew I had much to say in the first place!) Little by little, I see opportunities to write and discover and share all around me. And then, what an amazing experience when one of you…

-shares a quote or snippet from one of our posts,

-tells us that you read our blog and it made you think or giggle,

-asks us a question about what we wrote,

-takes a moment to comment on or like a post,

-gives your time to share in our story,

-or shares how you journaled your story privately…this might be one of my most celebrated accomplishments! See one of our recent favorite journals pictured above…(you can grab your own at the Mincing Mockingbird!)

102 posts later, we are still just getting started.  It’s already been a wild ride of fitness, nutrition, adventures, family trials and tribulations, parenting ins / outs, triumphs, challenges, friendship, business minutiae and all the day-to-day ups and downs that make the 2 Chicks tick.  Who knows what the next hundred posts will bring?

Deepest thanks to everyone reading this for your time and encouragement.  Sharing stories, daydreams, adventures and insights with you motivates me to keep going!

author moments, celebrations

101 Ways to Say…

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There are 101 ways to say thank you! And this is my global thank you to all the readers worldwide who invest time reading the 2 chicks blog on the daily, on the weekly or even monthly.

Your time is valued. You inspire me to keep writing and sharing. With every new country who hits our blog, we celebrate. We wonder about the people reading our content. We get inspired.

My words are mine yet they impact others near and far. How incredibly lucky am I to have this platform?

Pretty lucky, I am. Cheers to another 100 blog posts and thousands of new readers. As I sign off on this post, I attach a picture of me. A symbol of my strength, my beauty, and my confidence. All of which I have the power to control each day. I also have the power to share those same things with others.

We all have good days and bad days but we can also all make a choice of how we carry ourselves each day. I choose to be strong. I choose to embrace my beauty my way…all the way to what my shirt says. Anyone can have pretty eyes, tattoos and thick thighs, but one has to be strong, to be honest and proud to show it to the world. I am doing that for you now. You can do the same your way. Be strong. Have courage. Show your inner beauty to others.

Hugs and kisses to all! Embrace your inner badass today. You can do it.

More posts to come from Chick 1 in a hop, skip and a jump.

author moments

Well, Poop.

Behind these 2 Chicks is a funny poop story.

Well, sort of.  Poop has been one of those running topics (ahem) that never fails to start a spirited discussion between the Chicks.  For example, Chick 2 will think the nasty poop discussion has ended, and the next day Chick 1 starts a new story with poop as a main event or character. Poop stories always find a new beginning.

When we were writing our first book, The End, Chick 1 wanted to put a poop page in the book.  And not just any regular poop, no! It had to be a BIG old dinosaur poop!  Chick 2, a self-proclaimed “Fahn Suh-thun Lay-dee” would NEV-AH pah-take in a discussion of somethin’ soooo….well, so vahl.  (Translation: she wasn’t a fan of talking about poop, much less putting it in a book! Southern ladies do not discuss such things.) *Fans self.*

If you’ve read our book, you know (and spoiler alert if you haven’t), Chick 1 won this debate. Dinosaur poop made the cut for The End. The illustration is awesome (as you can see above!)  Kids LOVE it.  LOVE IT!  And at our author events, Chick 1 always has to read that part! (Chick 2 still gets a little embarrassed and flushed – ha! – when that page appears.) Coincidentally, that is Chick 1’s favorite page, so it all works out in the end.

Still, poop happens.  Everybody poops.  Poop appeared again in Book 3, where our readers get to be the authors.  Recently, we donated some books to a local classroom.  We got an amazing response, especially to the poop page.  You can take a peek so see what the kids did.  The teacher was caught off guard at first, but how can you resist seeing kids so tickled to imagine and write?!

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Poop still rears (?!) its smelly head throughout the 2 Chicks’ lives. Did you poop today? Did you read the poop book on the back of John’s toilet the other night? Do you ever struggle to poop? Did you see my poop emoji shirt? Why, oh why, do we have to write about poop? Well it’s just a topic that is interesting that provokes conversation.  It stimulates the mind in a strange way but doesn’t seem to get old because everyone poops. And if one is struggling to poop on a regular basis it’s still a conversation piece. From gag-gift books in their circle of friends, to making models from brownie batter bars, it’s just a part of life.

Let’s all embrace poop. Encouraging kids to talk about, giggle about, and read and write about it is just another way the Chicks are a bit different than most.

author moments

Literacy Night with the 2 Chicks!

It was a dark and stormy night….really!

Seriously though, last week was amazing! 2 Chicks headlined a literacy night at a local elementary school. It was well attended despite the hurricane weather fast approaching. The set up was cozy; kids gathered with blankets and snacks on the floor. We couldn’t have been happier to meet these readers. Sharing our books and our story as authors is the heart of what we do!

We had a diverse audience, which we love, as we get to hear what our readers think about our work. What more honest critic (and fan) is there than a child?

Some of the kids were interested in the illustrations and why we chose what we did. Others were fascinated with the book-within-a-book concept from our third book. Still others wanted to know what it means to be an author and how we got our start. Many enjoyed hearing about the beginning, middle, and end of the process of making a book. Of course, the 2 CHX love the opportunity to share all of our ideas in hopes of inspiring future writers and illustrators. We encouraged them to carry notebooks with them and keep paper by their beds. You never know when ideas will strike!

Chick 1, KT, had a particularly moving experience where she met a young boy who likes to write comics with his friend. His friend likes to illustrate their ideas. WOW that is amazing! A partnership of creativity much like the the 2 Chicks have! A relationship to cherish. Their conversations expanded as the evening continued and his curiosity climbed. KT seized the opportunity to inspire and share artwork and works in progress, a true behind the scenes look for this aspiring writer. They then exchanged contact information at the child’s request to form a pen pal relationship and the young man offered future book reviews. What an amazing opportunity for both the child and the author. A connection made and more inspiration to follow….maybe even some pen pal updates. Our cup is overflowing with pure joy when we have events like this.

For Chick 2, Beth, it was an opportunity to connect with former students of her own. Chick 2 used to teach future teachers at the University of Georgia all about reading, writing, and children’s books. Three of her former college students are now teachers at this elementary school! Seeing these educators, now colleagues, encourage young people to enjoy reading, writing, and sharing their ideas was a full circle moment.

Thanks so much to our local friends for inviting us! We are looking forward to reaching more readers this way in the coming months and years. If you’d like us to visit, let us know!

Our message: Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep smiling. Keep doodling. Keep dreaming. You can be whatever you aspire to be.

author moments

Tidbits from the 2 Chicks

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Why a blog?

We’ve been writing together for a while now.  Like many people, our lives and interests are wide and varied.  We both have our own ways of constantly learning and being curious about the world.  Writing and sharing them has become our habit, our interest, and our common pursuit.

We keep most of our ideas in a shared workspace online. We have dozens, even hundreds of writing ideas that range in length from a phrase or two to full book chapters.  We have been playing with the idea of a public site for our work for some time.  Many of our topics may never extend to the length of a book.  Some would “expire” before we could publish them in printed form.  A blog seemed like an ideal way to explore and share our wide-ranging ideas in a timely and dynamic way.

Stay tuned so you don’t miss out on any tidbits from 2 Chicks.  Although we usually start at the end, here we will always be in the middle.

#2CHX