Whirlwind.

I can't believe I haven't posted an update for 3 weeks. Life truly does get away from me sometimes. I've been very busy promoting Lost (and Found)... between classroom visits at schools, a book signing at my church, and my big book launch this past weekend, I have lost track of what day it is!

I enjoy the marketing aspects of book promotion almost as much as I enjoy writing... almost! I am busy at work on Bean Salad, the second book in my series about Lady and Dorian. And I am pretty deep into my novel, Pavlov's Dog. I'm constantly thinking about that one, making revisions, adding new material... it's such a process, but very rewarding.

As writer, it's also crucial to read and review the works of other writers. So I've been active in several review swap groups, reading all sorts of books from young adult to travel guides to historical fiction. It's nice to talk books/writing with other writers, and hopefully help each other out with constructive criticism, support, and helpful book reviews.

I hope everyone is enjoying Lost (and Found).

 

 

School Visits.

Over the past few days, I have had a wonderful opportunity to visit my daughter's elementary school to read Lost (and Found) in various classrooms. So far, I have read in 11 classrooms, and I have 8 more scheduled next week... kids ranging from Junior Kindergarten to 4th grade. It's been such an enriching experience for me in so many ways.

I tend to be more on the introverted side than anything else. Kind of a quiet person in general. I observe and make a lot of mental notes, and then I share via writing. For those who know me very well... they may disagree... because with certain people, I am kind of chatty and nutty. 

But, for me to go into classrooms and be the center of attention for a while? It's uncomfortable. I have to keep telling myself, they are children! It's okay! You're good with children! 

The first day, I was nervous. Yesterday was better. It's going to be huge for my personal growth to continue to do book readings. 

On another note, it was incredibly fun. I loved listening to the children's comments and questions. Some asked very thoughtful questions about the writing process; others raised their hands to say, "I like your dress!" Either way, the children, their reactions, their smiles... made my slightly uncomfortable introverted self happy.

I go back to Hilton Elementary next week. The following week, I am at Spencer Elementary and Hartland Preschool. And then I'm off to Holly Academy.

I know the school year is drawing to a close soon, but if you'd like me to visit your preschool or elementary school to share my characters and stories, let's squeeze it in. Or I'd be happy to get on your school's fall schedule! 

 

 

Blessed.

I feel very blessed right now. Super crazy busy, and blessed.

As my book is now being delivered into the hands of those who have ordered it, I love hearing people's reactions, especially the reactions of children. Thank you for the pictures and videos. Seeing actual kids with my actual book... there is nothing like it! And receiving drawings of my characters, made by your children... beyond special.

On another note, please check out my upcoming events. Simply click on the Event tab!

 

 

Amazon.

There are a few things happening on Amazon.com. One being that my book is now available for purchase. It's pretty cool to search Amazon and see it on there... eligible for Prime, even. Hee hee.

Lost (and Found)
$12.99
By Leslie Barrett

Also, there is a book giveaway on Amazon right now... I am giving away 3 signed copies. Please share with your family and friends, and take a moment to enter yourself.  

Good luck!

 

 

 

Published.

My first children's book, Lost (and Found), has been published. As of yesterday. Published!

It's the most surreal and bizarre feeling to hold my book in my hands. I just keep staring at it and thinking, What?!

It's available for purchase, even. My book can be purchased and read by others. Friends and strangers. To think of a small child across the country or across the world enjoying my book... so totally cool. That thought makes me incredibly happy.

Maybe it will even become a child's favorite book.

This project took approximately 16 months. I think that's part of the reason it feels so absolutely WEIRD that it's done. I am happily at work on the second and third book in the series, but there's something about that first book...

Please click on the Lost (and Found) tab to buy my book, if you are so inclined. It costs the same as a pizza, and lasts longer.

 

 

 

 

I'm glad to be here.

It's my first day posting on this new website/blog. I'm still getting used to how to use Squarespace, for one. So consider this practice. And bear with me. Please.

I did add another blog post, one I had written a while back. So you can get to know me a little bit and gain some insight into why I became a writer. Yeah, maybe it's because my boyfriend said I was ugly. Those things need to be documented.

It's okay. I have gotten over that incident. Good thing considering it was 25 years ago. Right? Not to mention, I bet I've aged better than him. Because I am cute, and he has an ugly soul.

But back to the now. Hi.

My very first children's book is ready for publication. It's called Lost (and Found), and it's the beginning of a series I have written about a little girl named Lady and her best friend, a jellybean named Dorian. Lady has long, dark hair and freckles. And a fun sense of style. Dorian is super cute, aqua, and shaped like a... jellybean. He likes to eat peanuts in the shell. Well, the peanuts. Not the shells.

My hard copy proof has been shipped. I need to review it and then say the word: "Approve." Do you know what happens when I say that word? It goes live on Amazon. My book. For sale. Gulp.

It's been 15 months in the making, this book. I simply can't wait for you to meet Lady and Dorian. 

Ugly.

It was 1991 and I met a boy named Lee. Lee Jeremy Justin Hall. He was a student at the University of Akron, played guitar in a band, had long hair and striking blue eyes. I liked him immediately. 

At the end of our first date, he walked me to my car. He backed me up against it and told me to close my eyes. He kissed my nose, then my forehead. Opened my door, told me to make it home safely so we could see each other again.

We spent all of our free time together. We never did typical date stuff... we just liked to go for long walks, talk, study together. And we liked to read to each other. Our favorite books were The Little Prince and The Tao of Pooh. He eventually moved into my apartment, and before bed I would say, "Lee Jeremy Justin Hall, please read to me." And he did, pretty much every night.

He was well-read and well-spoken, and kind of a tender soul. I remember driving in the car with him... we had known each other maybe a month... and he said, "You are the most unique and interesting person I have ever known." 

And he used to write letters to me. I still have one. And it says:
I want you to know you are the most important person in my life. When I think about you, I can say beyond any doubt "I am living." Thank you for giving that to me. But above all this, I just plain love you. I love you!

We were together for 2 years. And then it happened. I found something he had written. I don't know why I read it, but I did. And it said, "Sometimes I look at Leslie and think, she's ugly. My girlfriend is ugly. Why do I have an ugly girlfriend?"

He came home later that evening in a really good mood and wanted to do something together, but I couldn't be around him. So I feigned illness and went into the bedroom. I sat there, totally upright, shaking, my head about to explode. 

After an hour or so, I walked into the living room and said, "I want you to leave." And I threw all of his belongings into a big pile on the living room floor. He had nowhere to go, really, but I took his apartment key off his key chain and, in my non-violent way, hit him and shoved him out the door. 

And then I cried for a long time. Weeks, months, I don't remember. And, for years, in the back of mind, that word haunted me. Ugly.