What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons? Is it a redesign of your blog? Have you branched out into freelance writing or even published a novel of your very own? Or, have you moved into a different venue like podcasts or vlogging? This is the day to tell us about how you have expanded on blogging in your own unique way.
This blog originally started out with a podcast, actually. But K.L. Glanville and I were living thousands of miles apart, and besides the first podcast we recorded, we just didn’t manage to record anymore. So, currently, the podcast feature of the blog is out, but it’s possible it may one day return.
Before K.L. and I started the blog, I had realized that there really weren’t that many resources for looking at children’s literature in terms of its spiritual dimensions. Though young readers may not be going to the library and asking: “Can you recommend a book that will engage my spirituality in some way?”, I think it’s valuable to look at stories and explore their spiritual dimensions.
As adults bring books and young readers today (and even as adults pick out literature to read for themselves) considering the spirituality of a text can lead to unique ways to respond to and engage with that story. I know that I can have a positive and aesthetically engaging experience with a book when it touches my spirituality. And that actually happens quite often.
Something else—Spirit of Children’s Literature has a curriculum corner for educators! It’s small, but it will be growing, and it’s where I include lesson plans or discussion guides for using some of the literature we review with real readers. The curriculum works for classes, but also small book clubs or even individual readers. This is something that I am particularly passionate about—developing curriculum for children’s and young adult literature that also engages the spirit of the reader. I’m also really supportive of arts-based response in language arts. There isn’t too much out there that provides arts-based curriculum focused on spirituality (at least that I’ve found) so it’s an area of the blog I hope to expand even more. There will also be an actual book of curriculum one day!
Now, some thoughts about how I would like to expand the blog…
I have been thinking about getting into vlogging. Since I teach online now, but taught live classes before, I am aware of how much longer it takes to communicate information online. I might be able to talk about several novels I think you absolutely must read, but through a vlog—I could say so much more! I think vlogging would be a wonderful way to connect more with readers of the blog. Since I blog about picturebooks as well as books for older readers, being able to hold a picturebook and point out its illustrations would be fabulous!
No published novel yet, but I’m currently getting feedback on my (upper) middle grade fantasy in a children’s writer’s group that I’m a part of. We meet once a month in the city where I live, and it’s fantastic to get feedback on my work, as well as read the fiction of the rest of the group.