Barbara Mariconda is the award winning author of two Sylvan Dell Publishing books, Sort it Out! and the Fall 2011 release Ten for Me, in addition to being a professor, mentor teacher, and partner in an educational seminar and consulting firm.
Where did the inspiration for the butterfly catching in Ten for Me come from?
I have a garden in front of my house that attracts butterflies of all kinds. They are delicate and strong at the same time. I love that dichotomy of delicate and strong. I suppose I tried to capture a little of those characteristics evident in my own personality.
What are the most frequently asked questions you encounter as an author?
Most people ask, ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ The answer to that is that I believe stories are expressions of our unconscious mind — reflections of the emotions, issues, concerns and questions we only look at in a superficial way on a conscious level. In fact, I believe all art forms — music, visual and theatre arts, as well as writing — are all vehicles for this kind of powerful self expression. It’s why people write — not to make a ton of money, not for any kind of fame, but because it is so satisfying to tap into the unconscious self.
What is something no one ever asks you about writing or being an author that you would like to share?
No one really asks about the amount of time, energy, resilience, and persistence it takes to get published. The effort is a testament to a driving force within the author that is all about the process and little about the end result. Writers write because there is something in them that needs to be expressed. And the process is life-giving. It allows the writer to deal with disappointment and rejection.
Why is teaching kids about math so important?
Math is not usually an end unto itself, rather it’s a way to think, analyze, quantify and ob-jectify reality. When kids learn to think mathematically, they learn a variety of ways to see and to think about other aspects of life.
What has writing taught you about yourself?
I’ve learned that what I write about is always a symbol, a powerful metaphor for some aspect of myself I seek to know or understand better. I don’t think authors intentionally create symbols in their writing — the symbols emerge from within and often inform and empower the writer as well as the reader. As I look over Sort it Out! I begin to wonder what aspects of my life need to be sorted through, and how many ways I might group and regroup everything important to me. This is why I have a passion for teaching chil-dren about writing — to empower them to use the written word as a means of opening the channels of self reflection and self expression.
Any advice for children who someday hope to become writers?
As you go through your days NOTICE everything. Look carefully at the people, places, and feelings in your life. Before you can write you need to learn how to really SEE. Question everything. Ask why, how come, why not, what if? Write every day. Never give up. Believe in your own view of the world. And write it true.
Barbara Mariconda is an author of children’s books, an educator (K-6), a mentor teacher, and an adjunct professor of Children’s Literature and Process Writing. Barbara has also written a wide variety of musicals, songs, novels, and numerous professional books for teachers. She frequently speaks on the topic of writing for and with children, and provides professional development for teachers at seminars across the country. She lives in Connecticut where she is a partner in the educational seminar and consulting firm, Empowering Writers, LLC., and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Visit Barbara’s website at http://www.empoweringwriters.com, see Sort it Out! at http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=30, and don’t forget Ten for Me http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=101, which releases this Fall.