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Showing posts from January, 2015

Every Adult Should Read Children's Books

I don't have time to read a full novel. Family, classes, and work devour most of my time. Budgeting my time allows me a few hours a week to work on my novel rewrite. But, I don't really get time to read a 75,000 word book for enjoyment. 

That's why children's books are my best friends.
At work, I get to pick a handful of books from the extensive collection and read aloud to a half a dozen toddlers. I look forward to those afternoons and those kids faces when they hear me read. These stories simple and short, but the chance to read them excites me. 
Many children's stories contain a huge message contained into the simple plot and characters. 
Today, I read a story about the fact that's okay to be sad and scared, but that there is always someone to come alongside and love you. Change scares me, but I can always rely on my God to love me. My parents are always there to point me to His love.
I read a story about crayons that disliked each other because they were differe…

Stories in Children's Toys

Today, I Feel Nothing

Today was supposed to feel much different.
Family would be forever.
Reality would come of plans.
Oh, how the world would party.
Control would be handed to proper hands.
I've imagined this freedom for years,
What I would feel if permanency came.
But it happened, and crying--well, I just can't.
I was supposed to feel lots of somethings.
But I'm numb, stunned. I feel nothing. ~

Shakespeare Gives Me a Headache, but my Brother Gives Me a Smile

I probably wouldn't mind seeing a Shakespeare play, but reading the plays for myself is painful. I'd love to enjoy the story without struggling over the words, words deserving rightful respect. Shakespeare is talented and dedicated, but I will be honest and say that other classics rank higher on my list of favorites. 
     My brother is reading through "The Taming of the Shrew" for school. 
     As I finished some homework, I heard him grunting from the family room.       I put my books away and joined him in the coldest corner in the entire house. 
     We picked roles and read more acts than he was assigned to read and laughed and smiled and tried to make sense of what we were saying. 
     He tried out a deep voice. 
     I busted out my rusty British accent.
     And we didn't care if we were accurate or consistent. 
     We had fun reading Shakespeare because we were free to be silly.

3 Things I Learned by Speaking at a Conference

The first time we do anything, we really don't know what we're doing. I'd been to a writer's conference before, but going to speak to teenagers was totally different. I had fun, learned a lot, and would do a lot of things differently next time. 
1. Arriving early is imperative. 

          My dad is amazing and drove me to the conference early. We found the room I would be speaking in later, which was great since I am significantly directionally challenged. When all the hallways look the same, it's nice to know where I'm going. Dad set up my powerpoint to make sure everything worked properly, and I figured out where I needed to stand so I can see over my laptop. Good thing I'm comfortable without a podium because I wasn't tall enough. By the time I started, which ended up being a few minutes late because the person before me went a few minutes over, I was prepared and comfortable. Arrive early and avoid many technical problems that might arise. 
2.  Stories…

The Definition of a Writer

Lately, I've been wondering what the actual definition of "writer" was. I am a writer, but the ability to write isn't just a hobby or interest. Writing is a part of who I am. It's how I sleep. It's how I walk down the street. It's how I take pictures. It's how I talk to people. It's how I look at life.

    I was saddened by Merriam Webster's definition. 
writ·er noun \ˈrī-tər\
: someone whose work is to write books, poems, stories, etc.
: someone who has written something
    It's simple, technical, and void of the deeper effects of writing. Sure, Webster is right, but I know there is much more to being a writer. So I set out to define a writer on my own. 
     A writers is an individual with the ability to see, feel, and understand the stories of people and places that a typical onlooker cannot notice and the ability to effectively communicate those stories and their importance through the form of words for other individuals to comprehend. 

My Acne Can be Booboos or Polka Dots, My Choice

Kids say the most blunt, innocent, and sometimes obvious things.  Working at a preschool, I hear a lot of these remarks and phrases. The school even has a quote book where the workers can document the hysterical comments. I've added a few from time to time. 
One day a little girl climbed onto my lap, ran her fingers across my forehead, and frowned. "Aly has booboos." 
My acne had caught her attention.
It's not as bad as it has been in the past, but the scars are still there. Makeup can cover most of the markings, but by the end of the evening, they are clearly visible. 
I didn't know how to respond to her comment. Sure the acne hurts like booboos, and I surely didn't care for it. I knew my worth wasn't measured in the spots on my face, but there was a part of me that didn't debate the comparison. I felt no need to refute the thought that my acne was a booboo. 
A couple weeks later another girl, a little younger than the first, walked up to me, mouth poised …

Alyson Schroll is now on Facebook

If you like to keep up with my writing tips and rambles about life, I've now made it easier.

     I now have an Alyson Schroll Facebook page! You can find it here:

    This is primarily for me to link my blog posts, but I will also be trying to link cool links or quotes I find. So, like my page, and you'll be able to see my latest blog posts.

    Also, I am on Pinterest. I post some of my blog posts on their as well as some pins use for inspiration for my writing projects. Find me on Pinterest here:

    Phew, now that the promotional stuff is done, I want to say how awesome it is to have eyes that take the time to read my posts. I write regardless of who reads my work, but it is such rewarding feeling to know that there are some that actually care about my words.

   For my blogger friends out there, do you guys have a Facebook or Pinterest page that helps readers know about your writing?

    ~ A…

Why I Bother to Write

I am a writer not because sitting for hours alone behind a computer is fun, but because God has given me the ability to see and feel stories when others can't. I don't write books because the stories are mine to write. I write to honor the stories that God has written in the lives of others around me and in my own imagination.
     Psalm 115:1
     "Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"

     ~ Alyson Schroll

Stories in Classic Tales

The Snow Queen is a wonderful work by Hans Christian Andersen, but the story means much more to me.
     When I was little I learned ballet. But the studio I went to did more than just a recital. They did a dance production every year. The one and only year I was at that studio, we danced The Snow Queen. I was a river fairy. I remember peeking under the blue curtain to see the audience and scratching at the itchy flowers on my costume.

     I was only six years old, and those memories still mean so much to me. Now, as I write I get to inject that love for dance and stories in my book.

     ~Alyson Schroll

My New Skirt from Hannah Everly

A couple years ago, I met Rachel Coker, her two sisters, and her mom at a homeschool conference. I was ecstatic to meet such a great author, not to mention the chance to have lunch.

     The funny thing is that Rachel's sister, Hannah, and I got to know each other really well. We were doing crazy things together from the start. At a used book sale, we ducked below everyone else and crawled underneath the tables to seek out treasures no one else saw.
     Hannah and I kept in touch, and I'm convinced we are actually twins separated at birth. It's crazy how such a small meeting turned into such a great relationship. God does pretty cool things like that.
     Anyway, Hannah is an amazing designer. She sells awesome vintage skirts at her shop here. Check out more pictures at her Facebook page here.
    I used my Christmas money to purchase this pink and white elephant print skirt. It's super cute, and it fits me great.

     Besides Hannah's fantastic sewing s…

Making Monster Cookies with Five Kiddos ... by Myself

My Dad negotiated a deal with me that allowed my parents and two oldest siblings to go see the movie Unbroken while I stayed home and watched the kiddos. I would get paid instead of a babysitter and get to see the movie later with just me and Dad.
This deal was made thirty minutes before my family left for the theater.
I had no plan.
So clearly when I suddenly have five kids of various ages to occupy, baking cookies is the first thing that came to mind. 
I was familiar with Monster Cookies from my time working in a camp kitchen, so I did a quick scan for the ingredients.
Next was a team meeting around the kitchen table. The plan was laid out, expectations made clear, and consequences established. Of course they were all excited for cookies, but excitement doesn't last forever.

Lucky for me, making cookies also gives me a bargaining chip.
I sent each kid to gather an ingredient, and step by step we put together the peanut butter and oatmeal cookies.
We only forgot the baking soda, miss cal…