Young Bolaji O was a shy child in Nigeria when he fell in love with Spider-Man comic books and the hopeful power of storytelling.
Fast forward to him having children of his own. In addition to reading them books, he also made up stories for them. His wife was always encouraging him to write them down, and after being laid off from his job, he began to do so.
Bolaji O is the founder of Brave Little Heroes Media, a publisher of children's books and mobile games. He specializes in writing humorous and uplifting stories for brave little heroes.
We talked a lot about the familiar topic of needing books to serve as both mirrors and windows. He tries to make sure that every one of his superheroes and books keeps this need in mind, especially when he sets a story in a country that he might not personally know a lot about. He always tries to include lessons that kids can take away beyond his story.
I promised on the podcast that I’d share a link here to my friend’s movie Lemonade that shares stories of people finding inspiration after being laid off. You can also watch the full Lemonade: Detroit online if you wish.
The very first sentence of Grant Faulkner’s bio reads “As a boy, I spent my allowance on all sorts of pens and paper, so there was never much question I would become a writer.”
Reading that, I knew we were going to have a fun conversation on the podcast.
Among many other things, Grant is the executive director of National Novel Writing Month. If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo (as it is known by), every November tens of thousands of people from around the world take to their keyboards with the goal of writing a 50,000-word draft of a novel before they flip the calendars to December.
It appears that Grant enjoys challenging himself when he writes because he is also the co-founder of the literary journal 100 Word Story and has published a collection of one hundred 100-word stories titled Fissures.
On top of all the National Day on Writing resources that are available here for you, Grant and his team also provide a NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program that has everything teachers would need to spend the month of November writing with their students. All of this is completely free to those who want to use it.
I should add a special warning to this episode: if you’ve always dreamed of writing a novel, you might not want to listen to this one, because by the end of it your plans for the month of November may need to be changed.
Of course, we hope that this episode and every episode of the Why I Write Podcast will inspire you and those around you about the importance of writing and teaching writing. If you have suggestions for great future guests, please send us an email today.
We all know that books make great gifts. When I fall head over heels in love with a book, I tend to buy copies for people I think will appreciate it and benefit from reading it.
This is how Lynnda Pollio’s book Trusting the Currents came into my life—as a gift from a friend who thought it was needed.
Lynnda was born in rural New Jersey and wandered through childhood feeling like she belonged somewhere else.
As an adult, she moved to New York City and began experiencing life from many new perspectives. After her father died, she heard a voice tell her to go to Sedona, Arizona, and that began a journey into spiritual awakening and the writing of her book Trusting the Currents.
Narrated by Addie Mae Aubrey, Trusting the Currents is a spiritual story of self-discovery—of faith, courage, forgiveness, and the uneasy search for one’s place in life.
Throughout the story her mother remains an unwavering source of love, even when fear and evil shake their lives. Unfathomable loss and rising trust in the “Invisibles” not only transforms Addie Mae’s budding life, but led to my own spiritual awakening.
I don’t want to spoil anything for readers, but you'll discover that the power of books plays a major role in the story. For this reason, as soon as I finished it I gave the book to my teenage daughter and encouraged her to read it.
Find out more about Lynnda and her work at http://lynndapollio.com/