Thursday, December 24, 2009

HeliumMath games for the elementary school classroom

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poem: SNOW by Kathy Stemke

The breath of the crisp air is light
The bitter sky is full and white
I dance and twirl around so slow
Then on my knees I pray for snow
Waltzing along
For flakes to fall and sing their song

Snow gathers and laughs in the sky
Then falls like angels whirling by
Pure crystal flakes make my heart glow
I give thanks and welcome the snow
Dashing, go
Swirling down on the earth below

Snow covers the troubled, soiled streets
And hides much pain under the sleet
Each flake will soon fade out of sight
And melt like mist in morning light
Healing woe
Merciful God! Your love I know

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Selecting Great Non-fiction Books for Kids

Giving children many sources of informational books will stimulate growth in general knowledege, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills. It is essential that we choose challenging, quality, high-interest books for young children. Many reading experts agree that including non-fiction books in primary education experiences will make for a smoother transition into middle and high school level reading. There are several keys to picking great informational books for your children.


The cover of a book must invite the reader to come inside an exciting new world of learning. A good cover should include brightn and intriguing illustrations or photographs that grab a child's attention. The title needs to be short and understandable with large clear font. But the main job of the title is to ignite interest in the topic.


The topic should be age appropriate and relevant to the child's world view. For example, you might have a funny bumble bee teach children about flowers. However, it is important that the information is accurate and backed by reliable referrences. To hold the attention of children the topic should have an element of mystery and be full of surprises. In fact, there should be at least one surprise on every page.


Each page needs to contain a balance of beautiful illustrations with clear, easy to read captions, and informational text. The illustrations should explain and enhance the factual information. For instance, photographs or diagrams on a light background can add a pleasing contrast to a good book.


Many good non-fiction authors use sub headings to help the young reader understand and retain the information. These subdivisions guide the children effortlessly through the information like a treasure map leads you to a pirates chest. A table of contents, glossary and index will help them browse through unique topics. Fonts should be large, consistent in spacing and placement and easy to read.

With today's wide selection of non-fiction books available it doesn't have to be difficult to pick the right books for your children. Inspect each book for the four key ingredients listed above and you will glide through the selection process.


Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia
by Carmen Lomas Garza
Children's Book Press, 1993
Grades pre K-4

Author: A True Story
by Helen Lester
Houghton Mifflin, 1997
Grades K-4

In a Circle Long Ago: A Treasury of Native Lore from North America
by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Lisa Desimini
Knopf, 1995
Grades K-5

Eric Carle's Animals, Animals
By Laura Whipple (compiler), illustrated by Eric Carle
Puffin, 1999
Grades pre K-6

Hottest Coldest Highest Deepest
by Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin, 1998
Grades pre K-3

Children of the Wild West
by Russell Freedman
Clarion, 1990
Grades 3-8

We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History
by Phillip M. Hoose
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001
Grades 5-12

The Sum of Our Parts Series

Academic Wings
Author: Bill Kirk
Artist: Eugene Ruble
Guardian Angel Publishers

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Saturday, December 12, 2009



The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearlon a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

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Thursday, December 10, 2009


Concrete Poetry Projects by Sharon Blumberg

With a Concrete Poetry Project, the selected word could be illustrated into the concept that it signifies. For example, the word fire in Spanish – fuego – could be illustrated with flaming letters of orange, yellow and red, surrounding the letters in the words. So the word fire would appear as if it were on fire. Young adults enjoy creating these artsy projects because they can symbolize things that are meaningful and personal to them. They can also utilize their creative talents. Students enjoy working on these projects either alone or in small groups. As they work among their classmates, they talk, unwind, and express their unique or common interests. For example, the word for friends in Spanish is AMIGOS. I remember a small group of friends taping silly pictures together and displaying them along a sheet of construction paper or poster board.

At the end of the school year when I ask, “Who would like to have their projects laminated?” students say, “I do!” Then, when the projects are no longer displayed along the classroom walls, students make sure they take their projects home. They enjoy owning these projects as keepsakes because of the social nature of creating them. There is a personal connection to the assignment when friends are dancing, jumping in the air, or making silly faces together.

Another related project that I enjoy having my homeroom students work on in the beginning of the school year, is what I refer to as Name Bubbles. This is a wonderful idea that I borrowed from one of my colleagues.

Name Bubbles

Name Bubbles are creative projects in which students write out the letters of their names or nicknames to encase a theme. For example, let’s take the name Ali. Within the A, students could write about their favorite vacations. Within the L, students could write about their favorite movies, and within the letter I, students could list their favorite books to read. The students have the choice to make up their own themes, use whatever name – first, last, or nickname – that they desire. Some students even ask if they can stand up in front of the class and talk about their name bubbles, while explaining what each letter stands for. What I love about students creating Name Bubbles is that the theme categories they select from are endless, and the projects make beautiful student work displays.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TWO WINTER POEMS by Robert Louis Stevenson

Picture Books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer fading, winter comes--
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books.

Just click on the Christmas tree puzzle to enlarge and then copy it.

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Use this jigsaw template for any winter picture. Just click on the image to enlarge and copy. Have fun!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Poem: Father

This is a first draft of a poem I'm thinking of sending to Chicken Soup for the Soul. It's free verse. Do you think I should rhyme it? Do you get the meaning? Do you think that fathers will relate to it? I'd appreciate any comments you could give to me. Thanks for your help.

by Kathy Stemke

His sanctuary’s found at sea
With nature he is one

He sails with the wind on silent waves
And his spirit is free

Eyes bluer than the bluest ocean
Gaze, lost in thought

Wistfully, he ponders unfulfilled dreams
And questions the success of his life

If only he knew....
How I feel

Shakespeare, Einstein, Da Vinci, Bach,
To name just a few great men

Their merits are meaningless and trite
when compared to you.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The holder of a Bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Clemson University and a master’s from the University of Maryland in Kinesiology, Ms. Martha Swirzinski has more than 15 years of experience working in the field of movement with children. She is also a certified personal fitness trainer. She currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

“More and more research is being developed about the rise of obesity in children,” notes Ms. Swirzinski, who teaches movement education in a local pre-school and offers teacher training workshops and customized consultations. At the same time, numerous studies continue to link increased brain function and movement, she explains. “Being active grows new brain cells!”

It is along this vein that Ms. Swirzinski has published three children’s books focused on movement. Using entertaining rhymes and charming pictures, these developmentally based books offer fun and creative ways for children to move while also providing mind stimulating activities on each page. Here's an excerpt from Leap...Laugh...Plop.

Physical fitness is the key to success.

Moving and stretching keep you at your best.

So get up and move, stretch and play.

Your body and brain will thank you all day.

By following the suggested activities, children can engage in 30-60 minutes of their recommended structured daily movement, as well as enhancing other mind/body skills. Designed to be enjoyed again and again, the pages of these books are filled with laughter, learning, movement and more.

Leap...Laugh...Plop concentrates on locomotor movements. Here's another excerpt.

Jumping is something you do with two feet.

You bend your knees and push up high from the street.

Ms. Swirzinski also challenges kids to think. Take a look at this excerpt.

Walk up high, now down low.

How about fast. How about slow.

Name some animals that walk high. How about low?

Can you pretend to be those animals?

Tell me your favorite animal and why.

Martha’s books are:
Leap…Laugh…Plop works on all of the locomotor skills
Guess…Giggle…Wiggle… has the children doing creative movement
Kick…Catch…Buzzzz.. addresses the manipulative skills
Her website is

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Monday, November 30, 2009

25 Places to Find Science Projects On-line

Here's an excerpt from a great article about finding science projects on-line.

Science Kids at Home : The fun projects on Science Kids at Home blend creativity with science to create their own stretchy clays and polymers, build robots and sundials, and discover how sound works with a simple lyre made from a cardboard box and rubber bands. Beyond the artistic aspect, there are also experiments involving air pressure, temperature, and even observing the beautiful transition between caterpillar and butterfly. They offer 22 projects in total, touching upon some of the most basic elements of a broad variety of disciplines.

Click on this link to read the entire article:

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Saturday, November 28, 2009


This is an easy site to use. Adapt your subject and grade level questions and answers to Jeapardy like games! Kids will want to play these games for hours. You can change the questions as often as you want. Have fun.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Although we can’t give away too many details on our Back Friday sale until the big day, I can tell you that, with a wide variety of savings on a number of different published products, there is something for just about everyone. In addition, a few lucky users who are the first to use their codes will be eligible to take advantage of savings of up to 70% off a select purchase.

Again, as is typical of Black Friday sales, discount codes are limited and on a few come, first use basis. So come back to the Lulu blog this Friday morning at 8am (EST) sharp and be the first to get one of our limited door-buster discounts.

Moving Through All Seven Days is finally available for purchase on Lulu for just $3.00! Just click on this link:

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


I actually put this trailer together myself. It was so much fun. Please let me know what you think. Does it tell you what the book's about? Is there anything missing? Did you enjoy seeing it? Thanks so much for your help. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Moving Through All Seven Days is finally available for purchase on Lulu for just $3.00! Just click on this link:
This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day! The activities at the end of the book are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tips for Teaching English Language Learners Successfully

Let's hear from Dorit Sasson, my guest blogger. As a teacher of ELLs, I know how challenging it is to keep the learning continuum at a high and discipline problems at a low. But still how is this all possible if students can’t read and understand the lesson? Or how is possible to meet each student’s needs when they are not catching up with their native English speaking peers? Just how is it possible to correctly assess students’ needs so that lessons match their learning styles and needs?

This work begins with the 97 tips which you’ll find in my electronic booklet or ebooklet, “Yes! You Can Teach K-12 English language learners Successfully” on how to teach ELLs more effectively. Here, you’ll find bite-sized tips for a bite-sized price on differentiated instruction, teaching vocabulary, improving reading comprehension and lessons and oral instruction among others. click here to purchase the book: Following you'll find just 10 of the many tips you can find in my book.

1. Provide ELLs with opportunities to work
individually that allow them to progress at
their own pace. In a regular day to day lesson,
you can say to your class: “Do as much of question
5 as you can in 10 minutes,” or “Choose
which question you want to start with.”

2. Help English language learners master
the spelling and the vocabulary of different
lexical items by grouping words according
to their learning abilities (i.e., lower, middle, and
higher performing groups). You might also give
ELLs two lists of words: one required and one

3. Consider the needs of primary school
children when planning differentiated
lessons. Use small groups for short, focused instruction
when there is a small group of students
who struggle with an alphabet letter or sound.

4. Group children based on a book choice
that supports a theme. If the theme is survival,
for instance, each group of children would
read a different book that shares this theme.

5. Plan every lesson to include three parts:
a great beginning, an engaging middle,
and a satisfying ending. Planning reading lessons
strategically engages ELLs right away and, as a
result, fewer discipline problems occur.

6. Provide students with real-life learning
experiences that are connected to learning
both in and out of the classroom. Turn a dull
textbook subject into an active learning experience
that also relates to a real-life situation. Students
love the subject of “money.”

7. Pre-teach vocabulary using the student’s
native language if possible. Using an
ELL’s mother tongue is one way to integrate ELLs
in the general education classroom.

8. Check work regularly. Build on students’
lack of understanding to re-explain and
re-teach certain learning concepts.

9. Break complex content into manageable
portions or steps. Keep it simple with
small amounts of information and directions presented
at a reasonable pace to succeed.

10. Create simple systems like a “buddy system”
where an ELL is paired with a native
English speaking student. This eases isolation
and helps an English language learner adjust to
his/her new classroom.

To get more great tips from Dorit visit her websites:

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet Guest Author: Janet Ann Collins

Hints to Prepare Kids for Reading
by Janet Ann Collins

Children become ready to learn to read when the myelin coating on nerves in their brains has developed. This usually happens when they are about five or six years old, but can be sooner or later. Pushing kids to learn before their brains are ready can do more harm than good, so it’s important not to pressure young children to read. However there are some things parents can do to make the learning easier when the time is right.
First, they can read to their children beginning as early as possible. While some babies aren’t interested until they start learning to speak, many infants enjoy having their parents read to them. Scientific studies have shown that adults who are excellent readers usually were read to regularly as young children.
It’s a good idea to have the children sit where they can see the text and to slide a finger along beneath each line as it is read. That helps kids learn that in English we read from left to right and, as they become familiar with stories they hear often, they might even begin to recognize some words.
Recent news broadcasts have said it does more harm than good to show “educational” videos to babies and toddlers, but here’s one kind of media that can make a difference. Playing a phonics CD with basic sounds for every letter of the alphabet each night as the little ones drop off to sleep helps their brains absorb that knowledge subconsciously.
And last, but far from least, children who see their parents reading and live in homes where books, magazines, and newspapers are part of the family’s daily life will be motivated to learn to read themselves when they are old enough to do so.

Janet Ann Collins is a retired teacher who used to write feature articles for a newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area and her work has appeared in many other periodicals. She is the author of two books for children. The Peril of the Sinister Scientist is a middle grade novel and Secret Service Saint is a Christmas picture book.

For more information about this talented writer click on these URLS:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


To make it easier for you to share my post with others, I've added a tweet button at the end of each post. Several blogs that I follow have this feature and I have found it very useful. If you are a member of twitter please try to use the button at the end of this post to tweet people to my site. I'll post a poem here for their reading pleasure.

by Kathy Stemke

Vivaldi’s “Spring” song fills the stage,
Flowers shoot up in quick chasses,
Then balance awhile in the sun,
Like fragile children soon undone.

A whirl of drifting notes begin
To bring new life from deep within.
An instant to regroup and bloom,
Beauty bursts forth to fill the room.

Each petal breaks away in flight,
Twirling, swirling, in sheer delight.
Each one sails in different ways,
Finding its path all through life’s days.

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Friday, November 13, 2009


Please read this first draft poem about my dad. Leave a comment and tell me what you liked and what could be improved. Thank you for your imput.

Last Dance
by Kathy Stemke

A lifetime filled with memories
Your life, your smile, your glance
You tenderly reached out to me
To share with you this dance.

You gave to me the best you had
Your sweat, your joy, your tears
You sacrificed to dance with me
You pledged your heart for years

You danced with me the day I wed
So proud, relieved, and sad
We hugged and swayed around the room
With tears of joy, dear Dad

You taught me to stand tall and fight
With strength, and skill, and force
To persevere in all I do
And firmly stay the course

Even in my darkest hours
You came, advised, and stayed
You held my hand all through the night
To God we looked and prayed

But now you dance the dance of death
My Dad, my friend, so brave
Triumphantly you leap and twirl
And dance into your grave

Your song is not yet over Dad
I’ll say goodbye and then
I'll keep you close inside my heart
Until we dance again

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Humberto the Bookworm Hamster

By Mayra Calvani

Illustrated by Kit Grady,

Humberto is an antisocial little hamster… he’s totally addicted to books! His neighbors, the squirrel, the rabbit, the skunk, the hedgehog and the beaver want to become his friends, but Humberto doesn’t have time for them. He’s too busy reading! Then one day, disaster strikes and he must choose between saving his books and helping his soon-to-be friends.

Guardian Angel Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-935137-92

Copyright 2009


24 pages

Ages 4-8

Author's website:


Purchase link:

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Monday, November 9, 2009


(To the tune of Are you Sleeping)

Dance like snowflakes
Dance like snowflakes
In the air
In the air
Whirling, Twirling snowflakes
Whirling, Twirling snowflakes
Here and there
Here and there

Skate like athletes
Skate like athletes
Round the track
Round the track
Skating, skating, faster
Skating, skating, faster
Don't look back,
Don't look back.

Stomp like big foot
Stomp like big foot
In the snow
In the snow
Stomping, Growling Big Foot
Stomping, Growling Big Foot
Off we go
Off we go


Sung to "If You're Happy And You Know It")

It is winter
and it's time to ride a sled!
It is winter
and it's time to ride a sled!
It is winter
that's the season!
We don't need
a better reason!
It is winter
and it's time to ride a sled!

It is winter
and it's time to shovel snow!
It is winter
and it's time to shovel snow!
It is winter
that's the season!
We don't need
a better reason!
It is winter
and it's time to shovel snow!

It is winter
and it's time to chop firewood!
It is winter
and it's time to chop firewood!
It is winter
that's the season!
We don't need
a better reason!
It is winter
and it's time to chop firewood!

It is winter
and it's time to skate on ice!
It is winter
and it's time to skate on ice!
It is winter
that's the season!
We don't need
a better reason!
It is winter
and it's time to skate on ice!

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Saturday, November 7, 2009


HeliumTeaching toddlers to read

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sylvan Dell Publisher features: Brightly Colored Feathers Are for the Birds! by Kathy Stemke

I'm thrilled to be a guest on Sylvan Dell Publisher's Blog. My article titled, "Brightly Colored Feathers Are for the Birds!" is featured today. Please click on this link and take a look.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Kathy: I'm so glad to meet you Brigitte. I thought we would go for a hike and do our interview out in nature.

Brigitte: That's a great idea, let's go.

Kathy: Here we are at Tallulah Gorge.

Brigitte: This is gorgeous, Kathy.

Kathy: Let's get down to business as we walk. Tell us what Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers is about.

Brigitte: Writers have many important questions to ask about income and expenses, but no single source for answers. I created this book, Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers, to be that source. It is an easy-to-understand guide to organizing a writer’s financial life.

This book addresses issues writers face daily such as how to deduct travel expenses, determine taxable writing income, and claim home office deductions. Navigating through the recordkeeping required for a small business owner can be difficult. This book is written exclusively for those of us who earn money by writing.

Readers will also find that each part of this book works together to assist in forming an overall business plan. The chapters take the writer through a comprehensive process that works as a building block towards a successful writing business.

Kathy: Wow, Brigitte, it sounds like I really need your book. Have you found that freelance writers require a different set of bookkeeping rules than other people?

Brigitte: Many bookkeeping rules are universal such as the requirement to record income, but there are some areas of the tax law that are of more interest to freelance writers. This includes dealing with royalty payments, bartering, personal property and agent fees. My book addresses the universal tax rules as well as the infrequently discussed rules that apply specifically to freelance writers.

Learning how to document expenses and how to track income will give writers the best chance at overall business success.

Kathy: Sounds great. How do you like this view?

Brigitte: This is awesome. I had no idea Georgia had such beautiful scenery.

Kathy: Let's sit here and enjoy the view. Tell me, what are some tax deductions that freelance writers might not be aware of?

There are many tax deductions available to writers. Some expenses are common, such as the cost of purchasing a case of paper or paying for a computer software upgrade. Other costs incurred in the operation of your writing business may not jump out at you as expenses when they could be. For example, consider the following accounts.

Mileage: Trips made in your vehicle to pick up office supplies can be counted as a business deduction if you record the proper information to support it.

Meals: Treating your agent to a restaurant meal with the discussion focusing on your next book can also generate a tax deduction when properly documented.

Shipping: UPS charges and postage used to mail a query or review copy of your book can be a small expense, but it should still be tracked. Those small deductions add up and every penny spent as a qualified business expense will reduce the amount of income tax you owe.

Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers devotes an entire chapter to expenses including a comprehensive listing of expenses and detailed information regarding what documentation is required to support each one.

Kathy: Let's walk a bit. I'm sure you've observed other freelance writers making accounting missteps that cost them time and money. What are some of the most common issues and how can we avoid them?

Brigitte: The most common misstep I’ve seen with writers is not taking themselves seriously as business owners. This can lead to financial pitfalls. Many writers have been honing their craft for years so it’s hard to identify an official starting date for their self-employment. Without this point to mark the beginning, it is easy to put off tracking income and expenses. This can be an unfortunate mistake.

The IRS will consider you to be in business when you are actively pursuing projects intended to generate income and expenses. This means they will expect you to file a tax return to report those transactions. Keeping track of your income and expenses from day one will enable you to pay the least amount of income taxes on the money you earn.

Kathy: That's a great point, Brigitte. We can walk down to the bottom of the gorge by taking these steps. Do you want to go?

Brigitte: Kathy, 1,112 steps, that's a lot of steps!

Kathy: I'll race you to the bottom!

Brigitte: Are you OK, Kathy? You're breathing kinda heavy.

Kathy: Yea, I'll be fine. Just give me a minute. Let's sit by this waterfall and continue our interview.

Kathy: Many people find numbers, especially when related to bookkeeping and taxes, intimidating. Will this book make these things easier to understand"?

Brigitte: Yes, my book breaks down complicated number crunching into easy to follow steps. By reading the book, readers will understand why it's important to keep certain receipts and how those pieces of paper factor into the overall success of their writing business. Sometimes knowing the reasoning behind a task makes it easier to complete.

Writers can take advantage of some wonderful tax deductions, but only when they are aware of the possibility and know how to accurately document the expenses. My book explains it all in a reader friendly format.

Kathy: What are some of the challenges readers face with regards to bookkeeping?

Brigitte: I found the most common challenge writers face revolves around what they can claim as income and what counts as a tax deduction. For example, if their first job is writing the school newsletter, is the money received really income? Do they need to do something with the Internal Revenue Service before they can be considered a business? How do they handle self- employment tax?

The second most common concern for the freelance writers is related to proper documentation. What receipts did they need to save? How should they be kept? What information needs to be recorded to prove the expense? These are all great questions and they are addressed in the book.

Kathy: Tell my readers how they can purchase your book?

Brigitte: Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers is available through and my publisher Any local bookstore can order my book by ISBN-10: 0963212389 or ISBN-13: 978-0963212382. List price is $17.95.

Kathy: Thank you, Brigitte, for coming and sharing your book with us.

Brigitte: Your welcome. I enjoyed our hike, too.

Kathy: Here comes the bad news. Now we have to walk up all those steps to get back to the car.

Brigitte: OH NO!

Kathy Stemke's websites:
Moving Through all Seven Days link:
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