Tameka Fryer Brown is the author of the recently released picture book, My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood (Viking, 2013). This beautiful, colorful book features Jamie, an artistic kid whose moods are reflected in the colors of his crayon box. She’s also an awesome mom. I know this because we have commiserated all fall over the college decisions our high school seniors have to make. Tameka has given me some great mom-to-mom advice, and if you keep reading, you’ll benefit from it too. Thanks for joining us today, Tameka!
I have found that every character I create reflects me in some way. I love bright, vibrant hues—especially those of “rainbow” colors. I didn’t think about it while writing, but I realize that color is important to Jamie because it’s important to me.
From a craft perspective, I thought the vehicle of color would be an engaging, sensory-rich way to describe feelings.
2. What is your absolute favorite thing about creating relevant fiction?
Sharing my perspective and having it be heard—or read—by people I wouldn’t have the opportunity to communicate with otherwise. Creatively speaking, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.
3. Having met you at conferences, I know you’re an amazing mom with amazing daughters. What tips do you have for moms working to raise children today?
Thank you so much, but I’m definitely more blessed than amazing. These are some things I’ve learned along the way, though:
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Moms aren’t perfect, nor are we supposed to be. We’re supposed to do the best we can every day, with a commitment to doing better as we learn better.
- You’re not raising children…you’re raising adults. It’s important to keep that in mind when determining what acceptable behavior is and what it isn’t. If it won’t be “cute” as an adult, actively discourage it while they are children (and still impressionable).
- Start giving your kids chores early! Not only will it make life easier for you, it will equip your children to be self-reliant and better able to balance life’s responsibilities later on. (I’m playing catch-up on this one.)
- When you’re exhausted, skip the non-urgent stuff and rest. Dust bunnies don’t argue and dishes are very patient. (I’ve got this down to a science.)
As always, I love Tameka’s advice! I too have failed on the chores front. Younger parents, heed this advice and save yourselves!