Welcome back to Conversations, with Kate & Carrie and we are so glad that you are joining us today. And we are excited because we have a guest and she is joining us all the way from Tampa Florida. And you gotta love how, although, we none of us were terribly excited, when everything went virtual and everything that kind of came out of that lovely covid, experienced lawyers, go and still going through. However, one of the things that did do is it made Made incredibly. More every day for us to have some lovely guest speakers from all around the country. Today, one of our guest speakers is also an author so Geanne Meta an is an author of a children’s book and we’re going to talk a little bit about that children’s book and how it makes you feel. So Carrie, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you met Geanne and maybe even show us the book and I saw you over there. Yeah, and then we’ll just kind of jump into some conversation about the book and we’re get to know you a little bit better.
Okay. Geanne Meta and I have the same writing coach company which is called Self Publishing School. We’re in a mastermind together and she was talking about her book and I was like, hey I’ve got a podcast it sounds like Your book would be a good book for Early Childhood Educators. And would you like to come play? And she said, yes. So we like we say, you have to have coaches, so Janet I both have writing coaches. We didn’t even, I didn’t even ask who her current coaches, but my guess is, we probably at least worked with one in common over the past year or two. The book is called, What is Artemis? Afraid of?
So, Geanne, tell us, what is Artemis afraid of?
Everything, it turns out. Well, she’s based on my grand dog, which is a Chihuahua. And if you have been around for a while, you know, they’re just jumpy and afraid of things and run and hide. And then they are, you know, a lot of joy and fun too.
But so I based Artemis on my little girl. Grand dog. And then Glory Be her friend is the little girl that’s wise and, you know, helps her deal with her feelings and that’s based on my granddaughter who’s now just turned 4.
How Lovely. So what made you decide, okay? So what you don’t know Geanne, is that for literally probably the last year or so maybe even the last two we have often talked about Carrie mentioned that a little bit about the importance of having coaches and everything a coach can help you But we’ve also talked a lot about having a side hustles or side gigs, but also not necessarily waiting to make some of your goals happen. So tell me a little bit. What made you decide that this was a book that you wanted to write and that it was your goal to writing this book?
Good question. I have written, you know, and journaled my whole life. I’ve used that to express myself but I had this parenting book that I wrote first and self-published first and 2019 that’s a nonfiction work and I was planning to write another non-fiction book for adults.
So, I was going through the self-publishing school coaching and everything and they had a children’s book section. I thought no, no, no, that’s not for me, you know, I can’t rhyme, I do, who am I? So I didn’t even think about that. And then, as I was starting to write, I just wasn’t excited about it. And then my granddaughter was having these issues with being really fearful. And I thought, what if I could write her a book that would help her, you know. And of course, help other people too, but help her specifically with understanding that it’s okay, to feel afraid and that it’s perfectly normal to have feelings. So that’s how it worked out. It was not really an idea and, you know, just came to me in the middle of the night or something said.
Go ahead and do it.
All right, so wait a minute. So I thought I just heard you, right? You just said that really, this book was written as a tool to help your granddaughter, who was afraid?
Wow, what? How wonderful! Okay. So Our directors, who are listening? This could be a great resource for them to incorporate into their classroom and curriculum.
So, Carrie, using your curriculum brain, if you were a director and you heard our podcast and you’re like, well that sounds interesting. How could we use that? What would you tell a director? What would you tell a director about getting this book? You’ve read it, I’ve read it, you know?
So I mean a lot of times in your Pre-K class, your Pre-K 3 Pre-K for pre-k five, you’ll have one or two kids who are just timid and you didn’t get lost in the in the kerfuffle of a classroom, you know, there’s 15, 20 kids in the classroom and if one of them is starting any time, there’s a big noise or like hiding behind furniture when someone new comes into the classroom. It’s hard for the teacher to always recognize that this is a child who needs extra support and it can get to be a little much for some teachers. That’s something you see in this book, right? That she’s hiding during a party. Come on. It’s a party. And her human helps her through that. And so, if you’ve got a child at your program who’s having stranger anxiety, well past the age, you know, there are two, three, four and they’re still having a stranger anxiety.
This is a great book to introduce and do it at the classroom meeting or Circle time. Instead of “I’m just going to read it to the kid who is obviously scared”. The other thing about chihuahuas is not everybody knows is that they’re scared because they bark a lot. It’s and you may have that happen in a classroom. You have a kid. Who snaps at people, you know, because they’re afraid.
Okay, come, come up with a teenage version of this book. An adult version of this book. I’ve got something good. Can we make it a comic book for teenagers? Maybe even the adults that, you know, I know, I’m sorry. I mean I’ve been challenging her. Yeah that our daughter is very: you know that they have their own anxiety because right to be honest I mean there we all have that adult friend that needs to read this book about the Chihuahua and because we don’t we’re not talk about learning feelings, that’s what I loved about. Your book kind of reminds me… Carrie and I were talking about the fact that this isn’t a subject that there’s a lot of books available. And so it’s a great way to kind of introduce just learning to use the words.
Kids aren’t exposed enough to the vocabulary and as adults most of us know seven feeling words and you know we have more than seven and so we were sad. We’re mad, we’re angry about it. Happy Hank. Didn’t you say anything? Come up with seven, right? You know, And that’s it. But yet you know if you’re looking at a feelings wheel, right like there’s there’s all these words and it’s a great opportunity for us as Educators. And really, it is the director’s job to help our Educators learn how to help the kids start to identify those words.
Yes. And you have in the back of the book, you have a section for the caregiver. So what were some of the things that you Brought up there that you think are important for caregivers whether they are teachers or whether their parents.
Well thanks for asking, you know, my coach at the time was Elaine and she said you know I was thinking about putting a note to caregivers in the back because but you know the lessons are pretty obvious. You know, when you read the book it’s because what’s obvious to you is not necessarily obvious to everybody else, you know? So Go ahead and put what you want.
So, you know, I just, I used examples from the book from the story and that’s what I hope, Educators, parents, everybody that reads it to a child, will kind of pause and say, hey, have you ever felt like that or oh, did you notice that Glory Be, you know, took the time to listen instead of just, you know, keep on reading. So, in the back, I put just notes on what was going on in the story, and here’s the list. Here’s here’s something to talk about.
It reminded me of Oprah’s Book Club because you know you think about it, right? Oprah’s Book Club at the end of the end of her books. They have discussion questions. And so to me it was the kids version of Oprah’s Book Club. So you know, maybe we started a thing. So now we just need to get Oprah or some version of an Oprah. Maybe Kelly Clarkson. We need somebody to have their own version of a kids book club complete with the discussion questions for the kids. Dolly Parton. There we go. Imagination station. It could also be Miss Rachel. Miss Rachel is, you know, blowing up on YouTube.
But I’m trying to think of somebody who has the standing. Imagination Station already sends out millions of books and, you know, they’re year at that, zero to five. So, if those parents were given discussion questions at the front of the book, or a page to write. What an awesome tool for the parents. And teaching the parents how to read a book because I think a lot of us make an assumption that parents know how to read a book to a child and yes, anything is better than nothing.
Yeah. Which is, you know, huge, right. And if we’re giving them the books for free and that in itself is such a wonderful tool, but you know, I think that the book is great, hopefully folks will definitely look for more. So maybe Artemis will have some additional feelings in the future that will get to explore with Artemis.
Yes. Yes, I’m not sure if it’ll be feelings, but I want to have different emotions. Yes, different situations that you can help your kids with, you know, because I like stories that entertain, but then there’s a lesson in them, you know, which most kids books do have but you know, that’s kind of my mission is.
Okay, I want to just pivot real quick because you said you also wrote a book for parents and I just want to talk a little bit. I want you to share a little bit about that because that’s another thing that we as educational leaders need is resources to give parents when they’re struggling. So tell us a little bit about that book as well.
Well, this was really my passion project that I had thought about a lot. I thought about it for over 20 years and I did not know how to get it published, but I finally did. It’s called Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse which, you know, here it is. Here it is. Parenting, well after childhood abuse, because I was sexually abused as a child, which now is becoming more and more of a topic of conversation. Which is good, because shining light on abuse of any kind is very helpful in helping to eradicate it, right? You can’t just keep it in the shadows, and parenting is tough, no matter who you are.
Absolutely! To have parents that don’t support you that are actually abusive or emotional, you know, physical, all these things, that millions of people experienced children, who are now adults Are you there afraid to be a parent because they’re like, what am I going to keep the cycle?
Going what, or how, how do I do it differently? Almost all survivors do have a drive inside to get better, to do better and to do it much better job for their kids. Which is what I had. So I had to start from Square One. Mostly. Find resources, and find books, and magazines and TV shows, and other moms to talk to. And so that’s why I wrote the book is to help others that were probably struggling. Just like I was.
So I have a question for you Geanne, where can somebody find both of these resources because these really are great resources.
If you found us on social media, make sure you go look in the post because chances are there’s some links in the post or in the comments, we’d love for you to be able to check them out, but Jan wears a great place for people to check that out. Well, there’s the great big amazon that has, you know, my books. You can just search my name meta but also Jan met, a.com is my website and there’s links They’re of where you.
Okay, and that. So that’s GeanneMeta.com. Yes. All right. I just want to make sure that we get that spelled out there, correctly for folks who are listening.
And I love the topic, I really do because we do have directors all over who listen to us, literally all over the world and kind of an interesting thing that is kind of to grasp as a podcast. Like you said, this is definitely an issue for adults who have struggled with this. And it has been unfortunately a secret that we just didn’t talk about.
So, you look like you had a question or something you wanted to say.
Well, I just wanted to say I think you know I kind of wish I could buy books for everybody who’s listening to the podcast but I don’t know your mailing address. (Person who consumes in Helsinki) but it’s available on Amazon so you can get your version of Amazon amazon.com.
Yes, it’s also a Barnes and Nobles and other places like that. I went wide on distribution.
I also recorded an audio book with this book, which is something I just did. Or the kid with the parenting? No, I mean you know a children’s book on audio. I guess it has uses but no, I did it myself because I had to learn quite a bit about audio books. Production, I’ve never done that before but that was fun and it’s a very personal thing. It was great to do with my own voice, but it’s a parenting book too. Even if you grew up at Disneyland, you could get some good practical stuff out of this book because there’s a chapter on dealing with teenagers, about accepting feelings about all kinds of things.
I tried to write a parenting book, but my angle was coming from abuse because that was my experience.
Yep. Dealing with the triggers. And I would say, also, you know, sometimes people go into teaching, because they have those kinds of traumas. So it might be helpful also to have your teacher’s resources. Teaching a class is different from parenting but there is some significant overlap between. The issues live longer periods of time than their parents sometimes.
Yeah, definitely. Well Geanne if you ever make it over to Texas or if you decide to start doing any sort of professional development and training and workshops please let us know.
With that, thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you for having me.
It’s been a pleasure.. All right. Carrie, you want to close this out.
I do. I want you guys to if you liked this episode, please go buy one or both of Geanne’s books and review this podcast on whatever podcast app you are using and share the show. We’d love to see you.