Jottings From Jazianzza We’d Love Your Opinion!

Greetings to everyone in our beautiful hive. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Our deepest desire is to have Jazianzza Azzaza Buzzabee’s Bee-Coming Strong book, which I’ve begun calling her “memoir”, fly around the world helping children build self-confidence, navigate bullies, and foster inner peace.

We’ve had many children and the adults who read the book with them tell us how much they have loved it, and how it has helped them in their lives. Recently I received this comment:

“My daughter wrote “Bee strong” in her planner and drew a picture of a bee. She also bought a handmade, crocheted bee to use on her tummy when she does the breathing exercise from your book. Thank you for writing the book and connecting her to both bees and herself. We also watched My Garden of a Thousand Bees on your recommendation and loved it.”

It’s feedback like this that gives me the passion to continue my efforts to bring Bee-Coming Strong to a wider audience. However, I do have a question. With all the wonderful things I’ve heard about the book, no one has commented on the illustrations of the children. I specifically asked Akiko to create drawings so children might be able to imagine themselves as part of the narrative. Jazi, as you probably know, speaks directly to the reader. I thought this was an important, albeit possibly subtle message in the book.

Those I have specifically asked about this have told me it didn’t really matter so much. I’m wondering because Jazianzza is continuing her memoir, this time including Sam C. Pillar, a little monarch caterpillar who doesn’t even know his middle name. So, my question to you, dear reader, is do you think it’s important to include illustrations with children again, or should we just have Jazi and her new friends featured? Any insights would be appreciated. You can reply to this email, and thank you for any thoughts, in advance.

I recently did another podcast with a wonderful woman named Elizabeth Wilson on her Inspired Writer Collective Podcast. She and Stephanie Oswald have an online community of women memoir writers and gather for in-depth discussions on, among other things, writing craft, time management, book marketing, and publishing. Before I say anything more, I want to make something clear…if I had my way, I would market the book with a bag over my head! Seriously, I am not excited about becoming famous or anything like that. Yes, I can be extroverted and talk easily with people, but I also have a strong bent toward being an introvert. I have learned, however, that if one wants to market a book, it’s helpful if the reader can connect with the author and get to know them more. So, gulp, that’s what I’m doing.

After I sent the book to Elizabeth, she wrote to tell me her daughter… “absolutely loves the book, and she also uses the techniques regularly and talks about them (like tummy breathing or visualization).” That’s just what Jazi was hoping for!

Here’s the link if you’d like to watch.

Episode 24 [GUEST]: Anandamayi Baker, author of Bee-Coming Strong, connecting children with nature

Elizabeth on “Inspired Writer Collective”.

Lastly, I’d like to share something a friend recently sent me from FB…an adorable photo of a bee taking a little nap.. Doesn’t it make you want to do the same? We wish you a month filled with awe and delight in the little things. May you thrive!

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.”

Baba Dioum

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