Posts Tagged ‘reading’




Bright and Shiny Lightbulb Moments

Filed under: Pondering

From time to time I have these bright and shiny light bulb moments. Not just one single pop of illumination, but more like Times Square at night. Maybe even bigger than that…


Not all of these ah-ha moments are brilliant, or even worthy of stopping the presses. But together they bring a new light to my life. What it reminds me is that I am leaving a place of stress, upheaval, insecurity, sadness, fear and unfocus. And now I am moving towards a place where my compass is spinning towards it’s true north.

It’s not perfect. I still have “stuff” going on that I’d like to put behind me. Little black holes that suck up my illumination. I’m tired lately and I need to get more aggressive with getting to bed earlier. I have a couple tweaky body parts that are keeping me from running and dancing the way I like. And even though the weather is getting warmer, putting me in the salad, fruit and veggie, smoothy zone again. I’m also just as likely to be put in the ice cream zone as well. *le sigh* And yes, even though I want to be healthier–I’m counting down the days until the Easter Bunny brings me my Alps Chocolate. So–yeah–far from perfect.


The the cascade of bright and shiny lightbulb moments is irresistible none the less. And what I love about a lightbulb moment is that it doesn’t feel forced–like I’m saying something in the secret hopes of trying to convince myself. Nope–this is the good stuff. It’s solid and true and I thought I’d share a bit of it with you. Be warned…they are kind of random. And of course I like it that way.

*EVERYTHING I read makes me a better writer. When I first started writing I only read for pleasure. I never read as a writer–for instruction. Then when I started reading as a writer, to improve my own craft, I found myself a little shell shocked about how much there was for me to learn. I forgot to get lost in the story. But now I feel as if I’ve found my balance. I’m like a person who’s been wearing bifocals long enough to jump effortlessly between perspectives. I’m liking this tremendously.

*There are more adult bullies out there then child bullies. Often they are instructing children how not to be bullies. I’m not sure we can change the adults–but I always have hope for the children.

*REMOVE YOURSELF FROM TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS!!!!! You can call me naive, optimistic, a door mat, pretty damn stupid, evolved, hopeful or even a glutton for punishment. In truth I’m probably a mix of all of them. But despite who I am, I’m not sure what makes me stay so long in relationships that allow people to treat me poorly. But I’ve discovered that whatever my motivations are/were for toughing out a bad situation–I’m happier when I’m no longer in a toxic environment. So yay for making a change, even if it took me way too long to make it in the first place.

*Raising resilient, happy, well rounded kids means sometimes they have to be miserable. If you protect your children from everything–their world will implode the day you’re finally not there to insulate them. Instead of fixing everything–it’s more important to hold up a mirror so they can witness their own strength. Reach out a hand to help them up when they fall. Hug them when things are hard so they know they are always loved. Let them fall down from time to time so they can practice getting back up on their own.

*I just want to write what needs to come out of me. I feel like I should elaborate, but I don’t need to. It’s that simple.

*The only reason I keep unpacking those leftover boxes is because I still have things I need and can’t find. If it weren’t for that…

*Half the battle in anything is showing up. This means sitting down and writing. It also means doing your laundry. It even means relaxing or climbing into bed in a timely manner.

*Homeopathy is the single best thing I’ve done for the physical and emotional health of myself and my family.

*Jealousy is like a fleet of dust bunnies. That dark feeling can hide in small unexpected places. It can be around every corner and blow out of hiding with the slightest breeze. And no matter how well you “clean house,” it can’t be eliminated. The evil dust bunnies must be stared down and wrestled into submission.


See how scary they are…

*My lap top is not going to live forever. *sobs*

*I am a work in progress. Every bright and shiny lightbulb moment I have today will be seen through a different lens at another point in my life. And that’s okay–illuminated moments of thought are the layers we use to get to more complicated thoughts and emotions.

I’ve got more, but it’s your turn. Are you having any bright and shiny lightbulb moments lately that you’d like to share? I find interesting thoughts breed more and more interesting thoughts…

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What’s on the Nightstand and Some Other Stuff

Filed under: Contests, Reading, Touching the Surface, YA Outside the LInes

Today I’m cross posting because I’m blogging over at YA Outside the Lines. Our topic for the month is our current reading list. Click here to find out about what I’m reading!

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And just a reminder–I’m running a Library Giveaway! Enter to win one of six signed copies of TOUCHING THE SURFACE for the Library of your choice. All the details are HERE!


It’s easy-peasy to get your library’s name in the hat.


And I’m also taking random questions today. Anything you want to know about writing and publishing–I’ll do my best to answer.

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Cross Posting at YA Outside the Lines: How We Read

Filed under: Check-it-out, Reading, YA Outside the LInes

Today I’m cross posting over at YA Outside the Lines. This month we are talking about how we read. It’s a fascinating topic and you should check out all the posts this month. To see mine…click HERE.

Little Kim Reading


And don’t forget to leave a blog post comment for the Literate Earth Project. All you have to do is say anything…I LOVE BOOKS or I LOVE KIDS will do the trick. You can even say LAUGH IT UP FUZZ BALL–it’s the 8yo’s favorite new Star Wars saying now that he’s become a HUGE Chewbacca fan. Your comment will put $1 in the hands of kids who are badly in need of books. It’s easy and it’s a fabulous thing to do. And of course I would appreciate it if you told friends and Wookies or Wookie friends to stop by and leave a comment too.


Feel free to hop on over to either of those posts ASAP, but if you’re dying to leave a comment here too–I’m taking questions on writing or author-ly things. Just shout it out.




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The Literate Earth Project

Filed under: Check-it-out, Community, Reading

Want to hear about something amazing? My friend Jeff Fonda is the CEO of the amazing Literate Earth Project. Haven’t heard of it yet? Check this out…


The idea for The Literate Earth Project was sparked in the summer of 2009 after founder and CEO Jeff Fonda worked as an Ambassador for Soccer (SWB) Without Borders in Ndejje, Uganda. He worked on a number of projects but their main focus was coaching and teaching at Hope School (now called Great Lakes School), a primary school in Ndejje. He noticed that all of the students in class were using handwritten books and that the school had maybe 50 printed books in their possession but all were under lock and key because of how valuable they were. Jeff and his fellow SWB Ambassador started taking out the books during lunch, promising to keep a watchful eye on them, and the vast majority of students chose to forgo their typical running around outside to sit and read the books. For those who couldn’t read, just seeing pictures of different types of animals, weather and cities, expanded their minds. Before Jeff left Uganda that summer, he promised Jacques Bwira, the founder of Great Lakes School, that he would be back to build libraries. Jacques is now on The Literate Earth Project board and in June 2012 The Literate Earth Project opened the first free public library in the East Africa Community. It is the first of many to come because we believe literacy is truly at the core of human development and that these libraries will be the building blocks for some very bright futures.

But telling you doesn’t compare to showing you…

As you can see, this is a project that makes me want to be a successful author so I can help to spread the word and urge people to contribute to the power of literacy. It’s the best weapon I know for making the world a better place.

You can find out more about The Literate Earth Project HERE!

I’d also like to put my money where my mouth is. For everyone who leaves a comment on this blog post, I will donate a dollar to The Literate Earth Project. (One comment per person up to $100) What should you write in the comments? Tell me about what you liked about the video or The Literate Earth Project. Tell me how books make a difference in the lives of children. Tell me you’ve gone and made a donation.

How can you spread the word to make sure I’m paying the full $100?  Here is a pre-fabricated tweet/FB status you can share.

Check out The Literate Earth Project @LiterateEarth and comment to make @KimSabatini give a bigger donation

Thank you for helping to spread the word–you are made of awesome.

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Filed under: Blogging, Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, Contests, Reading

Today is the official relaunch day for the BOOKANISTAS!!!! If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m one of the newest members of this group. When I was invited to join the Bookanistas I jumped at the chance because they are perfectly in line with my own personal feelings about reviewing books.


Bookanistas Header FINAL

Nothing But Love Policy 

The Bookanistas ONLY recommend and review young adult, middle grade, and picture books we truly love!

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but as an author, I feel there is no room in my life for negatively critiquing the work of my peers. If I have a book gripe, I share it on a personal level, not a public one. But on the other hand, I have multiple reasons for wanting to positively promote books.

Here are some of my reasons…

*It helps authors to have reviews posted in places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads etc… If you want to help your favorite author continue to write books, please support and endorse them. It does help, but even if it didn’t, I’m positive it would make that author very, very happy to know you care.

*I love connecting books I love with people I love. *fist pump* And it’s even more fun if after the connection, we get to talk about the books. Yup–I’m a book nerd and seriously proud of it!

*I enjoy writing quirky reviews. I am incredibly impressed with the time and effort that goes into the in-depth reviews that most bloggers write, but I honestly don’t feel I can live up to the standard they’ve set. Rather than not share at all, I review books in my own unique way. I try to see the book through my own personal filter. Hopefully, by coming at it a little differently, I catch the attention of someone who will love the book the way that I do .

Not sure what a REALLY UNIQUE Kim review might look like? Here’s an example…  LOL!

*I read reviews. They help me to pick out my own books. I can only read about 100 books a year (I hate that I’m such a slow reader) so I like to increase my chances of finding something utterly awesome. Plus, I’m simply fascinated by the fact that so many different people can feel completely different emotions about the same book. The oddities and intricacies of human nature simply suck me in, I also like being a part of the process–not just a taker, but a giver too.


As I mentioned earlier, with May drawing to a close, we’re celebrating the start of summer and another great beginning: THE RELAUNCH OF THE BOOKANISTAS! New members, new logo, new website design and a whole lot more of the book love we all adore!

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And, don’t forget the prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Signed copies of these Bookanista-authored books…


LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger

BY BLOOD by Tracy Banghart
TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini (plus a swag surprise)
BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris
AUDITION by Stasia Ward Kehoe
THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca (plus sweet swag)
MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhans
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AND A SECOND WINNER WILL GET A BOX FILLED WITH Bookanista-beloved reads including WILL GRAYSON WILL GRAYSON (signed!) by John Green & David Levithan, DITCHED by Robin Mellom, JELLICO ROAD by Melina Marchetta, TAKEN by Erin Bowman, CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare, MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama and SPARROW ROAD by Sheila O’Connor.

You can find lots more Bookanista Relaunch Book Love at our sites around the interwebs: Carolina Valdez MillerCarrie Harris,  Christine FonsecaCorrine JacksonDebra DrizaElana JohsonJessica LoveKaty UppermanLenore Appelhans,  Nikki KatzRebecca BehrensShannon Messenger , Shelli Johannes-WellsStasia Ward KehoeTracey Neithercott , Tracy Banghart  

What has you the most excited about the BOOKANISTAS Re-launch?


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How Do You Research a New Book Idea?

Filed under: Pondering, Reading, Writing, Writing for Children, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’ll be honest, I’m not really a researcher in the traditional sense of the word. I hear about writers attacking mountains of data for non-fiction and historical fiction–and quite frankly–I start to hyperventilate. That stuff freaks me out!


I’m sucky at tasks with a high attention to detail and prefer to flit around like a butterfly, but I’ve also come to realize that I do have a Kim version of research. Like most people, I start with an idea. Usually a question–an itch that must be scratched. I spend a lot of time, while I’m revising my current WIP, tossing the new nugget of an idea around in my mind. I examine it from every angle. Usually I find, that while I have a starting point, I don’t have enough stuff  to write a complete story. In essence, I’m lacking the threads to weave a full blanket. I’ve only got enough to do a half of a sweater. This idea tossing sounds like pretty typical behavior for most writers, but this is where I get a little weird. When I get stuck trying to find the rest of those threads, I go divining for inspiration in the book store the way this guy uses a dowsing stick to find water.iStock_000006326698XSmall

The first thing I do is wander around a book store. (One of my favorite things to do in the whole world. *sigh*) I keep my mind open and I touch books. I literally walk around trailing my fingers over spines and grabbing random books that have covers that pull me in. Then I read the jackets and see if anything resonates. If my mind and my fingers get a little jumpy with curiosity, the way that dowsing stick does over water, I add another book onto my pile of “research.” I usually come home with an eclectic pile of books and after I read them, I some how I find my answers. I’m not really sure how it works. On my more logical days, I believe that reading simply stimulates the mind and if you read enough, you’ll stumble across enough questions and answers to fill a book. Other days, I’m pretty damn sure that I was born to be an author and when you’re doing the thing you’re supposed to be doing, the universe is happy and rewards you with a little magic. Or maybe it’s a little bit of both. LOL!

How do you like to research a new book?



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Stephen King’s Advice on Becoming a Writer

Filed under: Check-it-out, Reading, Writing

I’m busy juggling boys and revisions, but I found an expert to give you advice on being a writer…

Love this!

What’s your favorite genre to read outside of children’s literature? Favorite author? Favorite book? What are you reading that expands your book pallet?

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John Green Agrees–I Should Cheese On This Post and Go Read!

Filed under: Reading

Okay–you caught me. I’m sick. I’m tired. I want to go read and John Green thinks it’s important.

What are you reading right now?

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Reading Spaz

Filed under: Reading

I think we’ve established in previous posts that I tend to be a slow reader and compensate with audiobooks which increases what’s on my reading list. Plus I just like to read when I’m supposed to be doing something boring like housework. I also have an e-reader or two in my company at all times–ya know–for emergencies. LOL! Additionally, I’m reading a plethora of different books to my boys every night. The kids range from ages 11 to 7 and have broad interest areas increasing my habit of reading broadly. Plus I like to read them things that are outside of their box–to mix things up a little bit. Because of that we usually have anywhere from 2-4 different books going at a time. Yeah, this is how my reading list easily gets to be so long. But I’ve also discovered something else about my reading habits. I read for pleasure and I also read for purpose. Right now I’m in the exploratory, mullet-over phase of my third book and so I’m reading things that will help me connect the random and semi-random dots floating around my head. I also read because of curiosity and and the need to belong. Yeah, I’ve put a dent in 50 Shades of Grey. I’m not sure whether I wanted to read it or not, but I know I wanted to be a part of the conversation, or at least be an informed listener–not left out. I also read for craft. Lately it’s been mostly in the form the The Writer and Writer’s Digest, but I have a long list of favorite craft reads and want-to-reads and even re-reads to keep me busy for a long time. And then I critique my friends’ writing too, which I love because it makes me feel special to be on the ground level of something amazing. Phew…I’m tired just talking about it. LOL!

And then there are those folks who read one book at a time. *head thunk*

They make me feel like a reading spaz. But I try to remind myself that I’m “that girl” in other areas of my life–like when it comes to ice cream. Because I only ever order chocolate. I am not an ice cream spaz. And I’m also that girl a lot of times in a lot of different ways through out my day. I’m often tried and true, boring and horribly predictable, so it just might be healthy for me to be a bit of a spaz somewhere in my life. Or not–you never know. Okay–I’m an organizational spaz too–but that shouldn’t count because cleaning and organization is no damn fun.

How do you read your books and eat your ice cream? Are you messy like me? Inquiring minds want to know. *waggles eyebrows*

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A Tween Audiobook Aficionado

Filed under: Audiobooks, Check-it-out, Reading

According to the Audio Publishers Association JUNE IS AUDIOBOOK MONTH!!! You probably know that I’m a HUGE audiobook fan, or as my son just yelled out…NERD! But he is too–so I thought I would have him be a guest blogger today to talk about the supreme awesomeness of audiobooks!

Jamison is 11 years old and he’s dyslexic, making audiobooks, not only a pleasure, but an integral part of his ability to enjoy reading. Since he’s bugging the crap out of me right now–“I thought I was going to get to say something”– I think it’s time to turn over this post to him…

Curled up in bed and listening.

“I think audiobooks are cool because I am dyslexic and it is hard for me to read, so when I read audiobooks it helps me to understand the words. Sometimes I listen and read the books at the same time which helps. I also think it’s interesting to hear the character’s voices in an audiobook. I may make mistakes when I read or not pronounce the words right, so I really like hearing how they are suppose to sound.”

As a mom of a child with dyslexia, I’m thrilled to have audiobooks to share with him because his vocabulary, comprehension and areas of interest are in a completely different place than his independent reading level. Audiobooks give him access when I’m not around to read to him–or if he wants to read the ERAGON SERIES for the umpteenth time. *head thunk* Audiobooks have enabled a child who has an extremely difficult time reading in a traditional manner– to consider himself an avid reader–a book lover. In my opinion that makes audiobooks priceless.

Well, you heard it from two audiobook nerds–it’s time to get your ears on and listen to a great book!!!!

In honor of Audiobook Month…What’s you’re favorite audiobook? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done while listening to an audiobook? If you’ve never tried it–why?



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