Ashley Franklin

Why Cree had to win the day

I took an unexpected detour on my writing journey and did a bit of editing. How did that happen? An old college friend who knew of my published picture book quest reached out to me. When she told me of what she and a colleague wanted to do, I couldn’t say no. They didn’t just want to write a picture book, they wanted to birth a unique character to add to children’s bookshelves. That’s just what they did.
Ti and Lora created a perfectly imperfect African-American girl character. Think on that. Two African-American women from Philly saw a void and filled it. It’s as simple as that. See a need. Fill a need. While self-publishing can come with its difficulties, they persisted. Their community of friends, family, and loved ones helped their dream become a reality. Not only did Cree win the day, Lora and Ti did as well.
Cree Wins the Day isn’t just a story for girls. I have two boys, and the closest rival to this book in our home right now is Pete the Cat. What makes Cree so appealing to them? My 5yo likes that Cree wets the bed. My 2yo likes Cree going to school. (Those are all the spoilers you get. Go buy the book  from Amazon if you want to know more.)
Cree embraces what makes her different. Cree’s abilities, that sometimes make her days  a little crummy, show readers that our day-to-day lives may not be perfect or go as expected and that’s okay. We should always love ourselves and know who helps us to have a healthy mental space. That’s a lesson anyone can get behind.
 
cree
 

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What now? Promise to keep pushing!

I’ll get right to it. Many of us are upset or downright distraught over the election results. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We have that right. Here is my only plea:

Let’s not become paralyzed in our fears or frustrations.

Continue to do what it is you always do, but be more mindful. If you’re a writer, write the world you want to see. Write the normal that you wish for and make it the new normal. Strive to get marginalized voices out of the margins.
If you’re a parent, help your kids to recognize the beautiful array of people and cultures and lifestyles that call this country home.
Overall, everyone can show compassion. Show love. Let’s keep it real. If you honestly dislike a group of people, find out why. Could it be that you don’t really know any of them as individuals? Could it be that you fear what you don’t know or understand? Could it be that you fear change?
I find it a good practice to check myself. Maybe that’s something each of us can do. Let’s check ourselves. Check our biases and fears. When we learn and accept more about ourselves, it may be easier to love and accept others.
Keep pushing to be great, and as a collective, we might just achieve that greatness in America that we seek. I promise I will do my part. How about you?
 

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Moving. My Birthday. My 1st Sockibration.

We’re moving! Louisiana has tried to drown us for the last time. Who moves on their birthday, right? Hey, life happens. That’s the wonderful thing about it. It’s still happening for me. I am 32 today. Little kid me would be absolutely perplexed if we met face to face. My life is not going at all the way she planned out. I am not working as a famous journalist, living in a huge city, free of kids and all things boring. But guess what, there are a few things little kid me hadn’t considered:

  1. I genuinely hate big cities.
  2. I love writing fiction.
  3. I am good at working from home.
  4. I’m not as bad as I thought at this whole mom/wife thing.

Okay, 4 is still debatable on most days, but whatever.
I may not be where I want to be financially or physically right now, but I am working to be in a good mental space. What’s my birthday wish? To be content. To be better at appreciating the little things and to see how big their value can actually be.
Speaking of little things, that leads me to Sockibration. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know wonderful people in many online interaction. Particularly, one of my coworkers from a college I still work for is AMAZING! We bonded over our random, and often ridiculous for no reason, life experiences. Despite now knowing each other for years, on Monday we discovered our birthdays were just days apart. That’s how I was introduced to Sockibration. She sends socks to her friends in celebration of her birthday, friendship, and solidarity. It is one of the most random things that I’ve ever been a part of, but I like it. Here are the socks:
sockibration-socks
 
 

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