From the Archives – FREEDOM! WE ALL NEED SOME

NOTE (2.16.14): I’ve got a lot going on this week so I’m dipping into the archives on a Post I wrote back in July 2013, and I hope it get more diverse attention the second time around-

Today, I’m taking a break from my usual posts to discuss something else that’s been weighing heavy on my heart lately-

There’s been a lot of talk among parental circles, educators, and all in between about why are kids and teens either take life too seriously or not enough, more often it’s not enough.

Lots of parents seem to be of the view that kids today are lazy, screen obsessed entitlement freaks who don’t want tot work hard for their futures.

While there’s truth to that, we also overlook another truth, kids are being pressured to grow up faster at all fronts, and yet we complain when they want to be grown ups fast. Well, we’re creating our own problem on this specific point.

As a both a writer of children’s books, and a education-challenged under 30 “Deadbeat” I know from my own experience that we overlook a lot of issues when we talk about education.

Instead of ranting, I’ll let pictures do my talking for me, but fear not, I’ll have MORE words to say on this topic later.

NOTE: I’m in no way parent-bashing here, I’m not a parent and/or teacher, and for those of you in education from either the parent and/or teacher POV who are doing right by our nation’s youth, understand I say this because I wish there were more of you.


More and More Parents see their kids like




Instead of this- 


What “Test” is worth feeling like this?


When did school become “God?”


Does “Sucking at Math” make me less worthy?


Is this future migraine/ulcer GOOD for me?


What parents WANT to see-


What they NEED to see – Crying_child_with_blonde_hair

“Mommy, you work a second job to make money, what am I getting out of pre-k and first grade becoming my “second job?” that I don’t get paid for.”





“Dad, I may not have to walk 100 miles to get to school like you did in the “Once upon a time Olden days” , but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier for me, either.”


They’ll NEVER get here-










If they Burnout Here-


















Adults of the World, I URGE you to hear

this plea: We CAN’T let this-





Destroy THIS-









Kids, Parents, Educators, and all those in-between: What do you think?

Please have the courage and heart to share in the comments below.

A Different Kind of Book Trailer

Fan Book Trailers

Writers, we all know book trailers (When done right and tight) can bring readers a thrilling tease for their book, and we commonly think of book trailers for books we’ve written recently, trailers for books a little long in the tooth can be a great way to recharge and renew interest in backlist titles.

Authors (Such as Katie Davis, who we profiled during Picture Book Month 2013, and created “Video Idiot Boot Camp” where I learned to tackle and eventually embrace the power and reciprocity of video) uses this tactic to great effect.

But for readers, or writers who are pre-published or struggling to build a platform, making book trailers for your favorite books can be a great way to show the author your support and show your potential readers what you’re like through what you love to read.

For authors and illustrators, it’s a great way to support your colleague’s work and helps your visibility as well, especially if you write in the same genre. It’s also a great way to crossover to a new audience and show your current audience and platform in a new light.


Recently, I did a trailer for a book I didn’t write, but love and want this first book in a four book series to get more love and attention-

[sz-youtube url=”” userdata=”Taury” /]


It’s a way to “promote” T.A.A. and my author brand without it being directly about me or my writing specifically.

Today, I share yet another fan-made trailer for a book close to your Literary Rat’s Heart-


[sz-youtube url=”” userdata=”Taury” /]

I’ll soon be writing a feature series on how readers and authors can support the unsung authors and books that don’t get “Bestseller” attention by creating book trailers of books you love, especially if they’re older titles that don’t have ones of their own (In the “Old Days”days when trailers were only for movies)

While I love doing book reviews on T.A.A. and plan to do more in 2014, fan made book trailers are another way to engage your audience and (For authors and/or illustrators) build one’s platform (I prefer to call it “Community”) without pushing yourself in annoying or uncomfortable ways.

This is also positive way we can share our love and fandom to authors and our circle of avid book lovers, be they fellow writers or lay readers.

Since most authors don’t read any comments or reviews of their own books (For varied and personal reasons), this is a way we (Be it author or lay reader) can share our love for their work without the critical factor reviews (Even positive ones) can have.

What do you think of my newest fan book trailer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. T.A.A. loves hearing from its readers.

That’s all for today. Until Next time, may the fantastical fauna be with you

1st Annual Swinebert & Dempsey’s “Hog ‘n Claw Bowl”

Hog and Claw Bowl 2014 (FINAL)

Swinebert: We’re late, but whatever, welcome to the 1st Annual Swinebert & Dempsey “Hog ‘n Claw Bowl” Where we share our favorite ads aired during (Or in some cases prior to) Super Bowl 2014.


[sz-youtube url=”” userdata=”Taury” /]

GEICO (Maxwell at the DMV)
Swinebert: We pigs need more respect. I sure know how Jabberjaw feels at times…

Dempsey: I can relate. I get so tired of cats seen as anti-social, pompous, megalomaniacs who only see the worst in humans, rarely the best!

[sz-youtube url=”” userdata=”Taury” /]
Cheerios (Or Why we still have faith in humanity at large)

Swinebert: Just sweet.

Dempsey: Quite right, S.B. Though I wonder the “Bargain” Langley (My Big brother) got prior to my birth…

[sz-youtube url=”” userdata=”Taury” /]

Chobani (Mr. Bear Goes WILD…)
Swinebert: This describes my Dad when he had to be on a highly restrictive diet, yogurt (In general) saved his sanity. He can now eat as likes, but this ursine tantrum brought me back to those days, which is FAR funnier in hindsight as it was serious back then.


Dempsey: Had similar “Dad” issues myself, S.B. But they had nothing to do with diet. We’re good now. But things were wicked intense for ages!


Swinebert: Well that’s it from us. What were your favorite Super Bowl Ads? (Please keep comments “Safe For Work” even if the videos in question weren’t)


Dempsey: Special Thanks to Talking Animal Addicts for letting us guest blog here today. Our site’s still in the works. But you can follow S.B. and me on Twitter (@Swinebert_and_D)