Category Archives: Writing

Free The Children: Kielburger’s Clarity and Commitment Builds A Powerful Organization.

After reading Free The Children by Craig Kielburger, I realized how clear the then 12 year old Kielburger’s vision was, and how maintaining that clarity made helping people really very simple.

  • Kielburger’s goal?  To continue the work of a freed child-labourer who had been assassinated.
  • His mandate?  For children to work together to right injustices perpetrated against impoverished children without adults being in charge or interfering.

In pursuit of that vision, he enlisted the help of his schoolmates.  They encouraged each other in the assumption that this was possible.

  • Education:  Kielburger and his team educated themselves, learning all they could about the topic.

And when confronted by people who saw the situation from a more sophisticated perspective they admitted only a temporary defeat.  They researched & studied until they were able to return and respond appropriately.  This later served Kielburger well in dealing with governmental agencies and other administrative bodies.

  • Action:  He travelled the world so that he could report the situation accurately from his own knowledge.  In his travels he interviewed many of the child labourers, often surprised by their perspectives.
  • Respect:  He showed respect, even for his opponents, for the impoverished children, government officials and charitable organization administrators.  Thus he won the respect of all.

Free the Children is responsible for building more than 650 schools providing daily education 55,000 children.

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Review: “Unforgiving: Memoir of an Asperger Teen”.

Recently at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, I had the privilege of spending some quality time with a writer who has greatly influenced the development of my writing.

Vanessa Grant writes romance novels, but the concepts she talked about years ago at a VPL event helped me in developing every relationship in my book.

I am proud to call her a friend as well as a mentor.  Here is the review she posted after reading my memoir: Unforgiving.

Published by Vanessa Grant on

Write it forward – the best gift

 November 12, 2012 | 3 Responses

Last month when I met Margaret Jean Adam at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SIWC), I had no idea that she was going to give me a treasure.  When I first spotted her, she was standing behind the BC Federation of Writers’ booth at the conference. We chatted for a few minutes before she mentioned that she’d attended a workshop I gave a few years ago.

“I learned something very important from you,” she said suddenly. “You taught me that characters must experience personal growth from their relationships.”

I learned most of what I know about writing from other authors – either reading their books, or listening to them speak about writing. I love talking about storytelling, and giving the occasional workshop, so it’s a pleasure to learn that I passed on something useful, a truth I didn’t fully learn until I’d written a several books.

The next day she gave me an autographed copy of her most recent memoir: M. J. Adam’s Unforgiving – the Memoir of an Asperger Teen

I’ve  just finished reading Unforgiving, and I can tell you, M. J. Adam is one hell of a writer.

Unforgiving – the Memoir of an Asperger Teen is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.

M. J. Adam has crafted an inspiring book, a definite must-read for anyone who has, knows, is, or was an Asperger’s teen.

I highly recommend it for anyone who cares about child survivors of any kind of trauma, and for teens struggling to understand themselves and the world they live in.

I cried when I read this memoir. I laughed. I cheered Margaret Jean’s indomitable inner strength, and felt honoured that she had shared herself so deeply with this reader.

I like to think that I write good books, and I hope they give pleasure to my readers. M. J. Adam has done something more – she’s written a great book about life and relationships and coming of age.

Unforgiving is a rare treasure.

The events that happened to Margaret Jean should never happen to any child. Yet they did happen, and the miracle is that each page of Margaret Jean’s memoir rings with love, the amazing power of healing, and the spirit of survival.

I’ve learned something important from you, M. J. Adam.

Thank you

Vanessa

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