Our thanks to Kidtown for posting a recent book review of Being Brave. We are so pleased that it resonated for the reviewer who read it with her 11 year old daughter. One of our goals for Being Brave, was to open up the conversation between parents and their children about their worries, providing tools not only for our little ones, but for ourselves as we bravely put one foot before the other. It’s an important read for youngsters as it confirms their feelings are not out of the ordinary, and therefore they’re not alone. Olivia Wilson
29 December 2019 Dear Ellie The very best thing about Summer holidays is not Christmas. It’s not Por Por’s mango salad which she makes for our picnic dinners when the days are longer and we can sit outside. Nor is it the yummy sweet pineapple tarts she brings around every week for me, even though they are super delicious. It’s not even going to the beach, trying to find a spot on the soft sand that isn’t already taken by someone’s colourful towel or giant umbrella! Last week I was at the beach, it was crazy crowded. Can you believe we lined up for 23 minutes by the ice cream van in the 36º heat? I got a soft serve with a chocolate flake and I had to eat it at super speed so it wouldn’t melt all over my hands. But I didn’t quite make it. Yep, it got the better of me. I lost a race against an ice cream! So I am going to claim that not even ice cream vans are
We were thrilled to be invited to speak on Sky News’ Weekend Edition, with hosts Jaynie Seal and Tim Gilbert, about our journey in writing Being Brave. We shared with Jaynie and Tim how the story in Being Brave seeks to normalise self doubt and the inner critic that we all face when we are a child and also a grown up. The book provides a toolkit that can be a takeaway for the reader to help them be brave and confident. Some of the tools we like are the shell to remind us to breathe, the compass to help show us the right way, a notebook for journalling for perspective and spending time with family to get offline. Watch the whole interview at the link below. Interview on Sky News
Often, when we think of a bully, we think about that big brute who pushes people around in the playground or that internet troll who spouts nastiness on social media. But the truth is, sometimes this kind of behaviour can be so subtle that you don’t see it happening before your very eyes. Thanks Girlfriend Magazine for sharing our tips on how to show a real friend from a fake friend. True friends are those who: help each other write each other encouraging messages show kindness see you believe what you say sit with you and stand by you Real the whole article here.
The last thing a parent wants is to witness their child worrying, stressing-out or experience being bullied. And with statistics indicating that one in four Australian students aged between eight and 14 years report being bullied every few weeks or more, strategies on how to be brave are paramount. We shared with Kids on the Coast strategies on helping children be brave. Read the full interview here.
We are so honoured to be interviewed by Karen Comer, our editor for Being Brave, as part of Karen’s blog. Being first time writers, we were always going to need the guidance of those experienced in their fields. Karen was just the right editor for us. She believed in our vision and pushed our storytelling to a more coherent and consistent level. We had several rounds of edits: where the structure of the story improved, where better explanations or descriptions were required, then finally a once over to make sure everything fit in together. With her guidance, we believe our story and characters were given the best chance to shine. Being Brave to Karen means showing up in an authentic manner every day, taking risks, speaking her truth and daring to dream big. Karen told us she was a quiet, sensitive kid, and she’s still that way now. It’s taken her a while to understand that those qualities – which she didn’t think were amazing attributes – are now her shining characteristics. And we agree with her!
Let’s face it, self doubt is a normal part of growing up and that little voice is inside all of us and always will be. We shared with MSN five simple strategies to help build self esteem in children so that voice inside doesn’t hold them back: Breathing Relationships Abilities Values Experiences Being B-R-A-V-E is not about being the hero. It’s about being confident to be yourself. Read the entire article here.
Now to Love featured Being Brave in its list of practical books for raising teenage daughters. We are so pleased to be featured. When we wrote the book Being Brave, we wanted to share the tools that helped us through moments of self doubt and inner criticism when we were young. We also feel that in today’s society given the increased challenges young girls are facing with social media, more than ever this book can be a crucial part of their toolkit! Full article is available here.
The Bub Hub recently shared an article we contributed on how we started writing together and what being brave means to us. We discuss 5 ways to help children be brave, which we hope can help families figure out what it means for them to access their courage and build resilience. We are all braver than we think. Being brave is not about being the hero, it is about having the confidence to speak up and being yourself. See the full article here. Thank you to The Bub Hub for featuring the article!
My name is Ellie. I live with my Mum, Dad, five year old sister Lucy and my pet dog, Rock Star (who is nearly 100 if he was human). One of my best friends is Alyssa or Lys as I call her. She and I met when we were in preschool and we’ve been friends since. But we moved houses and I had to go to a new school, so I don’t see Lys at school anymore. I still see Lys on weekends and we message each other. Unlike some other kids, Lys is always kind, listens and understands me. I can ask her things I’m not sure about and she understands what it’s like to move schools. She helps me out and always has good ideas. I’m proud to have a friend like Lys. I could not wish for a better one. I’m also grateful that we became friends in the first place. That seems like a long time ago now. Ellie and I have known each other since we were three. There’s something
What do you do? I’m a maker of illustrations, animated films and stories. I’m remarkably fortunate to be among those who are self-employed and get paid to play with ideas and do what they love. Art and expression, in all their various cinematic and poetic forms, have always been a profound passion of mine. Moving people through the teaching and crafting of my animation, writing and design is the greatest privilege of my work. What does Being Brave mean to you? To me, being brave means being honest with yourself and letting that be what leads the choices you make about who you are and who you want be. Being you Having a second European culture, I’ve always been fascinated by language, stories and the differences between people. I followed this curiosity to university where I studied Film and mastered Animation. Growing up on Sydney’s eastern beaches, most of my life has centred around a passion for the ocean. So when I’m not swimming, you’ll find me writing or creating films that explore the surrealism
We often get asked how do we collaborate? How do two people write together? Well, thanks to Google and technology, it was not that hard for us! First we had a brainstorming session. We knew the topics we wanted to write about – that came easily to us through our friendship and through talking about the issues that were important to us. We spent some time brainstorming roughly what a story would look like and what we wanted our characters to be. We knew as there were two of us, a natural thing to do would be to have two voices, two characters who were different yet were friends. Having two characters let us explore different perspectives, different writing styles and also the way different people might approach a problem. We didn’t take a character each – that wasn’t the point – we wanted Ellie and Alyssa to be part of the story together but to have different personalities, like us! Once we had a rough idea of the story line, we just went for
Hi, we’re Ellie and Alyssa. We had a crazy time last year camping at a national park near where we live. You can read about our adventure here, but right now we want to share with you some of the tools that help us be brave! Ellie has a backpack where she keeps special things that mean something to her, or has happy memories about. We each have our own set of tools to remind us of what’s important or that guide us through the day. Here are some of our tools: Item What they mean Shell Breathe Take a deep breath and relax when you’re feeling cross or stressed. Pencil Imagine Always good to have a pencil on hand to capture your creativity. Journal Perspective Sometimes writing it down helps to see things differently. Photo of friends Empathy A friend can support and help you and you can try to understand others. Beaded necklace Awareness and presence Feel the weight against your skin. It will remind you to be aware of what’s around you
Sometimes you make friends at school who will be there with you for the rest of your life. That happened for our daughters. And sometimes you fall into step with another person and you click. That’s us. We talk about many things together, from parenting to being working mothers, from stressors when we were growing up to relationships now. Our worries include facing a boardroom of smart people, trying to fit in, always trying to do a good job at everything we do, and there’s that dreaded imposter syndrome lurking around the corner. We know we can do it and sometimes a personal cheerleader helps. That’s how the book Being Brave began. We set out to write a story about some of the worries and self-doubts we had growing up and what we’ve observed with the young girls in our lives. We wanted to share the tools that help us through moments of doubt and the inner critic. With our life and work experiences, we wanted to support girls in whatever they choose to do