Secret Diary

Archive for March, 2009


Posted by Miriam on March 30th, 2009

Double-Daring has a chapter on Courage. Courage is a theme throughout the book, as it is such a key part of leading a daring life. As we wrote, we found courage everywhere, whether in those fantastic American cowgirls we researched, or in Raven Wilkinson, a black dancer who braved hostile southern audiences in the 1950’s south, or in any girl stepping out of her comfort zone for a moment to learn something new, like how to swim, or try out for a new sport, or do a flipturn in the pool.

The Courage chapter has lots of quotes to inspire us all. Here’s one from artist and painter Vincent Van Gogh:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

And another, from Little Women author Louisa May Alcott:

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

And finally, from author Eudora Welty: “All serious daring starts from within.”

Bon courage!

Spitballs, and What to Do When Your Homework Mysteriously Gets Lost on the Way to School.

Posted by Miriam on March 27th, 2009

The theme of all the Daring books would be something like back-to-the-basics, and heading for the future. For these times when no one really wants to be heading to the store for expensive toys and crafts, Double-Daring has tons of projects made from paper, newspaper trees, dots, chinese red envelopes, and oh, don’t tell: spitballs. It’s been seen as a boy thing, I know, but in case any boys out there are blowing spitballs in your direction, here’s how to do it right back. Just don’t do it while any teachers are looking. Also good as a party game, I would think.
I was going to jot down the directions for another of our paper crafts (paper beads), but mention of teachers made me think of one element from our list “The Double-Daring Girl’s Guide to Getting Out of Trouble.” It’s not “how to slip away from detention after getting caught spitting spitballs.” It’s “what to do when you forget your homework.”

The directions are good whether you’re in second grade, or you’re a college senior who spent a few too many hours playing frisbee on the quad one afternoon or otherwise relaxing with friends. We’ve all faced this situation. Since I’ve been on the teacher-side of the classroom, I thought I’d send some tips over to the kid-side. Here’s an excerpt from page 83.

The Dog Ate Your Homework: 

Whether you’ve lost your homework or simply haven’t done it, honesty is the best policy, although it’s not always the easiest. What you need to know is that teachers don’t like surprises. Approach the teacher before class. Don’t make excuses. Don’t whine. Do not under any circumstance tell a dramatic sob story. Just stick to a straightforward explanation, and try to look responsible. Suggest a plan for making good, as in, “May I hand in the essay tomorrow?”

Daring Give-Away/Visit to New York

Posted by Miriam on March 27th, 2009

Head right over to author Lori Tharps’ blog My American Meltingpot for a free Double-Daring Book for Girls giveaway.

In the meantime, yesterday Andi and I were in NY. We pulled ourselves out of bed rather early and headed to the Sirius radio station for a visit to Martha Stewart’s Morning Living radio show. We were amazed to wander into a station of well-rested and wide-eyed people, including our host, Kim, and the many callers who dialed in to tell us about their favorite childhood games.

Later in the day we did a segment for Fox TV, with our daughters. We brought along several projects from the book. The table in front of us was filled with the electric buzzer game, which my older daughter painted orange, her favorite color. Next to it were quilling papers, a fishing rod, a dreamcatcher, a red pinata, and a piece of wood and a pen knife for whittling. All from chapters in the book.

Our host, Uma Pemmaraju, was particularly interested in girls and courage, and how the Double-Daring Book for Girls helps girls feel comfortable with themselves, and as a result, ready to go out and take on the world and do great things. She has daughters, which means she knows first hand the mixed messages all girls receive, and how nice it is to have an alternative vision for growing up, one in which nine is not the new seventeen, or twenty-five.

Double-Daring, Available Today

Posted by Miriam on March 24th, 2009

The Double-Daring Book for Girls is now here, and hooray for daring girls. Andi and I are heading to NY to do some media appearances over the next few days, and we’re so happy that the latest Daring is now available for girls everywhere. Get ready for stories and crafts galore, for turning your backyard into a farm, gazing at the stars and pointing out the constellations, making everything from scarecrows to scoubidou bracelets, and contemplating the inspirations of courage and friendship.

What is daring? Daring means finding your path, your journey, your dream. It means getting in the game, whatever your game is.

Daring is about courage, about seeking adventure when it’s called for, about being bold when needed. It’s about saying yes to the good risks that life brings your way. It’s scaling mountains, and speaking your mind, and in all ways being true to yourself.

We hope everyone loves The Double-Daring Book for Girls as much as we do.

Very Exciting

Posted by Miriam on March 12th, 2009

I just watched the video of President Obama signing the legislation to form a Council on Women and Girls! One more step along the way to making sure that when we encourage girls to be daring and tell them that the world is big and to follow their dreams, that the doors are truly open for them. I especially like the way President Obama linked vitality for women and girls to the health of our American democracy.

Here’s the link to the video. Good food for thought: what do daring girls need, and how can our government help to keep sweeping away bias still standing in girls’ and women’s way?

More Double-Daring previews in the next post!