Children's book author Kirsti Call is a homeschooling mom of five. That alone puts her squarely in daring spirit territory!
She's also a strong advocate for literacy. One of the ways she shares her talent with the world is through author visits where she helps kids in K-8th grade see the process of publishing a book, from rough draft to finished product, and encourages them to write stories of their own (how cool is that?).
Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, came out in 2013. She blogs for Writer's Rumpus, Institute of Children's Literature, and Children's Book Academy. She co-coordinates Reading for Research Month, a challenge for picture book writers who use mentor texts to improve their writing skills.
If you visit her house, you'll likely find her reading or writing. You might find her making music with her family band, Calling Out, playing songs written by her children. You may also find her in the backyard, hanging out with their chickens.
Kirsti is energetic and her positivity is infectious - it's highly improbable to have a conversation without a lot of joy and laughter. Enjoy meeting Kirsti!
Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Kirsti: I try not to let my fear make decisions for me or deter me from what I'm meant to do. Bold decisions are the very best kind.
My husband and I moved to Japan with our 18 month old daughter and 3 year old son, and I didn't speak Japanese. My husband was away each day studying at Keio University. I had to make a tough choice: stay in our 400 square foot apartment or brave the Japanese transit system with 2 toddlers in tow so I could see Japan. I spent some of the best 3 months of my life exploring Japan with my blonde children. Seriously, if you are blonde and you go to Japan, beware of the the paparazzi!
In Japan, I learned that friendship supersedes an ability to communicate well. I learned that herbal tea can keep you warm when you don't have heat in your apartment. I learned that the Japanese people are kinder and more honest than I ever could have imagined (the two times I left my backpack and money on the train, I found them right where I had left them).
I will never regret a bold decision like that one that stretches me out of my comfort zone and helps me understand the world in a new way.
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went "wrong" and then the Universe delivered.
Kirsti: Public school was not working for my kids. They weren't happy or learning much. And I tried all sorts of things to make it work: charts and nagging and pleading and classes and more nagging. None of those perfectly good solutions worked.
When it occurred to me that homeschool might be the best option for us as a family, I doubted my sanity. I had considered this path many times and denied its feasibility. Was I equipped to teach them? Would they cooperate with me? Would I still have time to write and be a family therapist? How would I know if I was teaching them enough? Or the right things?
This cacophony of questions plagued me. But my doubts quieted as soon as I made the decision to homeschool my 3 oldest kids. I knew that God had given me my answer to our problem. Now, after almost 2 years of homeschooling, when it seems impossibly hard, I remember that initial feeling of peace. Certain that I am on the right path, I know I can't give up. As a result of my perseverance, my children and I have survived and actually thrived. It's an incredible blessing to have this time to live, laugh and learn with them.
Daring Spirits: Beach or Mountains? Sweet or spicy? Window or aisle?
Kirsti: Beach and Mountains as much as possible!
I always go for sweet with salty.
Looking out the window feeds my soul.
Daring Spirits: So many great things happen right at the edge of our comfort zones. Thank you Kirsti, for sharing your stories from the edge of yours!
photo: Kirsti Call