Cinda Jo Bauman: Children's Book Writer & Illustrator, Cut-Paper Artist, and More!

Posts tagged ‘cut paper sculpture’

Rave-iest Reviews (That’s not a word, Cinda!)

Re-reading reviews of Only My Horses Know has surely boosted my confidence and jump-started my writing mojo! Some of these didn’t make it to the book sale page, so please bear with me as I share. 🙂 Then, if you will please keep scrolling, you’ll find the new promo video where I am talking to readers between the ages of 10-12 about Only My Horses Know.

Some weeks, for one reason or another, just aren’t the best. I’ve had a few of those lately. I try everyday to think of three or more things that I am grateful for. It really helps! Today, spring flowers were on the top of my list.

May be an image of nature and tree

Here are my rave-iest reviews:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book Only My Horses Know. I immediately bought copies for two tween-agers in my life and I’m sure they will identify with the main character, Kylie, a girl who lives on a Montana horse farm and experiences problems similar to those in their own lives.  The book describes changes in Kylie’s life when a family member developed some serious emotional problems, causing disruptions in both family and friend relationships.  Kylie learns that she must seek help beyond telling her horse.

“Middle-level teachers and parents will want to share Only My Horses Know with their students. The characters resonate with realism and a sound understanding of problems of middle childhood. As a long-time professor of child development, I am pleased to see a book that encourages students to trust their own intuition, but to reach out persistently to the adults in their lives, including teachers and counselors, when they need help. Also, I am equally impressed with Cinda Jo Bauman’s handling of the sensitive issue of mental illness and its effects on families. In short, embedded in this engaging story is a model for problem solving and relationship-building that is much needed in the experiences of early adolescents.” Darlene Haffner Hoffman, Emeritus Professor, Millikin University

“Just WOW !!!!! I TOTALLY LOVED IT. It started slow but picked up. I love it even for my age group. You, my friend , are one talented Lady ! I loved how God was there but not shoved down your throat. I loved how it dealt with bipolar disorder….again not bogging you down but getting across that people with mental challenges are all around us…they are us. I loved it and hope you sell millions.” Lisa Mohr

“I think nearly everyone has had a ‘Kylie’ dilemma in their life. We grapple with how to handle the pain a loved one is causing; we dread the embarrassment and the stigma associated with their problems. We worry about losing friends if someone finds out what’s going on. We struggle with it all. And worst of all, will our parents understand the anxieties they are passing on and the fear that wells up inside us? What if I say something and my parents don’t forgive me? That’s the biggest question and the highest hurdle.

“But this book helps you realize that your only real choice is to share all this with others, including your parents. It helps you understand that in these circumstances silence is certainly not golden and it can be devastating. Reading this book helps you embrace the notion that honest discussions can lead to solutions and a better life.

“You may regret that you didn’t have this type of guidance when you were growing up, but you’ll rush to send it to any child who seems embattled in life. As will I.

“I do admit that the book is a little slow to start, possibly because I’m no teenager. But, in truth, I believe a child who is going through similar problems will stick with It to find their solution.” Sparky

“A wonderful book to entertain young readers. The focus on mental illness mixed with a passion for horses was an engaging combination. Some great life lessons for young readers that life isn’t always perfect, but you can turn things around to make a difference if you rely on friends, family and God.” Brenda Ripley

If you know any tween age readers, please share this video with them. Thanks so much!

Have a super blessed day!

I Did It!!!


But first, please bear with me while I back up a bit. When I sat down to write this post for my website because I finally had something AWESOME to share, I saw how long it had been since I’d posted anything, and I wondered what had been holding me back. Browsing my website, I clicked on the About section. I realized that I have been avoiding my website because this section needed updated. And updating this section would sadden my heart. A lot.

I still live in central Illinois with my husband. Yay!! My daughter has graduated from college and lives less than an hour away. This part has been an adjustment but not that sad, since, thank God, she stayed close enough so she could still come home on Sundays. The free washer and dryer here may have something to do with this, but that’s fine with me. I’ll take her visits however I can get them!

That’s all good stuff, but changing the part about my best friends, Lucy and Harley (our dogs), is what I have been avoiding. Because after an accumulation of almost 35 years of unconditional love and laugh out loud entertainment, they have both passed on. I’m not going to lie; each loss took many months before a day passed without me crying. When friends or family who I have in my address book pass away, I can’t bring myself to erase or cross out their names. They are all still there. So, you can imagine how I have avoided updating my About page.

Now for my news!

I have posted before about my writing, my submitting, and my rejection. I started writing my first novel at least 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve completed another novel and several picture books. The first novel has been constantly re-written, as I’ve received feedback from other writers and gained skills from writing workshops and articles. It has been submitted to publishers and agents throughout the process and received TONS of rejection forms. But it also received some personal rejections with encouraging notes, and once it even made it to the acquisitions team before getting … you guessed it…rejected.

I’ve spent this past year doing a major re-write after finally investing in a freelance developmental fiction editor, Bev Rosenbaum, and then asking my cousin, Teresa, to use her mad editing skills to read my revisions and offer suggestions for improvement. I loved the new version, and I looked forward to sending it out on submission again. But this meant starting over the agonizing research for editors and agents and then waiting forever for a response, so I kept putting it off.

Then…an editor friend, who had worked on this story with me before, decided to expand her editing business of thirteen years and begin publishing books. She emailed me that she might like to publish my book, if I was interested. Was I interested? Was she kidding? OF COURSE, I WAS!

God is SO GOOD!

Below is a picture of me signing my very first book contract with Editor-911 Books – Publisher and Editor, Margo Dill. My middle-grade novel, Only My Horses Know, will be available on Amazon between middle December to early January! I am SO excited!!!

This book is about acceptance; accepting change – accepting lack of control – accepting differences – accepting judgement – and then, letting go of it all and accepting God’s help.

You can read more about it on page 2 of my editor’s blog. (I have an editor!)

I need to go and get busy because I will also be creating the book cover with my cut-paper design. Can you hear me celebrating? Finally!!! Yippeeeee!!! Whoohooooo!!!


Not quite the visitor Spider was expecting.

I finished this illustration using the feathers I posted a LONG time ago……well, a LONG time ago.  But I’ve been waiting for a sunny day when I had time to photograph it.  The little blue bird actually started out to be a Blue Heron.  As I built his feather covered body though, I realized by the time I finished he would be HUGE!  So after studying him, and being determined to use all those feathers I had cut, I just chopped off his head and neck and “whalla!” a bluebird. 🙂

Have you ever watched time lapse painting videos?

I’m so addicted to them! My friends and family know that more than anything I want to be an oil painter, but I can’t seem to get past all the head games that go along with it. Those voices that tell me this looks awful, you’re joking yourself. The truth is, painting is hard work! Most paintings look awful in the beginning! I so admire artists who’ve reached the point where painting is not so hard anymore, and they can trudge through those ugly phases knowing it will soon be beautiful.

What I’ve learned from the speed painting videos is that painting is made up of two main things: darkening your darks, and lightening your lights. Over and over the artist does this. They even darken the same places they just made lighter! Again and again, on and on. I watch and wonder what is the point! But, each time the artist makes a tiny adjustment, and in the end it is always beautiful. I could spend hours watching these. (hours I should be spending painting through the ugly phases)

I’m so glad I discovered cut-paper sculpture art. It takes all the fear and negative self judgement away for me. It lets me play and move things around to check composition before I make them permanent. Cut paper illustration is so easy to just start over if I mess up. And, with cut-paper art I can play with my camera and computer to get the shadows and effects I love.

I’ll keep making my children’s illustrations in cut paper while I work through the head games of oil painting.  But, I’m not giving up on becoming an oil painter.  I’m just stubborn like that.

Hello again! This cut paper illustration is my favorite so far. Hope you like her!

We have geese in our backyard lake, and I love waking up to their squawking and splashing!