In choosing an author as I would a friend, I’ve “met” and made wonderfully caring writers/friends during the past three years. And Judy Merrill (Moticka) Larsen (All the Numbers) is certainly one of them. In fact, shortly after we met and a post of her debut novel appeared on my former blog, Judy was inspired to create her own blog, Not Afraid of the “F” Word. However you may have heard that inspiration struck again on Monday afternoon when Judy launched JUST BE NICE… in an attempt to reclaim respect and civility for today’s society.

The author’s “About Me” description is simply put: I’m a middle-aged midwestern mom, wife, novelist and former high school English teacher. I’m a mom/step-mom to five between the ages of 16 and 24. I tried to teach my kids (and my students) to be nice. It’s not rocket science. I’m trying to spread the word.”

What prompted the author to take on this new platform? I’m sure you know, we al know, but here is Judy’s explanation:

“Yesterday [Monday] morning, on my way home from the gym, I started thinking about the insanity of rudeness . . . and I posted about it on my regular blog (Not Afraid of the “F” Word). Carleen Brice (love her!) e-mailed me and said I needed to write a non-fiction book using my mom and teacher experiences to promote good behavior. Non-fiction is a bit out of my comfort zone (plus I’m in the middle of writing my newest novel) but, in the shower, I thought, hmmm, maybe start an internet movement . . . a new blog . . . let’s be nice, let’s get people talking/demonstrating about kindness and accountability and showing you can disagree politely. That kind of thing. What we learned from our parents/teachers/preachers and teach to our own kids.

So, I started a new blog. And put it out on FB. And people twittered about it. And then I heard back from the twitterers that people had asked how we get the movement started. And, after a brief moment of “‘I have no idea what I’ve just gotten myself into'” panic, I thought, heck ya, let’s start a movement. Carleen (my muse in this) suggested the “‘Tuesday’s child is full of grace'” idea, and I love your idea about “‘Friday’s child.'” I started a group on FB and have had over 130 visitors to the new blog in the past 24 hours. Folks are linking from all sorts of blogs and on their FB walls. It’s so gratifying to see good behavior being talked about rather than just the bad.

For now, and until I really get a sense for what I’m doing, I’m going to hold off on a press release (until someone tells me not to!) and I’m also thinking of bracelets (like the LiveStrong ones). I’m open to ideas and help.

But from the comments/e-mails I’ve gotten, people are very excited about this — all over the country. That’s thrilling to me.”

As well it should be, especially since Judy updated me a few hours later with:

“The word is clearly spreading . . . over 400 visitors [to the blog] since it started yesterday afternoon. Wow!”

And to think that all this excitement and support is about Just Be Nice.

If you wish to learn more, have suggestions or merely weigh in with moral support, please visit JUST BE NICE where you can read Monday’s initial post, What Mama Said, followed by the second post, Tuesday’s Child Is Full of Grace.

Also consider joining the JUST BE NICE Group on Facebook.

Judy Merrill Larsen’s all-time favorite book is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and on the right-hand sidebar of her new blog she notes: “Atticus Finch taught Scout to walk around in someone else’s shoes. He was right.”

And so too is this author, well beyond her pages…

[Note: The Book Giveaway comments/entries will continue to be accepted for Ivy Pochoda’s The Art of Disappearing until this evening at 7:00 p.m EDT. Here’s a great opportunity to win a most memorable debut, don’t let it pass you by!]

3 thoughts on “Let’s JUST BE NICE

  1. Wow – what a great article! And what an awesome movement. And To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time faves also!

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