Sunday, October 23, 2016

"There is no substitute for hard work." Thomas Edison

For all of those who read my posts weekly, you know that when I retired from the safe world of teaching, only to become a writer, speaker, and then an entrepreneur, I had no idea of what I was getting into, even less of an idea of what I was doing, with no strategy to follow, and no study guide to help me through the perils of entrepreneurship.  Nothing.  No experience in teaching and no classwork in college prepared me for all that I was about to undertake- writing a children's book, marketing the book, and creating and ordering the plush toy character in the book. Sometimes in my office, I think of how much work I have done to get to the place where I am right now in my business, and I silently thank my parents for the strong work ethic they modeled for me all the days of their lives.

Being a writer/entrepreneur can be a lonely business.  Although I have surrounded myself with good lawyers and bankers, it is my vision alone that I am unravelling, without a clear path and a yet-to-be-determined ending.  Life is a little scary sometimes, with putting myself (and my own money) out there! But something really wonderful happened this week that gave me a huge boost.

GRADY GETS GLASSES was named the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 by a group called The Authors' Zone.  Although TAZ is based in Pittsburgh, book submissions poured in from all over the country.  I was thrilled to be one of three finalists, and so honored to be chosen as the winner.  This is actually my second award from TAZ.  Last year, my book STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER, won second place in the Self-Help category, second only to a book about parenting an autistic child. 

My whole life has been about trying to make a difference and doing more for others, and I must say that this recognition gives me even more impetus to keep working.  I have a mission and a message to help others, and the positive feedback in the form of an award is a shot in the arm for me

My advice to you is simple:  keep working hard.  My mom and dad were right - and so was Thomas Edison, a man who knew all about working hard, as you can see from his weekly time card below.  the week of August 27, 1912, he worked 95 hours, 49 minutes. 

"There is no substitute for hard work." Thomas Edison 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
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