Wendy Gilhula

Wendy Gilhula

“Love is kindness, love is giving, love is an action and not a feeling.” This week on The Malliard Report we are going to talk about kindness and finding courage with children’s author and speaker Wendy Gilhula – WebsiteWendy Gilhula Transcription

Creator of the Pika Bunny series Wendy is “…an educator, writer, and author…Wendy has created an innovative learning series that teaches understanding and kindness. Pika Bunny and the Thunderstorm, Pika Bunny Has a Big Question, and Pika Bunny says EEP features life lessons children often face in a complicated world and presents tools to help them navigate such complexities with bravery, understanding, and kindness. Wendy’s books are a yearly feature at the New York City Book Expo America and Book Con. Wendy has devoted over twenty years of her career to helping children and specializes in supporting creative expression. Wendy has a unique ability to relate to children in such a way that promotes excellence. Her books are constantly recommended by therapists, counselors, activists, and teachers.”

In this episode Wendy shares that younger children today certainly stand out from their older peers. They have a tendency to be more ethereal in their thinking and are far more adaptive to inclusivity. Wendy also shares that kindness begins within ourselves. We can’t expect to encounter it if we are not practicing it daily, and in doing so, the ability for that to spread is amazing. She has even developed an app that helps us keep track of this so that we can be more mindful of those around us. We set daily reminders with fitness apps, so why not a kindness one? Wendy also shares her experiences with being able to share her stories with children around the world, the sometimes-painful process of being a writer, and so much more.

You can purchase Wendy’s books through all major online retailers, or one of the expos if you happen to be in the area of one. You can visit her website wendygilhula.com where you can find her latest blog posts, excerpts from her books, and links to both the IOS and Google Play store where you can download her Pika Bunny Kindness Tracker. It’s a free app and it is a great reminder for little things that we can do every day to make this a better place. For all things Malliard, head over to malliard.com where you can catch up on past shows, subscribe to the newsletter and so much more. Make sure to head over to your favorite podcasting app and rate, review, and subscribe to The Malliard Report.

Wendy Gilhula 0:00
Jim Malliard 0:01
I want to welcome everybody to this evening’s Malliard Report, I’m so excited. But first before we begin, I’ve got to remind everybody that the views and opinions are those of the hosts and guests and do not represent any networks, sponsors, simulcasting networks or anybody else just remember views and opinions. Hate saying all that but cheaper than saying I look paying a lawyer. And if you have not been to Malliard.com, please come over today and sign up for my newsletter. You can get more insights from me. Less show stuff, more insights from me. Plan for 2020, that’s the plan. My guest tonight is Wendy Gilhula, Gilhula. Second time, right.

Wendy Gilhula 0:46
That’s right.

Jim Malliard 0:48
And how are you doing, Wendy?

Wendy Gilhula 0:50
Well, I’m nervous and excited and terrified but I’m so, I am happy to be here.

Jim Malliard 0:56
Well, I promise that it will go better than some and probably worse than others.

Wendy Gilhula 1:01
I can expect.

Jim Malliard 1:03
I was gonna say I’ve noticed that you’ve been out on the, I don’t want to say on the campaign trail, but that’s the only way I could think about it recently. So is that, is it, was that your intention to get out and do a lot of interviews about your books?

Wendy Gilhula 1:17
To talk about happiness and kindness and insane courage to say no to bullying and things like that.

Jim Malliard 1:28
But, okay, so kindness, okay, so kindness is a thing we all need to have in our life. And I think, now, this is probably gonna be the hardest question I’m gonna ask. It’s gonna be a minute 40 in. That’s, that’s, that’s how this is gonna go. Is this kindness create happiness or does happiness create kindness.

Wendy Gilhula 1:48
Oh, I think kindness is an action and love is also an action. So therefore, the more you practice, I think the happier you are.

Jim Malliard
Cuz I was thinking about it as I was asking it, I think it like kindness, I think you have to start with a little bit of happiness. Or maybe somebody will do something kind for you, which will make you happy. See, this is, this is not a good question, right? This is a trick question.

Wendy Gilhula 2:17
Well, like the chicken and egg question?

Jim Malliard 2:21
I’m coming to that conclusion now that I’ve asked you and kind of put us off on the wrong foot

Wendy Gilhula 2:25
Look, like, maybe I’m not having the best day, I’ll just try to smile more to people when I see them. And then when I do that, and then I see them smiling back, it kind of like, kind of puts a drop in my bucket, kind of refills my bucket. Because they sometimes people, if you smile at them, they’ll go, Oh, I haven’t seen a smile all day. Thank you. And then you’re like, Oh, so that kind of makes you feel good that you put yourself out there and did something kind for somebody else.

Jim Malliard 2:59
Yeah, it does. It does make it, it does make a tangible difference. Often, if you’re just putting what you’re, what you’re talking about, putting the smile on, or holding the door for somebody or saying thank you. I don’t, I mean, It baffles me that sometimes I see people and they’re just, I’ll say it, ignorant. I was gonna say something else but I decided to turn it back because you’re, well, I’ll try to behave myself.

Wendy Gilhula 3:27
Because I’m…?

Jim Malliard 3:29
Well, you write children’s books so I’m trying to keep my family friendly. You know, maybe we want to help you here in a little bit sell children’s books, so I don’t want to be dropping all sorts of bad language off the top.

Wendy Gilhula 3:40
My, my life is about kids. So I do try to you know, be the example that I would like followed but you know, you do you and it’s okay.

Jim Malliard 3:53
Well, I’ve tried. I’ve got a kid so I’ve been trying to be better, trying.

Wendy Gilhula 3:59
How old are your kids?

Jim Malliard 4:01
Well, they’re at the age where they know how to swear, 11 and 9. So there’s that. There’s that period of time when they’re really young, and they copy what you say, right? And now and now we’re reaching that period of time where, well yeah, you say it all the time. So why you know, why can’t I, so I just have to be more a little more.

Wendy Gilhula 4:21
Well, sometimes in times of duress or stress, something will pop out of my mouth. Like, I remember when my son Connor was two and a half, a car pulled out in front of me and, you know, gave me a heart attack. And not literally, but like, you know, scary. I had my two babies in the car and my son said to me, Mommy, what does jam it mean? It means that, oh, I said, Connor, we do not say jam it. I’m just we just don’t say that word. And he said, Why? And I said, Well, I’m sorry. Mommy said a bad word. So he thought jam it was bad.

I thought, well, that’s Good, I’ll let him keep thinking it’s jam it.

Jim Malliard 5:02
I thought you’re gonna turn the radio up then. Okay, so let’s, let’s get back to you for a little bit. Let’s get back. You’ve wrote, I want to say three children’s books. Am I correct in saying that because I think that’s what I’ve seen but?

Wendy Gilhula 5:17
well I have four out right now and a coloring book. I have three in the Pika Bunny series. And that’s a Learning Series that the first book talks about it’s Pika Bunny and the Thunderstorm and Pika Bunny is very anxious about every element of a thunderstorm. And then he ends up deciding he likes all the elements, so he’s able to sleep during the thunderstorm. The second is Pika Bunny Says Nope. The second one is Pika Bunny has a big question. Or he asked him what love is and he doesn’t understand Mama’s answer, but he realizes that he already knew what love is all along. And then my third in the Pika Bunny Learning Series is Pika Bunny Says Eat, where Pika Bunny helps a friend find the courage to say no to bullying.

Jim Malliard 6:09
we’ll walk down some of these topics here, I guess. Well, the bullying one, that’s a tough issue because I think it happens if we focus on our children doing it, right. And trying to have them do it, but adults do it too. And I think we often overlook the trauma we cause each other.

Wendy Gilhula 6:29
Well, I think maybe it’s because it’s so prevalent for the adults, that we’re trying to make it different for the kids. Because it’s no way to live. Whether it’s bullying on social media and people being mean every time you turn around, it’s not, it’s not a healthy place. So I think we’re trying to or what I’m trying to do, whether I’m successful or not, is talk to children, open conversations about being kind, different ways to be kind and find courage to say no to bullying without bullying the person who’s bullying. Because a lot of kids want to scream back. And now all that does is get the bully excited that he’s got one more person, or she has one more person that they’re bothering. And just opening up, the conversations are so important right now because, you know, generation alpha, here in Generation Z, they can change things for us for the better, things that we can’t necessarily change immediately for our generations or for ourselves, you know, they’re our future. That’s, that’s our whole investment right there.

Jim Malliard 7:41
So define those generations for me because I’m out to lunch on that.

Wendy Gilhula 7:46
Oh, well, Gen Z, and sometimes the years vary, but I think it’s 1995 to around 2010 and then Gen alpha will be you know, 2011 and after. A lot of differences I found, like, right now I am working with a lot of Gen Z and they are very loyal and they, they are interested in community and family and their grandparents and they’re just a really lovely generation. If you haven’t talked to one, you know talk to anybody or know anybody, you should get to know them because they have a lot to offer. And Gen Alfa or Gin A, some people call them. They are very ethereal. When I visit schools and I’m talking to kindergarteners, first graders, you know usually kids want to touch to touch you like a little bit like maybe they’ll they’re like if I’m if they’re seated on the floor and I’m standing firm and some of them will reach out and touch my foot. But Gen, Gen Alpha, they do it all the time. If I’m standing at the door while the kids are coming in to your classroom or to the room where I’m speaking, they will reach out, like touch my elbow or something. They’re very tactile and they’re, they really, really want that connection. Just it’s just in touch and being able to speak out.

Jim Malliard 9:17
I find that fascinating, because, I guess, of course, I’m, these, you’re talking about my children’s age groups here. So this because I find like I see kids today like wanting to be lost in themselves. But of course, I’m not doing what you do either.

Wendy Gilhula 9:36
So you’re sayig lost in themselves.

Jim Malliard 9:39
Yeah, like kind of wanting to be, you know, be entertained by themselves and not necessarily engage with other people. Like play their video games do their things.

Wendy Gilhula 9:50
Well, that’s true too. Unless they have an interest. If they have a special interest in something then they will, they will reach out and do that for you. Remember I’m a special guest. I’m not like an everyday occurrence to them. So when I’m I’m sure it’s with other people too.

Jim Malliard 10:08
No, it’s just you don’t mind, you don’t mind.

Wendy Gilhula 10:12
I was afraid of that. I was afraid of that, Jim.

Jim Malliard 10:16
No, but it’s it is it is interesting that especially you mentioned I didn’t write it down to group, the group in the middle. They’re not the A’s. Yeah. How they’re interested in family because it seems I mean, every I guess I, you know, we hear all this crud about millennials, and how you know, and then you have these next two generations who are sounding so, how do I say this? Opposite, not necessarily opposite, but well, kind of, to the old, to the current generation. So is this is part of that cycle because of different parenting groups, I guess for lack of a better explanation?

Wendy Gilhula 10:57
Well, yeah, because it wasn’t millennials. They care about things very deeply, but, of course, not the same as Generation X, for example, because every generation is going to care about other things. So yeah, I think I think millennials have gotten a bad rap and I think people are going to focus more on Gen Z, and hopefully they’ll be positive and not as negative as I feel like a lot of people were toward the millennials.

Jim Malliard 11:25
I don’t understand where that ramp came from.

Wendy Gilhula 11:29
I don’t I don’t neither, I I have a son who’s right at the end of the millennials. And he doesn’t fit any of those stereotypes. So you know, it’s not it’s not every millennial is the same. And we my husband teases my daughter, because she likes avocados that she’s a millennial, but she’s not she’s Gen Z. You know, just you know, it’s time to, it’s time to just not, it’s just time to show more kindness, everybody I think.

Jim Malliard 12:01
So let’s rewind the tape further. What made you want to do this in the first place? What got you started?

Wendy Gilhula 12:09
Well, what got me started was I wanted to write a story for my future children. So this is a few decades ago. And I wrote pika bunny has a big question. But before he wasn’t pika Bunny then, he was a different character. He was jack with the he was a white rabbit with long ears. And back then didn’t have computer, typed it out, sent it off to a publisher, publisher sent it back to me rejected and said that kindness was not relevant. Yeah, I know, for just a different time. See, remember, I’m Gen X. So I grew up with Mr. Rogers. And, you know, more kindness. People held doors for each other. So people are I think people are starting to hold doors and open doors for people more now than they did 10 years ago. But when I got that manuscript rejection, I hid it in a drawer for a very long time because I was so humiliated and embarrassed that I wrote something that wasn’t relevant. But in 2014, one of my students, one of my math students, asked me what I do, he goes, what do you do all day when you’re not tutoring? And I thought, in my mind, I was thinking, I write stories that nobody’s ever going to read. I didn’t say that because, you know, don’t want to say that to a student. And then I’m, when I’m mentoring, I’m talking to them about, you know, going after, you know, being brave and putting yourself out there. And then I thought to myself, you know, I’m not being very brave with myself. I’m not very brave with my stories. So that’s how I got published in 2017. I Brushed those stories off and sent them off to see what would happen for a second time. And relevance and kindness is now very relevant. So it’s kind of taken off.

Jim Malliard 14:11
I don’t think it wasn’t ever not relevant, but I don’t I’m not a book publisher. So I guess we take that with a grain of salt.

Wendy Gilhula 14:20
Yeah, I didn’t get love first, I didn’t, I should have not been so embarrassed about it. But you know, I was younger and, you know, didn’t didn’t know any better. And just now I just send things off. And if I get a rejection, I get a rejection. So I just try to deal with it in a more positive way.

Jim Malliard 14:41
Well, I mean, I understand that because I get rejections from guests too. And it’s like, okay, hey, I love a rejection over a non answer.

Oh yeah, me too.

At least you were there in front of them and they said, No, I like that better than never knowing if they even found out.

Wendy Gilhula 15:00
Well, right, if I don’t hear from them, I might send something and a couple weeks and then if you don’t hear of it and like we’re really it’s okay. You know, I think a lot of people don’t tell you you’re rejected is because they’re afraid of backlash.

Jim Malliard 15:16
It’s like, that’s ridiculous.

Wendy Gilhula 15:18
Go ahead, you too. But I’d rather have a no right away then yeah no answer at all no answer at all the worst actually.

Yeah, and that doesn’t feel very good.

Jim Malliard 15:31
So I’m gonna ask you another, boy, I’m full of these good questions tonight.

Wendy Gilhula 15:35
Oh, good.

Jim Malliard 15:37
I promised you it wasn’t gonna sink. No, I’m just sitting here thinking if you would have got picked up the first time if you would have continued to write the other books or not? Or if that first one would have been enough to fulfill the desire to write.

Wendy Gilhula 15:51
Well, I I can’t dance at all as a choreographer around at that time as well. So I was telling my story through dance. So if the publisher said yes, I probably would have been thrilled to do a series, and I would have gone off in that direction. But, you know, I just believe the timing wasn’t right. And, you know, all these years later, I have a lot of time to dedicate to reading to different classrooms all over the world through Skype, which is amazing, amazing. I have like 300,000 Skype miles, talking to all these different kids, ranging from kindergarten age to fifth grade, and just having some deep conversations that I wouldn’t have been able to do. So many years ago. That wasn’t available. I was still typing on a typewriter For heaven’s sake. So

Jim Malliard 16:53
Now, typewriters, typewriters didn’t exist in your lifetime, you were assisted. I was an early computer.

Wendy Gilhula 17:01
No,no, it’s okay. I’m proud of my age. I’m going to be 55 soon. I’m proud of that. I’m, I feel good in my own skin. So it doesn’t matter how old I am on the outside, it’s how old you are on the inside I think.

Jim Malliard 17:17
This is true.

No, Oh, I almost forgot what I was gonna say. And then I quickly recovered and remembered that was good. If you have the opportunity to read to a group of children do it. I had the opportunity a couple years ago, a small group of children. Five or six of them, hey, it was fun. Did he care? I mean, I’m not the strongest reader in the world, but a children’s book for a couple kids, three to four isn’t that hard to do? And that made their day I’m sure of it. Getting the guy who was you know, not wanting to be there to get them to, you know, have them. Talked me into reading a book to them. I’m sure that made at least one 0f theirs day. You know, so

Wendy Gilhula 18:00
Well, when I visit schools in person I can, I’ll read to up to maybe 80 kids at one time. And lucky for me all my dance performance experience, and teaching young kids and teaching them at that time when I was instructing dance to take 25 kids and have them move at this same exact time and same exact way and entertaining them enough to keep, you know, their attention. I’m able to keep the attention of these little these little learners up to you know, 100 at a time. So I, some of the teachers like how do you keep them engaged the whole time for 45 minutes? I’m like, I have no idea. I’m just you know, I just am me and I asked good questions, good questions to the students and I let them interact. And when I’m telling the story, I’m actually telling the story and not reading the story word for word sitting in a chair. I do not like to sit in the chair I like to stand. And I like to ask questions while I’m reading, and let the kids ask me back and have it all interactive, and then they’re all in.

Jim Malliard 19:12
Well, I think that’s the key to integrate for people, right? Well, I mean, little, yes.

Wendy Gilhula 19:18
Well, you know, teachers like the kids to be quiet and sit perfectly still. And I’m all about, you know, let’s raise our hand. Let’s, you know, let’s talk like what are you thinking? Are you, do you agree with me, I have this little hand signal for me to where you stick the thumb and pinky out and shake at the wrist. So anytime I’m talking and I tell them this before, before I tell the story, that anytime I say something that you agree with, or you understand about, like, especially in the talks about bullying, you just do this little me too hand signal so that I know that, you know, we’re on the same page. And as I’m talking I’ll see maybe five people want and all of a sudden 25 people will do it at the same time and that’s how I know that we’re connecting. And that’s where I know to take my talks.

Jim Malliard 20:08
It’s I’ve never even thought about something like that. See, this is this is why I brought you on. Creating new levels of engagement. I’ve got to figure out what keywords, let my listeners know they’re actually listening. Secret words, can’t show any hand signals so any secret words?

Wendy Gilhula 20:27
Well, you got to get their attention right away. So if I’m talking about bullying, I said the very first thing I say is, it takes a lot of courage to write a book about bullying. And then they all look at me with big eyes like, Yeah, it does. And it’s like, what are we going, what are we going to be doing? What are we going to be talking, talking about? Like, where is this going to go? Are you Am I going to be listened to?

What do you have to say?

Jim Malliard 20:57
I’m sure that’s brought about some heartfelt moments where somebody has,I don’t want to say, confessed to bullying because that’s not necessarily what I’m going for here but life changing moments from either side of that coin with students.

Wendy Gilhula 21:18
More for adults, more adults have said that to me, but not not kids. Really? Not kids during my time No. Kid, okay, so a five year old if I go to talk to kindergarteners, and I say, this is yet to not happen. If I say ask, what is bullying? Somebody will tell me, bullying is an act of unkindness. This is a five year old, done over and over and over. Because that person wants to make you feel bad about yourself. You’re five this is what I’m talking about generation alpha like they’re from Like you want to just always say my Where you from? are you from? What planet are you from? This is like, you know, you’re talking like you’re way beyond your years. That’s what I find a lot with Gen Gen Gen A or Gen alpha.

Jim Malliard 22:14
I’ve said, obviously, you’re answering the question as you were asking, and that’s what I came up with.

Wendy Gilhula 22:23
Exactly like I did, my friend. I didn’t, I didn’t respond like that. I think, you know, like, Where did you learn this from a book from, like, the teacher tell you and this is just when kindergarten was like, in September when they’re first in school. So it must be somewhere they’re exposed to it somewhere. But it’s wonderful because then they know that if they’re standing in line and somebody elbows them in front of, you know, and it’s an accident, they know the difference between, okay, that was an accident or I’m getting bullied.

There’s no confusion if they know what the definition of bullying.

Jim Malliard 23:01
Yeah, I was gonna say, I mean, that is definitely an interesting thing to know. I mean, I’m still I’m still blown away. I can’t imagine how you were. I’m sitting here thinking.

Wendy Gilhula 23:13
If you want to be blown away, you go into a kindergarten class and ask them some questions. Ask them some important questions, and you’ll get some amazing answers. I have a free app, the Pika Bunny kindness tracker.

Jim Malliard 23:29
As I say, downloaded it this afternoon. So I was gonna I actually have it on my notes.

So yeah, go ahead. We’re right there. So go for it.

For me, can you can we get a little bit more of an adult version? Maybe we’ll just change at work.

I like the cat the bunny and stuff.

Wendy Gilhula 23:50
There are adults who use it instead of school they just think of it as work. Like where you kind of work today. Did you smile at somebody? Did you give them a compliment? You know, things like that, but I made it. Alright, so, so much to talk about the app. The reason why I made the app or thought of a creating an app was I was doing a Skype lesson. And sometimes the kids are not sure if I’m a video before start, or if I’m live. So sometimes, you know, people will wait kind of on the fly in the back and I’ll be back and then their eyes get really big like, whoa, wait, but can she see me? So that’s kind of fun. But one day there was a boy, and he was wearing a kindness is cool t shirt. And I saw him doing something not nice to somebody. And it was before eat came out. It was before pika bunny says eat that’s having courage to say no to bullying. And I just said to him, I said oh, You on the second row? What does your shirt say? He goes, Oh, kindness is cool. And he didn’t get it. He didn’t get like I saw him. And then I thought, okay, kindness is trendy right now. Hopefully it’s not a trend. Hopefully it’s like going to be life. You know, things that really happen, and it’s not a trend. But how many times thinking to myself and asking myself Yeah, I think kindness is great, but how many times am I actually being kind during the day? And I was taking a tally. And then I thought, Oh, how, how fun might that be? Because the the app, you can track your areas of kindness or acts of kindness at home. And then there’s a page for school, and there’s a page for your planet. And so when I first beta tested it, I realized, okay, I’m not mean at home, but I’m not showing as much kindness at home as I am other places like, I’m, I wasn’t saying good morning very much. And I wasn’t just small things that count. So that got me aware Wow, I should say, you know, good morning to my husband every morning instead of just like there be silence and then you know, just talking about, like, you know, our days to actually say good morning, things like that. And when I was at Barnes and Noble one day after the app was already out there, I saw I was talking to the kids about kindness. And I had read Pika Bunny has a big question. I’m asking how can we be kind at home? And then let them raise their hands and they’re telling me all these different ways and how can we be kind of school? And then when I got to, how can we be kind to our planet? There was a little boy just in diapers still. And he wanted to answer and I was I didn’t even know if he could talk because he was so mall, you know, as I was giving given the chance for him to speak, and he said, we can water seeds so they can become plants.

I wouldn’t have thought of that while I was still in diapers.

So what is going on?

Jim Malliard 27:23
Yeah, I think I need to rethink the demographic that I’m interviewing from. Geez. No.

Right. I mean, these kids are on it.

Wendy Gilhula 27:36
They are and a lot of them have their own podcast, like at eight years old, and they have their own little shows on YouTube, where they’re demonstrating toys and making millions of dollars and like, where was that when I was young, I would have loved that. As much as I’d love to perform. But, you know, go for it for kids.

Pave the way, I’ll follow.

Jim Malliard 28:02
I’m just glad there isn’t some video some things I did when I was a child. Well more so when I was a teenager I guess be accurate.

Wendy Gilhula 28:10
I mean. Now you’re gonna tell on yourself.

Jim Malliard 28:15
Tell what?

Wendy Gilhula 28:17
What story now?

Jim Malliard 28:21
There’s too many, that’s the problem.

Wendy Gilhula 28:28
maybe somebody will call in and say something

Jim Malliard 28:33
I was troubling, not bad, not hugely bad trouble it’s just you know the kind of goofing on people kind of trouble the kind of stuff that would get you in trouble but not really trouble you know. Flying things up flagpoles, there you go.

Wendy Gilhula 28:50
Oh wow, okay, well see now I would have loved to watch that but I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have joined you.

Jim Malliard 28:59
just it’s more of a Instagram thing right? the picture of it up there.

Wendy Gilhula 29:03
Right? Right. Right and then then tik tok the video of you doing it to music.

Jim Malliard 29:11
That is one app I have not. You know, that’s the thing like Well, you’ve probably run into so for promoting your books, right? You try to figure out how to promote it and Instagram still a struggle because we’re sitting here talking right? You asked about video earlier. No, I told you that I’m no but here I am. You know, in this digital world, how do you promote something? But anyway, that’s a whole other conversation.

Wendy Gilhula 29:33
Well, I guess or you could just promote what you’re what you’re into, like, for me, I love I love to talk about kindness and courage. And it doesn’t really have to be about books. I mean, I would love it if if people purchase the books and shared with their children or the grandchildren or, you know, gatekeepers like teachers. Yeah, of course, I want that. But what I want more, is to promote kindness.

Jim Malliard 29:57
So what’s before we forget, because we’re halfway through the show, right at this moment, we’re Oh, wow. Okay, where can people find you in the book? Where can people find you in the books before? Like I said, because I’ll forget here in a few minutes.

Wendy Gilhula 30:10
So that’s fine. Well, um, the books can be found anywhere you buy books online. So Amazon target, Barnes and Noble. But you can go to my website Wendygilhula .com WNDYGILHULA and find out more about me and my books.

Jim Malliard 30:32
So I’m gonna get and then Okay, no, go ahead.

Wendy Gilhula 30:37
say there’s a link to the app. There’s the app is available for iOS and Android on my website, and it’s free.

It’s free because I don’t want to charge for trying this.

Jim Malliard 30:50
So I’m going through the, through the app, I’ve got it open here. I’m just going through some of these. And I failed that one today in a big way. That makes me not happy.

In what area? Waiting My turn.

Okay, so I did Wait, I did wait my turn, but I was impatient. Is that a fair? more fair assessment? Okay, so I’ll tell the story. I’ll tell him myself as at Walmart, the electronics department. And there’s this guy, older gentleman in front of me. He was the standard waiting, but on the screen there it says, push for assistance, right? And I asked him if he already pushed and he’s like, now that guy’s over there helping that guy and I said, Well, maybe there’s somebody else in the store that can help us. So I’m going to question and he looks at me and he says, you know, there’s nobody else in the store that’s gonna help us. We’ve just got away and bam, I push that button anyway. So that’s just the story of impatience, right? Cuz I still let him go in front of me when when the guy came over.

Wendy Gilhula 31:54
I wouldn’t have wouldn’t be so hard on yourself on that.

I probably would have pushed the button too. Just because what if there was somebody else who could help? Or us or anybody? That’s what the buttons for. That button doesn’t say push if you’re impatient or if you’re unkind.

Jim Malliard 32:16
and looking at all these kind of hit me that well, I don’t know, but this kind of hit me I was like, Well, I guess you know, kind of felt like a jumping the guy cuz you know, he was trying to be patient Wait, is this like app? So I guess

Wendy Gilhula 32:29
he still waited in your turn No.

Jim Malliard 32:31
Yeah. So you’re fine. Okay. So okay.

Wendy Gilhula 32:36
Give yourself that Pika bunny point.

Jim Malliard 32:39
I was hoping my elders say that’s because he wasn’t he probably didn’t want any part of the electronics thing.

Wendy Gilhula 32:44
Yes, I could. I think I think that making kids aware of being nice to the elderly is very important because a lot of a lot of people younger than me. But older than Gen alpha, eat Of course he’s older you are they think they’re dumber you are or whatever, sometimes some of them and you know we have so many experiences that’s why I’m I’m not ashamed of my age because I have so many life experiences good and bad and happy and sad. But I earned all those. I earned every single wrinkle. I’m happy. I’m happy with that. I’m happy with my choices. But I think it’s important to remember to be kind, especially if there are people who have memory issues. And the reason why that came in is I do have that in my book where pika Bunny is appreciating old Daniel. Daniel is a grizzly bear and the grizzly bear tells retells the stories over and over and pika bunny doesn’t mind and he gives them he gives them a flower out of appreciation and love and kindness. I have a therapy dog, a registered therapy dog, collect Take two, her name is Ruby Tuesday, and I take her to a retirement home and I also take her to a high school. And in the retirement home we visit, most of her friends have memory issues. And even though we go every week or every other week, they don’t remember her. Even after years and my dog doesn’t care, my dog doesn’t care because she knows who her friends are. She knows who who wants to see her. And you know, it does it mattering in being kind and patient to people is, you know, very important.

Jim Malliard 34:36
So I do have a good story here to tell you. Okay,

so three weeks ago, I had surgery had part of my thyroid removed but somewhere immediately after that, because I went to the lab. I went to the lab like four times when like getting bloodwork done to make sure my levels for leveling back off correctly. And so I’m sitting in this small waiting room right There’s this older couple on the wall, the wall that’s far enough, the firewall like, you know, two chairs away how big this room was, right? So I sit down, I sit down far away from them, and get on my phone and start doing what I do on my phone. And the old guy says, it’s interesting. I don’t see too many young people stopped to talk to anybody else anymore. Right? So immediately, I put my phone away and say, You know what, you know what’s interesting about that?

Most young people of my age don’t know, I don’t want to say don’t know how to engage with people, but choose not to just out of sheer bliss. And he says, What do you mean sheer bliss? And I said, we get so much stuff thrown at us all the time because of being connected like this. That we don’t need any more put on us. And he’s like, I never, you know, he’s like, he could tell that he was seriously I’m like, Yeah, I mean, because we are all connected to everybody now, right? used to be you don’t want to hear from a friend. Well, you know, like, once a week maybe or when you were in school like every day but that was it and then you went hours without hearing from them and you had an adventure now you know everything about everybody all the time.

Yeah, sometimes, you know, way too much about people. Right? Yeah, yeah.

So now it’s kind of like yeah, put the fence up and just stay just stay back from anything else that could be a mess. And he looked at me and he you know, he as he was getting up to go get his bloodwork and he says, Thanks for putting your phone away. I said, Oh, you’re welcome. I’m glad you know. I’m glad you mentioned it because otherwise, you’re right. I wouldn’t just sit there and check my email and you know, ran down my list of things that I have to do while I’m sitting here waiting for for bloodwork.

Wendy Gilhula 36:54
I love to speak with people from older, older people different generations than mine because they have so many wonderful stories. I love it when the when Ruby Tuesday’s friends tell decide to tell Ruby to say a story, because they mostly talked to the dog, which is fine. But it’s so fascinating just to put yourself back in, you know, in a time where you didn’t exist and try to imagine like, what, what it was for them. What was it like for them? And so he thank you for putting your phone away. Yeah. So he was looking to actively looking to speak to you.

Jim Malliard 37:43
Yeah, which, you know, seems surprising because he was sitting here with his wife, of course. You know, I understand there comes a time when you need outside conversation, right, especially, you know, going around everywhere together. But so it was it was interesting, because I can’t imagine how many other people would have stopped and engaged that conversation.

Wendy Gilhula 38:03
thinking the same thing Yeah,

Jim Malliard 38:05
yeah, I’m sure someone, but I don’t think I don’t want to put numbers on it cuz that’s not fair. But I’ve been I’ve seen enough people who are engaged in commerce or quote unquote engaged in conversation and can’t look up at the person that’s there that they know to talk to them, let alone a stranger.

Wendy Gilhula 38:24
Well, I have the opposite problem. My kids are always embarrassed because I have there are no strangers if you’re next to me in the elevator with me your fair game, I will talk to you. And most everybody will smile and, you know, we’ll talk back because they usually, you know, try to say something funny or entertaining or something that we just both saw, just both experienced or something and I make a comment about it, but I I’m not one to be shy. Maybe I should be more that way. Maybe they scare people. So, but it’s I love to interact with people. I mean,

Jim Malliard 39:08
as I say,I think we need to interact with people. I think that’s we’re hardwired. I think we need to interact with people. I think we’re hardwired that way.

Wendy Gilhula 39:18
Yeah, but I can I do get what you’re saying about being overloaded with everything all the time and keeping up with things and feeling like you have to keep up with social media or you know, what will happen. I don’t know what will happen, but something will happen. And I don’t want that thing to happen, whatever that is.

Jim Malliard 39:36
If I don’t know, you know, what’s going on, you know, if I just don’t know, and then I miss something. And then I feel like I’m out of a loop it’s bad.

Wendy Gilhula 39:45

Jim Malliard 39:46
Well, I don’t I don’t feel it like I used to, but I don’t need more. I find myself further and further away from it. Or at least I’m trying to put distance to it.

Wendy Gilhula 39:59
I made myself put my phone away when I’m with when I’m with someone. And the only time I will look at it is if I said the phone rings, I just I just want to see if it’s one of my kids make sure they don’t need that you’re an adult. They’re both adults, you know, I’d like to and then if it’s not that good don’t even look at like, I don’t look at my text, I don’t look, I just keep it my my purse or I keep it. If I don’t have my purse with me, I’ll just turn it upside down and I have always had my notifications off and on silent. So I can try to give my individual attention to whoever is across form me or next to me. And it’s really been eye opening. So you’re you know, at a holiday and you look around and most of the family is on the phone. Even you know older people it doesn’t matter. They’re on the phone or they’re on a tablet and I’m sitting there they don’t have one with me because I won’t get it During the holidays, and I just was really really noticing how things are changing. Even when I was on my own phone I didn’t notice because I was locked in my phone. But when I made myself put it away and watch I was I was really surprised and kind of sad actually.

Jim Malliard 41:24
It’s It’s tough. It’s tough to do I, you’re gonna get a kick out of this. At least because I got you know, you started getting so many telemarketer calls. So I decided, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna just, you know, put my default ringtone is silent. Did you know apparently that’s not an option on the Apple phone. They don’t give you silence, you have to buy silence.

Wendy Gilhula 41:51
Oh, I guess I have mine on vibrate. Yeah.

Jim Malliard 41:55
So I would ignore it. I paid 99 cents for a silent ring. Because I was so driven to have this silent ringtone right? Some entreprenuer just made 99 cents on a schmuck because he needed silence for a ringtone.

Wendy Gilhula 42:15

Jim Malliard 42:21
Right. He kept it play for silence now, the guy the guy produces audio is paying for silence. Anyways, but I did
and I like it.

Wendy Gilhula 42:31
Okay, well maybe I’ll get it too cuz I have, I have an iPhone too.

Jim Malliard 42:36
In the thing is now now if my phone rings because all my you know the other number. Like I said, I’ve the contacts on my phone, I’ve put a ringtone to and everybody else gets silence. So I know if my phone rings it’s probably well, it becomes a screening process. Right everybody does that. Right? They look at their phone and say, Oh, good. No, it’s calling. Yeah, not today. I don’t have time to talk. But at least then it’s kind of you feel in control instead of seeing some number from wherever California I don’t, you know, like California, maybe I just won the lottery. We’re an agents calling about a new Hollywood movei.

Wendy Gilhula 43:18
Again? Like the 70s. In the 80s. When the phone rang, you jumped on it and praying it was for you. And, or if you’re calling somebody, you know, like, please don’t let it be busy. Please don’t let their mom be talking to somebody, or, you know, I really want to talk to this friend. I really don’t understand this homework or whatever it was. It’s just so different. And now I’m just wanting to put it away. I mean, no, no, no.

Jim Malliard 43:45
No, it’s like, do I have to talk to him? Now that’s how it is now. used, like you said, it used to be Oh, yeah, I loved it. And now it’s like, wow, just now. And the other thing is, like, you look at those numbers that used to be long distance. Right, you have to pay the 10 cents a minute or whatever now it’s just you know, you get these monthly calling plans that are so cheap, you can call wherever. Old guy on a stump right here.

Wendy Gilhula 44:11
But it’s amazing. I mean, it’s good and it’s bad. I mean, it’s amazing because I can use my phone and I can use Skype on my phone and talk to a classroom in India or England or somewhere you know, in the PNW or whatever. It is so many more opportunities now but you’re right, so much more opportunity for other things that are just noise. Things that are noise noise noise reminds me of like the grinch. Just you know, just, you know, tired tired sometimes put it away and, and not worry about is that missing out on something?

Jim Malliard 44:53
No, I’m talking about can we do it you could turn the ringer off, but I wanted to have silence and my ringer on It’s kind of a weird concept.

Wendy Gilhula 45:04
Wait a minute. You wanted silence and your ringer on?

Jim Malliard 45:06
Yeah, it was fun to be able to ring when the port people called me. So when the non important people called. I just wanted them not to make a noise. I guess I confused that earlier. That’s why I paid for so I’m sorry. That’s okay. I just tried to make sure I cleaned it up for one of the chatters.

Wendy Gilhula 45:27
Okay, silence.

Jim Malliard 45:27
They’re a droid person, they have their own little, you know, they, they love to tell me how great their friends are. But, um, you know, I’m kind of an old dog now and I don’t want to learn new tricks.

Wendy Gilhula 45:38
Oh, I love to learn new tricks. You can, but you got to scroll through the stuff you’re not interested in. And then you have to like the stuff you are like I get older videos of puppies. have little babies have kittens. I love my feed because it’s all positive. Because that’s what I like is when I click on But you can see what the young people are interested in and what they’re saying. And, you know, there’s lots of anxiety with generally lots of anxiety. I mean, we never I mean, I’ve never had to practice for an Intruder alert. Once a month. No, no, I didn’t have to practice using my calculator as a weapon to throw it at somebody. In case they were after me. Or my friends. Just they have so much more on them.

Jim Malliard 46:32
Wait, wait, wait. We’re throwing calculators at people.

Wendy Gilhula 46:34
They’re pretending to throw it like Intruder alert.

Jim Malliard 46:38
That’s, we need some, these kids need books. You know?

Wendy Gilhula 46:43
Do your kids talk to you about that?

Jim Malliard 46:46
Well, my kids are cyber schooled. So thankfully we don’t have to go through.

Wendy Gilhula 46:48
Oh,sorry. Okay, well, so sorry. Okay, well, wow, wonderful. Yeah, that’s it. The reason why I asked that is because when I have a younger student in front of me, especially elementary High School and one of them burst into tears because she was a fifth grader and she was a small senior class and she was in charge of putting down the blinds. And she had had an intruder alert practice. And she said if I don’t do that other people can get hurt. I was like what? Who said that? And they said, well the teacher because the teacher locking the door and I said, Have you talked to your mom about this? And she said, No, I said you should talk to your mom about this because I think your mom can make it where you’re not. You don’t have that responsibility. Because you don’t need that you’re in fifth grade. Craziness.

Jim Malliard 47:44
I had david Perrodin on, Dr. David Perrodin. He is a school safety expert and we talked about these kind of things and horrible stuff. I mean, I can’t sit I made putting myself in the shoe. You know the shoes of like a myself going through that, being thinking about being responsible for a group of my peers, my friends might, you know, at any point just terrifies me, let alone young me.

Wendy Gilhula 48:16
And I remember 911 or my son came out and he said, Mommy, Mommy, we play the game. He was in second grade. And I said, What did you play today? Because I was already sad, I thought, well, maybe they were trying to. He said, we play the game of Let’s hide behind our teachers rocking chair. That was the first time I’d heard that. First time I was I was like, why is it Why are they hiding behind the rocking chair? And I thought, Oh, that’s out. That’s the only place I had. You know, like, that was the beginning. I remember him talking about that.

Jim Malliard 48:55
Well, let’s be honest adults for a minute. Is that going to help anything?

Wendy Gilhula 49:00
No, but I guess it would gather them together. I don’t know. I don’t know. I need to listen to this podcast that you told me about because I’ve missed that one.

Jim Malliard 49:10
I’ll get you some likes. And he’s got his own show that he talks about this stuff, too. So I’ll get you all that stuff here this evening. Yeah, I’m thinking what’s the I mean, besides scaring the children half to death? What’s the endgame there?

Wendy Gilhula 49:25
I don’t, Yeah, that’s what you’re doing is you’re scaring everybody. And then you’re making them almost numb to being afraid of it. Because they start to think well, it’s inevitable. Somebody’s probably gonna, and who is it? Who’s going to go off who’s going to be that angry at us and they’re looking around at each other. And then that makes them scared to reach out to people they don’t know. Because they’re having to practice for these intruders that may probably are their peers if there is going to be one, God forbid.

Jim Malliard 50:01
Horrible and I was watching we are Columbine the other day and at some point that fire alarm got pulled. And so they didn’t know to go because you know, the gut reaction as far as I’m getting out of the building, but to something you know, they knew there was something going on in the building. So

Wendy Gilhula 50:17
yeah, okay. Again, I don’t have any answers.

Jim Malliard 50:22
Here it is. I love to say that here as I’m as I am an adult what, you know, understanding that situation. I still don’t I mean, that was two weeks ago. I was watching it. I’m still sitting here going. I don’t know. What what what’s the correct set? You know what? Because, you know, there’s the snap decisions, right? Oh, yeah. You just just go for it right. Now, you know, so I still haven’t come to my conclusion. I don’t like that. I like being able to go Let’s do it or let’s not do it. And I can’t, you know, and I can’t imagine being Oh, I think you said a five year old trying to make Rational You see, I mean for understand the consequences as a teacher of taking 30 kids with you. That’s more. Yeah, that one right there. You say that out loud that just makes your head hurt. But anyways, so back to back to the app because I’m still sitting and clicking.

Wendy Gilhula 51:17
Back to kindness

Jim Malliard 51:19
Back to kindness and context as we try to roll and end on a positive net. They say I see I see you say be brave for a friend. Now I noticed that was because the thunderstorm book is obviously being brave for yourself or understanding what’s going on around you. being brave for somebody else. Where are you? Where do you, where do you fit? What are you thinking?

Wendy Gilhula 51:45
Well, Pika bunny says eat. My friend. Mariela said to me, when do you need to ride pick up any book about bowling, and that I was like, Oh, I said, Oh, I couldn’t do that. That’s, you know, nobody wants to talk about bullying. How can I can write a story about it. But in nature, the American pica and that’s my main characters as a pica or pkg say the way they say even nature when there’s an intruder in their habitat. And I thought what a perfect way to say no is just to say eat. And when I do is the story goes where pika Bunny is asking some big questions to adults. And he’s in a hurry, but they don’t understand what you can’t make a connection yet in the story until he goes back to where his friend is being bullied. And he applies the answers he got from the adults and he speaks up and he says eap which means to know when he sees Brutus and going, bullying and then because he’s brave, the friends around that are witnessing because usually when kids are being bullied at school, they’re usually being bullied in front of a bunch Witnesses, right? So as we all can say, we practice this too when I’m when I’m at schools or speaking, if we can just say eap or no. And one person does it, and then five people do it. And then maybe another five people say no, then the bully can’t win. The bully can’t win because they are outnumbered. And all they’re doing all the kids have to do is say no, and not scream it because you don’t want to bully the bully and you don’t want to get the bully excited that he’s getting you upset. But if you just say no, and we practice it when I pick a pretend bully, and pick a pretend victim, the bully says something pretend bad. And then mark normally the first time I practice it, everybody’s silent. Because that’s normally what happens. And I said, What can you say? And they say, Oh, we can say no, like yes. Or somebody said we could say eap. Yes, you can say we practice it again. And then they find the courage to say no. And we practice that you literally have they literally have to practice it, because they’re so stuck in the silence. But when they all were saying eap to the pretend bully, that pretend bully usually turns their back, like they, they just kind of turned their back to everybody. And I said, you see how they reacted? They know it’s pretend it wasn’t that pretend Billy was getting their feelings or anything. I said, That’s what happens when the bully gets overpowered by just the word no. And I’ve seen it happen in in real life I’ve seen I’ve seen kids, they eap each other, and it stops the building immediately. Which I never expected. You know, I was hoping it would work knowing the editing process, but when I thought really happen, I was so excited.

Jim Malliard 54:55
So what’s what do you what are you working? God I hate to ask this question. Are you working on Books.

Wendy Gilhula 55:01
Oh, of course.

Jim Malliard 55:04
Sometimes that question does not go well for me.

Wendy Gilhula 55:08
Well, I’ve just finished my first manuscript on a Christmas story that has a little twist at the end. And I’m looking for publisher for that I’m looking for a home that for that one is going to start a brand new series of pika Bunny and friends. So it’ll be, instead of mainly being for K through two, it’ll be for like six through nine, it will be a little bit older, a little bit older, because the pika bunny fans that I’ve run into have asked me if pika bunny Could be older, in tap tracker books, and I was like, Oh, that’s a great idea. So that’s what I’ve been doing the past two years.

Jim Malliard 55:47
This is a great idea for me, especially I mean, cuz I hate to say it, but I will. We all need reminders of these things. Now and again,right, we all forget things.

Wendy Gilhula 56:01
Yeah, yes, yes. And I hope you share the app with your kids. I hope they, I hope they find some value in it.

Jim Malliard 56:09
I’m going to I know the one Well, I’m not sure about the other one. But yeah, I think I was just saying, I’m saying that out loud. You know how that all works out for me. Just because I said that out loud.

Wendy Gilhula 56:24
Well, there’s, you know, what you can do for your planet. You can plant seeds, you can feed the birds, there’s all kinds of things that maybe, you know, they’ve already thought about or haven’t thought of yet.

Jim Malliard 56:35
As I say something, like I said, I was sick, especially the point when I was like, Oh, yeah. So again, stuff that you now write stuff that no, yeah, makes sense. But to actually put it into context, and actually think about doing it is a whole other thing.

Wendy Gilhula 56:49
And then doing it and then actually doing it. Like recycling is great. But how many times have you recycled today? None. And it’s not a judgment. It’s just like, it’s just Kind of a mirror of what your actions are.

Jim Malliard 57:04
Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. It’s great to have those reminders because, well, like yeah, recycling. We know it’s great. Right? But some days, you know, okay. Give me What? Give your website one more time.

Wendy Gilhula 57:21
It’s Wendygilhula.com. WENDYGILHULA.COM

Jim Malliard 57:30
So Wendy, was it as bad as I promised it would be.

Wendy Gilhula 57:33
It was worse.

It was wonderful. And it went by fast, is it over.

Jim Malliard 57:39
Yeah. Well, when the chapter books come out, right. You know where to find me. Right.

Wendy Gilhula 57:48
I would love to be back. Is that what you’re saying? Jim?

Jim Malliard 57:52
That’s what I’m saying. I’m saying come back. We’ll talk again.

Wendy Gilhula 57:56
All right. Wonderful. Thank you so much.

Jim Malliard 57:58
Well, thank you, Wendy. Have a good night.

That’s what I’m saying I I am pleasantly surprised she’s a great guest great person great soul that’s why I love this show right now I’m telling you literally can no showing the planet can do this. Oh, probably some other shows on the planet can do this but I love what I’m doing right now.

Politics, football coaches, children’s books. Line it up, knock it out for pretty straight guests at the top of their game. We’ll be back. Hey, Seriously though, if you have not subscribed to this program on iTunes or Apple podcast, Stitcher, wherever you’re listening, if you’re listening via podcast, take that moment, hit that subscribe button. leave a review share with your friends. I’m still blown away about the western cat from last year but guess what? I doubled down, I want more of this year. So how to get more, you have to help. That’s the only way we can do this. That’s what makes this show the wild success that it is. engagement from you guys. I thank you all for doing it. But again, we need more. Need more. I’m looking to sit here and sell you some probiotics, some antibiotics, some vitamin water, some product at this point, I’m just gonna say I’m just gonna say, help me sell the show. It’s what I want you to do for me in the coming year. That’s more important than anything else to me. That’s what I want. That’s how we become a wild success. That’s how the rest of this business takes care of itself. malliard.com Subscribe, Share, review. Fun stuff. more common, more coming right down the line. So we do around here, keep it busy. Keep it, keep it going. And with that, good night.