Posts from the ‘adult’ Category

OODLES OF DOODLES

Pinky Doodle Bug

Written by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino

Illustrated by Vovo Kirichenko

This book is an adorable picture book that will inspire the creativity of budding young artists of any age everywhere. Pinky Doodle is a tiny bug who loves to paint her thoughts on everything she sees. One day she realizes that her drawings needed stories. So Pinky calls on her friends in the forest to share their stories.

Many animals of the forest like birds, butterflies, bunnies, caterpillars and others relate their tales to Pinky. She eagerly illustrates each of them with her doodles. By combining their talents, the friends had produced a beautiful composition.

This book is told in simple, crisp rhymes, accompanied by vividly colored illustrations. It is sure to please readers from preschool age on up. It will even put a smile on the face of adult readers.

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#AuthorToolboxLinky

I recently read this book that I think both fiction and nonfiction writers will benefit by putting it on your reading list. Authors are storytellers. They reveal their soul to the world, whether that be creating fiction or talking about elements of the real world.

Here is my review of this thought-provoking book.

GETTING YOUR STORY OUT TO THE WORLD

THE STORY ADVANTAGE

Written by L J Bloom

If you want to effectively transmit your story to the world, this book will give you the tools to not only write but promote your story to your ideal audience. Nonfiction as well as fiction writers will find it useful.

Bloom begins by reminding us about the origin of storytelling, how the art has evolved over time, and the way stories need to be communicated in today’s world. The key to success is to make your story relevant to the type of audience who will benefit and relate to it. Bloom then explores the reasons we tell stories, and the many diverse types of stories that can be told.

The second part of the book gets into the nitty gritty of how to craft your story. That involves becoming clear about your audience and becoming clear about your message. Next, authors must find a way to make it pertinent to their audience. How can you make your message useful to them? A key ingredient is to get your readers emotionally involved in the story.

The last part of the book is the actual telling of the story. How does the storyteller use body language, voice, physical setting, and firsthand experiences to transmit the story in a memorable way to the listener? Only after accomplishing all these tasks will an author be able to successfully engage, inspire and influence her audience.

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MAKING HISTORY WITH YOUR FAMILY

COLLECTING MEMORIES FOR YOUR CHILDREN

There’s something special about looking back through treasures from your childhood. A long forgotten picture or story that you wrote in fourth grade brings you back to memories of you and your family today. Wouldn’t it be great to preserve memories for each of your children?

CONSIDER THESE SUGGESTIONS FOR COLLECTING AND PRESERVING WONDEFUL MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY:

Obtain a box for each child’s memories.

If you already have a designated storage space for each child’s mementos, it will be easy to stash new items to their “treasure box.”

The box can be as large as you room to store it. Decorative boxes of different shapes and sizes are available at your local big box or craft store.

Or consider purchasing a plastic storage draw unit from a big box or stationery store. Label each drawer with your children’s names. When you have something to add, open the drawer and pop it inside.

Save school papers and projects.

Put the date, the grade when task completed, and name of child’s teacher on the back of papers and art work you want to save.

Depending on how specific you want to provide, you can include the name of the school and the address you lived at during that time.

Preserve special photo memories.

You can use computer storage for files of pictures for each child. Back up your pictures each month to a flash drive or an external hard drive.

Or you can take pictures, print the ones you like, and date them on the back of the print. Add a brief description or record one, if you prefer.

Store hard-copy pictures in the child’s memory box. Then placing them in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box at a bank will protect them from loss or natural disaster.

Document special events.

Another fun way to preserve memories is recording your observations and thoughts about your child’s experiences. Recording a one or two page summary will help you recall them later.

So many of us would love to remember our childhoods many years in the future. Take a little time now to document these occurrences for them.

Some suggestions include successful moments in the classroom, dance recitals, sports triumphs or graduations.

But do not forget about struggles. Overcoming obstacles or failures that made a child stronger are just as important to recall.

Don’t forget those funny moments. A funny situation or a silly question make lovely memories.

To sum up, recording snippets of time from your child’s experiences through writing, pictures, and video are now available to us through modern technology. They are valuable tools to make documenting our memories simple and efficient.

Ten or twenty years from now, you will be able to sit down and view these memories through the eyes of two adults who have shared so many memories.

Don’t neglect building a family history because you are too busy with everyday chores. I can personally attest to wishing that I had the technology available today to preserve more of my own children’s memories.

START CREATING YOUR FAMILY’S HISTORY TODAY!

#KINDNESS -Why The World Has Become Less Kind

Last month, I posted an article on #World Kindness Day. Then I thought about the lack of it.

It seems life has taken us to a place where we no longer value kindness as a trait.  In fact, kindness has been replaced with self-importance and wanting to stay impersonal. The question is why has the world become less kind? Is it that we no longer care about others? Do we believe kindness makes us weak? Is the lack of kindness from some global change?

I believe that kindness has become less important in the world today for many reasons:

  • We’re in a big hurry. Life has become so fast paced, filled with appointments and places to be that we no longer take the time to simply listen to someone.

  • Technology has taken place of the human face-to-face, voice-to-voice interactions of the past. No longer do we pick up the phone or meet face-to-face to talk to others. Now we spend our time texting, posting, getting involved in others drama or simply playing mindless games on our cell phones, tablets, computers and even our watches.

Technology has allowed us to say it’s okay to be late all the time. After all, we can simply text our friend we’re running late, and they’ll know. It’s taken away the common courtesies of saying thank you, hello, nice to meet you, please and “how can I help you”.

We no longer smile at others when we see them. We no longer sympathize or help someone who is having a rough day. Instead we place an emoji on our social media post or in a text and call it done.

There’s an app for everything. Want to have a relationship? Use this app. Want to order your dinner? Use this app. Are these apps taking away the connectedness we once had that created kindness? I believe they do.

  • Self-centeredness and greed is another reason kindness has taken a backseat. Many people are focused on their own lives, on getting ahead and doing whatever is necessary to beat the other guy.

People are more interested in taking care of their own self before they reach out and extend some type of kindness to others. We’ve become a society of “me first” that wasn’t seen as often just a few years ago.

  • Our environment causes us to withdraw from others. Living in crowded cities among strangers can make you quickly hide your natural tendency to be generous and kind to others. With crime, kidnappings, murders and other fears running wild in many cities, people have found it safer to keep to themselves. Road rage keeps people from stopping to help someone with car trouble.
  • Family structure has changed. Our upbringing was different 30 years ago. We believed in helping each other. Neighbors looked out for each other. People weren’t afraid to help the poor and needy. People and children were taught to respect others and to be trustworthy and honest.

Today people are more afraid to show their kindness. Society is deeply divided. There is fear that we will be attacked for what we say or do. We don’t want to appear vulnerable and to get hurt so we attack with words and actions as a way to self-protect ourselves.

Kindness has taken a backseat to greed, technology, poor manners and the environment we live in. Instead of showing kindness we’re afraid to be seen as the nice guy because we might be taken advantage of.

I do not mean to imply all is lost. Like my Little Miss HISTORY character, I prefer to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. There are many philanthropic organizations out there that strive to alleviate suffering and help those in need. But I think we all need to be consciously aware of how easy it is to shut others out because we are too much wrapped up in ourselves.

SHORT AND SWEET

The Mystery of Santa Claus

Written by Paul Moxham

Will is spending the Christmas holidays in Scotland at his grandparents house. His three best friends, Joe, Amy, and Sarah have joined him.

The foursome venture out to check out the scene of a recent accident in which a tree fell on a vehicle narrowly missing killing the driver. They are distracted when their dog follows another dog. Of course, they need to investigate the urgency. When they come upon a man dressed as Santa Claus in the snow, the mystery deepens. It’s Christmas Eve and the snow is falling. How will the children be able to rescue the injured driver and solve the mystery?

This thirty page short story is a page turned. Although it is written for middle-grade audiences, I could not put the book down. American readers should note that this book is written in British English, but it is an easy read.

I highly recommend adding it to your holiday reading list.

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HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

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#AUTHORTOOLBOXLINKYBLOGHOP

Guerilla Publishing: a sleaze-free guide to publishing and marketing

Written by Derek Murphy

I have read quite a few books offering publishing advice to independent authors. This one filled in some of the blanks about my still unanswered questions.

Most new and independent authors worry incessantly about marketing and spend too much time on it. I will admit to being guilty on that count. Murphy believes authors should spend more of their time and resources writing. He believes the only two things an author should worry about are visibility and conversion. Getting your book in front of the right readers is more important than spinning your wheels using every available marketing tool available.

Before writing authors need to do preparation. Rather than write about what they want, do research, and find genres that will sell. Of course, one still needs to balance that with the need to enjoy writing in that area. Answering who, what, when and where to find your target readers and how to write the best story that appeals to their needs are the next steps.

Murphy discusses the kinds of errors authors make and how to fix them. Then he provides links to problem solve embedded in the text. This allows the reader to go straight to the source and find information about how to fix them. Practical advice on layout, formatting, book covers, and options for distribution are clearly presented. The necessary skills of locating the best keywords, categories, and book reviewers are explained and examples given. Finally, launching the book and getting the sales you need are handled, as well as editing and making changes.

There is a free download to a companion workbook to implement strategies and an invitation to join The Guerilla Publishing Facebook Group in which authors share problems and offer solutions to each other as they come across them.

I would highly recommend this book to fledgling authors as well as experienced authors. After seven years in publishing, I still have much to learn. This book will become part of my toolkit.

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A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

How The Cockroach Lost Its Voice: After Dinner Conversations

Written by Samuel Reifler

This book certainly will provoke unique discussions. The protagonists are two cockroaches who venture on a journey to the top of the refrigerator. They carry on a conversation about the squishy humans with three eyes. The third eye is their brain. Unfortunately, their brain allows them to focus on the past and the future as well as the present. That makes them unable to appreciate the beauty around them.

The book contains approximately 17 pages. While I found the plot interesting, it ended rather abruptly and left me wanting to hear more. Readers are provided with discussion questions and a link to a podcast group.

I believe families and couples might enjoy these books to stimulate interesting conversations. Recommended for children and adults ages eight and older.

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#HOTOFFTHEPRESS

BREAKING NEWS:

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to INDEPENDENCE HALL & The American Revolution makes its debut on the world stage.

No Fake News here….just the facts

The United States Constitution is the oldest federal constitution in existence. This document, along with the Bill of Rights, lays out the rights and responsibilities of its citizens. The Founding Fathers embraced the principles of the Enlightenment and a vision of liberty and justice for all. Trace their footsteps at Independence Hall and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Available in hardcover or paperback

AVAILABLE ONLINE OR ASK FOR IT AT YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE

https://amzn.to/3cF9Li0

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/barbara-ann-mojica-and-victor-ramon-mojica/little-miss-history-travels-to-independence-hall-the-museum-of-the-american-revolution/paperback/product-qjj2p7.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55282858

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-miss-history-travels-to-independence-hall-the-museum-of-the-american-revolution-barbara-ann-mojica/1137760525?ean=9781733067157

SLAVE OR FREE

Vengeance of a Slave

Written by V.M. Sang

Adelbehrd and his family live in the Roman provinces. Their simple life is suddenly turned upside down when Roman soldiers come to exact revenge for a rebellion in which they played no part.

They randomly choose men to be examples. Adelbehrd’s father is crucified. He and his sister are singled out to be sold as slaves because of their blond hair. Torn from their grieving mother, the two terrified children are carted off to a far-off villa to be enslaved.

For many years, their monotonous life continues. One day, Adelbehrd discovers that his sister is about to be sold. A friend tells him about a group of Britons who rescue slaves. Adelbehrd is determined to protect his sister and hatches a plan to escape. Will they be successful, or will they suffer the dire consequences?

The book appears to be well researched. The plot moves along and keeps the reader’s interest. I would recommend it to those who enjoy history and intriguing characters.

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