A lofty place for authors, writers, and readers to connect
Vol. 6 Issue 4
Writers in the Sky Newsletter
Whether you are a published author or a
writer-wanna-be, this e-zine is for you. Here, you will find
articles, book reviews, announcements, poetry, and information
about the craft and business of writing, publishing, and book
marketing written by our readers. Our goal is to connect the
writing and publishing community through networking.
A word from WITS owner Yvonne Perry
by Dawn Goldberg
On Gremlins, Making Mistakes, and Compassion
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
The Savvy Book Marketer Column
by Dana Lynn Smith
Book With a View
Read this month's book reviews
Springtime: A Time for Awakened Wisdom
by Yvonne Perry
Poems from our readers
by Yvonne Perry
Hello, wonderful WITS community. Have I told you recently what a blessing you are to me?
I've enjoyed the first quarter of 2010 more than
any season of my life. The spiritual housecleaning I did in January
has opened new doors of opportunity for me to expand my reach and improve my business practices. One of those changes
allowed me to fulfill a promise I made to a writer friend
a few years ago. The Universe has sent me so much business lately,
that I was able to bring Vonnie Faroqui and her husband, Irfan, on
to the WITS team. They are going through my 6-week mentoring
classes and are providing much needed relief to me
and our overworked author's assistant, Sarah Moore. Check
out the Faroqui's bios on our
I believe that when one generation gets clear and
finds their path, the next generation benefits and follows
suit. That's why my business success story continues with my 30-year-old son, Zeb.
He has caught the entrepreneurial spirit and started his own automobile
repair company here in Nashville.
Wheel Fix It is a mobile automobile repair and maintenance business in
which an ASE certified technician will come to your home or
office to perform routine or scheduled factory maintenance
on all types of cars and trucks. If you live in
Nashville and need a trustworthy and affordable mechanic,
call 615-496-2544 or email
email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
Find articles on his informative blog:
Wheel Fix It on Twitter.
("Wheel" is intentionally spelled this way. We
know it would be correct to write "we'll." I do hope all you grammar
police out there will try to relax and let this slide.)
Did you know that if you or a friend go to a public library in the United States and ask for a book, they will order/buy it? So grab your library card, go to your local
library and ask your librarian to order your author friend's book. Have that author order your book at his or her library and voila, you both get your books into the system.
Do check out the book and show sincerity.
If you will order either (or both!) of my books, More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife
or The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children, I will order your book. Send me your name,
the title of your book, and its ISBN when you contact me on WITS Web site. Here
is the info for my books:
Facts Sheet for More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife
Price: $13.99 US
Pub date: 2005
Facts Sheet for The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children
Price: $15.95 US
Publisher: Write On!
Pub date: 2009
What a fun way to network and read each other's book for free!
I am working with Tisha Morris on her virtual blog tour for her new book, 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home. I started cleaning closets, but got on a
roll and couldn't stop. I had a custom-built workspace and desk installed to better serve my writing and business needs. Not only is it beautiful
and functional, it is set up ergonomically correct and, of course, it is feng shuied (is that a word?)
If you're just getting started, or can't seem to finish your mind-body-spirit book,
check out "Starting and Writing Your Book"
at Spirit Authors. If you've been confused or overwhelmed about how to use the Internet to promote your book,
Be sure to read my article below to learn how you can participate in Patrick Ryan's book launch to get all kinds of bonus gifts on April 20.
I appreciate your contributions and
thank Barbara Milbourn for proofreading this issue of our
by Dawn Goldberg
I talk a lot about having a writer's filter, the idea that you start to look at the world through lenses of words.
Just like that old saying of looking at the world through rose-colored glasses that make the world look pink and rosy, having
a writer's filter allows you to look at the world of words. You see words all around you. You don't just notice the delivery van
as you're driving to the bank. You actually take the time to look at the tag line and analyze it. With a writer's filter, you find
yourself constantly going, "Do those words work? Do I like how they're put together? Do I understand? How did the writer do that?
Would I do it differently?"
It's that last piece that I really want to focus on now: How did the writer put those words together? What was the effect?
Would that work for me? What you're doing is going from using your writer's filter as you view the world to becoming a conscious writer.
The writer's filter is one of the characteristics of an true writer. The conscious writer is the ultimate level you want to achieve beyond just wearing the filter.
Here's what that might look like.
You're writing a short story, and you decide you don't want to have the typical, Pollyanna happy ending. So you look through a Stephen King
book of short stories and review the endings.
Your self-help book falls down a bit in the middle. You feel confident about the first third and the ending, but you're not sure what you need
in the middle. You take a look at other self-help books and examine the structure.
You need a catchy title for your E-zine article. You start paying attention to the dozens of E-zines you get and notice which ones you open,
solely because of the title.
Here's how you actually write consciously.
1. Review the writing you're analyzing. This may look like reading, although you don't want to simply read. However, it's really hard to analyze without reading, so just read it so you can shut that part of your brain up that thinks it must read the words put in front of it. Read it once.
2. Go back to the writing again, and this time, (in whatever method works for you - bullets, outline, storyboarding, mindmapping...) dissect the writing. If you're looking at introductions, focus on the introductions. If the whole plot structure is what you're looking at, then outline (or whatever) the plot.
3. Use the analysis from #2 as a model for your own writing. Is the model for a great introduction one short question, followed by a longer descriptive sentence, ending with a short, snappy sentence? Then, write your piece with that as a model: one short question, longer descriptive sentence, and a short, snappy sentence.
4. Give yourself some time in between steps 2 and 3. Then go back and review what you've written. It might follow the structure, outline, or method of the work you're using as a model. It might not. What's most important is that you're happy with the writing.
You're not cheating, by the way. And it's not plagiarizing either (unless you're actually copying words that someone else wrote). The idea is that you're looking at what works and seeing what you can learn from it. The point is that it got you writing. The bigger point is that it got you thinking about crafting your writing, very deliberately.
Dawn Goldberg brings life to words and writing - and helps others through their writing and publishing journey. Sign up for Fuel For Your Writing Journey
at Write Well U (www.WriteWellU.com) and get the Nifty Guide for Writers checklist free.
Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is
easy. Just click this link:
and go to my blog. On the right sidebar there is a list of
archived shows. Click on the interview you would like to
hear and it will open a post that has a link to open the
audio file. For information about being a guest on Writers
in the Sky Podcast, see
Sarah Moore will interview Natalie Tinti about her book,
Sewing a Friendship. This beautiful story, both in its physical layout and its message,
will be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Four best friends are planning a way to celebrate the end of the school year. They decide to have a “pink
sleepover” and are buzzing with excitement over the great night ahead when they encounter their nemesis and elder by two years, Kiki Shaver.
Kiki tells the girls of an upcoming group fashion show in which they are too young and too small in number to participate. Rather than using
the animosity that Kiki brings to the novel to place the girls against one another, author Tinti develops a way in which all of the girls are able
to come together and find common ground.
Yvonne Perry will interview YA fiction author Diane Wolfe as she talks about writing a series and discusses online promotions,
including her three-week virtual tour. As a motivational speaker, Ms. Wolfe will lend insight into the role speaking plays in book promotion.
Learn more about her book, Circle of Friends, at www.thecircleoffriends.net and
www.spunkonastick.net for more information.
Martina Vanderley will discuss her romance novel, Crossroads at the Wilderness, with podcast host Sarah Moore.
Two people who should not be together due to their stations in life, whether an issue of class, profession, or religion.
Two characters are unhappy or incomplete in the circumstances of their current life and find in one another the energy and a connection
that never existed for them before. When should such emotions be embraced for their amazing possibilities and when should they be ignored
due to the potential for destruction to the worlds that they know? Such is the question presented in the new novel Crossroads at the Wilderness.
Christopher Franklin will discuss his book, Access Now, with WITS host Sarah Moore. Mr. Franklin is the founder and CEO of Titan Financial Services, Inc, a financial management company based in Washington, D.C. that specializes in serving athletes, celebrities, and other high-net worth clients. He is respected nationally for his leadership in the field and is widely published in trade journals and newspapers. Mr. Franklin also is a sought-after motivational speaker and participant on television panels. In
Access Now, he shares his seven keys for success and a life filled with unlimited possibilities.
WITS owner Yvonne Perry and her guest, Vrinda Pendred, discuss Check Mates: A Collection of Fiction, Poetry and Artwork
About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The authors of this book hope to change a few minds about what neurological disorders really are—not just the limitations,
pain, or frustration, but also the more positive, beneficial symptoms of mysterious conditions such as OCD, Tourette syndrome, ADHD, Autism, and bipolar disorder.
Many people with neurological disorders are highly creative individuals (many psychiatrists believe certain nervous disorders might
even be a prerequisite to being creative). Vrinda established Conditional Publications to provide a creative outlet for fellow writers living with neurological
On Gremlins, Making Mistakes, and Compassion
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Oh, how easy it is to make a mistake. Oh, how easy it is not to see it in your own material—even if you are a great editor of others' material.
Oftentimes the mistake involves a word that is spelled differently but pronounced the same. And often the author does know the difference between the spelling
of the two. It's just that those gremlins that The Frugal Editor
is making famous get to us. Maybe we're typing too fast or maybe our brains are in another zone
or... but the gremlins will get us—both you and me. Here's an example of how one got me.
I try to take a poetry class once a year. Because I'm an instructor, UCLA Extension Writers' Program gives me one class a year at no charge.
It's one of the perks they offer and a great way for them to be sure that their instructors continue to get educated—and at least one of us
(me) needs it. So I finished the first draft of my poem. Checked it (well, OK, checked it perfunctorily). I printed out copies so everyone in class
would have a critique copy. Stuck the copies into my tote marked "Poetry," and took off for class. Couldn't be late!
When it was my turn to share my poem for critique, I passed out the copies and began to read. There (in the title!) was the word "peer." I meant "pier."
"Oh, gawd," I said. "Make that "pier, p-i-e-r." It was especially awful for me because I am an editor and because I wrote The Frugal Editor.
Fine example I had set. What would my classmates think of my abilities? Could I possibly do anything worse to undermine my own credibility?
But here is the most important part. Everyone just nodded and chortled. It can happen to anyone. It can happen to editors, to teachers, to university
instructors, to plain-old-everyday writers. The gremlins can hit at any time for any reason.
I thought maybe you'd like to see the poem. Here it is (with the spelling right!):
Death by Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier
From her seat in the gondola. A woman
who might be me, watches roller
bladers with supple bones and toddlers with careless
balloons Far, far down on the pier.
the doors—mini saloon doors of purple—or
she crawls over acrylic barriers. Either way
she hesitates a moment.
of the wheel as it stops at the top finishes
the job. No scream. Even the plane floating
a campaign trail of plastic behind it, silent. Soundless
waves, too, that far up.
She floats as if posing
for her close-up, delicate fingers, poised toes,
her red sunhat a Frisbee against
sky of pulled taffy clouds on blue.
Sea like scallops of Alençon lace below,
sand stretched away toward the Palisades,
the smell of sugary churros her last sensation.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson ©
By the way. I didn't flunk my class, either.
The lesson here, Aesop fashion, is that because the gremlins are always at work, people will make mistakes.
It will happen to you and it will happen to me. Best not get critical and point fingers. Your day is nigh!
And I have to tell you. This led to something good. I now have a booklet—short and easy to read—on some of the homonyms
that have tripped up some of my clients. Mind you, these are not the homonyms you learned to watch for in the 4th grade. These are far trickier.
Find Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers: The Ultimate Frugal Booklet for Avoiding Word Trippers and Crafting Gatekeeper-Perfect
Copy on Amazon at www.budurl.com/WordTrippersPB.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits fiction and poetry, is an instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Program and the author of
The Frugal Editor:
Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor). That book is the winner of USA Book News
Best Book in the writing/publishing category for 2007, best book in its category for the Reader Views Literary Award, and won the New Generation Indie
Best Marketing Campaign award. Learn more at
Add your announcement or brag about your
writing accomplishment. Tell us about your book or business.
Share information and ideas or send articles or advertorial
for the next issue by contacting us on our Web site
www.writersinthesky.com/contact.php . Here are some
announcements from our readers this month:
Jeff Weber has released his new book, I.D.E.A. to Exit: An Entrepreneurial Journey, From Basement to Big Time from Mill City Press.
It is an engaging true story of how an average guy started a business that rapidly grew to be acquired by a prominent Fortune 500 company.
The American dream! All of the details, pains, struggles, and mistakes along the way are shared to help the reader learn what it takes to become
a successful entrepreneur. His book is for the dreamer, the existing entrepreneur and the corporate manager who desires to spur the entrepreneurial
spirit in his or her coworkers. Please, forward this message to those who will use this book to achieve their goals. Hardcover signed author
copies of the book are available at
Want to learn how to get your book on the shelves at libraries? See
The Savvy Book
Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries.
If you missed the eighteen leading mind-body-spirit publishing professionals
during the grand opening of Spirit Authors, click to
check it out now.
The Writing Show Slush Pile Workshop—a new podcast series designed to help
you practice capturing readers’ attention.
Inspired by literary agent Kristin Nelson’s two-page pitch
sessions, Writing Show host Paula B. and freelance editor Ann Paden will
play agent and comment on your anonymous submissions on the show.
We’re sure you know by now how important it is to hook a prospective
agent or publisher in your first couple of pages. But if you send your
work out before it’s ready, you could squander an important opportunity.
Don’t risk it. Try your material out on us first--for free!
Full details at
Get a FREE 30-day trial
of Allison Maslan’s life coaching software for personal development and goal setting
First there was Marcel. Then A. J. Now there's the sinfully sexy, piano playing Raphael. Yes, those hard to resist Baptiste brothers are back in award-winning writer, LaConnie Taylor-Jones’ new e-book,
If I Were Your Woman (Red Rose Publishing, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60435-608-3, $5.99 US) that releases March 4, 2010.
Life couldn’t be sweeter for Raphael Baptiste. He’s a lawyer turned Grammy award-winning music icon who’s admired by women all around the world. One admirer in particular is, Dr. Laney Houston, the one woman who isn’t afraid to challenge him at every turn. Make no mistake about it, challenges are something that Raphael thrives on when it comes to the fairer sex. But before he can rise to what the beautiful doctor has in store for him, Raphael is devastated by some personal news of his own that will change the course of his life—forever.
In, If I Were Your Woman, LaConnie Taylor-Jones gives readers an emotional yet passionate new romance about imperfections, trust, and unconditional love! Visit the author's official website at
www.laconnietaylorjones.com or Red Rose Publishing at
www.redrosepublishing.com for more information!
Need help with using Twitter? Check out Dana Lynn Smith's
Twitter Guide for Authors.
Coming in the fall 2010
When thinking of Rocking Chair Cowboys, we pictured days of old when family and friends would sit on the front porch, many in rocking chairs, telling stories.
Just imagine sitting on the porch of a country home while someone shares a story, as the stars glitter in the sky, fireflies are glowing, and an owl hoots in a nearby tree.
Based on that idea, combined with some informal writing style, we hoped to bring back some of the flavor and the spirit of the past.
Some stories will speak louder to you than others. Some might cause you to laugh, and others to cry. These short stories are food for the eyes, the recipes food for the body, and God's
Promises food for the soul.
Vada M. Wolter and Joseph A Zapalac are writing partners who graduated together, lost track of each other, and were reunited after fifty years. Since becoming writing partners in Oct 2008, they have had two poetry books published—Reflections, Memories Past and Ribbons and Roses.
Look for a May/June release of James Ross’s new book, Opur's Blade from Nightengale Press.
It's the fourth book from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting.
Read or download18 Thought-Provoking Articles Collective
at no cost.
is a finalist for More Magazine’s
Reinvention Story Contest.
In February, Barko’s essay placed second in public voting out of 475 entries nationally, making it among the top ten
undergoing editorial judging during March. Winner is announced in April.
Stephanie is a Literary Publicist based in Austin, Texas.
As the publishing industry has been evolving to grasp more control over distribution channels, especially given technological
advances with e-books and readers, price setting and control has become an important issue. I am sure you have noticed the changes
in distribution methods for book, as well as how it has been
affecting authors and publishers.
Our model for change has already been
adopted by over 3,500 publishers and authors looking to control the distribution process. If you have any questions, or would like more information,
then please contact Ian Bitran
firstname.lastname@example.org, Marketing Assistant for
www.bookhitch.com. Follow bookhitch on
Twitter or become a fan on
The Dream Quest One
Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves
expressing innermost thoughts and feelings into the
beautiful art of poetry or to write a short story that is
worth telling everyone! And to all who have the ability to
dream. Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash
prizes. All works must be original.
April is National Poetry Month!
In his book, The Vintage Book of Indian Writing, Salman
http://sarojinisahoo.blogspot.com/ Rushdie wrote,
“The ironic proposition that India's best writing since independence may have been done in the language of the departed imperialists
is simply too much for some folks to bear.”
And Amit Chaudhury replied to that statement in his book,
Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature,
“Can it be true that Indian writing, that endlessly rich, complex and problematic entity, is to be represented by a handful of writers who write
in English, who live in England or America and whom one might have met at a party?”
I have chosen this debate as a core theme for this essay
and have tried to analyze the past and future of Indian Writing in English (IWE) with all its pros and cons. Please visit my new blog
of Own Ink to share your opinion on this topic.
Want to Get a Book Deal in 2010? Learn how at
In honor of Poetry Month (April, 2010) hosts of the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio
Show (Dave & Lillian Brummet) decided to set up a
special day for poetry readings on April 13. Published poets
are welcome to call in and read their own poetry or share their favorite published poem.
April 13th from 10 to 11 AM (Pacific)
Details & call-in # can be found at:
Poets can also call in via SKYPE; Live listeners will have access to a chat room managed by the host, Lillian Brummet. Show guidelines: No religion, erotica/sex, swearing, etc. (keep it clean).
Kathleen Gage on becoming an online bestselling author
Are you a novice writer who self-doubts or second-guesses? You can learn how to trust and follow what is natural, fulfilling, and even fun for you. Let
Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life and Business e-book or coaching program show you how.
Details about the program, her books and e-books, and current free weekly newsletter at
See the latest issue of my free newsletter at
Joyce Shafer, You Are More! Empowerment Coach and Author
~ NYC http://youaremoreempowermentcoach.webs.com
7 Quick & Easy Steps to Write AND Sell Your First Book Proposal
Your announcement could be here. Check out the
and send us your blurb.
The Savvy Book Marketer Column
How to Find Photos and Illustrations for Your Book Covers and Web site
by Dana Lynn Smith
If you're looking for good quality, reasonably priced, royalty-free photos or illustrations to use on book covers, websites, blogs, and other marketing materials, head to a stock image
My favorite site is iStockphoto http://www.istockphoto.com. Just enter your search terms in the search box on this site,
then select the type of file you are looking for: photo, illustration, flash, video, or audio. If you're looking for something related to seasons or holidays, try the
seasonal searches http://www.istockphoto.com/seasonal.php page.
With more than six million files available, the biggest challenge is sorting through the sheer number of search results. To keep the number of images you view
manageable, start with a very narrow search term, then expand to broader terms if you don’t find what you need.
I recommend signing up for a free account before you start searching (see the "sign up" link on the upper right side of the screen). This will allow you
to save any images you find to a lightbox, so that you can find again them easily. If you're looking for images on several different themes, you can create
several lightboxes to keep them organized.
You can also download comps (sample images) to your computer at no charge. I sometimes paste several comps into a Word document as I'm searching,
so I can review them all together before making a selection.
Most images come in several sizes and resolutions, including low-resolution images suitable for use online and high-resolution images that can be used
in printed materials such as book covers.
To purchase images, sign up for an account and then purchase some "credits" to be used to pay for your images as you download them.
Prices start at one credit (about $1.50) for a small low-resolution photo.
If you're using an image on a product or on marketing materials, take a few minutes to read the license agreement to make sure your intended use is allowed.
See section 3.c.2 of the iStockphoto Content License Agreement
http://www.istockphoto.com/license.php (displayed when you download the image) for information
about the use of their images on book covers.
Here are several other companies that offer low-cost or free stock images:
Crestock http://www.crestock.com/ – images starting at about $1 each.
Dreamstime https://www.dreamstime.com – 8 million free and low cost images, starting at about 20 cents each.
Stock.XCHNG http://www.sxc.hu – sister company to iStockphoto offers 350,000 free images.
If you have trouble finding just the right image, you might want to search several of these sites. Whatever image you have in mind, it's probably available at a very reasonable cost!
Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of
The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing and several other book promotion guides.
For more book promotion tips,
follow Dana on Twitter,
visit The Savvy Book Marketer blog. Get a copy of the
Top Book Marketing Tips e-book when
you register for her
free book marketing newsletter. For more book marketing tips, follow Dana on
Twitter or visit
The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children
Author: Yvonne Perry
Publisher: Write On!, 2009
Reviewer: Rachelle Burk, Author of
Tree House in a Storm (Stemmer House Publishers 2009)
The Sid Series, by Yvonne Perry, deals with hard issues in a soft manner. Spiritual and sensitive Sidney learns to understand and
value those things that make him—and others—special: to understand death without fear, to accept those who are different, to respect nature,
earth, and humankind. The twelve Sid Series stories guide without preaching and educate without boring. The sweet and simple illustrations
are lively and engaging. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy reading this cuddle-up-together book!
27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home
Author: Tisha Morris
Turner Publishing Company
Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com
Reviewed by Yvonne Perry for WITS
I’ve read (or should I say “started” to read) several books on feng shui and found them too difficult to understand. I wanted something practical that showed me exactly what to do. I don’t care about Chinese history regarding feng shui and I don’t want to read complicated maps or worry about superstition regarding where I put things. What I wanted was an easy read with an uncomplicated solution to remedy troublesome areas that I knew needed help. That’s exactly what I got in 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home.
I mean really easy things like changing the art on the walls, or tossing out a drawer full of old pictures, rearranging furniture, cleaning a closet, or adding a mirror or crystal. Did you know that ringing a bell can clear a room of negative energy? Simple solutions like these will get you started to remove stagnant energy and get things flowing again. I even learned how to bring in the five elements and found the motivation needed to take on a large project.
This straightforward book not only helped me understand how the surrounding environment relates to the various aspects of life and what I could to do change my environment in order to improve my life, it gave me the much-needed incentive to take action without dreading the process. Beware! You may decide to clean out your entire basement. I cleaned and painted my laundry room and completely revamped my workspace two days after reading this book! What can I say? I was inspired.
Based on the Bagua map that helps you see the specific relationships between parts of your house, Tisha’s interactive program teaches how to divide your living space into nine sections that reflects the Gua distribution. She doesn’t leave you with a bunch of ideas and no way to implement them. After showing you what to do and why, she tells you how to do it in the chapter titled “A Plan to Implement the 27 Things.”
I also like the size of this book. It fits in my purse and the print is large enough that I don’t need bifocals to read it! Be sure to check out Tisha’s feng shui app for iPhone in case you get inspired at work or while at a friend’s house!
Sewing a Friendship
Author: Natalie Tinti
ISBN Number: 978-0-9842625-1-9
Genre: fiction; children
Publication Date: 2009
Book Length in Pages: 88
Reviewed by Sarah Moore for WITS
There were countless ways in which I used my imagination with friends in the neighborhood when I was a child.
The wooden fences that formed the border of my yard became a pirate ship and the grass was the dangerous water below.
Our bicycles became transportation tools for an all-girls’ detective squad that could solve any crime on the playground.
When we developed our dance routines in the basement, we really were performing for the MTV cameras. In the time that I spent alone,
I poured out all of the creativity that developed in my young mind into countless stories that continued my daily adventures.
I recently had the opportunity to read a book by a young author that brought back so many of these wonderful childhood memories.
Sewing a Friendship by Natalie Tinti is a beautiful story, both in its physical layout and its message, which I believe will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Natalie Tinti offers her readers the story of four best friends who are planning a way to celebrate the end of the school year.
They decide to have a “pink sleepover” and are buzzing with excitement over the great night ahead when they encounter their
nemesis and elder by two years, Kiki Shaver. Kiki tells the girls of an upcoming group fashion show in which they are too young and too small in number to
participate. Rather than using the animosity that Kiki brings to the novel to place the girls against one another, author Tinti develops a way in which all
of the girls are able to come together and find common ground. Through these efforts, Sewing a Friendship sends an important message to its readers about
seeing through a person’s tough exterior and really practicing the sometimes difficult art of friendship.
The girls, who are all seven years old, are given an authentic voice because the author who created these characters is only ten years old herself.
With encouragement from family members and friends, Natalie brought together her short stories and illustrations to form
Sewing a Friendship.
I am so excited to discover this young female author who is embracing her gifts and displaying the confidence it takes to share her personal creations with others.
While I found great enjoyment in so much of Natalie’s work, I had a particular appreciation for her awareness of the diverse personalities that young girls possess
and how they all have something to offer. Readers will meet a girl who finds her greatest pleasure in thinking about math, another for whom dancing is essential, and one
who knows she is beautiful and wants those around her to recognize it. While there are conflicts between the various personalities, as we all encountered with friendships
growing up, the girls find a way to embrace the others’ strengths and work as a team to enjoy a wonderful experience together.
Sewing a Friendship is a gorgeous book with illustrations by the author that will spark their own conversations by the readers. It also is a well-written story that
includes relatable characters and language that doesn’t condescend or operate above the level of its intended audience. I am adding this book to the growing
collection that belongs to my four-year-old daughter. I look forward to reading it with her in a couple of years, and I hope by then that Ms. Tinti has additional work
to share with us as well.
Tree House in a Storm
Author: Rachelle Burk
Publisher: Stemmer House Publishers; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
Reviewed by Yvonne Perry
This well-written book tells the story of two children, Kenny and Allison, who built a backyard tree house in which they spent much of their
childhood playing and pretending.
When Hurricane Betsy hit the area, the family had to evacuate. When they returned, Kenny and Allison found that their tree house had been destroyed;
but fortunately the family’s home was not harmed. Kenny planted an acorn from the old tree and it eventually grew into a sturdy oak that held a new tree
house for his children to enjoy when they visited their grandparents.
What fond memories this book brought to me! As I read this story, I could see myself and my cousins playing in the tree fort we had built in the woods
behind our house. I remembered the fun times I had as a young mother building a playhouse for my kids to spent hours imagining and dreaming.
I was surprised to learn that Rachelle Burk, the author of this children’s book, had actually survived not one, but two, storms in New Orleans:
Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The delightful illustrations by Rex Schneider make this book come alive. Highly recommended as a story that kids and adults will cherish.
Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com
Springtime: A Time for Reawakening - Awakened Wisdom
by Yvonne Perry
Spring is finally
in the air. This is the time of year for new beginnings. It's the perfect time
to explore new things, and to embark on a journey of personal awakening and
expansion. One way I've been getting into this theme of reawakening is by reading
excerpts from a brand new book by author Patrick Ryan called Awakened
Wisdom - A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance. I was first introduced to Patrick through Lynn Serafinn when I worked with her on Allison Maslan's book launch for
Over the past three
decades, Patrick, an executive coach and a former Buddhist monk, has been on
a spiritual quest that eventually led him to devise a system of teachings he
calls "Awakened Wisdom Experiences" (AWE). For years he taught this
system worldwide at his workshops of the same name. Now, at long last, he has
consolidated the teachings of Awakened Wisdom Experiences into a book, appropriately
Wisdom - A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance This means his unique
spiritual teachings can now reach a much wider audience around the globe.
Wisdom is written in two sections. The first is a deeply spiritual
exploration on what it means to be human. The second section explores what Patrick
calls "Eight States of an Awakened Life." These eight states help
you tap into your divine wisdom to create more of the life you want.
the eight states from Patrick's book:
A Good State of Understanding
A Good State of Intention
A Good State of Words
A Good State of Being
A Good State of Purpose
A Good State of Effort
A Good State of Practice
A Good State of Doing
each of these eight states in great detail, and gives you examples of how to
apply them in your life, from reflective affirmations, to practical exercises,
to learning how to converse with your "Divine Essence."
What is so nice
about this book is that is both inspirational and practical. Most
books on the market succeed in being one or the other, but rarely do you find
one that is balanced in both respects.
Wisdom - A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance comes out
on Amazon on April 20, 2010. To expand the giving and receiving of this
wisdom everyone who buys Patrick's wonderful
book within the first 24 hours of its release will be able to download forty
wonderful gifts being offered by mind-body-spirit teachers, authors, coaches and
healers from around the planet. All
of these gifts were selected to help you on your journey of reawakening this
spring. Gifts include e-courses, e-books, audio meditations, audio books, photo-journals,
videos, free telecourses, and too many other things to mention. Have a look
at the gift page HERE
and you can read all about them.
Patrick is giving away an EXTRA special gift of his own:
An AWAKENED WISDOM VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE
When you buy the book, you will be given free admission to this special 2-day live virtual
event, taking place on May 5th and 6th, 2010. In that event, Patrick will personally
guide you through the Eight States of an Awakened Life. If you cannot make the
live event, it will be recorded, but it will be available only to those
who buy the book on April 20th.
WISDOM VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE is a NEVER before offered event. Imagine being
able to learn the wisdom and teachings of a book like this directly from the
author, while you follow along in your own copy of the book. If you're on the
live call, you will even be given the opportunity to ask Patrick your own questions.
find out how you can buy this book on April 20,
claim your free admission to the Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience,
and receive over 40 other gifts, just click this link:
When you go to
that page, be sure you enter your email address in the form, and Patrick
will send you a launch reminder to make sure you don't miss the
April 20 date. That way you can ensure you will be able to take advantage
of all those great gifts AND enjoy Patrick's great new book, Awakened
Wisdom - A Guide To Reclaiming Your Brilliance.
To me, it looks
like a whole package that can help you reawaken your brilliant self this spring!
I hope you'll be joining me in the journey.
Look and Listen and Learn
Animals run from a tsunami wave.
Somehow they seem to know that they can’t stay.
They climb the hills and meet again.
They wait for rain and quakes to end.
Something warns them.
Fisherman watch when the sea falls away.
They know the big wave is coming that day.
They start to run; they don’t look back.
They need courage and lots of luck.
Something saves them.
Cattle in the fields along the highways,
Move out of shadows on cold winter days.
They seek the sun and love the light.
They dread the dark and fear the night.
Something moves them.
Time to quit your job, or go back to school?
Wanta buy a house; wanta make your move?
Trust your feelings and listen close.
Dream for yourself and check your pulse.
Something tells you.
Learn from the creatures.
They seem to know how.
Listen to your heart.
Don’t you dare stop now!
Jan Bossing © 2009; Joelton, Tennessee
The pack neatly set aside.
The lakeside grass bent by
the careful weight of shoes
and rolled socks dry and waiting.
“Wish you were here.”
The lake revealing
“haven’t seen work like this”
only the still indigo sky
“some work of your own”
as though it hardly existed.
David M. Harris
Women of the Congo
Women of the Congo singing
we will never be broken—
brutality rampant babies crying
six nine ten men guns firing
bayonets slicing lives organs
in shreds no place left for love
fragments feebly stitched disease spreading
babies dying beautiful women singing
we will not be broken—
no worth no bride price abandoned
shunned bodies maimed diseased
gang banged cruelty soldiers
seed harvested hateful intent
sing out sing out they cannot take me-
bodies shattered spirit courage
they do not know me
A Picture of You
My mind’s playing tricks on me
When I close my eyes.
On a pallet of mystery
Arched in subtle surprise,
Fills my canvas of angel wings
And a heart that’s so true.
It all paints a picture,
A picture of you.
I tried for so many years
To find someone who
Would walk with me hand in hand
And make all my dreams come true.
Then the day you came into my life
Was the first day I knew
My mind held a picture,
A picture of you.
Then suddenly I realized
The picture was crystal clear.
I never had to dream you up,
Your image was always here.
From now until the end of my life
No matter what I do,
My heart will hold you close to me
In a picture…
A picture of you.
lyrics from Dennis S Martin's
Through mountains, valleys,
wilderness and barren land,
the lone horseman rode his trusty steed,
sometimes through snow and rain.
To these, he was no stranger without rest.
By day or night, the search continued,
undaunted, unafraid in his quest.
A man obsessed. He faced many a danger
through the wild and wooly west.
He knew his day would come,
placing his gunman's skill to the test.
The rider realized he couldn’t return home.
His destiny he could not spurn.
Doing what must be done;
his search would finally end with peace of mind.
By Joseph A. Zapalac
why must you painfully drop
when hesitation or even stop
could save you from devastation
it could save you from Not
I mean yea its a cycle
and it means an awful lot
but if its the end
as soon as you drop
why not postpone..
... at least until its hot?
then you could just resurrect as fog
instead of being lost
or even worse ... forgot.
The views expressed by the contributors are not
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Sky. While we try to inspect the validity of each entry, we may
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© 2009 Yvonne Perry