Posted in Personal, Slice of LIfe

Slice of Life: Memory Lane

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back with another Slice of Life Post, and today I’m talking about my kids. You see, my oldest will graduate fifth grade this year and it’s a tradition for the parents to organize a big party for them.

One of the parents volunteered to put together a slide presentation of the kids with snapshots from previous years, and she also wanted a baby picture of each graduate. I thought this was an awesome idea.

So, this weekend I went through our pictures. It was a walk down memory lane. It was so precious. I had so many pictures. I think I got almost every toothless smile my firstborn gave. I got his first graham cracker, his first tooth, and his first lost tooth. He grew and changed before my eyes, and I remember he had the sweetest disposition. He still does.

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Isn’t that just the sweetest face?

I remember how my firstborn wouldn’t eat baby food. He wanted to eat what we were eating. It brought back those memories of making mashed potatoes, mushing up bananas, and grinding up carrots.

Looking at those pictures, I realized how much my little guy has grown. He’s almost as tall as me. He has my eyes and a wacky sense of humor, and he’s kind. Both of my boys are. I love that about them.

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Another sweet pic of my oldest!

I’m so glad I took so many pictures. There were photos of my two boys playing together, already developing that sibling bond. They’re very close now. In fact, when one of my firstborn’s friends invites him to spend the night they almost always include my youngest, too.

I love that about my son’s friends. That’s such an awesome testament to their parents and the kids themselves. I’m looking forward to this summer when we can make more memories and take more pictures. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Slice of Life Post! To read other Slice of Lifers you can click here.

****Just an FYI, I’ll be doing a post about my youngest next year when he’s a fifth grader. I’m not playing favorites! 😉

 

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Posted in Family, Literacy, Parenting, raising kids, Reading

Inspiring Kids to Read

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about inspiring kids to read.

One of the greatest life skills you can instill in your child is a love of reading. As kids progress through the school system, each grade becomes more challenging, and the need for reading comprehension becomes even more critical.

These kids need to read so they can understand test questions and be able to answer them correctly. When they get older, they’ll need to be able to fill out a job application and read the requirements for medication. Do you know one in seven adults can’t read above the fifth grade level? Isn’t that scary?

Photo credit: EvelynGiggles via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

 

So, how do we instill a love of reading to turn this statistic around? Well, I started when my boys were babies. I read to them and rocked them every night. This did backfire a bit because my oldest wanted to be rocked to sleep EVERY night. You might not want to do the rocking. Some nights it took him FOREVER to fall asleep! But on a positive note there was a lot of bonding! 😉

I continued to read to them as they grew and their grandparents read to them as well. So it became a part of their environment and they didn’t know any other way. It was just one of the things we did.

Photo credit: ThomasLife via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

          Then when my boys started reading on their own, they’d read to us. My youngest who loves reading could sit and read for a couple of hours. I know all there is to know about Transformers, he’s read the book to me so many times. The thing is, we as parents have to be patient and let our littles choose what they want to read, and even if we’ve heard the story fifty million times we need to be enthusiastic and pretend it’s the most awesome story in the world. Because to your child it is.

Photo credit: John-Morgan via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

          We also keep a steady supply of books around the house and our kids read at least twenty minutes a night. My youngest has become a big reader. What books lit that fire? The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. My little guy wants to get all the books in the series. So, I owe a huge thank you to Rick for writing such a compelling stories.

This is the book that started it all 🙂

My oldest who reads only because he has to is now interested in the series. My youngest has introduced him to these books. It does my heart good to hear them talking about books almost as much as they talk about Minecraft.

Another thing that helps is the fact that I write books. 🙂 ( You knew I was going to slip that in, didn’t you?) My oldest has read all three books in the Super Spies series and really enjoyed them. He’s also very proud of his mom.  My youngest read the first one, I believe just to please me, but he’s more interested in Greek Mythology right now and that’s okay, as long as he’s reading.

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I also read. My boys see me reading for pleasure, and I’m hoping they’ll model this behavior and become lifelong readers as well.

So, that’s how I’ve tried to instill a love of reading with my kids? Do you have any other tips? Please share! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Slice of LIfe

A Slice of Life Post: Walking in Nature

 

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. I had an awesome weekend and I’m in a very positive frame of mind. I thought of something to make my last WIP stronger and I also worked out a plot issue with my current WIP. That’s always a good feeling, isn’t it?

The weather was fantastic this weekend and hubby is working hard on our basement. It’s shaping up very nicely and we’re getting excited about the prospect of having a place to go during the hot weather. There’s definitely a temperature change when we go downstairs!

I went for a walk on Saturday and Sunday. Nothing clears the mind like walking in nature. I solve plot issues that way and release tension. In fact, studies show walking in nature is a great way to deal with depression

 

 

Photo credit: Ed Suominen via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

As I strolled down the road, enjoying the sun on my back a fawn stood to the side watching me. He must’ve seen me before I spotted him. He was calm as I approached, he wasn’t scared at all. In fact, he didn’t bound away until I was about five feet away. I reached out my hand to see if he’d come closer, but he didn’t. That’s the closest I’ve been to a fawn out in the wild.

 

Photo credit: BellaLea1 via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

 I’ve heard this is a sign from a loved one that has passed. Whenever something like this happens, I want to believe it’s a message from my dad. I miss him a great deal, and it gives me comfort when I have a moment like this.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if it were true? I love the idea that there are relatives on the other side, watching out for me.

How about you? Do you have any moments you’d like to share? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to check out other Slice of Life Posts, click the link below:

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Posted in Guest Author, Reading, Teen

Resonating with Readers: Guest Author Sharon Ledwith

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with gal pal Sharon Ledwith, who also happens to have an awesome Time Travel Series available, too!  She’s talking today about Resonating with your Readers. Take it away, Sharon!

 

Resonating with your Readers…

If you write it, readers will come. Or so you thought. But what if your readers don’t come? Worse yet, what if they can’t find you in an ocean of authors begging and bartering for attention? Writing is hard work. The business of writing is even harder work. So how DO you RESONATE with your READERS? I think the key here is that you have to RESONATE with YOURSELF first. Think the Law of Attraction: like attracts like, and you’ll know what I mean. You attract what you want (or don’t want) through your thoughts and feelings to create your life circumstances.

Let’s start by defining the word resonate:

Resonate: to be resonant; resound. To produce resonance.

Hmmm…let’s look up resonant and resonance:

Resonant: resounding or resching. Increasing the intensity of sounds by sympathetic vibration. Full of, characterized by, or intensified by resonance.

Okay, then. Sit tight. I narrowed down the next definition to reflect this post specifically for writers:

Resonance: an underlying or pervasive quality or a particular type, especially in a work of art or literature.

And just for fun, here’s what my thesaurus says about the verb resonate: echo, reverberate, resound, ring, vibrate, boom, have far-reaching effects, impact, have deep consequences.

Now we’re getting somewhere! In order for authors to build a readership, they have to LOVE what they write. They have to be passionate about what they’re writing. Don’t do it for the money, that affair won’t last. You’ll run out of steam before you even get out of the station. Remember Amanda Hocking? She was deemed an overnight success with her paranormal romance books. Um. Yeah. No such thing as an overnight success. That girl had a tough day job, then came home, did what she loved to do (wrote and published books), and sold over a million copies of her ebooks. Amanda is considered one of the exemplars of self-publishing success in the digital age. Her books also resonated with readers because of the genre made popular by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight explosion. Boom!

Here’s the BIG question: Who are you writing for? If you answered ‘ME’, that’s a step in the right direction to create resonance with readers. Write what you want to read, what makes your heart sing and vibrate (resonate) to a different beat. There’s an old saying, ‘Do what you love and the money will come.’ It certainly came for Amanda Hocking. And it will come for you too. As long as you permeate the publishing world with books written from your heart.

What genre do you love to read? Are you writing what you love? Or are you writing what’s popular or trending at the moment? Would love to read your comments! Special thanks to my friend and fabulous author bud, Lisa Orchard for inviting me to guest on her awesome blog today! Cheers!

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE

 

 

Posted in Slice of LIfe, Writing

Slice of Life: A Glimpse of the Writing Life

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. Spring break was last week, so I got a quite a bit of writing done. I feel pretty good about my WIP that I finished awhile back. I decided to have another Beta Reader read it and while she read it, I thought of some changes that would make the story stronger. I’m happy to say I’m almost done with the changes and I’m feeling pretty good about them.

While I was driving my kids to the gymnastics place over break, I thought of another idea. I always seem to get them when I can’t write them down. Isn’t that the way it always is? I mulled it over while I watched my little Ninja fly along the gym floor. It’s a good one, but I’ll have to put it on my list. I’ve got three stories going and two new ideas. We’ll see if I can get them all done. Sigh. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed to say the least.

Photo credit: joiseyshowaa via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

But I love writing. It’s such an awesome feeling when the story comes together. I’m sure you know what I mean. 🙂 It’s such a stress reliever for me. However, I’ve noticed that my writing is taking up all my free time. I could sit in my pajamas all day and pound away at my keyboard, but that isn’t practical.

I work around my kids’ schedule and sometimes it’s hard to fit in any writing time. However, I try. I’ve set a goal for at least 1000 words a day. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you only have an hour to yourself, sometimes that’s all you can do. I figure in fifty days, I’ll have a fifty thousand word novel written. Of course, that’s just the rough draft. Once that’s done, that’s when the real work begins.

The editing takes me the longest because I’m a pantser and there’s a lot of editing when you’re a pantser. But I can’t seem to follow an outline. It takes the wind out of my sails. I like to start a story and let the characters take control. It’s fun to see what they’ll do or what situations they’ll get themselves in.

Photo credit: Harald Groven via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

How do you like to write? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post, it’s just a quick glimpse into a writer’s life. I hope you enjoyed it. To read some other Slice of Lifer’s Posts, click here.

Posted in Entertainment, reviews

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with something a little lighter than my previous posts these last few weeks.  Something a little more fun. 🙂

 

I’ve got a movie review for you. Yes, I’ve watched this movie many times (I’m actually watching it now as I write this post) and it’s one of those funny, with a deeper message movies. I fell in love with the main character and I’m sure you will, too.

 

The movie is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” It came out in 2013 and I just got around to watching it last year. I’m not sure why, probably because I was busy writing. Anyway, the blurb is below.

 

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To escape the tedium, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. Walter fancies a fellow employee named Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) and would love to date her, but he feels unworthy. However, he gets a chance to have a real adventure when Life’s new owners send him on a mission to obtain the perfect photo for the final print issue.

 

The reason I love this movie so much is because Walter (the main character) is kind of the underdog. He’s a nice guy that puts aside his dreams to help his family out when his father dies and he continues in this vein all his life.

In the movie Walter is a grown man and he’s a negative asset manager for Life Magazine. He’s kind and gentle. So when the company decides to transition from a paper magazine to an online magazine, he’s not prepared to handle the bully who’s responsible for managing the transition.

It’s a great story and it illustrates the underdog does win sometimes. One of my most favorite themes in life. It’s a good movie to watch with your family and Ben Stiller does an excellent job. I highly recommend it. How about you? Have you seen any good movies you’d recommend? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

A Slice of Life Post: Immunotherapy

 

Write. Share. Give.

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. Well, I’m back this week with another Slice of Life Post. I took the month of March off because the Two Writing Teachers were doing Slices with their classrooms during that month, but I’m back now and sharing another Slice of my Life with all of you.

During the month of March, a friend of mine had a family member diagnosed with cancer. I learned of this the same week I learned of a new therapy for cancer. It’s called Immunotherapy.

This type of therapy trains your immune system to attack cancer cells and kill them while leaving healthy cells alone. There are no side effects to this type of treatment unlike chemotherapy.

Here’s a video that explains it:

 

Immunotherapy

 

Check out Mike Kenney’s Amazing Story

 

This procedure has a ninety percent success rate so far. When I compare this to chemotherapy, it’s a no-brainer. There are no side effects and no residual damage to the body after treatment, with chemotherapy there is. Chemotherapy is very hard on the body and can leave permanent damage. For example, numbness in the hands and feet.

Imagine how my anxiety skyrocketed when I thought I’d lose the ability to type.  Was chemotherapy worth it at that point? I give you a reluctant yes only because of my family. If I had been single, without children, and unable to write, I would’ve been hard pressed to continue treatment. Fortunately, now there’s dictation software, but I didn’t think of that at the time.

So, I’m very excited about this new treatment and I immediately told my friend about it. Researchers are conducting clinical trials as I type this, and I relayed this information to my friend. Cancer is an epidemic right now and this just might be our cure.

Photo credit: Libertas Academica via Visualhunt / CC BY

 

I thought I’d get the word out to you, my lovely followers, just in case you know someone who needs this treatment. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! If you have any information you’d like to share, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

To read other Slice of LIfe Posts click here.