Monday, May 21, 2018

GIGI SEDLMAYER, AUTHOR


Gigi Sedimayer is an accomplished and award-winning author of the "Talon Series." She is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and a cancer survivor. Her philosophy "‘Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life" spurred her on to write short stories and eventually the five books of the Talon Series.

MATICA 

My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. 

Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’ disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happens to me, nothing more and because I am not accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be cured. It’s just a disorder of my body. 
But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. But after I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved and accepted by the Indians. I am the hero now and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it but I still felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or something worse. 
But would it have helped me? Would it have become better? Would I grow taller? No, nothing of that would have happened. I didn’t have those questions when I was still in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and was cherished. 
One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air. Here and now, I made up my mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed, if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over. And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. (You can read all about it in the series) And so, if you are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with that what you were meant to do. And I never run from conflicts.



              TEACHING CHILDREN SELF-CONFIDENCE 

“Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. This pressure is leading to record rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents in a challenging situation. Most children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the story line of the Talon Series, Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.


Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions and through my book they can learn how to coup with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my TALON books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with none curable afflictions, should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.

BIO:



Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany, following where her dad got work. That meant she had to change schools 9 times. In the end she never had friends again, of fear she will lose them again. 
In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.
After a diagnosis of cancer she was all but ready to give up, but seeing heer husband write the story of their two daughters' adoption, she became inspired to write again. She wrote many short stories and entered them in competitions. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.
She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4x4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD's or going to the movies.



Website: http://www.gigised.com   
YouTube animation clips for the Talon books: 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

FACTS ABOUT AUTHORS

I have been watching the series, "Genius: Picasso" who did receive formal training in art, it never quite met his artistic needs. In fact, the schooling was actually blocking his creativity. This got me to thinking about famous authors and found out that many have not had any formal training. I also learned some other facts which were quite intriguing and enlightening.

                                    INTERESTING AND NOT SO WELL-KNOWN FACTS 
                                            ABOUT WELL-KNOWN AUTHORS:

IMBd
WILLIAM FAULKNER 
        WAS A HIGH SCHOOL DROP-OUT AND AN ALCOHOLIC. HE WROTE SOUTHERN GOTHIC LITERATURE BASED ON HIS MYTHOLOGICAL ANCESTORS.  HE WON A PULITZER PRIZE IN LITERATURE.


NNDB




VIRGINIA WOOLF 
        WAS AN ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS LONG BEFORE IT WAS POPULAR. SHE CHALLENGED THE STRICT SEXUAL MORALS OF HER ERA AND HAD SEVERAL AFFAIRS WITH WOMEN. SHE DID SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESS AND EVENTUALLY COMMITTED SUICIDE.







GETTY IMAGES



CHARLES DICKENS  

       WROTE ABOUT THE DIRTY AND IMPOVERISHED SLUMS IN WHICH HE GREW UP. THUS THE ADJECTIVE "DICKENSIAN" CAME ABOUT DESCRIBING SUCH LIVING CONDITIONS.  HE QUICKLY ROSE TO FAME AND FORTUNE WITH THE PUBLICATION OF HIS BOOKS.




FLAVORWIRE.COM



MARY SHELLEY    
       WROTE THE BOOK, FRANKENSTEIN WHEN SHE WAS ONLY 18 AND IT WAS PUBLISHED TWO YEARS LATER. SHE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH PERCY SHELLEY AND THEY LATER MARRIED AFTER THE SUICIDE OF HIS WIFE.



ENCYCLOPEDIA
BRITTANICA



JRR TOLKIEN    

        WORKED FOR TWO YEARS AT THE OXFORD DICTIONARY. KNOWN WORDS FOR HIM ARE 'WALRUS' AND 'WAGGLE'. HE COULD READ BY THE AGE OF 4 AND WRITE FLUENTLY SHORTLY AFTER. HIS FATHER DIED WHEN JRR WAS 4 AND AT AGE 12 HIS MOTHER DIED.





SO WHAT ARE WE AS NEW INDEPENDENT AUTHORS TO LEARN FROM THESE FACTS?
       1. Never give up.
       2. Write from your heart and imagination.
       3. Though we might have behaviors or habits not acceptable by society, we can still be accomplished writers.
       4. Even if we might be alcoholic we may well still have the gift of writing.
       5. High school or college education in themselves may not make you a great writer.


https://www.rd.com/culture/fascinating-facts-about-famous-authors/
https://booksonthewall.com/blog/10-interesting-facts-10-famous-authors/

Friday, May 11, 2018

TOUGH WRITING by SUSAN WINGATE

I am pleased to have Susan Wingate as my featured blogger. She is an award-winning author, speaker, blogger, and writing workshop leader. 


                                                    ON WRITING TOUGH

After quitting my day job in 2004 to write full-time, my life changed in ways I could never have imagined. My books sold and became bestsellers, I won awards, I became a keynote speaker at writing conferences, I taught writing workshops throughout the western U.S., and I met incredible people. But everything came to a screeching halt in 2015 when my mother came to live with us.

Mom broke her right hip in 1998. I had moved to the island a year before so after she hurt herself, working proved difficult for her. She built a house on our property in the woods and lived on an acre of land set off for her. But about six years ago, mom began showing signs of failing cognition. First it was the smoke alarm, then mysterious electricians had been inside her house and stole her checks (or so she claimed), then there was the data fraud, then she worried that the mortgage company was calling her note. Those are only some of the examples of what we realized later were signs of Alzheimer’s disease. 

So, when mom moved in, I began journaling the experience through blog posts which I called THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES. When mom died, in December 2016, I had written twenty-five posts and decided to compile all of them in a memoir. But after she passed away, the memoir part proved too difficult to write. Mom’s death was too fresh. The writing felt strained and uncomfortable—it felt blocked. I was writing another novel with ease, charting thousands of words a day but when I tried to shift gears to that memoir, well, nothing. I didn’t know where to start. It was as though I couldn’t even write a coherent sentence! After eighteen months of mom’s death, I feel equipped to organize my thoughts, to decide on what to include and what to leave out. I decided that although writing fiction was my comfort zone, I would step fully out of that comfort zone and write the memoir or not write at all. And, it’s not easy. But writing something uncomfortable, something important like the writing of an elegy, a closing prayer, shouldn’t be easy. Geoff Thompson talks about this eloquently when he says, “Writing has been challenging at times but that's where all the growth is. I know I'm in the right place if it's difficult. Something a British writer said to me once was: ‘If the project doesn't make me wobble, I don’t take it.’ You have to be uncomfortable to grow.”

I write in the morning. So, now, I spend one hour writing to the memoir and three hours on fiction. If I don’t write any memoir, I punish myself by not writing fiction. Simple as that. It’s a trick, of course, but I believe what Geoff Thompson says. The memoir is tough and it’s where I must write. Either write or wallow in a comfort zone that doesn’t allow for growth.


BIO:


Susan Wingate is a #1 Amazon bestseller and an award-winning author of books that span the genres of mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal, inspirationa, and Christian fiction, fantasy, memoir, and writing how-to's. Ms. Wingate's novels are recommended for teenagers, young adults, and for older adults who are young at heart!






Sign up for Susan's newsletter and get:

     Tuesday postings called "Tuesday Dialogue Days"--listen to her latest radio show and learn how to become a guest on Dialogue: Between the Lines

     Wednesday postings called, "The Troubled Brain"--discussions about Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and aphasia, and

     Thursday postings called, "Thursday Writer Resource Day"--get weekly updates about upcoming writing contests and conferences, lists of agents and publishers, books about how to write, and much more writing-related resources.

    




Sunday, May 6, 2018

OUTSHINE: A BOOK OF HOPE

Rave Writers International Society of Authors bestowed the honor of naming Outshine the Book of the Month. 


To outshine is to "shine more brightly...overshadow...transcend...." (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outshine)

When personal tragedy, serious or life-threatening illnesses, over-whelming financial issues, divorce or any other challenge comes into one's life, I believe we need to outshine it. One might ask, "How can I possibly outshine the situation I am in?" 

Here are 7 things one can do: 
     1. As a person goes through the stages of grief: shock, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. It is important that they get to the level of acceptance. With the help of counseling, friends or family, and our faith that can be achieved. 

     2. Exercise is beneficial. Just taking daily walks, swimming, going to the gym, or playing an outdoor activity improve the mind, body, and spirit. 

     3. Deep prayer or meditation is a third way. It connects us to our God, quiets our mind, brings a sense of peace and purpose.

     4. If we think and react with positive thinking, then once again we will let the light into our lives. Negativity blocks us from seeing things clearly. "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change." (Wayne Dyer)

    5. Humor releases tension and anxiety. Endorphins are released which improve our sense of well-being.

    6. During challenging times, eating healthy and nutritiously is vital. Stress uses up a lot of our vital vitamins and minerals, which we need to have energy, clarity, and health.

    7. A belief in something greater than you is vital because faith gives us purpose and peace. My faith in God is an integral part of who I am and how I live. 


The title of my book Outshine came from one paragraph: An important lesson I learned early in life is that the beauty of the soul, the real and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation. It outshines any negative experience."

                   To outshine means we are set free. We
               have overcome the challenge, we are at
             acceptance and living our lives burden-free.


The book, Outshine is about my journey with ovarian cancer and how I coped with that life-altering and life-threatening challenge. Yes, the reader will learn about ovarian cancer which is the least well-known and deadliest gynecologic cancer. It is important that women recognize and immediately act on any of the symptoms, which unfortunately mimic other disorders. 

I am honored and grateful to Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writers International Society of Authors for naming Outshine the Book of the Month.


All proceeds go to gynecologic-ovarian cancer research through Dr. Robert Holloway at Orlando South Hospital.

https://amzn.to/291otEO avail. for 0.99 May 7-10
https://amzn.to/2roCe4F avail. for 0.99 May 7-10






Tuesday, May 1, 2018

GAYLE M. IRWIN, CHILDREN'S AUTHOR

  



I am pleased to introduce, Gayle M. Irwin an accomplished and award winning children's author. Her timely blog is during the week of "Children's Book Week" and the following week, May 7-13 is "Be Kind to Animals Week." 
The work she does is commendable.


Ms. Irwin is offering a special give-away. See the details at the end of this blog so you can receive your special gift.








                                               Blemished Yet Beautiful:
Children’s Book Showcases Pet Rescue and Adoption

 Deep-set almond-shaped brown eyes, a round fuzzy black and white face, and an upturned small nose makes him look like the teddy-bear-like Ewok from the Star Warsfilm.  A lower canine tooth protrudes from his jaw to create a lop-sided grin. He’s missing 28 teeth, and his front left elbow extends awkwardly. Cute but imperfect, my recently-adopted Shih Tzu, christened Jeremiah, wouldn’t be welcomed in a prestigious dog show … but, he’s most-welcomed in my home and my heart. And now his journey is a children’s book titled Jeremiah Finds a Home.


            Jeremiah was born into a puppy mill situation. He spent the first three years of his life living in a tiny cage, unsocialized, not groomed nor provided vet care, and given low-nutrition dog food – a primary reason for the tooth decay and eventual extraction. His principal task when old enough was to stud puppies, generating income for the people that confined him. He and other small dogs were rescued from the deplorable conditions and pup-producing lifestyle in 2016. The Nebraska organization, Hearts United for Animals, has a key, life-saving mission: rescue dogs from such horrible facilities, socialize them, and adopt them into new, loving homes. 

Jeremiah came to live with my husband and me and our other pets, a dog and two cats, but he came tarnished. He wasn’t potty-trained, he was timid, and he experienced trust issues. He’d never been on a leash nor lived in a home. Within three months, our new little furry friend blossomed into a delightful companion. Patience, love, and compassion brought forth his beauty – as did regular baths and haircuts. Cuddles on the couch, soft voices, and cozy beds add to his growing trust and confidence. So does having a dog friend to show him the joy of backyards, walks, toys, and people. Jeremiah began to bloom under the care of the rescue, and he’s flourished like a springtime lilac bush since living with us. He may be blemished, but he’s beautiful.


He has a story to tell and life lessons to share. Many dogs do. That’s my mission: to write animal stories which teach life lessons and inspire positive change. My authorship began more than a decade ago with a story about my blind springer spaniel titled Sage’s Big Adventure: Living with Blindness. Through that book, elementary-aged children and their families learn that disability doesn’t mean inability and that life takes courage. They are inspired by Sage’s “blind faith,” such as walking up and down stairs she couldn’t see. Other children’s books I’ve written encourage friendship and kindness. Jeremiah’s story is one of perseverance, trust, and confidence; the book also encourages pet adoption. More than 9,000 companion animals are killed every day in America’s animal shelters, estimates the nationally-acclaimed animal rescue group Best Friends Animal Society, and nearly 10,000 puppy mills operate in this country, according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

My adopted pets are the characters in my books, and therefore, they are advocates for other animals in need of loving homes. Jeremiah is the first puppy mill survivor I’ve adopted; now he will be “spokesdog” for other blemished yet beautiful creatures through our shared story.



The first week of May is Children’s Book Week, followed immediately by Be Kind to Animals Week. The book about Jeremiah releases just prior to those celebrations. Timely and relevant, Jeremiah’s story can bring greater awareness and compassion for companion animals, which hopefully will lead to much-needed change: less puppy mills and more pet adoptions. I look forward to sharing his story and to helping make a difference for dogs like him.



A free gift for you: a short story collection including one from Chicken Soup for the Sou, will be sent to each person who signs up at her website. www.gaylemirwin.com


Bio:
A writer of inspirational dog stories for children and adults, Gayle M. Irwin is a contributing writer for seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books, including the 2017 release The Dog Really Did That?The Spirit of America released in 2016, and the 2014 release The Dog Did What? 
Her devotional-style memoir, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dogwas released in 2012 by Cladach Publishing
A freelance writer for more than 20 years, Gayle writes short pet stories for Colorado’s Prairie Times andregularly contributes to Wyoming Rural Electric NewsShe maintains a weekly pet blog on her website and writes and distributes a monthly pet newsletter. She is currently working on a middle-grade dog rescue book, a pet-rescue romance novel, and a nature-oriented novel. Her passion for writing parallels her passion for creation, especially companion animals. 
She volunteers with various pet rescue groups and donates part of her book sale income to such organizations. Learn more about Gayle at www.gaylemirwin.com. This award-winning writer lives in Wyoming with her husband and their pets.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

WENDY SCOTT, AUTHOR





I  am pleased to have Wendy Scott on my blog this week. She is an accomplished and award winning author. I met Wendy through Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors. Please give her a warm welcome as she promotes her wonderful book, "Tails."






         TAILS, BOOK ONE, SILVER WISHES SERIES
                              by WJ Scott
   A heart-stopping, tail-dropping adventure by multi-award
                            winning author WJ Scott

                        For story-lovers 8 to 108





                                    Sometimes loss is the only thing that saves you...

                             
Tails Review by award-winning author & editor, Belinda Mellor:

     "Tails" is a classic 'hero's journey' story, a coming of age adventure for Kywah, a young silvertail on the cusp of maturity, whose hopes for taking his place amonghis pack's adult community have seemingly been dashed by the loss os his kind's most prized asset: his tail. A silvertail's tail is in its connection to its environment and its fellow pack members. Sadly, the magic it contains is not only prizes by the creatures but by human magicians, whose power is waning but whose ambition is not.

       When fate intervenes and Kywah sets out on a mission to find the deep magic that will protect his pack from hunters eager to earn the wizard's bounty he finds help and friendship in the most unliekly places, and danger around every corner.

         This is a rich and multi-layered story that will appeal to a wide age-range. Wendy Scott is an exciting author who has a real gift for storytellintg and world building and Kywah is a delightul protagonis who will have readers rooting for his success and redemption every step of his arduous journty. The pastel hued world the silvertails inhabit is one that readers will look forward to revisiting in (hopefully) many books to follow.











Wendy welcomes you to contact her, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and her website.
                                                                                                                                             
                                         

                                   

Saturday, April 21, 2018

MARY ADLER, AUTHOR




Mary Adler is an accomplished author, member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors. She is a retired teacher and lawyer, now happily retired in northern California where her garden is a habitat for bees, butterflies, and birds.





Karen's touching novel, Davida, is a book filled with love, so I think it's fitting to share a thought about love here on her blog.

A THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE
While rereading David Corbett’s illuminating book, The Art of Character, I was struck by a passage in his discussion of vulnerability that hadn't resonated with me the first time through. 
“But having a strong sense of connection and worthiness does not assure us we will be loved, because love is a gift, not a right. It’s given, not earned.”
Love is given, not earned. 
         That statement took me back to that most bewildering of days—the 
day we received our report cards in grade school. My classmates jumped for joy because they had only gotten one D, or hadn't failed anything, or because they finally had gotten an A. They anticipated rewards and praise from parents who would be happy with their less-than-perfect grades. I didn't realize until I was much older, that their parents loved them for being who they were, and that affection was not based on their academic achievements. It was given, not earned.

                                             
StrongpointLaw.com


We can argue that every living creature has the right to be loved, and they do, but in a real world, the world that isn't fair, too many living beings are not loved---no matter how talented or giving or worthy they are.

We see Corbett's assertion play out in memoirs. The stories of a wife struggling to build a life with a narcissistic husband; or the child vowing that today she will be perfect, and they will love her; or the teenager denying his own uniqueness and struggling to be accepted by a peer group not known for being inclusive.

We recognize this truth in books. When we see a fictional character devoting herself to an abusive man who will never change, we say no, no, don't go there, the way we warn characters in thrillers not to go into the cellar. But in she goes, into a relationship that might destroy her as completely as that monster in the dark.

I believe we love certain mystery series, like Louise Penny's Gamache books, or Fred Vargas' Adamsberg books, because although the continuing characters are realistically flawed and sometimes at odds with each other, in the end they will resolve their differences without ugliness. We can count on it, and that assurance creates an environment that is comforting. For however long we are in those characters' company, we vicariously enjoy the warmth and respect they have for each other, something we might be missing in our own lives.                                                  

                   (wayfair.com)

                 
If love is a gift, we will find it in the company of people who are loving. Obvious, isn’t it? Luckily, those people are easy to recognize, if not always easy to find. 

We know them by the warmth we feel when we are near them, by the way we feel better after seeing them, by the way they include others, find good things to say about them, by their generosity and gentle spirits, and by the support they give to others. (It occurs to me that we have found those people in Rave Reviews Book Club).

The narcissistic parent, the selfish husband, the judgmental friend, the self-promoting authors, will never be one of those people. We can understand people who cannot love, and we can offer them support, but unfortunately, we can't fix them by loving them.


masterfile.com

                                   
Consider the dog--a most loyal, forgiving, and affectionate being. One will be neglected, mistreated, and abandoned, while another will be safe and cared for. They are equally deserving dogs whose lives are dramatically different because one found a loving owner, and one did not.

So find good, giving, generous people whose love is available. And become a loving person, one who loves herself first, and then shares that love with everyone around her. No judgment, no conflict, no negativity---and the rest will take care of itself. Especially if you have a dog.
In my Oliver books, I have recreated my Italian family—improving certain members as I would have liked them to be. When I write, I am in that loving place even if my characters are struggling with conflicts and challenges and narrow escapes from death. I profoundly hope that my readers find a place of community in Point Richmond and the Cafe Avellino, and that they take comfort in knowing that at least there, good will always triumph.
Twitter:  @MAAdlerWrites