Archive | March 2018

Write Despite Distractions During the Holidays

Most time, a writer cannot afford to write full-time. Therefore, you have to get motivated to write, despite distractions by juggling work, family, and different writing projects. And many times, your writing comes last. This can cause frustration and resentful feelings. One way to avoid distractions is to make sure you don’t get interrupted by other things when you sit down to write.

It can be especially hard to get some writing done during the Christmas Holidays. However, it is essential to your success that you keep writing and that you keep your writing time sacrosanct, even during the holidays.

One way that I learned to do that is by making sure that my writing time is still in place in the earlier part of the day. That way, no matter who wants me to do something, I still could partake in family activities, but only after I finish my writing for the day.

Here are a few tips to deal with distractions most effectively during the holidays.

1. Focus

Kristi Holl in Writer’s First Aid says “When you focus, you’ll accomplish writing projects in half the tie, and your concentrated efforts will product better work. Focusing also builds momentum and enthusiasm, urging you to move steadily toward finishing your stories, articles, and books.”

Your ability to focus will make the difference between constantly being side-tracked to doing other things, and actually focusing. As Stephen Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

2. Isolate yourself

Be steadfast and resolute and set up a time to continue writing every day, even on holidays. Many of you may be distracted by outside noise or traffic. If this is the case, pull the blinds and close the window. Or, if you’re distracted by people sitting around and drinking and goofing around, go outside and sit and write on your laptop. Do whatever you need to get some writing done. But never write with other people in the living room or in your writing space. Always try to set up a space for yourself alone.

3. Don’t do anything but write during your allotted time

Many of you start writing for a few minutes, and then feel compelled to do something else. This duplicitous mindset can interrupt creativity and flow. Further, these activities will force you to not be as productive because your attention is split into too many different directions. This can take you away from your writing goals and ultimately frustrate you.

4. Change your schedule

Many of you may be writing when you’re not refreshed or too distracted, such as after dinner when the kids are at home and your hubby is trying to get your attention. Instead, you may want to get up earlier in the morning, or stay up later at night after everyone is in bed and write then.

By following these tips, you can avoid being side-tracked by distractions during the holidays so that you will be get motivated to write on a daily basis. You owe it to yourself to master the art of carving out the time and space to write even when vacation and life gets in the way. Only then will you be productive, successful, and happy.

This adapted version of the serenity prayers says it best. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the distractions I cannot change, courage to change the distractions I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

~ Irene S. Roth




This story is about Joseph Millward and his wife Anna. When Joseph loses his job in Wales, the couple decides to join Joseph’s brother and moves to America. The journey and move are difficult, and the adjustments are even hard. They believed that their new life in America was exactly what they needed to start anew. By being grateful and trusting in God they made the necessary adjustments and tried to fit into their new homeland.

Joseph and his wife have a close bond. With this close bond, they were able to make any adjustments that they needed in their new life. Joseph got a job at a coal mine in Rocktown, Pennsylvania. The job had long hours and it was very hard on Joseph. It is hard to believe that people work so hard and are in the midst of so much danger working in a coal mine. But Joseph was eager to start his new job and to make a new

Rocktown, Pennsylvania was also culturally different from Wales. It was a place where there were a lot of different nationalities and peoples, such as Polish, German, Slovak, Irish, Italian and Welch immigrants. The place was quite multicultural and sometimes personalities clashed.

Life seemed to be going as well as it could. Anna was homesick a lot. Joseph would come home very tired from the coal mine. Sometimes arguments would occur. But they believed in each other and they became part of a community of people quite quickly.

Then one day, a terrible explosion occurred in the coal mine. There were a lot of suspicions surrounding the explosion. This news ripped Anna apart because one of the men who was trapped in the coal mine was Joseph.

This is a story about the courage, strength, and love that is required to move to a new place and take a chance at a new life. I now can imagine how hard migrants who move to America and Canada have it.

Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth



This is a fairy tale like no other I have ever read. It has a
lot of sophistication and real life lessons, ones that we can all
take back with us into our lives.

Walsh’s story is about empowerment and self-expression. There
are elements of the magical and mystical woven right into the story.
It is a masterpiece that is not often seen in adventure fairy tales.

Each episode in the book exemplifies a law of the universe. The
story also has a very positive philosophy one that we need to
appropriate into our time and that what we see in others is directly
linked of how you perceive these people and what is contained in
you. This is a great message for the younger person as well, given
our difficult cultural times.

As the reader explores these universes with Ellyn and the
people who travel with her, we can all make similar discoveries
about ourselves. We too can also follow their example and be the
best version of ourselves.

This story can be read by the younger reader and also it can be
enjoyed by the older reader. There is so much to take in between the
pages of this wonderful story. The pages of the book are also filled
with stunning artwork from John S. Atkinson. These pieces of artwork
will move the reader to a place of thought and reflection.

I really enjoyed the metaphysical overtones in the story being
a philosopher. I will definitely recommend this book to people in
my immediate reading circle of friends.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

A wonderful picture book for kids about Latin foods

Latin American Foods
By Terry Padilla
Illustrated by Tony Mendoza
     This is a wonderful picture book for kids about Latin foods and how people celebrate with foods even in the most difficult circumstances.
     It’s been long known that food brings people together and it helps them to overcome obstacles. This picture book alludes to the devastation that Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused in Puerto Rico. The two Hurricanes were one week apart, and they caused so much devastation that the Garcia family had to leave their homeland.
     When the Garcia family relocated to Orlando, Florida, they found new solace cooking native Latin foods. The foods sound delicious. They are simple recipes that kids may urge their parents to cook. Cooking helped the Garcia family to cope with the relocation by celebrating their Latin roots.
     The illustrations also bring the Latin foods to light for the young reader. They are colorful and look delicious. Kids of all ages will be inspired to try some of the recipes.
     I love any book about food, and this one didn’t disappoint. Latin food is something that I will be trying to cook more of.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

What does it mean for you to win?

Winning means different things to different writers.

For some of us, it means getting published. For other writers, it means having a lot of publications and to have a following of readers.

Still other writers think winning means getting awards for their books.

But is this all what it means to win for a beginning writer?

I don’t think so!

What if I said to you that winning is so much more than those outside achievements?  What if I said that winning meant to feel like you are a winner from the inside out, regardless of whether you are published or earned an award for your book.

Well, for me winning is something that we achieve from the inside out.

So, here are a few characteristics of what it means for me to win in my writing career:

  • I feel good when I’m writing.
  • I write often–daily for an hour or two.
  • I write in flow–undistracted.
  • I don’t have a voice in my head that tells me that I am not a writer just because I had no publications.
  • I can write anywhere because I just love writing.
  • Writing is not a chore for me but a vocation.
  • I feel whole when I write.
  • I feel content when I write.
  • I love researching about the topics I write about.
  • I look forward to getting to my desk and writing every day.
  • Writing has intrinsic worth for me.

Now you must admit, this is not how the world views winning as a writer, does it now?  Well, no it doesn’t!  But are all of those outside markers of winning that I mentioned above really worth pursuing for a beginning writer when your self-esteem is battered to smithereens?

I don’t think so, and I will tell you why?

When you begin writing, you have to build your self-esteem and self-confidence as a writer from the inside. And you can only do this by developing your inner strength so that you can cope with rejections and all the other hardships that the world will throw on you as a writer.

So, enjoy developing your self-confidence as a writer from the inside out, and know that you can be a winner even without publishing.  And that is the best kind of winning that I know of for a beginning writer.

To your Success!

Irene S. Roth

A Wonderfully Written Picture Book

Forever Evergreen
By Kay Roberts
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle
This is a wonderful picture book that is enchanting yet has important lessons about kindness, forgiveness, and how our actions certainly have a huge impact on others.

This story is about Red, a curious cardinal who wants to move past his every day mundane life. So, one day, he decides to leave his friends and fly off to a place far, far away where he can explore his environment.

As he travels, he runs into danger and gets hurt. Red is injured and has no idea what to do. He feels sorry for himself. But then something almost magical happens. Mother Nature comes to his rescue! She shelters Red in a pine tree in a beautiful garden until he recovers from his injury.

In that comforting garden, he feels secure. He learns a lot of important lessons from Mother Nature too. He learns that Mother Nature helps kind and good-hearted beings. Immediately Red feels good about himself. And he is able to take this feeling back to his friends.

The illustrations are magical and will transport the young reader into a world that is inspiring and enchanting. The colors are bold and have a sparkly quality to them.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth