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A Wonderful and Enchanting Picture Book For Kids About the Earth

Mother Earth, Brother Sun, Sister Moon
By Kevin M. O’Dell
Illustrated by Megan Phillips

This is a wonderful and enchanting story for kids that will reacquaint them with the earth and reignite their fascination for all that is in it. We tend to not be aware of all the life that is around us. There is so much to see and take in, if only we stop and listen.

This story teaches kids many important lessons such as, family love, how to love and appreciate nature, and make sure that we don’t destroy it for future generations.

The story also teaches kids to stop and look around because the earth is very beautiful indeed. Each creature on earth and all the lakes and waters can offer so much nourishment and replenishment to us. All we have to do is to become aware of them. It seems that we always want to be doing something but not noticing and listening.

This book is especially relevant for our times. We live in a culture of being constantly connected and going. Many times, we are teaching our kids how to be distracted too through our own distracted mindsets. O’Dell’s book will show the reader, both parents and kids, how to stop and just be in nature, even if it is for a short time.

The illustrations are also stunning and bring the story home for kids and parents.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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A story about overcoming the darkness of evil and finding light anew

This is an example of a wonderfully written story! I just loved this book and I would recommend it to all readers of my blog!

The Guardian of Aurum
By A.J. Behul

This is a story that will keep the reader transported right to its climax and until the last page is turned. It is a story like no other that I have read. Usually stories of this type are very violent and cruel. But A. J. Behul has created just the right blend of good and evil and even the people who are considered dangerous have redeeming qualities at the end of the day.

There is so much negative around Aline. There is organized crime, violence, and lawlessness. Then there is the fluctuating price of gold. The situation around her is so unpredictable and it threatens to destroy the company and all the profit margins it enjoyed before.

Then there are the employee executions, kidnappings, extortions, and fraud everywhere she turns. It is a climate where no one can trust anyone and everyone appears suspicious and out of line.

If this isn’t bad enough there is the case of the forty-three missing students on the doorstep of one of the mines. No one knows where they got to and the whole company is sent into disarray.

Aline finds herself between maintaining her allegiance to the company and organized crime. She no longer knows what is right and wrong and she seems to be doing things that are truly out of character, transforming her from the holding of the Seraphim to the order of the Angelorum Lapsus.

Aline feels uncomfortable and has no idea where to turn. This can feel very disconcerting and we can all relate to this state of mind because most of us have experienced these types of feelings and clashes within ourselves from time to time. Can Aline overcome the darkness of evil and find light again or will she be banished to the Abyss forever?

The book ends on a positive note with a take on good and evil which I absolutely loved! A. J. Behul says that “there is light in the darkness just as there is darkness in the light.” Perhaps there is a light at the end of any tunnel of corruption and violence.

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Roth

The Importance of Developing a Positive Mindset

Develop a Positive Mindset

 

Writers are a very sensitive group of individuals. And there is much about the writing life that makes it difficult such as receiving rejection letters, working with editors, writing on contract and so on. However, there is much more about the writing life that is wonderful, such as the writing process, getting your ideas on paper, and working from the comforts of your home in your PJ’s if you want. So, why can’t writers stay positive?

One of the main reasons for this is because of negative self-talk. Writers say a lot of negative things to themselves every day. This can really have a negative impact on our overall outlook.

Therefore, in order to have a positive mindset we have to say positive things to ourselves, such as I can do it! All will be well! I will write today! I will complete this manuscript! These positive statements will frame how you feel about yourself and your writing. And the more positive you are, the better you will feel.

The important thing to remember is that our mindsets are in our control. And we can choose not to think negatively in order to be at our best. It is hard to do our best work if we are negative and down on ourselves and our writing. The more positive we can be, the better we will write and the more we will excel at our craft

Try it!

Irene S. Roth

This is an educational, inspirational and empowering book for all Christians

The Volume of the Book:
Insights into Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth
Clement C. Butler

Tag: This is an educational, inspirational and empowering book for all Christians

This is a book that is educational, inspirational and empowering for all Christians. It is a book that will force you to rethink how you view the Bible—one of the most magnificent books in the world.

According to Butler, the Bible is not studied in a way that we can understand fully. Instead, the Bible is typically studied book by book. When we read the Bible in this way, we treat the Bible as if it were a recipe. This truncated view of the Bible takes away from a complete and in-depth understanding of the Bible.

Instead, we should study the Bible holistically. The purpose of
Butler’s book is to facilitate in this journey towards a better understanding of the Scriptures by viewing the Bible from a holistic point of view. The books of the Bible are not separate entities. Instead, the Bible is written by one author and it has one plan and objective. The Bible, therefore, has only one eternal purpose that of having sons that manifest the Father’s glory and the establishment of the kingdom of God. One of the aims of Butler’s book is to provide some insight into that purpose, coupled with the principles of rightly dividing the word of God.

However, since most of us grew up reading the Bible in this truncated book by book fashion, we will have to set aside the things that we have carried with us all our lives and open our minds and hearts to a new and more enriching way of understanding the Bible. Butler’s book will provoke and inspire you to read the Scriptures and in the process to get more and more understanding of them.

I find Butler’s book transforming and as a Christian it has propelled me to start re-reading the Bible with a new set of eyes and with a heart that is willing to understand the Bible in more depth.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

A wonderfully inspiring book about the unwrapped gifts in our lives

Unwrapped Gifts
Michelle Anne Hawes

This is a wonderful book about the gifts and treasures all around us during Christmas time and beyond. All we have to do is stop long enough to become aware of them. And this book will help the reader do just that.

This book is about the events of Marla Haines, a young woman who moves through some very difficult times by writing about her reflections. As the world crumbles all around her, writing became a powerful tool for working through these difficult emotions and putting them into perspective.

Christmas time can be quite busy for everyone. It is a time when we anticipate all the wonderful things of the season. We shop, cook and anticipate the arrival of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

However, Marla discovered that there is so much more during Christmas that is important in life. There are unwrapped gifts and treasures that people give as a sign of love and compassion for one another.

These unwrapped gifts are friendship, kindness, generosity, gratitude, courage, compassion, and love. These are things cannot be bought by money and cannot be wrapped up and put under the tree but given freely to another person who may be having a difficult day.

Another theme that runs through this marvelous book is the importance of sharing our special moments with loved ones, whether it is making a cup of tea and really connecting with them or simply talking. There are so many gifts in moments like these.

This book will show the reader the true meaning of Christmas and how we should perhaps go beyond the consumerism of the time and dig deeper to discover the true meaning for the season. Buying gifts is nice. But connecting and loving as well as anticipating the birth of our Lord and Saviour are perhaps some of the best gifts of Christmas.

This book is truly inspiring. The photographs make the book brings home the message of love and compassion. It is a book that must be read and re-read for more depth and understanding.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Do you have a Summer Writing Schedule in Place?

8727353266_e12280a9f7_z[1]Do you have a summer writing schedule in place? Many of you have a difficult time to stick to a consistent writing schedule during the summer. These beautiful sunny and warm days propel you to go outside and enjoy the short season of great weather. Well, at least it is short in Northern Canada where I live.

Also, for some of you, with kids being home from school and daycare being out for the summer, the lack of structure for everyone can rack havoc for writers to remain committed to their writing daily quotas. It is important to realize that you can write during the summer by taking a few simple steps and set up a writing schedule that can work with new family demands on your writing time.

Here are a few tips for writers to enjoy the summer and still get some much-needed writing done.

  1. Revise your writing schedule so that it will work with your new reality of kids being at home and hubby hovering around the house.

For instance, you may want to write first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up. Or, you may want to write for an hour after everyone retires for the day or while your hubby is watching yet another baseball game. You don’t have to watch a game that you don’t enjoy anyways. Instead, excuse yourself and get such much-needed writing.

  1. Carry a notepad and pen with you as you travel through your day. If you go to a theme-park and you have second to sit down and catch your breath while your hubby is out with the kids on a carousel ride, enjoy that alone time and do a bit of thinking and jot down some notes. You may have new topics to write about right before your eyes.
  2. Set time boundaries with your family for some alone time. You may want to read during this time, meditate, or just lay low.

Women tend to multi-task and work way too hard. If they’re not with the family, they’re doing housework or cooking and cleaning. Try not to do that.

Instead, find yourself a calming routine and escape to bring about peace of mind, rest and much-needed relaxation.

  1. Don’t try to please everyone all the time. Not only will you mostly fail if you try doing this, but you will be constantly frustrated too.

Instead, set times when you’re with family and also times when you’re doing your own thing. You deserve this. It’s okay to say NO and mean it.

It’s okay to cancel your outing with the family if you don’t want to go to the theme park yet again. Let your family go and just spend some time doing things for yourself and taking care of yourself.

By taking these steps, you will be less frustrated and exhausted during the summer months, and you’ll get some much-needed writing done.

It is difficult to be a writer and to take several weeks or worse months off a year from writing. Some writers can do it, but most can’t afford to. By taking the above steps, you’ll be able to write and also enjoy the summer.

Try it!

Irene S. Roth

How to Eliminate Distractions During the Summer

0__IMG_6135[1]It’s easy to become distracted during the summer months. Almost anything can distract you, if you allow it to. It can take a long time to learn how to focus on your writing in such a way that distractions will be minimized, if not avoided altogether even during the summer months.

Most of us can learn to focus on one project and write for an hour or two four or five days a week with a bit of planning, practice and discipline.

Distractions can take many different forms. We could be distracted by our children, spouses, family members, beautiful weather, or phone and email. Limiting these distractions can be easy, if you take a few steps. Here are a few to consider.

  1. Set an egg-timer

I find that setting a timer helps a lot. I set it for, say, one or two hours, and during that time, I don’t do anything but think about what I am doing. The timer gives me the structure I need to keep my eyes and mind on the manuscript that I am working on.

  1. Do nothing but write during your allotted time

Nothing, except an emergency, should move you to do anything else than write during my allotted time. If you are serious about writing, make sure that you actually write during your devoted time.

  1. Shut-off all outside distractions before sitting down to write

It is important for writers to shut off the ringer on the phone and don’t answer the door if the doorbell rings during your allotted writing session. Do nothing but write.

  1. Tell Family about your Writing Time

It is important for you to tell your family ahead of time what your writing schedule will be for the week. Then when you’re writing time comes, honor it so that your family can honor it too. Don’t be persuaded to do anything but write during those times. Be firm!

  1. Work on one project at a time

Productive writers usually finish up all their writing projects. They work diligently through discouragement and rejection. They also find a way to work consistently on a project until it is complete.

Writers will usually hit a lot of distractions when they set out to write during the summer. This is to be expected and is very much a part of writing practice. Try not to give up and quit when the going gets tough. Just keep finding ways to write, even if it is for a short period of time.

I always tell the writers in my critique groups that it is important to write as often as possible. We have all made a commitment to write every day, even if it is for a short time such as 15 minutes. You have no idea how much momentum this brings to your writing life until you try it. So, part of our motto is Write every day! And that is the promise we make to ourselves and each other.  And at the end of the summer, we usually get a LOT of writing done!

So, we could try and do something similar in this group. I believe that part of writing consistently is making a commitment to your writing, and finding a time to write every day—even if it is a short time.

Not only will be habitually writing and become more confident as a writer, but your family and friends will also know that you are serious about your writing.

However, sometimes, you will have to think outside of the box in order to get some writing done.

So, here are some unlikely places that I wrote just to get some extra words down on my WIP during the summer:

  • Write in the car—of course only if you are a passenger. If you are taking a trip to a special destination that takes an hour or two, you could bring your paper and pen or even laptop and just write for a few minutes at a time.

I sometimes get into the back seat where it is quieter and I just write for about half an hour or so until the next pit stop on our trip.

  • Write in the airport—while waiting to board the plane. Sometimes there are delays. Most times, we have to get there at least an hour ahead of time. So, this can be a time to write for even a few minutes.
  • Once the plane is in flight, you can write during your flight or at least read to prepare to write.
  • Wake up a bit earlier and write.
  • Stay up a bit later and write for a few minutes.
  • While your spouse is watching television in the evening, remove yourself on the bed or at a table in the room and write for a few minutes.
  • If it is a nice day, write outside. If the weather is stopping you from writing, take your laptop outside and write there. Or take your pen and paper and head for the park. That is what I do. There is no better feeling that actually writing and thinking by the Avon River.

But also have times when you’re plugged off writing during holidays. Otherwise, you will get on your family’s nerves and you will probably not get much writing done. So, do your writing as bookends during the day, either in the morning or at night. During the day, go out and enjoy yourself. After all, that is what being on vacation is all about. Make memories. Take photos. Eat great food!

By taking these steps, you will be getting some writing during the summer holidays.

Irene S. Roth