Category Archives: books

My novel is the pick for this month’s GET ARTSY BOOK CLUB!

I am excited to announce that my novel One Brave Thing has been chosen as the next book for the ‘Get Artsy Book Club’

I have been a member of this book club as a reader for a few months now. I was drawn to the ‘Get Artsy Book Club’ because, well, I love books! More than that, the name of Allyson’s business, Determined to Shine, also resonated with me. I have been telling myself to ‘shine’ a lot recently, so the word caught my eye right away. I took it as a sign that this was something that would benefit me, and I am so glad that I did! I love the books we have read so far.

Reading the books and doing the projects as part of the ‘Get Artsy Book Club‘ have helped me gain new insight and inspiration in my own life.

I also have discovered a new art form – artist trading cards – and they are so much fun to make! Allyson gives clear, step by step video directions that make it easy to create these unique and fun art forms.

So again, I am very excited that my book, One Brave Thing, was chosen as the next book for the ‘Get Artsy Book Club‘ to read! If you have already read (or want to read!) my novel and would like to participate in this unique book club this month, click here to sign up. You can sign up for one month for $15, or multiple months for a discounted price. NOTE: This is Allyson’s book club and all the information about the club and pricing is on her website.

Included in the book club are questions for reflection based on the book, art projects (easy! you can do them!), and a live book chat together online.

So I hope you’ll sign up for the club this month and join me in reading the book, making some art and some new friends, and discussing the themes of One Brave Thing together!

Need to get the book? Click on the title to order your copy of One Brave Thing!

Thank you! Please share this post with anyone you think would be interested! I look forward to discussing the book and creating with you!

 

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BOOK REVIEW: A MIND OF YOUR OWN by Kelly Brogan MD

A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan MD is an important book. There is no other way to say it. If you are taking medication for depression/anxiety

this book could quite possibly change your life!

Even if you decide not to follow the protocol she outlines. How? Because after you read this book, you will know.

And once you know, you can’t NOT know.

This book is very readable. Even though it’s written by a doctor, most of it feels more like you having coffee (whoops–I mean roasted dandelion root. Or, you know, water) with a friend. A very caring friend who believes in you and your ability to support your wondrous body in healing itself. And who, with any luck at all, will convince you of this.

Full disclosure: the protocol itself recommended by the author kind of terrifies me.

I’m wondering if I treat it like menu suggestions rather than maxims, if I can get the same benefit. (Probably not).  There are recipes included in the book, some of which sound good to me.  The author is Italian, after all, so there’s a good sporting chance that they’ll be good. Finally, I am a big fan of coffee, but am not excited about the idea of inserting a tube into my rectum to introduce it to my system. I love me some spicy eggnog coffee o.ral.ly. ‘Nuf said.

 

You need to read A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan MD

 

Kary Oberbrunner, Exposed! Behind the scenes at the Igniting Souls Conference 2017

Ever wonder about this Kary Oberbrunner guy?

I first met him online in a chatroom…No–wait! Kidding! I first met him online at one of the free webinars he hosted:

How to Turn a Book into a 6-Figure Business

My expectations were low.  Full disclosure: I watch a lot of free webinars. I am never motivated to buy anything at the end of them.  Anyway, the information that I got was so interesting and so in alignment with what I already knew and was currently doing (or trying to do), that I had to find out more about what this guy was teaching.  Also, I had to find out more about this guy in general.

So I did what women everywhere have been doing since the beginning of time when they needed to find out more about a guy:

I googled him.

Not one bad thing. Not one. On the entire internet.

This led to me becoming part of the Igniting Souls Tribe, which led to me going to the Igniting Souls Conference this year.

This was a much bigger deal for me.

I was taking big risks to go to this conference! 

  • I hadn’t flown alone since 1990 and had never changed planes before to get anywhere. If changing planes was required, it was a deal-breaker.
  • I would be leaving my daughter alone for a few days, and she didn’t want that.
  • Who would feed the chickens while I was away?
  • How would I get to the hotel from the airport?
  • What if I got stranded there? (I did, actually)

Yep; I was feeling the fear (nod to Susan Jeffers)

In the end, though, I did the thing I thought I could not do! (Nod to Eleanor Roosevelt)

I packed up all my fears and I went to Ohio. Alone. On the plane–two planes. No, four, counting the fights home!

In the morning before the first session of the conference started, I heard a song playing over the speakers. I could feel it inside me. This wasn’t just any song.

This was one of my favorite songs in the world:

Con Te Partiro by Andrea Bocelli.

Translation: Time to Say Goodbye. And I realized that I had done exactly that. By making this trip, I said ‘Goodbye’ to my fears and ‘Hello’ to my faith and confidence in myself. When I heard this song playing, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to do.

So, who is this Kary guy? He’s the guy who you can’t find anyone to say anything bad about. And at the Igniting Souls Conference, there were hundreds of people saying only good things. About him. About each other. It was one of the best gatherings that I have ever been part of. Ever.
Thank you, Kary, and thank you to all the amazing members of this tribe, in which I am blessed to be included.

I am leaving you with this, my favorite version of Con Te Partiro, which Andrea Bocelli sings with Sarah Brightman. I hope you feel it, too.

Here is a slideshow of some moments from my trip and #IgnitingSoulsConference17

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

How to add a writing buddy on NaNoWriMo.org

Log into nanowrimo.org.Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the ‘General Search’ box at the top of your NaNo Page (to the left of the sign out page).
  2. Enter the NaNo User name (or the name that you know) into the box, and make sure ‘Authors’ is checked.
  3. When the list comes up, find your person on it.
  4. Check ‘add buddy’ button to the right of their name.

The End!

Feel free to add me as a writing buddy if you are so inclined. Search kmcwrites

Check out my online course: How to Win National Novel Writing Month!

The BRAVE Interview #15 October 2017: Allyson Bright

This month, we are meeting Allyson Bright!

 

  1. WHO are you? I’m 36. An artist, a woman in love, a widow, a crafter, a teacher, and a seeker of joy. I live in Wisconsin with my boyfriend, TJ, and my Beagle, Gracie.
  1. WHAT is your One Brave Thing?  It’s hard to pick just one – honestly, it’s been a journey. I was 32 when my husband died by suicide. After that, I found that I had to face new fears and learn how to create a new life for myself.About nine months after he passed, I went away for a week by myself. I was having trouble trusting my own decisions and I knew I needed to leave my comfort zone in order to move forward. The trip was transformational and ultimately led to my decision to leave my home in Iowa and move to Wisconsin for a fresh start.  Art journaling and crafting were such a vital part of my healing process, and I really wanted to share that with others. My ultimate brave thing was to leave my day job in order to start a business teaching art classes and offering coaching services. 
  1. WHEN did you do it? I started my company, Determined to Shine, about 18 months ago. It’s been a bit of a crazy journey, to be sure. But without a doubt, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
  1. WHERE did it occur? Right here in Madison, Wisconsin.
  1. HOW did you make it happen? One step at a time! Determined to Shine has grown into so much – weekend retreats, several online workshops, and even one-on-one coaching services. Sometimes it can seem like all of that happened at once, but it’s been a gradual process. For those looking to make a career change – don’t let the size of the task overwhelm you! Pick apart each task into small chunks, and just get started.
  1. WHY did you do it? The idea for Determined to Shine had been in my mind for several years. Ultimately, I realized I was just going to have to take a leap and be willing to fail. I didn’t want to wake up in three more years and still be talking about it. Taking that leap was terrifying, and I had to build my plan along the way. But everything that’s worth anything is scary. Determined to Shine has brought so much joy into my life and the lives of others – I can’t imagine what life would be like if I hadn’t done that one brave thing. 

Thank you, Allyson, for sharing your brave story with us!

Allyson is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Scrapbook Projects Illustrated.

You can find Allyson’s FREE online class here: 30 days of Art Journaling. I have taken this class myself and I enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend all of Allyson’s classes. Find them all here: http://www.determinedtoshine.net/

Check out Allyson’s online book club: Get Artsy Book Club

Click here to find out more (act fast! It’s almost time for this!) about Allyson’s Determined to Shine Fall Retreat!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If YOU would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

BOOK REVIEW: Informed Consent: Critical Truths Essential to Your Health and to the Health of Future Generations by Michele Stanford, M.Ed., CHC

I began to read Michele’s story and as a woman, my heart was filled with compassion and empathy for her and the situation she was in. As an RN, my heart was filled with rage for how this patient was treated by her physician! Michele was not defined by her circumstances, however. Rather, she decided to educate herself and therein lay her power, and now she is offering to share her results with all of us.

One quote resonated with me very early in the book, as the author described her experience with “continual roller coaster ride courtesy of allopathic medicine,” perfectly capturing what can happen if you are not empowered with the information you need to evaluate medical information and make good, informed health care choices for yourself and your loved ones.

Many other sentences speak to my own beliefs. On page 92: “The pharmaceutical industry is not interested in your health.”  Truer words have never been spoken. Also, on page 108: “The corruption at the CDC runs deep and wide and the health of the American public is not the sole priority, or even a priority at all.”

The chapters dealing with the pharmaceutical industry and vaccines will provide you with especially valuable information.

I highly recommend this book. Buy it here: Informed Consent

Spoiler alert: Cheez-its lovers, you are about to have your heart broken. J

 

Michele Stanford, M.Ed., CHC#InformedConsentTheBook

Coming full circle (and announcing a free class!)

When I was in elementary school, I was in a new school every year.

Every. Single. Year.

No, my parents weren’t in the military. My father was disabled, and when money got tight, we got moving.

Kindergarten: The Hancock in Medford. First grade and half of second: The Emerson in Malden. Last half of second grade and third: The Parker in Billerica. Fourth: The Hajjar in Billerica. Fifth: The Davenport in Medford.

Maybe you noticed that Billerica is up there twice in a row. We actually didn’t move that year, but as luck would have it, the town built a new elementary school to accommodate its growing population and (you guess it) I was zoned to move to the new school.

Oh, happy day.

Moving can be hard for anyone at any age, and I was no exception. Every time I made a friend, we moved, and I had to begin all over again. As I got older, it seemed as if everyone was already paired up with a best friend, and had been forever. I always felt like the odd girl out. Like I didn’t belong.

And then something wonderful happened. I discovered my BFF’s in books!

Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking were among the first and are still my friends today.

Of course, Judy Blume’s books were part of my life back then, and the one that immediately comes to my mind when I think of that time is this one: Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how reading books can help us find meaning and insight into our lives. Even in fiction–maybe especially in fiction–it’s the story we connect with, and how it resonates for us in our real lives, and through which we can find comfort and clarity.

The phrase, “Go back to go forward” popped into my head not too long ago, and it kept popping in, over and over, so I thought, hey, I have to do something with this.

About the same time, Margaret was also intruding on my thoughts

Pretty much everyone I know that is past puberty has read the Margaret book. Maybe because I have been re-reading other books lately that impacted me, it occurred to me that it might be very interesting to re-read this particular book now. Maybe that’s why it was so persistently intruding in my thoughts. It wanted me to read it again!

And then I had another thought: maybe other women would also enjoy this.
And my free mini-course idea was born!

You can join the Facebook group now to get notified when the free course is available. As of now, I expect it to be ready on the Tuesday before Labor Day (August 29, 2017). Once it’s live, this link should work to sign up for my free mini-course, GO BACK TO GO FORWARD! 

Feel free to share this with anyone else who has read this book and might enjoy coming with me on my learning curve to take this free course!