Tag Archives: author

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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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!

NaNoWriMo is coming and announcing a new course

October 1st! You know what that means? That there’s only 1 more month before National Novel Writing Month begins!

Are you planning to participate this year? I will be. This will be NaNo number 8 for me. I have completed the 50,000 words to win every year since 2010, and I expect this year to be no different.

Maybe you would like to win NaNo, too!

My online course just launched, How to Win NaNoWriMo. These are my strategies that I use to make sure I fit my 50,000 words into 30 days. I do things differently now than I did when I was a NaNo fledgling back in 2010.

Maybe these tips will help you, too!

I wanted to be an author for years and years. I wrote drafts and partial drafts and outlines and overviews but never turned anything into a completed draft of a book.

And then I found National Novel Writing Month.

It turned out that structure is my friend! The NaNo structure helped me get it done. The first drafts of both of my novels came from National Novel Writing Month.

All the details are here: How to Win NaNoWriMo.

Whether you want to take the course or not, I would still love to know if you are a NaNoWriMo-er. Comment below if you are! What year(s) did  you win?

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

The BRAVE Interview #13 August 2017: Jennifer Davies

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Jennifer Davies!

INTRODUCTION

Hello everyone, I’m thrilled to be here as a featured guest in the Brave series. Thank you Karen for inviting me! A few facts about me; my name is Jennifer Davies, and I’m a fifty something mom with four boys, two cats, a dog, and a husband in tow. I have been married for twenty-one years this August to my best friend and strongest supporter. I’m originally from Wales in the UK which is why I have a funny accent, but I now reside on the East Coast of America in New England.

I have lived in North Andover for the past 14 years, and it’s a perfect distance from the city of Boston, the coast, and the mountains which I love. Living in New England has been a huge source of inspiration for me, but I find inspiration from many avenues, my family, my life, traveling and my persistence to keep writing. As a result, I always have ideas for future books.

I’m a former registered nurse/midwife. I am always battling my weight, but as I’m addicted to chocolate, it’s not a fight I will win anytime soon. I adore Grey’s Anatomy. I love yard sales and get excited at the purchase of old furniture that I can recycle. My goal is to be a NY Times best seller—one day!

MY BRAVE STORY

Well, it’s actually hard to choose which piece of my life to reveal that would showcase something BRAVE that I have done! I believe to be BRAVE you have to face something that is painful, fearful or difficult, and my life has contained many instances that would fit that definition.

Most recently, the one I still process is the loss of my mother. Even now, six months later I miss her. My mom, lived with Alzheimer’s, and had for the past almost five years. Living overseas made it difficult to provide the care I wished to, but in the early stages I could help by having mum visit through the summer and stay for several weeks at a time. As the disease progressed, even that wasn’t an option. Feeling frustrated and needing to do something, I started a support page on-line called ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT, which still provides help to those going through the painful and heartbreaking experience.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/291824310860629/
In December 2016, my mother entered full-time nursing care and shortly after her renal disease deteriorated to the point that we knew we were entering the final stages of her life. At Christmas, my wish and prayer was to be able to care for mum in her final days. God answered in a strange way that enabled me to spend four weeks with my mum in the UK until her passing on the 29th January. Even now, I have tears as I write this because knowing your loved one is dying is devastating no matter the age or the situation. Being a former nurse, I knew what to expect to a degree, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional trauma and loss as I watched my mum slip away.
The memories of her final four weeks are ingrained on my brain, good and bad. I remember the days that she slept, and we weren’t sure if she would make it through the next twenty-four hours, to standing next to her in the make-shift church singing hymns in shock at her complete turnaround, to holding her hand as she took her last breath. Those final hours were heartbreaking, and I have no regrets. In life, mum had always been there for me, and this was the least I could do no matter how hard or painful it was to ensure she wasn’t alone as she made her final journey onward to my dad.

All through the night there was a panic that I wouldn’t be able to face the end that I wouldn’t be able to find the words of comfort as her condition changed. In the early hours when the built up fluids became noisy, “death rattle” I lost it. Tears poured, and an overwhelming sense of panic and futility washed over me. I wanted to leave, but as I watched mum, I couldn’t let her down. I needed to be strong and to be there for her right until the end. I hated the thought of her being alone, and now, it gives me comfort to know she was surrounded by love, and her death was peaceful. My mum enjoyed a long and happy life, she was a brave woman loved by all her daughters and grandchildren. She is missed every day.

MY LIFE

My mum was always a strong supporter of my dreams to become a romance author, and her encouragement kept me going. I’m now a multi-genre author, and I’ve been writing full-time for the last eight years.  Every good and bad moment of my life has helped shape me as a writer. Throughout my life, I have always been an avid reader, and from that stemmed the desire to create my own stories.

My Latest Release THE WITCH’S HEART is the second book in the Rise of Orion series.

I love to hear from readers and these are the ways you can contact me…

FB Author page https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Owen-Davies-YA-J-M-Davies-Adult-1421409368089313/

Website            http://www.jenniferowendavies.com/
Email                 Jendaviesuk@gmail.com
Twitter              https://twitter.com/jendaviesuk
Instagram        Jengal124
Blog                  https://welshjensblog.blogspot.com

Thank you, Jennifer!!

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: YOUR NEXT SHIFT by ELIZABETH SCALA

I first heard of Elizabeth Scala when she joined RN FM Radio. I didn’t know how much I was missing a female voice on the show until she arrived (yay!). I didn’t know she was an author right away. I started following her on social media and that’s when I became aware of the breadth of her nursing activities.

I knew from watching her on Instagram that Elizabeth made fun a priority in her life (I do, too!). I started reading her book yesterday afternoon, and if I hadn’t had an evening commitment, I would have finished it last night. Anyway, it was less than twenty-four hours later that I turned the last page. This book resonated with me on so many levels. The ‘Just for today’ philosophy that I first learned to practice after my Reiki attunements was one of the first moments that I knew I was in the right place reading this book. I love that Elizabeth is so honest in her description of her experience travelling the path of refining and expanding her own nursing practice to help the rest of us know that hey, we aren’t alone! Other nurses feel under-confident and under-brave and under-decisive, too! And this: “Maybe you’re just not that happy being a nurse anymore because you actually feel like your job doesn’t let you be one!” Hello? That was one of my first “Aha!” moments after transitioning from nursing practice in school and nursing practice in real life.

For years, I have been working on integrating my spiritual practices into my nursing practice and in this book, I feel like I have found a kindred spirit, another nurse who really gets it. Another nurse who is doing this, too.

I also love the quotes that were scattered throughout the book, including Susan Jeffers’ “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” a phrase that I find myself saying over and over these days, mostly to myself.

While I was reading Your Next Shift, I felt like I was having coffee with my nurse-BFF.

One note to the author: as a former waitress, I found a LOT of similarities between waitressing and nursing! Just sayin’.

After I finished reading it, I decided to draw an oracle card for the book, and I drew the 3 of Earth from Colette Baron-Reid’s new card deck, The Good Tarot.  Here is a quick line about this card from the guidebook that accompanies the deck: “Teachers and students, we are all learning, growing, and building collaboratively.”

I know, right?! 🙂

I highly recommend Your Next Shift for anyone. Read it.

Spartanized

This podcast by Jodi Flynn (Women Taking the Lead) with Joe DeSena caught my eye because 1. I love Jodi’s Podcasts and 2. My nieces and nephew just completed a Spartan Race (not the first for some of them).

My beautiful niece Megan, rocking her Spartan Race medal!

Much of the conversation really resonated with me! I was shocked, because whenever I hear about the Spartan Races, I move right along. I mean, it’s nice for some people…people who like to get all sweaty and dirty and gross. Not bookish, ‘indoorsy’ type people like me.

😀

I could completely relate to Joe’s talking about the topics of ‘concrete, (something else I can’t remember), and ravioli’ (#itsallabouthefood) in the Italian neighborhood where he grew up. That pulled me in, but when he talked about one of the strategies for success is telling everyone you know what you are going to do (“commit publicly”), that was it! I use that strategy all the time! Like, when I lost weight with Weight Watchers (Hey, everyone! I’m counting points today!) and when I write a novel every year for NaNoWriMo (Hey, everyone! I am writing 50,000 words this month!).

Now here I am, thinking about me and Spartan Races in the same thought.

Which brings to mind another thought that I have used for years to keep myself from having to be athletic: How can I do a Spartan Race? I wear glasses! They might fall off and then what would I do?!

NOTE: I have never pretended to be the ‘outdoor type’. 😀