“Yours, Poetically” – Soar

 

I am the mountain springs that run in energetic flows towards destiny’s aim, I follow the stars of hope and give them my mirror to reflect their glow, I fight against hard rocks and gather precious shells with pearls, I stop in crystalline streams where the sun rests its beams and further pursue my course towards the deep blue sea of my eternity.

 

These are words from Soar, a poetic soul, a woman, an artist from Germany. She gives us insight into her life and her projects.

You are from Romania, but settled in Germany. Why Germany? What is the appeal?

I’ve always had a cosmopolitan character and embraced other cultures and civilizations at a soarvery young age. Yet, Germany was for me the last country in Europe to ever consider moving to, maybe because the only thing I knew in German twelve years ago was “Guten Tag”: – ). But, as I said once: “There are things we do that the human mind doesn’t understand, yet the same things are meant for the heart to fully comprehend”.

I decided to leave my Master’s studies, my job (back then I was teaching at a high school) and the coziness of my family for the wonderwall of love. It was harder than I thought it would be, as I had to cope with a different mentality and people. Still, had I had a second chance, I would have done the same.

You are a translator. How many languages do you speak and why did you decide to learn other languages?

I’ve been passionate about languages ever since I remember myself learning the first new words. It was just…fascinating to discover new words, new worlds and broaden my knowledge. My innocent “awe” for languages surprised my teachers back then, who encouraged me towards a professional career in this field. So I ended up with a university degree in translation and conference interpreting.

I still remember back in school, I was among the very few to have had friends abroad in many countries and to write a great number of letters to them. This helped in my teenage years to build up a character free of any biases, respectfully curious towards other countries, their people and culture, while still dearly preaching my own homeland’s wide array of traditions.

English was my very first true love, while French was my passionate “lover”:-) during my adolescence. I was very lucky to have had a beautiful “affaire” with France through a study scholarship at a French University. Italian was always a second mother tongue to me, while German…well, we are still having a steady, ongoing friendly relationship:-) On the side, it’s a pleasure to flirt with Spanish sometimes.

Does knowing other languages help with the poetry that you write and if so, how so?

Yes, very much, especially French and Italian due to their Latin roots.

As strange as it may sound (or read) I didn’t choose to write in English. It was the language that chose me to express its beauty. It was not Romanian, nor Italian, that would have been easier on my thoughts, but it is English that is easier on my heart and soul.

All the other languages are like a lifebelt to me when I am at loss for a certain word. Sometimes I “visit” two or three languages to find the needed “finesse” to express in the target language.

Transcribing emotions in poetry is at the same time a feather and a quagmire: it needs to be direct, passionate and precise, yet tender, mysterious and veiled to allow the readers to join in the course and bring their own emotions and passion along.

This is why I don’t embrace the spoken word current, where the artist’s performance almost chokes and takes away the viewers’ chance to participate, to follow the same course together with the writer and discover their own personal truths. Here the viewers’ choice is…to clap (or not) in the end.

I don’t want my readers to clap for me. I want them to share with me their passion in return every time they “read” me. I want them to find and live their own feelings in the most beautiful ways, through love and hope, which is the main message of my writings. And if that is intense, then my purpose is served.

 

Your latest humanitarian project is: “Love For Unicef – December 2013” (Poetry against infant death and poverty, together with the Child Support and Development Program by Unicef):

http://www.soaring-words.com/lang/en/2014/02/news-on-project-love-for-unicef/unicef

How did that come about? What was the purpose of doing this humanitarian effort?

“Love for Unicef” is a very dear initiative of mine which started two years ago when the public appreciation of my work was continuously growing. My words, my art was touching and moving many hearts, from different cultures and walks of life. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the applause, I wanted to do more, for I preach what I teach. And if love and hope are the cause, then they must be the course. That’s how my “LOVE for Unicef”, focusing on children and on their chance for a better future came into being.

I cannot think of a specific purpose or goal, except maybe the one already mentioned: “I believe that if you touch one heart, you have reached an entire life.” And is there a nobler purpose to find in poetry or in art if not the one to bring a spark of hope to those fragile, little human beings representing our future? Sometimes, one smile or one good word may be enough to awaken a silent heart or a wounded soul, if not to change a life.

My humanitarian project is small, maybe a drop of blue in the world’s sea where a lot of real help is needed. My poetry helps maybe 50-100 children per year, which is nothing compared to the so many others in need of help. Yet, sometimes the little things can mean everything.

 

Your latest video is a collaboration: Poetry and Beautiful People of the World (in collaboration with artists and fans from all over the world):

What was the inspiration behind that?

This is a great video which took about two years to accomplish and a lot of coping with shyness, lack of time and space disadvantages. The idea behind it is very obvious: it is about people, from different corners of the world, different nationalities and different activities, gathered together by one single thread which twines them as one: poetry.

I love it because it’s authentic and real, without any rehearsal or script. It is about spontaneous words referred to me as an artist or my work, but actually it is mainly about people expressing themselves, their own feelings and artistry. I thought I owe them a “live” poem in return, exclusively with and about themselves where they become the writer for a change, and poetry is the subject of reference. Their poem turned out very beautiful!

 

Where can people purchase your poetry books?soar-book

My books are available directly via

– The “Purchase” page of my website: www.soaring-words.com

– Amazon: http://www.amazon.de/Soar/e/B0082ANWF0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 and

– iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/de/artist/soar/id206137784

 

What can we expect from Soar in the coming year?

Yours, poetically is my new release of selected poems and quotes, some of which earned publication rights in various magazines in the UK and Germany: http://youtu.be/jxjlhiDP5Go. It is available in digital format and as a limited edition print as of 25th of March.

As for plans or ongoing projects, I wouldn’t like to divulge that yet… surprises are beautiful if they stay as such:-). I can only say that it will be about a lot of work with different artistic forms, from printed paper to recorded sound, motion pictures and animations.

But all in all, it is about people, love and life. And I hope you will join me on this path. “And if it’s a tear or a smile I evoke, it means we are human, it means we care and we love. It means we are both beautiful.”

 

I, Too, Sing America!

Poetry from Miwa Tsutsui

 

i am what i’m writing * by Miwa Tsutsui

I used to be something, but now I am nothing.

I used to think I’m something,

But later it turned out that I’m nothing.

Before I came to the US, I thought there as something made me myself,

but once I came here and lost language,

I became nothing.

 

 

Who Am I?

I’m what I speak,

What I write.

I was made of language.

If language is gone, Im nothing.

And I gradually learned language,

All my language, I borrowed.

I borrowed “totally” from my friend whose name is Maria.

I borrowed “very true” from psychology student in California.

All parts of my language is made up of these people and as I speak, as I write,

I start to disappear.

Because I am what I’m speaking.

I am what I’m writing.

I became so in this country.

I, too, sing America.

I, too, am America.

America…

All rights reserved
(c) Miwa Tsutsui
From the Denison University production
of I, Too, Sing America! (c) Dale Shields
Submitted to WMTS by Darlene Wallace who uses the apogee symphony 64 at guitar center for all of her musical projects.

Pomes By Jones

 

 

pomesbyjones-header

 

Geri Jones is a Wordsmith – gifted in the art of words and rhyme.  She has just published her first book of poetry and tell us about it, herself and her craft.

 

pomesbyjonesGeri, first off, your new book is an absolute visual delight.  Wonderful work with tying the into the poetry and the color selection for each page.  Did you do the layout and select the and colors yourself?
 

 

Pretty much yes.  A dear friend of mine painted the cover picture.  She is a great artist and has such great energy and she came up with the perfect picture for the book.   I picked out the photos from various photos I had taken myself – mostly limited by needing photos with a big enough resolution to make them quality pictures at that size.  There are also six photos which are from a photographer friend of mine who offered that I choose any pictures from her albums.  After that, I asked the book designers for colorful pages which blended in with the photos.  What you see in the book is the result – I was thrilled with the colors and the contrasting side borders they created.  I also asked that the color from the front be blended around to the back of the book.   I wrote the whole part about myself on the back of the book too – I just answered the questions and this is what flowed out!

 

Who is your audience for this publication?

 

Pretty much anyone who would like to have their spirits lifted and also ultimately to be inspired to help humanity to return to who we really are, and that is loving, giving, co-operative souls who love our home, Planet Earth.  Anyone can understand these messages – from youngsters to the elderly.  There are no cryptic messages, it is all plain to see the message.

 

Why did you create this book?  What was the purpose behind it?

 

The purpose is to get my message out.  As I mentioned above, humanity really is a loving, giving, co-operative race who love our home, Planet Earth.   I believe that we really do not need to fight amongst ourselves and that there is a peaceful way around every issue.   I also believe that we are currently going through a vibrational change and that once everyone awakens, we can start to live the dreamed for Heaven on Earth life.

 

 
We expect this is your first of many publications to come, is it not?heavenonearth

 

Yes indeed – I have so much more in me to put out as messages of love and light!

 

Were you the student who got all A’s in English and poetry classes?

 

Errrrr . . . . . . .  no!  In fact, I failed English Language and English Literature the first time around!!  (And only barely passed the second time!!!)

 

Not everyone can rhyme artistically – make rhymes that make sense, etc. – why are you so good at it?

 

It’s interesting – it feels like it is something easy and that surely everyone could do it. But I guess they cannot!  It seems to just happen naturally – I suppose it is something that is known as a gift.  As well as having the ability to shuffle words around to make the last ones in each line rhyme, I have some sort of sense of rhythm which makes the timing work in the rhythm.

 

Where are you from originally? 

 

I was born in Bath, England which is in the south west corner of the British Isles.

 

Did where you grew up and the things around you at that time have anything to do with developing your skills as a poet?

 

Bath is a very beautiful city with a lot of historic beauty what with the architecture.  The area is beautiful and there are some famed writers from Bath, Jane Austin for one.  However, for the years I lived there, I believed I had no gifts or talents whatsoever.  I left Bath at age 19 and haven’t lived there other than for visits, since.  I am now 52.  My gift didn’t appear until I was into my forties, so I don’t really think where I came from had anything much to do with developing my skills!!

 

You offer services to write “pomes” for people for special occasions.  How much information does someone need to give you in order to write such a pome? 

 

I ask people to write a paragraph or two saying exactly what they want to say to the person that the pome is for.   I say, write it from your heart, what do you want to say.  I then take it and twirl the words around (adding a few to make it rhyme) and the pome appears.   I have an example on my website www.pomesbyjones.com showing the paragraph someone wrote of she would like to say to her sister, and you can then see the result.  It is on the ‘order’ page.

 

What is your approach like?  How do you write such a thing?
 

 

I read through the paragraph(s) from the requesting person and pick out the key points. and then a combination of my brain and my spiritual or Higher Self, create the rest of it!!   I’m not really sure how I do it, it just happens once I put out the intention.

 

Is your approach different when you write a company slogan than when writing pomes?

 

Yes, somewhat I think.  When there isn’t so much human emotion involved (not to say there is none for a company slogan), I guess I use more of my intellect to create the slogan, but still I get help from my higher self.  Often, this sort of work takes longer.  I tend to need more information for this sort of project.

 

Where does your inspiration come from?  Some people need to go to a quiet place, some don’t.  Just curious about how you do what you do.  Are the words just there for you or do you have to search for them in order to manifest the phrases in your mind?  If you can, describe your creative process.

 

I do have to be in a very quiet area.  My home is such a place, but I also can go to a cabin or resort in the mountains or countryside somewhere to write.  When I am writing a Pome, such as the ones in the book, I decide on a title or a subject matter and put out the intention to The Universe.  Many times, without a whole lot of thought, the Pome is suddenly there in front of me.  I always use pencil and write in my creation book.  I have always written best using a pencil – and sharpener!!  Nothing new and fangled in the way of technology here!!   Many times, I barely need to change a word once it is written. Often times, a four verse Pome can be written in as little as 20 – 30 minutes!!  Occasionally less!!  As mentioned above, the ones for people’s birthdays and weddings etc, take a little thought to know the important points, etc. before getting started whereas these healing/spiritual/inspirational ones, come right from my Higher Self.

 

What’s in the future?  Are there more books, will there be pomes to music, greeting cards…?  What do we have to look forward to next?

 

Haha – I have some ideas alright.  I think another book in time.  Definitely Pomes to music are on the cards.  A musician friend of mine keeps saying we must do some to music – when the time is right, it will happen.  I also have been creating a few posters – pictures with Pomes written over them and in simple frames – short encouraging/inspirational Pomes which could be hung on any wall.   I also recently wrote a couple of short ones for a Wedding and an Anniversary – not personalized – so it can be sold in a gift shop to someone who wants a unique gift for friends.   Greeting cards are also a possibility.  I was talking to an artist at a networking meeting a short while ago and we thought maybe we could collaborate in making some beautiful cards as gifts.   The possibilities are unlimited really!!

 

geri-and-gizHow did you  meet Gizmo the Wonderdoglet?  What made you write a pome especially for him?

 
That’s another funny story!  I met Jen – Gizmo’s assistant/driver/carer/dogsbody; Jen, because of our cars!!  We both drive MINI Coopers and we met originally on a MINI forum, then connected on Facebook.  Soon, we realized that we lived less than 2 hours apart (many of our MINI friends live in far away places such as Florida, California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia, Georgia, etc., etc. and we don’t often get to meet up).  Once we realized that it was possible to drive to meet up, we made a plan to meet up on 4th July 2010.   The rest is history – we became firm friends fast and when Jen and Gizmo came to visit me at the farm where I live, and where I take care of horses, Giz met my favorite horse Chippee and THEY became firm friends!!  Such a wonderful friendship we all have!!!!

 
Here is a POME I wrote about a wonderful doglet who goes visiting people to brighten up their days! (WMTS Note: Gizmo is a therapy dog who happens to have over 11,000 fans on facebook!)

Gizmo, Wonder Doglet
gizmo-wave
Gizmo is a doglet with such epic depth.
Small in stature, but high in strong strength
Of character and will power, and love and joy,
He really is one extraordinary boy!

Those who meet him can’t help but say,
“Oh my goodness, you just made my day!”
One heck of a giving spirit indeed,
What more could a person ever want or need?

As “Wonder Doglet” he is sometimes known,
And so many friends, they now have grown,
To understand what it is to give.
Gizzy’s example is to give, love and live!

Gizzy, Gizmo, Wonder Doglet,
In my life, I simply have not met,
Any other such creature so wise, yet so small,
You are the mightiest fellow of all!

 

For more, and to order the book, visit http://pomesbyjones.com.

The Latina’s Bible by Sandra Guzman

 

We’re just sharing a wonderful book by Ms. Sandra Guzmán.  – Tomaca

 

My name is Sandra Guzmán, and I am an EMMY award winning journalist and author, former newspaper editor new_latinas_bible_bookand editor in chief of Latina magazine. I am also a proud first generation Latina trying to use my access to the publishing world to write works that inspire and lift Latina sisters and women of color.

 

The original critically acclaimed self-help book, The Latina’s Bible, was published in 2002 by Random House and it touched the lives of thousands of women across the nation.  It has been described as a gem. A reviewer said of the original, that “this is a book for all Latinas living in the U.S. Guzmán writes with much sisterly love and respect, pointing out ways Hispanic women can meld the best of Latin culture with feminist-based U.S. values. She fosters a self-reliant, take-charge attitude in her readers, while encouraging healthy relationships and communication with family.”

 

It’s a book geared toward US Hispanic women. Think Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Dolores Huerta, Eva Mendes, America Ferrara, your tías, hermanas and primas.  You. Me.

 

We speak English, and sometimes, dream in Español. We are a combination of two worlds that sometimes don’t coexist so easily. Sometimes we can’t be Mexican, Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, {insert Latin American national origin here} enough. Other times, we are too gringa! Only a Latina who has to balance the tradition of her Latino family while trying to be a modern woman in the gringo world can truly appreciate these lives.

 

My book has become a staple for young Latinas and is one of those rare books that combine good advice, hard-earned wisdom, and valuable mirroring. There are too few solid resources for Latinas that reflect our own experiences and that give voice to our challenges.

 

The New Latina’s Bible will be published by Seal Press, a boutique publishing house on the West Coast that publishes books by and for women. The new version has fourteen chapters that cover the gamut in our lives — from health, to sexuality, from love to family, from spirituality to career. The truth  is that Latinas view the world through a unique cultural prism and heal from a unique cultural perspective. Yet very little is published for the millions of American women who identify as Latinas. This book is one small attempt to have a conversation with them, and with each other.

 

In general, books for women of color are sparse. Women in their teens and twenties face that critical time in their lives when deep impacts can be made–both positive and negative.

 

It’s my hope that The New Latina’s Bible will continue to find it’s way into the hands of Latinas, those who are proud of their heritage and those who feel like they’ve been living relatively invisible lives; those who know about their tradition and customs and those for whom these birthrights have been nearly erased.
Sandra Guzman
Sandra Guzman

 

My new publisher has described this book as a treasure. We are hoping you will help to increase its visibility and recognition by spreading the word, buying it for yourself, a friend, and a cousin…

 

The truth is that few books in the market target the millions of US Latinas, women like you.  And the other truth is we heal differently.  We are new women, a rare beautiful breed who deserve self-help books that understand our uniqueness.

 

 

Want more info ladies and to buy the book?  Visit http://www.sandraguzman.com/

N. Dunham’s Visionary Trilogy

We see signs around us all the time, every day in fact.  I’m not talking about street signs and stop signs; I am talking about spiritual signs – the messages that we hear if we are listening and paying attention.  N. Dunham’s signs came to her in the form of the Red Tailed Hawk and she was listening.  She was guided to write stories that included the bird in a prominent way as it was the basis of her inspiration.  She works part-time, is a busy mom and a wife and in the midst of that she found the time to write and to create.  N. Dunham tells us about getting started with the first in a series that she is writing.   

 

Tell us about the story “Visionary.”

Visionary- Unleashed is the first story in a young adult fantasy series.  It’s centered around sixteen-year-old Aislinnvisionary Lee Murphy, who mistakenly unleashes her hidden ability to see things before they happen.  Little does she know that she’s part of a bigger system, she’s a visionary.  A visionary is someone who not only can see things before they happen, but they also have individual spirit animals based on their zodiac signs.  These spirit animals can provide visionaries with many skills and astounding abilities.

There are also three rare spirit animals, including the red-tailed hawk, and Aislinn may happen to have that as her spirit animal.  If she does in fact have the red-tailed hawk as her spirit animal, her future is unknown.

There is also a secret agency, whose soul mission is to terminate all visionaries and Aislinn has become their next target.  Luckily, Aislinn meets fellow visionary, Sebastian Martinelli, who saves her from precarious situations and introduces her to fellow visionaries.

 

Tell us about your Red Tailed Hawk experiences.

I love red tailed hawks.  It’s amazing to spot them soaring in the sky.  During the writing process of this book, I must have seen a red-tailed hawk almost once or twice daily.  I found it comforting to look up from driving and spot one with its white underbelly and hues of red shining in the sunlight.  Because of my fascination with red tailed hawks, I chose to make that specific animal one of the three rare spirit animals in the book.

 

This is the first book of a series.  How many will there be?

There are three books in the series.  I chose to do a trilogy so that the story can unravel more with each book.

 

Where did you get the whole visionary idea from? 

The idea just came to me as I put the pen to paper.  I originally had another name for the story – The Gift – but “Visionary” seemed to fit better.

 

Who is the book designed for and what do you expect people to get from reading it?

This book is a young adult fictional novel.  I would say that ages twelve and up would be suitable for this story.  I would hope that this story would encourage young adults to want to read more, as well as inspire one to dream and be creative.  I also share a love for nature and animals and hopefully this book may encourage others to respect nature and marvel at its beauty.

 

How long did it take you to write the first book?

It took roughly 7-8 months from start to finish.

 

When will the second one be released?

I hope to have the second book released by September 2013.

 

visionary-deer

How did you decide that self publishing was for you?

I tried traditional publishing in the beginning and realized that it was much more difficult than I had originally anticipated.  At first I was against self-publishing, but after I started researching it, I decided that it sounded achievable.  The idea of being able to be creative with my book such as cover picture, layout, etc. was also a huge selling point for me.

 

Have you always had the thought to write in the back of your mind?  What let you know that the time was right?

As a teen, I didn’t read much at all.  I started to read a lot more when I had children and discovered that I love books, all kinds of books.  This led me to think about what kinds of books I might enjoy.  I started having many ideas, but never had enough time to put the pen to paper.  Last year, when I started writing, the time just worked out.  I started writing late at night when the house was quiet and my ideas were able to flow.

 

Your website allows people to find their own “spirit” animal based on the stories that you have written.  Where do the definitions and descriptions come from?

Some of the descriptions come from fact based on the specific animal’s traits and some of the descriptions are purely fiction to entertain and drive the story. I wanted to enhance the traits from the spirit animals to provide each visionary with unique abilities.

 

Do you personally believe in “visionaries” or psychics? 

I believe that some people have psychic or strong intuitional abilities, but the idea of visionaries, in regards to my book, are purely fictional and for entertainment purposes.

 

What are your expectations or plans/dreams for your future career?

natalie

I would love to be able to continue writing full time.  I have other story ideas that I would love to put together if the future allows me to do so.

 

The book is available on sale on Amazon, IndieGo and other sites.  To get a link to purchase the book or to find out more information, visit N. Dunham’s Website:  http://www.ndunham.com/

Find out what is your Spirit Animal is!

N. Dunham on Facebook

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How is Your Emotional Health? – Susan Jane Smith

WMTS:  Susan Jane Smith is graciously giving away her book, Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth to Women Move the Soul readers.   We hope you accept your free copy, read it and then visit Susan’s website to learn about the other books that she has written and learn more about yourself, heal yourself and learn how to live a more balanced life if these are things you need to add.

Thank you Susan!

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A little about Susan:

Susan Jane Smith B.Sc. was a Psychotherapist in private practice from 1987 to 2008. She has used her twenty years experience with individuals and couples to produce information that she believes will be useful to those seeking to change their lives.

Susan believes that a person’s training and experience influences their thinking so she is including her details. This will allow you to see what has shaped the ideas in her books! Professionally she was a member (number 512667) of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy.

In 1996 she trained with the Family Mediators Association (member number FMA414) and in 1998 achieved Competency Recognition from the Legal Aid Board. Susan also became Accredited and a Professional Practice Consultant for the FMA. She was a member (number 0278) of the U.K. College of Family Mediators and a Professional Practice Consultant for the College until choosing to retire from mediation in 2001.

From 1987 to 1988 Susan studied at New Hampshire College in the U.S.A. for a Master of Science degree in Community Psychology. Her Father died one month before the end so she never did get that degree!

 

EHEW_book_3D-148x220

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EBOOK: 

Right click on the link and choose download or click link to open.

PDF Version:  Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth – PDF

KINDLE Version:  Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth – Kindle

 

 

 

Susan’s contact information:

 

Susan Jane Smith, B.SC

Counseling in the Forest Publishing

0044-1594-810642

 

www.EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth.co.uk

Books that add value to your life – now live on Kindle & ebook readers!

“Hugs & Emotional Wealth Change the World”

“Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection”

“Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth”

and the Little Book Series of Emotional Health For Emotional Wealth

 

Twitter @SusanJaneSmith

www.Goodreads.com 

You can find her on Linked In, and Google +

 www.facebook.com/EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth &

www.facebook.com/HealthyEmotions

 

Who Cried for the Little Boy? – Ellen Did.

Life’s journey is all about following the calling in hearts and our souls.  Ellen Huntington and her husband responded to a child in need.  They welcomed him into their home and cared for him as if he was one of their own.  The challenges they faced were heavy and extensive, but did not come without rewards.  But, it took time for rewards to come.  Meet Ellen Huntington and hear her story.  You will come to know how by opening her heart to a young man, God escorted her on a broader path of love, knowledge and understanding. 

 

ellenhuntingon“Who Cried for the Little Boy?” is the brutally honest chronicle of Ellen Huntington’s six-year journey to change the life of a troubled teen named Josh. From her initial excitement as she envisions being the instrument of change in a young life, through all the highs and lows, Ellen openly shares their hopes, setbacks, and discouragement. Ellen Huntington is a happily married mother of two when seventeen-year-old Josh enters her life. When she learns of the mistreatment that Josh suffered as a child, Ellen is appalled; she throws herself into making a difference in his life and the lives of the other students at the alternative school he attends. As Ellen addresses Josh’s past issues of abandonment, abuse, and dysfunction, she digs deep into her faith to survive in an unfamiliar world. She struggles to understand God’s plan as she discovers Josh’s needs. Josh moves into her home, and she and her husband Grant become Mom and Dad to the boy in addition to their own two sons. While other families may have collapsed due to the stress and strain that Josh’s issues and presence placed on the family structure, Ellen’s family held strong. After all the heart-wrenching struggles Ellen and Josh endure, will Ellen’s unconditional love be enough to help Josh find and sustain his new life, or will he forfeit it all?

 

Ellen, this is more than a book that you wrote, this was your actual experience.  What prompted you and your husband to bring this young man into your family?

I was a mentor at an alternative school and Josh was one of the boys in that group.  As my husband Grant and I got to know Josh he was very interested in spending time with us.  He never had a mom and dad.  I honestly never intended to move a student into our home, but after Josh’s grandpa hit him one evening, my husband told Josh he could stay with us as long as he needed to. We weren’t prepared for how our life was about to change!

 

 

You talk about the stress and strain on you and your family because of Josh’s issues.  What gave you the strength to keep in the family and to help him?

When God calls me to do something I am determined to follow his lead and in the past have seen Him bless my efforts – I knew God had a plan with Josh as well.  Looking back I am so thankful that Matt and Seth were supportive and had such understanding of what their parents were doing!

 

Did your sons see him as an “outsider” and a problem, or were they accepting of him?

Because I was a youth director, my boys were used to kids being at our house for Bible studies or to hang out.  Both boys enjoyed being part of such a large youth group.  Matt was in his first year of college when Josh moved in.  At first he didn’t care so much for Josh being in his space when he returned home for college visits.  Seth was in his junior year of high school and a very independent young man.  At first I do believe it was an adjustment for both Matt and Seth.  As time passed they accepted Josh but mainly supported what their parents were doing.

 

You said that throughout this process, you kept asking for God’s acknowledgement that you were doing the right thing.  What were some of the ways you received his acknowledgement?

The book covers the first six years.  In the fourth year I began to see our influence on Josh not being as successful.  Josh’s behavior made life very tough at times.  I was making sure this was where God wanted me and of course was praying for help!!  The first time I asked for confirmation – a word from God but not through anyone in my family – it came through a friend.  She had been doing a Bible study that week, made notes of things she learned and shared that with me.  God couldn’t have been more clear with confirming I needed to be in Josh’s life.

If you could go back, would have taken this young man into your family and gone through what you went through?

I’ve been asked that a lot!  At this point in my life I’d say yes because Josh needed help going through some extremely rough events in his life.  We helped him begin the process of healing. I’m not sure how I’d answered this question in the midst of the worst parts though.

 

The years that you spent with this young man prompted you to write a book about it.  Why did you feel compelled to write this book?

I knew I had an unbelievable story to tell.  One that many people would be able to relate to and be relived to know they weren’t alone.  Also, it is a story that would prompt others to make a difference by stepping out of their comfort zone.  I believe God will use this book to comfort and challenge people as well as to answer questions we are asking him.

 

The book was written and sat on a shelf (so to speak) for about four years.  Why did it sit and what made you decide to get it out there when you did? 

Where do you publish?  What does it take?  I knew zero about getting a book published. I wanted to take pride in the finished product!  It has been a learning experience and now I’m ready to help others if needed.  I’m still learning the marketing side.

A side note on the book – my son Matt designed the book cover and he did a great job!  I love it!

 

People have found this book to be extremely helpful in dealing with children.  What is some of the specific feedback that you’ve gotten and from what kind of people? 

There’s been so many comments it’s hard to pick the ones to talk about:

The things I hear consistently are:

  • When’s the next book, I want to hear what happens next.
  • People feel the emotions I’m feeling – my voice is strong.  It is like they are sitting across from me and I am telling them my story!
  • Readers have a understanding of abuse through scriptures I studied.
  • The book gives hopes and encouragement.
  • What a story of unconditional love!

 

Can you describe or explain what you’ve learned about yourself, your own life and your connection to God from this entire experience?

I learned I’m determined to follow God, even when things are extremely hard!  When I asked God for answers I always followed it up with “no matter what I will trust you!” Strong faith is a must in times of trial! Mine was put to the test! Bible study and prayer help us to know God! I’m thankful I had that foundation.

Even though I’d worked with hundreds of students I had a very limited knowledge of child abuse and its effects.  One in four girls and one in five boys are abused before the age of 18.  That is a large group of people!  They are looking for answers and help!

God will qualify the ones he calls if we follow and trust him.  I’ve never been let down!

 

And, finally, what’s next?  I know that people have asked you to get more involved in a larger way to help guide others.  Is that part of the plan?

Good Question – what’s next!  I’m trying to get my book into the hands of those who need it and hope to reach many with its message.

 

Check out the book “Who Cried for the Little Boy” here:   Www.Ellenhuntingtonauthor.com

Keep Wishing – Inspiration From A Very Special Mom

 

 

Submitted by Proud Daughter – Melissa Woodson

My mom has been a special education teacher for over 30 years. But “special” doesn’t even begin to describe her. When I think about the thousands of lives she’s touched, from her early intervention work with infants to teaching 6th graders how to become their own advocates, I am truly amazed. And what makes her even more special is the fact that so many of these students send her updates: senior pictures, graduation invitations, job announcements. To find evidence of the impact she’s had, look no further than her students themselves.

 

After 30 years of service, mom decided to take an early retirement and pursue her dream of becoming an author. Growing up, I had always known that my mom was a great author. Every year on our birthdays, she wrote us each a letter about the last year of our lives: our achievements and successes boasted about in the way only a mother can deliver. Proud. Heartfelt. Honest. Those letters are some of my most treasured possessions.

 

But with Mom’s creative mind and newfound free time–something she’d never had in the past–she was ready to take her writing to the next level. And so she sat down, put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and poured herself into her first novel, Identity Issues And then she edited. And rewrote. And attended writer’s groups. And conferences. Edited some more. Rewrote again. Secured an editor and left her precious work in capable hands. All the while, my 50-something mother never blinked at the idea that here she was, in her retirement, a time when most people rest, reinventing herself in a completely new career. This wasn’t just something she was doing for fun; she wanted to get better–she wanted success.

 

Mom and Sis

With her first novel under her belt, she asked her editor for advice: What can I do to get better? The answer: write more. And so she did. Mom turned around and did it again, churning through a similarly joyful and treacherous process to write The Wrong Guy, a murder mystery based on the Michigan Murders, a series of murders of college coeds while she attended Eastern Michigan University. The novel was published in 2011 by Echelon Press. In her late 50s, Mom had achieved a lifelong dream: to become a published author.

 

Did I mention that while she was busy writing and loving every moment, she also missed teaching? So in the midst of writing, editing and publishing novels, Mom has been back in the classroom part time, unable to leave her teacher self fully behind.

 

As a young woman, I’ve often struggled with my own identity issues, wondering where I fit in the world, what I want out of life and how I can feel fulfilled. What I’ve learned from my mom is that life is always what you make of it. Your life can be full or it can be empty, but it’s up to you to fill it up. Fill it with the things that make your heart happy, and if you don’t know what those things are, never ever stop looking. Life is about discovery. No matter how old or young you are, continue discovering, and believe you’ll make it to the place you’re meant to go. The difference between wishing and realizing your wishes is that when it takes longer for your wish to come true, you care so much about that wish that you’ll do all you can to make it happen.

 

Mom’s first novel, Identity Issues, is set for publication in early October 2012 as part of a five book series. I couldn’t be prouder to be her daughter!

 

Melissa Woodson is the community manager for @WashULaw, a premier program for foreign attorneys to earn their LLMOnline, offered through Washington University in St. Louis. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking and making half-baked attempts at training her dog.

 

E. Diann Cook – Always Make Sure God’s Beauty is Showing

E. Diann Cook is an artist.  She’s also a mom who is so very proud of her son who just graduated from Savannah School of Art.  They are working on a joint project together and creating a new children’s book.  Ms. Cook is a college professor and has been commissioned many times over to create art at a number of prominent locations in Connecticut.

 

 

How did you become interested in art?

On the first day of kindergarten, the teacher bribed me to stay by bringing out the finger paints.  Once I got into them, I never noticed my mother had left. I was hooked!

 

 

Who inspired you most as a child and why?

The strong women in my family have provided my most vivid memories. My mother and grandmother were always there to support me even when my father could not. They made every event special. My mother always found a way to make mealtime a party, especially when the budget was tight. She could turn hot dogs and beans into a feast. I watched my grandmother strive to maintain her independence even after becoming a double amputee. They showed my siblings and me how to view life’s circumstances as a challenge for success.

 

 

You’ve done a lot of work with teens and children.  Is that fulfilling for you?  Would you like to do more of that work in the future?

 I am the oldest of six and I have always had the responsibility of helping with a child’s development. I began working with youth while I was still young. It’s always been a pleasure seeing others reach their goals. Writing children’s books that focus on life lessons is a wonderful way for me to reach a larger youth population.

 

 

Tell people why art is so crucial for children.

The Arts help us to see each other’s creativity which is beneficial for understanding some of our similarities and our differences. We all need a firm foundation to help us grow strong, so the perfect time to introduce the skills we need, and to nurture creativity is during childhood. The early years are the ones that usually solidify our development.

 

 

What was the biggest obstacle you ever faced in your art life or your life and general and how did you overcome it?

I believe that we all have gifts and talents and your passion for them helps you develop them into productive skills to support you through life. There have been times when others have misused my skills for their own selfish needs. I will always allow my gifts to help others. I will also always be mindful that no good deed goes unpunished as well as, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice….

 

 

You’ve worked with a number of nonprofits.  What is that experience like and are they beneficial to the community in terms of setting up art programs?

Every community needs non profits for many reasons; youth development, housing, energy assistance, etc. Since they are mostly supported by government, private donors, and various grants, there is the possibility that the non profits find themselves having to produce quantity over quality. I would rather see 10 lasting successes out of 200 than 150 short term hopefuls. Quality counts.

 

Looking for Writers

We seek women writers who want to write or talk about anything and everything that impacts women.

We have an easy job of being ourselves, but we have a tough job of nurturing everyone around us and bringing peace and love to the planet.  Only a woman can do that.

There is an old saying “behind every great man, there is a woman.”  I add to that “a man can only be great with a woman behind him.”  We are the other end of the scale that brings balance to the male ego.  The two go hand in hand.

We are the life givers, we are the creators, we are the nurturers.  We are truly the ones that move the soul and move the heart.  We are the bearers of peace.  It is our sons and our husbands that don’t want to see die in war, thus it is us that must influence these things and soften the hearts of men.

We are looking for writers to write about anything a woman has to face, create, suffer, change, share or do.  We are all one heart, one soul.  Please send an email if you are interested in writing for us:  info@tgovan.com.

Thanks!

Tomaca