Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
How about some old-time motivation!
I reblogged this from the Gallivance blog site. http://gallivance.net/
I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.
Thanks James & Terri
Just before Christmas we lost a family treasure. My Great Aunt Barbara Reimann walked this earth for 95 full years. She was an amazing woman who inspired so many of us. She did not always have an easy life but she did not let that stop her. Her youthful vigour stayed with her until the end.
She was born Barbara Hoffman, the 10th child of a hardworking immigrant German family from Russia; my maternal grandmother’s younger sister. The last of her generation, she survived 6 brothers and 6 sisters. A loving mother to four children, she doted on her nine grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. She was also dearly loved by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. The incredible thing was that she remembered everyone’s name as well as their spouse and children’s names.
Aunt Barbara was the stalwart head of our large family; without her we feel somewhat leaderless. With her, there were six generations alive in my immediate family.
She was determined, bold, fearless and committed. Nothing stopped her. She learned to swim at age 75, travelled to Australia and New Zealand to celebrate her 85th birthday and drove her own car until she was 93. She made the wedding fruit cake for my mom and for me and my daughter used the same recipe for her wedding fruit ckae. She loved to cook, bake, quilt, sew, knit and crochet things for others. She always had something on the go. Everyone owns at least one fabulous afghan, sweater, quilt or tablecloth made by Aunt Barbara.
She loved to spend time with her many friends and family members sharing a cup of tea, (although she only drank hot water with lemon) telling stories or playing games. She was a champion scrabble player. She kept active bowling and floor curling up to the last year. She celebrated her 95th birthday with a huge party. She had a walker but seldom used it.
A principled woman of strong faith, Aunt Barbara spoke her mind, was always ready to listen and to give out her sage advice. Even if she disapproved of your actions, you still knew she loved you. She handed out big, warm, hugs indiscriminately.
She was one in a million and I was so fortunate to have had her in my life.
Rest in peace Aunt Barbara. You are flying with the angles now and no doubt making sure they fly in formation. We love you.
Today I am guest blogging over at T.B. Markinson’s blog Making My Mark
I recently met Darlene via her blog. Most of you know I love to travel, so when I discovered that her books were centered on traveling and introducing new people, places, and cultures to a younger audience I had to find out more. Darlene was kind enough to agree to guest post. I was inspired when I read her post and I hope you will be as well. And now here’s Darlene:
Drop by and make a comment.
While there, check out TB’s other blog site The 50 Year Project where she challenges herself to visit 192 countries, read 1,001 books, and watch the top 100 movies. I love this idea of listing places, books and movies one plans to experience in the next 50 years.
TB is also an author (boy do we have a lot in common!)
Check out her latest book Marionette
I am a huge fan of kids in general. I think they are totally amazing and I am constantly inspired by them. Here are some great examples of how young people make a difference.
I recently wrote about eight-year-old Teagan Read who wrote a book called Kya’s Treasure to raise money to help build a well and clean water system in Uganda. She managed to raise over $1700.00 for this project. Way to go Teagan! Here is the article in the local paper: http://www.delta-optimist.com/community/young-author-helps-kids-in-africa-1.672535
Teagan Read presents her donation to Steve and Linda Kovacs. photo by Gord Goble See more at: http://www.delta-optimist.com/community/young-author-helps-kids-in-africa-1.672535#sthash.KLICKQYu.dpuf
I have also blogged about eleven-year- old Erik Weibel from This Kid Reviews Books His book, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea has recently been published. Erik is a superkid as I mentioned in my blog post about him http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/introducing-a-superkid/ Recently his friend Renn had to undergo a serious operation and Erik came up with a great idea to raise money to help out Renn and his family. Erik is an avid reader who gets points for reading at his school. So he decided to create a Reading for Renn challenge for the month of October and had people sponser him. His goal was to make 150 points in October. By the end of October, Erik made a whopping 165 points. This young man never ceases to amaze me. Read more about Renn and the Reading for Renn challenge here: http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/2013/10/07/reading-for-renn/
Picture of Renn from The Brian of a Jedi
In honour of local soldiers who have lost their lives in a war, the Grade 12 students from the local high school, South Delta Senior Secondary, erected 41 crosses in a field at the entrance to our town. It is very moving. A fine tribute by the young people in our community.
You can see why I am so impressed by kids. They are the future and the future will be OK.
May we always remember those who have lost their lives to make this world a better place. Many of them were young people.
From the back cover:
A treasure! That is what Kya decides to search for one hot, sunny afternoon. Nobody has ever attempted such an important mission in her small village in Uganda before. Will she find what she is looking for? Come along on Kya’s adventure and help her find her very special treasure!
This book, written by an eight-year-old Canadian girl, is a refreshing story about a young African girl on an extraordinary quest. It highlights the differences between needs and wants by focusing on various objects that different cultures value. Used as a valuable teaching tool or a bedtime story, children of all ages are sure to enjoy this book.
This young woman is an inspiration for anyone, of any age, who has an idea or a dream!
According to an article in the Delta Optimist, Teagan was inspired after seeing a June story in the Optimist about a team of locals heading to Kamuli, Uganda to help build a well and clean water system at the Good Samaritan Community Nursery and Primary School. Since she enjoys drawing, painting and writing, she created her book, titled Kya’s Treasure, to help “the kids in Africa to have clean water.” She decided to write and illustrate this book to raise funds to help build wells in Kamuli, Uganda and in other areas of Africa. – See more at: http://www.delta-optimist.com/girl-creates-book-to-help-kids-in-africa-1.643554#sthash.eJUn5T0M.dpuf
The book has delightful illustrations and a wonderful message about what a treasure means to various individuals, represented by African animals.
Children will love this book, learn about another part of the world and perhaps be inspired to help those less fortunate themselves. Parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, will have fun reading it to the little ones.
Teagan’s mother told me that initially Teagan wanted to go to Africa with the team to help build the well. When she was told she was too young to go along, this enterprising young woman decided to write a book instead ,to help out. The proceeds from the sale of the book will go the team to help build the well in Kamuli, Uganda. I have no doubt Teagan will get to Africa herself one day.
The book is available at
Albany Books, Tsawwassen
Black Bond Books
I wish Teagan much luck with this delightful book. I am sure it is the first of many more to come.
This weekend I attended an art display featuring the work of Lea Price and her students. I have known Lea for over fifteen years and have always been impressed with her dedication to her art. She is seldom without a paint brush in her hand or an easel under her arm. She is another person whom I admire for not only following her dream, but sharing what she has learned with others. Lea has been a huge supporter and encourager of me and my creative efforts over the years.
This is her bio from her website where you can view more of her art http://www.leapriceartist.com/
Lea grew up in the United States, moving from the east coast to the west coast in mid 60’s. As an only child and being raised in an era of “children should be seen and not heard”, crayons, paper and pencils became her silent companions. Encouraged by both parents and teachers at school, she continued on her goal to become a productive, accomplished artist. Art Center College of Art and Design in Los Angeles attracted her based on its fine reputation and she majored in advertising illustration. After completing 3 years of study, Lea earned a Bachelor of Fine Art and headed north to Vancouver, BC, a place which she had visited during a holiday between semesters. Lea began working as a freelance illustrator and photographer mainly with advertising agencies and some notable personal clients including BC Forest Products and the UBC Botanical Gardens.
In the late eighties, Lea had the opportunity to further her studies and undertook three years at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, completing a Diploma of Fine Art with a concentration in ceramics, three dimensional work and mixed media. It also gave her the confidence to begin to let go of the commercial art field and move more towards fine art, sculpting and painting. Lea also began working and curating in galleries in Vancouver, Delta and White Rock, amercing herself totally in the art world and observing the styles and techniques of other artists.
Today she is painting full time in-between teaching children and adults in both group and private lessons. She also volunteers with the South Delta Artists Guild, helping to strengthen the art community.
A few more pictures from the current exhibition at the Tsawwassen Longhouse Gallery which runs until September 29.
Lea is an avid gardener and an animal lover. Be sure to check out the “Friends” gallery on her website to see her whimsical animal portraits.
Her students are lucky to be able to learn from her and I consider myself fortunate to call this talented woman my friend.
I have been blogging for over three years and the best thing I have discovered about blogging is the fabulous friends you make. One of my favourite blogging buddies is Erik Weibel. Erik is eleven years old and has a blog called thiskidreviewsbooks . He writes excellent reviews that are honest and entertaining. He has reviewed all three of my books, here, here and here. He is an amazing young man who has a wonderful way with words. Not only does he blog regularly, reads a lot, writes a monthly article in the local paper, has a black belt in TaeKwon-Do, he has also written and published a book. No wonder I call him Superkid!
His book is Tomato and Pea Book ONe: A Bad Idea
“For years the evil villain Wintergreen had tried to destroy super crime-stopper, Tomato and his sidekick, Pea, and take over planet Oarg. In a plan gone wrong, Wintergreen traps himself along with his arch-nemesis in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called “EAR-TH”. Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world. Hungry birds, enormous snakes and the giant inhabitants of EAR-TH stand between this brawling bunch of aliens and finding a way home.”
He is currently conducting a blog tour and if you want to read more about Erik’s first published novel, check out a review on the blog site of another blogging friend of mine, Beth Stillborn, where you can enter to win a copy of The Adventures of Tomato and Pea
This is what Mrs. Stillborn has to say about the book:
Why I like this book: It has adventure, it has wordplay, it has humor, and it has plot twist after plot twist. Erik is very good at making the reader relax, thinking everything is going to be all right, then at the next page turn, throwing an even greater obstacle in the way of the characters. To read more and to enter to win a copy of this fun book:
The book is for sale on Amazon (kindle and paperback) and CreateSpace (paperback) at the following links:
I wish this Superkid much success with his first published book. I know we will be hearing a lot more about him in the future. He is an inspIration to anyone regardless of age. I am pleased to be able to call him my friend!
I recently blogged about a wonderful visit I made to Tomsett Elementary School in Richmond, BC. You can read about it here.
A few weeks later I was invited back to the school by the teacher to view the storyboards the students had made for Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask that lined the hallways. I was blown away by the creativity of these grade 4 -5 students. Here are some pictures of the work put into this project. There were 26 of them and they were all very good. I am just showing you a sample.
They all included heartwarming and encouraging letters
I particularly love the camel pictures
And this one depicting a mosque
I am astounded by the thought and creativity put into these storyboards and touched by the letters. These students have inspired me to keep writing!
What inspires you to keep writing, or to do anything creative?
March came in like a lion this year; cold, rainy, windy and just plain ugly. While everyone around me complained, I reminded them that this was good, as it was a sure thing we would be blessed with nice weather at the end of March. Sure enough, we have had an amazing week of lovely warm sunny weather here on the west coast of Canada. This Easter weekend I have been for a walk on the beach three days in a row. So glad the theory works, every time.
Having four days off is wonderful, but to have four sunny days off on the “wet coast” is almost unheard of. It has been lovely. Everyone left work on Thursday in a happy mood. A satisfied client brought us orchids and a colleague provided Easter treats.
Besides going for walks on the beach, I have been meeting friends for tea and having coffee with hubby at various special places around town. Also enjoying the multitude of blooming daffodils and cherry trees in our neighborhood.
I have always loved the Easter season and the spirit of hope it evokes. Spring flowers are my favourite.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, however you celebrated it.
May your days be filled with much sunshine, flowers and hope.
I took Friday off of work to attend an all day eWomen Network workshop called How to be a Best Selling Author & Treat your Book as a Business. It was well worth the time spent. The workshop was facilitated by two amazing speakers, Teresa de Grosbois and Charmaine Hammond, both published authors and international speakers. The energy in the room was vibrant with many opportunities to meet new people and network. A group I belong to, CWILL BC (Children’s’ Writers and Illustrators of BC) had a display table and I was able to showcase my books and hand out book marks.
My head was spinning with all the valuable information I collected. Here are a few things I learned that I would like to share:
- You can’t make yourself famous.
- You need to connect with influential people and have them talk about your book.
- You need to get in relationship with influential people but be appropriate.
- Be aware of the ‘premature ask’.
- Blog your book before publication to grow a following.
- Be part of a community of reciprocity.
- Be authentic from a place of love and it will come back to you.
- Give yourself permission to start sloppily, you have to learn as you go.
- Have a theme, do a series, be an expert in your field.
- You need endorsements in order to stand out.
- Find people to collaborate with.
- Systemize everything to keep yourself organized and save time.
- Never speak for free but sometimes it’s OK to speak for no fee.
- Look for in-kind sponsorship and recognize your sponsors constantly.
- Speaking engagements are the best way to get your book out there.
- Contact libraries, schools, women’s conferences, community service clubs, book clubs, alumni etc.
- Create events that rock!
- A website and a blog are a must and you should be on some social media sites.
- Create an author page on Amazon, connect it to your blog, twitter, Facebook etc.
- Publishers look to see if you have a platform already.
Teresa de Grosbois offers workshops through Wildfire Workshops, ignite your dreams. I have summarized her three points on how to create a word of mouth epidemic using the analogy of a wildfire:
- Spark: What is the problem you want to solve for the world?
- Fuel: How passionate are you to be authentic?
- Wind: The relationships that will help you are the wind to grow your fire. Be the wind in someone else’s fire.
I left with some great new ideas but also feeling good that I am already doing some of these things. I do feel I am part of a community of reciprocity through my blog. I have so much support from my blog followers and I so appreciate it. If there is anything I can ever do for any of you, please let me know.
I will leave you with this poster I found on Facebook. I’m sorry but I don’t remember who posted it originally.
Do you feel that you are part of a community of reciprocity?