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A Day of Firsts

One of my favorite parts of being an author is visiting schools to present programs and talk to the students. My desire is to make a difference in the students’ lives with my writing. The story accomplishes that, but when I can visit a school and talk with the students, I can convey my passions and take the lessons to a deeper level.

Today was a treat as I was invited to speak at CSA Central Middle School. Up until this point, I had spoken to groups of preschoolers, elementary students, adults and senior groups, but had not yet spoken at a middle or high school. The students were eager to listen and had some great questions.

Another first for today was that my husband, Paul Hoffman, and I were asked to speak together. We’d never done this before, but rocked out our program as well as sharing the slide remote control very well (we both attended kindergarten – a prerequisite for learning to share).

The CSA Central students are preparing to write historical fiction stories done in the “choose your own adventure” style. Paul and I were able to offer advice on creating a theme, how to gain inspiration, and outlining as well as some other handy writing tips.

At the end of the second group, one of the young ladies approached me with a broad smile on her face. She asked at what age did I start writing. She stated she had already started her writing career, creating stories for her younger brother to read. She also had something else to share, a characiture of my husband and I (seen at the top of the page). I was very honored that she shared this with us and allowed me to photograph it. Yet another first, a drawing of the two of us.

I never know what surprises await me when I speak, but they never disappoint.

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And it’s only January

It may only be January, but my calendar is filling up quickly. One look at my Event Page will attest to this fact and that is only half of the excitement coming this year.

While I am currently scheduling dates to present programs at schools, libraries and civic clubs, I am also learning Russian. This summer I will be going on a mission trip to Ukraine to teach ESL. But before I can see how well I can speak русский (that’s “Russian” in Russian), I will also be applying my acting skills in a sci-fi film that will be filmed right here in southern Indiana and to which my wonderfully talented husband is assisting with the screenplay.

All of this is stirring my creativity more and more. I have recently finished the rough draft of my latest children’s book, which I hope to have available later this year. In addition, I started crafting diffuser bracelets, which contain lava beads. You drip essential oil onto the lava beads and carry the scent with you throughout the day. Today I have immune defense on my bracelet. You have to be healthy to do all the things on my schedule! I add either signature beads, charms, or affirmations to the bracelet, sometimes adding all three. Like I said, the creativity is bursting out all over.

This is certainly not all of my adventures for 2019. Life is exciting with its roller coaster ride of ups and downs. But no matter what may come this year, let’s make it a good one. I know I am going to live it to the fullest.

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Power In Words

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21.

Words are powerful. With them, we can encourage someone or we can destroy them. We can speak hate or love. The words we read and hear influence our thoughts, our choices, our mindset.

Kyrian London has chosen to use her words to bring life. In her new e-mag, Brave Wings, she sets out to promote healing and empowerment through the written word.  Her new publication contains numerous uplifting and thought-provoking articles and interviews.

I was honored to be interviewed by Kyrian for her first edition regarding my work as an author. Like Kyrian, I seek to use my words to encourage and uplift others.

From time to time, we fail. We let hateful, discouraging words fly into the air and we wish we could pull them back, but we can’t. However, we can admit our mistake, speak words of healing and not of destruction and bring life to others. I encourage you to follow Kyrian’s publication, Brave Wings, and use your words for healing and empowerment, as well.

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Be Unique – St. Rose of Lima Catholic School

What an amazing time we had at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School last Friday! The students were thrilled that I had returned for a second time. I read Sigmund Stanley Spider Squared to the students and they loved it! Then I talked to them about being unique.

DSC03472_ws.JPGSo many people today are unsure of themselves and their uniqueness. They would rather just blend in with the crowd. Then we encounter folks who can’t seem to accept others who are different. Your uniqueness can help you become the leader, to stand out above the crowd. And when you accept others with their uniqueness, you can learn so much. Our diversity unites us as we work together. We each bring a unique set of talents, experiences, viewpoints, etc. to the table and when we realize that and accept our differences, we can do so much more and become so much more. The students enjoyed learning these truths and I hope took them home with them.

And, of course, we danced! What is a program with me without dancing? We danced to Meghan Trainor’s Feel Better When I’m Dancing.  The students had a blast moving to the beat and even doing the sprinkler as well as some voguing. Not only does dance make you smarter, but it releases endorphins and makes you a happier person. Needless to say, we had a room full of happy people when I left.

DSC03486_ws.JPGIf you would like to have me speak at your next event and add some fun while teaching important lessons, be sure to message me at danceforjoy63@gmail.com and I can get you booked. In the meantime, get up, dance a little, get smarter and happier!

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American Book Fest Finalist 2018!

American Book Fest has announced their winners and finalists for their 2018 American Fiction Awards.  Sigmund Stanley Spider Square was a finalist in the Children’s Fiction – Ages 3-6!

I feel honored to be a finalist. I am very proud of my book and the message it contains regarding disabilities. I will continue to write stories that educate, encourage and enlighten not only children, but adults, as well.