Category Archives: Guest Post

How to Choose Books to Read to Your Kids

Guest Post by Suzette Ladouceur

My father was a reader. I often saw him come into the living room in the evening after work with three books, sit on the sofa, and read one chapter in each book. He always had three books going at the same time.

I inherited his love for reading, and I am doing my best to instill that love of reading in my own children.

I began reading to them both from infancy. Simple books. Books with few words. Books with lots of colorful pictures.

Laura Strickland Art from MyCuteGraphicsBooks became something for us to look forward to. A time to sit and snuggle with Mom. A time to spend uninterrupted time together.

Now, Little Girl is 8 and Little Boy is 4. And just as they have “grown up,” our selection of books has also.

So how do I choose which books we are going to read?

1. Does the book line up with our personal beliefs/convictions?

Before reading a book with my children, I always read the back and inside cover if it is a title I am not familiar with. It is something I learned from my mother. Because words can root themselves deep within our hearts and minds, I am careful that what we read does not go against our personal beliefs and convictions.

2. Draw from my own reading experience

As I mentioned earlier, I was an avid reader growing up. Because I have an incredible list of books to draw from, I never have to worry about finding books for my kids to read or to read to them.

3. Know your own child

Little Girl likes to know there is something to look forward to at the end of a long term project.

Chapter books definitely fall into the category of long term project for her. I try to find great children’s classics or works by great authors that have been turned into movies. After completing a book, we then make an evening event of watching the movie complete with popcorn.

As a parent, I also know what concepts and situations my children have already been exposed to and which ones they are too young or are simply not read to meet head on yet. Knowing what is in the book and where children are work together in my decision to read a book to them.

4. Living Books

Lion Witch & Wardrobe ArtBecause we homeschool using a classical approach, discussion and conversations are a huge part of our method. Finding books that will stimulate conversations about topics, concepts, beliefs, and life lessons is important to me. A few months ago, we read C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which gave us plenty of opportunity to talk about life and beliefs.

5. Recommendations from friends

I have several friends who are also raising avid readers and our beliefs and convictions are pretty close. I know that if I am running low on inspiration of book titles, I can always ask for a recommendation and it will be a winner.

My ultimate goal is for my children to view reading as more than a subject in school but as a pathway to learning everything they need to know and want to know. A doorway to places around the world. A venue for broadening their vocabulary. And an enjoyable past time that will stay with them for years to come.

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About the Author

Suzette Ladouceur is a stay at home, homeschooling mother to two children, 8 and 4, and married to the love of her life for almost 12 years. You can learn more about her at her blogs The Joy of Homemaking (http://godlyrose.blogspot.com) and Coffee Mugs and Conversations (coffeemugsandconversations.com).

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The children reading art was created by Laura Strickland of My Cute Graphics. Free Clip Art

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5 Books to Help You Stop Throwing Your Future Away

Today Kayla Kamp shares a guest post with us about books she feels are important…

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I grew up in a small, conservative town in Oklahoma. As you can imagine that wasn’t the best incubator for a little environmentalist. Despite my mom’s best efforts to have good organic food in the house and tread lighter on the Earth, I wanted nothing to do with it until I was forced to take an environmental class. Long story short, this class totally changed my whole perspective on environmental issues, however, Oklahoma wasn’t the best place to cultivate the new passion I had.

Although there are many concrete environmental causes (not like global warming no one can see and the research is askew, but like water pollution, depleting forests, etc.) for some reason, reducing our waste and over consumption called my name. From that point on, I read every piece of information I could get my hands on. These are the books that changed my life forever.

Garbology by Edward Humes

I had read a lot of about environmental issues, but this book was the first I read that talked specifically about our waste management problems. No matter how many amazing books I read, this one will always have my heart. Humes is an archeologist and he starts the book talking about how we have always studied archeological ruins to study people of the past. Archeologists study and know the importance of the village artifacts to determine the culture and practices of the people inhabiting that village. The same will happen with us, except instead of pots, stone knives or arrowheads, they will study our landfills to see how we lived. Our trash, newspapers, plastic bottles, chip bags, anything we throw away doesn’t break down quickly, sometimes never, so future people will be able to study how we lived based on what we threw away. He doesn’t talk just about the problem but in the end, (I won’t give it away) he gave wonderful stories of people making a difference.

Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte

She shows us what happens to what we’ve thrown away and the very real impact it has on our lives and environment that will never go ‘away.’

If you don’t care for non-fiction, this book is for you. It has secrets, adventures of where our trash goes once it’s ‘away’, every character you possibly imagine from tin, plastic and paper men to ogres (CEOs) that encourage overconsumption and waste.

Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle by Tom Szaky, Albe Zakes

Oh man. The creativity and brilliance that flows through these pages is mind blowing. Thanks to this book, I have to really work not to hoard every single piece of trash that goes through my front door, so I can live the gloriousness that is this entire book. For those who don’t know TerraCycle, it makes consumer products from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. They started with vermicomposting and now you can ship in just about anything you have, including many unrecyclable packaging materials such as toothpaste tubes, bottles, Capri sun packages and they will turn it into something. such as a bag, toothbrush holder, etc. This book is filled with information about 9 major waste categories, their history, their lifecycle, what problems they present in the environment to create, recycle and once they are thrown away, plus creative ideas and tips to solve these problems. You can turn even the things that can’t be recycled back into something else useful, beautiful or practical.

The Zero Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst

I like to learn about environmental problems, the ins and outs of the politics behind them and why I should care about them, but I can’t stand a book that will complain about a problem without giving a solution. Although, none of the books I’ve mentioned so far fall under that category, this book goes above and beyond to give you solutions to your waste problems. Before I started on the journey to reuse more and waste less, I was just like the average American throwing away about 7 pounds of trash a day. I needed all the help I could get! But this book has wonderfully practical, every day tips to use less trash. Living in small Oklahoma towns, when I read other books like Garbology, I was so jealous of the opportunities people had in larger cities to reduce, reuse and recycle. There aren’t always a lot of environmentally friendly shopping options here, but this book still has many tips that anyone can do.

Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser

The history of materialism and how our society dealt with the accumulation of trash that came with it over time. Materialism was promoted to, of course, boost the economy. During the Great Depression advertisers told people that buying, even on credit would be good. During the Second World War, that began to change, even essentials were rationed for war. Once again, gardens and frugal living was encouraged. As I read, I began to realize the real difference between now and then isn’t infrastructure, manners, standards of living, but the simple idea that in the past, people didn’t seem to spend or waste money on things they neither needed or wanted since money was so hard to come by, or required such hard work to earn. When people did have the money, they were much more frugal. More recently, people recycle, donate, have yard sales, not because they don’t need those items, but they’re bored and want to buy the update version or something better.

We have blind ambition and are stuck in an endless cycle, a slave to our stuff. These books really help to illuminate that and give us ideas to change. They changed my life and how I spent my money. Please feel free to leave a comment with your favorite books regarding any environmental issues, or if you’ve read any of these books, please let us know how they made you feel.

About Kayla Kamp

Kayla Kamp PhotoKayla is on a mission to create awareness for the impacts our daily actions have on the planet and our fellow humans. She blogs at Ever Change Productions, which is edited by her cat, Cheerio. Readers are updated on the progress of her first documentary based in Stillwater, OK and other video projects,  along with world changing ideas, other environmental and local issues that grab her attention.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Instagram | Pinterest

Follow, or like any of Kayla’s social media to keep up to date on her musings and discoveries.

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Old Farmers Road

OLD FARMER'S ROAD tour

Author Isaiyan Morrison Shares with us

Five Things that Make a Good Supernatural Story

Awesome Characters That Do Awesome Things

Nothing says “Wow” like a good book with awesome characters. Have you ever sat back and thought about the characters after you finished a novel? Were they still on your mind hours later? Yes, this has happened to me plenty of times and I’m fortunate to have readers who’ve said the same things about the characters in my novel.

I make my characters do things. I don’t mean a simple routine or basic things. Each character has their own background which interweaves in the main plot of my novel.  In my writing cave, underneath my desk, in a small box, are folders for each character. (Yes, they have their own file.) Each file is filled with information about their history, their importance and how I want them to grow as a character.

Since the idea of love and falling for another isn’t top on their to-do list, I don’t need to spend much time throwing them in love triangles or developing romantic or perhaps sexual based scenes. This is just the basic stuff I’d expect in a paranormal romance novel.

Plot

A novel without a plot is a building without a foundation. Plot is the most important piece of a novel. If its riddle with holes, not connected…if it doesn’t make any sense to the reader then your novel will fall apart.

Originality/ Creativity

I want to read something that’s different from what I’ve already read. If it’s about vampires, give your novel something that’s different from other vampire novels out there in the market today.

Settings

Writers are the creator of worlds. We are ‘playing God’ in those worlds (so to speak.) Give your world that extra something that makes it attractive to the reader. A book without interesting settings is…well, a book without interesting settings. An author should put as much time into the setting as they do into their characters. Settings matter.

Ability to drag a reader in

I become bored quickly if a novel doesn’t drag me in. There are readers out there who, if the first chapter doesn’t interest them, abandon the book and move onto the next. I have more patience. I usually read about 100 pages before deciding to move on or stop.

 

Learn about her newest Young Adult/Supernatural Novel…

 

Synopsis:

Mysterious deaths have plagued the desolate, swamp filled area of Old Farmer’s Road for decades.

After moving to Minneapolis Cecilia is befriended by Isaac and Elsie, siblings who have kept a dark secret hidden about their past for countless years. As her body is taken over by a demonic force, she finds herself an Impa, a rare and supernatural creature who lives off the flesh and essence of her victims to stay alive.

With the bloated bodies of missing teens beginning to resurface, the voice of the ratchet old farmer’s voice inside her head begs for “Just One More.”

Consumed in the macabre environment, the urge to feed takes control over not only her body but her soul. Soon Cecilia comes to a realization that giving the voice exactly what It wants will never be enough.


 

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Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author:

Isaiyan Morrison was born and raised in Minnesota. She moved to San Diego, California while in the Navy. After serving four years of active duty, she moved to Los Angeles. After a few years, she moved back to Minnesota where she started to pursue her dream to be an author. Old Farmer’s Road is her fifth published novel. She now resides in Texas with her two cats, a pit bull dog, and two guinea pigs.

Find Isaiyan on these soical media sites:

Facebook | Website | Twitter | tsu | Goodreads Author Page


Blog Tour brought to you by: Bit’N Book Tours

 

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Is Truth Better than Fiction? Maybe…

Guest post by Nancy Cole Silverman, author of Beyond a Doubt

Author Photo Nancy Cole SilvermanFor some people things just seem to happen. By that I mean, unusual things, funny and some not so funny experiences, but all of them memorable and a bit out of the ordinary. The type of things books are written about. I often wonder if this is because writers experience life differently than others might. Perhaps because some writers chronicle their experiences in journals, or enjoy sharing their stories to such a degree that they create some magical energy field around themselves and the unusual is drawn to them like a magnet.

I’m one of those people. I was once the target of a group of rightwing extremists that moved into my home and declared it their own. That was scary. But, on the on the other end of the scale, I’ve also had more than my share of funny, light hearted experiences that beg to written about.

For instance…

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On the morning of August 28, 2014, I came home to find the perfect story on my doorstep. There wrapped in a plain, white FedEx box, was an unexpected package. It was addressed to me – or at least it had my last name on it – and no return address.

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Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

Tour Schedule
Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour of Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads by S.R Mallery. This is a collection of 11 short stories. Featuring stories from genres like mystery, history, romance and action, this anthology has been highly rated by readers all over the world and has 4.8 out of 5 rating on Goodreads. 
 
And I am so excited to share this book on my blog today. Also, Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads by S.R Mallery is only 99c/Rs. 63 from a limited time! 
 
~About the Book~
 #BlogTourAnnouncement and #Signup: Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads by S.R. Mallery {16-19 July}

Title and Author: Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads by S.R Mallery

No. of Pages: 276

Genre: Historical Fiction, Anthology, Short Stories, Romance, Mystery, Action

The eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other
Small Threads” combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and
range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to
freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

 Add to Goodreads: Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads by S.R Mallery
~Guest Post~

Lilac Reviews asked S. R. Mallery how this anthology came to be…

I’ve come to accept that when it comes to writing, I am a Plotter with a Pantser rising—in other words, my first instinct is to create at least a vague idea of a beginning, middle, and end, but before I delve in, I’m very open to any last minute plot/character changes.

So it was with this anthology. I had already been an avid quilt designer for over twenty years by the time I tried writing my very first fictional piece ever, all about the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911.  I called it “Sewing Can Be Dangerous,” and my second ‘passion’ was born. As I sat scribbling furiously in my studio, surrounded by quilts and fabrics, I not only finished that first story, a single lyric from the musical “Gypsy” started running through my brain: “Ya gotta have a gimmick.”
So, what could be my gimmick? How could I connect more stories together in an atypical way? I wondered, as I viewed my wall hangings, patchwork pillows, and sewing machine? Wham! It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks.  Why don’t I write stories that all have a small, repeated element, or ‘thread,’ no matter the time period, events, or characters?
A spontaneous Pantser idea had been hatched and loving history, I decided to research different time periods, focusing on how I could not only insert a sewing/craft idea into each story, I could also develop authentic characters alongside the plots. Thus began the saga of my different genres within this anthology.
As for marketing this different kind of collection, I remember getting quite a few lovely rejections from agents and small publishers, mostly saying they really liked the stories and the idea of the sewing connection, but how in the world could they market this?  Tickled, I laughed.  Too unique? Too eclectic? Perhaps so, yet those comments spurred me on. So I have been marketing the book as it is—an anthology, albeit a ‘unique’ one, and promoting those various genres up the Yin Yang.  Let the chips fall where they may…
~Buying Links~
Grab the kindle/Nook book at just $0.99 or Rs. 63!
Amazon IN: Kindle Book
Amazon US: Paperback | Kindle Book
~Meet the Author~

S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life. First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy.?Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

 
Website/Blog:  www.srmallery.com
Twitter:  @SarahMallery1
Pinterest:  (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)
~Giveaway~
 $25 Amazon Gift Card
Open Worldwide    Ends on 31st July
~Organized by~

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Visit with Lisa Belcastro

Thanks for inviting me to visit with Lilac Reviews. I’m a huge lilac fan, having acquired fourteen varieties so far. Now I can add “Lilac Reviews” to my collection.  😉

Autho Photo Lisa BelcastroI love connecting with readers, whether in person or through social media. As much as I appreciate and need the Internet and computer, I truly enjoy the one-on-one, or face-to-face, meetings. I wish there were more opportunities, but I do seize every chance I get.

Living on Martha’s Vineyard, we have a high season with lots of tourists, a.k.a. potential readers. With the exception of my Christmas novellas, I release my books in early summer, including my latest, A Dream for Love.

Talking and connecting on a personal level is the best way to introduce my books to all these lovely tourists looking for a souvenir to take home with them. Every Wednesday throughout the summer I set up a table at the Chilmark Flea Market. Hundreds of Island visitors stroll through the grounds, and I’m lucky enough to meet many of them and talk about their vacation, where they’re from, and what they like to read.

Enter the contest below and read an excerpt from the  her latest book

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Breathing Life Into the Story

Guest Post by Moira Keith

Author Photo Moira KeithUndoubtedly, every author wants their story to have life to it. Something that helps make it real to the reader no matter what the genre. It’s what helps readers feel invested in the tale the author created. Characters are key to that. As an author, I aspire to create someone who, at the very heart of their existence can incite you to cheer for them. Breathe a little life into them so they can leap off the page, if even just for a brief shining moment. A perfect example would be Jayde. She is a mash-up of friends and family members whose qualities and personalities I admire.
In my mind’s eye, Jayde is someone who knows her weakness, shares a deep love for those closest to her, and has a quiet strength that she doesn’t even realize she possesses. She surrounds herself with people who have suffered great loss, but have a more visible strength because it makes her feel safe in a world where very little is within her control.

Enter the contest below and follow the tour for excerpts from the book

Caleb, like most of my heroes, incorporates many things both attractive and infuriating in a man. Because after all, shouldn’t the hero always walk that line of driving you insane all the while drawing you closer to him? Caleb is a man who draws you to him. It’s deeper than what’s visible on the surface. He has a confidence to him that I admire, but at the same time there’s a quiet battle raging inside. Only those who know the truth of what he’s endured even know the inner war he fights.

Breathing life into my characters by borrowing from real life is a necessity in my opinion. In life, we are driven by emotion, sometimes more than logic or common sense. We are driven by passion, desire, hope, pain, fear, and hatred. Shouldn’t the characters in books be reflections of who we are? After all even they are only…human. 

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Grace Revealed: A Memoir

Guest post by Greg Archer

Lilac Reviews asked Greg if he would speak to us about writing about historical events with real people, especially family members.  Here is what he had to share…

Author Greg Archer PhotoWhen I set out to write Grace Revealed, I had a purpose: to take a step back from Hollywood and entertainment reporting and examine my Polish family’s life during of the 1940s. In the process, however, the signs that led to embark on this journey also, and quite surprisingly, led me to expose one of the most under-reported events of the 20th Century: Joseph Stalin’s mass deportation of nearly two million Polish citizens to the Siberian gulags and the life-and-death events that followed. My quest took a dramatic turn, too. As I walked an emotional tightrope between the past and the present, another serendipitous overseas adventure become a kind of saving grace and helped heal the ancestral soul.

In some ways, it may have also helped bring justice to my family and their forgotten Polish comrades.

Now that the book is out this year—75 years after Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror across Eastern Europe—a question was recently poised to me about the process of the book and what it entailed. As in, what was the process like to interview and then write about real people—mainly my family.

Enter the contest below and follow the tour for excerpts from the book

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Visiting with Carolynn Carey

Author Carolynn Carey is in my local writing group. As part of our PR and Mentoring program we have a monthly featured author. About 30 questions are given for the author to choose from. They are mostly centered around the craft and business of writing. I asked Carolyn if she would let me share her post on my blog also. She was happy to oblige. Readers may find out more about this gracious woman also.

I’m delighted to have been randomly selected to be ETCWA’s first featured author. Felita Daniels provided some thought-provoking questions, and I hope my responses will prove interesting and possibly helpful in some cases.

Author Photo Carolynn CareyMy initial response will actually touch on at least three of the questions: (1) How long have you been writing? (2) Have you entered or won any contests? What was your experience participating in these contests? (3) What conventions and conferences have you attended?

Although my attempts at writing go back many years, I can trace my serious efforts to around 1990 when I completed a Regency of around 100,000 words. I envisioned The Mysterious Merriana as being the first in a trilogy, so I went on to write the second, The Untamable Antonia, which I entered in the Romance Writers of America (RWA) 1991 Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers. That manuscript was a finalist, which provided motivation for me to attend that year’s RWA conference, which was held in New Orleans. That conference was the first time I’d been around a group of writers, and the experience was amazing. I learned so much in the workshops and just simply listening to other writers talk about their work ethics, their interactions with publishers, and so on.

Two years later, I finaled with another Regency, A Simple Lady, and again I went to the national conference, which again proved valuable for learning the craft and meeting people.

My third and last Golden Heart finalist came in 1996. Compromising Situations was the only one of my Golden Heart finalists to be
published, and that didn’t happen until 2007. The published book won the 2007 National Readers’ Choice Award in the Regency category. That book also won the 2008 Laurie Contest for Published Writers, Historical category.

In addition to the RWA National conferences, I’ve attended other national, regional, and local conferences and can honestly say I’ve gained something from each and every one. I highly recommend attending conferences when possible, as well as entering contests. The Smoky Mountain Romance Writers’ Laurie Contest for Unpublished Writers was instrumental in helping me get published initially. I won that contest in 2004 and the editor who judged the contemporary category liked and bought my book, A Summer Sentence, which became the first in the Barbourville series, a series I’m self-publishing today. (I’m happy to say that my self-published books are also winning and finaling in contests such as the HOLT Medallion contest sponsored by the Virginia Romance Writers.) I believe in entering contests because even if you don’t final or win, some new readers are exposed to your writing and may want to read more of your books.


Another of the questions posed by Felita involved how many books/short stories I’ve had published. Including my self-published books, I’ve had nine contemporary romance novels and one contemporary novella; one women’s fiction; two Regency novels and four Regency novellas. I just submitted a completed manuscript (a romantic suspense) to a publisher and I’ve started on another Barbourville book. I do want to mention, however, that I have four completed manuscripts (two of them being Golden Heart finalists) that I never intend to publish. I was still learning the craft, and those books simply are not written well enough to warrant being published. I’ve tried rewriting them and discovered they are not salvageable. I wish I had not been such a slow learner, but I’m thrilled those books are not out there in my name!

Another question involved the best writing advice I’ve ever received. That
happened at one of the RWA National conferences. One of the speakers said: “It takes three things to be published—talent, luck, and persistence.
But if you have persistence, it only takes one of the other two.” I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement, but even if you don’t accept it fully, you should keep in mind that without persistence, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.

I’ve enjoyed responding to Felita’s questions, and I hope some of my previous experiences may prove helpful to other writers.

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Creative Struggles

Our guest today is author Narissa Doumani, author of A Spacious Life

Before I wrote A Spacious Life I studied acting, and for a brief moment (read: a few years) tried to forge a career in the performing arts. I was offered many pieces of advice during that time, but the one I heard over and over was, ‘If you can think of anything else you could do and be happy, do it!’

Narissa Doumani PhotoSix years on and having now completed my first book, I get it. I really, truly get it. There are some special struggles us creative folk have to manage.

One of them, unfortunately, is money. How do you fund your work? A lucky few are paid handsomely for their creative talents, but the overwhelming majority of artists out there (some of whom are mind-blowingly talented) have to find supplementary channels of income.

I was lucky enough to have spent several years working as a model in commercial advertising campaigns, which meant I was sometimes paid extremely well for a day’s work. The work was unreliable, however, and at the end of the financial year I hadn’t earned as much as I could have in a corporate job with regular hours. Nevertheless, it was a blessing, because it gave me time to write.

Once you’ve found a way to fund your creative endeavors, the next challenge is to endure the internal struggle. Creating art can be soul-wrenching stuff, and writing a book is a long, solitary journey.

Enter the contest below and follow the tour for excerpts from the book

There were times I wanted to throw my laptop out the window and admit defeat—more times than I care to admit. I’m so glad I didn’t, but finishing my book was an act of sheer determination. I recently attended a talk by a panel of well-known authors, and was interested to hear they’d all experienced something similar. Yup, this writing biz is tougher than it looks to the casual observer.

Having overcome the artistic struggle (possibly, by this time, having also bled our savings account dry), us creatives are then crazy enough to release our work into a world where everyone, it seems, is an expert. Everyone who’s never written a book, that is! I’ve been lucky enough to receive some extraordinarily kind words from early readers and reviewers of my book, but no piece of art is to everyone’s taste; those who don’t resonate with your style or topic will find ways to let you know, and in no uncertain terms.

Tour Banner Spacious Life

Even our creative process is up for judgment. Only the other day I had a woman say to me, ‘It took you five years to write your book? You know, I heard about a course that teaches you to write one in two days. I can find out the details for you, if you like.’

While she meant well, she clearly has never sat down to write a book of her own. If she had, she would realize that there is no ‘one size fits all’ methodology. Writing a book is an intensely personal creative journey; for many journeys worth taking, shortcuts simply won’t do!

Don’t let any of this put you off, though. Artistic folk will understand when I say this: you can try to deny your natural creative streak, but the struggle of suppression will be far more torturous, for you are denying the truth of who you are. If you have the urge to write, then write! Or paint, sculpt, dance, sing or act…express your heart in whichever creative medium calls to you. And if you have a book in you, I wish you every success in bringing it out into the world. It will test you in ways you can’t imagine, but it will be well worth the journey.

Follow the rest of the tour for more about A Spacious Life: Memoir of a Mediator

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Blurb

‘Meditation and mindfulness are tools for working with the mind, but where they have led me is to a blossoming of the heart…’

Spacious Life CoverWhat does a spiritual seeker look like? Could you pick one in a lineup? If you said yes, chances are you weren’t imagining this meditating model. Born in Sydney, Australia, Narissa Doumani grew up well loved, well educated, and (reasonably) well dressed, but for years grappled with what she admits is ‘the ultimate first world problem’: how to be truly, deeply happy in any lasting way. In this intimate memoir, she explores the creative process, traverses the heights of romantic love and the despair of self-doubt, and comes face to face with her own fragile mortality. But it’s in a cave in a Thai forest, where she meets the Buddhist yogi who will become her spiritual guide, that she learns to unravel the messy states of mind and heart that had kept her from living a spacious life—and thereby begins to uncover the happiness, meaning, and connection for which she always yearned.

A Spacious Life is a heart-warming, honest, and at times surprisingly humorous look into the quest for meaning beyond materialism—and its relevance as an essential condition for well-being and fulfilment within modern-day life.

About the Author

Narissa Doumani is the student of a reclusive Thai yogi, and a dedicated practitioner of mindfulness, meditation, and the Buddhist path. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, Narissa spent nearly a decade working as a model and presenter in the world of commercial advertising, using the circumstances of her everyday life to cultivate clarity and peace of mind. Born into a Thai-Lebanese-Australia family, she is a strong advocate for diversity, tolerance, and finding one’s own authentic path. Her debut memoir, A Spacious Life, invites us all to do just that, and to live with meaning beyond the material.

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