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“The Heart of Teaching Tour” with author John Fioravanti


I’m grateful to Bette A. Stevens, my host of this fifth post of THE HEART OF TEACHING TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules of 4WillsPublishing who arranged it all! The full lineup for this tour can be found @ 4WillsPublishing Events Page

Book Cover-2“Their success and their well-being became important to me personally. It had become less about me and my struggles, and more about them and theirs.”

Excerpt from John Fioravanti: A Personal Journey To The Heart of Teaching.

At the very beginning of my career, my fear of failure set the priorities for my day-to-day work in the classroom. As my hard work began to reap dividends, it became easier to control the fear and the anxiety. That made it easier for me to focus more of my attention on my students—as individuals with unique personalities, gifts, and needs.

I had always been focused on their academic success. I realized that their success, or lack of it, was at least partially attributable to my teaching. As I became a father myself, I was able to see these students as something other than just students. They were sons and daughters and I began to look at them differently—in a more caring way.

Rightly or wrongly, I was not the kind of teacher who dealt with academic or behavioural issues in a confrontational way. I had tried that on more than one occasion, and found it to end in a lose-lose scenario. It was really a bad scene if I tried it in front of the class. At some point, it twigged on me to deal with the more serious issues privately with a student.

Since it is next to impossible to discuss something privately with a student inside the classroom, I would give the class some seatwork, take the student into the hallway, and close the door. I would smile, motion the student to the middle of the corridor, while I leaned my back against the wall. I arranged us this way so the student wouldn’t feel boxed in or threatened. I would then ask, in a kindly tone, what was causing the issue? I could tell by the surprised look I often got, that they were expecting a tongue-lashing. I discovered that my approach worked for me. Even if the student didn’t want to disclose the problem, they knew that I cared enough to ask, and that I was expecting an improved performance from them.

To me, confrontation between a teacher and student is all about power. A power struggle of this nature always ends badly. I’ve seen it too many times. I don’t think we should teach young people to solve issues of conflict by way of confrontation. Conflict is inevitable, and I believe that people can keep cool heads so that solutions can be found that turn a conflict situation into a “win-win” for everyone. This is what we need to teach young people.

Author Bio:

Author John Fioravanti

Author John Fioravanti

John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

Contacts:

Book Purchase Links:

banner 4WillsPublishingToday’s host: Bette A. Stevens at 4writersandreaders

“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

 

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Daffodils at the Farmstead


AMAZING WEEK bas 2015 DaffodilsDaffodils donned their May bonnets here at ‘The Farmstead’ in Central Maine today. Wishing you all an amazing week, my friends! ~ Bette A. Stevens

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Hairy Woodpecker HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens


NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

Hairy Woodpecker HAIKU

 

Inspired!

While sipping breakfast tea and finishing a journal entry, I glanced up at the window and spotted striking black and white flutters darting among the lilac branches. The first feathered friend was a downy woodpecker. By the time I grabbed the camera, he had disappeared and a nearly identical but larger version, a hairy woodpecker, hung upside down, pecking the last of winter’s crumbs from the suet cage. They’re sure to be back to dine, but next time it will be on succulent spring favorites—buds and bugs. Inspiring. Ah, spring! ~ Bette A. Stevens

What’s inspiring you?

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Author Bethany Turner on Tour


“Pay It Foward Week” at Rave Reviews Book Club

“Hi, Bethany. It’s great to be part of your Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Tour. Can’t wait to find out more about you and about ‘pay it forward’ too!” ~ Bette A. Stevens

Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour, featuring Bethany Turner.

Author and Rave Reviews Book Club member on "Paying it forward."

Author and Rave Reviews Book Club member BETHANY TURNER.

 

 

 

I don’t know that I have had many experiences throughout this whole publishing journey of mine which have meant as much to me as the introduction of Rave Reviews Book Club’s Pay It Forward Week. Or, to be precise, Bethany Turner Pay It Forward Week. I was humbled and moved to learn my name would be associated with something so spectacular. I was not, however, at all surprised that Rave Reviews Book Club was choosing to take on something so supportive and groundbreaking.

That is just what RRBC does.

And though Pay It Forward Week may include my name in the title, it should be known that in principle, Pay It Forward Week has always been a product of Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC).

I’m very open about the fact that I am not a fan of self-promotion. I don’t mind when you do it, I just personally hate to promote myself. However, I know it is necessary if I ever hope for anyone to read my work – and I am proud of my work. But do you know what I love? I love promoting my friends. I love to find something I am passionate about and then shout it from the rooftops, determined not to give up until everyone is as passionate about it as I am. I love that! For that reason, and a million others, I have found a home at RRBC. I work hard to promote my work, but I also get to work hard to promote the work of a group of people I care about. And guess what? They help me promote my work.

One week in particular—while I was having a big promotion—some of my friends at RRBC went above and beyond in their support. All the while, I promoted myself like crazy. By the end of the week, I thought I was tired of promotion and marketing, and I considered taking a week off. But then I realized…I wasn’t tired of promotion. Only self-promotion. Rather than take a week off, I took a week to promote some of the authors who had helped me out, and put aside my own self-promotion for the entire week. And it was the most wonderful week! I enjoyed every moment of it. And guess what? Unsurprisingly, most of the authors who had been the most supportive are members of Rave Reviews Book Club.

I’m incredibly proud to be a member of RRBC. Promoting myself will probably never be easy for me. But promoting RRBC and its amazing members? That’s something I am passionate about, and I intend to shout it from the rooftops, determined not to give up until everyone is as passionate about it as I am.

Books by Bethany Turner

I've_Loved_These_Day_Cover_for_Kindle (2) BETHANY TURNERScenes_From_Highland_Cover_for_Kindle (2) BETHANY TURNERTwo_Thousand_Years_Cover_for_Kindle (2) BETHANY TURNER

 

 

 

 

 


Check out Bethany’s Books on Amazon:

 

Find  & Follow Bethany  Online!

 

 

 

 

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GENERATION GAP – GROWING UP BOOMER


Bette A. Stevens:

I grew up Boomer too… In fact, I write books about Boomers. I thoroughly enjoyed Marilyn Armstrong’s post and hope you do too!  Marilyn has also written a fascinating memoir: The 12-Foot Teepee. If you enjoy this post, I’m sure you’ll enjoy her book as well. That’s how I got to know Marilyn Armstrong. I not only follow her fabulous blog, I’ve been honored to meet her in the flesh! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on SERENDIPITY:

My generation — the post-war baby boomers — had an unusually high percentage of dysfunctional relationships with parents. I thought it was a self-selecting sample. I had a pretty awful childhood. My father was a sociopath who should never have been allowed near children, much less to be a parent. Maybe I was just attracted to kids like me.

1963. I'm in the front, in the middle, arm on my knee. 1963. I’m in the front, in the middle, arm on my knee.

Blogging has given me a broader perspective. Younger generations have issues with parents, but they can talk, if both sides try. In my growing-up years, not so much.

“The Generation Gap” was a laugh line for comedians, a mantra for the young. Most people blew it off as media hype. It was not all hype. My parents, Garry’s parents, most parents of the boomer generation grew up during the world wars. With the Great Depression in between. They learned to be…

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Emerson’s Attic Series


Bette A. Stevens:

Delighted to find author Kathleen Andrews Davis on BOOK CHAT. I’ve interviewed her here on my blog and read THE BLUE VELVET—thoroughly enjoyed it. I know you will too! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on BOOK CHAT:

Books One and Two

By Kathleen Andrews Davis

The Blue Velvet Book One – THE BLUE VELVET

In Book One we meet Emerson Mcbride, a typical American teenager who does the same things any other teen would do. That is, until she is sent up to clean the attic. What happens there will surprise you.

Emerson finds herself on her back in a large room, not her attic.  A strange voice keeps telling her to wake up and is calling her Emma. Lizzy is a housemaid in Harrington Hall.. Though Emerson is confused about everything, Lizzy helps direct her through her household chores and daily life in this huge manor..

Emerson is living in another time and has no idea how she got there, or how to get back home.  What’s more, she is becoming suspicious of the eldest son of the owner of the Manor.

Book Two – SMOKE AND MIRRORSSmoke and Mirrors

In…

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Micki Peluso


Micki Peluso and book signing

 

Mick Peluso is the author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang—an outstanding memoir:

“Micki Peluso takes readers along on her journey through life as she deals with the tragedy of the imminent death of one of her six children in a story that will bring tears—not only of immeasurable sadness—but also those wonderful tears of the joys and hilarity of a family’s life. As I traveled with Micki along life’s highway and byways, I not only met her wonderful family and friends, I felt like I was one of them. That’s what I call great writing! From antics to dilemmas, you won’t want to miss out on the laughter, the love, the sorrows, the courage or the tears as Peluso poignantly weaves a well-written memoir that will not be forgotten in AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Let’s get ready to meet Micki

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an outstanding author; and once you’ve met her, I invite you to grab a copy of her book and get reading. You’ll be glad you did!

Hi, Micki. I’m delighted to have you with us on 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely loved …And the Whippoorwill Sang. I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your memoir and to find out what you’re up to now. To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I almost wanted to be a ‘Super Hero’ as a child, save the world and help people; perhaps as a missionary or Peace Corps worker in Third World countries. Plans for that and college collapsed along with my parents’ divorce. Instead my ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type mother talked my boyfriend and me into eloping in our teens with her and her new boyfriend. Get lemons, make lemonade. We went on to have six children and 10 grandchildren and now three great grandkids and I have become a ‘Soupy Hero,’ according to one small grandson referring to my medicinal chicken soup.

How about your family?

My husband and I (mostly me) raised six children, each a year or two apart. He came from a large family which I loved. Our kids were our life and because I kept journals off and on, it gave me lots of fodder for a writing career. It was in the late 1950s through to the mid-eighties before most of them were grown . . . Except for one, our 14-year-old daughter Noelle, the lively, comical beauty that wove the fabric of our family together, who was killed by a drunk (DWI) driver in 1981.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?

Like many writers I started with poems and did a lot of creative writing throughout school. With so many kids, I put away most writing until Noelle was killed. As a family of eight we were so shocked and devastated that none of us could speak of her. I turned to writing as a way of expressing my grief. I wrote a short story of the incident which was published by Victimology; an International Journal, along with several poems. That led to slice of life, usually humorous stories about my family, which were published in my daily newspaper. I then became a staff writer and journalist for our biweekly newspaper, writing news items, analysis, interviews and commentary.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”?

Whippoorwill Cover & BUY BUTTONThis lively story opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes. There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks away from the family’s 100 year old farmhouse, complete with ghosts and visiting varmints of all varieties. Micki narrates happier days, using their delightful past to confront an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of their children is fighting for life in the hospital; in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarks upon an unbearable journey to the other side of grief and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .

To weep . . .

   To Laugh . . .

       To Grieve . . .

           To Dance . . .

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

What prompted you to write your memoir?

It was five years after the tragedy when I began the first half of my book, a funny, bittersweet family story, celebrating Noelle’s life and keeping my deathbed promise to her as she lay dying. I was mentored by Bonnie Golightly, a Writer’s Digest teacher who had been part of the ‘Truman Capote crowd’ in her younger days. She wrote a famous best-selling novel plus scripts for several films and other novels. Life dealt another blow and I nearly died from two heart attacks leaving me with half a heart, while Bonnie contracted lung cancer which quickly took her life. The book was on hold until 2006 when I was able to break through the PTSD memory blocks of the times right before Noelle’s death.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

I have two favorite lines from the book, one funny yet an omen of what was to come, and one which ties into the book’s title.

Noelle and her sister Kelly had just spent all their babysitting money on clothing and planned to go for a bike ride. Noelle had put all the clothes that she purchased on at the same time. Kelly was shocked and asked her what in the world she was doing. Noelle replied that she couldn’t make up her mind. Kelly told her she should be saving her them for a special day. “I think every day is special,” Noelle replied.

The other favorite line was written shortly after Noelle’s death:

“The Whippoorwill swooped down the mountains into the trees singing its mournful dirge of summer’s loss, even as I cried mine.’”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were my children and while I could not love one more than the other each is a different type of love. A firstborn child’s holds a special place in a mother’s heart and the last child, the baby of the family also holds a special place. Different personalities among the children also cause different types of bonding, yet the love for each of them is love for all of them. It’s common and normal to idolize a lost family member and I tried hard not to do that in this book.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I began the story from the ICU waiting room and flashed back to when I eloped at age 17. I placed short pieces in the ICU in first person, exposing my fears and heartache up until the past merged into the present. These chapters in ICU were the hardest to write along with the ending — both of which I kept as short as possible. Actually the book ends on a good note as something special happens—something sent as a gift from Noelle.

Do you do anything besides write?

Well, I do a fairly good Elvis imitation :). Seriously, I work part time as a law assistant for Kelly, who became the attorney that Noelle had dreams of becoming when she grew up. I helped raise most of my 10 grandkids and I’m still with my husband after 50 years—a herculean feat. For the past three decades I’ve been writing and publishing short fiction, hoping to stretch one into a novel. I do professional book reviews for NYJB (New York Journal of Books) and freelance reviews. My book has won the Nesta Silver Award for Character building, 3rd place on Predator’s and Editors and 1st place in the monthly People’s Choice Awards. Many of my short stories have been published in several book collections and anthologies, including The Speed of Dark which won an International Award for fine writing.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

My book . . . And the Whippoorwill sang is available at Amazon for Kindle and tablets for $2.99 and in print at a newly reduced rate of $12.25; it is also available for purchase or order from your favorite book store. Signed copies can be purchased directly from me or I can mail a signed bookplate to readers ordering from Amazon or other venues.

What’s next on the writing agenda for Micki Peluso?

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is a collection of humorous slice-of-life, short fiction and non-fiction essays and scattered poems, in a book called Don’t Pluck the Duck, to be released in 2015. My publisher has also accepted a children’s book called The Cat Who Wanted a Dog, also due by the end of this year. Tales@Inspire has accepted four short stories, plus several more by Creature Features and one by Women’s Memoirs. And then there’s that novel beckoning . . . sigh.

Micki, it’s been a delight having you here for an author chat at 4writersandreaders. I would love to get a signed bookplate for my copy of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”; and, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!

  • Readers: Micki and I would love to have you stop by the comment section below for a chat.  I hope you’ll ‘run out’ or ‘click away’ and order you copy of …And the Whippoorwill Sang. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading and writing, friends! ~Bette A. Stevens

VISIT MICKI PELUSO:

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Celebrate EARTH DAY with a FREE Butterfly Adventure eBook by Bette A. Stevens


Celebrate EARTH DAY with a FREE (April 21 & 22) Butterfly Adventure eBook by Bette A. Stevens
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EARTH DAY April 22

AMAZING MATILDA is an award-winning picture book adventure that follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids life lessons along the way!

“A lovely children’s book, with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and a profound message.” ~ Nicholas C. Rossis, author

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  • Please share... Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch and its habitat.

Celebrate “EARTH DAY” with a FREE Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook from Bette A. Stevens


DOWNLOAD your FREE copy of AMAZING MATILDA, the award-winning monarch butterfly picture book at YOUR AMAZON

AM EARTH DAY promoAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!

Please share this post…

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Picture Book Summary:

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

AM Look Inside CoverDownload AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale! at Your Amazon

“Science, art and wise lessons for children—
wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!”

 Love Monarch Butterflies?

BEYOND THE BOOK—find resources at your finger tips: Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

 

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An Apple Blossom HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens


It’s National Poetry Month

What’s inspiring you?

Apple Blossom HAIKU bas 2015

 

Here in Central Maine the snow is melting at last, leaving bare ground and brown grasses in ever-growing patches where new tints, tones and shades of greens are magically appearing each day. Lilacs and apple trees will soon be budding. I can hardly wait for apple blossom time. We have six varieties of apple trees here at the farmstead and their blooms are more than enough to regenerate this winter-laden soul. Of course, the real blooms won’t arrive until May, but since April is National Poetry Month, I thought I would check out Wikimedia where I found this perfect picture (before my photo and text edits) to inspire the blooming muse inside a little early. We’re finally enjoying some spring sunshine, but ready for some April showers to bring us those May flowers, too. ~ Happy Spring! ~ Bette A. Stevens

What’s inspiring you this spring?

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