A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

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#RRBC Spotlight Author Gracie Bradford talks about favorite sites and apps


I WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD ME

It is such a pleasure to introduce this “up and coming author,” Gracie Bradford, and her book about a child with brain cancer. The beagle, Lady Bird, takes on a leading role in this short story. Learn about the role of pet therapy in the healing process.

During her discovery journey and literary, educational adventure, Gracie relates that she stumbled upon software and websites that have proven to give a new meaning to work simplification. She used some of these in her business but discovered they could also be used with some of her writing projects. Most seasoned authors are already familiar with the apps and sites, but the “up and coming authors” may find some of these to be useful. She doesn’t use all, just those that she has the skill set to understand and can give a return on her investment. Although she confesses that she tends to gravitate towards the FREE stuff, she will invest in a few. It will be fun to hear about your favorite sites and apps. Leave your best in the COMMENT section.

Disclaimer: No fees received for recommending these resources nor is there an endorsement

https://evernote.com/

Use to organize research

https://yousendit-express.en.softonic.com/

Use to send large files

https://www.aweber.com/

Autoresponder

www.fiverr.com

Has a variety of functions; Can be used to hire someone to post articles or send out twitter tweets

https://www.upwork.com

Post a job, and they match your project with some freelancers

https://www.freelancer.com/

Post a job and receive a competitive bid from freelancers

https://www.aweber.com/

Autoresponder – An email marketing and automation platform for growing your business

https://www.getresponse.com/

Autoresponder – a marketing platform for growing your business

https://commun.it/growth

Autoresponder – tool used to grow your community

https://www.crowdfireapp.com/

Helps to grow your followers

https://www.shutterstock.com/

Royalty-free photos

Expect to see the 3rd book of the Lady Bird series late 2018 addressing Autism.

  • Pick up a copy of Gracie’s books at:

http://amzn.to/2gfLCEJ

  • Like and follow this author through the social media platforms below:

Blog: www.free1592.wordpress.com

Website: www.authorgraciebradford.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorgraciebradford/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/graciebradford5/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamxordinary

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gracie.bradford.58

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/authorgraciebradford/

Thanks for stopping by today to meet Gracie Bradford. Don’t forget to tell us about your favorite sites and apps in the comment section. ~Bette A. Stevens

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Winter Game (haiku) by Bette A. Stevens


Winter Game

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Frozen window pane
Plays peekaboo with the sun
A seasonal game

It has been a long, cold winter here at the Farmstead in Central Maine. Last week’s ice and wind storm left a perfect canvas for the sun to paint its magic on the living room window, inspiring me to write “Winter Game.”

What’s inspiring you this winter?

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Writing is the Great Invention


Thanks to author L.M. Nelson for sharing Abraham Lincoln’s memorable quote on writing! ~Bette A.Stevens, Maine author http://www.4writersandreaders.com

lmnelsonscorner

“Writing is the great invention of the world.” ― Abraham Lincoln

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How to extend the attention span of your children.


Happy reading with the kids every day! http://www.4writer~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.writersandreaders.com 

Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

Kids today are bombarded with video games as well as fast action cartoons and movies. Picture book publishers are requesting shorter and shorter picture books for young children. No wonder our children have problems keeping their minds focused on one thing for very long.

What can you do to help your kids have a longer attention span? My advice is not some new technical invention or app for your phone or tablet, but something easy and inexpensive that you can do in your own home.

SCBWI_Postcard_sm_sq_WP

You can extend your children’s attention span by reading to them.

What better way to show them you love them and help them at the same time. Kids love getting attention from their parents and grandparents. This one-on-one time without any distractions from phones or TV is important. Children can later illustrate the stories you read together so you have a visual reminder of the time you have…

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Have an Amazing New Year! (+poem by Bette A. Stevens)


May your New Year be Amazing
as a Monarch Butterfly

May your days be blessed and beautiful

May your nights, sweet dreams supply

May your New Year be amazing

As a monarch butterfly

Wishing all of you and our amazing monarch butterflies…
“An Amazing New Year!”

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

All About Monarchs

Monarch butterflies offer an amazing view into the intricate nature of the wild. Their science name, Danaus Plexippus, Greek for “Sleepy Transformation,” gets part of the story right, but not the epic whole. International conservation efforts to protect and restore monarch habitat are ongoing. These efforts may help improve the near-endangered/endangered status of the species; but we, as ordinary citizens, can easily help the monarch butterfly recovery right in our own backyards and gardens. Find out more at the links below.

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Believe in Miracles—poem by Bette A. Stevens


 

Believe in Miracles

Poem by Bette A. Stevens

The whistling of the wind at play
Sunrise marking each new day
Rainfall crafting flowers to grow
Bright hues of every new rainbow

Planning skills for birds and bees
Conifer seeds becoming trees
Seas with creatures great and small
Land or sea, God made them all

Stars that mark the sky at night
Waning moon soon waxing bright
Seasons as they come and go
Wonders in each day they show

Wonder of wonders is mankind
Of every persuasion, you will find
God’s miracles are everywhere
Here to treasure, here to share

God made each one of us to show
His love and mercy as we go
About our life on earth each day
To all God’s wonders on our way

The greatest miracle you’ll find
God made the world with us in mind
He made it so that we might see
The love He has for you and me

John 1:3 (NIV) “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Karen Ingalls (Ovarian Cancer Survivor/Memoir & Novelist)


Our guest today is Karen Ingalls, author of Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. I can’t wait to find out more about the author and her memoir and get a sneak peek into her (historical fiction) novels too. Time to MEET THE AUTHOR! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

It’s a pleasure having you with us today, Karen. First, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a senior season writer, who had been writing for most of my life. I did not seek publication until 2012. I am a retired nurse with a master’s degree in human development and psychology. I live on a beautiful lake in central Florida where I enjoy golfing, gardening, and fishing year-round.

I am a nine-year ovarian cancer survivor from which most people do not survive more than five years. Since my diagnosis, I have dedicated my life to bringing the message about this lesser known cancer to women around the world. I give presentations, set up support groups, write articles, wrote an award-winning book, and two weekly blogs:

How about your family?

I’m a native Californian, who was raised in a dysfunctional family from which I escaped when I went to college in Boulder, Colorado. I have since lived in Waconia and St. Paul, Minnesota and more recently here in Tavares, Florida.

I have three grown sons, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson. My husband is my rock, caregiver, and lover. We have been married thirty-years after each of us went through a divorce.

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

I have been writing since I was a preteen, but kept my poetry and short stories a secret. Due to the dysfunctional family situation, I did not trust to share my writings with anyone. My first published book was in 2012. It is a non-fiction, memoir. My two novels are written about family and social issues.

I have always journaled and after I was diagnosed with the cancer, a close friend encouraged me to get the journal published. In 2012, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir was published and won two awards. I dedicate all proceeds to gynecologic cancer research.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your memoir? 

Though it is a book specifically about my journey with ovarian cancer, it is a book to which anyone with any type of cancer or terminal disease could relate. Our emotions, tests, drug effects, bodily changes, and support/caregiver system are similar.

What prompted you to write “Outshine”?

When I was diagnosed, there were very few books available about this particular cancer. The internet had many sites, but many were either too medically technical or written by a lay person whose statements were often inaccurate, unfounded, or prejudicial.

I was hoping that my book would give women important information about ovarian cancer, share my experiences so they might be better prepared, and to offer hope and inspiration. I believe that no matter what challenge we might face, we are to learn and become better people from it.

Do you have a favorite line from OUTSHINE? 

“I have learned that any rain that falls in my life is just droplets, and it’s up to me whether I will let those droplets flood away my spirit. Sometimes we need to build up levees through more prayer, erect dams for permanent changes so the soul can grow, do a dance to pray for more sun to heal any wounds, or just take an umbrella to give temporary protection as we build up our strength and will.”

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Writing the book was “easy,” it was the editing that was the hardest part. My editor was wonderful to work with and I cannot thank her enough for all she did to make my book a well-edited one.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

I do many speaking engagements locally and now more recently, nationally. I never charge for my presentations because I do not want to be denied the opportunity to spread the word because of a fee. My talks are in front of large and small groups; service organizations, churches, women’s groups, and neighborhood gatherings. My audience has included men and women, nurses, pharmacists, and community leaders.

For absolute fun and to get away from the seriousness of cancer, I play golf 1-2 times a week, belong to a card club, women’s group, and love to escape with a good book. Meditation and laughter are two very important things I do as often as possible.

Tell us about your novels.

My first novel, Novy’s Son, the Selfish Genius is based on a true story of one man’s life-long attempt to receive unconditional love from his father. In the 1980’s Robert Bly wrote “The Iron John” which prompted me to write about how one father put too many demands and expectations on one son, who did not know how to pass on the Iron John teachings to his son. This is a common social problem.

Davida: Mistress & Model of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is based on the true story of America’s premier sculptor in the late nineteenth century and his love affair with his model. They never married but their love lasted for twenty-five years from which they had one son. Saint-Gaudens is most famous for the $20 gold piece. He is my great-grandfather and Davida is my great-grandmother. My grandfather lived in shame his entire life as a “bastard” and my intention is to remove the stigma from him.

Where can readers find your books?

                My books are all available on amazon. Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir/dp/1592984622

http://www.amazon.com/Novys-Son-The-Selfish-Genius/dp/B01B02VQY

http://www.amazon.com/Davida-Model-Mistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens/dp/1530397871

What’s next for Karen Ingalls?

I am working on a third novel which will complete the trilogy. I plan to continue to blog twice a week.  I welcome guest posts anytime. I plan to contribute more to Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (Rave Writers International Society of Authors). My dedication to spreading the word about ovarian cancer, be available to those in need of support, and to do whatever I can is my top priority.

Thank you, Bette for having me on your blog. I appreciate your support.

Thanks so much for coming to share your story with us, Karen.

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for joining us today. I invite you to chat with Karen in the comment section below. Don’t forget to grab one of her books on Amazon and get ready to enjoy a great read. I’m currently reading Karen Ingalls’s novel Novy’s Son, the Selfish Genius—a fascinating and beautifully written story.

Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens

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