Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88 – Joyful moments in Chaos

The theme of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from Ann-Christine correctly depicted the state of the world at the moment, “Chaos.”

According to Wikipedia, Chaos Theory is defined as “the field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions – a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.” In other words, Chaos Theory refers to how meaningful and profound even the most seemingly insignificant things are and teaches us that nothing is trivial.

As of today, Schools in eighteen states in the USA are closed, affecting 20 million students. It does not include some states such as California, because districts closed schools voluntarily so far. Los Angeles Unified School District which is the second largest school district in the US with 734,640 students just announced closing of schools as off Monday, March 16, 2020. I went shopping the last few days. Within a few days, two major stores ran out of paper products, water, cold and flu medicines, can goods, bread and a lot more except some perishable items so far.

The California Governor announced on Thursday, March 12 to stop any gathering over 250 people. Disneyland is closed. Our church with several thousand members stopped all Sunday services and group meetings. Sunday services will continue with online streaming viewing.

My friend Debbie and I signed up to host a Spring Brunch on March 14 as a fundraising activity for the missionaries. After the church announcement, Debbie and I continued with the brunch for the fourteen ladies who purchased the event. Our logic was the gathering had sixteen people and some of them were in a meeting together less than a week ago. None of these ladies had any symptoms of illnesses.

It turned out to be a joyful gathering at Debbie’s beautiful home. We teased each other by giving elbow hugs. The ladies appreciated us for keeping the brunch. They lingered for a long time to chat and enjoy the cozy social time together.

Ann-Christine reminded us that, “Let us focus on the possibilities, staying on the right track. Maybe nothing will be quite the same again – but let’s hope this chaos is the beginning of something new and positive.”

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88 – Joyful Moments in Chaos

 

 

 

Book Reviews: Life’s Rich Tapestry – Sally Cronin, Conflicted Hearts – D.G. Kaye

Welcome to my book reviews.

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Sally Tapestry

 

The first review is Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words by Sally Cronin

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words by [Cronin, Sally]

My Review

I have followed Sally Cronin’s blog for some time and always enjoy reading her writing of short stories, articles on health and well-being and various subjects.

I read this book, Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words, with great expectation. By the subtitle, I knew it includes poetry, fiction and short stories.  The book includes the four seasons, all things human, fairy tales, the nature, the pets and short stories.

In the Seasons of the Year – The scenes of the seasons passed in front of my eyes. I could see the colors of the seasons and smell the fragrance, feel the breeze of warm and cold air, hearing the joyful sounds in the family gatherings.

In All Things Human, rich words flowed from Cronin’s true experience or imagination, ranged from youth to old age, joy and sadness, human interactions and self-reflections.

From Cronin’s blog, I know that the author is a pet lover. There are stories covering the puppy’s unconditional love of the owner, the owner’s lessons learned from the pets, and stories about playful dogs and cats.

Among the short stories, I felt in love with the story You Are Never Too Old to Be Loved, which is about a beautiful old dog, Jack, whose owner, Mrs. Jones, died. The day before Christmas, a man greeted him. This man recognized Jack from his teen years and took him home and gave him a love and care.

The 99-word micro fiction and the Speculative fiction are enchanting. I especially love The ‘1812 Overture’ which was the music the author enjoyed and embedded this piece of music into the fictional story.

I write poetry, fiction and short stories and feel at home reading Cronin’s book and understand the rhymes and lines and syllable count of her poetry. The enthusiastic nature of the author brings positive resolutions to her stories. This book includes a wide variety of genres that all readers will find something interesting to read. I highly recommend this book to any reader.

Amazon and Goodread Rating 

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About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another twelve books since then on health and also fiction, including four collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse, micro fiction and speculative short stories titled Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Contact the Author

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sgc58

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

 

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Conflicted Heart

 

The Second Review is Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt by D.G. Kaye

ConflictedHeart

My Review

In her book Conflicted Hearts, Kaye recounted her vivid memories of her painful experience growing up with a narcissist mother whose interest was partying, smoking, gambling and getting male’s attention to herself. Her mother threw out her father frequently and had male companions in the house with the children’s presence. Kaye’s father returned home long enough to make babies but had no guarantee to stay. She felt sad for her father. She couldn’t concentrate at school. Instead, she expected the disappearance of her father or anger from her mother. She did not receive the nurturing needed for a happy childhood. Instead of being a child, she felt responsible and be the parent to her father. Later, she found out that the paternal grandparents didn’t like her because her mother was pregnant with her and caused her parents’ marriage. She felt it was her fault, and that she was the reason for her father to marry her mother. She considered herself as the black sheep, the accident. If her father married someone else, he would have been happier. Her mother was never home and had babysitter watching the four children until Kaye was twelve and became a babysitter.

Aunty Sherry was the only adult to show her guidance, concern and attention. Sherry got married in her forties and didn’t have children.

Kaye moved to an apartment at age eighteen. She went to university part-time studying classical music and singing, but never made it. She then supported herself by working in the Casinos dealing cards. During those years, Kaye had relationships with married men. Eventually she married a loving, thoughtful husband. Eventually she got married to a love and caring husband.

As a mother and a grandmother, I couldn’t imagine such a person as Kaye’s self-centered mother. I felt horrified when Kaye’s baby brother wandered off a mile away while the mother was asleep late in the morning recovering from the late-night party. Children are the ones who suffer the most in a dysfunctional home. Kaye’s parents had problems with their marriage, yet four babies were brought into the world. I feel that Kaye’s mother had sex for pleasure and didn’t understand the consequence. Kaye should never feel responsible for causing the parents to get married. Regardless, Kaye became a sensitive person and led a happy life.

Amazon and Goodread Rating

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D.G. Kaye

About the Author

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace, From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Kaye writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favorite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favorite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

Contact the Author
www.dgkayewriter.com

www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

www.twitter.com/@pokercubster

www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye

www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7

www.google.com/+debbydgkayegies

www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

www.instagram.com/dgkaye

www.facebook.com/dgkaye

 

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Welcome to Day 1 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC

Welcome to Day 1 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC

Whie the Bombs Fell

While the Bombs Fell

How we decided on the title

While the Bombs Fell is a collaboration between my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton, and me and tells a fictionalized account of her life as a small girl growing up in the small English town of Bungay, Suffolk during World War II.

Deciding on a title for a book is never easy and we bandied around several ideas before coming up with “While the bombs fell.” Although this book is not violent and focuses more on how families carried on with their everyday lives, despite the on-going war, this title seemed appropriate as everything and everyone was touched by the bombing and the war across the channel and in the oceans and skies.

People became so accustomed to listening for the sound of the bomber planes and the air raid sirens they were not even aware they were doing so, especially the children. This is illustrated by the following quote from the book: “At night, before Elsie dropped off to sleep, she listened for the throb of the engines of the German, nicknamed Jerry, bomber planes and the piercing whistle of dropping bombs. The planes terrified her, and she lay worrying that one might drop a bomb on her house.”

Bungay was only bombed once during the war in 1940. My mother was just under two years old at the time, so she doesn’t remember it, but her older brothers and sisters do. When her brothers told her about the places that were damaged during the bombing, Elsie knew them all, especially the grandstand on the football pitch at the public recreation area.

Norwich, the closest city to Bungay, was badly bombed in April/May 1942 as part of the Baedeker Blitz. My mother was aware of the fires that blazed throughout the city during the attacks and the loss of life, especially civilians. She and her six brothers and sisters were also aware of the bombing of London and knew some evacuees who were forced to leave their home and come and live in Bungay to escape the air raids.

The air raid the shelter my grandfather built in the garden to protect his family during air raids held a particular fascination for me. The thought of crouching in a cold and damp room under the ground during the English winter, while the bomber planes flew over on their way to London is quite frightening. The following extract explains how my grandfather built the air raid shelter and how it also formed a useful part of the garden:

“Father and some helpers constructed the bomb shelter from galvanized corrugated steel sheeting, bolted together to form the body and ends of the shelter. They dug a deep hole in the ground, with stairs leading downwards and then poured the concrete floor and steps. Once the concrete set, they inserted the steel structure into the hole so that only the arched roof showed above the ground. Father covered the roof with soil so that Mother could use the space to plant vegetables. In this way, the air raid shelter served a useful purpose as a productive part of the garden.”

The war and threat of bombings also impacted the children while they were at school during the day. If the air raid siren sounded during the school day the children all lined up in a long crocodile to make the short walk to the air raid shelter. The children were orderly and disciplined during this fast walk and never gave their teachers any uphill; they understood the risk and the urgency.

Bungay also had its own squadron of U.S.A. pilots and soldiers who were affectionately referred to as the Bungay Buckaroos. They occupied the airfield and depot, known as RAF Bungay, which was located about two miles from Bungay near the village of Flixton. This book describes the impact the U.S.A. soldiers had on the moral of the British people and life in the town of Bungay.

Although my mother and her siblings made the most of life and enjoyed swimming and paddling in the river, gathering flowers, playing among the ruins of Bungay Castle and helping with the preparations for Christmas dinner, their lifestyle and activities were continuously being adapted to accommodate the rationing, blackouts and other changes necessitated by the war. It was for these reasons that we decided on While the Bombs Fell as a title.

 

BOOK BLURB

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often, they come and the air raid siren sounds signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

2a.Robbie

AUTHOR BIO:

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalized biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

 

Thank you for supporting this author and her tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on this author’s 4WillsPub tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections

Welcome to my blog! I’m honored to be the guest host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections.

“Reflection photography, also referred to as mirror photography, is when you use reflective surfaces to create an artistic echo of a scene. This type of photography can add an interesting spin to locations that are hot spots for photographers such as oceans, lakes, puddles, and even rain drops.” – befunky

I am fascinated by the reflection photographs in the lakes, the rivers, the building windows, the sunglasses, the mirrors, and the puddles. This week, you may find the photographs from your archives or take new photographs using reflective surfaces to create mirror images. Here are my examples:

 

“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

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The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles, CA

We live about twenty-five miles from The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles, California. This is our favorite spot for a day trip. The Chinese Garden was recently reconstructed and new features were added to the beauty.

 

“Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.” Indra Devi

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The Tagus River in Toledo, Spain

We went to Spain in the summer during a local holiday. It was hot but tourists had the roads by themselves because the local people headed to the beaches. While in Toledo, I caught this scene in the calm river.

 

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience which is bitterest.” – Confucius

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Whale Watching Cruise, Newport Landing, California

Our family was on a whale watching cruise from Newport Beach, California. We didn’t catch any sight of the whales but we saw some dolphins. The above shot was not really planned. I did it just for fun.

 

“Self-reflection entail asking yourself questions about your value, assessing your strength and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.” Robert L. Rosen

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Gym at La Habra, California

After the Yoga class several Saturdays ago, I stayed behind to take photos of the mirrors. This is the aerobic room with mirrors on four walls. The mirrors created infinite reflections. There was only one other member in the room, yet the mirrors reflected endless images of this person.

 

“Anybody who has gone through a life-changing experience will tell you there is a different understanding of what is real and what is important, and when you are going through different moments, you can reflect and go, ‘I have been through worse.’” – Delta Goodrem

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Kyoto, Japan

On this sunny day in Kyoto, Japan, our family took a train to Nara Park to see the deer. This photo was taken before we went down to the subway station.

 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard

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Fullerton, California

In southern California, we learned to appreciate rainstorms. The winter of 2018-2019, there was two and a half months of on and off rainstorms, in fact, it was on more often than off. It brought us a good amount of rain to lift the drought. So far, we only had 5 days of rain in the winter of 2019-2020. The cities may reinforce the water rationing this year.

 

 “A day is not always bright, and nights are not always dark. All that matters is what’s inside, because day and night are a reflection of you.” – Avantika

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Guilin, China

Seven people in our family took a trip to China. This photo was at a light show at Guilin, China.

 

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86 this week, we invite you to be creative to find any reflective surfaces to show us your reflection photographs.

 

We appreciated Patti’s challenge last week to invite us looking at the subjects from different perspectives.

Have You Seen These Great Posts from Last Week?

John at John’s Space gave us different perspectives of white Aspen trees from the distance and closeup.

Ana atAnvica’s Gallery showed the interesting perspectives of Eiffel Tower both in the day and at night

Sue at The Nature of Things took us on a tour of the orchids from different perspectives at the Chicago Botanic Garden Annual Orchid Show.

If you’re new to the challenges, click here to learn how to join us.  Remember to link your post to the comment below and use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find your post in the WP Reader.

 

For the rest of March, please follow the usual weekly schedule:

I look forward to seeing your creative and artistic reflection photography. Thank you for your participation and support. Please have an enjoyable week ahead of you!

 

 

 

Author Spotlight: Miriam Hurdle (w/ GIVEAWAY Contest) at This Is My Truth Now

Today I am honored to be featured on the Author Spotlight at James J. Cudney’s beautiful blog This is My Truth Now. He asked me interesting questions in this interview. I invite you to head over to read this interview and you may be surprised with some answers.

James J. Cudney

Today’s post is an author spotlight. You’ll get to know the author and the author’s books, view book covers and marketing campaigns, read an interview between the author and me, and discover where to learn more about the author’s work, including social media contact links. Let’s meet…

Miriam and I met a couple of years ago through our blogs. After chatting about books, life, and poetry, we began following one another and became friends. I thoroughly loved her book, as you’ll see below. I’m thrilled share more about her now…

About the Author

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

She is passionate about poetry and her favorite poets are Robert Frost with his poems “The Road Not Taken,” and Linda Pastan with her poem “To a Daughter Leaving Home.”

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

She took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were also fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California. She makes frequent visit to her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters in Portland, Oregon.

……

Interview Q&A

Hi Jay, thank you for your inviting me to appear on your blog for the Author Spotlight. It’s a privilege to share with you and your readers something about me.

  • What are your real, author, and/or pen names? What is your location?
    • Miriam Hurdle is my real name. I grew up in Hong Kong where I finished college and worked for several years before coming to the United States. While in Hong Kong, I taught Chinese as a Second Language in the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I was also a Director of Children’s Department for Asian Outreach. At 26-years-old, I published four Children’s books. My boss was the editor. I worked closely with two in-house artists who designed the book covers and did the illustrations. I got in trouble once when I went into the darkroom to watch them developed the films of the photos for the books. My boss said I should be doing my job.
    • In the 1970s, I came to the United States for my graduate studies in the universities on the west coast and started working in 1980. After working for two years as a rehabilitation counselor, fifteen years as a teacher and ten years as a school district administrator, I retired. I have been living and working in southern California until now.
  •  How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles?
    • I published my poetry in October 2018. It was a memoir in poetic form. I underwent cancer treatment in 2009 and took several years to regain the momentum of life. In 2014, I started volunteer counseling, taking classes in watercolor painting, poetry, publishing, and chorale at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI offers non-credit courses with no assignments or grades to adults over age 50. Since 2001, Bernard Osher Foundation launched OLLI programs at 120 universities and colleges throughout the United States. Many of the instructors are retired professionals.
    • I also started a blog in 2014 but it didn’t take off until 2016. For the following two years, I wrote poems and posted on my blog almost every day. Come to think of it, during the 27 years of working, life was a clock perpetuated the clicking. Retirement allowed me to review, reflect, and reevaluate. My poems were overflowing as the results of thoughts and feelings touching many parts of my life. Nothing agreed with my heart better than choosing the title: Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude for my book.
    • In early 2018, I thought of publishing a poetry book. I had heard of the rough road of traditional publishing. One author made a presentation about going through ten years of submitting manuscripts to the publishers but received nothing but rejections. By the end of the tenth year, a publisher approached her and wanted her to write a book on Autism of which she had no knowledge. She did a lot of research for that book which got her foot into publishing. She continued to do traditional publishing for many years until people recognized her name. She then republished all her books by self-publishing. I didn’t want to go through that route but checked out some publishers who charge fees to publish. One publisher would cost about $7,500 for publishing plus royalty for the life of the book. Recently, an acquaintance took a $10,000 loan to go with this publisher for her first book!
    • I wanted to learn about self-publishing. I purchased a “How to” package and studied for many months. By October 2018, I had designed the book cover, formatted the book and uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing. That was the year Amazon transferred from Crate Space to KDP. It was a lot of work, but I had fun learning the process. I published the eBook and paperback. I uploaded the Word Document for the eBook many times, but my formatting got all messed up. Eventually I used Kindle Create to format and upload the eBook. It’s easier for paperback because I uploaded the PDF file. If I publish again, I will trust the professionals to have the job done faster.
  • Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
    • I will continue to write in many more years to come. There are two members in their 80s in my poetry class at OLLI. They are my inspiration because they still write new poems.
    • Publishing four children’s books in Hong Kong was an enjoyable experience, and it is still my passion. I took a children’s writing course 15 years ago to learn how to get into the children literature market. My full-time job as a school district administrator didn’t allow me to go too far with that. Recently, I uncovered some stories and started to revise them. I also have several WIP writing projects, but it’s too early to reveal them. These projects will keep me busy for many years.
  • Do you belong to any writing group? Which one?
    • The first year at OLLI, I took a Life Story writing class with about twenty members divided into small groups of five to read and provide feedback to each other. This year I’m in a Writing for Feedback class with members writing in different genres.
  • Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)?   Who designs your book covers?
    • I believe the book cover plays an important part to catch the eyes of a prospective reader. Once the cover catches the reader’s attention, the book has a chance to invite the reader to delve into the content. I received comments about my book cover long after the book was published. I designed my book cover by obtaining a free image and did some work to extend to image to the back of the paperback, also designed the front and back text. I played with the title and changed the wording many times before the final decision. Once the title was in a final stage, I searched the image that agreed with the title.
  • What is the craziest/funniest/most enjoyable thing you’re ever done in the name of research?
    • When I did the dissertation for my Doctor of Education, the research professor drew a big circle representing the scope of the research. Then he made a bunch of doodling and dots outside of the circle. He warned us to stay focus on our research. I remember that circle vividly whenever doing the research for my writing and tried not to get distracted. But when I researched again for another subject, I remembered certain information came across my mind in the previous research but was not saved in any folders. Subsequently, I created many subfolders and bookmarked a long list of links which may never be visited again.
  • Do you write full-time or part-time?
    • I do not write full time. I have many interests, such as painting, singing, photography, gardening and traveling. At OLLI, I joined a chorale group which performs three or four times a year. I inherited my dad’s green thumb. My two plum trees produced 1,100 plums last year There are twenty-four rose bushes plus other flowers. Many real estate agents approached us to list our home on the market because of the attractive presentation of the front yard. The photography and painting serve as illustrations for the poems in the poetry book.
  • What advice would you give to your younger and/or older self?
    • My personality is such that I keep looking forward. I reflect on the past but do not regret. Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken influenced me. Here are the first and last stanzas:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

*

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

  • I believe who I am and what I have become are the accumulations of the past events, decisions, and experiences. Therefore, I could only give advice to my older self. I would tell myself to treasure my family and friends. Right now, I have the freedom to prioritize my life. I no longer need to build my career, so I should spend more time with them with people to build relationship. I don’t need any more fortune so I should focus on giving and not to expect anything in return. I want my family to remember me as someone who loves them and puts them first over myself as long as I could.

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude in Spanish and Portuguese

I’m excited to announce that Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude is translated into Spanish and Portuguese. They are available on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Kobo, Tolino, and other channels.

Here are the book covers of the translated versions, Spanish & Portuguese, in that order:

I would like to share with you the process I took to have the book translated.

Selling my book globally and in many languages

I wanted to have my poetry book translated into different languages. This idea came to me before the book was published in October 2018. One member in my Poetry for Pleasure class had her poetry book published in English-Spanish duel languages side-by-side. The formatting was a little tricky because she wanted to have the entire English poem, even the long ones, on the even number page so the Spanish translation would be on the odd number page. At the time of publishing my book, I just wanted to focus on getting it done.

Six months after the publication, I saw the Spanish translation and the Chinese translation of one of Olga Nunez Miret’s books. After the inquiry, she introduced me to Babelcube: Taking Books Global. https://www.babelcube.com I started to study their services and the process of book translation.

This is the Home page screenshot:Bbc Home page

I clicked Learn More… and got the following page:

How it works

By clicking How It Works, it takes me to the steps:

  1. Ensure you hold the rights for translated versions of your book

Make sure that you hold the rights for the translated work. If you have signed a contract with a publishing house or if you represent an author, make sure that you hold the rights to publish a translated version of the work and which territories these rights apply to.

  1. Create an account, including your profile

Create an account at Babelcube, if you have not already done so. Provide as much detail as possible, as this will let translators get to know you, including your writing career and past successes. This will be your “business card” to help translators find you.

  1. Post profiles of books you want translated

Post a book profile for every book that you want translated. Be sure to include information about its sales potential, including track record such as sales figures, sales ranks, reviews, customer comments, prizes won, and other useful information. You can also submit a short (2,000 character maximum) sample text from your book, which translators can use to provide a sample translation.

  1. Select translation offers, then initiate the translation process

You will receive offers from translators. Often translators will work as a team, one being the primary translator, the other being the editor and proofreader. Each offer will tell you the destination language and estimated time for the translation. If you included a sample text from your book, a sample translation will typically be included to help you gauge the quality of the translator(s) (if you don´t speak the destination language, you may have a friend who can help).

Pick an offer. Browse through offers you receive and profiles of the translators. Once you find an offer that you like, review and accept the Translation and Distribution Agreement so that translation work can start. You will now need to upload your book and any additional material that needs translating.

  1. Review the first pages translated

When the first ten pages have been translated, you will have the opportunity to review them and make suggestions to the translator. If at this point you feel that the quality of the translation is poor and you cannot get the translator to improve it, you can cancel the project with no penalty.

  1. Review the final translation

Once the translation is complete, you will have the opportunity to review it and ask for changes. If you wish, you can use a professional proofreader to assist you. If you decide you don´t like the translation and can´t reach an agreement with the translator, you may cancel the assignment, but a cancellation fee may apply.

  1. Prepare your book for distribution

Babelcube will enable you to convert the book into the different file formats for the various sales channels, publish it, and update things like pricing. Babelcube will distribute your book to all its channels that support the book’s language. Babelcube’s 300+ sales channels include the global online retailers, such as Amazon and Apple, and local retailers specializing in regions. You can request assistance from the translator(s), as desired.

  1. Promote your book

Now the fun part! Let everyone know that there is a translated version of your book available. Promote it through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Enlist the help of the translator(s) to help you reach the local media and social networks in the destination language.

You can also use innovative strategies; for example, if you have books in a series, you can use the same translator for the series and offer the first book permanently free, hooked readers will then buy the rest of the series. If you want to follow a strategy like this, include it on your books’ profiles within Babelcube so translators know.

  1. Receive royalties

You can follow your sales at Babelcube. You will receive a royalty statements and payments. Translators will also receive their corresponding share. You can see how the royalties are split on this page.

A few highlights:

On #3 – Post profiles of the books you want translated. This is what it looks like.

Book profile

On this book profile page, I included two poems for the translators to translate as samples when they offer me their services.

On #4 – I didn’t go through 2,000 translators to select one. I let the translators approach me by viewing my author and book profile. After three months, a Spanish translator approached me with the two poems translated into Spanish.

After reviewing the translation and waited for a couple weeks, I decided to confirm his offer. He translated the first 10 pages and sent them to me. After I approved, he took less than a month to finish translating the book.

On #7 – Since my book is a poetry, it took me a while to format the book the way I wanted it plus translated the book cover, and then uploaded to Babelcube. I set the price for them. They then published the book on different channels. If I don’t want to do this part, I could pay for their services to have it done.

These are several of the channels:Sales channels

Amazon link only posting the Spanish version at the moment.  The Portuguese translation is still in the process of posting on Amazon.

This Barn and Noble link has all three languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese (I uploaded the English version myself) :

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Miriam%20Hurdle%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall+rel+exact 

If you’re interested in having your books translated, click the Babelcube link (I do not get commission from referral). ♪♫ ♥♫♪

 

Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 6th March 2020 – #Booktranslations Miriam Hurdle, #Poem Pamela Wight, #BookRecommendations Jacqui Murray

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

This week, Patti invited us to find different perspectives of the subject by getting down, looking up, or taking photos of the subject from different angles.

I have chosen several subjects and showed my photos from various positions to get different perspectives.

 

Looking Behind

The following two photos are the waterfall flowing from top of this rocky formation. After I took the first photo from the front of the rock, I took a photo from behind the rock to get a different perspective.

1.IMG_59442.IMG_5945

 

Looking Down

The following photos were in the same area of the Glacier in Anchorage, Alaska. The first photo was taken from the Glacier Cruise, seeing the Glacier from a horizontal view. The second one was taken from the helicopter looking below. The third one was zoomed in from the helicopter.

3.DSC04928 (2)

4.DSC05153x

alaska-11

 

Looking Around (In this case, the subject turned around and around)

You might have seen these photos. They are my favorite perspective photos of the same peacock as he pranced in place showing off his best sides!

1.2016.05 Arboretum2.IMG_6335 (2)3.IMG_6336

 

I’m honored to be the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 next week. Please join me for the challenge and have fun!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

 

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