Walk Your Way To Better

walkyourwaytobetterI don’t often sign up for a WOW-Women-on-Writing book blog tour. Not because I don’t read much but because I do read so much that’s work-related, whether it’s mentor texts or books on the writing craft or blog posts or newsletters or webinars—whew! It’s all focused, intentional reading and sometimes, it makes my head hurt. So my non-work reading is rest for my weary mind, usually pure entertainment or meditative. Honestly, those books have to earn their place in the limited space of my brain.

Then I saw Walk Your Way to Better by Joyce Shulman and it called to me. And here is what it said, “You’re already walking and you’re all for being better so here’s a book you need to take the time to read.” And so I read and contemplated as I walked; I made some notes, too. But I must confess that I haven’t finished this book yet. And I think Joyce would be fine with that because this is not the kind of book you speed read; this is a book where you read and walk and think and journal. Maybe you skip one of the 99 walks that doesn’t pertain to you or maybe you spend a whole week thinking about one particular topic. Or maybe you don’t walk so much as relax for a few minutes while you’re on the lounge chair on your back deck and getting your vitamin D when a sudden realization from Walk #27 hits you.

The point is, Walk Your Way to Better is an individual experience. For you, it could be a speedy jaunt, while for me, it was—and is—more of a wandering ramble. But I’m far enough through the journey to share a review:

What I enjoy most about Joyce Shulman’s Walk Your Way to Better is her voice; she shares her life experiences, introducing us to her foibles, her ups and downs, and where and what she’s learned along her journey, often learning it the hard way. But despite her hard lessons learned, there’s no whining here. Instead, you’ll find someone who picks herself up, admits her mistakes, and moves on. She’s all about progress, not perfection, and not too preachy, either. And she genuinely wants you to move on to bigger and better, too, so she’s come up with this format:

Each of the walks examines a particular topic to help you be better, whether it’s physically better (she’s a huge proponent of healthy eating, particularly breakfast), emotionally better (she drills down more than once on goals, dreams, and what brings you joy) or intellectually better (decision fatigue—it’s a real thing, y’all). These are short, conversational meditations that usually end with an expectation of an actionable response from the reader.

Not every topic will resonate with every reader and some of the topics may be all too-familiar. Many of Shulman’s suggestions are already a part of my daily, weekly, or yearly routine. But here’s the thing: I more often than not found a gem that made me think a bit differently, maybe for just a moment or two. But that’s how we change our lives, how we get better, right? It’s usually the little things that make a difference, the small steps we take every day that eventually get us where we want to go.

Just like a daily walk.

 

You can find Walk Your Way to Better on Amazon, and you can find more reviews on Goodreads, too. Plus, you can find Joyce Shulman online here:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/joyceshulman

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-NR50srbDzKdUBx5BPgQQ

https://twitter.com/joycershulman

https://www.instagram.com/joyce.r.shulman/

https://www.joyceshulman.com/

AND, her book blog tour is still going on! So don’t just take my word about Walk Your Way to Better. Take a look around:

WalkYourWaytoBetter-BlogTour-JoyceShulman

The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper

Temple of the crystal timekeeper ingramspark cover (1)Fiona Ingram’s latest book in the middle grade series, The Chronicles of the Stone, follows the intrepid adventurers to Mexico and The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. Adam, Justin, and Kim are searching now for the third stone of power, and as always, they must find the stone before the villainous Dr. Khalid can get his hands on it–and them. But there’s an added twist to this tale, a warlord who believes himself the incarnation of an Aztec god. And he’s right in the thick of this adventure!

And so in this third book, the Aztecs come into play along with the Mayans.  From the beginning, when our trio’s plane crashes into the forest, until the end and the life and death game-changing action, there’s a ton of history, religion, and culture to soak up!

Lucky Fiona Ingram to have a book release on a subject that everyone’s talking about now! I was watching a riveting public TV documentary series about Mexico and there on the screen was a cenote (a sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone) and I literally sat up from my usual half-reclining position of viewing. I’d just read all about a cenote in The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper! And next came Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god, and the temple ruins deep in the forests. Hold on! I know all about Tezcatlipoca! And then came…hey! I see what you’re doing and it’s not going to work.

Read The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper for yourself!

 

The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper is available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

 

FionaIngram.jpg (1)

Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers.

 

 

You can find Fiona at –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/

Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com

 

The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper is a hefty read but there’s plenty of action to keep the story moving. If you want to sneak in that Social Studies unit on Mexico and the Aztecs and Mayans, especially for your reluctant guy readers, here’s the book to do it. And check out Fiona’s website for more information about the story, as well as additional resource material to download for free.

 

A Keeper for the Picture Book Writer

eves-bookBecause I host writer’s workshops for kidlit writers, I often meet folks who are interested in self-publishing their picture books.

Some writers are just not interested in waiting years for a traditional publisher. They’ve poured their hearts and writing souls into a manuscript and they want to see it in a book, sometimes for family and friends, and sometimes, the dream is bigger. Still, producing a picture book—a good picture book—and getting that book into the hands of readers, is not exactly child’s play. And so these writers ask me about self-publishing their picture books and I have very little good advice or resources to offer. I’ve just never come across a good how-to for those PB writers who may not have a lot of experience in design or publishing.

And then Eve Heidi Bine-Stock asked if I’d take a look at her recently released book, How To Self-Publish a Children’s Picture Book (The Easy and Inexpensive Way to Create a Book and Ebook for Non-Designers).

Would I? Here was a book specifically addressing the needs of the writer who wanted to produce a picture book. I couldn’t wait to read it!

And here’s what I loved about this book (and I’m going to do a list because you know I love lists, too):

  1. It’s easy to read, easy to understand. Yes, you’re going to be introduced to everything you’d possibly need to know about the publishing world but she explains every term, every step along the way. It really is a manageable process to learn how to publish a picture book!
  2. There are a ton of illustrations! I like illustrations; I’m a visual learner. It takes the guesswork out of the process, and I like that, too.
  3. Eve has done all the legwork for you, comparing the big things like prices and publishers. But she’s done the homework on the little things, too, like fonts. She covers it all.

This is a book for the writer who’s a do-it-yourself type, who wants to use a print-on-demand publisher and save money. So if you’re thinking of self-publishing your picture book, you don’t need to spend your time chasing down information from one link to another or in books on self-publishing in general. Eve Heidi Bine-Stock has the specifics you want in one great primer, How To Self-Publish A Children’s Picture Book.

And yes, I often give away my writing how-to books after I review ‘em, but sorry, y’all. I’ve got a couple of picture books of my own—this one’s a keeper! (You can get your own copy here, either in paperback or an ebook. And happy self-publishing!)