Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus 2010







Boobie Blunders

*sigh*
Well I went and did it again. Those of you who keep up with the blog know that sometime back in September/august I completely dislocated my left knee for the fourth time and reset it myself on the floor of my master bedroom with four screaming children in the house. Luckily enough Jason was home early and all was well. Then two weeks ago in the complete chaos of all that was and is our move--I fell. I fell HARD and spent 5 hours in the Er thinking that I may actually have had a break. All was well, just a major sprain. I jumped into a walking boot and didn't miss a beat.
Well today, with great intentions, I went out to help Jason install the poles to finish out the 1/2 existing chain link fence around the parsonage....well, I am sure you can guess what happened.
I FELL!
AGAIN!
I thank God that I had the clarity of mind to put on my air brace before I went outside. It did some damage but it would have been no much worse if I had not been wearing the brace. No new sprain! Just a bit of new swelling and a twinge of pain with the application of pressure....definitely doable.
Here is my question. WHEN WILL I STOP FALLING?
I fell going down stairs when I was 5 m pregnant with Raeleigh --ended up in boot
I fell and dislocated my knee --for the 4th total time (I had surgery at a preteen for multiple dislocations)
and Now the sprain plus additional trauma.
I feel like I should be in a Boobie Bubble!--and Jason would agree!
All I can do is be strong, be hopeful and find a way to get the left side of my body much, much stronger!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Blogging for Books Review #1


The Everything Christmas Book: Stories, Songs, Food, Traditions, Revelry, and More [Paperback]


Brandon Toropov (Author), Sharon Gapen Cook (Author), Marian Gonsior (Editor), Susan Robinson (Editor), Peter Weiss (Editor), Barry Littmann (Illustrator)

As the cover states, "celebrate the joy of the Advent Season with the Best of Christmas Past and Present".
I found this book to be a charming daily devotional, perfect for the chaos that is the month of December. Heartwarming stories and tummy tickling recipes will help you slowly and comfortably make the transition into the season that we can very easily find ourselves overwhelmed.
This book can guide you in a very memorial, and poetic way back to the true meaning and spirit of this holiday season.
Wonderful recipes long forgotten, adorable hymns whose lyrics sometimes fall aside from generation to generation and become nothing more than a recognizable tune void of meaning. But NOT SO, with Everything Christmas.
You will find wonderful quotations for very recognizable and beloved literary figures, much loved carols, Biblical scripture references, roots of some of our most beloved traditions, and recipes worthy of stealing the spotlight at any holiday party.
Everything Christmas is a must read, and a great inspirational guide to warm and comfort you through even the toughest holiday season.


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Interview on december 20, 2010 with Dreamcatchers for Abused Children

DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN is an official non-profit 501(c)3 child abuse & neglect organization. Our mission is to educate the public on child abuse symptoms, intervention, prevention, statistics, reporting, and helping victims locate the proper resources necessary to achieve a full recovery. Please visit our official website at: www.dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com

Original Air Date: December 20, 2010

Interview with Author Rachel Stolle, ""Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?"

Join Hosts Laurie Ann Smith and Elizabeth Brawley and our very special guest Rachel Stolle, Author of the "Aunt Lou" children's books series. We will be discussing her book "Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?" and various topics relating to child abuse, and child sexual abuse. Please see Rachel's website at http://auntloubooks.weebly.com.


here is the link to listen to the hour-long interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreamcatchers/2010/12/21/child-abuse-education
I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjyed participating!
visit auntloubooks.weebly.com to learn more about the products and information that we discuss.

January Edition of Poetic Monthly Magazine

My article appears on page 51 and is a continuation of a 3 month series of short articles sharing my motivational speaking experience at Shoemaker High School in Killeen, Texas. The series will be concluded in the February edition. My sister (Megan) also has 2 poems in this printing as well. Go check it out!
http://www.poetstageforum.com/pmissue/Issue59.pdf

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Paypal button for Help Deborah Stevens Purifoy

Here is the paypal account link to make donations to help Deborah Stevens Purifoy.







Please read post below or visit helpdeborahstevenspurifoy.weebly.com to read Deborah's Story.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

deborah bumper stickers from Zazzle.com

deborah bumper stickers from Zazzle.com

Items for Sale to help promote and fund Help Deborah Stevens Purifoy












Click here to see items available: http://www.zazzle.com/bubbapaytonsadie/gifts?cg=196960810213002098

The 10% royalty earned on all products sold will go towards Deborah's medical expenses.

Help Deborah Stevens Purifoy


Deborah Stevens Purifoy is a 30 year old mother of four who lives in Doddridge, Arkansas. Deborah has been married to her loving and devoted husband, Alex Purifoy, for 13 years. Two years ago due to some poor choices she found herself in a high-speed major motor vehicle accident. The driver in the accident was incarcerated, a passenger in the vehicle suffered fatal injuries, and Deborah's life was changed forever.
In the accident on May 29, 2009, the muscles in Deborah's lower abdomen were ripped by her safety belt causing a major abdominal hernia which required emergency surgery to implant mesh netting. She also required 60 plus staples and stitches in top back left left side of head due to trama from the impact. Two areas of her right forearm were broken. She also required stitches to close three large lacerations to her right arm and two on her left arm--such large areas of tissue were ripped from her arms that physicians believed they may have to perform skin grafts. Her right hand was crushed and required seven pins to be inserted. Other injuries included a fractured right foot, plus torn ligament in her right knee. The injuries to her lower extermities were so severe that she required medical rehabilitation in order to relearn how to walk.
During this trying time Deborah's husband, Alex, had to take time off of work to be by her side at the hospital and to take on the role as primary care-giver to their four children. Upon trying to return to work as an intern electrician he was laid off.
Deborah has fought a long arduous battle to recovery from both her medical ailments and drug abuse that led to her being in the vehicle with the individual who caused the accident. She has turned her life around, and is striving to regain her strength in order to be the loving mother and wife that she desires to be.
Deborah did not, and does not, have health insurance. Her husband has since returned to work in a different career path. Deborah cannot return to work. She still sufferes from staggering residual injures from the accident.
Deborah's abdominal hernia has yet to heal--even two years after the initial trauma. She suffers from a very painful seroma, which is a fluid filled sac about the size of a grapefruit. The incision site from the mesh metal implant has yet to fully close, and leaks the fluid from the seroma, plus both red and white blood cells. She has to change her dressing three to four times a day due to the fluids and odor.
Deborah's other surgeries have also left her with lingering issues. She cannot stand for longer than ten minutes at a time due to chronic knee pain. The pins in her hand have all backed themselves out of the bone. Thay have actually pierced the surface of her skin leaving her with no option other than to remove them herself. There is one pin left in her hand that is out of the bone and free-floating inside of her hand. The pin that connects her thumb to her wrist is beginning to also back out of the bone, leaving her with very limited mobility in her thumb and wrist. The movement of this pin has also led to very painful distortion of the joint that is sensitive to touch.
Not having medical insurance, she has been forced to visit the emergency room seven times since her inital release from LSU. Physicians have performed CAT scans, xrays and diagonostic exams. Each time Deborah was implored to have corrective surgery to both her abdomin and hand--yet they refuse to do the procedures. She has gotten nothing but the run-around and hits red-tape at each turn.
It has been two years and no physician will touch her. They all claim she must return to LSU since they were the initial insitution that performed all of the emergency procedures.
Deborah has tried several times to get in to see LSU but they refuse to see her since she has no medical insurance and lives out of state. The only terms under which they agree to even see her are if she pays $250 per visit, and they require several consultations prior to surgery. She is in the process of trying to qualify for social security health insurance but she was told the wait time for that could be up to two years.
With one income, four children, and no insurance this has yet to be a reachable reality for her and her family.
Help Deborah Stevens Purifoy aims to change that for her. We ask that if you can, please make a donation to the account opened in her honor at Citizen's National Bank in Jefferson, Texas. It could be $1, $5, $100, extra change you have laying around in your car... or even your promise of prayers for her situation. All caring, and loving donations in any form will be greatly appreciated. You can call the bank directly to make a funds transfer, mail a personal check to the adress listed below, or you can make a donation here via the paypal account that is linked to her medical funds banking account in Jefferson, Texas.

MAILING ADDRESS AND PAYPAL LINK COMING SOON


Help Deborah Stevens Purifoy

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Sam Bracken's "My Orange Duffel Bag"



I received Sam's book,"My Orange Duffel Bag", at the Book's Alive conference in Jefferson, Texas. I had the honor of meeting both Sam Bracken and Echo Garrett. I was so excited to get home and read my book after all the wonderful testimony Sam shared at Books Alive.
I finished the book tonight, and I plan on immediately passing it along to my husband and the ladies I work with.
"My Orange Duffel Bag" is a great motivational and uplifting book. It is the only book I have ever experienced in such a creative and realistic format. I love the notebook feel to the book, it is very true to its message simply by its design.
I love how the book not only shares bits of Sam's life, but also shares inspirational quotes and biblical principals and verses. His seven steps to Radical Change are indeed life-changing.
I can relate to some of Sam's pain, sadness but more specifically--I can relate to Sam's choice to change. Change in spite of your past. Change in spite of your situation. Change in spite of those who do no want you to change. This is a great book for anyone who wants to be inspired. This is a great book for anyone who wants to pull out of a dark place. This is a great book to start your journey of forgiveness, love--Be that one to change!

Desire.
Awareness.
Meaning.
Choice.
Love.
Change.
Gratuity.
Read about, learn from, and instill some of Sam's ideas into your life and you too may find balance in your whole person.
SPIRITUAL
MENTAL
PHYSICAL
EMOTIONAL
A MUST Read! Go check it out. Great Christmas Gift!

To request a full sample
of My Orange Duffel Bag,
Please contact:
For Media Only: Book Reviewers/Editors/Bloggers:


Sam Bracken
Cell: 1 404-422-3264
Email: sbracken@mac.com
Sam on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SamBracken67
Sam on LinkedIn



Echo Garrett
Phone: 1 770-977-7509
Email: echo@seelevelstudios.com
Echo on Twitter: http://twitter.com/echogarrett
Echo on LinkedIn

click here to purchase: http://www.myorangeduffelbag.com/books/fullpage_sample.html


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Highlights from Books ALive 2010 in Jefferson Texas

Sam Bracken and Echo Garrett were AMAZING! You must read "My Orange Duffle Bag" and check out the Oragne duffle bag foundation at http://www.orangeduffelbagfoundation.org/

Met Larry Linum from the 1980 Dangerfield Church massacre. Check out www.thedaytheangelscried.com. Raw, honest story of loss, anger and divine healing!

Other authors of note:
Kathy Louise Patrick of "The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life"

2010 Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton

Judy Christie of "Goodness Gracious Green" and "Hurry Less Worry Less" series

Missy Buchanan of "Living With Purpose in a Worn Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults" and "Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms"

Carla Stewart of "Chasing Lilacs"

Mary Beth Whalen of "The Mailbox"

And Lisa Wingate who ALSO lives in WACO! HA!
NY Times best selling author of "Beyond Summer!" and who's latest book is based on the Gospel Cafe--a food ministry right here in Waco near good 'ole Baylor!
Such a small crazy world!
Great time!
Plan to attend next year! Amazing stories and great inspirations!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I must remember this time...




My 4 year old daughter is enamored with REPTILES---specifically IGUANAS! It started simply enough a few months ago. It was summer here in Central Texas and Reese was a self-proclaimed lizard hunter. This child loves Bear Grylls and Billy the Exterminator--she is fearless. She began to imagine that these run-of-the-mill texas lizards were indeed iguanas and komoto dragons.
She comes by her love of, and interest in, nature honestly--from me. I may be a girly girl but I love my biology, critters, and bugs!
Well lizard catching led to the purchase of a few lizard inspired toys and clothing---specifically iguanas. She has a stuffed iguana, "rodeo" dragon (komoto dragon), and ignana tee-shirt. These are some of her most cherished posessions.
For some reason the writers of the children's cartoon "Olivia" decided that a main character in their storylines would also have a pet iguana.
The pleas began.
She wants santa to bring her one for Christmas....
hmmmm, these things get HUGE! Santa might consider a lizard but not an iguana. No level of explaining the fact that an iguana may tear santa's bag, or poop in the reindeers food, or fight with our dogs, or scare Raeleigh have minimalized her desire.
For halloween this year she chose to go as...a DINOSAUR. Her favorite color dinosaur at that--green with yellow spikes.
Now, what happened next there are no words for....
We went to trunk or treat at RCC and guess what someone brought dressed as a witch...
guess...
go ahead...
I mean, come on, it was a trunk or treat in a church parking lot...what would you bring?
AN IGUANA! And BIG one at that!
Reese immediatley asked if she could hold it--fearless yet again.
Oh the pleas are now incessant. He was a very nice and well mannered iguana, but not all are the same. And did I mention that HE WAS HUGE!?!?
She is stating her argument for this iguana time and time again on a daily basis and has reassured me that she will train the iguana to not hurt sadie (her favorite of our three dogs). She also assures me that she has learned from cartoons how to clean up after her iguana, clean his cage, feed him and bathe him--ALL FROM CARTOONS!?!?!?! Really? I think she may have quoted "Little Bear" and "Franklin".


Oh dear, help me. I am certain that no LIVE iguanas will Santa deliver this year---anyone know of any good robotic models?









Friday, October 15, 2010

Speech at Shoemaker--Blessing Galore

On October the 13th of 2010, I had the most intimidating, amazing day of my life. I had been invited, by the school counselor, to be a guest motivation speaker on senior day at Shoemaker High School in Killeen, Texas. It was career day for these kids, and I was asked to share my story in a motivational way.
This was something I had dreamed of since I started my journey of self-discovery and healing about 5 years ago, but I never thought I would truly have the strength and courage to do it. And I still don’t. It is only by the grace of God that I was able to share what I am about to share with you with these 300+ teenage strangers.
I arrived at Shoemaker about 20 minutes early. If you know me, you know I am perpetually early. I like to find where I am going, see my surroundings, gather my thoughts and calm myself before I begin any new endeavor. One of the hardest things that I had to do on this day was look at that huge courtyard full of students and not turn my car around and drive back home.
I played KLOVE on my radio the whole way to Killeen, about an hour drive for me, and it truly calmed me and gave me a peace that I needed to muster the strength to open that car door. I gathered my items for my EIGHT presentations, took a deep breath, and walked through that once so familiar, social jungle we know of as High School.
Once I checked in, and found my room, I organized my notes, said a little prayer, and waited for the kiddos to arrive. My first day of teaching high school flashed into my mind as that door to the choir room opened and those highly hormonal teenaged persons began to pour in.
They took their seats, all smiles and my day began.
I will from this point forward write as if I am there again. There were 8 separate 30 minute presentations and each one was unique with its own separate challenges and victories but I will share the highlights here with you as if I am back there. It still plays in my mind as fresh as the day it all occurred.
“Good morning guys!” I said. There was that all too familiar low rumble of good mornings as the kids settled into their seats.
“I will begin this morning by telling you a bit of general and vague information about myself just to get the doors of communication open. My name is Rachel Stolle. I am a 29 year old Baylor University graduate, ex-high school science teacher, theatre director and cheerleading sponsor. I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, currently a stay at home mom, staff writer for poetic monthly magazine, cake decorator and published children’s book author and illustrator. Before I go into any more detail about myself I want to give you an idea of what my plan is for us today and what I expect from you.
I am here to challenge you. (I had a dry erase board behind me with the word SUCCESS and the word Career.) I am here to challenge how you think. I am here to challenge how you think about success. I am here to challenge how you think about a career. And I am here to challenge, maybe before our time is up, how you think about yourself, your future, and your decisions.”
At this point I moved from the podium to the dry erase board and asked each group to define those words for me. For success I got words like money, possessions, pride, power, influence, achievement, goals, happiness etc. For the word career I got words like long term, money, job, passion, retirement, job security, internship, education etc. The kids were right where I hoped they would be and I expected they would be.
I asked the kids if they had all seen those mayhem commercials by allstate. That guy is standing in that tree jumping on the braches saying shaky, shaky and the branch falls on the car. Or the one where the teenage girl is driving that big pink suburban while texting and runs into that lady’s car.
“This is kind of why I am here today. Life can sometimes throw mayhem at us. Life can sometimes present situations that whether we create them or someone creates them for us, those situations can be bad. We can create mayhem for ourselves or we can create mayhem in other people’s lives.”
At this point I grabbed a handful of lemons and walked down level with the kids who were seated in choir risers.
“I told you a minute ago some simple information about myself. But I have something more to share with you today. In a minute I am going to be very honest with you. In a minute I am going to share with you something that a few years ago my best friends did not know about me. In a few minutes I am going to tell you something that even a year or two ago I couldn’t comfortably talk to my husband about. I am asking the same thing of you. I don’t want details, and I am not asking for details, but I am asking for honesty. I am going to ask you some questions and all I ask is that if that question applies to you, raise your hand.
Yes, I am holding lemons. Yes I AM going to be throwing these lemons at you, and yes I DO have a reason for that. We all have something. When I ask you the question, "Is there something in your past that you are ashamed of?” we all have something. (Hands go up and I toss a few lemons at the kids. They think it is great fun and the more questions I ask the more hands go up—they all want a chance to catch one of those lemons.) Three of four lemons tossed out at questions like, is there something in your past that embarrasses you? Have you ever taken advantage of another person? Have you even been taken advantage of? And I get serious. Guys when I asked you those questions, whether you raised you hand or not, you all thought about something. That thing you thought of, for the sake of conversation, we are going to call those things lemons today. I realize it is a cliché and kind of silly but bare with me and you will see how well the analogy fits.
I told you earlier some basic information about myself. I was 25 years old and had done everything I was supposed to do. I had checked everything off my list that I had created for myself, in my own mind, as to how to achieve success.
When I was your age I thought I had it all figured out. I was in the top of my class, I was a good student. I was also socially active. I was a cheerleader. I was even 2nd best NCA mascot in the nation my sophomore year. I was student council president. I was accepted to Baylor, and I thought I was well on my way to achieving success. I graduated from Baylor with good grades. I got a job as a teacher. I was happily married to a well-educated man and we owned our own home. We had 2 new vehicles and everything else that we were told that if we strived for and achieve that we would indeed be successful…
But something wasn’t right. Here I was 25 years old with everything I wanted. Two good incomes and the ‘world’ at my fingertips….but still something wasn’t right. I found myself at 25 years old standing in front of the mirror and I realized that I had a ‘lemon’. I had been living a lie. I wasn’t necessarily telling lies to people around me, but I wasn’t being honest. I wasn’t sharing who I truly was. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I was taken advantage of, and I was ignoring it.
This is where I am going to be honest with you. This is where I am going to tell you that thing that kept me from feeling successful. This is where I am going to share my lemons with you. But first I want to show you something. (I had 2 bags of lemons. One of which had been in fridge for a week and one of which had been on my porch.)
I picked up both bags and told the kids. I bought these bags of lemons last week. This bag has been in my fridge. I would take it out every now and then to be sure they were ok and fresh. These lemons have been taken care of and not ignored. I put down the fresh bag. I was still holding the rotten bag. This bag of lemons…well. I took this bag of lemons and I hit it on the steps, threw it up against the side of the house…STOMPED on it, smashed it and left in on the front porch all week. Would you make lemonade out of these lemons?”
Of course all the kids said no. I asked why. They told me it was rotten. I agreed.
“This bag of lemons is rancid, rotten, nasty, stinky, and gross. There are some bugs crawling around in here and there is no way I would eat these lemons.
I had a bag of rotten lemons.”
I took a deep breath and I said…
“I am a survivor of 11 years of incestual molestation at the hand of a distant family member. (You could have heard a pin drop.) All of the silliness, sarcasm, and goofing off instantly stopped. The kids that had been texting put down their phones. Those that had been doodling put down their pens and all eyes were on me. I officially had their attention.
For 11 years I was someone’s garbage can. For 11 y ears someone used my body in a way that they DID NOT have permission to. For 11 years someone took advantage of me. For 11 years I was being handed a rotten stinking mess of rancid lemons. For 11 years I was a victim. I was 25 years old before I was able to look in a mirror and say, WOW what happened to me was a BIG DEAL. I was 25 years old before I could admit to myself, "What happened to me was NOT okay". I was 25 years old before I could admit that that did not just happen to everyone.
This is why I am here to talk to you today. When I asked you at the very beginning today if you were ashamed of something, when I asked you if you had been taken advantage of, when I asked you if you had taken advantage of someone else…you all thought of SOMETHING. It doesn’t have to be as big and as shocking as mine. Mine is kind of biggie. Yours could be small or it could also be something big. It could be one-time drug use. It could be drug addiction. It could be premarital sex. It could be teenage abortion or it could be as simple as cheating on a test last week. But the point is that all of you thought of something. You all had something on your mind.
I stand here before you today and implore you, whatever lemon you may have, I beg you, don’t let it rot and fester and stink. Don’t let that thing that you thought of sit in your past, ignored, and grow and grow and stink and stink and rot and rot or one day—someday you find yourself looking in the mirror…
You find yourself with this list of things that you have done that for some reason left you feeling empty. You find yourself wondering why that new car didn’t make you feel successful. You find yourself wondering why those name brand clothes didn’t fulfill that need inside of you. You find yourself as a doctor in a hospital wondering why you STILL don’t feel accomplished.
This is my challenge. I challenge you today to dare to believe that there are more important things than pride. I challenge you to believe that your career can be something more important than a job.
So I have been dealing with and coping with my ‘lemons’ for a few years now. Last year something happened that really began to make this all stir inside me. Last year a strong Christian role-model in my life past away. Last year I lost a woman whom I loved dearly. This was a woman that even though I wasn’t related to her, she might as well have been my grandmother. She was the woman in the community whose door was always open. She was the woman who would give you the coat off of her back. This is the woman who would have dinner waiting for my family in the refrigerator when we got off the bus from school. She was THAT woman. And she died last year. Aunt Lou passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. And these lemons were stirring inside me. I had not been ignoring them for a few years at this point, but I had yet to do something with them. And that is when I made my decision. That is when I found a way to make my stinking pile of nasty, rotten, rancid mess into something beautiful.
I am now a Christian children’s book author and illustrator.” (Ok, so this is where I nearly lost my composure. As I mentioned earlier I spoke to 8 different groups, and the experience was different each time. But this one group…oh my! At this point I had the attention of 30-50 teen-agers who so very movingly and kindly proceeded to give me a standing ovation. OOOOH, it was all I could do to not go into the corner and cry for a few minutes—but I was able to hold it together. I thanked them and moved on.)
“Now I have something else important, and completely unrelated to my childhood abuse, to share with you, but just as important for a point I want to make to you. Eight years ago I also survived an attempted kidnapping turned carjacking. My point in telling you this is that it and my childhood abuse have left me with a disorder known of as PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. I want you to know this because it is important for me to be sure you realize that I am not presuming to have it all figured out. I am not perfect. I am broken. There are still parts of me that are a complete mess—but I am still making it into something good and beautiful. And I ask the same of you.
Don’t wait til you think you have it all together. Don’t wait until you think you can paint a pretty picture with your life story. Life is messy. This world isn’t perfect. Dealing with stuff like this isn’t easy. You will never have all the answers, but you may have one that someone else needs to hear. You may have been through something that may inspire someone else. You may be going through something right then that you can go through WITH someone else.
I told you earlier that I was a teacher, and that my family had two incomes from 2 educated career fields. Well, today I stand before you as a stay at home mom. I work part-time at a preschool where my girls go, so that I can be there with them and so we can afford for them to go. I stand before you today and I only bring home $300 a month now. Granted, that isn’t our only income. My husband does work and is the provider for our family. But there was a time when money wasn’t a problem. There was a time when we had more than we needed. There was a time that I could wear all the designer labels, drive the new car, have the nice rims and big stereo---but not now. But you know what. I can look you in the face today and honestly tell you that I feel more successful today than I did 5 years ago.
My success is not defined by a paycheck. My success is not defined by my possessions. My success is not defined by my career. And neither is yours!
My challenge to you today is to find those lemons. Find them today. Don’t wait like I did and check all those things off your imaginary list, and expect them to fulfill you. Don’t leave that mess in your past ignored only to grow, rot and fester. I ask of you this one thing. No matter what your job is.
I don’t care if you graduate last in your class. I don’t care if you become a doctor or a lawyer of a burger flipper. Those things all do matter but they are not the MOST important. I challenge you today to make your career one of honesty.--one of truth--one of transparency. If you can do this one thing... If you can take your darkest, most embarrassing, saddest moment and make something good out of it then what better success can you have. If you can accomplish this one thing then there is nothing else that you cannot do.
I am not telling you to not go to school, or to not strive for a well paying career or to not buy a new car at some point---what I AM telling you is to not look for your success solely in those things. Do not expect those things to fulfill you.
I am not asking you to stand up in front of a group of 30 strangers and tell your life story. I cannot tell you how to deal with what hand you are dealt. I am not presuming to be an expert. All I know is how I have dealt, and how I have chosen to make good of my rotten mess—and maybe, just maybe my story can help you do the same.
I leave you today asking you this. No matter what job you have when you graduate. No matter how you think you will become successful—make your career one of honesty, truth and transparency. Turn those rotten lemons into something good and then, maybe then you will truly find a way to succeed.”

Oh what a glorious day. After each presentation I had 2-3 kids come up and shake my hand and thank me for being there. I had several girls come up and hug my neck. I spoke to two survivors and passed out my contact info to about 300 kids. One girl came up and told me she was also a Christian and thanked me for what I am doing. Oh God, my God I give you all the glory. I look back today at myself standing on front of those kids and I honestly cannot explain how I was able to do it. Only in Him can I find strength! Bless you all and I hope you saw His glory and work in this as much as I did.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cool few days

I am a guest motivational speaker tomorrow at Shoemaker High School for their career day. I should speak to a total of 300 students before 1 pm.
I was also just featured on the speak up for teens website. You can check it out here:

http://speakupteens.webs.com/featured.htm


I will follow up with a post as to how it goes tomorrow at Shoemaker. Pray for me!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Boobie Babble Author Interview #5: Patrick D. House


Patrick David House was born June 1st 1976 in South Saint Paul, Minniesota but spent most of his teenage years in Orlando Floirda in a nieghborhood called Pine Hills. He believed in the ways of not following the traditional ways of writing and had a plan of rebelling against how one should be when it came down to becoming an author. He traveled through the United States looking to find the true grit of the American Life. He then settled roots in Louisville KY in 2009 and in 2010 signed with Publish America for two books he had finished The Nevaha Chronicles Book One: The Sword of the Itains and STREET REBELS while waiting the birth of his daughter. He is currently working on his 3rd book The Conquistadores of Pine Hills.

Q. AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

Well as a child I always loved to create stories. I wrote my first script while in 6th grade which was a horror slasher flick set in Ireland called The St. Patrick's Day Massacre. It was only 20 pages but it was when I moved to Pine Hills meeting two friends in school that we got together and write stories with screen plays that were anti hollywood. It was birth of the path of writing stories that were different then what you would read. Reading the works of Hunter S Thompson, Frank Herbert, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E Howard had set the path of things. Plus listening to heavy metal bands while staying up late while writing put my mind in motion. So in a sense I always loved writing and creating stories that in my best knowledge saying to myself that these would be books I want to read.

Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?

Well coming from a place that when you were told constantly that no one would publish your works or the fact no one wants to read your work. It had set a mindful impact in my mind. When you come from a low economy back ground where you know that money is the one thing you can't dish out. You have to go with the fact that you have to do things yourself. The thing about self publishing is that you keep all your rights. Yes you have to promote yourself but its something that anyone who sells any product in this world even if you are backed by a corpuration in these times. So I am all for self publishing because you keep your rights and never loose them. So just to see my book in print was a dream come true. I personally couldn't care about the marketing conscept of things.

Q. WHAT KINDS OF BENEFITS COME FROM PARTICIPATING IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS?
It depends on the group or organizations you are for. As for me I am a huge supporter of stoping bulling in school as I am a former victim of such a thing. I am on a huge crusade also to all things that are stupid. I see pleanty of it going on today. In school I was apart of the Orlando Shakespare Young Company Actors Guild as well as apart of The Saw Dust Circle which was Clowns who entertain children both heathly and sick. I was active with the Drama Club and Theaspins. But as for today I am pretty much not much into groups unless its protecting the children.

Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WITH YOUR WRITING IN FIVE YEARS?

Well I have actually a large plan in the next five years. I have to finish The Nevaha Chronicles Trilogy which I will be starting next year. Then I will start on my vampire series called The John Malek Journals. When that is finished I will be working on my sci fi series trilogy called The Black Star Birgade. When that is finished I will be working on a crime series set in the 1980's called Inside Electric Blue. I hope some one turns all my books into films. The one I would love to see is STREET REBELS be done well. After that I will probably do some prequels to Nevaha and some side stories to Nevaha as well as the John Malek Journals. Who knows.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE OF WRITING?
Oh that is a tough one because I love all types of Genre. I guess thats why I dont follow the traditional ways of writing. I dont have a set genre when I write. I love all types of books when I find intresting. When I was younger I enjoyed sci fi and horror as well as reading fantasy. But as I got older I just stuck with the writers such as Hunter S Thompson, Robert E Howard, and others. So i really dont have a set genre of writing.

Q. HOW DOES WRITING HELP YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?
Well I am hoping to be the voice for those who are different and who have been bullied through out life. For my books to have them stand up for themselves without violence to become one with their spirits and show that they can make a difference in this world and they can over come anything thrown at them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My interview as it appears on Conscious Discussions

-- World of Writing Interview # 31



Rachel Jeanette Hall Stolle was born and raised in a little town called Jefferson, in North East Texas. As an individual, she has endured economic hardships, sexual abuse by a internal strife. Today Rachel is a 29 year old Baylor University, Texas. graduate, teacher, poetic monthly staff writer, and a budget-conscious stay-at-home mom in Waco


Rachel's first Christian Children's Picture book is set to be released September 12, 2010: Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?, and has many other books planned for this series. Find Rachel at: http://auntloubooks.weebly.com



Q: How would a good friend describe you?


A: My husband of eight years, Jason, is my best friend in the world. I sat here pondering this question and I realized, "JUST ASK JASON!!", so I did. He sat pensive for a moment and his first adjective made me grin from ear to ear--beautiful. I absolutely adore how our relationship has grown and changed with the years. After birthing two children (80lb pregnancies each) one of which ended with an impromptu c-section and an eleven pound (10lb 14oz, i give myself the other 2 oz) baby, he still truly sees me as being as beautiful as the day we met. I giggled at his response and said, "no, really". This is what he came up with. A good friend would describe me as loyal, kind-hearted, thoughtful, and dependable.


Q: What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives? How do you plan to accomplish your goals?


A: My long-range goals as a Christian Children's Book Author are to create a series of picture books that help parents incorporate scriptures, and bible stories, into the every-day explanations they give their children. I am a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. My oldest is four, and very inquisitive. I find myself daily responding to her insightful, innocent questions with the best intentions, but sometimes I fall short and talking to her in a way that she finds engaging. This book series is my attempt to do both.


My short-term goals are to successfully complete the five books that I have already written. I write when I feel led, and through the years I have created five wholesome children's stories in anticipation of sharing them with my children and family.


Q: How do you determine or evaluate success?


A: I find it so very ironic that this question appears here. I just days ago wrote my very first one-page article for Poetic Monthly Magazine with this very title. It will appear in the October issue. Feel free to see more of my work in future months at poeticmonthly.com


Here I sit enjoying a calm evening with the hubby, after a long and crazy day. The television is blaring a home improvement show, and we sit anxiously hoping for the phone to ring with an offer on our home of seven years. The girls are settled into bed after a day at pre-school, and two long and torturous hours driving around the area waiting for our home to be viewed. Finally my mind slowly relaxes, forgetting about the worries of the day. This is where I find myself, contemplating success.


There have been many benchmarks in my life that I believed I would experience success once I met them—today I realize that success is something you define for yourself, not something that can be achieved by checking the traditional ‘life-steps’ off a list given to you by this world.


Granted, some things on my checklist are far from average, but it is a checklist nonetheless. I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor, check. I am a nationally ranked HS mascot, check (had to throw this in there just for its sheer randomness). I am a HS graduate within the top 10% of my class, check. I am a college graduate, check. I am a violent crime survivor, check. I am a wife, check. I am a homeowner, check. I am a teacher, check. I am a mom, check. I am a stay-at-home mom, check, check, check, check, and check (that one counts more!). And now I am a published children’s book author and illustrator, check. These are all things that I am proud of, and at a time in my life I would have thought that these things defined me and/or my ‘success’.


I felt a tug on my heartstrings today as I listened to my first radio interview (with poetic monthly blog radio mind you), plus found my book listed at both Barnes and Nobel, and Books-a-Million—success for me is allowing all of the bad and nasty things I have ever experienced to be turned beautiful. I realize now that I have a mission, not just a checklist. I have a mission to reach others with my message of hope, faith, peace and love. I have a mission to teach my children, and hopefully others via my books, that there are things so vastly more important than just income, or status, or degrees. I define my success by my faith. This world is fleeting, but if I can reach one heart and one soul with my message of healing, and lead them to find their home—what better thing could I ever do?


So this is my commission to you, aspiring or current authors—just start. Start looking over your checklist, and your life. Decide for yourself what your definition of success is and go for it. Find your story and share it. You never know, it just might lead someone home.


Q: What inspires you?


A: My life experiences, and a very strong Christian role model in my childhood inspire me to write. I credit my earliest foundations in Christianity to a wonderful woman named Lousie Ritche. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service, and passed away in 2009 from Alzheimer disease . 
“Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is my first published work. It aims to help children who have experienced hardships or trauma in their lives to understand that God is by their side.


I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor. I experienced eleven years of intermittent abuse at the hand of a distant family member. I am also an adult attempted kidnapping turned carjacking survivor. You can see my account of that terrible day at http://auntloubooks.weebly.com/the-day-i-was-nearly-kidnapped-and-carjacked.html. I truly felt led to make "Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?" my first and most-important work.


Q: What is your opinion of the world today?


A: This is such a very loaded question and I have very mixed feelings on this topic. As a Christian I see hope, peace and love present in our world today in so very many ways. There are wonderful people living among us today, just as there are the truly hurting and lost. While there is great good taking place and many people still willing to help a fellow neighbor, there is also great evil, self-centeredness, destruction and perversion. I do not, however, believe that any of this sets our world of 'today' apart from our world of 'yesterday'. I just think we hear more about the negative than ever before.


I guess my most accurate and direct answer would be that I see great unmet potential in the world today just as at anytime in our history.


Q: What is your contribution to society?



A: My books. My honesty. My heart. ...I desire to be as transparent and honest about my life as possible. I believe that this action alone will facilitate healing and change. If I can reach one child with the message of salvation and healing then I feel that I will have accomplished my life goal.




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blogs, and more at: www.brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or purchasing a book - each book sold raises funds for charity as well!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Author Blog Interview Exchange #4 Lillian Brummett



Boobie Babble Author Interview #4

Dave and Lillian Brummet have been writing professionally since 1999 - to date, they have written 3 published books. The main focus of their books, blogs, newsletter and radio program is to inspire hope in individuals, helping them realize the value of their efforts and encouraging them to become more positive, proactive in life.
The Brummet's Conscious Blog:
The Brummet's Conscious Blog - where you will find the eco-tip of the day, quote of the day and many resources for green living. You will also see inspiring positive environmental news and updates on the Conscious Discussions and Authors Read radio shows. You'll also find an insider's view into the world of writing, and links to everything the Brummet's have to offer: http://consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com


Conscious Discussions Radio:
Conscious Discussions Radio is an hour long talk show that celebrates individuals around the world who are working to make the world a better place. Conscious Discussions is not about pointing fingers - it is about celebrating individuals who are stepping up and doing proactive things. www.brummet.ca/conscious.html

Trash Talk - An Inspirational Guide to Saving Time and Money through Better Waste and Resource Management discusses the 4-R’s of waste management and the proper order for them. This being Refuse, Reduce, Reuse Then Recycle… before we even consider sending the item to the trash bin. Trash Talk focuses on the third R, Reuse – which also saves people a lot of money (through reduced shopping, reduced utility bills...) and provides a way to make a real and measurable contribution towards a healthier planet. The book enables readers to feel more positive in life and leave a lasting legacy. Trash Talk is currently available in both paperback format & will soon be updated and released in the upcoming Trash Talk - Its Easy Being Green e-book series. Details at: www.brummet.ca/trashtalk.html

Towards Understanding, revised edition is a collection of 125 non-fiction poems written in chronological order. It is a true story of a young pre-teen female growing up on her own, struggling to survive, breaking the chains of inner demons and finally growing towards understanding of her value & purpose in life – but not quite reaching it. Thus the title… Towards Understanding. The reason behind the book was to show other victims of abuse, violence and neglect that they can live a wholesome life without baggage from the past. Second to that Lillian wanted to provide a roadmap that showed the healing process that victims go through, letting others know they are not alone. People who are involved with victims can learn what that person is going through or will go through and therefore they might be able to provide a better support system. The original version of this book (with 120 poems) is still available in paperback through most online and retail bookstores. The new revised edition offers 5 new poems, creating an ending the author is more comfortable with, and updated author information. Details at: www.brummet.ca/towards.html


Purple Snowflake Marketing - How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd, is a reference guide for self-marketing authors who want to be noticed in a snowstorm of writers. With 19 chapters and 25 appendices, this book is a means for authors to design an effective marketing plan and utilize frugal promotional tools with the click of their mouse. Whether it is utilized by order of chapters or randomly at the reader's discretion the book is a marketing plan in itself. Accelerate your marketing efforts far beyond your peers with the more than 900 resources available with the click of your mouse! Purple Snowflake Marketing provides reassurance to authors along with ample advice for avoiding pit-falls and setting a pace for marketing endeavors. Details at: www.brummet.ca/purple.html

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

A: Happiness to me is still a bit of a conundrum – Although I have been finding much more personal fulfillment since I became a writer, despite the incredibly long hours and the stresses it involves. Working for someone else was not fulfilling in any way – it was draining my reserves in fact. Writing has allowed me to educate, inspire, and motivate others to live a more conscious, proactive and green lifestyle. Knowing that readers actually use that knowledge in their lives is very encouraging to me. On a personal level - I find peace in working the soil; I’m big on gardening and love being a part of the life cycle there. Watching the amazing process that a seed goes through, and all the mirco-organisms, life in the soil, pollinators and beneficial life… When seeking some form of refuge from the stresses in this live I always turn to animals and wilderness.

Q: Are you doing what you really want to do in life?

A: Oh, absolutely. I wouldn’t change a thing… of course we are always evolving, growing – but I wouldn’t change the general direction of my life’s path. I really feel like I am making a difference – as a writer, radio show host, blog manager – with the topics I cover and highlighting the incredible work that others are doing. As a gardener, I participate in seed saving programs and share both seeds and produce with the needy, friends, organizations and neighbors. As a writer I’ve given back in many ways from book reviews to literacy organization donations.

Q: In your career as a writer - what do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

A: My greatest strengths would be determination and self-discipline. I am not afraid of hard work, and I am dedicated to the work we do – I really believe in it and having been a business manager/owner I know the work it takes to make a business like this work. My weaknesses involve impatience with delays from having to learn new technology to waiting for a book release – this is very hard for me. Normally I can be very methodical, practical… but I can also be impatient and moody at times due to frustrations. Luckily Dave (her co-writing husband) is a patient man, who doesn’t mind going behind the scenes to repair a computer problem… while I pace in the background.

Q: What are some of your favorite websites for writers?

A: There are so many! (She laughs) – Let’s see… RoseAndThornEzine.com, WritersJournal.com, WritersUnlimited.com, BeWrite.net, Once Written.com, AbsoluteWrite.com, Writer2writer.com, WritersAndBeyond.com, WritersGazette.com …I could go on and on with this one… Oh I mustn’t forget WritersInTheSky.com

Q: What are some of the tools you use for marketing?

A: I use every tool I can find, methodically utilizing each opportunity as it arises – or I’ll make a note of the opportunity for a future date. I feel it is important to experiment with different tools, since you never know when you will stumble upon an untapped audience. Currently my marketing seems to evolve around interviews, articles and social networking. I have a couple of blogs, a book tour page, an e-newsletter that goes out twice a month, a great website that is currently going through upgrades, a radio show… and these all take time to manage. If your readers have time, I would like to invite them to do an Internet Search on my name and they’ll see that more than 15,000 links come up – and often as many as 30,000 (depending on the search engine used; I tend to use Bing, DogPile or Google).

Q: Are you satisfied with your experiences as a published author? (things you’ve noticed that could be improved, what you’ve enjoyed, what you’ll do better next time…)

A: Being an author, as opposed to other writing genres, is much more of a challenge in that there is more marketing and record keeping involved. A book is sold over and over in one’s marketing campaign until the book no longer exists in the publishing industry - which can be 10 years or more. While an article is queried out to a magazine, who decides to publish it – and that is pretty much it. Sure you need to keep records as to when the article was published, when and how much you were paid and when you can use the article again. (Most have a 3 month waiting period before you can rewrite or reprint a published article). Authors need anywhere between 1 and 8 years to produce a book – an article can be written in a single day.
As to being satisfied – well, there is no doubt this is a challenge. Too many people want free books, and there are so many challenges from marketing costs, time management, public appearances… all this time put into the books only to sell a few hundred copies a year. It can be daunting and challenging, but it is worth it – none-the-less.
You can see my author interview with Lillian at http://consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boobie Babble Author Interview with Shunkedra Zachery







Author Interview #3

Shunkedra has been captivated by romance and storytelling since she was a young girl growing up in East Texas. Devoted to the ART of reading, she became an Elementary Reading Teacher to inspire children to read. Creating stories about love, whether in book format or script has been a lifelong dream of hers. Shunkedra’s first novel “To Love Again?” encompasses love, forgiveness, faith, and family. The important things in life!!!
Shunkedra is a self-taught fiction novelist and screenplay writer from Texas. She graduated with honors from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and has a BA in Communication with emphasis on Radio/TV. She is also a certified Public School Teacher. She taught in the classroom 4 years before deciding to venture out to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer. She currently resides in Georgia where she spends the majority of her time writing and learning daily about her craft.


Q. AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

Although I dabbled with the idea of becoming a doctor or lawyer, for as long as I can remember, I dreamed of becoming a writer. In fact, I wanted to write for the Soap Opera General Hospital. Which is kind of peculiar for a young child, but I was so use to my mom watching All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital every day. The characters were a part of my life. However, as I grew older, the realization that people would criticize my work steered me into another direction. Today, I realize the only opinion that matters is mine. If I enjoy my work, then that’s what counts. I am truly my harshest critic.

Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?
My opinion of self-publishing varies, because it has its pros and cons. I will never regret self-publishing my first novel with Xlibris because it went beyond my expectations. For years I had been sitting on my story, unable to decide what to do with it. It wasn’t until I made contact with the company that I actually finished my book. To say the least, they drove me crazy, but I needed that. If I’m not mistaken, it took almost a year for them to finally convince me to submit my material. Every month like clockwork I got a call. Miss Zachery, are you ready to submit. What are you waiting on? If your work is done, why haven’t you submitted it? Finally, I just sent it. And in 2 weeks I had the finished product in my hand, and it felt wonderful.

The biggest fault of most self-publishing companies is they often charge outrageous amounts for their product. If you are a struggling writer, you can’t afford the cost of copy-editing, publicity, and many of the other things needed to make your book a success. And, after you pay all of this money, there is no guarantee that your book will swarm the market. So considering I just wanted to see my book in print, I decided against the extra things. Fortunately for me, the longer I held out, the more free perks they offered.

Q. WHAT KINDS OF BENEFITS COME FROM PARTICIPATING IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS?
I believe groups are an excellent motivator. I am a member of the Georgia Writers Association, and I try to attend as many workshops as I can at Kennesaw State University. Because I didn’t technically go to school for writing, I feel the need to learn as much as I can from people who are in the industry. I like to know how they got their start, and what steps they took. No artist path is the same, but it’s always great to have someone to map and model. It’s also great to simply get out and meet other people. US writers have the tendency to find a safe haven and hide away from the world. Being a part of a group, keeps you connected.

Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WITH YOUR WRITING IN FIVE YEARS?
Where do I see myself in five years???Hum… Honestly, I have no clue. I know that writing will always be a part of my life from now on. There was a 10 year span in my life, in which the only writing I did was for class assignments. Now that I have rediscovered my love for words, the sky is the limit. I can say that I would like for my first screenplay “Gone, Not Forgotten” to be put on film. I also have a children’s book that I am working on, and at least complete one screen play a year during that 5 year period. I would also like to be a part of a writing team for a primetime television show. One thing that I have learned in my research is that there are opportunities out there. They may be hard to obtain, but they are out there. As you know, I wanted to write for soap operas when I was a child. There are actually contest with the ABC network that give you the opportunity to do just that. I didn’t know that when I was younger, and I probably would have spent the last 15 years of my life entering those contest and fellowship programs. I may not can say with specifics what will happen in 5 years, but I know that I will spend the next 5 years focusing on getting my work into the hands of people that can help me accomplish those goals.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE OF WRITING?
I love stories about love. I grew up reading romance novels at an early age, and I was always captivated by how the characters fell in love. What steps, or process, led the characters to discover that their life would be better off having this particular person in it… Authors like Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood were always outlets when I wanted to read a good story about love. As a Christian based writer, I try to forgo the steamy, and focus on the characters relationship. I hope with time and experience, I will become a great story teller like these ladies.


Q. HOW DOES WRITING HELP YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?
I pray that my writing makes a difference in the lives of my former students. I want these children to realize that it’s okay to want more in life. I want them to dare to dream. I want to generate in others the desire to not give up on something you love. For so long, I had given up on writing. Whether or not my first book sells 1,000,000 copies or 100 copies, I am more proud of myself now than I have ever been.

www.shunkedra.com
www.amazon.com
shunz81@live.com

If you are in the East Texas Area, you can purchase a book at Williams Collision Repair off Hwy 59 in Jefferson, TX. Contact Sherry Williams at 903-665-3542

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Interview with Author Annie Eskeldson

Q.Where are you from?

A. I was born in a small East Texas town called Atlanta. My family relocated to the tiny town of Gray, Texas when I was four years old. Gray is such a small community that it does not even have its own schools or post office for that matter. I commuted a 50 mile round trip each day to attend school in nearby historic Jefferson, Texas.
Jefferson was the riverport to the southwest and today is known of as the bed and breakfast capital of Texas. It is located on Big Cypress Bayou in the Cypress Valley of Northeast Texas. It is the County seat for Marion county. Named for Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War patriot who was known as the "Swamp Fox". Jefferson was named for Thomas Jefferson, and was conceived as a port city by Allen Urquhart and Daniel Alley, who saw its potential as the head of navigation when they prepared a plan for the town site in 1841.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I have always felt a tug at my heartstring to take pen to paper and write. Even though I have published my first Christian children’s book entitled “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” I still do not consider myself a writer, I think my own acceptance of that title will come with time. It all seems very surreal. But I am loving every minute of it!
What is your profession and educational background?
I graduated high school with honors from Jefferson Independent School District in 1999. I am a Baylor University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. I have 3 years of private Christian high school teaching experience. I have taught grades 7-12 in subjects such as IPC, Anatomy and Physiology honors, earth science, life science and even theatre. I have directed several one-act and full length plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Ugly Duckling, Happily Never After and I Never Saw Another Butterfly.
I am currently a four year old preschool teacher at a local Christian preschool, and a staff writer for poetic monthly magazine.

Q. What is your mission?

A. I am on a one woman mission to spread the message of hope, healing and love offered freely to us by our heavenly father. My first work titled “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is especially near and dear to my heart.
I am an incestual molestation survivor. I survived 11 intermittent years of abuse at the hand of a distant family member. “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is written as a tool for parents of abused or traumatized children to help their children heal and understand that God is by their side.
This however is not my only message. I am currently working on a coordinating series of books all featuring my signature character Aunt Lou. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service and the Lord. Louise passed away in September of 2009, she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
The entire series of books will be titled Aunt Lou’s Kitchen and feature titles such as “Tell Me About Easter, Aunt Lou”, “Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou”, and “Tell Me About Christmas, Aunt Lou”. I aim to help parents integrate God and scriptures into the everyday explanations they give their children.

Q. What inspires you to write?

A. My life experiences and my faith inspire me to write. As soon as I was born, God never left my side. He guided me through economic hardships, sexual abuse by a distant family member, an attempted kidnapping turned carjacking, and years of spiritual warfare.

While I choose to keep the details of my childhood sexual abuse private, I do very openly share my experience with the attempted kidnapping turned carjacking back in 2001.

It was October of the same year of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was still dealing emotionally with seeing the images of the attacks, and I was not aware of my PTSD at this time so I didn’t limit my exposure to the trauma.
I was walking to my car through an apartment complex parking lot, headed to school I remember I was going to wear navy blue addidas shorts that day, but I melted the athletic material with the clothes iron (should been a sign). So I changed. I remember that outfit in detail as well--Tommy Hilfiger flare jeans, a grey Baylor tee with a red and blue University logo and tennis shoes. Something told me to ride with my husband that morning, but I ignored the instinct.
As soon as I was outside, I saw him. He was far enough away that I felt safe, but close enough that I wasted no time getting to my car.
I remotely unlocked my driver side door, sat down, put my drink in the cup holder, threw my backpack across to the passenger side, and tried to close the door.
The weirdest sensation...my door wouldn't close. There was resistance. I turned and there he was. A black male about 200lbs and a bit over six foot. He had something sharp in his hand--I assumed it was a pocket knife. He threw open my door, put the object to my neck and said, "Get over". He wanted me to scoot to the passenger side and let him drive away with me.
My first instinct was to obey this large, angry man wielding a sharp object dangerously close to my throat, but then...RAGE!
I WAS NOT going to be victimized AGAIN! This attack took place no less than nine years after my sexual abuse stopped--that meant NOTHING! It was like it had happened yesterday, and I was TICKED!
I put my left hand on the horn of my car--it was early morning, everyone was home asleep and would come out ticked at the noise. I knew help wasn't far away. I leaned through the opening of the door and him and yelled with all my strength for JASON! He started jabbing and slashing at me with what turned out to be a broken glass bottle in a paper bag. I knew he would probably cut me, but not bad enough to kill me.
I looked up the stairs of the complex and there was Jason--tee-shirt, boxers and a very angry look.
I can only imagine what the attack looked like from his vantage point, but from mine I saw hope.
Jason has always brought light, truth and security to my life. The image of him-- and God's protection, gave me the strength and courage to somehow miraculously fight through my attacker and exit the same door he was blocking.
I distinctly remember having one hand gripped tightly to his shirt once. I realized I was now outside the car and he was inside all my anger and pent-up rage overwhelmed me for an instant and I wanted nothing more than to drag him out of the car, take a few shots at him and then let Jason finish him off. But yet again, God intervened and I let him go.
I watched him slam my car door, fumble for the keys and take off. Jason got to the car door about the time he closed and locked it. He beat on the window screaming words that I dare not repeat.
It was at this point that I realized blood was coming from somewhere. I didn’t know where or how bad. I just ran to a wall collapsed to my knees and screamed, "I AM BLEEDING".
Jason instantly left the car to drive away, and came to my rescue.
To this day I am certain that I had an angel in the car with me that day. All that shuffling and fighting and flailing, and I walked away with only a scratch on 3 fingertips, a slash through my shirt and my bra (but not to the skin).

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION!

Q. If someone wants to purchase your book, where would they find it?
A. My books are currently available thought my personal website at

http://auntloubooks.weebly.com

Direct from my publisher
$24.95 hardcover link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product94578.html
$9.95 Paperback link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product95017.html
My books are also listed at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Did-This-Happen-Aunt/dp/145123970X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281538432&sr=8-1

Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Did-This-Happen-Aunt-Lou/Rachel-Stolle/9781451239706

Boobie Babble interview #2 with author DJ Ashton



Author Interview #2



Today we welcome author DJ Ashton. D.J. Ashton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 3, 1964, at Union Memorial Hospital.
She holds an Associate in Science degree in the field of Criminal Justice and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida Metropolitan University.


Having attended the Medix School in Towson, Maryland, she has a certificate of completion in Medical Assisting. She graduated earning the Alpha Beta Cappa award. Upon completion of her externship from the program, she was hired on the spot by the Obstetrician/Gynecologist she worked for during that time, and remained with him until a divorce necessitated a move further than she could travel for work.
Ms. Ashton has one son, who has followed in her footsteps and serves his country proudly in the United States Army. She has one daughter currently enrolled in college as a Psychology major and another daughter who recently graduated beauty school. She also has one granddaughter who she proudly calls "Nana's girl".
Infatuated by and intrigued with vampires, Ms. Ashton began researching and writing about them approximately twenty years ago. In the last seven years, she has been actively writing for publication and is currently in search of a literary agent to represent her work. While she dabbles in other genres, her main focus is always Paranormal Romance.
She has been an active member of the Romance Writers of America organization since April 2005.
To her writing credit, she has written several short stories (in various genres), begun an autobiography, and has also begun writing a whimsical memoir, of sorts, based on little things she observes as she haunts coffee shops, family diners, and the local Barnes & Noble. She is an avid "people-watcher" and gets some of her best story ideas and characters from those unsuspecting people she "accidentally" and "non-chalantly" eavesdrops on.
When not engaged in writing, edits, and people-watching, she likes to unwind on the Internet where she meets with friends to chat. She plays World of Warcraft having left EverQuest after years of play. She also enjoys such "offline" PC games as Doom 3, Half Life, and Quake (4).
Other hobbies include cooking, crocheting, and holding the couch in place while she flips through the cable channels, occasionally coming to rest on programs such as Forensic Files, Law & Order (CI and SVU), Ghost Hunters, and True Blood.

http://djashton.webs.com/
http://djashtonimmdes.blogspot.com/

Q. How do your friends and family feel about your writing venture in general? (how have you handled the situation?)



A. In general, they are okay with my writing and they like to read my books, but they feel I need “a real job” until I get famous (Insert laughing here). I simply tell them my writing is a real job and that I am happy doing it and I’ll keep doing it until I don’t want to do it anymore, which I don’t see happening in the near future.




Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?



Sometimes I will just take a nap and other times I will curl up with a good book, or I’ll take a candlelight bubble bath with soft music on in the background.





Q. What is your favorite book?



Hard to say because I like so many but I guess one of my favorites of all time is “Rage of Angels” by Sidney Sheldon. Oh, and “Acheron” by Sherrilyn Kenyon.





Q. What do you want to accomplish with your books?



I want to secure myself in the world of writing. I just want my books on the shelves of the major bookstores so I can leave a sort of legacy for my children and grandchildren.
How long does it take you to write a completed book manuscript?
It depends on what I’m writing and how intense it gets. The first book I ever wrote took 3 years. The one I just had published took almost 2 years. I finished another book in just two months’ time. And the one I’m working on now, I hope to have done in the next 2-3 weeks. I figure if I do a chapter a day, I’ll accomplish that goal.



Q. What successes has your current book done for you?



My book got me published. I wanted to be a successfully published author and I have achieved that. Now I want to go further and be recognized when people see my name on the cover of one of my works.
You can also find this boobie babble blog interview at auntloubooks.weebly.com
Please check out my interview on DJ's blog at http://djashtonimmdes.blogspot.com/





My Interview with DJ Ashton

Tell us about your latest book?


My first Christian Children’s book’s official release date was September 12, 2010. It is titled, “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is written in a very broad manner in order to aid children experiencing any form of crisis in their life. My goal with this book was to help children who have experienced hardships or trauma in their lives to understand that God is by their side. I credit my earliest foundations in Christianity to a wonderful woman named Louise Ritchie. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service and the Lord. Louise passed away in September of 2009; she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
“Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is the first in a series of stories all to be narrated by this warm and loving character, Aunt Lou. Future titles will include but are not limited to, “Tell Me About Easter, Aunt Lou”, “Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou?”, and “Tell Me About Christmas, Aunt Lou”.
One of my most recent reviews:
When young children experience trauma, it is very important to acknowledge that trauma and help a child come to a place where they feel safe again. “Why did This Happen to me, Aunt Lou?” is written in a way that opens the door for dialogue and healing to begin, from a Christian faith perspective. Beautifully illustrated, it offers hope and encouragement for children who need a message of unconditional love. This is crucial in helping a child understand that they did not do something “wrong,” but rather, are cherished by God. It is the message that so many children never hear and as a result, grow to be adults with a wide variety of mental health challenges. One thing known today is that we must help children because they cannot help themselves. This book may be one thing that offers a “life ring” to a wounded child.
Nan Holmes, Waco, Texas
Talitha Koum Institute
http://www.talithakoum.org/


2. What is it like being the author of children’s books?


Being a children’s book author is a humbling experience. I wake up each day worrying that it was all just a really pleasant dream. The process did not seem completely real until I received my first shipment of hardcover books. I literally ripped the box open, grabbed a book, and cuddled with it! My husband thought the whole situation was so comical that he actually worried that I might sleep cuddling with my book that night.
I have had 5 of my books to be released in the series written for about three years. But with the passing of my Beloved Louise Ritchie last summer I revisited getting published with a renewed fervor. I am so very blessed that my path crossed with that of Publish America. While many authors grimace at the mention of a print on demand publisher, Publish America was a perfect fit for both me and my books. I give God the glory for my ability to write them, illustrate them, and share these stories that he has lain on my heart.


3. What inspires you to write?


My life experiences and my faith inspire me to write. I born and raised in a little town called Jefferson, in North East Texas. As soon as I was born, God never left my side. He guided me through economic hardships, sexual abuse by a distant family member, an attempted kidnapping turned carjacking, and years of spiritual warfare.
While I choose to keep the details of my childhood sexual abuse private, I do very openly share my experience with the attempted kidnapping turned carjacking back in 2001.


It was October of the same year of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was still dealing emotionally with seeing the images of the attacks, and I was not aware of my PTSD at this time so I didn’t limit my exposure to the trauma.
I was walking to my car through an apartment complex parking lot, headed to school I remember I was going to wear navy blue addidas shorts that day, but I melted the athletic material with the clothes iron (should been a sign). So I changed. I remember that outfit in detail as well--Tommy Hilfiger flare jeans, a grey Baylor tee with a red and blue University logo and tennis shoes. Something told me to ride with my husband that morning, but I ignored the instinct.
As soon as I was outside, I saw him. He was far enough away that I felt safe, but close enough that I wasted no time getting to my car.
I remotely unlocked my driver side door, sat down, put my drink in the cup holder, threw my backpack across to the passenger side, and tried to close the door.
The weirdest sensation...my door wouldn't close. There was resistance. I turned and there he was. A black male about 200lbs and a bit over six foot. He had something sharp in his hand--I assumed it was a pocket knife. He threw open my door, put the object to my neck and said, "Get over". He wanted me to scoot to the passenger side and let him drive away with me.
My first instinct was to obey this large, angry man wielding a sharp object dangerously close to my throat, but then...RAGE!
I WAS NOT going to be victimized AGAIN! This attack took place no less than nine years after my sexual abuse stopped--that meant NOTHING! It was like it had happened yesterday, and I was TICKED!
I put my left hand on the horn of my car--it was early morning, everyone was home asleep and would come out ticked at the noise. I knew help wasn't far away. I leaned through the opening of the door and him and yelled with all my strength for JASON! He started jabbing and slashing at me with what turned out to be a broken glass bottle in a paper bag. I knew he would probably cut me, but not bad enough to kill me.
I looked up the stairs of the complex and there was Jason. Tee-shirt, boxers and a very angry look.
I can only imagine what the attack looked like from his vantage point, but from mine I saw hope.
Jason has always brought light, truth and security to my life. The image of him-- and God's protection, gave me the strength and courage to somehow miraculously fight through my attacker and exit the same door he was blocking.
I distinctly remember having one hand gripped tightly to his shirt once. I realized I was now outside the car and he was inside all my anger and pent-up rage overwhelmed me for an instant and I wanted nothing more than to drag him out of the car, take a few shots at him and then let Jason finish him off. But yet again, God intervened and I let him go.
I watched him slam my car door, fumble for the keys and take off. Jason got to the car door about the time he closed and locked it. He beat on the window screaming words that I dare not repeat.
It was at this point that I realized blood was coming from somewhere. I didn’t know where or how bad. I just ran to a wall collapsed to my knees and screamed, "I AM BLEEDING".
Jason instantly left the car to drive away, and came to my rescue.
To this day I am certain that I had an angel in the car with me that day. All that shuffling and fighting and flailing and I walked away with only a scratch on 3 fingertips, a slash through my shirt and my bra (but not to the skin).

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION!

Today I am a 29 year old Baylor University graduate, teacher, poetic monthly staff writer, cake decorator, and stay-at-home mom in Waco, Texas. As I look back at my childhood with great appreciation and respect for the unending love of her Heavenly Father, my relationship with God grows even stronger.


4. If someone wants to purchase your book, where would they find it?


My books are currently available thought my personal website at


http://auntloubooks.weebly.com


Direct from my publisher
$24.95 hardcover link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product94578.html
$9.95 Paperback link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product95017.html
My books are also listed at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Did-This-Happen-Aunt/dp/145123970X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281538432&sr=8-1


Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Did-This-Happen-Aunt-Lou/Rachel-Stolle/9781451239706


Barnes and Nobel: http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=rachel+stolle


Buy.com: http://www.buy.com/prod/why-did-this-happen-to-me-aunt-lou/q/loc/106/217000471.html




Borders: http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?type=0&catalogId=10001&simple=1&defaultSearchView=List&keyword=why+did+this+happen+to+me+aunt+lou&LogData=%5Bsearch%3A+12%2Cparse%3A+36%5D&searchData=%7BproductId%3Anull%2Csku%3Anull%2Ctype%3A0%2Csort%3Anull%2CcurrPage%3A1%2CresultsPerPage%3A25%2CsimpleSearch%3Atrue%2Cnavigation%3A0%2CmoreValue%3Anull%2CcoverView%3Afalse%2Curl%3Arpp%3D25%26view%3D2%26all_search%3Dwhy%2Bdid%2Bthis%2Bhappen%2Bto%2Bme%2Baunt%2Blou%26type%3D0%26nav%3D0%26simple%3Dtrue%2Cterms%3A%7Ball_search%3Dwhy+did+this+happen+to+me+aunt+lou%7D%7D&storeId=13551&sku=145123970X&ddkey=http:SearchResults


5. Where do you get some of your best ideas for a book?


All of my book ideas are inspired from raising my two young daughters. I am a stay-at-home mom with a 4 year old and a two year old. Their pure and inquisitive spirits manage to ask some very difficult and trying questions that a Christian child should be contemplating. My daughter likes to ask me about death, and why things die, and if she will die. She likes to know why it is raining, why it is windy, and why God gives the plants water and feeds the birds. The sheer innocence of it all has moved me to take all the little one-on-one stories that I tell her and her sister and put them down on paper. I truly hope that one day my books will help Christian parents integrate God and scripture into every aspect of their life and every explanation they give their children on a daily basis. I would love to have my books be just that resource for them.