Friday, August 31, 2018
The second installment to the Kamyla Chung Series is available on Amazon
Kamyla Chung loves school! Then one day everything changes when a classmate named Nikita begins to disrupt the classroom. Kamyla grows anxious about Nikita's hurtful behavior. It's hard to learn and have fun in school with Nikita constantly misbehaving. One day the two girls have an argument and Kamyla gets hurt. Afterwards, Kamyla learns of Nikita's own struggles. Saddened by the unfortunate news, Kamyla rises to the challenge to help her troubled classmate.
Sunday, August 26, 2018
|Photo courtesy of: Dianna Wyles|
I recently had the good fortune of interviewing author Dianna Wyles. A native of Northern California, Dianna is a Christian writer with two book publishing credits to her name: Heart Blessings: A Children's Seek and Find and Beautiful Blessings & Babbling Brooks. Through her books, Dianna hopes to inspire a positive attitude and a gratefulness for life.
When she isn't writing, Diana teaches, actively participates in the worldwide online ministry, Refreshing Hope Ministries, blogs, meditates, pursues her passion for photography, and spends time outdoors. Diana has a powerful belief in God that has nurtured her creative spirit.
Now that you've been introduced to Dianna, let's get to know a little bit more about this busy woman.
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Hello, Diana. Welcome to Lemon Drop Literary. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Hi, Ellwyn. Thank you for having me.
In addition to being a published author, you are also a teacher. Why did you pursue a career in education?
I became an early educator years ago. When my own children were old enough for school I loved helping in their kindergarten classes so much that I started taking classes to become a teacher.
What grade do you currently teach?
I teach Preschool. This year I'm teaching three and four-year olds, but I have experience with ages ranging from birth to 12 years.
How has your teaching experience influenced your writing?
Well, since I am a Preschool teacher, it seemed easiest to format a children's book. As a teacher I understand how important it is for children to have a high self-esteem, as well as, to be trained in coping skills and healthy life choices.
Inviting children to find the good in their daily lives is a wonderful way to cultivate the important attribute of gratitude. My intent was to create something that is simple and childlike in format, yet ageless in content and inspiration. I think both of my books deliver powerful inspiration in a way all ages can understand and appreciate.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I was going through a season of struggle with multiple family illnesses, eventual loss, grief and into healing. I meditated and prayed my way through that time! In one particular meditation (I always meditate on God's Goodness, Love, Peace, and Healing for all) when I was done, everywhere I looked I saw hearts...in the sky, in the trees, on the rocks...everywhere!
I felt like I had just been hugged by God and a sense of peace beyond understanding came over me. I still see those hearts each day.
Tell me a little about how you wrote your first book?
Heart Blessings: A Children's Seek and Find came to me after praying a lot about the writer's block I was having. I was trying to write an adult inspirational book describing my experiences and how blessed it all leaves me feeling.
It took about an hour to put together and then about three to four months to format and perfect.
I my opinion, it was a gift from our loving Heavenly Father for me to share with the world; to teach from a very young age, that if you search out His blessings daily, He will not disappoint you.
Your books have a strong spiritual theme. Can you tell us how your beliefs have impacted your writing?
I am a Preschool teacher and a photographer in search of God's blessing in everything. I enjoy spending time hiking, birding, mining and taking pictures in the great outdoors. I use this time to reconnect with our Lord through his beauty and wonder.
Humbled and amazed by the beautiful signs and gifts given by God, I have a unique gift of seeing heart blessings in nature and my surroundings. I love to capture these heart blessings with my camera and share them with others to strengthen faith and give hope where needed.
I am a naturalist by nature. I love God, family, kids, hearts, wildlife, and all things related to these subjects.
It is my heart's desire for my books to somehow show God's beauty and wonder to a world that has yet to meet our awesome creator, and to touch the hearts of those who already call him Father.
What are you working on now?
I have a third children's book in the works. It's a counting book where we count heart rocks, but I must admit to writer's block with the formatting section of this project. I promise I will get past my block and publish, Counting Blessings 1, 2, 3, Rock Hearts, Rock Hearts, Can You See?
Can you tell us about this upcoming book?
In the book my grandchildren and husband go on an adventure to find and count heart rocks. It's a fun rhyming book where counting your blessings is the name of the game. Look for it in the near future!
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
I think giving my books to people in need has been my most rewarding experience. My vision is to take my books to hospitals in my area like Shriner's and UC Davis Children's Hospital, to read and gift to children battling serious illnesses.
I'm still working on that vision, but I have sent copies to of my books to people battling cancer and other serious health concerns.
That my books can bring peace and hope has been a great blessing.
What advice would you give to writer's just starting out?
Just write! Write about things that have meaning to you. Write about your passions. Write because you have something to say! Write because you can. Most importantly, never stop believing in yourself and your dreams! Just write!
Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about you?
I am an active member of Refreshing Hope Ministries, a worldwide online ministry system where I lead a photography group called, "Creation Photographers", a private group for victims of abuse called, "Haven of Hope", and I write a blog now and then. Our wonderful Pastor Dion Todd leads a live interactive service each week, as well as, daily devotions, a prayer team, and so much more! Come check out our ministry at https://www.refreshinghope.org/.
Do you have a website/facebook page?
You can find my books on Amazon.
I can also be found on various social media:
Thanks again, Dianna, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you lots of luck in the future and continued success!
Thursday, August 2, 2018
Photo courtesy of: Kinga Cichewicz@ all_who_wander
When I was at the library the other day I saw parents and children hunting down books assigned for the summer reading break. Depending on how much time your child has to complete the book, this can be a hassle, especially if they procrastinate.
The book may not be in stock at the library or the bookstore and it needs to be reserved (thank goodness for the Nook and Kindle); or your child is sulking about the prospect of trading out their blinking and beeping electronic device for some old prosaic paperback. The horror!
Ahh, I remember those days with my own children fondly. The bargaining, the time setting, the reward systems, the intense debates.
For those lucky folk pioneering into this new territory of parenthood (or those who've been braving it out for many a year), I would like to pass on what I learned during my struggle to convince my kids that reading can be fun.
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1. Set a time limit
The amount of time you expect your child to read depends on their age.
Beginning readers should strive to read 15-20 minutes a day.
As my children grew in age and skill, I extended their summer reading time.
2. Reward System
When my children reached middle-school age, if they wanted to play video games, they had to read for an hour first.
3. Take Turns
Alternate reading portions of the book with your child. You can break it down by page, character, or chapter.
4. Change the location
Read at the park, or the beach, or wherever you feel inspired.
5. Make it fun
Read with different accents. Thanks to the Harry Potter Series we've got some pretty stellar British accents in my house.
Whether your child is a baby or in high-school, reading everyday is great for their health. It's good for grown-ups, too. So, grab a novel, curl up next to your budding reader, and get lost in a book!
How do you get your children to read?