People in our country’s history – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

Did you have a good week last week? Did you get a chance to check in with that teenager in your life? What did they have to say? We are in the process of painting our condo to sell it in the near future. Our youngest son came over and helped us out by moving some stuff for us to clear space to paint. With a little direction, we handed him the roller and gave him a lesson on how to paint a room. We took an opportunity to give him another life skill that will come in handy someday.

Speaking of learning, what else can we learn from others?

I enjoy reading memoirs. What is a memoir? Well, according to the Google dictionary, it is a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources. I’m currently reading one of Barack Obama’s called Dreams from My Father, which is a collection of memories written by him. With the focus on racial inequality lately, reading Obama’s book is shedding more light some of those same themes for me. The memoir not only tells his story growing up and getting involved in the community around him; it also talks about his own personal experiences with racial inequalities he has either witnessed or experienced while on his own life journey. If you are interested in reading it, check it out of you local online library or purchase a copy from your local bookshop at Bookshop.org.

Not only do we have racial inequality in our country, there’s also inequality when it comes to gender. We lost a champion of women’s rights last week to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer.

People in our country’s history

Do you know who Ruth Bader Ginsburg was? She was

• An associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court
• Second woman to serve on the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O’Connor
• Attended Harvard Law School (only 9 women in a class of 500 men) but transferred to (due to her husband’s work transfer) and graduated tied for first in her class at Columbia University
• Became the first woman to be on two law reviews, Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review

The list of things above show just some of the things she accomplished in her life, she was also

• A wife
• A mother
• A grandmother
• And a champion for women’s rights

When she earned her law degree in 1959, it was hard for women to do the kinds of things she wanted to do. You would think that being at the top of your class at Columbia, you should have no trouble finding a job. If you were a man, yes, but no so if you were a woman. She wound up doing a lot of teaching before she was even able to practice law. She took on her first position as a professor at Rutgers Law School in 1963. She was informed that she would be paid less than her male counterparts because she had a husband with a well-paying job. If you are a woman in today’s society, would you want to have your salary based on what your husband does for a living? Or be paid a fair wage for the work you are doing?

She battled this type of gender discrimination throughout her life. Through her struggles, she pushed for and helped get many of the rights that women have today. She served on the Supreme Court for 27 years before she passed away and was seen as a champion of women’s rights. The results of that fight will live on in what she gave this country during her lifetime.

“Fight for the things you care about”

Without reading these life stories, we wouldn’t know about the struggles people have had to face in their life journeys. Obama and Ginsburg have made great strides towards equality in our government, but we still have a ways to go. Obama was working within our communities to try and make things better and then became the first black President of the United States. Ginsburg was breaking down barriers for women on her way to becoming the second woman associate justice on the United States Supreme Court. Sure, they both had people supporting them, but they also kept going after the things they personally wanted to achieve, even when challenges were put in front of them to keep them from getting there.

People like Barack Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspire me to fight for the things that I care about and want to achieve. Who inspires you to fight for the things you care about? Please let me know in the comments below.

Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival

Two weeks left until the Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival! Be sure to check into their website on October 3rd and 4th. There are many authors participating with a wide variety of books to purchase. There are also different panels to check out too! I am participating in the YA Author panel. I will have an author profile where you can purchase a copy of The Hard Way and get a little glimpse of book #2 in The Way Series called Shawn’s Way, due to publish in November of 2020.

The Hard Way

Can’t wait to pick up a copy of The Hard Way? Click on the books tab onmy website and follow the link to get your very own. You still have plenty of time to read it before book #2 is released.

Have a great week!

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE HARD WAY,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!

Three years ago, today, I published my first book, The Hard Way. April 12, 2017 was the day I became a published author.

If you are looking to purchase a copy, here is a link to the books tab on my website which will take you over to Amazon.

The Hard Way by Selma P. Verde

If you subscrible to Kindle Unlimited, you are able to read the book for free that way.

How did this book come to be? The idea for this book had been bouncing around in my head for a while, but when I think back to the day I first started writing it, I remember being on a week long staycation from work. The day was April 15, 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon Bombing. I was working on some notes for this book and remember watching the constant news updates while the event was unfolding. In those updates, a piece of inspiration came to me and I started writing what became The Hard Way.

In April of 2016, I hired my editor, Michelle Morgan and my book cover designer, Jennifer Givner of Acapella Book Cover Design. We worked together and pulled all the pieces together and created a young adult novel, the one I had been dreaming about publishing since I was a preteen. This same team is working together to bring book two in The Way Series to you.

After some revisions and rewrites, in April of 2017, I took a deep breath and hit the publish button and on April 12th, I got the message back saying your book has been published. I became an author and a book seller all in the same day.

To celebrate this milestone, I will be doing a reading of chapter two of The Hard Way on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM Central on Facebook Live. Be sure to check into to my Facebook page. Why not read chapter one? Well, if you sign up for my email list, you can receive a free copy of chpater one.

If you aren’t a follower of mine on Facebook, check it out on Selma P. Verde and be sure to like or follow the page. Here is a link to my Easter Post which will take you right to the page. Happy Easter from Selma Hope to see you there!

Happy Easter!!

Inspirational Children’s Books for me

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

Last week I started a business building class called From Author to Authorpreneuer. I’m looking to revamp things with my business to get the name out there and sell more books. As part of the class, we are creating a morning routine to get into a writing groove for the day. It includes 15 minutes of journalling.

One morning while doing my journal, a couple of books came to mind which discribe my writing journey. One is Oh the Places You Will Go and Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Oh the places you wil go

According to Wikipedia, Oh the Places You will Go, was published in 1990 and was the last book Seuss ever published. It is a story where an unnamed character (could be you) leaves town and gets to the “waiting place”, where people go to wait for the next thing to happen. Dr. Seuss leaves us there to go on our own adventure to see all of the places we will go. This book is a favorite to give when someone in your life is embarking on a new adventure like graduation or a new job. I have been to many places, fictional and real, in my writing. Just never know where the next place I will go will be.

Harold and the Purple Crayon was published in 1955 by Crockett Johnson, a pen name for

Harold and the Purple Crayon

a popular cartoonist and children’s book illustrator David Johnson Leisk. Crockett was childhood nickname for Leisk.

Harold is a four year old who creates his world by drawing it, with his purple crayon. Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that? The book is about going on an amazing adventure of imagination which authors and artists do when they create their works.

We are all inspired by different things, whether it is an event, person speaking, or something we read. Whether it is achieving a goal or helping us get by a challenge, what inspires us ultimately helps us make things happen.

One of the reasons I write for the teen and young adult audience is I want to mentor them through my writing. I hope someday someone will read one of my books and be inspired to do something that may be hard for them to do without some support. Like saying no to peer pressure or reporting the bully to a teacher.

I have been inspired by many others in my life and on my writing journey. That inspiration has helped me work through some challenges get to where I am today. Have you been inspired by someone or something to meet a challenge or achieve a goal in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

Writing Prompt – Stan’s Story continued

And the story continues…

All three men walked out of The Kasino Club and into the parking lot together. Bud walked over to his grey pick up truck on the far end of the lot. They decided to get together on Saturday to open up the capsule. Bud hoped they would never open it.

He drove to his house and parked his truck in the driveway. He sat there for a minute and took a deep breath. He didn’t know what he was going to do about Saturday. He may have to make up an excuse and not show up. Maybe his wife Helena had plans for them on Saturday. He could only hope.

Bud walked in and saw Helena sitting in her recliner watching tv.

“How was you guys night?” Helena asked.

“It was ok. Same as always.”

“I thought you liked getting together with them?”

“I do. We were talking about the past tonight and it made me feel a little bit weird.”

“Why?”

“It goes back to high school honey, you may not understand.”

“You always say that after you get together with them. I was in high school once. Maybe not at your school. We did some of the same things you did. I may just understand.”

Bud thought about what she said. Maybe it would make him feel better to talk to her and get some advice on how to handle it with the guys.

“OK, maybe you can help me. Before we graduated, we created a time capsule.”

“A time capsule? That sounds kind of neat.”

“Annie spearheaded the whole project. Stan and Harvey played a long.”

“What about you?”

“Honestly, I thought it was kind of dumb, but I contributed a couple of things to it.”

“This all sounds good to me. What would make you feel weird?”

“I did something to the time capsule.”

“What did you do?”

“I took everything out of it and replaced the items with something else.”

“What?” Helena replied, “why would you do that?”

“I thought the whole idea was dumb. And I decided to make a joke out of it. I didn’t think Annie was going to get it from Madison Lake and keep it in her attic.”

“What did you put in there instead?” she asked, “Did you keep the other stuff someplace?”

“I don’t think I can tell even you what I put in there. It is pretty embarrassing. I can’t remember what I did with the stuff we originally put in there. I want to say I put it in a bag and hid it at my parents’ house. If I did, well, we know what happened to their house.”

“It burned down.”

“Yep.”

“What else could you have done with it?”

“Maybe thrown it away in a dumpster?”

“Oh Bud.”

“I know. I’m not feeling good about it now. I wanted it to be funny.”

“Well, it won’t be funny. That’s for sure. What did you put in there?”

“Can’t tell you.”

“I think you are going to have to Bud. It may be the only way that we can figure out what to do about it.”

Bud sat on the sofa and shook his head.

“I can’t Helena.”

“Well, they are going to find out when they open it. When are you going to tell them?”

“I was thinking we could got out of town this weekend and go see Mandy and the kids.”

“And not be here when they open it, right?”

“No, I want to go and see my daughter and grandkids in McCall.”

“Bud, you are going to have to tell them.”

“Can’t I just let them open it? Think someone else changed out the items in it?”

“You want your friends to just find out like that? When you know you did it?”

“I don’t know if I can face them with what I did, Helena. It happened a long time ago. I thought they would have forgotten the whole thing.”

“I can understand your feelings, Bud. But you are going to need to come clean with what you did.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“Bud! Are you seriously telling me that you wouldn’t tell your friends what you did?”

****

Be sure to stop by the Monday Morning Blog next week to find out what happens next in Stan’s story.

 

And now for the book promo…

Looking for a good middle grade early teen read? Be sure to pick up a copy of The Hard Way! It is available in e-book format on Amazon.com and in paperback on both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the Amazon.com link! The Hard Way – Amazon.com

And the Barnes and Noble link! The Hard Way – Barnes and Noble

 

This week’s thoughts from the Writing House

I finally found some time to work on my writing goals this weekend. Some time was spent on updates to the manuscript for The Bully’s Way and some on adding resources to my author’s marketing platform.

My editing of book two became a change of direction with the story. Can’t say any more without giving it away, but I am happy with the new direction it has taken. What I do know is there is going to be a lot of rewriting going on in the Writing House this week.

I signed myself up for an Instagram account yesterday. Be sure to come and visit or even follow me. I am @SelmaPVerde.

It is a lot of work to be a self published author. I worked really hard to get the book published and now I am working even harder on marketing it. Trying to get the book into the hands of the right readers is not as simple as just putting it on the internet and expecting it to take off. It is about building followers of your brand and networking to get an opportunity to hand a copy of your book to the right people.

We all want the way we market to fit what works best for us. I like to do a note with a personal touch to my followers. Or talk to someone who is eager to take a chance on my book. I may not be able to do it my way if it doesn’t work in the world of book promotion. It may mean stepping out of my comfort zone a bit to make it happen.

Even my blog, for example, really needs to be catered to what you, the followers, are interested in. I think my updates about where things are in my writing world are interesting to you. I try and share my experiences to inspire you to take action or to see others are struggling to do what they want to do too. I also do book reviews of middle grade novels which seem to do well with your views. But my material really needs to motivate you to stop back and check the blog every week. At the end of the day, it needs to be catered to you. Please let me know if there is something you would like to see.

This road was never going to be easy. I knew it going in. I am learning a lot about the process. I didn’t know how much other things in my life were going to get in the way of me doing this though. Maybe it has been about those other things or maybe it has been about the choices I am making.

All of this is making me realize changes need to be made. Not only when it comes to my writing, but also when it comes to priorities between my home life and my work life. Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Need to make a small change to make the result come out a little different so I can make my writing time more successful and productive.

Of course, I will need to do a plug for The Hard Way. If you haven’t had a chance to take a look, check out the link below.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Hope every one is able to celebrate our country’s independence this weekend. That is what the 4th is all about. I think the meanings of holidays are sometimes lost in all of the festivities. Also, be sure to find sometime with your family. It is important to make time for them. I’ve been finding that out a lot lately through my struggle with the work life balance.

What a different weekend this is. When the 4th of July winds up on a Tuesday, it extends the weekend. Good for family time, a little crazy for the work schedule. Wind up having to take a vacation day to get the extended weekend.

I am still struggling to find time to promote The Hard Way. It has been difficult for me to make time for my projects lately. Part of the problem is work, but I believe part of it is me. Work has made a lot of demands for my time and energy while the home life continues to be busy. But, I like to take on the challenges at work and work hard to make things happen.

If I could work as hard as I do for others to get their stuff done on my own projects, I know I would be successful. My constantly putting everyone else’s priorities first, makes it feel like my goals are so far off. I am so thankful my fiancee helped me to make my first book get published. He said it needed to be done and I needed to do something for me.

A work and life balance is a hard thing to strike, especially in the age of cell phones and the internet. You can pretty much get in touch with anyone at any time via either the phone or social media. However, thanks to the internet and modern technology, I am able to be up north with my family for this 4th of July. Otherwise I would be at home working this weekend.

I don’t want to be whining about where I am at. There are a lot of good things going on for me. But striving for a balance between work and home has been way lopsided towards the work side lately. And it has been affecting not only me, but my family as well. So, I am glad that I get to be at the cabin with my family this weekend, but I am going to have to work on my own priorities more important and make more time for my projects and my family.

Speaking of family, have any middle grade readers looking for a good read? How about checking out the link to my book! (Come on, you knew that was coming!)

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

I like readers

It is one thing to write the book. But it is the reader who breathes the life into it. They give us their time to experience the story we spent many hours to create.

As a reader myself, I enjoy the experience of reading a food book. I love being able to go on the adventure the author created, see the places they created and meet the charcters telling the story.

As writers, don’t we imagine an endless number of readers loving our book? One of my dreams was to write and publish a novel, but the other dream was for many middle grade readers to read it and gain bits of advice to help them navigate the ups and downs of growing up.

While I was writing it, I had to remember this one thing, I was ultimately writing for myself. Couldn’t bank on having the dream of hitting the best seller list just out of the gate. Ultimately, I hope my story is one a reader can relate to and enjoy. If I sell a million copies, that would be great, but having it read by those middle grade readers means more to me than the money. Here is the link, in case you want to check it out for that middle grade reader you know.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

Just Days Remaining – Countdown to Book Launch – The Hard Way

6 days to go! Less than a week!

I feel like a kid the week before Christmas. Seeing all of the trees, lights and gift displays. I am so close to my dream coming true. When I write next week’s post, I will be a self- published author and have made one of my childhood dreams come true.

It has been a journey. One of hard work and some tears. I respect any author who goes through the process of writing and publishing a book. I’ve had a lot of help and support along the way, from my family and friends to members of Facebook groups, which makes accomplishing this goal mean even more to me. 

What did I get done this weekend?

For my paperback version, I assigned an ISBN number to it.

I set up my CreateSpace account and started uploading my cover and my manuscript. It was really fun to see it all in the close to final format. My editor did the formatting for me, but said sometimes the upload process can change things a bit. I’m glad that she told me, otherwise I might have become frustrated when it didn’t look just right the first time. We will have some minor tweaking to do to the spacing before we publish next weekend.

What is left to do this week?

After we do some additional formatting to the manuscript, I will upload it again and get it ready for the Saturday launch. Since I have been working on getting the e-book and paperback version ready to go, I may be publishing both versions on Saturday. I was originally planning to publish the e-book now and the paperback in a couple of months. After seeing that the processes are pretty much the same for both, as long as we get the reformatting done, they both may be ready to go live at the same time.

Going to the bank today and setting up a new checking account. This is where I’ll have  the royalties from my book go to and hopefully be able to pay expenses out of someday. I didn’t write this book to make a bunch of money. I wrote it because I have a passion for writing. But, if I can make some money, it would be icing on the cake.

Writing and publishing a book is a process with many steps. I know the process for my next one will be easier having done this one. In next week’s post, I’ll be sharing links with you on how to get a hold of a copy of The Hard Way.