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!

Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week? Did you check in with the teen in your life and find out what is going on with them?

One of my kids will be 21 next month and the other one is technically a teenager (for another seven months). We have dinner together with them 2 to 3 times a week. We do talk about what is happening with them and check in then, but I also like having those times when it is just a one-on-one chat. It makes a difference to show that we are present and avalable for them.

The Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival

What is happening on October 3rd and 4th? I’ll be participating in the 5th edition of The Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival

What is a virtual book festival? Well, it is one where you can attend online instead of in person. Due to COVID-19, it has been the way that events can still go on. It is set up to where each author has a book table (web page) in a big room (the event website) with many other authors. Each author page gives them a chance to tell the attendees a little bit about themselves, their books and have a short video with a reading or presentation. There will also be author panels (I will be on the YA Author panel, stand by for more information on that) and the headline author for the event is Matt Goldman.

Here’s a link to the website. Be sure to take a look around and check back on October 3rd and 4th to participate!

Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival

Through my author page on the festival website, there will be links to purchase The Hard Way and to a perview of Shawn’s Way, book #2 in The Way Series. Shawn’s Way is due to publish in November, just in time for the holiday shopping season. In case you want to pick up your copy of The Hard Way now, you can find it on the books tab of my website. Here’s a link,

The Hard Way

Have a great week!

Book Review – Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week last week? I was busy starting my new “day job”. It was a challenge to change my routine back to going to work every day. But it was nice to be going to my office (dining room table) to work from home. I’m excited to be working again, but with COVID still an issue, it’s nice to not have to go to an office yet. It is a part of the new world we are living in. We then took this weekend for some family time at the cabin.

Did you try and reach out to any teens this week? Take the time to check in and see if they just may need someone to listen? Please let me know in the comments below.

Read any good books lately? I have read quite a few more than normal due to the COVID stay at home movement. I have been trying not only read for enjoyment, but also to learn a little something too. With the recent racial events (which have been going on for a lot longer than the last few months), I’ve been reading books other than fiction to understand how much I really know about race and our history.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned in my What Ya Reading Wednesday? Instgram post that I was reading Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This book is a remix of the book originally written by Kendi called Stamped from the Beginning written for a young adult audience. And since that’s the audience I’m writing for, I thought I’d read that version instead.

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

Author
Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Type of Book
Teen or Young Adult Non-Fiction

Background
This is a remix of a book originally written by Kendi called Stamped from the Beginning. This version was written for a young adult audience.

Summary of the book
The first thing the author tells you is that this isn’t a history book. And it isn’t. What it shows you is the other side of what we have been taught about our history in school.

Reaction to the book
I enjoyed the read and found the book to be very informative. The remix was written in a very engaging way for teens and young adults. It tells the history of our country from a different angle. It’s like a court case, this book gives a chance to hear all sides of the case before we can confirm what actually happened. It seems like we have always had our history told from only one side. I would recommend this book for the young adult audience, however, adults, be ready to talk about it. They will have questions about why we let politics and the economy dictate how we treated citizens of our country. When I think about it, people protect what they have and don’t want it to change. They were taught not to trust these citizens, even though, these citizens wanted the same things out of their life in America as they did.

Link to the authors
If you want to learn more about the authors, here are the links to their websites – Jason Reynolds Website and Ibram X. Kendi Website

Link to the book
If you want to purchase this book, here’s a link to Amazon Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. Or, you could go to Bookshop.org and purchase your book through your favorite independent book seller.

After reading this book, it made me approach the history of our country from a different perspective. It is like when three people see the same event. Each one has their own version of what happened. I’m not trying to discount any one version as being less important, we just need to be open minded to the other versions of the same story to form our opinion on what really happened.

The internet has given us the opportunity to see those additional sides of a story. For example, we’re able to get online and see what happened in France yesterday, basically real time. But, you can’t believe everything you read either. Some of these “sides” of the story can be exaggerated just to get your attention. Or, are told before the reporting agency has all of the facts, just to be the first one to get the story out there.

Writing for the teen/young adult market is kind of a group of readers that is forgotten about. There are many children’s and adult books out there. Teens are a hard group to reach. Many of them will tell you that they don’t even read the books they are assigned for class. But, maybe those books aren’t as engaging as they need to be? Or are written in a language that’s really relatable to them?

Authors can take the challenge of engaging teens to read through the books they write. I hope my books, The Hard Way and soon to be published, Shawn’s Way, are resources for teens to go to when they need help working through the challenges they are facing. Here is a link for you to pick up a copy of The Hard Way, a teen novel which discusses the challeneges of peer pressure and choosing the right friends. The Hard Way by Selma P. Verde

What books would you suggest as good resources for teens? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week!

Book Review – The Hard Way by Selma P. Verde

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

Hoping to pick up where I left off. It has been a while since I have posted. This summer has been a challenging one for me. Between my lay off from my day job and my dad passing away, I have been pulled away from the blog with other priorities. They say that you need to make time for the important things. What do you do when life events get in the way?

So, I’m back! I am on a mission to sell 2000 books this month to meet my first goal to becoming a bestselling author. I know it will happen, just not sure when and not sure how, but I am ready to embark on the journey to get there.

Remember my first book, The Hard Way? Well, here is my review of the book. Kind of a different spin on the traditional book review, huh. How often have you seen an author review their own book? Not very often I bet. You may ask, how objective can I be about my own book, right? Well, the reason for this review is to get the word out there about a great coming of age novel for the middle grade and young adult reader. And I can do just that!

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title
The Hard Way

Author
Selma P. Verde

Type of Book
Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

Background
Selma P. Verde was always a writer of things. From diary entries to capture life experiences to writing funny plays and stories. When she was a preteen, she decided she wanted to publish a novel someday and become an author. It took a while, but her first novel, The Hard Way, was published in 2017.

Summary of the book
Paul Jones is a freshman at Brooklyn Heights High School. He faces his first day of school without his best friend, Desmond Peterson, who moved away with his family during the summer. His parents were concerned that he needed to make new friends, so Paul did just that. He befriended Anik Hatcher, a guy who liked to play Tangorka, the video game he liked to play. Anik was involved in a group of guys who liked to play pranks and create mischief. The night that Paul met the gang, he found out that the pranks they pulled were a little more destructive than he thought. After pulling a prank at his high school Homecoming game, he found out that staying loyal to this group of friends would get him into a lot of trouble. And, he learned it the hard way.

Reaction to the book
I enjoyed creating and reading this book. It focuses on the issues of peer pressure and the importance of choosing the right friends, two of the many challenges teens face while growing up. It would be a great read for a preteen or young adult. The characters and storyline are very relatable and the story itself may provide a little mentoring if they are struggling with either of these issues.

Link to the author
If you want to learn more about Selma P. Verde, here is a link to my website. Selma P. Verde

Link to the book
If you want to purchase The Hard Way, here is a link to the books tab on my website. Books by Selma P. Verde


I’m getting very excited about the upcoming publication of Shawn’s Way. Book #2 in The Way Series. More news and specific release date coming soon.

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!!

Happy 3rd Book Birthday to The Hard Way

Have you read my first book, The Hard Way, yet? It is a young adult novel about my main character, Paul Jones, and how he learns the importance of choosing the right friends and how difficult it can be to navigate peer pressure. If not, I have a deal that just might get you interested.


In celebration of The Hard Way celebrating its third birthday (publication anniversary) on April 12th, I’m an doing a Facebook Live reading of chapter two next Thursday, April 16th. I’ll announce the time of the reading in my weekly blog post on Monday.

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way


You may ask, why not chapter one? Well, when you visit my website, a special offer pops up. If you are willing to sign up for my e-mail list, you can receive a free copy of the first chapter of The Hard Way. Be sure to read the chapter before April 16th, because then you’ll receive the next part of the story from my online reading. So, you get to preview two chapters of The Hard Way free before you buy it.


To pick up an ebook or paperback copy of the entire story, follow the link on the books tab of my website or check it out on Amazon.


And, for the next bit of exciting news, if you pick up your copy of The Hard Way now, you’ll have time to read it over the summer and be ready for book two of The Way Series called Shawn’s Way, due to publish September of 2020. Check back to my website for more details.

Featured Image provided by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

My writing update and a little bit about William Shakespeare

Good Morning! Here are my Tuesday Morning Thoughts!


How have you been doing with the changes in our day to day activities due to the Coronavirus? I have been primarily working from home for my day job. Jim has been going back and forth to work, since his job is more hands on, and the boys are “laid off” from their part time jobs for now. I will say, there are positive things to be found in our current situation. It has been nice to have family dinners again and we were able to do a movie night together Sunday night.

On the writing side of things, I’ve been actively working with my editor to get book #2 of The Way Series, Shawn’s Way, ready for a couple of final reads before its summer pre-launch and eventual publishing in September. Getting excited for my readers to find out how the story line of the series continues.

If you have read the first book, The Hard Way, and left a review, I thank you. For those of you who have received free copies on my promotional download days, if you would leave a review on Goodreads, that would be great. If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can always select to read it for free as part of the subscription, and you would be able to leave a review on Amazon. If you purchased a copy on Amazon and want to leave a review on Amazon, that would be appreciated as well. Any of these reviews will help me out for the pre-launch of Shawn’s Way this summer. Leaving a review for a book you read is a great way to help a writer get people to read their books. The reviews show that people have read the book and it helps potential readers to get an idea of what other people thought of it.

A little bit about William Shakespeare

You may have seen the recent post on Facebook talking about Shakespeare and the writing of his sonnets. Did you know he wrote 154 sonnets when all of the theaters were shut down because of the Bubonic plague? I found it very interesting. With the Coronavirus shutting some things down now, maybe it will give us writers and authors some down time get some of our best writing done, just like Shakespeare did.

My interest in Shakespeare was also piqued by another blog post I saw about the unique spelling of the word playwright. You would think it would be spelled playwrite, right? Well wright is a word for a crafts person or someone who builds things. So, in that sense of the word, Shakespeare was one who built plays and sonnets.

Photo of William Shakespeare from Biogrphy.com

According to Wikipedia.com and Biography.com, William Shakespeare was known as one of the greatest writers in the English language and one of the world’s greatest dramatists. He was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, a bustling market town along River Avon. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and was the father of three children. After the birth of the twins (the second and third children) in 1585 it is believed that is when he started writing. Many Shakespeare biographers refer to the years between when the twins were born and 1592 (when he came onto the acting scene) as the lost years. During this time frame, he doesn’t leave any historical traces, but it is generally believed that he may have found work as a horse attendant at some of London’s finer theaters, which may have been how he got involved in theater. Records show Shakespeare had works published and sold as popular literature, which was seen as reaching above his social rank and posing a bit of a threat to playwrights who came from a more scholarly background.

Shakespeare was part of a very popular acting group called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, (which became the King’s Men in 1603 when King James I became king). The members of that group along with Shakespeare put money into the coffers to build their own theater called the Globe Theater. For the time, this was an unique commercial operation for actors. They not only had a shared in the profits from the show, but also had a share in the profits from the playhouse. According to britannica.com, all of Shakespeare’s plays were performed there after it was constructed in 1599. His plays were said to be written from a career actor point of view rather than a scholarly one, which was probably another point of contention with the scholarly playwrights. An interesting fact, the plays were always staged in the afternoons to make the most of the light provided by the sun; since the theater didn’t have lights.


According to civil records, in 1597, Shakespeare purchased the second largest house in Stratford, called New House, for his family. But he spent most of his time in London away from his family acting and writing since Stratford was a four-day ride from London. When he retired from the theater in 1613, he moved back to Stratford where he died three years later.


Here in Minneapolis we have a place called the Playwrights’ Center. Founded in 1971 by five writers seeking artistic and professional support. The center serves more playwrights in more ways than any other organization in the country. What a great way to keep the theaters alive for the communities to enjoy.

I love the name they chose for the Playwrights’ Center, especially knowing what the term really means now. Do you ever think about why people pick the names they do for things? Book titles, for example, usually have a connection with what the author wrote about. However, not all title meanings are understood until after you have read the book. What book titles have connected with you? What are some of your favorites? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great week!

Never Stop Dreaming!

art business close up decor
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I love looking out windows. Not only to see what is happening outside, but also to let my brain relax and reflect. After running a free ebook promotion of The Hard Way this weekend, I took some time to think about where I am in my writing journey.

It took many years to achieve the dream I had since I was a teenager, the dream of publishing a book. Two years ago, I published my first, The Hard Way. Now, book two, Shawn’s Way is due to publish this summer.

I built a writer’s platform and I am active on multiple social media sites. It has become the main way I engage with my readers. I have also connected with other authors, who have supported and helped me achieve my dreams to reach the point I am at in my writing journey.

I have a website where my readers can come and find me, my books and news about what is happening with me Selma’s Website.

With my busy lifestyle, I am still finding time to work on things to promote my passion. Whether it is a discount book sale or a free promotion. Thank you for your downloads and purchases of my book. It makes me happy to see it getting into the hands of readers.

My message for the week is to never stop dreaming. Working towards a dream can be a lot of work with challenges to overcome. It is frustrating, it is hard and it is a journey, but it can be achieveable. Sometimes I can’t believe I have published one book and will soon publish a second.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

I have had my share of challenges and have had to make time in my life to make my dream come true. The journey hasn’t been easy, but it is so worth it when I see another copy of my book bought or downloaded.

Have a great week!

Happy Birthday!

Welcome to April!

On April 12th, my first book, The Hard Way, will be celebrating two years of publication! To celebrate, I will be doing a free ebook giveaway on

April 11-14, 2019

 

Be sure to stop back to my website,The Hard Way Thumbnail

Follow the Amazon.com link on the books tab

And get your free ebook copy of The Hard Way during the giveaway!

 

 

And watch this summer for the publication of the sequel to The Hard Way!

Called

Shawn’s Way