Ruth Bader Ginsburg – What reading meant to her

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a advocate for women’s rights. She was also an advocate for reading.

Did you know that September is Library Card Sign Up Month?

The American Library Association has chosen Wonder Woman as their ambassador this year. As a founding member of the Justce League, she is known for strength, compassion and truth. Just like Ginsburg was known for while she served on the supreme court.

As the ambassador, Wonder Woman is embarking on a new mission to champion the power of the library card. Do you have one? I do, and boy it came in handy during the COVID-19 stay at home times.

Since the libraries and book stores were closed, I found the Libby App. Through the app, you can check out ebooks from local libraries. Here’s a link to a prior blog post I wrote. It is book review where I mentioned the app. How Are you Doing on Our To Be Read (TBR) Lists

Wouldn’t have been able to do it without a library card. If you don’t have one, check on the website for your local area library on how to get one.

Be sure to attend the Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival on October 3rd and 4th to check out some amazing books and authors from the comfort of your own home.

The Hard Way will be available at the festival, but you can also head over to the books tab on my website and follow the link to get your own copy. If you want to read the first chapter for free, sign up for my email list. When you visit my website, a pop up box will ask you to sign up. Or you can click on the Subscribe tab and fill out your information there.

Have a great week and keep reading!

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!

Teen Challenge – Back to School and Virtual Learning

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog, the Tuesday Morning edition!

How was your last week? Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen in your life yet?

This week may be the last week of summer for teens who are heading back school after Labor Day. For some teens, schools are already back in session. How are things going?

There are so many different looks to going back to school this year. Are we all virtual? Are we doing a hi-bred model where it is virtual and in person part of the time? With those teens who are physically going back into the school building for classes, are masks going to be the new fashion statement? Or, the new thing kids can be teased about?

Masks from Shop Disney

Some virtual learning has already been happening with online testing and classes. It has its advantages. Just like working from home, there’s no commute, except from your bed to your desk or table, hopefully with a shower and getting dressed on your way there. A little extra time in bed and maybe more casual dress code. For now, it’s a step we are taking to help keep us safe from spread of COVID-19. However, is it the best learning environment for our teens?

For teens who have grown up with a phone in their hand and technology at their fingertips, they will have no problem with the hard skills (technology) involved in virtual learning. They are probably more savvy than some adults with setting up the computer and logging on. Keeping them engaged in the learning process and creating good interpersonal interactions, or soft skills, while sitting at a desk or table at home may be a challenge. It can even be a challenge when they are sitting in classrooms at school. But, a lot of the school experience is found in the comradery with your classmates day to day. Eating lunch and attending sporting events with them. Sure, you can do kind of the same thing online, but it’s just not the same.

Virtual learning is also affecting teachers. Sure, they can log onto a computer and teach from their home office, but physically being in the classroom with their students helps them to pick up on nuances in their students’ behavior. Are they are understanding the lesson? Or are they bored? Students are also able to pick up on things in the white noise of their classroom and through having more interaction with teachers and other students. We know, virtual learning is being done for safety reasons to curb the spread COVID-19, but it may have consequences that are yet to be seen.

I think the biggest thing that will be affected by virtual learning is the slower development of teen soft skills. We talk a lot about these in business circles, but they are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Remember all of the concerns we had with teens being so attached to their smart phones and possibly missing out on personal interactions to communicate with others? And how afraid we were of them not being able to communicate with others interpersonally? Now with virtual learning and teens not being in the class room, are we perpetuating their continual learning to interact better with a computer or a phone and not so well with other people? Let me know your thoughts.

One of the challenges of virtual learning is how do we engage teens to read things that are good for them to read? I have a good coming of age novel which talks about the teen challenges of peer pressure and the importance of choosing the right friends. How about picking up an ebook copy of my first book, The Hard Way. Follow this link to get a copy for you or your teen. The Hard Way It is free if you subscrible to Kindle Unlimited on Amazon. My second book, Shawn’s Way, is due to come out just before the holidays. Be sure to keep an eye out for it!

What challenges do you see and face with virtual learning and back to school tasks this year? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week!

Book Review – The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week? Mine was good. Second week of work at my day job under my belt and it was a good week. Confidence in my skills is increasing and I’m learning more every day. Did you get a chance to check in with a teen last week? Let me know what you found out!

After my post last week, I decided to pick up a book by Jason Reynolds, the novelist who did the remix with Ibram X. Kendi of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You for a young adult audience. It is fun when one book can lead you to pick up another. After reading it, I could see Jason Reynolds writing style shining through both books.

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title
The Boy in the Black Suit

Author
Jason Reynolds

Type of Book
Mid-Grade or Young Adult Fiction

Background
Reynolds is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He believes in empowering young people to “Grab the Mic: Tell Your Story”. Part of the inspiration for writing this novel was the fact that his mom brought him to many funerals when he was young.

Summary of the book
The main character, Matt Miller, started by wearing a black suit at his mom’s funeral. Then he gets a job at a funeral parlor in New York City and continues to wear the black suit, not only for work, but also for how it makes him feel. He meets a teen girl named Love, who has lost her mom and recently her grandma.

Reaction to the book
I enjoyed the book. The story and characters were very relatable. It is a coming of age story about how a teen would react to his mom’s funeral and how he reacts to things afterwards. Life changing events tend to make us change, and I think wearing the suit just helped him take on this new role as a young adult with some more real life experience. With everything that happens to Matt after the funeral, it shows how life really goes and how hopeful Matt’s reaction to it is.

Link to the author
If you want to learn more about the authors, here is a link to his website Jason Reynolds

Link to the book
If you want to purchase this book, here’s a link to Amazon The Boy in the Black Suit

Are you looking for another good middle grade/young adult read? How about checking out The Hard Way? A coming of age novel about peer pressure and the importance of choosing the right friends. Follow this link to my website and get your copy.

The Hard Way

COMING SOON!

A little bit of news, Shawn’s Way, book #2 of The Way Series will be coming out later this fall. There is still time to read The Hard Way in preparation for Shawn’s Way.

What do you think is the one thing that challenges teens the most? Please let me know in the comments below.

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!

Are your teens talking about their challenges?

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog.

How was your week? Mine was busy but good. I spent part of it working on business and writing goals. It’s amazing how important your mindset is to getting things accomplished and achieving the goals you set for yourself. My dream has been to become a best-selling novelist. It will happen someday I don’t know how and I don’t know when. However, with the online course I took through the Facebook group, All-In Entrepreneur, the past couple of weeks I learned some great skills which will help me focus my time and energy towards it.

Jim and I went on a mini road trip this weekend. We drove to Red Wing, MN and visited Fair Trade Books, an independent bookstore owned and run by Rick DeVoe and his staff. He was a gracious host while we were there. We not only bought a couple of books we were looking for, but he suggested one for me and one for Jim after asking us about what kinds of things we liked to read. He pulled out a couple of really good sounding options. Especially for Jim, an aircraft mechanic and pilot who loves to learn about how things work, was offered a copy of a repair manual for a Sopwith Camel.

What is a Sopwith Camel youmay ask? Well, it is a British World War I single seat biplane fighter introduced in 1917. It‘s also the airplane that Snoopy flies when he pretends to kill the Red Baron in a dog fight.

Be sure you support your local independent book sellers. There’s a website where you can buy your books online called Bookshop.org. You can select an independent bookseller and they will receive credit for your purchase. As of this morning, Bookshop.org has raised $5,830,300.86 for local bookstores. Here is a link Bookshop.org

Teen Challenges – Are they talking to you or not?

In my writing recently, I’ve been changing the words teen issues to teen challenges. An issue is defined as an important topic or problem for debate or discussion. Challenge is defined as a task or situation that tests someone’s abilities. Issues seem to get talked about a lot, but not always have something done about them. I like the active nature of the definition of challenge. Teens face the challenge of dealing with things like peer pressure, bullying, and the changes brought on by the pandemic we are currently dealing with.

We are all facing changes in our lives due to the COVID virus, staying at home more, cancelling and rescheduling events, wearing masks when we go to public places like restaurants and work, and doing more things virtually, including school and talking to friends. Two big things which are normal activities for teenagers. Do you really know how your teen is doing during this very different time? Is your teen talking to you about how they feel? Not just about COVID, but other things that may be affecting them?

The coming of COVID has given all of us a chance to spend more time with our families. I know for me it has been nice to have dinners with my young adult kids. We have also had more talks since we are more available. Many of those opportunities were lost before when everyone was so busy with their activities or focusing on their smart phones for answers and interactions.

Speaking of smart phones, teens tend to find a lot of their advice through the internet on their phones. As we all know, the internet isn’t always the most accurate place to get information from. I’ve looked to the internet for answers myself and have wound up getting anxious from the many different answers there were. And each one wound up being a little bit off from the truth. Why not direct teens toward sources of information that we know have the right information? Or engage with them to be comfortable enough to come to their parents, teachers and trusted adults to get answers? To get our teens more engaged with us, it may take some creative solutions about reading certain books or using more accurate websites for them to reach out to. Or have them journal about their feelings through writing prompts.

An author friend of mine, Stephenie Peterson, is a homeschool mom who is posting daily writing prompts for kids on her Instagram and Facebook pages. What a great and maybe non-threatening way to get teens to open up and think about the challenge they are having and write down how they feel. It is along the lines of why psychiatrists have kids draw out what happened and interpret the drawing. How about doing these prompts as part of our current homeschooling or online learning to get teens to open up? Here is the writing prompt Stephenie posted on July 14th,

She posts them during the week. Be sure to check them out! Here are the links. Stephenie Peterson Author – Facebook and Stephenie Peterson Author – Instagram. She’s also an author of three books written for the middle grade audience. In two of her books, her main character is Nellie Nova, a young girl who goes on adventures back into history. And, her third, and most recently released one is called Grace’s Ghosts, which I am planning to do a review of soon, so keep an eye out for it on my blog. Here’s a link to her Amazon profile for more information about her books Stephenie Wilson-Peterson – Amazon Profile

Or, how about taking a look at my book, The Hard Way? It looks at the challenges of facing peer pressure and choosing the right friends. It’s a great coming of age novel to mentor teens with the story of how one teen navigates these challenges. Here’s the link to my website to take you to Amazon to get a copy for that preteen or young adult in your life. The Hard Way

Or, reach out to your local book store through Bookshop.org and order it through them.

So, this week, why not try and reach out to a teen you know and ask them how they are doing with all of the changes? Ask them how they feel about going back to school in the fall? For a lot of teens, it will continue to be distance learning, which is keeping them out of school and away from their friends. Take the time to check in and see if they just may need someone to listen to them. Let me know what you did in the comments below.

Have a good 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!

What is Respect?

Good Morning! Here’s my Monday Morning Blog!

I’ll say, living in Minnesota made last week interesting. I live with my family in a suburb south of Minneapolis, where the arrest and subsequent death of George Floyd happened a week ago today. In my opinion, to say our country is hurting is putting it mildly. The perceptions we have of other people and their life journeys are tainted by our own life experiences. If we are not opening ourselves up to listen to and learn about other people, we can get stuck in misconception. I think this misconception has created the loss of respect for others.

So how we try to find it? Let’s start with what is respect?

When I Googled respect definition, I found two different definitions of respect

-A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements
-Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.

The first definition goes to the question of who do you admire? I’ve read a couple of memoirs lately which are written by women who I admire. I just recently finished Untamed by Glennon Doyle. She talks about struggling with her beliefs while being married to her husband and then coming out in her relationship with Abby Wambach. In her story, she gives readers things to think about in becoming who we truly are by listening to our own inner voice.

I’m currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. She is a strong woman who didn’t want to lose herself in the roles she played in her life. She had many roles before becoming the First Lady of the United States. Going to the White House was adding a role with many expectations. Now add on that she was the first black woman in this role, and the added pressure to lay out a certain perception made her have to adapt. I’m currently two-thirds of the way through the book, but from what I can see already, Becoming, is a very appropriate title for her book.

Both women have put themselves out there and taken hits from others who haven’t taken the time to get to know them and understand their path. I admire the struggles that they each overcame to become the people they are today. From reading their stories I also respect who they are because of it.

The second definition of respect goes to how we view other people. Before the internet, your trusted source of information was probably your family, local news stations and the newspaper. And those sources were limited by where they learned or accessed their information. Some of us are basing our beliefs about others on what we read online, which can be a slippery slope. There are so many things you have to understand to determine whether the information you are reading on line is accurate. You have to look at the source of the information and what date it was posted. A lot of the media jumps to be the first one to get news out on the web, in a lot of cases, the information they present is incomplete and maybe even completely wrong. This is the source of a lot of the information that teens and young adults are pulling from with the use of their smart phones and online gaming.

What would be a better way to mold your perceptions of other people? Talk to them. Get to know them and what challenges they faced or are currently facing in their life journey. If you can’t talk to them face to face, then read their stories and follow them on their personal social media sites.

Be open to listening and learning. There are many role models out there that have stories to tell. Both Glennon Doyle and Michelle Obama talk about that in their memoirs. Their stories become relatable to us as fellow human beings and ultimately can help us steer the course on our own life path and understand them as people.

Then respect others for who they are, regardless of what they look like, act like, or even believe. We have all either been the new kid at school or have seen her. Reach out to them and get to know their story. Take time to listen and learn from others who are different from you. Don’t be afraid to do it and don’t be afraid to share if you are asked.

The Golden Rule. My parents would remind me of this when I was growing up. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

We are all in this together. It is our society to mold into the way we want it to be. Don’t let haters and people who don’t respect others drive what our society turns into.

Have a good week!

What are Production Rights?

Good Afternoon! Here is my Monday Blog, Tuesday edition!

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Did you take time to honor and remember those who have served our country? I have many family members who have served in the Armed Forces and I took some time to remember each one. I also got some work done around the house to enjoy the fabulous weather we had in Minnesota.

Blogging has taken me on many writing journeys. I enjoy learning about new places and things and when I do research into topics for the blog, I always seem to come up with other new and interesting facts. While I was working on the book review of Taming of the Shrew that I published last week, I learned that the rights to plays have to be purchased before they can be performed in public. Those are called Production Rights.

Paying for Production Rights is the way an author can be paid from groups wanting to perform their works. So, when your kids do those plays at school, church, or acting camp, and want to perform them for others, they have to purchase copies of the script and the rights to perform that particular version of the play. You may wonder, where does one go to purchase the rights to a certain play? The rights are purchased from the publishing house who holds them. The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare versions that I mentioned last week have their rights owned by Dramatic Publishing.

Who is Dramatic Publishing?

Dramatic Publishing holds the rights for over 1500 authors of plays and stories that have been adapted into plays for the stage. Just to give you an idea, through them for this specific version of the play, each script is $9.95 and the minimum royalty paid per performance is $80.00. Here is a link to their website to check out other titles you may be interested in Dramatic Publishing.

According to their website, the company was started by Charles Sergel in 1885. With his interest in the theater, he founded this company to serve authors, artists and educators by managing the production rights of various plays. The company has been handed down through five generations. Christopher, Sr, Charles’ grandnephew, worked with Harper Lee and got the rights and her permission to create a stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. He took over as president of Dramatic Publishing in 1970 which was the same year, he started creating this stage adaptation. He also worked with S.E. Hinton for the rights to create an adaptation of The Outsiders.

With all of the company history of a company kept in the Sergel family, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune on August 2, 1992 called High Drama in Woodstock, after being in the same location for 100 years, in 1983 a fire destroyed their downtown Chicago location. So, in 1985, Dramatic Publishing moved their headquarters to Woodstock, IL, to a location just a few blocks from The Opera House, an historic theater in town. Having the company who owns rights to plays just down the street from a place to perform is a great match. Then I started looking into the story of The Opera House and things got more interesting…

The Opera House in Woodstock, IL was built in 1889 as a multi-purpose city building which housed the administrative offices, police and fire departments. It was later used as a venue for performing arts and receptions.

Many well-known actors got their starts at the Opera House. Paul Newman got some of his training there during summer stock. Other stars where attending the nearby Todd School for Boys, where people like Orson Wells produced full length Shakespeare plays while in his mid-teens and later on his son Christopher attended the school.

The Todd Seminary for Boys was opened in 1848 as a boarding school and later evolved into a seminary. In 1892, Noble Hill purchased the school for $20000 and in 1929 he transferred the school to his son Roger ‘Skippy’ Hill and renamed the school, the Todd School for Boys in 1930.

Here is a description of the school as The NewYorker described it in 1938 from Wikipedia.com

Todd is a preparatory school of considerable antiquity, now run on severely progressive lines. The present headmaster, Roger Hill, a slim white-haired, tweed-bearing man, who looks as if he had been cast for his role by a motion-picture director, has never let the traditional preparatory-school curriculum stand in the way of creative work. All the boys spend as much time as they want in the machine shop, the print shop, the bookbindery, or the school theatre.

With the location of Dramatic Publishing in the Midwest, they focus more on the adaptations of popular books and plays the Woodstock and Rockford, IL locals have read or seen. This move makes the theater more accessible and relatable to the people who would be coming to the Opera Theater to see a show. They chose to cater their business more to the churches and schools with much lower Production Rights fees to pay for the plays to make these plays accessible to them.

With the Opera House for shows and the connection of a few well known actors attending or affiliated with the Todd School for Boys it brings the 135 year old family held company to place with a history in theater. Check out their websites with the links above. I’m so intrigued by the connection between these places that I may have to make a road trip to see them in person.

Books are adapted into movies and onstage productions. What is your favorite? Please let me know in the comments below.

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