Teaser Tuesday Guest Post: Irene Monique

A true story. Cancer is real. Be aware. Be honest with yourself. Your health matters.
Part 1
It became real for me in October 2014.
I’m 34 and I have cancer. I’ve never been married or had a child. But I’m facing my mortality through this diagnosis. I haven’t lived yet. There are so many unfulfilled dreams and successes unrealized. Maybe they will never be…
OK, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Cancer is no longer a death sentence right? Yet during the time of my diagnosis I notice in the headlines that a young woman in her 30’s and a man in his 50’s have been taken by this disease.
Sure there have been a lot of great advancements in the past 10 to 20 years when it comes to fighting cancer but it’s risky. The treatments alone, deadly chemicals and radiation contact are required in most cases, let alone a surgical procedure to remove it, if needed.
When I found out I had cancer, in the back of my mind I knew I had it. A lump showed up and it wasn’t looking good. My biggest challenge was trying to get medical help. I went to a free clinic and applied for health care twice. The second time I was accepted. But this whole process took over two months. By then my tumor had become very large, very fast. My breast had deceived me. I had lumps in that breast already. I had become accustomed to them. Getting a mammogram a year earlier I was told there was no cancer but I should keep an eye on it. So  I thought I was in the clear. The last thing I needed or wanted was cancer. There is the devastating worry, plus the fact I had no insurance to provide me with care. It seemed like an automatic death sentence for me.
You don’t know how much I thanked God for that letter in the mail, telling me I was accepted for the Healthy Michigan Plan through President Obama’s administration. There was a chance for me to end this cancer, a chance for me to live.

Tuesday’s Tales: Bonnie Ferrante

I believe a positive attitude is essential for happiness. This includes being mindful and grateful. In Buddhism, there is a saying, “We make the world with our minds.” I could write an entire book on what that means but basically what we focus on influences the internal and external world in which we live. I keep this in mind in my writing for adults, young people and children. I was a grade school teacher for 33 years, 10 of those years as teacher librarian. I believe it is important to create picture books that help them develop interpersonal skills and internal strength.

My first book, The Amida Tree, is a rebuttal of Shel Silberstein’s The Giving Tree. While compassion is a major part of Buddhism, it only creates problems if it is not balanced by wisdom. The boy/man in The Giving Tree continually took from the tree without giving anything in return leaving it a devastated stump. At the end of the book, he still was unfulfilled and unhappy. In my book, a girl grows in balance with a wild apple tree. They have a relationship of give and take, mutual support. Because of this, both grow to have a rich and fulfilling life. It is sure to encourage discussion on our treatment of the environment and relationships with others.

We all know a individual or family that constantly gripes. They’re never happy with what they have or what the experience. Rayne Shines humorously features a frog family that has developed a pattern of complaining, until a new family moves in next door. Rayne is fascinated by the fact that they are constantly smiling even though they own very little. She studies and emulates Sunny whose wholesome and fun personality eventually brings out the best in Rayne.

While Too Quiet, Too Noisy was not specifically written for children on the Asperger spectrum, it has been favored by their families. It can just as easily relate to people with auditory processing difficulties, introverted children, and anyone who finds either continuous noise or long-term silence to be grating. Lily’s home is overwhelmingly loud and her grandparents’ home is boringly quiet. Through communication and problem-solving, she creates a more balanced environment in both houses.

While “be careful what you wish for” is a common theme in picture books, No More Red also teaches children not to judge superficially. Because of three negative experiences, Amy decides her world would be better without the color red. She learns it has far more importance and she realized. The book also teaches children about the myriad of ways red appears in our environment and that we need to be appreciative of our beautiful world.

I’ve always been interested in the motivation of villains. Why did Rumpelstiltskin want the Queen’s baby? Was he an evil warlock who wanted to use him for nefarious purposes? Did he want to enslave him? Or did he simply want a child of his own? If so, why would he go to such elaborate and dangerous means to acquire one? In Rumpelstiltskin’s Child, the themes of ostracizing, bullying, and loneliness are explored. The book reminds us that people often become angry outsiders because they have never been welcomed in.

My newest picture book, Then the Tooth Fairy Won’t Come, is written and drawn in a comedic style. Dion has a loose tooth and is worried he will lose it. Timo offers increasingly silly methods to remove it but Dion has an even bigger imagination. The tooth is bound to go missing in bizarre and elaborate ways if Dion takes Timo’s advice. Between laughs, the story shows how worry and fear can make us indecisive and stressed. (Don’t worry. The tooth fairy does come.)

About the Author

I’m Bonnie Ferrante, a hybrid author. My short stories, newspaper articles and columns, and novels have been published traditionally. I have begun simultaneously self-publishing novels and picture books and am doing my own illustrations. During the long cold winters of Thunder Bay, in Northern Ontario, I spend most of my time writing and drawing. Since developing Parkinson’s Disease, I have switched from illustrating with acrylics and pencil crayon, to digital format but as this becomes more difficult, I am slowly changing to photos instead. I was a grade school teacher for thirty-three years, ten of those as a teacher-librarian. I am a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist lay leader, which shows up in unexpected ways in my writing. I also have a blog where I review books, give writing tips, and run contests. Beginning in August, I will be interviewing and author or illustrator every Wednesday. In addition to questions about their work, they will be asked Three Random Questions such as, “If you could have the original of anything in the world, what would you want it to be?” Comment on the writer’s work, their writing tips, or answer the random questions yourself. Http:// http://bferrante.wordpress.com/

 Works by the Author

Picture books:

The Amida Tree – Wisdom and compassion are the greatest gifts.

Rayne Shines – Develop an attitude of gratitude and be happy.

What’s Missing: Faces – Toddlers learn about senses and faces while observing closely.

What’s Missing: Clothes – Toddlers learn about clothing while observing closely.

Too Quiet, Too Noisy – How can a little girl cope with sensory overload?

No More Red – Even a colour has importance.

Rumpelstiltskin’s Child – Was he a villain or misunderstood?

Tell Me Where: Animals and Babies – Laugh out loud learning for your toddler. NEWEST

Sing the Planets: An I’ll Remember That Book – Move, sing, and learn the planets. NEWEST

 Young Adult and New Adult Books

Terror at White Otter Castle – Based on a true story.

Nightfall: Dawn’s End Book 1 – It begins with a secret quest.

Poisoned: Dawn’s End Book 2 – Evil grows in the dark.

Outworld Apocalypse: Dawn’s End Book 3 – Is it the end of humanity?

My Ass – A cheeky play on words about donkeys.

Leya: Sphere of Vision Book 1 – One green eye and one blue, double power or double disaster?

 Short Stories

Bouquet – Buddhist themed stories previously published in magazines.

Inhale – Contest winners.

Check out Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/Bonnie0904 for book trailers and author read-alouds.

Website – BonnieFerrante.ca

facebook – Bonnie Ferrante – Author

                    – Bonnie Ferrante – Books for Children https://www.facebook.com/FerranteBooksForChildren?ref=hl

twitter – @BonnieFerrante

 

The Next Chapter

Hello to my loyal readers. Some of you follow the YouTube re-runs. Others enjoy the Teaser Tuesdays and Guest Posts. No matter what your preference, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog. Sounds like a farewell doesn’t it? Rest assured, it’s an “Until we meet again.”

I have been managing this blog since December 2012. I have met some pretty fantastic folks through this medium. The next chapter of my life is beginning, however, and with that comes self-reflection and prioritizing.

I enrolled in a Ph.D. program and will begin classes on April 10th. From what I understand, most of my time will be spent reading, writing, and studying. In fact, I’m told that this will take about 20 hours a week out of my time. It’s basically a part-time job. My grand plan was to finish Between Worlds book 4 and then 5. I think that’s going to have to wait.

I will be finished with my Ph.D. in September 2020, maybe sooner depending on how much work I’ve already completed on my dissertation by that time. After that I will be a “doctor.” My specialization will be in education (e.g., an educational psychologist) with an emphasis in teaching and instruction. My dream and sincere hope is that I am then able to climb in academia and grab a full-time, tenure track professor’s position.

Here’s how I look at the situation. If I lived through all of the turmoil and hardship of 2014, I can accomplish anything. This path I’m about to take will take time and patience. It will take determination. It will take battling against burn out and taking a few hours of time each day to devote to studying and composition. When it’s all said and done, I will be able to check another thing off of my bucket list: becoming a doctor with pretty little letters after my name: Tracy Wilson, Ph.D. (or Tracee Ford as you know me). When someone says, “Hey Doc,” they will actually be talking to me. I can publish research AND fiction.

I do plan to publish a memoir in October, nonetheless. It’s done and simply waiting for me to hit the “publish” button. It’s going to cover a lot of my personal paranormal experiences, but I have much more to add to that. Still, if I still don’t have peace about this project, it may be placed on the back burner as well, seeing publication at a much later date.

I am also anticipating going back to teaching at the local university part-time in August. Spring semester is wrapping up, which is why I scheduled doctoral classes through the summer. So, when Fall rolls around, I will be not only instructing, but I will be a student as well as a mom and a wife. I’m not sure I will have the time I need to be a blogger and a YouTube creator until I get through this journey.

With that being said, below you’ll find the remaining Guest Posts and YouTube schedule below. If after reading this, you decide to get together and send me a boat-load of guest posts, that’s okay. I’ll keep scheduling folks as long as the submissions keep coming in. If not, that’s okay, too.

3/28: B. Ferrante, guest post

4/4: Mary Edwards, guest post

4/7: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Scary Movies

4/11: I. Monique, guest post

4/18: Mary Edwards, guest post

4/21: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Spirit Guides

4/25: C. Zielinski, guest post

5/5: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Orbs

5/9: Mary Edwards, guest post

5/16: W. Luthman, guest post

5/19: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Soulmates

5/23: Mary Edwards, guest post (final Teaser Tuesday post)

6/2: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Divine Intervention

6/16: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Healers

7/7: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Seers

7/21: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Faith (final Freaky Friday post)

Again, thank you for always reading my rants and my posts. I won’t disappear completely, I promise. I have too much to give. This might end up being a great place to post my research findings, so those of you who are geeks like me might enjoy my publications.

Peace out.

Calling out for more submissions: Are you a writer? Unpublished even? Please read!

Howdy everyone! So, here we are on the cusp of Spring. I’m searching for writers again. I have filled up dates until May and am in need of filling spots for the summer months and into fall. If you have already submitted to me, it’s okay. You can submit again, but I need new material from you. If you have never submitted anything to me, that’s even better. Whether you’re published or not, it doesn’t matter. If you have poetry just waiting to be shared or short stories hidden away in a dusty corner of your world, please consider sharing them with me. I would love to show them to this little group of followers.

Consider this a blog hop as well. So if you have your own blog and would like to bring folks to it, send me information and I’ll include you in this endeavor.

You can submit to the blog by clicking the link “submit an article.” I hope to hear from you quite soon. I have dates from May onward. If I cannot them filled, I’m not sure if I will continue with the “Teaser Tuesday.” I am preparing to take a new path in my life and my time will be limited, so I’m hoping that the guest posts can keep the tradition going.

Thanks for your help and consideration.