Book Review: Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom – by Tricia Goyer

BalancedBook: Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom
Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: GoyerInk
Date: December 17, 2013
Genre: women’s non-fiction, family living
Pages: 106
Price: Kindle, $4.97
My Rating: a must-read for all work-at-home moms who feel guilty because they can’t do it all
 
 

If you are a mother with still-at-home children to care for, if you are trying to work at home while caring for your children (this doesn’t mean that caring for your children is not work), if you are super-stressed with trying to do it all and maintain your sanity — this book is for you! Or if you know someone who falls into that category, perhaps even a work-at-home dad, this book should be in her/his hands.

Author Tricia Goyer is a prolific writer having many books to her credit. She doesn’t hide the fact that she lives by her faith in God, and that her writing talent is a gift from Him. If you are worried about “religious” content, don’t be. In a non-preachy way she shares about how to make change happen in your life to help you find balance as you try to handle both children and career.

The following is a list of the eleven chapters in which she shares practical and sound advice, ideas, and suggestions in a conversational, non-clinical manner.

  1. My Story of Finding Balance {And Some Practical Starter Ideas}
  2. How Your Work Benefits from You Being at Home
  3. How My Kids Benefit from My Work-at-Home-Ness
  4. What Does God Have In Mind When He Selects and Shapes a Person?
  5. Working and Serving from Your Core
  6. Becoming the Architect of Your Own Schedule
  7. Successful {Not Stressful} Family Living
  8. I Can’t Tell You How Many Times a Week I’m Asked, “How Do You Do It All?”
  9. Being a Mom and Following Your God-Given Dreams … I Give You Permission
  10. The Freedom of Knowing Yourself
  11. Balance Isn’t the Ultimate Goal – Knowing God Is

Since I seem to like quotes, a few things Tricia Goyer said stood out to me, such as:

  • “Dreams don’t happen if they stay dreams; you have to do something about them.”
  • “When we do the work He’s called us to do, we can trust the outcome to Him.”
  • “I want to live the type of life I can write about.”

I also liked these quotes she mentioned by other people:

  • “I am here to serve; not to show off. I am here to inspire; not to impress. I am here to make a difference; not to make a name.” – mantra of author and speaker Sam Horn when she gets up to speak
  • “When you want what God wants for the reasons God wants it you’re unstoppable … for the glory of God.” – Steven Furtick, pastor at Elevation Church
  • “There are two great days in our lives. The day we were born, and the day we discovered why.” – William Barclay

From my personal position, I found this book is not only for work-at-home moms, but for anyone with legitimate demands on their time and attention as they try to ‘work at home.’ Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom is worth the short time required to read it, and may help you discover things you didn’t know about yourself.

You can find Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

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Book Review: Devil’s Hump – by Syr Ruus

Devil's Hump
Book: Devil’s Hump
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: etc. Press Ltd., Canada
Date: August 2013
Genre: regional fiction
Pages: 148
Price: $20.00
My rating: an amazing tale to satisfy the mind

 

I purchased this book from the author, and what a treat. Syr Ruus has written an amazing tale to satisfy the mind. She believes “one shouldn’t take the time to write what is already on the bookshelf” and – since this approach does not work for everyone – I admire her for daring to be different and succeeding at it. Her writing is compelling. Devil’s Hump is not like any novel I have ever read, which is certainly not a bad thing. It was intriguing and kept me curious and reading.

The story around Devil’s Hump begins in the early 1920’s on a fictional island off Nova Scotia, Canada. (FYI: there are hundreds of small islands off Nova Scotia’s coast so it could be similar to several of them.)

Devil’s Hump is written in five sections, each addressing a pivotal character in the story. Although separated it’s not disjointed because each part relates back to, and interconnects with, the main story in a very interesting way. The reader gets to know each character and to appreciate how they individually saw and understood the events that happened. When reaching the ending to this marvellous story, the reader may wonder ‘what if?’ while at the same time being satisfied with how it wraps up.

Syr Ruus wrote a very interesting and well-constructed novel. Although it is not always advisable to try to write the way people speak because it can get hard to follow, Syr Ruus did this and effectively mastered it, adding so much depth and realism to the story. The dialect helps to shape the characters and brings the reader right into the old General Store to eavesdrop and nod along with the locals eager for the latest gossip and opinion-sharing.

You see, there was a series of dramatic events that occurred – a diphtheria epidemic, deaths, dramatic life-altering decisions, mystery surrounding one particular secluded family, a newcomer, a discovery. No one knows all the details of how it played out, except one person thinks he knows. Most of it. Only the reader is permitted the luxury of that knowledge. It is well worth the read to that end.

Devil’s Hump is sold in a very few Nova Scotia shops and not on the Internet, but it can easily be ordered directly from the author. Please write to her at: syr(at)eastlink(dot)ca

For anyone local who has the chance to attend a book reading, Syr Ruus is reading from her novel, Devil’s Hump, on Tuesday, August 19 at the LaHave Islands Museum Hall on Bells Island (as the novel was inspired by the LaHave Islands) from 3-5 p.m.

If you would like to contact or connect with Syr Ruus through Facebook, she has two locations: Her personal Facebook page is HERE where she uses her full name of Sirje Ruus, and her Author Facebook page is HERE

You can find Devil’s Hump listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Hillsong music, and Helping one another

A rambling post …

Here it is Sunday again. Weather-wise it has been like a late summer day – but it is supposed to warm again this coming week. I appreciate the summer so much; it’s far too short for me.

My spirit longs for particular music sometimes, right now being one of those times. Here is a link to Hillsong so you can enjoy the music I’m listening to as I’m writing this post.

Life continues on with its caregiving challenges (almost 3 1/2 years now!) – some days make me appreciate the good ones so much more. If it weren’t for the help we are getting my sister and I could not have managed all this as long as we have.

As you know, one of my goals is to write children’s books, or even any writing for myself would be good right now! Last month a friend and I were discussing our mutual desire to write, and I suggested a challenge. From that conversation we are now both writing – actually, we are writing together although long distance – one writes, the other adds to it and sends it back … and so on and so on. This effort is challenging us and helping to release our creative (writing) energy. Have you tried anything like that?

Now for the burning question:
How are you enjoying my blog; is it helpful to you?

I’ve been looking into ways I can help you more. Since I’m interested in helping promote your books (the ones I agree to read and review) and others I think you might like or should know about, you know I have a new page for that purpose: BUY THE BOOK!  On that page I’m in the process of adding a few more things – both for writers and for readers.

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of my available time reading books, updating my blog and writing posts. (and I enjoy it all!) When I upgraded my blog to better suit my needs it meant I’d have to pay for its hosting. (WordPress is very reasonable or I wouldn’t have done it.) After much consideration, I recently decided to look into affiliation which will bring in a very small percentage for any sales made through your clicks from the links I have here on my site. It will help me pay for my blog as it is, so is a way you can help me, too, if you want to.

The affiliations I chose are ones I think are of the most benefit to you as writers and readers. Once all the techie stuff is worked out you will be able to click to great things not only at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and WritersDigestShop, but also at Christianbook, Chapters.indigo, CafePress, and Vista Print. When I get them all set up you will find them through BUY THE BOOK! and on my Writers’ Helps page. Exciting!

Now I must grab some time to read more of the book I am going to review soon. So many books — so little time!  :)

Please tell me what you think of what I’m doing here on my blog. I appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

Book Review: How to draw Forest Fairies (Step By Step Practical Guide For Beginners) – by Amit Offir

How to Draw the Forest FairiesBook: How to draw Forest Fairies (Step By Step Practical Guide For Beginners)
Author: Amit Offir
Publisher: troubadour
Date: February 22, 2013
Genre: art (beginners), for any age
Pages: 16
Price: Kindle, under $1
My rating: so easy and rewarding!
 
 

I picked up a Kindle copy of How to draw Forest Fairies when it was offered for free, just to see if I could actually draw such complicated-looking images. I was both amazed and delighted with how simple Amit Offir made it. He uses a technique he developed, which he calls “Drawing Easily.”

Amit Offir starts us off with simple lines, adding to it through very easy-to-follow directions. He doesn’t use words to instruct, just pictures. Each page shows how to add to what you have already drawn. The end result is both fun and rewarding.

Not only does Amit Offir teach how to draw fairies in his book by that name, he includes a frog, a spider and its web, a fancy toadstool, and more. It was surprisingly easy to follow his instructions and have an end result that almost exactly matches his!

Renowned artist and illustrator, Amit Offir, offers How to draw Forest Fairies and many other “practical guides” to drawing. Check out this book, especially if you’ve always wanted to draw but thought you never could. He has a whole series of books as simple and fun as this one.

You can learn to draw; you’ll be amazed!

You can find How to draw Forest Fairies listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2) – by Erika Kathryn

The Angel Archives, book 2Book: Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2)
Author: Erika Kathryn
Publisher: Erika Kathryn
Date: 2013
Genre: MG chapter book, fantasy, adventure
Pages: 186
Price: paper, $9.89; Kindle $6.57
My rating: an ongoing adventure young readers will enjoy
 

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

In Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague, Erika Kathryn continues the story she started in volume one of The Angel Archives. (You can read my review here.) Having just read book one, I had no trouble following the characters, but for someone starting with book two it may be confusing as to who they are. The plot is good but I did wonder if, in places, it is more for an older or advanced reading audience.

As an adult reader who notices typos, wording, and grammar glitches there were things that disturbed me. The story is basically a good one, and the author has an amazing imagination, but she needs better editing to correct grammar and spelling mistakes and a good dictionary and thesaurus to improve her use of words with meanings she intends. 

In this volume of The Angel Archives, Audie (the angel) and Cave (her human friend) join forces with the angel army to save humans from the infection of an aging plague. Once the infected human ages to the point of death they become … something else quite awful.  I will give you the link to my young friend’s review at This Kid Reviews Books so you can get an idea of the story from a member of the intended reading group, but with slight spoilers. 

Again there is action, drama, all manner of interesting creatures, and characters who make the reader care about them. When the story comes to its close a list of questions challenges the reader.

Erika Kathryn ended Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague with a bit of a cliffhanger, the same way she ended volume one, so you know there is another book in process to continue the drama. Young readers will look forward to finding out what happens to Audie and her friends as the adventure progresses.

You can find Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2) listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

How old is your pet? Conversion charts for dogs & cats

IMG_0716I’m sure you have heard and used the method of figuring out the age of your dog. Veterinarians figured out it’s inaccurate to say 1 year in a dog’s life equals 7 years in a human’s life, and they came up with a new chart. (This info I obtained from this very good site: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com)  I also found out there is a chart for cats, too. (Look on this site: http://cats.about.com/cs/healthissues/a/agechart.htm)

<– my dog, Meyya
 
Dog                 Human           Cat         Human
5 months   = 10 years        
8 months   = 13 years         
10 months = 14 years        
1 year         = 15 years           1 year   = 15 years
2 years      = 24 years          2 years  = 24 years
3 years      = 28 years          3 years  = 28 years
4 years      = 32 years          4 years  = 32 years 
5 years      = 36 years          5 years  = 36 years
6 years      = 40 years         6 years  = 40 years
7 years      = 44 years          7 years  = 44 years
8  years     = 48 years         8 years = 48 years
9 years      = 52 years         9 years = 52 years
10 years    = 56 years        10 years = 56 years
11 years     = 60 years       11 years = 60 years
12 years    = 64 years        12 years = 64 years
13 years    = 68 years        13 years = 68 years
14 years    = 72 years        14 years = 72 years
15 years    = 76 years        15 years = 76 years
16 years    = 80 years       16 years = 80 years
17 years    = 84 years        17 years = 84 years
18 years   = 88  years       18 years = 88 years
19 years   = 91 years         19 years = 92 years
20 years   = 94 years       20 years = 96 years
21 years   = 97 years
22 years   = 100 years
23 years   = 103 years
24 years   = 106 years
 
cool-cat.jpgmy cat, Scamper
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What fun pet facts do you have to share?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Book Review: The Moon has a Date with the Sun – by Marc Geller

The Moon has a Date with the SunBook: The Moon has a date with the Sun
Author: Marc Geller
Illustrator: Robert M. Henry
Publisher: Marc Geller
Date: February 8, 2013
Genre: children’s fantasy
Pages: 44
Price: Paper – $10.80; Kindle – under $1
My rating: fun story with great illustrations
 

The Moon has a date with the Sun by Marc Geller is a fascinating story for children. The illustrations are fabulous – bright, cheery, realistic portrayals of cityscapes, day and night sky, and more colourful, beautiful pages by very accomplished artist Robert M. Henry.

The Sun is king of the sky, but he gets lonely even though he demands he is the only one who can take up space in his sky. A little cloud befriends Sun and suggests maybe he and Moon can meet. Moon is lonely too and is interested when the cloud mentions the possibility of her having a friend. Sun and Moon begin to have hope.

You have to read this yourself to see what happens. It’s a cute story, one which children will love to read or to have read to them. The words are rather advanced in places for the youngest ones, but it’s a great way to introduce words with their meanings in context. It also will teach them some historical facts in a fun way.

The Moon has a date with the Sun is quite a different story, well done and interesting, almost like a fable.

You can find The Moon has a date with the Sun listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)