Sunday, November 6, 2016
This week will be the most monumentous election in American history! It will change the course of America, either for better or worse. I'm praying the right person will be voted in that will become a better leader than what the future looks like right now. Prayer is all we can use at this point and the only thing that can help us.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
It seems like I just took down the Christmas decorations a few months ago and now I get to put them up again:) Maybe this year, I'll just leave them up and that will save so much time! I can't believe how fast it seems like the months go by, even my teenage son remarks about it! Well, two of my books are out and I'm gearing up for the third one, this time I decided to try the traditional route and I hopefully have an agent. I will know for sure in the next couple of days. Then it is publisher shopping. I think this will be tougher than getting an agent, but I hope I will find the favor of God blessing me in this whole situation. It will be a great life-changer. It is time to bring out the 'big guns' and really start marketing myself. I recently learned a whole lot of great tools and ideas and I'm looking forward to trying them out.
Monday, October 3, 2016
Community events, especially in small towns, really seem to pull the townspeople together. I just volunteered this past weekend at a fun event in a city near by. The event was to try to raise awareness for rescue dogs and they had several organizations there with dogs up for adoption. There were about 50 vendor booths from companies selling dog food, toys, medical supplies, groomers, boarding kennels-everything having to do with dogs. The event was called Bark in the Park and was attended by hundreds of people with their dogs. It is very popular and an annual event. Every dog my sisters and I have owned have been rescues. They are the best dogs! I currently have a white lab/pit mix and he is so smart and loving. He will be two years old next month. I'm wondering if I should follow the fad and give him a party!:)
Sunday, September 18, 2016
I just finished my first month of our new school year and, of course, I got my first cold of the school year! I managed to attend the birthday of one of my sisters yesterday and that was nice getting together with my kids and family, but I had to cut it short because I could feel the cold coming on worse. I woke up today and have been sneezing and coughing off and on all day. I have been drinking my apple cider vinegar water and organic Moringa tea as usual, but then also drinking lemon water to boost my immune system. I like to take Cold-Eze to help as well, it usually helps cut down the length of the cold so we'll see. I have been waiting until tomorrow and then I'll take some cold medicine to get me through the day at school. I don't have a fever and feel pretty clear-headed, so far. Praying to God for healing and relief!
Friday, September 9, 2016
As summer turns into fall, I have been excited to begin seriously looking at houses for sale in the country. It has been my dream for a long time to live in the mountains or the country and now it looks like it has the possibility of being a reality. I have been renting this past year a short distance from the area I'm interested in, and with many friends living out there, I'm really excited about the chance to move there. It will be nice to actually have a place I can make my own and a larger piece of property to garden on and enjoy. This will be a fun journey and I will keep everyone updated!
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
I realize that balance is very important in achieving peace in your life but what happens when life throws you curves and you get out of balance? This past week started with my son getting all 4 wisdom teeth pulled, I then started back teaching a new class in a new grade, my dog ran down our stairs and sprained his ankle and ended up in a cast for the next two weeks, and then my son had a late reaction to the antibiotics he had received! All this in a week! This on top of my second book just being released a few days before all this happened. So much for balance. All I could do was roll with the punches and give it all to God. He knows what is going on and has it handled before it even happens. I also have to sit back and think, I don't really have it all that bad. I still have my health, we still have our family and home, I still have my job, and I have each day to slowly get back on track and handle things. God never gives us more than what He knows we can handle, though sometimes it seems like a lot. As I felt overwhelmed, I read about a little girl who got hit by a car over the weekend and is in bad shape in the hospital. She is in pain and has months of surgeries and recovery to go through. I realized at that moment I have nothing to feel bad about. That is one way to quickly get back into balance-look at what other people are going through and realize you're not going through things all by yourself.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
The past two weeks have been so busy! We have been out of town with our other 5 iLead charter school partners doing staff development, then on a two-day team-building retreat-this year on the Queen Mary! The last couple of days have been spent at our site preparing our classrooms for when the kids come back, this Tuesday. Tomorrow is the last work day and I think I will be all set. I'm also getting ready for my second book to come out this weekend! 50 Things Your Parents Want You To Know is the second in the 50 Things series and is already getting great reviews! I think this will be a great year all the way around!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Spent the last couple of weeks going through books and materials prepping for the new school year: refreshing and improving my feel for our Language Arts program, pre-planning curriculum unit ideas and projects, deciding on learning centers, and leveling the guided reading books. This week all of us teachers from the seven iLead charter schools here in Southern California have begun meeting for staff development. We conclude Friday and then get ready to go on an annual two-day retreat to someplace different every year for team-building exercises. This year is on the Queen Mary. The rest of next week will be spent in our classrooms preparing the class for the first day of school on the 23rd! We are welcoming four new teachers at our site so that will be fun to work with them and see how we all meld together. It's going to be a fun year!
Sunday, July 31, 2016
At the end of July every year, our extended family gets together along with me and my family for a big family reunion. Usually there are about 50 people that show up! We met at Mission Bay and had a great time! It was fun to spend time talking with everyone, playing games, and of course, eating! It is a happy time but also a bit of sadness as we remember those that are no longer with us. My dad passed a couple of years ago, an uncle just last year. More are joining the family-two weddings last year and another on the way this year! As summer comes to a close, School preparations begin. Kids go back in a few weeks so we will begin working in our rooms next week. I hate to see summer end but I'm excited about what the new school year will bring.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The last four days have been given over to checking for updates on the fire that is closest to us-the Sand Fire. I figured the acreage it is burning daily that it could reach us in 2-3 days if the wind continued to blow north. My son and I are prepared and still praying for those who are affected by it right now and have had to evacuate. We are also praying for the firefighters putting their lives on the line each day to try and save the homes and get the fire under control. After 4 days, it is still only 25% contained but God is good and has prevented a large amount of homes from being destroyed-only 18 and one life gone because they didn't want to evacuate. It is sad when people place possessions above their own lives. We are thankful for all the people helping the evacuees, the firemen, the Red Cross, and all the other volunteers giving time, space, etc. to those involved in these fires. THANK YOU!
Sunday, July 17, 2016
My son and I went into a nearby town after church today to run some errands and witnessed a man and woman in an SUV arguing with a man and woman on a motorcycle. Don't know what it was about but both parties were very upset. The woman on the motorcycle kept trying to hold her back the man in front of her as he was being continually baited by the car people. Finally the light changed and they all rode ahead but it was not over yet. We were 2 cars back and watched as both vehicles turned the corner and the SUV pulled ahead. The motorcyclists were keeping back but caught up at the next light where the SUV happened to be stopped at the light. We were all waiting to turn into the mall parking lot. My son and I happened to pull up beside the SUV and less than a minute later, the man in the SUV shook his head and climbed out of his truck, opened the back door and pulled out a bat! I couldn't believe it!! He started back toward the motorcycle couple and people started honking their horn at him. The man on the motorcycle started to get off the motorcycle and tripped and fell. At that point, I'm starting to call 911 and my son jumped out of the car and went back aways and called out to the guy to calm down. The guy actually listened and people were still honking at him. He turned toward my son and said that they were following him. My son shook his head no and started back to our car as he saw the man change his mind and return to his car without any other incident. I hung up and proceeded to drive as the light had changed. As far as we know, there were no other problems but that was crazy. I don't know how it all started but people need to chill. Human life is too important.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I have been enjoying revisiting my childhood days at times this summer: having breakfast on the patio while watching the pine trees sway in the morning breeze, taking time to leisurely read a book in the afternoon, and making homemade ice cream! Sometimes it's nice to just relax and do impulsive things that you like to do! The weather has been cooler at night and in the morning, so that's been a relief. My second book is in pre-production and I can hardly wait until it comes out. Look for 50 Things Your Parents Want You To Know, coming out in late September! It is the sequel to 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You, which came out last April and is available on the Kindle, at Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble.com (bn.com).
Sunday, July 10, 2016
As the first week of July comes to an end, thoughts of school starting back in a month creep in and I begin feeling the pull to look over curriculum, center materials, and ideas for plan books. I have that nesting urge to organize, clean, and create my plans for the next group of incoming students. I'll be teaching third grade this year so I will have many of my returning students. It will be nice to see them again and know that I'm a step ahead by knowing where they are academically as well as personally. This is almost like spring, a new beginning.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
I've been reflecting lately on the things I'm grateful for, even though I do that everyday, these blessings are bigger and ones that are close to my heart for different reasons. One of the things is that I live in a country founded on God's love and promises and I know He is in control no matter what. I am really grateful for that. I'm grateful that I have the family I do and that we love each other and get to spend a lot of time with each other. I'm grateful for my health so I can enjoy doing the things I love. I'm grateful for my Savior and that I get to serve Him in many ways. I'm blessed to also have the friends that I do. As we celebrate our nation's birthday tomorrow, I'm overjoyed to be able to celebrate these blessings that fill me with love each and everyday.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
With summer in full swing, some of us may like some help with ideas for the kids that will give them fun experiences and positive lessons as well. One such idea is the good old-fashioned lemonade stand with a bit of a twist. Have the kids think ahead of time a charity they would like to raise money for and explain the idea that they can use part of the profits they make to send to this charity or buy things the charity could use. If the kids make a sign advertising that they are doing this, it will help increase sales and profits! The kids can also make some baked goods to sell along with the lemonade, or make some crafts to sell at their stand. The kids will learn some good money management as well as a sense of community and giving to others, and have a good time doing it!
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Only two days left of school and my second graders go on to third grade, ready or not! It has been like raising 25 children-joyful times, learning times, sad times, and funny times. I've learned as much from them, I think, as they have from me. I hope that they have learned more from me than just academics: kindness, compassion, humor, helpfulness, and strength. I hope they have seen God in me through my actions and words. If I have positively touched these children, and that is what they take with them, then I have done my job.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
There's nothing like a country celebration, put on by a small town, to kick off the beginning of summer! I drove down the road a bit to Leona Valley for their annual Cherry Festival, which they have every June. Although the theme is all about cherries, last year the farms were out before the festival began due to the drought! This year was a different story, the cherry farms started selling a few weeks before the festival and cherries were in plentiful supply! The drought isn't over but at least water levels are up and things are beginning to return to normal. The Cherry Festival itself began with cowgirls and pageant queens from all over the valley on horseback and in wagons. There were young and old alike on fancy cars and classic vehicles, all decorated to the hilt. Of course you can't have a parade without a marching band and music of some sort, and Leona Valley did not disappoint. There were even several groups of caballeros on beautiful prancing horses! Bringing up the rear were fire engines, forest service trucks, and a couple of police vehicles, all with lights and sirens running for the enjoyment of the little ones. Vendor booths, live bands, and barbecues were the main attractions after the parade. The day began getting hotter by the hour so I left before totally wilting! It was a fun way to start my weekend, as well as the summer!
Thursday, June 2, 2016
As another school year comes to an end, our classrooms are busy with end-of-the-year projects, assessments, conferences, and the realization of one part of our lives coming to a close as a new part begins. Summer brings a freshness of sweeping out the clutter and the old as it prepares us to relax for a bit and re-evaluate the past year; organize and make a plan for the new coming year. Many people set goals in January for the new year, teachers set their goals in the summer! We refresh ourselves and take part in activities we missed out on during the busy school year, spend more time with family and friends, maybe begin new hobbies or enjoy traveling during our short time off! One of my goals will be to finish writing, and getting published, the second book in my '50 Things...' series. It has been exciting this past month, watching the launch of my first book take off. I look forward to it getting into the hands of families in which it can really help improve the relationships between the kids and their parents.
Friday, May 27, 2016
It has been a busy and reflective week as we end the month of May and prepare for summer! My class of second graders are finishing up their end-of-the-year projects which our iLead Public Charter School calls Student Showcase projects. They have been creating projects based on their passions and interests which they will then present to their classmates and parents in another week. My family is getting together this weekend to celebrate family birthdays, as well as remember those special people who have served to protect our nation's freedom and independence. For many, this weekend is the mark of the beginning of summer; many will be traveling to vacation spots all over the nation, relaxing with family and friends. There will be celebrations galore all over the country as many others pay homage to those military heroes. With all the negativity we hear everyday in the news and online, there are still a lot of positive things and people in this country-we just have to open our eyes and look for them. America is still a great country with great people, built upon the foundation of God and built to stay strong.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Watching Tiny House Living shows on HGTV has inspired me to consider using one as a writing studio. I would not want to live in one as my main house since I like a larger space so I can have family and friends over, plus I like sitting in front of the fire and playing games, reading, or watching movies. Roasting marshmallows is also a fun activity! Tiny houses are very cool, I love a lot of the designs I've been seeing and really like watching how the people build and customize their little homes. The one I'm watching tonight is a steam-punk style with a ship's steering wheel used in the front to attach to pulley systems and used to raise or lower a deck at the top of the house (at least that's what it looks like-we'll see when the show is over!:). There are some really crafty diy ideas people are using and a lot of the organizing solutions can be used to make a larger home more efficient and save space, not just in a tiny home in which you are forced to multi-task your storage areas. I can definitely see myself turning a tiny home into a writing studio, Craftsman style of course, or maybe a log cabin on a smaller scale.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
As a single working mom, I can relate to the feelings of having to stretch myself in different directions to meet other's needs: the needs of my children; my family; my director; my students; my peer teachers; my publisher; the list goes on and on. The one person whom I tend to overlook is myself. Apparently I'm not the only one who does this. From what I hear, most working moms do the same thing. We're so busy taking care of everyone else that our own needs do not get met. This is not good as our health in all areas will suffer if we don't tend to our needs as well: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In the next few blog posts, I will give some tips and strategies as to how we can begin taking care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we care about!
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Time management has always been a hot topic and I know I fight with scheduling my time everyday! Being a single parent and wanting to spend time with family, kids, and taking care of just everyday stuff is busy enough, then you throw in working full-time as a teacher and that's exhausting! Now I've begun seeing the fruits of my sowing, as far as writing over the years, start blossoming and I've got to schedule time somewhere in there for marketing and platform building, as well as for the writing! Somehow it all gets shifted into the right places so that I can even enjoy some quiet time in prayer! I find what helps me the most is cutting out time wasters-things that don't benefit me or others and are not productive; making priority lists of what I need to do the following day and week; looking for ways to save time by multi-tasking; and just using my time wisely. I like to start and end my day with prayer, it's a great way to get focused and calm for the busy day ahead. I try to stick to routines during the week as far as getting ready for work. It helps me keep on track. A good stress-eliminator for busy people is making sure you set aside time for yourself to enjoy some down time doing what is relaxing for you. You need this so don't look at it as a time-waster! It will help you stay sane and healthy:)
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
I have always enjoyed discussions with my son. He is 16 right now and it's been just him and me for about the last ten years, so we have had countless conversations about everything from nutrition to values and from our relationship with God to farming in the country! But the thing I notice and really love about our special talks is that the older he gets, the more wide-ranged our topics have become and how interesting he is to listen to! Sometimes we will talk about things for over an hour and explore different points of view about a topic, other times our discussions may last only as long as a trip to the store and involve just a quick sharing time about his or my feelings about something someone said or did. I feel very honored that my teenage son feels comfortable enough and trusting enough to share his views about the world with me, and that we respect each other's views even if we don't agree with one another. I like to think that the relationship we have will set the tone for his relationship one day with the woman he marries and the children he will be blessed to have.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
It has been a busy few weeks! One of my books was published recently, 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You, and is available on amazon.com, bn.com, and most other bookstore websites. It is also available on the Kindle. It is very exciting to finally see some of my work getting out there! It has also been a lot of work, on top of teaching full-time at a project-based school. I'm doing well to have been getting 5 hours of sleep at night! What a great experience though, I'm learning all about the publishing and marketing process. It is really cool to have people show me their copy of my book and ask for me to sign it:) I just hope that the book gets into the hands of the people who can positively impact children's lives because of the information they learned from my book. In the next few posts, I think I'll go over some of the information that I wrote and expand on it. 29 more school days and then it's off to more cities for book signings and interviews!
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
I've been touching on quite a few different warning signs that a child may be in need of help, whatever that help may be. It could be that child needs more real time and communication from a parent, maybe just needing to be recognized and listened too. Then again, they may be in a situation that requires more professional attention such as from a doctor, counselor, or other authority figure that is not a family member. The following are some ways in which you can help a child that you feel may be in need of some help: *Acknowledge that you've noticed they appear to have been behaving in a different manner than they usually do. Assure them that you are there for them and are a willing listener. Ask them if there is anything they would like to talk about. Tell them there is no problem that the two of you can not solve together. *Listen to them and really try to understand their emotions and what they're NOT saying. Hear what they say without judging them. If they don't want to talk to you, ask them if there is a doctor or teacher or someone that they would be more comfortable talking to. *Make sure, as best you can, that they are living in a safe environment. Studies show that family connectedness results in a lesser chance of teens committing suicide. The more a child is around the family and not feeling isolated, the greater chance of that child being successful in life's situations.
Monday, May 2, 2016
In my last post, I spoke about the rise in teen suicide and some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for. I wanted to mention a few more this week in hopes that more awareness will increase the prevention efforts and allow us to break this horrible cycle of teen self-destruction. When a teen seems to lack hope and speaks of having feelings of being overwhelmed, not being able to see a way out of situations, this is a big wwarning sign that they need help. Teens are still not always mature enough to figure things out and see that some things are not as bad as they seem. It is so important to give your children hope in life, a strong foundation that they can rely on when things get tough. Without hope, people can't function and will give up. Another thing to watch out for is teens going through life difficulties such as experiencing the loss of a loved one or the break-up of a relationship. It is a very emotional time and most people have difficulty dealing with grief, but teens especially since they don't have the tools necessary to handle rough situations. We can't prevent bad things happening, but we can empower our children with what they need in order to better handle difficult situations. We can give them hope. We can give them our time. We can give them love. 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You Available now at amazon.com
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
It's a sad fact that 43,000 teens, average was girls aged 10-14, committed suicide in 2014. Teen suicide rates have been on the rise for the past decade. Just this past year, one in twelve high school students attempted suicide. Why? A myriad of reasons that all could have been dealt with, probably preventing most of these tragic deaths, if there were more programs to inform parents, schools, and other teens what signs to look for. The next three blogs I do are going to deal with information I believe will help alert and inform people what we can do to help. First are risk factors that signal teens are needing help. *Changes in eating and sleeping habits. Take notice of anything out of the ordinary and check-in with your teen as far as how they are feeling. Are they sick? Is there something going on at school? Home? *Lack of interest in activities the teen has previously spent a lot of time enjoying. *Sudden unexplained withdrawal from family and friends. These are a few of the warning signs to watch out for. Make a point of connecting with your children on a daily basis. Engage with them in some of their favorite activities, invite them to do something with you that both of you would enjoy, find time to talk with one another in a neutral zone-in the car, at the park, or while going out for ice cream. Start while your kids are young and keep building that connection. They need to know you are there for them and not too busy or judgmental about what is important to them. My latest book, 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You, hits on many items that could be factors that would lead to suicide or attempts thereof. In the next post, I will list a few more risk factors that we should be aware of, that will help us to battle this horrible attack on our children.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
It is now a little over a week until my book is available on the Kindle, at amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com! I can't believe it is finally being published! I'm excited and busy, having just recently made the final galley proof approval and working on the marketing plan! Outskirts Press, my publisher, has been so helpful and working hard in every step of the process. They are doing a lot with marketing help as well and setting me up with a publicist and clipping service, things I knew would be helpful but didn't exactly know how to go about getting them. I am looking forward to the book launch and reviews! It's indescribable the feelings I have as I enter this new journey from writer to author. It is definitely a great feeling to have friends and other people tell me how much they are looking forward to reading my book!
Monday, April 18, 2016
Life is somewhat balanced right now, busy but in a good way. Getting involved with my new church, planning out the last 1 1/2 months of school with my co-teacher, just approved the galley proofs for my book coming out in May (50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You), and just enjoyed a nice weekend with my daughter and her family here at my home! I saw a sign the other day that captures how I'm feeling right now-I'm going to be happier today than a bird with a french fry! Life is good, and in that moment it is, we need to count our blessings, thank the Lord, and enjoy the calm waters.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Raising kids is a big commitment, as well as a huge responsibility, and no one ever promised it would be easy! When you have a baby, that child is yours forever. You will spend at least 1/4 of your life devoted to raising and caring for that child, then the rest of your life worrying about, advising, and enjoying them as adult children! There are plenty of people and books out there that will be more than happy to tell you what the right way is to raise your children, the problem is trying to figure out which one is the right way!! This is a decision you and your spouse must decide, hopefully before you have that child. No matter what parenting style you choose, the important thing to remember is that besides the basic needs being met, a child needs unconditional love. They will make mistakes and test your patience, but they need to know that you love them, maybe not always the choices they make, but you love them. Another thing to remember is that kids will do as you do more often than what you say. The actions you perform are the actions your children will more than likely be the ones they will repeat. Positive actions will reap positive actions, hypocrisy will reap hypocrisy. Whatever type of person you hope your child will grow up to become, they will learn from you. They will model what type of person you are, so be the example you want your child to follow. Help them become the best they can be. Let them realize you will always be there for them and that they can come to you about anything that is on their mind. Growing up is harder and harder with each generation that comes along. People often forget what other people say, but they will long remember what they see people do.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Monday, April 4, 2016
I've been trying to get back in the swing of things, blogging and tweeting, but it is hard to remember to find that quiet piece of time when I can focus on what I want to say. Sometimes I feel like I am out of words. . .like I've used them all up with teaching my second graders, doing enrichment book club activities with K-4th graders, collaborating with my peers, working on my book projects, and of course spending time with my family! It's late at night before I can settle down to some private time and work on trying to connect with other people in this way. It's a great way to reach out though and share. I'm amazed how many people are going through some of the same things I am, and yet different. We share circumstances and feelings, but our lives are uniquely ours and special in so many ways. I feel so blessed that I have been going through the experiences I have been going through these past six months, it's been a whirlwind of ups and craziness and miracles. I hope I never have some of the same things happen again (like the rollover car accident!) but I am very grateful that I walked away from it! God is not done with me yet, He has more for me to do. My book is coming out next month in May, 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You, and so I have been busy working with the publishing team to get it ready and also working on marketing plans to try to reach as many parents, and people that work with young people, as possible. I believe this book will help a lot in making young people feel like they are being heard and that they are loved. I was able to decide on the book's design cover last week and would like to share it with anyone that is interested. Let me know what you think about the design and the purpose/content idea of the book! I have it's sequel in the making and hoping it comes out in the fall!
Saturday, March 12, 2016
The last eight months have been filled with changes, blessings, and excitement-more than most people would expect to encounter in a lifetime, much less within a year! Just within the first week of September, I started a new teaching job in a new city, was involved in a rollover car crash (miraculously walked away from it!), got another car, obtained a townhouse, and had one of my books accepted for publication! Talk about a whirlwind. . .we were also recently blessed with a rescue dog, a white Lab/Pit mix named Rocky. He is a smart 14 month old who is excelling at whatever he is taught. I was going to continue my previous blog, Life Is A Freelance Job! but I had it in my heart to change the name and focus to Foursquare Mom. The four squares stand for the four important areas of my life: God, Family, Writing, and Teaching. The blog posts I write will center on those four areas. My faith has brought me to where I am, a very happy place in my life after many years of struggling. I know God is not done with me yet and has many more blessings and adventures for me and my family. I'm looking forward to what is in store for us in the days and months ahead. My manuscript was accepted by the publisher last month and is in production right now. I have written and had published many articles over the years, as well as having written over seven books. This will be the first book to be published and as hard as it is to traditionally publish, I decided to go with a print-on-demand publisher. I will be sharing what that experience is like and what happens afterwards. I'm hoping of course that the book does well so we'll see. I've been making a marketing plan, checking out some popular and interesting books on the topic, such as Guerrilla Marketing For Writers. It is very interesting and very helpful! I've been getting some really good ideas and am glad I know a lot of people that I can ask for help in spreading the word about my book. One of the best tips they mentioned in the book is the fact that it is important to use as many different ways to promote the book as possible. In other words, don't put all my eggs in one basket! The more ways I use to promote my book, the greater chance I will have of success. It makes sense, we'll see how it turns out. I intend on using my son and his friends to help spread the word-that's not considered child labor is it? I'm not paying them so that doesn't make it slave labor does it? :) I don't think so. I like to think of it as helping instill a work ethic and preserve future monetary reserves, and in the case of my son, preserving his chance of an inheritance! Should hear some updates from the publisher this week since I haven't heard much in the last two weeks except that it has been approved for production and they'll get things going. It is supposed to take approximately ten weeks. I'm excited and nervous, almost like preparing for the birth of a new child! It was definitely painful, but in a joyful expectant way.