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Why You Should Write a Book Series

As a reader, when you hear the word “series,” Percy Jackson, Narnia, The Hunger Games, Goosebumps, etc., automatically come to mind. A book series typically refers to the sequence of novels that share common literary elements, such as setting, characters, themes, and more. However, they have different titles and a free-standing plot that can either be read alone or not; but they all tie the loose ends of each tale at the end of the day. For example, The Utgarda Trilogy is a horror fiction series, wherein each of the three books has a diverse title. Stieglitz book on The Other Realmwhich is the third book of the trilogy, already focuses on rescuing the person whom the main characters have been searching for in the last two books.

Writing a series could be a tedious task due to the multiple elements and factors needed to perfect. All the hard work and dedication will surely be rewarded after seeing how many lives your series have touched. Whether you are a newbie author or a published one, you should definitely consider the perks that a book series can bring to your writing journey. If you are not yet convinced about writing one, then here are the reasons that might spark your interest.

Give justice to the characters

The most common elements in book series can last from the first book until the final one are the characters. Do note that they are the most crucial factors of a story because they are capable of moving the tale forward. Without them, your work will not progress and end. Since series are composed of multiple books, there are definitely characters with unfinished businesses, while some already accomplished their tasks. 

Since you already have book one as the foundation of the whole series, you will not experience the tough job of crafting promising characters ever again. All you need is to develop each of the characters to either unlock their full potential or uncover their worse sides and enhance the beauty of your series. Because of these improvements, you can surely grab the attention of the readers and increase the thrill of the plot. Hence, giving enough development to a character also means giving justice to the role they play in the story that will definitely positively affect your whole series.

Create a more extensive reader base

From the reader’s perspective, investing their time and effort in reading a series would be a great option to take. Hence, a great series means a large reader base; and, an extensive reader base means excellent sales. There are many who prefer to read series because they have fallen in love with the characters and become too drawn by the plot and theme. So, invest their time in waiting for the release of the following books instead of reading stand-alone novels where they tend to start meeting and familiarizing everything all over again. 

Reading books with consistent setting, characters, and other elements give a sense of comfort and fun that book lovers cannot find in single novels. It is just like visiting a friend you have never seen for a year to two but still have the same connection that makes life more colorful. Because of the growing number of readers, you can strengthen your author brand and increase your sales.

Take advantage of the binge culture

Binge culture refers to the way of living where people spend a lot of time watching shows with no interruptions. The term “binge” is often associated with films and TV shows where individuals tend to stream or watch a whole season of a TV series or different movies the whole day or night. In this day and age, many are already following the binge culture, especially teenagers. Bookworms also have their way of binging, which is on reading. 

Thus, writing a series would probably magnet those who are into binge-reading. A book series is more convenient to delve into due to the familiar aspects but incredible twists. The time spent by the readers will surely be rewarded with an exciting reading experience. The more they read the books, the more they crave more, which pushes them to binge read to satisfy their curiosity. 

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Notable Nonfiction Books You Shouldn’t Miss Reading

Every reader has different preferences when it comes to book genres. Some might take great interest in reading fictional works, while others may be fond of nonfiction ones. Many often think of how impressive that the latter could be because they survive reading nonfiction, which is the genre that speaks facts instead of taking you to various extraordinary places. 

Nonfiction is sometimes underrated but what people don’t know is that it houses several substantial tales waiting to be read. The moment you start delving into these stories, you can definitely discover multiple things, such as self-understanding, spiritual growth, life experiences, hidden talents, and more. So, if reading books of this genre ever crossed your mind, then here are some of the best titles that you should check out.

The Two Sides of Being Single: A Biblical Perspective by Wayne Drayton

Christian Faith Publishing, Inc. published The Two Sides of Being Single: A Biblical Perspective by Wayne Drayton in 2018. This book is the most outstanding work to read for those Christians who haven’t found the person whom they want to spend the rest of their lives with and are asking God to bless them with a great one or those who aren’t in a relationship and desire to keep it that way. The first section of the book centers on preserving a single life as a Christian, which is a challenging job but can be achieved through putting their trust in the Lord. The second portion of the book focuses on those who are single and are anticipating the blessing of God towards them.

Wow, No Thank You.: Essays by Samantha Irby

Wow, No Thank You.: Essays by Samantha Irby is a New York Times bestseller and Amazon editor’s pick for best biographies and memoirs. The book contains multiple essays that revolve around the brand-new path taken by the author that is written in a witty and raw manner. Samantha Irby is already in her forties and is becoming uneasy in her skin. She also resigned from being a receptionist at a vet clinic, got her books published, and experienced other twists and turns of life. You will indeed get inspired by the relatable events that Irby has gone through and encourage you to live everyday life with all its bad, good, and ugly and have fun while it lasts.

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

This critically-acclaimed book was published in 2011 by Scribner. Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a remarkably comprehensible and articulate book about an illness that exists, which has challenged humans for over 5,000 years. The tale of cancer is a story of human inspiration, determination, strength, pride, paternalism, and misconception. Hence, the author uncovers the years of discoveries, difficulties, wins, and bonds practicing their intellects against an unceasingly resourceful challenger, which was thought to be conquered instantly in an earnest and vigorous battle against cancer. 

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein authored the excellent book titled This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. The book raises the concern that climate change is not just another problem that must be cleanly classified between health care and taxes. However, it is an issue that reminds everyone to mend the economic processes that are already disappointing the public in different ways. Naomi thoroughly creates the case for how hugely eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions is the ideal way to concurrently lessen the extensive imbalance, rethink the wrecked democracies, and remold the devastated economy. She also uncovers the ideological despair of those who don’t believe in such occurrence, the crusading delusions of the aspiring geoengineers, and more.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick is a heartwarming book recounting the intimate experiences of 6 North Koreans for more than 15 years — a messy era that witnessed how Kim II-sung died, the way his successor has bestowed the power to lead, and the catastrophic hunger that lead to the death of 1/5 of the nation’s population. You will indeed feel different intense emotions and come up with various realizations while reading this award-winning book.

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How Books Amazingly Bring You Comfort and Fun

Comfort and fun are two of the most essential yet taken for granted things in life. While living in this fast-paced life, it is either you fall behind or advanced on top; hence, the both being comfortable and delighted are becoming less and less significant. Many often forget the value of these things because of different aspects — change is one of those factors. Luckily, there are still various means that can restore the pleasant and enjoyable living of people, such as books.

Literature is a wide platform that can definitely uplift the morale and drive of everyone to continue striving for progress, enjoyment, and comfort. There are various books that can offer the delight and pleasantry that everyone has wanted to have for the longest time. Hence, here are some of the ways books bring you these factors all at once.

They provide substantial stories

Some read to be entertained while others read to learn. But before all that reading, you probably have been picky on what stories to spend your time and attention on. These tales can be about adventure, courage, personal experiences, and more. Regardless of what their genres are, they stories that these remarkable books offer bring a sense of relief, fun, and comfort that are incomparable. They just know what words to say on times that you don’t know what to do and what messages to tell on moments when you feel lost. The stories, simple as they appear, offer a wide range of comfort and enjoyment during the different stages of your life.

They bring you closer to the environment

The environment is one of the most taken for granted and abused aspects of our world. Trees are cut, lands are mined, seas are dumped, plants are poached, animals are killed, and other beautiful parts of Mother Nature were destroyed by its inhabitants, specifically humans. Literature, however, exist to help people be closer to the environment and its other inhabitants. There are many literary pieces that promote the conservation of the planet and everything in between. There are also works that highlight the best parts of the environment that many might have forgotten. Some great reads that will bring you both joy and comfort are Who’s Yawning Now? by Nicki Geigert, All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids by Huda Harajli, M.A., Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

They remind you about the good things in the world

The world has become dangerous as time goes by. With all the changes and bad things that happened, restoring its former glory and safety can become hard. Imagine having to live in a world where you constantly get worried and anxious of your security and the people around you. However, there are still a lot of books that will remind you of the good bits of the world and all the great stuff that seemed to become translucent at this day and age. Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Big Necessity by Rose George, and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz are some of the best books to read if you want to be reminded of how the world was and still is a better place.

They allow you to feel more human

Many events and things that became the reason why you became the person you are now. But, it cannot be avoided that you have gone through a lot of difficult circumstances that almost broke you down. You may have a hard time navigating your life and your emotions because of the experiences that you have gone through. However, books are there to make you live a more comfortable and enjoyable life by telling your stories that allow you to feel more human. As a result, you will spark the passion that you had once for the things that you loved to do, become more motivated in conquering life, and develop empathy that you can use in dealing with others. Books are truly wonderful mediums of change, peace, and betterment that greatly impact our way of life.

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Amazing Perks of Writing Poems

Writing has always been therapeutic. With everything that happened in your life, finding an avenue for expression could be heaven on this Earth. Poetry is one of the best forms of literature that embraces all your thoughts and emotions with arms wide open.  It is a piece of literature that provides a special power to the expression of emotions and concepts through a particular style and rhythm is the typical denotation of poetry. There are many outstanding poets with books that have inspired the lives of the many. Among these excellent poets are Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, Maya Angelou, Olivia Gatwood, Trinidad Rodriguez, and Raymond Quattlebaum.

Many poetry books have been published and several poems have been written even until this century. What could be the benefits of writing poems since a lot of individuals patronize this genre? Here’s what you need to know.

Helps in mending emotional wounds

Growth entails both success and struggles. Before you blossom into the person that you want to become, you still encounter hindrances and obstacles along the way. These challenges can either make you or break you, and it all depends on you on how your fate will turn into. While conquering these things on your way to greatness, you acquire wounds and pain that significantly impact your emotional well-being. By expressing your pain into words, you will slowly heal from them and transform your life around. Poetry brings not just the comfort but also fosters mending by letting people let go and explore of their emotions. It allows you to have an area to vent, realize, and heal.

Enhances your skills

Writing is an art that waters the skills that are hidden within you so you could use them efficiently in the future. Poetry appears to be easy but when you actually get to write one, you can definitely understand how difficult expressing tons of concepts, experiences, and emotions through the tiniest amount of words. The tendency is that you become challenged while writing. Thus, you cognitive function will be enhanced as well as your other skills, such as creativity, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication. All of these are being gradually developed the minute you embark on your poetry writing journey.

Readjusts your perspectives

Life is all about constant learning and development even when change comes. However, there may be things that you don’t want to change, especially those that you have believe in. Through poetry, understanding and enlightenment will come. After you expressed all your experiences, frustrations, and other things that you desire to set free, you will soon begin to realize how some of your beliefs and perspectives are becoming toxic. These destructive views can be shifted and readjusted through reading and writing poems. You will never really know the benefit of shifting your outlook in life if you will never try.

Makes use of your senses

You probably think that writing doesn’t have anything to do with your senses. Also, you might think that it your experiences and feelings are the only things that matter in creating poetry. But, all these assumptions are wrong because among the most essential weapons in writing wonderful poems are your 5 senses. They are the best aspects that can enhance the ambiguity, deepen the meaning, and develop the imagery of your work. Also, you can captivate the hearts of the readers and provide them with a better reading experience because of how they are being moved by your work and how they can feel,  touch, smell, see, and hear the images that you are building.

Improves self-awareness

Self-awareness is significant. It is the capability to center your attention, assess, and manage yourself. This perk is not something that you expected to get while writing. Instead, this is something that you surprisingly obtain and realize at the end of your journey. However, there are also instances that some purposely writes about this aspect. In writing poems, you will came to know some parts of you that you never thought existed and realize how much have you struggled and survived.

Poetry can truly bring out the best in you. The sense of comfort and relief that every poem can give are incomparable. What are you waiting for? Start writing your poems now and be amazed of the perks that it offers.

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The Don’ts in Writing a Great Biography

Biography is a hit nonfiction genre. People of different ages commonly read these books. Although many may think that biographies are not that interesting, they will be surprised upon discovering the beauty of these books once they read it. Moreover, writers often narrate the story of their lives or of people that have inspired them. Different tales of courage, growth, downfall, and hope evoke a wide array of emotions from the readers urging them to take action, understand themselves, and be motivated to continue their way through life.

 Perhaps many might think that writing a biography is easy. All you need is to put your experiences into writing and publish it. When you really try to look at it in a better angle, it is not that easy. There are many rules to follow in order to create a captivating work. So if you plan to write one, then here are some of the things to avoid in writing a great biography that you should know.

Don’t incorporate false information to enhance the quality of writing

Fact — this refers to the information or events that are proved to be true. The main goal of a biographical work is to give readers a primary detail about your life or the story of a particular person. Hence, everything must be factual. Do not compromise your work by mixing fictional events with the hopes of making it more interesting. Keep it real and simple. Biographies that aren’t based on facts lose their integrity, realness, accuracy, and precision. Once the readers come to know about the fabricated events in the story, you immediately lost their trust and attention. It is the rawness that keeps a biography magnificent, always take note of that. So, stick to the facts.

Don’t rely on the given time frame, back it up with a researched data

Sometimes, your mind can become deceiving. There are times that your memory flashes an event but doesn’t directly show the time when that activity happened. In writing biographies, the dates are always the trickiest part. Imagine trying to remember a fragment of your life that happened 10 to 20 years ago. That is definitely difficult. Hence, avoid solely relying on your memories. Try researching to back up that fact. You can interview people that you have been with during that particular moment or call those that are present around that time frame to confirm whether that event happened or not.

Don’t excessively center everything on you

Writing a biography can become overwhelming. The thought of having to write everything about yourself can linger on your mind. But, you should eradicate that concept. The truth is that even if you are the subject, your work should not project self-indulgent and self-pity. Every event must be balance. Hence, don’t forget to write about the people that you have interacted and made adventures with. Also highlight the events on the things or individuals that helped you grow and mature. Take for example, how Beyond Barriers talked about God’s purpose on David’s life by Anne Davey Koomans. The author didn’t focused the spotlight David’s life, but incorporate other figures and elements to make the story more captivating instead.

Don’t tell the readers, show them instead

Showing is a more advantageous and better option than telling. Even though biographies are works of nonfiction, you shouldn’t compromise your writing technique and creativity by directly telling the readers the events that took place. Merely telling the readers what happened will lose the flavor and beauty of your biography. Thus, start enhancing your storytelling game by showing readers everything that happened. This will eventually magnet the readers to the tale with absolutely immersive descriptions and terms. It will better the development of the story, making it more interesting to dive into.

Biographies might be simple to look at; but, it is definitely hard to write one. Looking into the don’ts of writing a remarkable biography might help you create a more promising work. Thus, make sure to know what points to avoid and what aspects to follow. Because no matter how wonderful the images that you memory flashes, it all goes down to who wrote it with genuineness.

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Reasons to Read Children’s Books

Reading is an essential activity that plays a great role on our development. In our early stages, we were introduced to books that contain stories relevant to our age — children’s literature in particular. Although we haven’t really unleashed our skills to read and comprehend, children’s books have their own simple ways of helping us understand their stories, keeping us entertained, and making us learn. Reading truly molds us to hone our skills and become a wiser person.

Since we develop our reading skills while we are kids, being exposed to children’s books would be a great help. Oscar the Mighty Crab by Penny Higgins, The Song of Solomon the Snail by Caroleann Rice, and A Kids Life: Loving, Learning, Growing by Alana Konieczka are some of the best books that kids should never miss reading. But, are there any concrete reasons why readers should explore and read children’s books no matter how old we get? Here are the reasons why.

The stories are simple yet meaningful

Children’s books feature tales with a simple plot and language. Because even if the authors know that their books can also be read by bookworms beyond its set age range, they know that using complex storyline, language, and other writing techniques and story elements may compromise the gist and essence of their work. Authors of this genre make use of the opportunity to create surprisingly great tales that can transcend and teach one generation to another with their ability to insert strong and important central messages on their stories.

Take for example The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, it is written in the form of rhymes that can be easily understood by kids. But, if you take a closer look into its theme, it unexpectedly teaches the readers to care for the environment and be aware of how the changes are affecting Mother Nature.

The books improve your communication skills

Communication skill is an integral part of an individual’s skill set. There are many perks that will blossom when you start developing both your oral and written communication abilities. Reading books at such a young age can help you and other kids to gather and organize your thoughts before expressing them either through verbal or nonverbal communication. On your reading journey, you can also encounter highfalutin or unfamiliar words, which you can look up the meaning and apply it to your writings or conversations moving forward.

Additionally, there are also children’s books written to teach kids to communicate. Some great examples are Telephone by Mac Barnett, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, and Don’t Forget the Bacon by Pat Hutchins.

The tales remind you of important things in the world

In this fast-paced world, nothing is constant but change and progress. There are already different improvements in the society when it comes to the different fields and industries, making the world a much better and convenient place to live in. However, the value and essence of the little and simple things tend to diminish because people starts to seek for grander perhaps and achievements. As a result, there is a tight competition that many desire to conquer.

Children’s books exist to remind everyone about the significant aspects in the world that we somehow forgot or overlooked due to the drive of achieving success. Some of these are abstract factors that play great roles in restoring humanity and making us feel more human, such as love, kindness, faith, gratitude, patience, happiness, innocence, little victories, and more. There are truly amazing things that children’s novels instill to us.

The stories enhance your creativity and imagination

Another remarkable reason why you should read books that are intended for kids is because they have the ability to generate our imagination and creativity. Authors know how young and pure the minds of kids can become; hence, they try to help mold their thinking and perspectives gradually so that they become more knowledgeable and ready to face the world and unleash their skills. There are many fun and exciting stories that really boost the enthusiasm and imagination of the readers that leads to the enhancement of their creativity. Therefore, children’s books are really powerful, amazing, and worth reading.

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Ideal Books to Read and Reflect on These Remaining Days of Lent

We only have few days before the sacred season is over and Jesus will be resurrected. In these remaining days of Lent, we should uplift our games and do our part as Christians to self-reflect and honor this holy season. Jesus went through a lot of agonies in order to save humankind from sin; thus, even when multiple generations have passed, we should strengthen our faith, be thankful, and be respectful to Him. However, our salvation wouldn’t be possible without God the Father, who brought His son to the world, and the Holy Trinity.

Moreover, literature has been always there to cater to our spiritual needs. There are many Christian books that center on Christian theology, Christian devotion, Christian allegory, and more. All of these kinds of books aim to help everyone to rebuild our spirituality, reflect on our actions, answer to His calls, recognize His ways, and get closer to Him. Thus, the titles below are among the most ideal books to read and reflect in these sacred days.

Stations of the Risen Christ: Resurrection Meditations by Frank Heelan

Frank’s book on Resurrection Meditations offers Christians a brand-new choice when it comes to devotion and worship. Heelan aims to encourage everyone to begin praying while following the acts and lessons of Jesus, especially right after he was resurrected. The Savior was crucified, died, and resurrected. But after he came back to life, Jesus appeared to hundreds of followers and taught them great learning including the gospel. Moreover, Stations of the Risen Christ: Resurrection Meditations features a short meditation after the 14 Scripture readings in order to inspire the Disciples of Christ to pray and obtain a more profound understanding of these heavenly mysteries.

Spirit and Life: A Franciscan Guide for Spiritual Reflection by Daniel Horan and Julianne Wallace

The book Spirit and Life: A Franciscan Guide for Spiritual Reflection by Danie Horan and Julianne Wallace was published by Koinonia Press last 2013. It is a guide book, personal journal, and devotional anthology of prayers that is intended for those who want to reflect and grow spiritually. The book contains a Scriptural resource with Franciscan spirituality and theology as its strong foundation. It is written to emphasize the spirituality of unity that holds the faith of Christians and leads the Franciscan customs. Hence, Spirit and Life is perfect for everyone who wants to have a better relationship with the Him and answer to His callings.

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

The reissue edition of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson was published by HarperOne in 1996. This bestselling book contains the personal reflections and insights of the author pertaining to the ways of showing love while also looking for inner peace. The author talks about how everyone can turn into a wonderful miracle worker through embracing God and through the manifestation of love in our lives. Whether the spiritual pain within the bounds of connection, career, or well-being, the author helps us see how love becomes a potent aspect of our lives.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Alan Singer

This Amazon and New York Times bestseller book that was published in 2007 was written by Michael Singer. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself provides you the most relevant and best answers to the questions relating to freedom, development, and inner peace. This book attempts to change your relationships with the world and yourself. Hence, you will soon see how much potential and ways you can try to stop the constant thoughts and feelings that restrict your consciousness.

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

This New York Times bestselling book was written by Pastor Rick Warren and was published in 2013. It helps the readers to get a better grasp about their life’s purpose. The Purpose Driven Life is not just a mere book because it is an instrument that will guide everyone on their spiritual path. Through this book’s guidance, people are given the chance to change their lives. There are different questions in life that will be gradually given answers by this book.

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Celebrating International Women’s Day: 5 Books by Remarkable Female Authors

The denotation of the word “woman” is a female human being that is already of legal age. For generations to generations, these remarkable women have fought their way to prove their skills, capabilities, and rights to the society. That fight for equal rights didn’t go to waste because at this century, women have been conquering different fields. You can see females getting recognized at science, medicine, technology, languages, art, and more. They are really great and talented beings.

Literature is also one of the platforms that honor women. Emily Dickinson, Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood, Sarah Kay and among others are some of the top females that made literature a better place. So, in celebration of this year’s international women’s day, here are the top books that are authored by notable females that you should never miss reading.

Summit!: One Woman’s Everest Climb Guides You to Success by Lauren Bagley

If you are into fitness, then this book is the one to look out for. Summit!: One Woman’s Everest Climb Guides You to Success contains Laurie’s journey to the top of Mt Everest. Imagine climbing to the tallest mountain in the world? Only a strong and determined woman can do it. The book, moreover, is filled with Bagley’s promising insights and equipment for reaching sincere goals, objectives and wants. The author also provides a significant outlook on realizing essential pursuits and undertaking. Summit!: One Woman’s Everest Climb Guides You to Success shows a bit by bit guide with tales about the journey on climbing Mt. Everest and other inspiring stories.

Jasmine a Woman of Color by Monique Boyd

This stirring romance-suspense book is written by Monique Boyd. It was published by Page Publishing, Inc. last 2018. Jasmine a Woman of Color follows the story Jasmine Moore, an executive assistant. Her world started to take a turn after her significant other died. Instead of nurturing the grief of her husband’s death, she started to feel vengeful after knowing about all his affairs and unfaithfulness. As Jasmine tries to get the revenge that she thinks she deserves, she also found love and mystery. Would Jasmine get the happiness, love, and peace? Find out.

One Caregiver’s Journey by Eleanor Gaccetta

A woman is capable of conquering everything that comes her way, and that’s what Eleanor Gaccetta did. The caregiving journey of Eleanor was put into writing in order to inspire and guide those first-time caregivers to continue their job. Moreover, the moment that Eleanor Gaccetta’s had physical difficulties after she broke her hip, Ellie knew that she need to take good care of her. Thus, she embarked on a caregiving journey that lasted up to more than 9 years. This Pinnacle Book Achievement Award winner, One Caregiver’s Journey, is a memoir of how a career woman became an instant family caregiver.

The Ladybug and the Bully Frog by Caroleann Rice

Caroleann Rice perfectly penned a book that teaches not just children but also adults about the essence of friendship and cooperation. This children’s book also revolves around bullying and reminding the readers to always strive to be a buddy and avoid being a bully. The story follows a ladybug named Dot who went beyond her limits and faces the bully frog named Milton the Frog. She stood up to the bully so that others can also enjoy playing at the pond and create a harmonious and fun community instead of being stuck in a corner filled with fear because of the frog.

Patchwork: Conversations between Generations by Carol Wilson-Mack

This Indie Reader Approved book was published in 2020 by Readersmagnet. Patchwork: Conversations between Generations by Carol Wilson-Mack tells the story of the beautiful and amazing women during 1939-1959 in Bamberg, South Carolina. These women gathered together in the pursuit of closing the gap between generations through communicating with one another. During their quilting time, they started to share their stories of struggles where the others listen. Hence, Patchwork encourages the readers to eliminate the generation gap between these remarkable women through conversing. Both the elderly and youths should allow two-way communication to achieve their goal. Hence, both talking and listening are definitely essential to form a great conversation.

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How Reading Fantasy Books Help Your Kids

Imagine having a child that is down to do everything; and, with everything, meaning all the things that come to his mind. It would be fun but stressful at the same time. The fickleness of his mind, activeness of his body, and shortness of his attention make parenting a little bit too hard. If you want to keep them entertained but learning at the same time, introduce them to books — specifically fantasy books!

Reading cam definitely brings them a bunch of amazing benefits. All you need is to be there to guide them in their reading journey and make sure that they understand every event in the story. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, A Wrinkle in Time, Matilda in Scots by Roald Dahl, The Song of Solomon the Snail, and Lizzie and Leopold are some of the best books that your kids should check out. There are really so many perks and learning that this type of book gives. But, if you are still wondering how reading fantasy books can help your children; here’s how.

They widen their imagination

Molding and developing your imagination is important, especially in kids. When your start engaging them with fantasy stories, they can start experiencing a whole new world full of magic and beauty; thus, making them generates their imagination a lot better. Their imaginative mind can influence their actions and creativity. As a result, the kids will be more enthusiastic and creative after reading the tales. Imagination enables the children, and even you, to discover the boundaries of the real world and surroundings to a realm of dreams that showcases creativity and fantasy.

They keep them entertained

Again, kids are full of so much energy and enthusiasm. The purity of their hearts and minds keeps them from controlling their actions and continue minding their own business. But, sometimes, too many physical activities might become unhealthy and bad for them. By introducing them to reading, you can keep them entertained and learning at the same time. Fantasy books do not only feature awesome environments but also cool characters. There are wide arrays of magical creatures and fantastic beings that can surely amaze the kids, put their imagination to work, and experience the fun.

They teach them valuable lessons

You may think that fantasy books only offer fun and magic. But, little did you know that behind those surreal and extraordinary things are valuable and significant lessons these stories try to teach to kids. Books teach readers a wide array of learning that they can bring into their journey through life. With the help of the extraordinarily beautiful tales, children will start to know, appreciate, and manifest kindness, bravery, gratitude, faith, politeness, honesty, and more. There are just so much values and substance that fantasy books convey, which make them more captivating and engaging.

They help develop their skills and abilities

Skills and abilities are important in this lifetime. If you don’t harness your skills and talents, you will never survive this harsh world. By reading fantasy, the kids might discover their hidden talents. The more they read, the more they become motivated to develop their skills. There are also instances that the kids are already starting to improve their abilities without them knowing it. A great example is communication, reading stories at such a young age can greatly improve the kid’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Listening abilities and vocabulary are also being developed, which are definitely beneficial as they grow older.

They ignite more inspiration

Fantasy is not only about enchanted, amazing, and supernatural tales that fascinate every kid from different corners of the world. These stories also do not only bring essential lessons but also ignite more inspiration to the readers. Kids love to dream; and, because of their fickle and innocent minds, they tend to change their aspirations in life easily. Reading fantasy might inspire them to look up and follow the same footsteps of the characters in the stories. For example, the inspiring story of Harry Potter who fought his way to protect his school, friends, and everyone in the wizarding world. The bravery, cleverness, and hard work of Harry motivates every kid to do the same.

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Literature 101: What is Autobiography?

You probably have heard of the term “autobiography” somewhere, like in your English class. There are definitely many things that can be connected to this word. Books, for example, are being categorized as an autobiography with either pictures of a person on its cover or in parts of the book. But what does autobiography really mean in literature?

Definition of Autobiography

Autobiography refers to the writing about one’s life. Although this type of literature is personally written by the person whose experiences are being put into writing, there are also other cases where another individual is writing about the life of a particular person on his behalf.

Overview of Autobiography

The term “autobiography” was first utilized disdainfully in 17th century by William Taylor. The word was used during the 18th century by Robert Southey in its present tense.  Even though it was only being identified at the initial part of the 19th century, autobiographical writing using the first-person already emerged ages ago. Autobiography, therefore, extracts parts of the writer’s life form the time of writing. There are tendencies that it is primarily based only on the memories of the writer.

Relationship of Nonfiction and Autobiography

Nonfiction is a literary genre that features works that contain accurate, factual, and clear information, activities, and individuals. However, there are times that nonfictional works are allowed to be shown either in subjective or objective manner. Nonfiction is typically among the essential parts of narrative writing.

The relationship between nonfiction and autobiography is that the latter is a under the wing of the former. In other words, autobiography is a subgenre of nonfiction. The tale of an individual’s life is being narrated by a particular narrator, depending on the writing style of the author. It is expected that all claims and parts of the story is truthful and real, because it would really become an issue if there are accounts in the writings that aren’t factual.

You probably might think that these two great genres of literature are boring and plain because they are spitting facts from top to bottom. But, that isn’t the real deal. Literary nonfiction, where autobiography is categorized, is a great avenue that houses works that have the same goal with fiction — which is to express and fascinate. The only contrasting aspect to fiction is that literary nonfiction’s elements are factual and not nonexistent.

Characteristic of Autobiography

The account of one’s life written by that particular individual is, again, the common definition of autobiography. Therefore, the common point of view used by authors of this genre is first person. The narrator is an essential part of the story, either he the protagonist or supporting character, which aims to tell the tale. The pronouns that the narrator uses are I, my, mine, and such.

Types of Autobiographical Writing

Although it the definition of the subject is already understood by many, it is still considered a vague category. Thus, here are some of the types of autobiography that you should know:

  • Religious – also called as spiritual autobiography, it refers to the collection of events in an individual’s life that mainly refers to his relationship with God.
  • Intellectual – the purpose of this autobiography is for you to reflect on your experiences and write about the most important moments of your life that made you achieve success and a better person.
  • Fictionalized –refers to the autobiographies where the authors tells his truth but there are parts that were given a touch of fiction to safeguard the innocent, close gaps, and reorganize events.
  • Thematic – pertains to the type of writing that doesn’t adhere to the facts alone but aims to blend the factual data to show a fixed POV.

Examples of Autobiography

In this day and age, there are already a lot of autobiographies that that are already published. Some of them were written in the classical period while others are written in the contemporary era. What is certain is that they tell raw and substantial stories of amazing people. Here are some of the best examples of autobiography:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – contains the story of the early life of the remarkable poet Maya Angelou
  • Donut Hole: A Marine’s Real-Life Battles in Vietnam During 1967 and 68 Marines, 1st Force Logistical Command Clutch Platoon by RC LeBeau – the book that features RC Le Beau’s life and war stories
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller – it highlights the early years of Helen Keller and her moments with Anne Sullivan
  • One Caregiver’s Journey by Eleanor Gacetta – showcase the experience of the author in becoming a caregiver for her mother
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Understanding the Importance of Settings

Many authors pay the most focus on the development of their characters and plot when building their stories. When readers consume these stories, they pay more attention to the characters and the plot – as if these are the only elements of a story or the only ones that matter. What about the setting? 

It is no secret that readers love the characters and the plot and are blown away by the scenes and dialogues between characters. However, they forget all about the setting, treating it as if it never ‘exists’ in the story. They never know that a story, whether character-driven or plot-driven, will never stand ground without a solid setting. 

The setting is one of the five essential elements of a story. (The other four parts are the plot, characters, conflict, and theme. Setting establishes the mood, reveals the characters and conflict, gives clues to a story’s theme, and provides context. It gives us the ‘where’ and the ‘when’ (because a story’s setting also refers to time elements). If it is to be personified, it will exist mainly in the background as a recurring character – and an important one too. 

A story’s setting might be more important than what many readers thought. In many stories, the setting often gives meaning and even more information surrounding a character’s emotions, physical movement, or state of mind. Settings will usually match the characters and the type of problem they, particularly a detective of a protagonist, are trying to solve. A setting can be anywhere, real or made-up. 

Discerning and well-read readers will know how essential settings are in stories and how they help beef up the narrative. The murder mystery novel Mystery at Pima Point by JB Clemmens will serve this example. 

The story revolves around the disappearance of a Ph.D. student and entrepreneur, who was the fiancé of the protagonist’s nephew. The bride-to-be, Christa, disappeared from a cave above the Pima Point Resort (“in the Phoenix area”) where the protagonist, NYPD Homicide Lieutenant Eli James, was vacationing. 

As with several fiction stories, the characters, events, and stories are fictitious, but the resort – the setting – is based on a real one. JB Clemmens did well in this department; she gave Mystery at Pima Point a familiar setting. When deciding on a setting for your story, it is easy to write about places you are familiar with, have visited in person, experience the culture and atmosphere, and talk to the residents. The author even began the story with a brief description of the day’s weather, “Despite the brutal afternoon sun in the Phoenix area…” 

Later in the story, the author briefly described the cave Lieutenant James was investigating with his nephew, Drew. She wrote, “Most of the caves he’d even been in were damp inside, but not this one. Arizona’s lack of groundwater and the hot, dry sun kept this cave almost moisture-free. There were no muddy footprints to follow.” 

Perhaps for the benefit of readers who love food, the setting is also spiced with the mentions of foods that reflect the southwest’s Hispanic culture. 

Mystery at Pima Point took place in one of the states that comprise the Southwestern United States. The said region is dotted with endless networks of caves and a myriad of abandoned mines. Christa disappeared from a cave above the resort where Lieutenant James was vacationing. 

It should be noted that the region has been the site of countless mysterious disappearances. One such case involves the eerily bizarre vanishing of an experienced hiker Kenny Veach in November 2014 in Nevada. Despite searches by family, friends, and the state’s search and rescue team, no signs of Kenny Veach were ever found except for his cellphone, which was discovered while investigators searched the area. In Mystery at Pima Point, Christa’s camera was found on the ground in the cave. 

Settings also reveal the character. In the novel, the cave showed Lieutenant James’ character as a homicide investigator. JB Clemmens wrote:

He looked at the rock carvings and saw nothing unusual at first. Then he noticed that most of them had faint outlines due to weathering. But there was one on the left of an Indian pointing up. The lines were deep-set and probably much more recent than the others. 

“I’m no archeologist, but doesn’t this one figure appear newer than the rest.” He asked Drew. 

For discerning readers, it is difficult to dismiss the importance of settings. A story’s setting is as important as the characters and the plot. All elements of a story go together as they all help tell the story. A setting is not just ‘where’ and ‘when’ but is also key to the plot and conflict. 

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Top Romance Novels to Read this Love Month

When you think about the word “romance,” various images and ideas will surely come to your mind. There are truly many things that revolve around romance, such literary genre, movie genre, emotion, art, and more. Moreover, romance is basically defined as the feeling of affection and strong attraction to someone. This feeling, when put to action, can lead into a spectacular relationship between two people whose feelings are mutual. Regardless of the different interpretations and definitions of romance, it all goes down to one term — which is love.

Literature is one of the best avenues that feature romance of any kind. This platform didn’t limit its views towards romance with the basic boy to girl relationships, because it also explores same-sex affection. So, if you want to read some romance books to celebrate the love month since Valentine’s Day is coming — here are the best ones that you should check out!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This popular classic romance novel by Jane Austen was published in 1813 by T. Egerton, Whitehall. It centers on the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longbourn who is also known as Lizzy. She discovered the consequences of rush judgments and happen to be grateful on the distinction of facile goodness and true goodness. Lizzy and Mr. Darcy met at a ball where the latter has no interest in dancing with the former because he thinks that she doesn’t attract him that much. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s first meeting didn’t go well, but what went well is their ending — which you should find out what happened by reading the book!

The Other Side of Love by Attilio Guardo

Published by ReadersMagnet in 2019, The Other Side of Love by Attilio Guardo is truly the novel that offers you a rollercoaster journey towards love. This novel features a teenage romance that is a product of hate and revenge. Conrad, the protagonist, went through a tough break up that made him plot the perfect revenge plan for his ex-girlfriend named Abigail. From all the hearts that he broke for vengeance, he didn’t expect that Debbie Hollis will make him feel guilty and regretful for what he had done. Also, being friends with Debbie was never in his plans, as well as falling in love with her genuinely.

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Written by one of the top romance novel authors in this generation, Finding Cinderella is definitely a must-read for readers who are fans of romance and young adult fiction. The title is a metaphor for a girl who accidentally met a guy in the dark and they made love without knowing one another. All that is familiar to them are their voices. When the hour was up, the girl named Six ran out like how Cinderella rushes to be gone when the clock struck 12. Daniel, the guy, cannot stop thinking about the mystery girl. After how many months, they surprisingly meet and Daniel realized that he found his Cinderella.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

One of the best-selling books written by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars has been making readers feel both love and pain in this captivating novel. There were two teenagers who met in a support group, one who has a thyroid cancer named Hazel Grace and the other who has a bone cancer, who just felt the same exciting feeling to one another. Despite of their diseases, they conquered the odds and went to Amsterdam to make Hazel Grace’s dream to come true — meet her literary hero. However, things escalated quickly and had an unexpected turn, Regardless of it all; Hazel and Gus’ love surpasses life and death.

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

The remarkable romance author Nicholas Sparks wrote Dear John, which is a novel that centers on the story of two lovers who almost had the perfect love story. John didn’t finish school in order to join the army. He met Savannah, a lovely girl who made his heart skip a beat. They both hit it off, and Savannah was waiting for her lover to finish his duty so that they can start settling down, like what their plan was. However, 9/11 happened. The event made their plan fail since John enlisted again in the army. During their separation, Savannah constantly wrote letters for John until the time that she got married to another man, leaving John devastated.

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Of Evangelical Christians in the Science versus Religion Debate

Evangelicalism is probably the fastest growing and most dynamic segment of Christianity. It is hard to ignore the success of evangelical Christians in encroaching and evangelizing on traditional Catholic and even Muslim grounds. In America, they have proven themselves as a potent political force during elections. In the 2020 presidential election, the majority of Protestants, particularly evangelicals, voted for Trump. And along with the Catholics, they present a significant opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, given the Evangelical sway to religion or culture.

Where do evangelical Christians stand in the science versus religion debate? Many people have the impression that most religious individuals, particularly evangelical Christians, are anti-science. Is it true?

In their book Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think, sociologists Elaine Howard Ecklund and Christopher P. Scheitle shared the results of their national survey of more than 10,000. It is revealed that a strong majority of every religious group see religion and science as either in collaboration with one another or being independent of one another.

What’s surprising is that evangelicals are significantly more likely than any other religious group or the general population to say religion and science can help one another.

The survey reveals 48.2 percent of evangelical Christians, compared to 41.7 percent of Protestants, 39.7 percent of Catholics, and just 13.3 percent of individuals not affiliated with a religious group, said religion and science can help support the other. Just 1.3 percent of evangelicals consider themselves to be on the side of science, compared to 29.4 percent on the side of religion.

What’s even more surprising is that the group comprising the atheists, agnostics, and the unaffiliated are, with a wide majority, the only group to say religion and science are in conflict with each other. The survey reveals that 51.7 percent consider themselves to be on the side of science, compared to 0.7 on the side of religion.

It is also revealed that evangelicals report the lowest level of interest in new scientific and medical discoveries. Just 21.8 percent and 37.4 percent of evangelicals are very interested in new scientific and medical discoveries, respectively.

The majority of evangelicals, at 66.9 percent, have a positive attitude toward science’s contributions to society, compared to the 13.9 percent that believe modern science does more harm than good.

Evangelicals are most likely than mainline Protestants, Catholics, Jews, adherents of non-western religions, atheists, agnostics, and unaffiliated to either witness or receive miraculous physical healing. 39.2 percent and 27.5 percent of evangelicals reported having witnessed and received a miraculous physical healing, respectively. And it should be known that 60 percent of evangelicals agree that scientists should be open to considering miracles.

So, contrary to popular assumptions, evangelical Christians are not anti-science. It’s true that they frown on Darwin’s theory of evolution and disagree that evolution is solely a natural process occurring over billions of years. The vast majority of religious believers, as the survey reveals, are fine with evolution, but they believe God has a special place in creation, so they want to leave room for God to play an active role in the evolution process, for God to maintain an active role in the world. Evangelicals, along with religious individuals, want to protect the idea that humans are created in the image of God.

Science and religion are totally opposite fields of studies, but for religious believers that believe both opposite fields of studies can help one another, science and religion are two sides of the same coin or two wings belonging to the same bird.

The purpose of science is to uncover truths in the physical world. The purpose of religion is the search for God behind the scientific truths. Scientists who encounter the physical world with their senses aided by their formulas and instruments are no different from the religious or spiritual who encounter God or the heavenly world with their thoughts, intuition, and feelings aided by their prayers and scriptures.

Both science and religion seek answers to the same questions but in different ways, and they serve best for the people who strive to live by their truths. They need one another, and when they cooperate, society achieves the best outcomes.

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Essential Things to Avoid in Writing a Poem

There is no concrete definition when it comes to poetry because it means differently to people. Some may define it as their medium to get by in this crazy world while others may think of it as an integral part of literature. As the years go by, poetry has become a great avenue for people to let out their thoughts, ideas, and hearts. It just offers so much comfort and safety by letting people write about the things that make them feel a bunch of either positive or negative emotions.

So, when it comes to poetry writing, there are definitely many rules to follow. But, aren’t you wondering about what NOT to write when it comes to poetry? That’s what we are about to find out today; hence, listed below are the things to avoid in writing a poem.

Focusing on the rhyming scheme

Yes, rhymes may give poems the glory and beauty; however, they are not always necessary. You shouldn’t focus too much on the rhyming scheme because it is not the only element that can give your poems that ambiguity and aesthetic that they need.  There are many types of rhyming, such as the perfect rhyme, end rhymes, slant rhymes, and more. You shouldn’t really put all your attention or, worse, force your lines to rhyme. Let it come naturally so that it won’t hinder the writing process and trigger a writer’s block. This is not the basis of a good poem. What makes a good poem is how to deliver the message in such a few impactful words. So, if you put a dash of rhymes in your masterpiece — then make sure that they complement and are relevant to your masterpiece.

Writing about what you think readers want

Although writing while thinking about your readers is a great exercise, there are times that it can compromise the quality of your writings. Also, don’t be deceived on writing about what’s trending. If you are planning to write poems, own them by making sure that they help you express your heart out, let out your experiences, and fuel your passion. Think less of your audience and think more of what you want to write. When you follow the experiences and burden that your heart really wants to release, you will get the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment like no other. You readers will also notice how much sincerity and rawness that you’ve invested into your writings. A great example is how a fascinating poem from the heart by Trinidad Rodriguez wows and moves the readers after the author wrote about her personal struggles as a single mother.

Conveying metaphors every line

Metaphors are like the ace cards of poetry. However, there are also other cards that you can play to make your work better. Using metaphors in each line is really not necessary. In fact, it has the tendency to confuse the readers and change the whole meaning of your poem. Yes, metaphors can make your poem have a deeper meaning but that doesn’t mean that it can mess up your theme. There are also other figurative languages that can add color to your work apart from metaphors. It is better to utilize a handful of them to make your literary pieces more vibrant and captivating.

Using deep and unfamiliar terms

Choosing the language for your writing is important. This refers to the terminologies that you are going to infused into your work later on. Hence, make sure that you have already chosen a target audience so that you can use the appropriate language and tone. The most essential thing to avoid in this case is utilizing deep and unfamiliar terms. Yes, most poems are deep that your mind has to solve the puzzle until you can get the real meaning behind the words. You, however, should notice how most poets use simple words mixed with the correct figurative language so their poems can create deep and vague meaning. That is also what you need to do, do not force yourself to make your poem a Sherlock-worthy puzzle to be solved. Make your vocabulary simpler, which your target readers can easily understand and enjoy. Relevancy and appropriateness are really important.

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Why We Have Obscured Perceptions Towards Workplace Age Differences

We’re frequently reminded about the sharp disparity between the desires and needs of younger and older people in the workplace. These generations, of course, are simply the way they are due to the circumstance that they were born into. Baby boomers grew up in households that endured the Great Depression, continually reminding them of the value of saving money and living modest and honest lifestyles. We can’t blame either party for not seeing eye to eye in terms of social views or attitudes towards money and finance – however, they both comprise the workforce of almost every modern industry in today’s reality.

The widening age gap and growing diversity among individual employees in the work force call for discussions regarding the impact of generational differences on the cohesiveness and efficiency of our organizations. Newer studies have looked into the way we think others may perceive us based on how old we are. For example – a much younger and newer member of a team might worry that other senior members perceive them as clumsy or inefficient, even when it isn’t happening in actuality. A repetitive cycle of misguided perceptions about one’s self and one’s misconceptions towards further fuels and reinforces the unhealthy perception of inaccurate stereotypes and may lead others to begin adapting similar misconceptions and judgements – creating disparity and feelings of alienation among both age groups in any particular industry.

It’s a two-way conversation when discussing this topic, and the book “Patchwork: Conversations Between Generations” by renowned author Carol Wilson-Mack discusses this concept in masterful detail through storytelling. Patchwork encourages to find a way by Carol to utilize her expertise in fellowship and theology, highlighting the positive manners in which youth and elders can benefit and learn from each other through meaningful discourse.

In general, older employees were overall perceived to possess traits such as having a deeper sense of responsibility, maturity, and a more efficient work ethic – but despite this, the baby boomers themselves have bene observed to collectively share concerns regarding others perceiving them as “dull”, “too traditional”, “resistant to change”, or “moody”. Older workers who feel that they fall under these stereotypes tend to wish that others would perceive them in a more positive light.

As you can imagine, the stereotypes portraying younger employees in the workforce involved per-conceived notions of irresponsibility, stubbornness, laziness, a lack of motivation, and the idea that they can’t get something done right the first time without being guided first. In general, many younger workers held generally negative ideas about themselves and were convinced that many senior workers saw them in a derogatory or negative light – which, like the misconceptions that baby boomers are known to have towards themselves and others, is highly subjective in nature but indicative of immense societal disparity in social attitudes that the varying age groups have towards their fellow workmates and their own images in the way they think others perceive them. In general terms, these findings suggest that older and younger employees feel that people perceive them more favorably than they really do. These cases indicate that neither age-related assumptions nor meta-stereotyping are correct.

The dynamic age of the population means that our conventional perception of governance and management is gradually shifting. In addition, workers who have worked in an industry for decades have valuable insights into the organizational structure and customer experience that younger administrators could benefit from.

When it comes to handling an older employee or staff member, it may feel difficult to focus on them in an attempt to demonstrate one’s leadership, but it is all the more necessary because it demonstrates that you value the expertise of your team members and set the standard for a variety of other experiences within the company. It is easy to handle an elderly worker with unnecessarily careful deference by not requesting for their approval for a small initiative or mission, but this can cause them to feel as unwelcome just as much as deliberately undermining their knowledge.

What administrators don’t often understand is that individual workers have varying motivations. So, when setting priorities and benefits, consider how certain workers might perceive a problem. A divide between the two will emerge when a team opportunity is more targeted towards one age group than the other.

Managers will benefit from understanding that workers frequently shift mindsets and evolve over time due to changing expectations, needs, expertise and physical capacity. Such adjustments may take several forms. Analysis has shown, for example, that people experience various forms of work-family tension at different points of their life, from young adults to middle-aged and late adults. Nevertheless, not every worker of the same generation would have the same encounter at the very same precise moment – which is another testament to the complexity of generational diversity in the workplace.

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The Importance of Self-Perseverance in Overcoming Hurdles

The physical existence that the human experience is confined to is a path of absolute uncertainty and unexpectedness. At the end of the day, the reality is that no amount of preparation or foresight can prepare an individual human being for the ups and downs that they are bound to go through throughout the course of their relatively-short existence, and on top of that, nothing is constant – and nothing is for sure. How we perceive, react to, and overcome obstacles and roadblocks in our lives is among the definitive aspects of who we are as individual human beings, and is indicative of what we believe in and what we stand for in this particular spec of space in the universe at this exact time of our existence, which to us, matters. But what does this imply?

For one, it alludes to the fact that we all have our own foundation to stand on – a solid stronghold in which we base our morals, values, and pre-conceived notions on. For some, it may be the Judeo-Christian god of the bible, and for some it may be Allah. For others, it may be the love of self – ego, hedonism, and self-gratification – and for some, it may simply be nature or the intrinsic desire to continue existing. Whatever it may be (whether spiritual, religious, scientific, philosophical, logical, or mathematical in nature), we all have a special foothold grounded in some type of belief that allows us to perceive and rationalize the world around us, the way we act in relation to other humans that we associate with, and our individual significance in retrospect to the universe, in the context of our existence in this reality.

A suspense love story by Patricia Sims titled “A Major Hurdle”, which is a uniquely-crafted romance novel with a touch of courtroom drama and spiritual undertones, beautifully highlights the brightly-shining self-perseverance and strong spirituality of a remarkable human being on a journey of redemption, who, just like any single one of us at any given time, is just trying to get by – just another temporary visitor in this world among many who came before – another reiteration of the age-old dilemma of existence. She’s a fellow human being experiencing hurdles and hardships in her lifetime, simply trying to make the most of what cards reality has dealt her, but ultimately just a traveler passing through the fleeting vessel of existence as the flow of time continues to persist unrelentingly.

In this particular human’s story, she’s met with a terrible predicament. Picture it this way. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Catherine Adams, the protagonist of Patricia Sim’s critically-acclaimed book. We all know second-chances don’t come that often in a single life-time. Some of us aren’t even sure if there’s a life after this one, so the prospect of a second chance at anything is something deeply rewarding and fulfilling in nature – something highly sought-after, and something to cherish once received. This is what Catherine wants in her life. Another try at love, the second time around. In her pursuit of this goal, fate just so has it that her path becomes intertwined with the very thing she sought after – a certain Dr. Philip Cagney, the charming college professor who filled the void in her heart like the last piece of a broken puzzle, fitting snugly into place where the piece belongs.

As you’ve probably expected, this is the part where it all goes horribly wrong. When everything seemed to be going fine and dandy, the linear path of predictable romance cliché divulges into the realm of ominous uncertainty and sinister undertones as things slowly start to seem… off.  Something’s up with this new guy of hers – something deeply unsettling and uncanny in nature.

She fails to avoid some obvious red flags by ignoring their implications, and subsequently, she pays the ultimate price for it as she’s catapulted into a bizarre twist of fate that has her spiraling down the rabbit hole of a dramatic court case that unravels before her and the entire community college’s very own eyes like a vivid nightmare that just won’t end. As the investigation goes on, shocking information begins to unfold, only worsening her desperation at that point. With all eyes on her, she stands trial, accused of a grisly crime that she’s completely innocent of – her willpower and spirit challenged at every step of the way – a poor soul put to the test.

In this unfortunate situation, Catherine’s only stronghold is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that’s all she has left. Her undying spirituality and faith in God is what she clings to in order to overcome this hurdle, and in her darkest time of desperation, it’s what saved her. What redeems her from prosecution is nothing short of a miracle.

As seen in this well-paced and thought-provokingly unique romance thriller, humanity’s propensity to overcome hardships through the power of belief reminds us that we humans are capable of great achievements that have the physical potential to impact reality in a positive manner, no matter how insignificant it may seem in relation to the bigger picture. In our own little worlds, it means something to us – and maybe, just maybe, it might mean something to the universe.

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Tips in Cultivating a Healthy Family Relationship

Family is the greatest treasure of a person. Sometimes it can either make or break you because they give and make you love so much that it is scary to lose any of them. Family is the most significant influence on kids, for they become the children’s role model and hero as they grow up. Hence, what you show to your younger family members can create a huge impact on their lives because they will take your actions as positive and acceptable. So, you should really be careful about keeping it real with them.

However, there are times that family becomes the weapon that scars you for some time in your life. Alternate Reality is a book that documents how the family made a great difference in the life of Steve Ross as he grows up; although, it is more of a dysfunctional family book instead of a functional good relationship book by Steve Ross. Hence, it will also make you appreciate your family better and empathize with those who, unluckily, haven’t had a great bond with their family.

How could one cultivate a healthy family relationship anyway? Here are some tips on how.

Do not forget to keep the communication running

Imagine living in a home where everyone is busy minding their own business and not bother talking at all. That is already a red flag that points out that there is already something wrong with your bond. Always strive to keep your communication open. Ask them how their day went when they get back home, share with them about your little progress on school or work, compliment them on the good that they do, and correct them on the bad things that they committed. Whether it is through random conversations during meals, little chitchats in the living room, casual messages via text, or occasional phone calls, the bottom line is that never forget to connect with them in any way that you can.

Allocate a day in your week to be spent on your family

You may have overlooked the value of quality time because you are busy working hard to give your family the best life. But, start clearing your schedule and allocate at least a day or more to be spent with your family. Set aside your work or studies and prioritize them. You’ll never know how big of a difference it can make. This is a great chance to strengthen the foundation of your relationship, make up for the times that you’ve grown apart, get to know their new passion, and support their goals. Having a bonding moment with your family also boosts their confidence and makes them have a positive outlook in life because they feel loved and cared.

Show them you love them using your love language

People are different in many ways, especially in showing their affection towards those that they love. There are those who express their love through words while there are others that are more comfortable in showing it through actions. Express your love to them using your love language, they will soon notice and understand it, which makes them appreciate you more. In that way, they will be motivated and dedicated to doing their tasks and errands knowing that there are people who care for them and giving them reasons to do better. This will surely make your family stronger and more connected to one another since love is an essential ingredient to a happy family.

Support them on the things that they are passionate about

Passion is intimate and a big deal for many individuals. Despite the fact that there are those who set aside their passion for practicality, that fire will never be put out and will continue burning inside. Your family members may have a passion that they are scared to pursue, such as dancing, art, literature, public speaking, and such. All you have to do is to show them your love and support to make them feel motivated and inspired. This will surely make them feel more comfortable to share their thoughts and struggles with you, which is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship and keep a healthy family.

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Enjoyable Indoor Activities to Bond with Kids

The world is already going through changes, but what seems to not change is the unvanquished pandemic. Although the situation is a lot better than the first few months of the outbreak, another Covid-19 variant is now here to once again threaten humankind. With that, it is still not safe to go out and enjoy the outdoors. You should be more careful now more than ever, never let your guard down until the pandemic is over and if the vaccines are proven to be effective.

Regardless of the negativities that this pandemic has brought, you can still spot some positive effects and opportunities that it provides. There are many activities that you can do to make your day more productive, as well as strengthen the bond that you have with the kids at your homes — such as your children, nephews, or nieces. That said, here are some of the brilliant activities to do at home with kids.

Making beautiful scrapbooks

Scrapbooking may seem to be a boring and old hobby. However, it is still a delightful activity that plays a big role in keeping the bond of people and a good medium for a trip down memory lane. On this DIY activity, you can gather the basic materials — which are the glitters, cardboards, scented papers, scissors, glues, and etc. This will surely increase your creativity and reduce your stress, as well as make your kids entertained and happy. With all the vibrant colors and moving memories that this project bring, you can genuinely love and treasure the experience.

Learning how to sew

Sewing is the activity that many often overlook the value. Some even see it as the thing done by the elders. Let us change this mentality and appreciate the art of sewing. Ensure to have your sewing kits ready, just be careful enough to not prick the children with the needles. Gather on a table and slowly demonstrate the basics to the children. However, you should be extra careful in teaching them this art because children can be messy sometimes. You can create some cute dresses out of your old clothes, repair those that have holes, put some patches on bags, and other cool stuff.

Reading good books

Reading is a good activity that promotes both learning and entertainment. Children’s literature is the perfect genre to read because it cannot only hit the interests of children but also magnet the attention of the adults that want to relive their childhood memories. There are many enjoyable book lessons for kids by Konieczka, that can be learned from Alana Konieczka’s book A Kid’s Life: Loving, Learning, Growing. Other wonderful books that you should never miss reading during your bonding with the kids are The Cat in The Hat by Dr. Seuss, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Grandpa Nick’s Bump by Lynda Daniele, and Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

Baking delectable desserts

During the pandemic, there are many people who discovered brand-new skills and harnessed their strengths. Baking is one of the most fun, calming, and terrific activity that you can bond with the children at your home. Perhaps you can discover that this mere hobby can be your core strength, as well as uncover the talents of the kids for this activity. You can start off with some easy recipes and goods, such as cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cheesecakes, and more. Guide the kids on what ingredients to get and mix. You can use their help on the mixing process. If you want to involve them in putting the batter to the oven, make sure that it is under your guidance because they might get burn from the oven. You’ll never know how fun this activity is if you won’t try. Also, you can share the treats afterward.

Camping indoors

Camping is an outdoor activity that is usually done by the lake or forest. However, nobody said that you can’t do it indoors. So, set-up the tent, pillows, picnic mat, and other essentials for camping. Note that you are doing it in the comforts of your home. Hence, there will be no bonfire and fishing. All that there will be are comfort, laughter, and love. This is a good bonding activity because you can play with your kids, get along with them, and cherish the wonderful moment.

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Brilliant Christian Books to Read that Will Strengthen Your Faith

Faith is an integral part of Christianity. It addressed the basis of believing in God’s word, putting trust in His steadfastness, and depending on His character and selflessness to act. When the word “faith” is brought up in a random conversation, things like God, religion, and the Bible are the top three that come to mind. Hence, faith is truly an essential aspect of Christianity, especially in the development of our spirituality.

Apart from the word of God, there are other means that can help you strengthen your faith in Him — such as books. There are numerous Christian books present in the world of literature. They have different content and themes, but they all revolve around God and Christianity. So, we have here some brilliant Christian books to help every disciple and believer of the Lord to enhance their faith in Him.

The Three Keys to Our Relationship with God by Roslynn Bryant

This exceptional Christian book by Roslynn Bryant contains an insightful and authentic record of the development process of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, which is made possible by our faith in the Lord Jesus. This Father and child bond is strengthened as we add the three essentials of loving, trusting, and obeying our Heavenly Father. The Three Keys to Our Relationship with God also offers wisdom into the way the one and only begotten Son of God applied the same three keys of loving, trusting, and obeying, to His Father. Moreover, it provides us with practical usage that we can utilize in building our personal relationship with Him as God’s children. This book is a sincere and heartwarming interpretation that slowly guides us in finding delight in our relationship with God.

Come Climb Toward God: Are You Hungry For God? by Marianna Albritton

Published in 2013 by Xulon Press, Come Climb Toward God: Are You Hungry for God? is asking us if we are eager to create a relationship with the Lord. It is primarily written to help those who believe in the Lord to comprehend Christian development stages. There are various instances that a believer feels the demand to become closer to Him. Still, the individual cannot think of an idea on taking a step closer or the methods of understanding what he or she is feeling. In the entire Bible-teaching journey of the author, she has experienced teaching the “one.” Hence, she is creating this book for the person who is feeling the need to satisfy his or her hunger to comprehend the Father’s callings, as well as to build a better bond with God.

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional is recognized as the number 1 Amazon bestseller in the spiritual meditations category. This book by Paul David Tripp contains a year-worth of gospel-focused devotions that has sold more than half a million copies. It says that mornings can become difficult; hence, your good breakfast paired with a strong coffee is not sustainable. Trip desires to give you more energy with the most powerful motivation booster possible, which is the gospel. Whether it is the modification of actions or the aphorisms to feel good, you can forget all about them. The author realizes that an experience with God is what everyone needs. Afterward, we will all be ready to put our trust in His goodness, depend on His grace, and live for His honor every single day.

An Endless Quest for Spiritual Truth: A Practical Guide to Everyday Spirituality by Eric Chifunda

Eric Chifunda has written a Pinnacle Book Achievement Awardee book that serves as an analysis of the spiritual truth that lies behind God, love, and life in our everyday living that surpasses those that are basically known. Always remember that regardless of how good you already are, there is still an avenue to become better, smarter, stronger, and more content than you are now. The wisdom intertwined in An Endless Quest for Spiritual Truth: A Practical Guide to Everyday Spirituality, hopefully, is enough to provide you with a greater view on the way the spirit get through or entangled into our daily life, which will slowly lift us to become the better version of ourselves.

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Inspiring Books that You Should Never Miss Reading

Literature is not just about stories that make generate your imagination. It is also not just about the paper and ink that were used to create books. Instead, it is a way of life that fuels every reader to become more than they are now. Literature is also a great source of inspiration to improve oneself, and use these developments to make a different in the society and the world.

Self-help is a nonfiction genre that houses a lot of inspiring books that ought to make people improvement and become the best version of them. So, discover the wonders of self-help by reading these amazing books that we have listed below.

Summit!: One Woman’s Mount Everest Climb Guides You to Success by Laurie Bagley

The remarkable woman Laurie Bagley is the author of Summit One Woman’s Mount Everest Climb Guides You to Success. This motivational book documents the moment when the author climbed Everest, Denali, Aconcagua, and Kilimanjaro’s peaks. Bagley has juggled her tasks by keeping on climbing part-time for she is a guide for Adventures International while attending her roles as both mom and businesswoman. Moreover, she competed in a top leading world-class adventure racing group for 5 years. In 2006, Laurie received the California Outdoor Hall of Fame Award in 2006. Hence, Summit is truly a promising book that has the opportunity to create a big change in the lives of the readers. The author definitely inspires everyone to recognize their real interests and talents so that they can create and achieve their own goals.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

In 2012, Random House published The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life by Charles Duhigg. This self-help book discusses the science behind the formation and reformation of habits. Hence, it contains subtopics, such as habit loop, the golden rule of habit change, keystone habits, and training. The author also showcased a brand-new approach to understanding the potential of human nature. It has already made it to The New York Times, Amazon, and USA Today bestseller lists. In the same year of publication, it was long-listed for the Book of the Year Award of Financial Times and McKinsey.

The Fitness Mindset: Eat for Energy, Train for Tension, Manage Your Mindset, Reap the Results by Brian Keane

The Fitness Mindset: Eat for Energy, Train for Tension, Manage Your Mindset, Reap the Results is among the best motivational self-help books of all-time. It raises multiple questions which are: how do you describe the experience if you would possess your dream body, massive energy increase, and the mentality to maintain them to eternity; Did you ever feel disappointed that you didn’t achieve the results you wanted?; Do you think that you are consuming the right food and conduct the correct exercises but your body doesn’t adjust as much as you desire; and more. This book provides you with all the essentials to achieve your dream body, increase your level of energy, and create a great mindset that you can keep for a long time.

No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness by Michelle Segar

The first edition of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness by Michelle Segar was published by AMACOM. If you personally dislike doing an exercise and have difficulty following a workout, then think about the millions of individuals that have attempted but never succeeded. Perhaps the problem is not the people but the exercise itself. Hence, this book has transformed years of studies on exercise and encouragement into a simple design program that will motivate everyone to stop the cycle of workout failure. Readers will surely learn the reasons why they need to forget about the determination and avoid clenching their teeth by the exercises that they dislike. Instead, they should start to become more inspired and motivated to begin a desire for physical exercises. This book definitely makes workouts easier, funnier, and more enjoyable. Hence, every reader must prepare to start an active way of living that they will love.

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Awesome Nonfiction Books to Read this Holiday Season

Nonfiction has been bringing colors to every book shelf from all around the world since literature started to blossom and printing press were built. At this point in time, there has been thousands and thousands of nonfiction books that are invading the literary realm. They do not contain imaginative and extraordinary tales but only meaningful and enlightening stories.

Memoir, biography, manual, and travelogue are some of its best subgenres. Another aspect that makes the world of nonfiction more colorful is the community of authors. Among the remarkable authors are Stephen Hawking, Rachel Carson, Michelle Obama, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Oliver Wolf Sacks, and more. Nonfiction is truly a wonderful and rich genre. Apart from all that, there are also the best books that make every reader in the world learn from the substances embedded in the stories. So, listed below are the promising nonfiction books to read this holiday.

The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning by Maggie Nelson

In August 13, 2012, W.W. Norton & Company published the 1st edition of The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning by Maggie Nelson.  It talks about how the fields of vision of the public are being swarmed with cruel imagery by both the entertainment and real world. The widespread images of horror, agony, and war has almost killed the hope of the 20th century that these images will shake everything up into a less marginalized society or help establish a fair social structure. Now, what should the people do, when should they watch, and when must they turn away? Ultimately, Nelson’s complex analysis of the creative landscape provides a paradigm of how strong ethical values can be matched with an exceptionally powerful enjoyment of work that explores the boundaries of taste, tradition, and acceptability. The author has truly risen among the leading cultural critics with this exceptional work about depictions of brutality and abuse in literature.

From Science to Spirituality: Finding Spirituality in Science by Neil C. Griffen

Neil C. Griffen challenges readers to wonder about the pre-existing ideas and values in the field of science and religious reasoning. From Science to Spirituality: Finding Spirituality in Science aims to enlighten science and religious faith and help people see how these two disciplines fit together. The author exceptionally includes well-researched and significant information that supports the advantages of utilizing scientific knowledge in evaluating spiritual concerns, including the commonly volatile argument about the presence of one God. According to one of the excerpts of the book, the scientific method is quite the latest development in human history. Both the truth and His wisdom typically originated from whichever god was famous in the past. There is a person who spreads the desires of that particular god. A great example is Ancient Egypt’s pharaohs, who are the self-proclaimed gods that lead using an iron hand.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

This promising nonfiction book is published by Doubleday in the UK and Broadway Books in the US. It is written by Bill Bryson and has become one of the best books today. A Short History of Nearly Everything is a famous science book that elaborates particular fields of science with the use of a language that is easily comprehensible and speaks more to the masses than other writings on the topic. In fact, it is among United Kingdom’s bestselling famous science books of 2005 after selling more than 300,000 copies. Moreover, it differs from the author’s travel book genre because it is talking about the general sciences, like astronomy, chemistry, and more. A Short History of Nearly Everything also examines time through geology and evolution.

100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux published the reprint edition of Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write in 2015. It is not just a literary piece that talks about the amazing world of theater but it is also a map of a really distinct artistic sensibility and a guide for those who opt to walk on the path of artistry. The essays contained clever forms of meditation about life in the arts and cheerful scribbles of reflections on the things in between. Admonition, celebration, interrogation, jokes, tasks, supplications, prayers, and suggestions are blended throughout the pieces: frank thoughts compiled from years of working in the theatre.

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Pseudonyms of Exceptional Authors that You Should Know

In the wonderful world of literature, having a pseudonym is not a brand-new thing. Most authors use an alias in order to protect themselves and maintain their anonymities. Other terms used for pseudonym is pen name, which is really common in the literary world because there are several authors who used or are using fictitious names. The only downside of using a pseudonym is that it will become your trademark when your book hits its breakthrough. So, instead of people knowing your real name — most of them, especially those newbie bookworms, will recognize your pen name instead.

Authors from the past literary periods used pen names. Some of them used these fictitious names to gain power by projecting masculinity during their time, like Charlotte Bronte, while others make use of pen names to avoid oversaturating the market. Perhaps you want to know some remarkable pseudonyms of prolific authors. Hence, listed below are the pen names that you should know!

J.D. Robb

You probably have seen books that are authored by J.D. Robb in your favorite bookstore or somewhere online. Then, you must know that J.D. Robb is just one of the pen names by Eleanor Marie Robertson, who is also referred as Nora Roberts, Jill March, and Sarah Hardesty. This particular pen name came into view after her new publisher suggested for her to write under a new name so that they can keep up with her exceptional background, and be able to produce several of her books every year.

The initials J.D. mean Jason and Dan, who are her beloved sons. With her new pen name, she can start writing her long-desired romantic suspense novels. The first book was, in fact, published in 1995. Under this new name, she has written a series of futuristic scifi police crime drama novels that are included in the In Death series. The entire series is composed of 19 books, which the last book turned out to be her first bestselling book in 2004.

George Orwell

Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Homage to Catalonia, The Road to Wigan Pier, and more are some of the best classic novels. But, do you believe that there is no such author whose real name is George Orwell during that literary period? The brilliant mind behind these novels and who wrote under the name George Orwell is Eric Arthur Blair. He is an author, journalist, literary critic, and essayist. The common topics in his writings are democratic socialism, anti-fascism, and more while the usual genres of his works are satire, science fiction, and etc.

According to an article in The New York Times by Roger Jellinek titled How Eric Blair became George Orwell, Eric Blair felt the urge to use a pen name upon the publication of his book Down and Out in Paris and London in 1933. Blair was sure that his novel will become a complete failure, and he doesn’t want his real name to be stained by it. However, it turned out to be a great book that was being read by many. Blair kept the pen name and used it on his following books.

Richard Bachman

Have you seen the picture of the author Richard Bachman? That man in the photo wasn’t the real Richard Bachman, because it was the insurance agent of Stephen King’s literary agent. There is no Richard Bachman in literary world, only Stephen King. The great horror fiction author wrote under that name in order to publish more books in a span of one year but not losing the interest of the readers.

On the perspectives of the publishers, producing more than one book per year can cause the loss of enthusiasm and interest in an author’s reader base. Stephen King wrote in an introduction to The Bachman Books that writing under the Bachman pen name is also a trial in making sense of his literary journey and an attempt to answer the question if his accomplishments are because of his luck or talent.

B. Steve Ross                                             

The nonfiction book titled Alternate Reality: The Mostly True Story of How I Become a Sociopath or a Comical Look at my Messed Up Life is authored by B. Steve Ross. However, Ross is not really the real name of the author, because it is just a pseudonym of Glenn Davis. The author wants readers to know that not all sociopaths are bad individuals. There are instances that they experienced in during some point in their lives, especially childhood, which traumatized them and made them who they are.

According to the author, “The end result of my upbringing was me becoming a sociopath.” Furthermore, he still achieves a lot in life despite the hardships that he’d been through. His severe dyslexia and impediment didn’t stop him from becoming a Master Electrician. He also became a Nuclear Power Electrician for 8 years in the US Navy. Moreover, Davis is married to the same woman that he vowed at the altar for more than 30 years now with two amazing kids. He also becomes one of the foundations of youth programs in their community.

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Things to Do to Make Your Camping Trip Worthwhile

Nature person or not, every person always has a heart to wander. Camping is one of the activities that spark excitement in the heart of each adventurer. Who wouldn’t want to take a breather and feel the essence of nature even for a short while? Moreover, camping is also considered as an activity that promotes recreation. It is done by going into an outdoor location, like mountains or lakes, and spending the night on a tent alone or with friends and friends.

With all these mess going on in the world, you really do deserve a quick escape. It cannot be denied that everything has become suffocating and hard, especially the adjustments to the new normal. Since the things and the system are gradually changing, you should give your life a pause even for just one day.

If camping has ever crossed your mind or if you want to cross camping out from your bucket list, then now is the time! But before everything else, provided below are the activities that you should consider doing to make the most out of your camping break.

Go sightseeing

In every camping trip, it is not only the heart and the mind that are being relaxed and satisfied. Your eyes also need to break free from stress and be filled with beautiful sceneries. Since most of the camping trips take place on locations that are surrounded by nature, make the most out of it and go sightseeing. You can bring your camera with you and take awesome pictures of the spots and document your recreation journey. This activity will surely make you reflect on yourself and see things in better perspectives afterward. Even in this advanced world, sightseeing is one of the things that are chosen by travel junkies and those people who want to relax. What are you waiting for? Do not let this opportunity go!

Try fishing and/or hunting

Fishing basically means the activity of catching fish while hunting pertains to the activity of catching wild animals for food. These two look simple, but there is really more to them than what is expected. When you are camping at lakeside, you should really try fishing. This will not only give you time to release the thoughts in your mind but will also help you increase your focus, patience, and perseverance; however, if you are camping on a site that on the mountains or forests then you can try hunting. It will help understand how the predator-prey relationship works, and will also make you see how abundant wildlife is. Moreover, these two activities are featured in Mike Honeycutt’s world travel book called World of Hunting and Fishing.

Light a bonfire

Who in the world goes camping without lighting up a bonfire? You see, making a bonfire is like the highlight of your camping experience! When the sun is still up, you can go and look for firewood but make sure to be vigilant on your surroundings. The moment that twilight comes; you can start creating fire and light up the site. Start unloading your camping bag and make dinner. You can cook those you have caught while hunting or fishing, but those that you’ve packed are good too! Make sure that you brought marshmallows so you can make smores. However, the fire is not only for cooking but also gives you the chance to not get cold, dry those clothes that got wet, and sing your favorite country or chilling songs.

Savor the wonderful view of the sky

When all everything is done, then the last and best activity to do before sleeping is stargazing! Get your picnic mat and position it where you can get a clear view of the night sky. It will surely relax you and will make you appreciate how truly wonderful the world is. The million twinkling stars that have formed into awesome constellations will bring out the real and unguarded you, without you knowing it. Apart from the stars, there is also another beautiful heavenly body present at night — which is the moon. You can definitely savor this moment and take advantage of this to think clearly and appreciate everything around you.  

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Independently Published Science Fiction Books to Add to Your Shelf

The literary world holds so much wonder than what is expected. It doesn’t only cater authors who are under the wing of big and small publishing companies, because it also creates a safe avenue for self-published authors. Although the publishing company can truly make an impact on the numbers, there are still many independently published books that have achieved success in their own little way. These self-published books belong to different literary genres, science fiction for example.

There have been thousands of sci-fi books sitting on the shelves of libraries, bookstores, and readers’ rooms. Most of them have succeed in different ways, such as topping bestselling lists, getting film adaptations, garnering book awards, and more. The success in this field is not just applicable for books published by remarkable publishing companies, but also for those self-published ones too. Hence, provided below are the amazing science fiction novels that are independently published by their brilliant authors.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Before it was taken under the wing of publishing companies, The Martian started as a bunch of exceptional story chapters which the author published in his blog. The wonders of this work of imagination were noticed by the public after Andy Weir tried to sell the book on Amazon at a very low price. Without him knowing it, his book The Martian has become the cream of the crop of science fiction after releasing it to the market. Later on, it was reprinted by Broadway Books in 2014 and was even adapted into film. It centers on Mark Watney who is among the first individuals to set foot on Mars. Watney, along with his crew, is about to experience the destruction of a dust storm. It almost took his life; but, another unfortunate thing happened to him. His crew evacuated Mars and left him because they thought that he died of the storm. Thus, he is left alone in a strange planet which is miles away from home. Would Mark Watney make it out Mars alive?

Wool by Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey is an indie author who opted to break free from small press contracts and decided to publish his works on his own. His works are commonly in the form of electronic books while there are also some printed ones, which he writes and publishes on his free time. Wool is a sci-fi work by Howey, where the first few chapters were released to the public via Kindle in 2011 for as low as $0.99. It is all about a group of humans who are residing underground in giant silos. Without Hugh Howey knowing it, the initial parts of Wool that were published skyrocketed and sold a thousand copies at the end of October that year. The following e-book portions of the story conquered the Amazon bestseller lists in different categories. Because of that, it was awarded with the Best Indie Book Award in the sci-fi/fantasy category by the Kindle Book Review in 2012. Wool was also contracted by Simon & Schuster and was reprinted in 2013.

The Final Day by Greg Van Arsdale

You probably have heard about The Genesis Project, which is a science fiction series that is composed of four books. The Final Day by Greg Van Arsdale is the fourth and last book that completes the series that was published independently on October 2019.  The storytime jumped for 10 years in the future after the third book, End Game. It centers on the way the world ends from the views on the real and virtual realms. It has been told that the soul of Jack Lokitus was handed over to Logan’s spirit in the virtual realm. The situation in the real world opens when the sister of one of the antagonists named Lucia attempts to release his brother from being captured and trapped in the virtual realm. Hence, she must take down Mike LeGuerre to get her hands on John Neumann and retrieve the soul of her brother. The event in the virtual world, on the other hand, Jack Logan was already freed from prison. His desire to kill David has become an obsession, which led to the creation of a disaster.

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Essential Things that Authors Must Have

Authors are the amazing individuals behind the great masterpieces that entertain and warm the heart of readers. They are also considered as writers. The other definition of author is a person who bestowed life or existence into a particular subject and is responsible for what he brought to the world. There are many authors who have gained popularity for their exceptional works. William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Milton are the great masters of literature with books that have existed until this contemporary period.

There are many people who have been inspired by books and aspired to become one of the best authors someday. If you are among these dreamers, perhaps now is the time to turn your dreams into reality! Listed below are the 5 things that are necessary in your upcoming author journey.

The will to write

Scribbling words on paper is a skill that can be done by everyone, but being able to write stories that can touch the lives of others is more than just a skill. When you want to jump-start your author career, you should have the will and courage to write. Writing a piece of literature, specifically a book, is not an easy task. It will require you to be patient and determined. The mere act of writing words that come to your mind may be insufficient. Hence, you will be needed to dig deeper in the different corners of your being to identify what it is that you really want to write. When you already have done that, the enthusiasm to write your piece will spring out of you, making you inspired and motivated to start writing. Without your drive to write, you cannot become the author that you have always dreamed of becoming.

Writing mediums

Your writing journey can take years to finish. When you become an author, there is really no escape. You will have to live with that profession until the end of your days; because, even if you stop writing, the stories that you have written will never stop making a difference in the lives of readers. Before anything else, you will be required to have writing mediums. Journals, notebooks, pens, and other stationery are among the traditional things that are needed when writing a piece. Since the technology is already advanced today, computers, laptops, tablets, or cellphones might come in handy. Make sure that you have something to write and keep your drafts. They are really on top of the list when it comes to writing.  

A comfortable space

Mind and passion are two of the significant things that are being put to work during the writing process. Having a comfortable space to think and summon your creative juices will definitely benefit your work. But the “comfortable space” aforementioned is dependent on the type of writer, because people have different preferences. Some may prefer to be left alone in an empty place while others like to be around people, such as in a busy coffee shop or in a crowded park. This essential is really up to you, as long as your mind can function at its best and your creativity is flowing. Having a place to write that offers comfort can also help you avoid writers block and even reading slump. Instead, it will make you more productive and beat the deadlines.

A book editor

An editor is always necessary. Although you can edit the draft yourself, you really should put your trust in professional book editors for the benefit of your novel. The tendency with self-editing is that there may be parts that you unconsciously skip because you already memorize the events in that portion. Hence, having an editor who will wholeheartedly go through your first draft and the following one’s will is really a need. You will need their thorough editing skills because they will not only edit the grammatical errors of your draft but will also give suggestions that will enhance the beauty and meaning of your book. There are many brilliant editors out there that can provide you the help that you need, like Greg Van Arsdale. He is the remarkable author of The Genesis Project and other stand-alone. However, he is also a promising editor. Greg Van Arsdale’s different book projects just prove that he has offered his professional services to authors who want to get their books published.

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What You Need to Prepare in Becoming a Family Caregiver

Taking care of elderly family members can become the greatest challenge of your life. The experience brings the best out of you because you will go through so much struggle and happiness — all at the same time. Sometimes it will come to the point that you’d be on the verge of breaking down; but, these acts of weakness can turn into acts of bravery the moment you look into it in a different angle.

When the time comes that you must have to provide your care to a family member that badly needs it, you should know what to prepare. Hence, listed below are the things that you need to ready in becoming a family caregiver.

List and contact numbers of the patient’s doctors

You will be a caregiver, not an established medical worker — like nurses and doctors. Instill in your mind that you need to be knowledgeable on the medical connections that your family member has. It is for both, the caregiver and patient, of your benefit. Hence, you need to have a list of your family member’s past and current doctors and their respective contact numbers. In that way, you can communicate with them easily and raise some queries regarding the condition of the person that you are taking care. It is also a good way of being proactive and alert when situations becomes too much for you to handle.

Copy of the patient’s prescriptions and diagnoses

This is the most important thing to prepare before you actually begin your caregiving journey. Like how doctors and nurses check the recent medical charts of their patients to conduct an accurate diagnosis and provide relevant care, you also need to know you family member’s medical history. This is needed in order to give the best care that he needs and intake the essential medications that can heal or ease his situation. You need to thoroughly go through the records so that you will understand his situation better and make him consume the accurate meds for him. Keep a copy of the records because nobody knows if it will become handy in the future.

Record of the patient’s insurance policies and/or bank accounts

Life and medical insurance is truly important. You cannot appreciate their values when you’re alive and kicking. But the moment you feel weak and vulnerable, insurances become a great source of financial aid. Since you are the appointed caregiver, you must know the insurance policies that this particular relative has — as well as their bank accounts, but the accounts are not necessary. When time comes that they’ll need further assistance, the insurance can cover their needs and save them from the increasing medical bill.

Task scheduler or planner

The task scheduler is for your benefit. You have to prepare this one in order to have a seamless and error-free task. Before you embark on your caregiving journey, you might want to list your primary duties and note the medicines, check-ups, and other important things about your patient. In that way, you will be able to execute your task perfectly, not compromise the health of your family member, and still have time for yourself despite it all. You can also indicate the time for that particular task in order for you to manage your time properly.

Stronger immunity and longer patience

Caregiving is fun but it is not for the faint of heart. There will be a lot of challenges along the way. To be a caregiver, you must be equipped with enough knowledge, skill, and compassion. You should also have a good well- being that can survive the rocky journey. Since you need to provide the best care possible, you need to have a stronger immune system. It cannot be avoided that the tasks becomes heavier as time goes by, hence you need to maintain your health. You also need to have a longer patience. This will not only create a good effect on your caregiving journey but also to your personal growth. When times get rough, it is possible that you get into petty fights and arguments with your family member. Having a longer patience will make you become the bigger picture and understand what he is going through.

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The Different Perceptions on Love

Love is a complex thing to define. There are many things associated with it, many people depend on it, and a lot of individuals believe in it. It is like a vast ocean containing different kinds of wonders when you swim deeper in it. The more you try to define love, the simpler its definition becomes. Moreover, many have created some beautiful masterpieces because of love. These works include the book The Color of Love by Raymond Quattlebaum, the song Little Things by One Direction, the movie 500 Days of Summer directed by Marc Webb, and more.

Every person and every platform in life truly has diverse views and meanings of love. With that being said, get to know the different perceptions of love in different aspects of life.

Religious perceptions

There are several religions in the world, and each of them has their own views towards love.

  • In Christianity, the general comprehension on love is God. He is known to be the Holy One who showered people with love. Moreover, 1 Corinthians 1-13 of the Holy Bible talks the characteristics of love which is, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
  • In Judaism, the word used to define the love for self, love between God, and love towards His creations is ahava or אהבה. On the hand, there is another word that is widely used in Hebrew that ought to describe several disposition of love between humans. To love others is a commandment that is ordered in the Torah, specifically in Leviticus 19:18 which states that “Love your neighbor like yourself,” while the commandment that tells people to love God is found in Deuteronomu 6:5 that says “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.”
  • In Islam, love is known to cover the Islamic perceptions of life as a general fellowship that applies to everyone who has faith in Allah. The term birr in the Holy Book of the Muslim called Qur’an is used to describe the love and kindness that kids shower their parents while the Arabic word ishq means divine love that is used to highlight Tasawwuf in the Islamic custom.

Cultural perceptions

Culture is one of the aspects in this world that can create a huge impact on the lives of people and everything that revolves it. Thus, here are the usual cultural views on love from different places:

  • The Ancient Greek identifies many diverse senses wherein love is utilized. Hence, they distinguishes love in four different kinds, which are storge that refers to closeness or kinship, philia that refers to comradeship or platonic want, agape that refers to selflessness or divine love, and eros that refers to romantic or sexual wants.
  • When the English language has only one term that pertains to love, the Japanese language on the other hand has three. It is known in Japan that the word love encompasses a wide array of feeling and behavioral events. The three different terms are ai that means selfless or maternal love, koi that symbolizes romantic love, and ren’ai nearly takes after koi.

Political perceptions

Free love pertains to the social movement that refuses the idea of marriage for it is viewed as a type of social captivity or oppression. One of this movement’s objectives is to split up the state from sexual things, like adultery, marriage, and more. Free love claims that the sexual issues are the businesses of the involved individuals and nobody else.

Philosophical perceptions

Social philosophy and ethics are the platforms that try to elaborate the disposition of love. The philosophical study about love encompasses the duties of identifying the different types of intrapersonal love, questioning whether love can be validated or not, interrogating the value of love, and asking what could be the effects of love on the independence of the lover and his loved one.

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Everything You Need to Know About Editing

Editing is an integral part of the writing process. It is the stage where an editor tries his best to enhance a draft through clearing up errors, composing clearer sentences, putting more accurate words, and making the content more suitable for the readers. The editing process doesn’t only include the mentioned factors, but also encompasses the adding, removing, and repositioning of words in order to reach the streamline of the whole structure.

Always remember that every writer can become an editor of their own work and likewise. But, there are several instances which prove that editing your own output can be a hassle. It is not because you start to get drained from all the writing, but it is due to the fact that you know that overall idea behind your writing. Hence, getting the help of an editor is definitely the best option.

The significance of editing

The importance of editing can be found somewhere between your drive to finish a homework or your hopes of getting your work published. Either way, you really have to proofread your output before handing it for the benefit of parties, the reader and the writer. Whether you acknowledge it or not, there is really a need to polish your writing and correct the mistakes because it enhances your credibility and enhance your creativity.

Spending a good amount of time in editing a creative, technical, or academic work can increase the clarity of the overall idea, accuracy of thoughts, and uniqueness of the approach.

The common goal of editors

It is already a basic knowledge that when an individual seeks the help of a professional editor, he is in dire need of someone more capable in rehashing his work. But, there is a deeper objective why editors open their arms to polishing some drafts.

According Greg Van Arsdale, to one of the remarkable professional editors of today, “My main goal as a professional editor is not just to return a pristine manuscript ready for publishing, but also to help authors become better writers. I will go out of my way to educate deserving clients at no extra charge. It is important to me that clients such as yourself understand the changes made to their manuscript. That way, their next book will utilize the proper knowledge, skills, and techniques. In the long run, this saves them money in editorial costs and a better chance at publication.”

The two kinds of editing

Susan Bell wrote in The Artful Edit: The Practice of Editing Yourself that there are two different kinds of editing, which are the ongoing edit and the draft edit. The former pertains to the act where the writer constantly edits his work while writing. Ongoing edit is like multitasking. The negative side of it lies in the idea that the writer cannot fully leave a focus on one job; hence, compromising the quality of either of the two task. To give you a better grasp on ongoing edit, here’s a good example: You are currently writing a sentence, but you go back to the last sentence you’ve written and change a particular word. You write five sentences more, then you go back to the last paragraph to change the punctuation.

The latter, which is the draft edit, refers to the type of editing where you evaluate a work that is already completed. All you need to do is to get a couple of page or the whole output and read. After you read, you get a pencil and mark the spots where there are errors. You either rewrite the statement or change the complete idea on that part, because it is only in this type of editing that you can view your output in a completely different angle.

The basic parts that need editing

Spelling – this is the factor that commonly contains errors. You cannot deny that there are several important details in your content, such as addresses, names, and titles. Hence, you should be mindful in writing the nouns. You also have to be meticulous in writing and reviewing the spelling of every word in your content, whether it is common or unusual, for the benefit of your work.

Grammar – it is most integral part of your writing. It is not because it is basic but because if your paragraph has a grammatically incorrect sentence, it will shift the whole idea of your output. Also, a work with an error in grammar will create confusion to the readers.

Punctuation – the mere error in punctuation will create a change in the impact of your output. Punctuations help build the tone and mood of your work. Also, it helps in improving your work’s grammar and readability.

Numbers – it cannot be avoided that sometimes there is a need to include statistics, phone number, and other aspects that includes numbers. Therefore, be mindful in writing the numbers because a change in the figures can lessen the reliability and credibility of your work — especially if you are citing to a certain study.

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4 Best Fairy Tale Books to Read this Fall

With all the crazy events that are taking place in the world, it seems like there’s no way for you to relax. There is just too much destruction in the planet, which looks like nature is taking its toil and has its own way of healing. Who would have thought that after a century there would be a pandemic, death toll rising, bush fire, forest fire, explosion, and a whole lot more?

But you can take your mind off things now and treat yourself with an amazing adventure, because fairy tale books are here to the rescue! They will bring to exciting adventures and wonderful worlds with the use of your imagination. Hence, provided below are the best fairy tale books to read this autumn.

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

The illustrated edition of this YA fairy tale book was published by HarperCollins in September 2015. It was the work of two award-winning individuals, where the story is written by the New York Times bestselling author, Carnegie Medal winner, and Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman while the illustrations are illustrated by the Kate Greenaway winner Chris Riddell. It is almost like a deconstruction of the stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, which are being told in an enchanting, dark, and funny way. You probably think that you already heard this story, but you haven’t. Moreover, the tale is composed of different things mixed together, including but not limited to young ruler that is bound to be married, some courageous dwarves, a kingdom surrounded with thorns, and a princess that was cursed to sleep until eternity by a witch.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson

Published in 1997 by the HarperTrophy, Ella Enchanted is definitely a one-of-a-kind retelling of the famous fairy tale Cinderella. The story showcases a wide array of mythical being, such as elves, ogres, fairies, giants, and more. It follows that tale of Ella of Frell, a girl who become orphaned and was left to live with her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Ella is not only a regular girl because she is a gifted one. When she was birthed, a fairy named Lucinda bestowed the gift of obedience to Ella. As the story progresses, the gift turn into a curse because she becomes easily manipulated by her evil stepsisters. That’s why she went into a journey to find Lucinda the fairy to remove the “gift.” On her way, she met prince whom she fell in love with.  But, she also has met ogres, giants, and other mythical creature that spice up the story.

Patchwork Princess by Connie Arnold

This fairy tale fantasy book is not only for kids but also for those kids at heart. It is the first book of The Traveling Troubadour series that is written by Connie Arnold and was published in 2018. It follows the story of a beautiful princess who was trapped in the tower of Terrence the Terrible. In order for the princess to be rescued, the king invited every courageous knight in his kingdom. Apart from defeating the owner of the tower who traps the princess, there are also other figures that need to be fought — like the black knight and the dragon. Can someone like a troubadour defeat these villains? Maybe or maybe not, read The Patchwork Princess now and find out!

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

In August 30 2011, The Book of Lost Things by John Conolly was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. It follows the story of a 12-year-old boy named David who is experiencing grief due to the death of his mom. He is in his attic bedroom where he continues to mourn. In his solitude, emotions of anger mixed with grief emerged. There was no one to keep him company other than the books on his shelf. Suddenly, the books started to whisper in the middle of the dark. David suddenly turn his imagination as his safe have and began to discover that the real and fantasy worlds started to combine. As his reality is falling apart, he started to embark on a journey into an unfamiliar land that strangely mirrors his real world.

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Why Romance Novels Are Widely Read Today

Who doesn’t love a good romance? Nobody! There are probably many people in the world that are sucker for anything that centers on love, such as books, movies, songs, and TV shows. Well, the romance genre is definitely one of the best categories in literature, and perhaps on the other platforms.  

Romance novels have been making people fall in love more than once, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Nicholas Spark’s A Walk to Remember. It’s not just that, because there are many critically-acclaimed authors that are conquering this genre, such as Daniele Steele, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Nora Roberts, and more. With that being said, listed below are the reasons why romance books are being widely read today.

They feature different types of love

Love is universal. It can be found in everyone and can come in different forms. There may be some misconceptions about it; but, everyone still believes in it despite all the myth and negativities. One of the defining traits of romance books is the kind of affection that they show to the readers, which is something that is bringing delight to the table. Love towards family, friends, opposite sex, the same sex, and God are among the things that are being tackled in one novel. Hence, they didn’t settle on showing the only the boy-girl relationship because they go beyond that stereotype.

They ignite unfamiliar yet beautiful feelings

Kilig, a Filipino word with an English translation of “romantic excitement.” You cannot deny the fact that when you read romance novels, you can feel the butterflies in your stomach as if you are one of the characters in the books. Hence, this genre definitely gives you the romantic excitement and other unfamiliar feelings that you may or may not have felt before. Take for example reading the book by Monique Boyd titled Jasmine: A Woman of Color that centers on romance, revenge, and murder, and raises the question: “will the fate give Jasmine a better love story?” Moreover, it also evokes other feelings from the readers depending on the story, such as enthusiasm, fear, thrill, pain, etc.

They teach valuable lessons about life

A good characteristic that every romance book possesses is its way of relating to real life. Yes, most of these stories are products of the imaginations of the authors; but, do not forget that authors have brilliant mind that can connect reality and fiction. There are many books that create great impact to the lives of the readers, especially romance novels. It is because of how these kinds of books closely relates to the real world that turns reading into an advising session. You never know what they’ll teach you, it could be about bravery, loss, heartbreak, respect, friendship, happiness, and a whole lot more.

They showcase diverse plots

Plots are important in every story. But sometimes, traditional plots become boring. There’s just no spices added, making readers predict the ending and other elements of it. Because of the growing number of romance books and authors, there have been diverse kinds of plots that were being utilized and literary devices as well. Some books are now starting at the middle by using the narrative technique called in media res while others contain more than one plot with the use of the element called subplot. The best example of the latter is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Hence, you will surely enjoy these books because they offer more than what is conventional.

They cross multiple genres

What makes every reading experience better knows that you are not only reading a story from a single genre, instead you are reading for more than one category!  There are many works that have crossed another genre either purposely or accidentally. But it is not a bad thing; it is rather beneficial to the part of the readers and authors. Romance novels are among the best examples of the works that go beyond their classifications. Take Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell for example, it is considered as a romance novel and a young adult fiction book as well. Therefore, romance books definitely bring the best stories and elements to the readers.

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Heartwarming Poems about Parenthood and Everything in Between

Poetry is the paradox of literature, because it is easy and hard all at the same time. Writing a poem doesn’t mean that you only have to break sentences into two in order to create lines and stanzas. It is more than that. It takes a little bit of courage and a lot of experiences. Poetry is like an investment, but instead of rolling some money out — you are rolling your emotions in order to express and get heard.

The challenge is to fit a whole lot of experience in the smallest amount of words possible. This experience can be about anything, such as loss of a loved one, first heartbreak, childhood to adolescence transition, and parenthood. There are just too many good and bad experiences that you can turn into poetry and inspire a lot of people.

Parenthood, for example, is an experience that is scary and ecstatic at the same time. It ignites a lot of fear, especially to first-time parents. So when you think that things are going the wrong way, you can turn to poetry and express it all out. Thus, here are some of the best poems about parenthood and everything in between that you should checkout.

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

The remarkable Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes wrote the poem Mother and Son in 1922. It was published in Crisis, a magazine, of that year and was also included in the poet’s first anthology of poems 4 years later.

Mother to Son

By Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare.

But all the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goin’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t you set down on the steps

’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.

Don’t you fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Parents Poem by Jacqueline Woodson

The promising poem titled Parents Poem by Jacqueline Woodson is one of the many poems that were included in her anthology Locomotion.

Parents Poem

BY Jacqueline Woodson

When people ask how, I say

a fire took them.

And then they look at me like

I’m the most pitiful thing in the world.

So sometimes I just shrug and say

They just died, that’s all.

A fire took their bodies.

That’s all.

I can still feel their voices and hugs and laughing.

Sometimes.

Sometimes I can hear my daddy

calling my name.

Lonnie sometimes.

And sometimes Locomotion

come on over here a minute.

I want to show you something.

And then I see his big hands

holding something out to me.

It used to be the four of us.

At night we went to sleep.

In the morning we woke up and ate breakfast.

Daddy worked for Con Edison.

You ever saw him?

Climbing out of a manhole?

Yellow tape keeping the cars from coming

down the block.

An orange sign that said Men Working.

I still got his hat. It’s light blue

with CON EDISON in white letters.

Mama was a receptionist.

When you called the office where she worked,

she answered the phone like this

Graftman Paper Products, how may I help you?

It was her work voice.

And when you said something like

Ma, it’s me.

her voice went back to normal. To our mama’s voice

Hey Sugar. You behaving? Is the door locked?

That stupid fire couldn’t take all of them.

Nothing could do that.

Nothing.

  • Jacqueline Woodson, “Parents Poem” from Locomotion. Copyright © 2003 by Jacqueline Woodson. Used by permission of G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
  • Source: Poetry Foundation (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/58427/parents-poem)

B by Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay is among the most promising poets of today. She is also a brilliant slam poet who has travelled the world competing for slam poetry competitions and performing spoken poetry. B is one of her wonderful poems made into book, which she also performed in Ted Talk.

B

By: Sarah Kay

If I should have a daughter,

instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B.

Because that way she knows that no matter what happens,

at least she can always find her way to me.

And I’m going to paint the solar systems

on the backs of her hands, so she has to learn the entire universe

before she can say, “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”

And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you

hard,

in the face;

wait for you to get back up

just so it can kick you in the stomach,

but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way

to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.

There is hurt,

here,

that cannot be fixed by Band-Aids or poetry. So

the first time she realizes that Wonder Woman isn’t coming,

I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself.

Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers,

your hands will always be too small

to catch all the pain you want to heal.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

“And, baby,” I’ll tell her,

don’t keep your nose up in the air like that.

I know that trick;

I’ve done it a million times.

You’re just smelling for smoke

so you can follow the trail

back to a burning house,

so you can find the boy

who lost everything in the fire

to see if you can save him.

Or else—

find the boy

who lit the fire

in the first place,

to see if you can change him.

But I know she will anyway, so instead

I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boots nearby,

because there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix.

Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks that chocolate can’t fix.

But that’s what the rain boots are for,

because rain will wash away everything,

if you let it.

I want her to look at the world

through the underside of a glass-bottom boat,

to look through a microscope

at the galaxies that exist on the pinpoint of a human mind,

because that’s the way my mom taught me.

  • Kay, Sarah. B — Illustrated Edition. Hachette Books, 2015.

Each Time I Cried by Trinidad Rodriguez

Each Time I Cried is one of the amazing poems that is included in Trinidad Rodriguez’ poetry book called Trini: My Life of Poems. The anthology was published in 2015 containing multiple poems that center on perseverance, bravery, and faith of a strong single mother.

Each Time I Cried

By Trinidad Rodriguez

Each time I cried and just went on—

Car broke down; what can I do?

Its three o’clock, my child’s not in.

But still not over and things get done,

The house is locked – the kids are in –

I look around at how it’s been.

No simple mother – no simple task.

I just tried doing what was best.

The job was meant to be shared by two,

It’s hard to be mother, and father too.

  • Rodriguez, Trindad. Trini: My Life of Poems. iUniverse, 2015.
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Empowering Women: 4 Inspiring Females in the World of Literature

Women are the people that make the world brighter and fuller. They are those individuals that always prove people wrong. Females all over the world didn’t fail to show everyone that they can do anything. They have long been fighting every gender stereotype and sexism that has existed over the years. Some opt to display their amazing abilities through participating in politics, business, and other platforms, while others tend to excel in the liberal arts and have been conquering arts and literature until today.

Literature, moreover, has been a great platform that has given women opportunities to express and get noticed. With that being said, here are 5 inspiring women in literature that you should check-out!

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, nee Adeline Virginia Stephen was born in South Kensington, London on January 25, 1882. She is a remarkable author, essayist, publisher, and critic. Her parents are Julia Prinsep Jackson and Leslie Stephen. Woolf is the seventh kid of a blended family. Her childhood was suddenly put to an end and became a horror after she experienced an extreme grief following her mother and half-sister’s deaths. In 1900, Virginia was motivated by her father to pursue a professional writing career. But 4 years later, her father died causing her to go through another mental breakdown.

Although grief has gotten the best of her, Woolf’s talent for writing never ceases to amaze others. Today, her works — such as Mrs Dalloway, The Waves, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One’s Own, and Orlando, are still inspiring people. She is also known for her promising writing style, which is the utilization of a narrative device called the stream of consciousness that is always tackled in every literature class.

J.K Rowling

Joanne Kathleen Rowling is the literary hero of many children and adults from all over the globe. She is commonly known in her pen names J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith. Her work Harry Potter series has been giving every reader the magic that they need in this complex life since 1997 until the present. J.K. has faced a lot of rejections from the past before she became who she is today. She also faced the harshness of life for she was a single mother who needs to provide the needs of her child. But her persistence and labor paid off after Harry Potter opened the doors for her.

She was born on Yate, Gloucestershire in July 13, 1965. She attended the University of Exeter and got her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Her married life was a rollercoaster for she was first married to Jorge Arantes. Their relationship didn’t go well for it ended in divorce. But seems like fate has been good to her, for she married Neil Murray in 2001 and the two are living their lives happily. As of today, J.K. is not just known as a remarkable author but also an amazing producer, scriptwriter, and philanthropist.

Carol Wilson-Mack

Carol Wilson-Mack is not just an empowered woman but also an inspiring author. She is the brilliant mind behind the book Patchwork, a book that motivates people to search for a way to fill in the gap between generations through communication. She also wrote Fan Loyalty, which is a tribute to the late American singer Brook Benton. Moreover, Wilson-Mack attended New York Institute of Technology where she got her Master’s Degree in Communication Arts.

Furthermore, she also graduated from The Long Ridge Writers’ Group. Since she already has a master’s degree, she proceeded for a Doctoral Study in Divinity in 2016, which was led by Dr. Arthur Belanger with the Open Bible Institute and Theology Seminary. Carol has also been part of play productions where she serves as a producer in the plays of Samuel French. She is also a renowned playwright and film scriptwriter. Many of her writings were picked and were used in the production in different places, such as Baldwin, New York, Newark, New Jersey, New York City, and Bronx, New York.

Sarah Kay

On June 1988 in New York City, the promising poet Sarah Kay was born. She is the daughter of a Japanese-American mother and a Jewish-American father. Kay has become one of the most remarkable poets in this generation having inspired a lot of people and making everyone appreciate the art of poetry. Most of her poems are about women empowerment, parenthood, love, and a lot more.

She attended Brown University and earned her Master of Arts in teaching. Apart from that, she also went to Grinnell College where she got an honorary doctorate in humane letters. Moreover, Sarah is not an ordinary poet for she is one of the best slam poets of all time.

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4 Contemporary Romance Book Authors that You Should Know

Romance is the most overrated genre in literature. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean that it’s a bad thing because it is the opposite. It has a lot of patrons from the era of Jane Austen until today. Perhaps people read romance books because of the warmth and delightful feelings that they give to the readers’ hearts. There is just something amazing about love that makes people want to jump right into the story and feel the magic of how wonderful it is to love and be loved.

Some of the widely read romance books of all time are A Walk to Remember, Royal, The Proposal, Honeysuckle Season, Can You Keep a Secret?, Match Me if You Can, Nobody’s Baby but Mine, and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Do you ever wonder about who are the brilliant minds behind these awesome masterpieces? If you do, then this must be your lucky day! Listed below are among the best of the best romance book authors that you should check out.

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born on October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her given name is Eleanor Marie Robertson. Apart from her popular author name, she also has many pen names including J.D. Robb, Jill March, and Sarah Hardesty. Roberts has written over 225 romance books that have been occupying the bookshelves of every bookstores and bookworms worldwide. She is, in fact, the very first author who was included in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her novels have been adapted into different adaptations. These novels that transcended its literary success to film include Sanctuary, Carolina Moon, Midnight Bayou, Tribute, Blue Smoke, Montana Sky, and Northern Lights. Moreover, Nora Roberts has won multiple awards because of her talent and her works, such as the Golden Medallion awards, RITA awards, Quill awards, and more.

Nicholas Sparks

In December 31, 1965 at Omaha, Nebraska, Nicholas Charles Sparks — one of the best romance novelists was born. He attended the University of Notre Dame in College, a private school located at Notre Dame, Indiana. He currently lives in North Carolina, where some of his stories are set. He is a renowned author of romantic fiction and romantic drama, who have sold more than 115 million copies all across the world. There are at least 11 of his books that were adapted into films and were fairly patronized by the audience. The said novels are The Choice, The Longest Ride, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Dear John, Safe Haven, Nights in Rodanthe, The Last Song, The Best of Me, The Lucky One, and Message in a Bottle. Aside from film adaptations, Sparks’ novels also conquered both the New York Times and international bestselling lists

Monique Boyd

Monique Boyd is the author of the amazing romance novel titled Jasmine: A Woman of Color. She was born in New Jersey but grew up in Kansas. Boyd has been on Kansas since she was 2 years old until today. For 31 years, she has been in realm of office administration having served Boeing Company and Spirit AeroSystems. Monique served as a Senior Executive Assistant to a Senior Vice President for the past 21 years. Her book journey started upon the publication of her first book in 2018. After that, she has been putting her all in writing the sequels for her first book; hence, making it a series when the following books will be released. According to Monique, “this is truly a blessing and I’m so grateful for this unexpected blessing.” She has been trying to become better in handling her social media, such as Instagram, blog, and Facebook page.

Colleen Hoover

In Sulphur Springs, Texas on December 11, 1979, best-selling author Margaret Colleen Fennell – Hoover was born.  She attended Texas A&M-Commerce in college and took up a bachelor’s degree in social work. Hence, she has served as a social worker and a teacher before she became an author. Her first novel was Slammed, which was inspired from the Avett Brothers’ song lyric that goes “decide what to be and go be it.” Hoover had no plans of publishing her work which she finished in 2011. But in 2012, tables had turned and she self-published Slammed, which opened the literary doors for her. There were a lot of novels that followed after Slammed, such as Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, November Nine, Confess, It Ends with Us, Without Merit, and Verity.

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4 Powerful Books that Will Guide You in Facing Life

Life is the toughest puzzle to solve and the hardest lemon to turn to lemonade. There are many deceiving puzzle pieces that you thought were the one to complete the puzzle but turn out to be frauds. For that reason, a lot of people — including you, will either give up or break down. But it shouldn’t stay that way because there will always be situations that will turn the table or bring some silver linings. Also, there are many things and people that will guide you in tough situation in different aspects of your life. With that being said, here are some powerful books that will guide you in facing life better and stronger.

Come Climb Toward God: Are You Hungry for God? by Marianna Albritton

Come Climb Toward God: Are You Hungry for God? is not just a book under Christian literature but can also be considered as a powerful guidebook by Albritton, Marianna in lifting your faith towards God. It was published by Xulon Press in 2013 and focuses on the relationship between man and God. Its unique title makes the readers get drawn to read the book, as well as its main content. Come Climb Towards God asks different questions pertaining to the desire of man for the calling, guidance, and mercy of his or her Creator. Among the questions raised by the book include the hunger of Christians to form a bond with the Almighty Father, the desire of Christians to communicate with God, and the need to answer to His callings. Thus, this will definitely help you understand and be guided on the spiritual aspect in your life.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

In August 19, 2004, New World Library published the spiritual self-help book by Eckhart Tolle titled The Power of Now. The book has sold more than 2 million copied from all across the globe and was translated into more than 30 languages. The Power of Now brings the readers into a motivating spiritual journey to search for their real selves and achieve the highest level of personal development and spirituality. The first part of the book contains the topic of enlightenment and the mind, which is its innate enemy. The author opens the eyes of the readers to see how they are part of making their own pain; thus, he let them see the process on having an identity that is free of pain through totally living in the present.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Ten Speed Press published the first edition of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. The publication happened last October 14, 2014. This number 1 New York Times bestseller will help you improve not just yourself but your views on life. It was even branded by CNN as “one of the most influential books of the decade.” The author is a Japanese cleaning consultant who set the bar for cleaning higher than it was. Hence, the book implies that if you thoroughly organize your house once and make it simpler, then you will never need to conduct the same amount and level of cleaning again. Most of the cleaning processes recommend an inch-by-inch approach that devastate you to sort your stuff and give up those that are not that important forever.  

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney

Marit Olsen Laney is the author of the book that guides people in socializing called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. The book was published by Workman Publishing Company in February 1, 2002. The Introvert Advantage offers an insightful read that makes readers gain more wisdom and feel more empowered in taking advantage of their undiscovered strengths. It shows that there is nothing wrong in being an introvert. The book also helps introverts in understanding the process and gain enjoyment in working together with others in order to live fully, instead of working against their will. Included in the book’s scope are some discussion in bonds, parenting, mingling, and strategizing.

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5 Brilliant Books that Empower Women

Women are the most amazing people in the planet. They constantly surprise everyone with their hidden talents and abilities. Literature is among the platforms that feature the wonderful sides of women. With that being said, here are some of the promising books that promote women empowerment.

Patchwork: Conversation Between Generations by Carol Wilson-Mack

Readersmagnet LLC published the book Patchwork by Wilson-Mack in July 10, 2020. It contains the tales and lives of females that are residing in the countryside of Bamberg, South Carolina around 1939 to 1959. All of them have strong faith in God; hence, they are living God-centered lives. They have formed an atmosphere that enables the participants to support their loved ones. The women in Patchwork: Conversation Between Generations has centered their attention on quilting. The activity, however, has allowed them to share their struggles and tales at the same time create wonderful works. Thus, it inspires everyone to look for a method to connect the gap between generations through verbal communication in the form of conversations.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the woman behind the critically-acclaimed novel The Handmaid’s Tale. The book is under science fiction and was published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985. It follows the story of the personal challenges and hardships of the main character named Offred. She is one of the handmaids in Gilead, a place in New England known for its totalitarian system. The women oppression in a patriarchal society is among the themes that are tackled by this book. Offred continues to show bravery by resisting and trying to earn individuality in the middle of patriarchy. Thus, showing total women empowerment. In 1985, the book won the Government General’s Awards and a lot of awards after that. It was adapted into a television series by Hulu starring Elisabeth Moss.

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

In 2014, Katy Kay and Claire Shipman got their book The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know published under Harper Business. It has fallen under the scope of different genres, such as women and business books and job hunting and career guides. This New York Times bestseller book gives a substantial and functional guide to comprehending the significance of self-esteem for females of different ages and at different career stages. Women who are currently in the labor force are well taught and more qualified than the past; but, men still reign in the corporate realm. This book, furthermore, argues that the main reason is self-esteem. Mixing together the avant-garde studies in genetics, cognition, and other aspects of a person’s being, the authors surpass the method of reprimanding females to lean in, instead they provide encouragement and advice to squeeze the gap and get the careers that they desire.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Ten Speed Press published the unabridged edition of Rachel Ignotofsky’s book called Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World in July 26, 2016. The book was included in the scope of different genres, such as scientific biographies, scientific reference, and teen & young adult women biographies. Moreover, it is a wonderfully written book that contains illustrations about the subjects and aims to educate its readers regarding the remarkable women from different ages. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World features and emphasizes the contributions and achievements of females in the field of STEM, also known as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It contains vibrant, and fascinating artworks and illustrations making the readers inspired and entertained all at the same time.

I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know by Kate White

The editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, extremely successful businesswoman,and one of the New York Times bestselling author Katie White is the author of I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. The reprint edition of the book was published in September 18, 2012 by Harper Business. The book contains White’s secret towards success and is told in a way that is full of wit and wisdom. It is the most suitable book for the present economic status, regardless if you have just shaped up your business, re-joining the employment world after taking a maternity leave, or just searching for a change.

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5 Romance Novels to Read During these Remaining Days of Summer

Romance is among the most well-loved genres of literature with fiction as its parent genre. With the sun in its peak and a book that brings you nothing but love, what more could you even ask for? Romance novels center on the romantic bond between two individuals and are commonly ended in a emotionally fulfilling, and positive method. Like how it’s been in literature, it also has a lot of subcategories, including fantasy, sci-fi, suspense, young adult fiction, and more.

Are you a sucker for romance books? Then you are reading the right article! Listed below are the most captivating romance novels that can make your staycation and midsummer worth your while.

Jasmine a Woman of Color by Monique Boyd

The contemporary suspense romance novel Jasmine a Woman of Color is written by Monique Boyd. It was published in January 11, 2018 by the Page Publishing, Inc. The story centers on the world and life of Jasmine Moore, an executive assistant by profession. Her world suddenly crumbles when she lost the love of her life — her husband. The grief and sadness turned to vengeance after she discovered that her late husband had affairs. So, she desired to take revenge of her husband’s betrayal. Instead of claiming vengeance, she was surprised after knowing that the strong yearning to seek for revenge turned to love. Her love for Dr. Jason grows stronger and that’s when she finally decided to let go of the grudges and fall deeper into love; but, only to discover that there is someone who wants her dead. Who could it be?

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

William Morrow Paperbacks published the book The Hating Game by Sally Thorne on August 9, 2016. The book was recognized as one of the USA Today Bestsellers and was the debut novel of the author. The story revolves around the humorous and sexy story about the tiny boundary located in between love and hate. Lucy Hutton considered Joshua Templeman as her nemesis. It goes the same way with Joshua too. They are very vocal in showing their hatred with each other via unending formalistic nonresistant hostile moves as they sit transversely. Joshua and Lucy works as executive assistants in a publishing company. What makes their hate towards one another blossom more than it has to be because of the promotion that comes their way. Their competition towards each other makes Lucy question her hatred towards Joshua… or was it really hate?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The great Jane Austen is the author behind this critically-acclaimed classic romance novel Pride and Prejudice. It was published by T. Egerton, Whitehall in January 28, 1831, which was preceded by Sense and Sensibility and followed by Mansfield Park. The book was centers on the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the main character of the story and also categorized as a dynamic character. She later on gained knowledge about the consequences of fleeting judgments and has learned to appreciate the diversity of exterior goodness and inner goodness. The humour in Pride and Prejudice can be found in its unfiltered representation of manners, marriage, education, and wealth in Great Britain’s Regency period. Also, the romance that ignited between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy makes the readers more drawn to this story.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Berkley is the publisher of Jasmine Guillory’s book The Wedding Date. It has fallen under the categories of romantic comedy and women’s domestic life fiction. It has also crawled its way to The USA Today bestseller list and ranked 5th on the LibraryReads Pick. It follows the story of Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols. Drew was invited to the wedding of his ex-girlfriend but the problem is he doesn’t have someone to accompany him. But during a sudden power interruption, his problems suddenly disappeared after being stuck in an elevator with the perfect fake wedding date candidate, which is Alexa. Would this pretend relationship becomes a true one? Or would their agreement to be in a fake relationship be uncovered by everyone at the wedding?

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

In October 1, 1996, the Warner Books published one of Nicholas Sparks’ prominent novels called The Notebook. It is among the many romance books written by Sparks, which was followed by Message in a Bottle. It centers on the great love of Noah and Ally. When they were young, Ally’s parents are against their relationship because of Noah’s social status. Ally was taken form Noah and her life became miserable. But her love for him didn’t stop like Noah’s. Noah did everything to achieve their dreams when they were together and to prove to her parents that he can do better. In the end, their love for each other was challenged by dementia and everyday Noah visits Ally and read her their story which was written in a notebook.

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4 Reasons Why Memoirs are Patronized by Readers

Nonfiction is vast area of literature that contains rich and enchanting books. Although they do not have a wide selection of subcategories unlike fiction, their stories have been patronized by readers from all around the world since their emergence. Memoir is one of the wealthiest subgenre of nonfiction. It contains tales of bravery, suffering, love, and other strong emotions and other stories that will touch every reader’s heart.

There are many heartwarming memoirs that have been produced from generations to generations. Some of the critically-acclaimed ones are The Liars’ Club, Men We Reaped, The Year of Magical Thinking, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, The Glass Castle, etc. but aren’t you curious as to why memoirs are being read by people from all across the world? If you are, then here are the reasons that will satisfy your curiosity.

They show raw emotions

Memoirs are stories that happened in real life. They are written in order to express an episode of the life of a particular individual that are either painful or unforgettable. What makes the story more compelling is its ability to show raw and genuine emotions of the characters from that certain moment of his or her life. The time when the characters are experiencing struggles and mishaps, strong and deep emotions come into view. Thus, making the readers ignite the similar feelings while reading the story.

One great example is the memoir of Anne Frank where she stayed in her attic to keep herself safe. She started to narrate her daily experiences while being on that closed area unable to go out. Her story ignited fear, agitation, and even hopefulness from readers.

They showcase genuine and unguarded thoughts

What is inside a memoir is something that is sincere and real. There are no filters. All that are present are the thoughts and experiences of the authors pertaining to those particular times in their lives. Just think of writing a memoir like simply sitting in your favorite spot remembering your childhood memories. The thoughts that randomly pop up will overwhelmed you and evoke a lot of emotions, most of them wishing to relive those magical moments that you have gone through.

A great example of a memoir that shows the genuine and unguarded thoughts of the main character, which is usually the author, is the book Weapons of War by Robert E. Wright. The book flawlessly narrated the tale of a soldier who was deployed in the Vietnam War. The letters effectively address faith of Robert E. Wright.

They display how powerful one’s views in life is

Memoirs are not only pieces of literature that are being left on shelves after they were read. They also do not only contain stories that have taken place in real life. These tales of bravery, survival, happiness, love, etc. are present in order to tell the world a message and that to inform every reader that they are not alone. What also makes this genre one-of-a-kind is its power to show how intense and effective one’s perception in life is. And that, my friend, is incomparable.

There are many autobiographies and memoirs out there that feature remarkable tales. Each of these tales is mixed with the protagonists’ views on the biggest puzzle in this planet, which is life. That’s when the readers gain knowledge on how to deal with life and that is also when they are reminded that the hardships that they are going through right now are just a chapter.

The implant lessons to be applied in real life

Every piece of literature contains themes that are substantial and life-changing. But what makes these literary works great is their ability to teach their readers morals that they begin to cling on and live by. Memoirs are, indeed, among these stories that leave a big mark on people’s lives. It is not only because the tales that they contain have happened in reality but also because of their ability to move the readers in their own little way. They have the skill to hit the spot where the readers are vulnerable with only the words as their weapons.

The stories that every memoir features are not only tales of pain and suffering but also tales of courage and strength. That is why most people prefer to read nonfiction, specifically autobiography and memoir, because they teach readers lessons that are substantial and practical. They do not only encourage each and every one to dream but also to open their eyes that in achieving their dreams, they must conquer each challenge that comes their way. And that is the beauty of memoirs, they are not just books but they are great teachers to readers who are still feeling naïve and lost in this world.

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6 Animal Stories to Learn About Life

Animal stories are not only for children but also for grown-ups. Adolescents and adults need stories – even animal stories – that will enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, reinforce their beliefs, and help them look at life from a different perspective.

Here is a list of animal stories that should appeal to grown-ups for the lessons they impart:

  • William and Tibby Forever by Lynda Hamblen

Published poet and essayist Lynda Hamblen has lived a life blessed with cats that she decided to write her first novel about a cat’s view of life, heaven, and eternity. William and Tibby are two cats that live with their beloved Second Mom in a small gray house on a hill. Their idyllic life is shattered when William is killed. When William next opens his eyes, he finds himself in heaven Before the hour is out, he has moved in with Third Mom and all thirteen of Second Mom’s previous cats. Meanwhile, Tibby must contend with her grief for William. An uplifting book, William and Tibby Forever is a cat’s tale about life that never ends and love that never dies – the love of a mother for her children, the love of a man for a woman, and the love of that woman for her cats.

  • Hector: At Ground Level a Very Simple Love Story by Gary Finnan

Gary Finnan shows potential as a contemporary fabulist with his book Hector: At Ground Level, A Very Simple Love Story. Published in 2013, the book tells the story of a hedgehog named Hector, who somewhat mirrors the contemporary man. His entry into middle age pushes him to examine his existence and reflect on his life and the decisions he had made. Adult readers will see themselves in Hector and identify with his life’s ups and downs and flaws and doubts. Hector’s story of his life “at ground level” will help readers come into terms with their past, as well as welcome the hope and opportunities of the future.

  • Oscar the Osprey: The Bird Who Was Afraid of Heights by Edward Martin Polansky

Published in 2015, the book is written in the first-person narrative from the perspective of a young osprey that struggles to overcome its fear of heights so it could be able to fly. Oscar develops a fear of heights after falling out of his nest while trying to catch a butterfly. Oscar’s phobia interferes with his inability to fly and survive in the wild, and for this reason, he has to endure the insults coming from other ospreys. With winter approaching and dangerous animals lurking in the wild, Oscar must learn to overcome his handicap so he could survive through the wild and bitter cold.

  • Little Mouse: The mouse who lived with Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond by Bill Montague

First published in 1993, Little Mouse is described by the author as “a factual fairy tale about the little mouse who became friends with Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond when he built his little house there.” The book isinspired by Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden (first published in 1854) and his “Journal”. In Walden, in the chapter titled “Brute Neighbors”, while building his house, Thoreau mentioned about a mouse that became friendly with him just after he had laid down the first layer of floorboards. Thoreau’s interesting statements in his “Journal” are woven into Little Mouse, which the author wrote to inspire readers to read Walden.

  • The Black Dolphin of Atlantis            by Peter Andras Deme

Written in the first-person narrative style, The Black Dolphin of Atlantis tells the surreal and magnificent encounter between Peter, who grieves over the loss of his dog Rosemary, and a black dolphin, which he eventually names after his late dog. One day, while feeding the seals, Peter meets Rosemary and soon become friends. He later realizes Rosemary is more than just an animal but “a fellow thinking being”. The black dolphin then takes Peter into the deep to meet the Old Man of Atlantis, the last living citizen of the lost continent. He does not want Atlantis to die with him and to keep it alive, at least one human being should know the secret of Atlantis, the last refuge for humans and where humans and dolphins could coexist harmoniously. For this reason, he sent Rosemary to bring Peter to him. Peter learns that his dog is still alive – and waiting for him outside the universe.

  • The Ghetto Dog: A True Story by Fran Rathmann

The Ghetto Dog is an eye-opening, heart-wrenching animal survival story that reflects human conditions. The book is told in the first-person narrative from a part-hound ‘ghetto’ dog, who, after the disappearance of his mother, leaves his shelter in the ghetto in search of food, water, and perhaps, some love. As he roams the city streets, he encounters many adventures, good and bad, while avoiding the dogcatchers. Through the lens of a homeless stray dog, readers will get to explore the different issues that affect society, such as homelessness, poverty, crime, and socioeconomic inequality.

Happy reading!

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4 Things that You Can Do to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Your mind is among your most prized possession. It is you bread and butter in this obstacle-filled life. There are a lot of circumstances that will keep you up all night and push you to the edge because it seem like there is no way out. But do not overthink everything that occurs in your life, just know that you did your best and you can always try again when your best wasn’t enough.

Several things will come at you all at once that will make you go crazy, such as problems, ideas, and more. What you need to do is to sharpen your mind and maintain a good mental health so that you can solve problems, create decisions, and think critically. Also, it cannot be helped that your mind matures as you age. Thus, your age is directly proportional to your mind. That is why seniors tend to suffer from dementia and other conditions that impact the minds.

As early as now, you must take care of your body, especially your mind, so that you can delay the effects of aging and maintain a sharp mind. With that being said, listed below are the methods on how to keep your mind sharp as time goes by.

Maintain a good sleeping habit

Sleeping is the activity that is often taken for granted. There are many people out there that are sleep deprived due to a tight schedule, insomnia, or their own preference. Some stay up all night to finish some paperwork, projects, and other important documents that are almost behind the deadline. Others mornings the night to continue watching their favorite TV series, films, and other modes of entertainment that satisfy themselves. The former can be given exemption even though it is unhealthy but the latter cannot.

You have to have a good sleeping habit and maintain it in order for your mind to get a proper rest. Do not deprive it with its chance to relax just because you cannot wait to finish your series. Sleep whenever you have the time because you need it to stay healthy and avoid any health complications in the future.

Drink moderately

Can’t wait for the weekend to come and enjoy the bottomless tequilas and booze? Stop there, will you? What you think is fun and enjoyable may not bring the same perks to your health. The number of shots that you have consumed and the amount of laughter that you have let out that weekend may never result to the same “fun” when you wake up in the morning. All you will earn is a headache that is caused by your hangover from last night’s party.

Drinking too much will never help you keep your mind sharp as you age. The more you consume alcohol, and even with a touch of nicotine, the bigger the chance that you it will bring complications to your health. There is no problem in consuming alcohol as long as you take them moderately. One or two glasses of beer may be enough to satisfy your thirst as well as keep you mentally healthy.

Connect with your friends and families

There is nothing more exciting that strengthening and reconnecting the bond with your friends and families. Sometimes you often forget to communicate with your closest and distant loved ones because of your business from work, school, and others. Even a little “how’s your day?” can become tiring and all you want to do is to lie down in bed when you come home. People can comprehend that you are probably tired and let you get some rest. But too much resting can result to inactiveness because sometimes too much can become dangerous.

Connecting with your loved ones either personally or digitally is always the best way to keep your mind active and sharp. It is one way for you to not lose your communication skills as well as your ability to think critically and solve problems. The more you communicate the more your mind works. So, always remember to reconnect no matter how tired you are for a simple “how are you” can make a big difference not just to its addressee but also to you.

Play mind-stirring games

Games! They are the things that grown people tend to brush off and set aside. It is because of the norm that when you are an adult, you are not allowed to play anymore because there is a tough world out there that you have to deal with. But having fun once in a while will never hurt, doesn’t it?

There are many mind-stirring games that are fit or adults. The greatest example of these games is puzzle! There are many kinds of puzzles but each of them has the ability to stir your mind and get it to work. Among the widely known puzzles are the cross-word and jigsaw. You can also play soduko, solve a rubix cube, build a tower from legos, and more.

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8 Wonderful Children’s Books About Grandparents to Read this Summer

Why grandparents are special?

Whatever names they are called, whether Grandma and Grandpa, Gran and Gramp, or Nana and Pop Pop, grandparents are always special to their grandchildren for they are always ready with a hug, a kiss, and some sweet treats, as well as a few lessons about life and happiness. 

Here are a few children’s books about grandparents that you should read.

Grandpa Nick’s Bump tells the true story of the author’s, Lynda Daniele, late husband, Nick, who had meningioma. Nick was asked by four children in the neighborhood to be their grandfather, as they did not have a grandfather. He gladly accepted the honor of being their grandfather and enjoyed each moment with them. Unfortunately, Grandpa Nick passed away four months later due to a “bump”, a very large tumor on the side of his head.

Readers will love Grandpa Nick’s Bump, an amusing yet touching story that follows Grandpa Nick who is adored by the children he loves and cares for. This is the heartwarming story of the children coping with Grandpa Nick’s death and learning about happiness in heaven.

  • Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

Love knows no race and skin color and even bloodline in the picture book Chicken Sunday, “a loving family story woven from the author’s childhood”. The book tells about a young Russian Jewish girl and her two African-American brothers wanting to buy their gramma, Miss Eula, a beautiful Easter hat. Their good intentions are misunderstood until they learn just the right way to pay for the Easter hat that Miss Eula has her eyes on.

  • My Abuela is Sick by Jennifer Bisignano

Published in English and Spanish editions, My Abuela is Sick tackles the difficult subject of cancer and the difficult theme of death. People think these two topics should never appear in a children’s book but the author took the liberty of addressing them in My Abuela is Sick, a story of an 8-year-old girl whose grandmother is sick (meaning, she has cancer). The young girl strives to come into terms with her abuela’s (grandma, in Spanish) sickness when she opens up about her ordeal during an afterschool session. This is a moving story of the young girl and her cancer-stricken grandmother – and their love for each other.

  • I Call My Grandpa Papa by Ashley Wolff

There may be many words in different languages for “grandfather” but only one love. I Call My Grandpa Papa tells the story about a teacher, Miss Alexandra May, who tells the class about her grandfather from China, whom she calls Ye-Ye. She then encourages her students to tell the class what they call their grandfathers and the things they love to do with them. The illustrated children’s book pays homage to the love between a grandfather and his grandchild across cultures.

  • There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart

Do grandmas know best when it comes to helping children beat boredom? Or do they just have a rich wild imagination? Know the answer in There’s a Tiger in the Garden, a story about a bored Nora who thinks she’s “too old to play Grandma’s silly games”. When Grandma tells Nora she has seen a tiger in the garden, Nora does not believe her because “tigers live in jungles, not gardens”. When Nora starts seeing “dragonflies as big as birds” and “plants that try to eat her toy giraffe”, she is drawn into a world of adventure – right in Grandma’s garden.

  • A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu

A Morning with Grandpa extols the special bond between grandparent and grandchild as they both learn new things together. Mei Mei watches her grandpa Gong Gong practicing tai chi in the garden. She joins him but cannot seem to replicate his slow, graceful movements. Mei Mei then teaches Gong Gong yoga – those stretchy, bendy poses – which she learns at school. Will Mei Mei and Gong Gong learn each other’s physical discipline properly? Read all about it in this charming children’s book about a beautiful multigenerational interaction.

  • Looking for Yesterday by Alison Jay

In Looking for Yesterday, one little boy cannot get over the fact that yesterday – which was spent at the fair – was the best day ever, so he figures out a way to repeat yesterday, putting all his scientific knowledge, from stars to time machines to wormholes, to work. He thinks that maybe Grandad could help him but Grandad has some memories to share – and an important lesson to spare to his determined, science-minded grandson.

  • Gus and Grandpa at Basketball by Claudia Mills

Many precious moments between grandparent and grandchild are created through sports. In Gus and Grandpa at Basketball, Gus is determined to play the best game of basketball he could play. However, he is crippled with fear. With the help of his Grandpa, Gus learns to develop his inner confidence.

Happy reading!   

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4 Tips on How to Accomplish Your Goals

Every person has goals in life. The more they think about their aspirations, the stronger their desire to achieve them becomes. Imagine the happiness and proudness that you will feel after achieving the things that you’ve been longing for so long and saying “I made it” for the nth time? Priceless, isn’t it? With all the things going on in the world, all you need to do is to continue what you’ve started and push through. Regardless of how many times that you have fallen, what matters is you learn to stand up and keep on going to reach your goals.

Your goals are among the things that define you. They are also the things that can strengthen your personal beliefs and principles making you the person that you are today. However, there can be a lot of bumps in your way because there is no shortcut or easy way in accomplishing anything that brings a major development to a person. So if you are halfway or about to start your journey to success, here are some tips on how to fully accomplish your dreams that you might want to know:

Believe in yourself

There is nothing more important step in accomplishing your aspirations than believing in yourself. What do you think would happen if you have all these dreams of becoming successful but you do not have the courage to pursue them because of doubts? Nothing, definitely! Hence, having the right amount of confidence that you can achieve what your heart has been longing for so long and that there is no struggles that you cannot overcome is the right weapon in the quest that you are about to embark upon. Always instill in your mind that there is nothing that you cannot do and conquer; thus, self-confidence and trust must come first.

Look for inspiration

It cannot be avoided that chasing your goals can be draining and frustrating at the same time. What you need to do when times like this come is to look for something can uplift your spirit. If you are tired, then do not stay tired. If you are unmotivated, then do not remain unmotivated. The point is that there is no harm in trying no matter how many times you attempt to hit your targets. Search for something that inspires you so that keep going and face each bump on the road with a smile instead of a frown. These inspirations can come in the form of a loved one, an artwork, a statement, a piece of literature, etc. Take for example the book Strong Boy, Weak Man where the protagonist really tried to accomplish the special goals by Earl Robert Key. Thus, achieve also your goals by being filled with inspirations and motivations of your own.

Take a break

When the time comes when you start to question capabilities and even yourself, please do not forget to keep going. There are a lot of ways on how you can continue achieving your targets but what also matters more is how you handle the struggles, frustrations, and other ugly things that appear in your journey. Always remember that taking a break will not hurt. It will not delay your progress; in fact it is one way to help you continue your walk into success by giving you enough time to rethink your methods, calm your heart, and gather ideas on how to make the journey worth your while. The length of your break depends on you for there is nobody that keeps whispering and pressuring you to go faster. Whenever you feel ready to continue, then you may do so. Just put in your mind that you are the master of your fate and all things that come your way are all results of your actions.

Strive harder

Putting your best foot forward can be a good gesture in hitting your targets, especially if you are still getting started or already halfway there. When you are really eager to finish what you have started and achieve your dreams sooner than later, you have to double your time, effort, and attention. In other words, you must strive harder. Do not think of it as tiresome for there is no success without hard work. Think of it as the way to achieve the sweetest success. Moreover, the harder you strive, the stronger your yearning to finish the tasks becomes. The challenges that suddenly appear and make your journey harder will never equal to the goal that you are trying to achieve. In fact, your motivation and will to carry on will be doubled and will result to a more improved and developed you. So at the end of your journey, you will not only accomplish your goals but also unleash the best version of yourself.

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4 Brilliant Authors Who Write Stories about Family and Adventure

Writing a story is not easy. You cannot just get a paper and pen and start scribbling the words that come to your mind. There are rules that need to be followed and elements that must be put together in order to produce a captivating and beautiful tale. Everyone has the ability to write but not all are gifted with the talent to write magnificent stories. It needs passion, practice, and pursuance. Before you can become a fully established author, you must harness your writing skill by constant practice. Reading books produced by your literary heroes is also a great activity to master your craft and observe how great stories are written.

Literature is complicated. It has a lot of corners that may confuse you. But all its complexities will be turned to simplicity after you get to know all its edges, its genres for example. Moreover, genres are integral aspect of literature. They are the ones that classify the tales depending on their themes and purposes. Among the most promising genres are adventure and family. There are several authors who fancy writing stories about family and adventure. So, if you want to get to know the said authors, please see details below:

Arthur Ransome

In Leeds, England on January 18, 1884, author and journalist Arthur Michell Ransome was born. He is the eldest child of Cyril Ransome and Edith Baker-Boulton. He attended the Yorkshire College, the workplace of his late father, and took up chemistry. However, he didn’t get to finish his studies because he left after a year for London and that’s when his career in writing started.

Ransome is popular in the literary world, specifically in the children’s literature corner, for his amazing series called Swallows and Amazons. The books revolve around adventure of the characters, commonly around the Lake District and Norfolk Broads, during their school-holidays. He also wrote other books apart from his infamous series, such as The Crisis in Russia (1921), A Letter to America (1919), The Souls of the Streets and other Little Papers, The Elixir of Life (1915), and more.

Jacquelyn Hester Colleton-Akins

Apart from being a renowned author of the books E-Babe, Two Trees, My Experience, Alvin Can’t Jump, Prediction Stories, and Liz Refuse to Fall, Jacquelyn Hester Colleton-Akins is also an owner and director of a tutoring program. The said program is located in Walterboro, South Carolina and in Jacksonville, Florida called the Hester Tutoring Program. Colleton-Akins also has a PhD; hence, she is referred to as Dr. Jacquelyn Hester Colleton-Akins.

Her amazing record and work opened the gate for wonderful opportunities and chances to discover the diverse struggles in the minds of the youngsters to take them into the intricate society through shaping up the block of educational aspirations and targets from preschool, high school, and GED pupils. With the said educational objectives, the youth will step into the world and turn into young men and women that narrate their tales to other people and will proudly say, “I made it.”

Leah Williamson

Suffolk, Virginia is the place where author Leah Williamson was brought into the world. However, she was not raised in her birthplace. Where she grew up is 1,417 kilometers away from Virginia, which is Louisiana. She was surrounded with love and care by her parents, sibling, and dog and because of that, she developed a strong love for animals. Leah was raised well by her family for she is living with the life lessons and family values that they taught her.

Because of growing up in a home filled with love, she has written a book called Froggo Family Adventure. It was published in December 28, 2018 and was intended for kids ages 1-7 years old. The book aims to educate both kids and adults about the power of kindness and encourages the readers that every person must be fully accepted for who they are and not to be discriminated because of some flaws in their lives and families.

Roald Dahl

On 13th of September 1916 in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, author Roald Dahl was born. He studied in The Catedral School in Llandaff, St.Peter’s School in Westonsuper-Mare, and in Repton School in England. He was first married to Patricia Neal but they broke their marriage in 1983. Dahl remarried in 1983 with Felicity Crosland. He has a total of 5 children. Roald also served in the military and was in the No. 80 Squadron RAF unit and became their leader.

Roald Dahl took the creative path for he was not only a prolific author but also a great screenwriter and poet. Among his amazing works is the book Matilda, which is about a little girl gifted with knowledge and power. But Matilda’s family is oppose on her interests and doesn’t like her to fancy books and learning. Her family’s opposition didn’t stop her from pursuing what she likes and that’s when her adventure started.

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Mental Health Awareness: 3 Groups That Are Advocates of Mental Health

Mental health is often being overlooked by most people and, sometimes, given lesser attention. Little did everyone know that it is as important as their physical well-beings. It is has a wider scope for it includes three of the biggest health factors of a person, such as social, emotional, and psychological. People that are mentally fit are capable of living a happier and fuller life. However, individuals are diagnosed with any mental disorder may have some difficulties in dealing with life, others, and even themselves.

There are many reasons why a person tends to develop a mental disorder. Some of these aspects include biological factors, traumatic experiences, abusive surroundings, family mental illness history, and more. Most people think that those have mental disorders are nothing but trouble, which is a wrong perspective pertaining to the subject. Those that are having mental health problems shouldn’t remain misunderstood; instead people should be educated in order to know the value of this well-being. And with that, everyone will start to view the vulnerable one as treasures that need proper caring and attention.

This type of well-being has been already promoted by a lot of organizations all over the world with an advocacy to raise mental health awareness. In fact, there is already a celebration that aims to break the stigma on mental well-being, which is the Mental Health Awareness Month that is being celebrated every May. There are also many people who become advocates of mental health awareness, some of them knew someone who is fighting a mental disorder while others have experienced the illness firs handedly.

People who were diagnosed with any mental illness have different coping mechanisms. The medicines helps a lot but the way they handle themselves with or without those drugs is a more important aspects. Some turn their sufferings into music while others express their burdens by writing. A great example of the latter is the poetry book called Perfect Flaws by Tim Segrest, which was produced in order for the author to express his thoughts regarding PTSD and other factors of his life through poetry.

Thus, if you want to be more aware about what really mental health is and all things that are under its umbrella, here are some mental health advocate groups that you might want to get to know:

Project Semicolon

This nonprofit organization was founded by Amy Bleuel on the year 2013. It came into existence after the 10th year death anniversary of the founder’s father who died because of suicide. Project Semicolon is also known as “Project ;” with the goal of attaining lower rates of suicide not just in the United States but all around the world. Another objective of this group is to show hope and love to people who are battling with depression, addiction, self-harm, and suicide. They are known form all parts of the globe not just because of their amazing advocacy but also because of how they motivate individuals to tattoo a semicolon on their bodies as means of unity between persons struggling with mental illness or from the grief of someone who died due to suicide.

Active Minds

Alison Malmon founded Active Minds on June 2003 when she was studying in the University of Pennsylvania as a junior. The organization was shaped up by Malmon after she lost her elder brother in 2000 because of suicide. The goal of this nonprofit organization is to raise awareness on mental health and to prevent people from committing their own precious lives. Malmon acts as the executive director of the organization and their headquarters office is located at Washington DC. Furthermore, Active Minds, originally called Open Minds, primarily aim to increase mental health awareness between students of different colleges through friend-to-friend conversation and interaction. As of the moment, they already have over 500 chapters that are consist of international and state academic institutions, particularly high schools and colleges.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI or National Alliance on Mental Illness is the country’s biggest and most popular organization for mental health that aims to shape up better living for the millions of people in America who are suffering with mental illness or who are being impacted by mental illness. It came into existence after a gathering of small family groups in the year 1979, which has grown into the country’s leading advocate of mental health. As of the present times, the National Alliance on Mental Health has over 600 local chapters and 48 State Organizations who are working in the society to boost awareness, give support, and teach lessons, which unfortunately not available from the past for those people in need of it. The core values of NAMI are hope, inclusion, empowerment, compassion, and fairness. They also provide not just awareness and advocacy but also teachings and support to everyone whose lives are being impacted by mental illnesses.

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The 4 Misconceptions of Family Caregiving

Family caregiving refers to the type of caregiving wherein the “carer” is a direct relative, a close friend, or such of the person who is suffering from a disease, disability, disorder, and others. The family caregiver is tasked to provide nurturing and support to the vulnerable person without receiving something in return unlike those caregivers who came from caregiving agencies or health institutions. The fruit of the labor is not being paid by money nor material things but it is being returned with the relief that the person is doing fine and the lessons that caregiving has brought to the carer’s life.

Caregiving is job with a lot of twists and turns. It is also a tough career path but all the difficulties definitely mold the person to become stronger and better. Despite all the facts about this art, there are also plenty of misconceptions of caregiving that have been circulating in different platforms. Misconceptions are also called myths. These are the common beliefs of the public about something that do not have a strong basis. Family caregiving has never got the exception for these fallacies. Thus, if you are practicing or about to practice caregiving as a family caregiver, here are some of the myths that you might want to know:

Family caregiving is a piece of cake

Any type of caregiving is not easy. But with family caregiving, people will always think that it is already a piece of cake because of the close ties between the caregiver and the person that needs assistance. The existing connection between the caregiver and the family in need, especially the patient, is not enough reason to brand family caregiving as easy as 123. There are a lot of struggles that are about to emerge and several situations that are about to take place.

Caregiving is both offers heaven and hell. The lessons that the job bring and the bond that caregiving strengthen is the positive side of it. The challenges and the stress, on the other hand, are the factors that make caregiving a difficult craft to delve in. But regardless of the intricateness of this job, the bottom line is family caregiving is NOT a piece of cake or a walk in the park.

Family caregiving is cost-efficient

It has been already stated that family caregivers do not receive salaries. As a result, people and even the immediate family of the person being taken care might think that caregiving is cost-efficient. The truth is, any type of caregiving may it be senior caregiving or family caregiving will always cost you some dime. It is for the fact that both the caregiver and the vulnerable person has personal needs — and even wants. One has to supply them with enough resources in order for both parties to stay healthy and happy.

The person that is being assisted by the carer has a lot of needs. These things that he or she needs are not limited to medicines but also include food, beverages, and gadgets for entertainment. The caregiver also has his or her basic needs that are necessary to be provided, such as food, clothing, and more. The longer the caregiving happens, the bigger the cost will become. That is why the direct family must need to budget and be wise in handling their funds.

Family caregiving is convenient

May people will definitely think that family caregiving is a convenient option since there are no big adjustments to be made. Also, there is no trust to be built because the caregiver is not a stranger. The more one dug into the art of caregiving, the wider his or her understanding becomes. Thus, there is no such thing as convenient when it comes to caregiving, especially family caregiving. There are still adjustments to be made and lives that are about to change.

Imagine being someone’s caregiver without any idea how the job is done? Crazy, isn’t it? The person that is suffering from old age, physical disability, mental disorder, and such already have several needs that are necessary for his or her betterment. Sometimes their needs are more than just the material things for these essentials can also include those that cannot be touched or seen. As a result, the caregiver and the other family members will go into the hole of inconvenience in order to figure out how to satisfy the needs of the vulnerable person.

Family caregiving is not draining

All types of caregiving are draining. The first few months may be the toughest times in caregiving for there are many things to figure out and work on. Family caregivers are not exempted to the frustrations and stress that caregiving brings. There are times that arguments, misunderstandings, and miscommunications will happen between the caregiver and the person that they are taking care of. Thoughts of giving up and other ideas may constantly pop up to their minds as a result.

The more the family caregiver let these arguments crawl into their skins, the more stressed and frustrated they become. The worst case scenarios can be either the family caregiver become depressed or the family will become a mess. That is why it is important to also consider the mental health of the caregiver and also check on them from time to time.

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4 Reasons Why Caregivers Deserve Utmost Gratitude

Caregivers are the support system of those vulnerable people. Their ability to provide care to someone of old age, with physical disability, with mental disorder, and such are truly commendable. It is already evident that caregiving is a real tough job. It is not something that you can get into for the sake of having a job but turn your back immediately once work get hard. You must have a strong endurance and mindset to be able to execute your duties perfectly and continue working despite the thousands of struggles.

There are a lot of reasons why caregivers deserve your gratitude. It is not just about the labor that they provide but also about their sacrifices. Caregivers are worth a dime nowadays, regardless of if they are a family caregiver, senior caregiver, and others. They give aid to those in need and they provide motivation for those people who seem to lose it. To get a better grasp on why caregivers should be given enough gratitude and appreciation, here are the 4 reasons why:

They spend more time caring for someone than they do with themselves

A caregiver’s primary purpose is to care and nurture people who cannot fully take care of themselves due to several factors. If the caregiver is from an employment agency, the job would be depending on his or her contract whether she would be a stay-in caregiver or not and whether he or she would work full time or part time. In the case of family caregivers, they are definitely stay-in workers for they are direct family members of the vulnerable person.

Despite the work arrangements, it is evident that caregivers spend most of their times working and ensuring that they are performing their responsibilities well. They will have lesser time for themselves because if they work 8 hours per day or more, the remaining time will be spent resting and sleeping; thus, there are no more period for leisure, enjoyment, and rejuvenation.

They are resilient and strong even though work becomes tough and overwhelming

Again, caregiving is not the job for those who cannot endure hardships. Most caregivers work each day with a smile on their faces but behind those wonderful curved lips are exhaustion and frustration. They still continue working despite the challenges and weight that comes along their job. Sometimes all the negativities of caregiving will hit them waves crashing to the shore all at one but their sorrows laid on the shore will be washed away along with the waves making them put a smile on their faces once again.

Caregiving teaches caregivers to become resilient and strong no matter how heavy their obligations become. That is why the slightest hint of gratitude or a simple “thank you” is enough for them to feel motivated and continue working with their heads held high.

They do not wear capes but they are heroes that needs appreciation

There’s a famous quote that goes, “not all heroes wear capes.” It is indeed true. The superhero movies that you’ve seen on the movies multiple times are work of fiction. There are no superheroes that possess extraordinary abilities in the real world for there are only workers that sacrifice almost everything they have for the betterment of the people and the community. Caregivers are great examples of real life heroes. They have sacrificed a great deal of time and effort in order to help those who are fragile due to illnesses, disorders, and more.

The compensation that they receive from the labor that they provide is never enough. Think about the times that they use their physical strength in order to keep their patients calm or those times where they were emotionally and mentally drained from work but they still continue to keep going. That is what heroes do, help and protect people.

They carry burdens but still continue to work real hard

Frustration and stress are two dangerous things. They are not only a state of being or an emotion because these two things are like seeds that grow stronger each day when watered with sadness and anger. It cannot be denied that there will be several of arguments and miscommunications that will spark between the caregiver and the person being taken care. The more the caregiver argues, the more the person becomes stubborn. In order for the fight to be settled, one must lowered their pride and accept defeat and that is most likely the caregiver — he or she needs to be the bigger person.

The defeat will turn in stress or frustrations that will gradually evolve into a burden that will make his or her heart heavy. Regardless of the weight of these sorrows, caregivers still continue to perform their duties for the sake of the person that they are nurturing. That is what professionalism and work ethics is all about.

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The Essence of Growth as a Christian

Growth is not only applicable physically because it covers all aspects of your well-being. It is primarily defined as the slow enhancement of the different factors of a person’s being, such as maturity, height, age, and more. Your mental, emotional, and spiritual health develops along with your physical well-being. One of the most overlooked sides of people’s health is their spiritual health. Some may take this as something of lesser important but it is, in fact, the most important of all. You can always see how your body and mind changes but you cannot instantly evaluate the things that have been added or subtracted pertaining to your spiritual health. 

Being spiritually healthy is already good news but growing spiritually is the best news to receive. There may be times that you already thought that your connection to God has been lost and the more you think about it, the more hollow you feel inside. However, your bond with the Almighty Father will never be lost for you have been baptized as a Christian and until then, you will remain a Christian. There are a lot of things that will help you maintain and develop your spiritual well-being, such as hearing the word of the Lord or reading Christian books. The latter is a good leisure activity that will help you get slowly mature and get closer to Him; take for example the steps of growth as a Christian by Marianna Albritton.

If you want to know what the essence of growth as a Christian is truly, then you are on the right page! Listed below are the important factors that will inform you on how vital growth is:

It helps you on becoming a better follower of God

From the moment that you are baptized as a Christian, you already have become a disciple of God. Your connection between Him started and you have been welcomed to the Christian world. The only thing that will create a distance between your relationship with Him is growth, complicated isn’t it? For better understanding, growth is the main agent that can either make or break your bond with God because it can shift your whole mindset about religion or can blossom and strengthen your belief and principle as all of you become to improve and develop. The latter is more favorable for it will help you on becoming a better follower of God. As days goes by, you will appreciate all the things that he has done to you and all the blessings that he has bestowed upon you. Every day you will live with a smile on your face knowing that every step you take is in accordance to His will.

It enhances your decision-making ability

Each person is granted with a rational thinking ability, which is the capability to distinguish what is right from what is wrong. Aside from that, people are also granted with the ability to make decisions. These two can be somehow confused with one another because of their similar attributes. However, the one must go along with the other in order for you to create a completely right and beneficial decision. There may be moments in your life that your rational thinking has been clouded resulting to poor decision-making. Life has become a mess that you almost cannot find a way to untangle each string. But when you reached spiritual maturity, your decision-making ability will develop along with it. You can make better decisions that will not harm you and others around you. Also, these decisions are also better for they based on His will. As a result, you are not deciding alone but you are making decisions together with the Lord.

It drives you farther away from temptations

Temptations will always be present in this world. They are the things that make your life either a living hell or a complete deception. These temptations can come in different forms where some appear wearing silk clothes but rotten cores while others are fully dressed in ugliness but still have the power to influence people. But when you start to grow as a Christian, you can open your eyes and see the temptations that are lurking in the shadows trying to drag people down. You will start to realize that they are not the jewel and fun that they appear to be but instead they are the opposite. As a result, you will slowly eject yourself from these evils and begin to walk to the path that God has laid for you from the start. You will not become tempted by these deceiving things. Turning your back from these temptations will be the best option that you have made and it is one of the perks of growing spiritually and strengthening your belief  in the Almighty Father.

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4 Heartwarming Series in Christian Literature

Christian literature can be both considered as wide and narrow aspect of literature. It is wide in the sense that it contains different kinds of masterpieces and genres. Examples of the latter are the Christian devotional literature, Christian nonfiction, Christian fiction, and more. There are many of things that made up this literary avenue making it a vast place to delve in. On the other hand, it is narrow in the sense that it is only focused on Christianity and all things that are related into it. It only tackles things that are connected to God or its religion. The books and other works center on Christianity, even the fictional tales, or display some Christian virtues and symbols.  

Regardless of how big or small the scope of Christian literature is, it is still one of the most successful avenues for it brings people together and reminds them of the ever loving God. In fact, there are many series that can be found in Christian literature. These series are both in fiction and nonfiction categories; hence, if you are interested in reading these types of books, then you are on the right page! Listed below are the wonderful series in Christian literature that you may binge-read:

The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis is a remarkable classic author who wrote the bestselling series The Chronicles of Narnia. The series is composed of seven wonderful novels with one year age gaps, which are The Lion, the Witch, anf the Wardrobe (1950), Prince Caspian (1951), The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952), The Silver Chair (1953), The Horse and His Boy (1954), The Magician’s Nephew (1955), and The Last Battle (1956). Each of the books contains wonderful illustrations that are work of art of Pauline Baynes. Although the series has fallen under the genres fantasy and children’s literature, it is undeniable that every book has displayed a lot of Christian symbols and representations. Moreover, it follows the story of the Pevensie siblings, Edmund, Susan, Lucy, and Peter, who accidentally wandered into the world of Narnia through a wardrobe. That is where they met a lion who is full of wisdom named Aslan and so their adventures began.

The Mitford Years Series

The Mitford Years is a bestselling series authored by American novelist Jan Karon. The series is composed of 14 novels that are set in a fictional area called Mitford, North Carolina. All of these novels center on Christianity and the life of Father Tim. The first book was published by Doubleday in 1994 and was republished by Penguin Books in 1996, which was titled At Home in Mitford. After a year, the second book was released and was titled as A Light in the Window. The following books were released after a year or two of the preceding novels were out for the public to consume. The titles of the other Mitford books are These High, Green Hills (1996), Out to Canaan (1997), A New Song (1999), A Common Life: The Wedding Story (2001), In this Mountain (2002), Shepherds Abiding (2003), Light from Heaven (2005), Home to Holy Springs (2007), In the Company of Others (2010), Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (2014), Come Rain or Come Shine (2015), and To Be Where You Are (2017).

The VIP Christian Series

The VIP Christian is an ongoing series written by Abraham Joseph Ajenifuja. This series will be consisting of 7 books namely, The VIP Christian, The VIP Prayer, The VIP Family, The VIP Family/Marriage, The VIP Education, The VIP Business, and The VIP Church. The term “VIP” stands for the vision, intent, and purpose of God. The first book of the series was already published by the Xulon Press and was released last 2016. It revolves around the missing pieces in the gospel that is currently making an abode of division on the lines of various important aspects in the world, such as race, social status, culture, origin, language, and more. However, it is evident in the hearts and souls of people that there is a light that represents the vision, intent, and purpose, which desire to shine brightly in order to glue every broken parts together. That means that God’s VIP is the only thing that can mend all the broken pieces in this world and creates a new and better whole.

The Left Behind Series

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins authored one of the bestselling Christian series, which is called the Left Behind series. The books center on different Christian aspects, such as dispensationalist End Times of Christianity, rapture, premillennialism, and more. Most of the books in the series have conquered the bestseller list of The New York Times, specifically books 7, 8, and 10. LaHaye and Jenkins’ series has already been adapted into movies, not just one but four films, titled Left Behind: The Movie (2000), Left Behind II: Tribulation Force (2002), Left Behind: World at War (2005), and Left Behind (2014). Also, the novels spark positive response from various critics, including Michelle Goldberg, Jerry Falwell, and Laurie Goodstein. The success of the series didn’t stop from being a bestseller and getting a film adaptation for it was also turned into or became the bases of video games, graphic novels, and music.

Generation Gap: What You Should Know

“Every generation inherits a world it never made; and, as it does so, it automatically becomes the trustee of that world for those who come after. In due course, each generation makes its own accounting to its children.” – Robert Kennedy

In this lifetime, it cannot be avoided that there will be differences among everyone, especially in experiences and ages. There are various results that follow these diversities that are either or both good and bad. Generation gap is one of the outcomes of the dissimilarities, which greatly affect the relationship between the older people and the younger ones. It is primarily defined as the void that divides the ideas expressed by individuals that belong in two diverse generations.

Moreover, generation gap is frequently utilized to describe the variations in behaviors, beliefs, and preferences of the younger generations put against the older ones. There are also other significant and broad topics that show the gap between generations, including but not limited to politics, manners, principles, and pop culture. Hence, there are many platforms that tend to educate people and help them eradicate generation gap. Literature is among the many fields that gives different insights and encourages people to fully understand and get rid of the said gap. The challenging stories on Patchwork: Conversations Between Generations by Carol-Wilson Mack are great examples of how ladies from the countryside of South Carolina attempted to erase generation gap by sharing their personal tales and empathize with one another.

How Generations Are Identified

The current existing generations are being split into four large groups, which are the following:

Traditionalists – they are also referred as the silent generation because the individuals born between 1927 and 1946 were anticipated to not be heard but rather than to be seen. As of 2021, children in this group are already between 78 to 83 years old. They are mostly retirees and/or veterans; but, there are still few that are part of the workforce.

People born in this generation are often described as hard working. Traditionalists were influenced by the great work ethics of their parents in the industrialized world. Hence, they were raised during tougher times where Great Depression and World War II also happened. For them, having a job is already a grand privilege bestowed to them. Due to their hard work and determination, they are considered to be the richest generation.

Baby Boomer – they pertain to the individuals born after the Second World War. They are known to be biggest living adult generation until 2019 according to Pew Research Center. Even though there was much dissimilarity depending on the years of birth that consider a person as part of the Baby Boomer generation, the broadly accepted ones are those born between 1946 and 1964. They are popular for the rapid increase of birth rate following World War II, which influenced the generation’s name. There are approximately 72.5 million recorded baby boom populations, which are known to be the biggest generational unit at that moment.

Generation X – is the generation following the Baby Boomer Generation. They are born around the middle part of 1960s and the early part of 1980s. The accurate years that cover the Gen X people vary because there are demographers that show different birth year range. But, everybody is in agreement to the fact that Gen X is the generation that comes after Baby Boomer. People in this bunch are on the way to the middle part of their professional careers and possibly are on their peak-earning periods.

Millennials – this generation is also known as Genereration Y. Individuals belonging to this generation are those that are born around early 1970s, mid 1990s, until early 2000s. However, the greatly accepted birth year span is between 1981 and 1996. They are typically the offspring of people under the last two preceding generations, which are Gen X and baby boomers.

Generation Z – is the generation that comes after the Millenials. They are also known as zoomers. Individuals that are part of this generation are those born from middle to late 1990s until early 2010s.

Every group has its personal traits and aspects when it comes to spoken language, slang, technological expertise, workplace behaviors, lifestyle, and more.

Pandemic Update: Covid-19 Vaccination in Ethiopia

The pandemic has greatly impacted the world. And Ethiopia is among the places that were stricken by the Covid-19 virus. There were many measures that were imposed by the government and followed by the citizens. The efforts of both the government and the people have been so remarkable; yet, there are still new cases that are being recorded each day. But if you compare it to the first few months of the disease spread, the numbers of the new cases are definitely lower than before.

Furthermore, Ethiopia is trying its best to provide its people the comfort and safety that they deserve. The Coronavirus disease isn’t the only problem that has tested the country and imposed great threat to its citizens. Among the other societal issues that the country faced was famine, which was featured in the memoir containing Dr. Conner’s mission for Ethiopia titled The Face of Hunger: Reflections on a Famine in Ethiopia. With all these societal problems that need solution, Covid-19 tends to top the priority levels of other issues because of how easy it spreads, how invisible it is to the naked eye, and how many lives were lost from it.

Just like other countries, Ethiopia has already introduced mass vaccination to its citizens. According to WHO Africa, the Covid-19 vaccine presentation was inaugurated by The Ministry of Health of Ethiopia at Eka Kotebe Covid-19 Hospital. The first ones who received their doses were the medical frontline workers, who symbolize the start of the campaign to vaccinate the people of Ethiopia. The vaccines that were injected to these remarkable medical staff are the ones developed by Serum Institute of India (SII) called AstraZeneca. A month ago, the first batch of the vaccines arrived in the country via COVAX.

There are also at least 5.4 million doses of vaccines that were procured by the government as part of the present-day worldwide distribution plan following the first few doses injected to the frontline medical workers. The estimated time of arrival of these millions of dosages are on May 2021. Dr. Dereje Duguma, the State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia recognized the help of COVAX facility and other partners that handed out their support in making the launch of Covid-19 vaccines in the country possible and efficient — as well as bringing the whole globe a step closer to fight off the pandemic.

According to Reuters, the nation has successfully acquired a total of 9 million Covid-19 vaccines until April. They plan to vaccinate no less than 1/5th of the 110 million citizens of the country by the end of 2021. Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Lia Tadesse said that it will cost the country at least $328 million to acquire the vaccine dosages and other miscellaneous expenses for the said procurement. However, the expenses will be shouldered by the government, along with the donations that the country got from other countries.

But, one of the challenges in administering mass vaccination in Ethiopia is communication. Educating the public about the nature, benefits, side effects, and importance of getting vaccinated might be a struggle for most places in country due to the location and resources. Based on the article Spreading the word about vaccines in Ethiopia by Rachael Hore in Gavi The Vaccine Alliance, one of the factors why there is an imbalance in the vaccine coverage rate in the country is not because there was a shortage in supply but because of the complex geography and conventional nomadic way of living along with the insufficient vaccine details that leads to a reduced demand for vaccination.

The need to educate and communicate to the local and remote communities in Ethiopia is among the primary methods to raise immunization demand and improve vaccination awareness in every individual in the country. In order to cater to the lack of details and insufficient knowledge on Covid-19 vaccination and its impact on people’s lives, the government should definitely center on hitting 5 main points to encourage citizens to get inoculated, which are the cultural beliefs, scarcity of data, fears of hazards, location accessibility, and trust in medical staff.

During these rough times, Ethiopia is doing its best to protect its people by securing vaccines for immunization. As they embark on this new stage of fighting Covid-19, may they succeed and prosper.

7 Books to Read After Lent and Easter

What to do now that Lent is gone and Easter has passed? Grow in the faith – and read more books, of course. 

Lent and Easter may have passed, yet the true meaning of those seasons live on – and should live on in our lives. We, as believers, should strive to keep our hearts on fire for God with conviction and dedication throughout the year. We should strengthen our faith by incessant prayer and constant reading of Scripture and biblically sound literature, by fellowshipping and by confessing the truth, which is Jesus Christ himself. 

Here are seven books to help you in your faith post-Lent and Easter:

Fresh Fire by Mark L. Spell

Fresh Fire: Spiritual Transitions That Lead to Total Man Rebirth by Pastor Mark Spell aims to exhort believers who struggle in a culture that is apathetic or hostile to scriptural Christian faith and ethics and where false teachers abound, preaching false teachings and promoting unbiblical Christianity. Fresh Fire explores topics that should be of interest to discerning Christians, such as spiritual warfare; the true nature and necessity of God; the nature of Satan and the effects of unclean spirits; and the importance of praising God. Pastor Mark L. Spell hopes that his book will help readers understand how the Spirit of God works to help them cope and triumph over the challenges to their faith.   

The Other Side Of Fear by W. Veronica Lisare

In The Other Side Of Fear: My Journey Into Perfect Love, W. Veronica Lisare talks about the challenges and setbacks she had experienced from childhood abuse through cancer to learning forgiveness and experiencing the ultimate love of God. The retired nurse and former missionary how she discovers and embraces her authentic identity as a daughter of the King of Kings and gains courage, joy, hope, freedom, and fulfillment.

Healing the Wounded Soul by Arline Westmeier


Former missionary and clinical counselor Arline (Maust) Westmeier considers it her mission to help people heal and recover from their traumatic past and find healing in God. Healing the Wounded Soul: Ways to Inner Wholeness, the first of four volumes, contains stories of individuals who had suffered various forms of trauma, such as physical abuse and growing up in dysfunctional families, and their eventual healing by bringing their traumas to Jesus.

Stations of the Risen Christ by Frank Heelan

Frank Heelan wrote the Stations of the Risen Christ to help Christians reflect and meditate on the Scriptures pertaining to events after Easter, from Mary Magdalene and the women coming to the tomb to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus. This scriptural prayer guide will motivate believers to pray and appreciate the resurrection of Christ as the core of the Christian faith.

The Face of Hunger by Byron E. Conner

Dr. Byron E. Conner about his work and struggles as a medical missionary in Ethiopia during the 1983-1985 famine in his memoir The Face of Hunger: Reflections on a Famine in Ethiopia. Dr. Conner, a Seventh-day Adventist, was drawn to the plight of the Ethiopians during one sleepless night when he watched a telethon about the famine in the Horn of Africa country. He felt that ‘someone’ should do something about the famine – and that “someone” should be him. He requested his church to send him as a medical missionary to Ethiopia and then moved there with his family. He served there for three years.

The Hands of God by Judith Martin Alford

The Hands of God by Judith Martin Alford is a collection of true short stories that affirm and extol the miracles of God. The book tells the stories of God’s actions in the author’s life, as well as the lives of some of her friends and parishioners. This book will strengthen one’s faith journey and help him/her believe that God is performing signs and wonders today.

The Two Sides of Being Single by Wayne Drayton

The Two Sides of Being Single: A Biblical Perspective by Deacon Wayne Drayton discusses the two biblical perspectives of being single: being single and remaining single and being single and waiting on God to provide a life partner. For Deacon Drayton, the vocation of singleness is just as valid a vocation as marriage. He emphasizes that God loves single Christians as well as married Christians and loves all people regardless of their marital status. God, according to the author, judges us according to our marital status, but He judges us according to our faith.

Top Activities to Try for Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth centers on achieving and tapping in your inner soul. It is the state of living where you gradually turn your life around and become more like Christ. Upon reaching this condition, you will start to notice great changes around you including but not limited to experiencing a harmonious life, developing inner strength, feeling empowered, and becoming happier. In this day and age, everyone should really readjust their views and focus on growing spiritually to lessen the complexities of life.

But in these tough times, focusing on spiritual growth might be difficult. There is still a lurking virus threatening the lives of many and an intensifying fear inside of everyone due to this pandemic. As a result, you may have been feeling a little off and bothered for months now, which has affected your spirituality. Hence, we have listed below some of the best activities that you should try for spiritual development.

Join Bible study groups

Bible study groups are essential, especially if your main purpose is to grow spiritually. They can help you restore and strengthen your faith resulting to a stronger and more confident you. The main point of studying the word of God in small groups is to get a better grasp on His words in a collective and broader manner. This activity also includes other programs, such as worshipping, praying, sharing, and more. Studying and hearing the word of God weren’t really shaken up by the pandemic, because small groups found a way to continue their ways and touch many lives by making use of the digital platforms. So, you might want to give it a shot and see the results after.

Read spiritual books

Sometimes, all you need to alleviate your spirit, confidence, and motivation are words. Then, you might want to start checking out and reading spiritual, Christian, and inspirational books. They surely know what to say and surprisingly give you the wisdom that you need. These literary pieces will also help you grow, give you more realizations, and uplift your spirituality. For example, Come Climb Toward God: Are You Hungry for God? is a book teaching everyone how to develop a deeper relationship with God by Albritton. There are also other books that aim to teach and support those who are having troubles walking on their chosen path, needing guidance on their spiritual journey, and desiring to have a better connection with Him.

Use positive affirmations daily

Affirmation pertains to the act or method of affirming or emotionally supporting something. Hence, they come in the form of optimistic statements that can uplift and encourage you to conquer every complexity along the way and to brush of negative thoughts. Simply saying and claiming the words, “I am loved,” “I have a purpose,” “I am in charge of my emotions,” “I am my own hero,” and more can definitely boost your confidence and make you look forward to better days. Other benefits of using affirmations include spiritual growth, increased productivity, bad habit elimination, and better life outlook.

Attend regular masses

In order to achieve spiritual growth, you must be openly devoted to the Lord. All of His words and teachings will absolutely help you uplift your spirit and become a better person. Thus, the importance of going to church and attending masses eventually emerged and should be accomplished by individuals, especially Christians. Mass is considered as the primary act of worship in the Roman Catholic Church. In attending regular masses, you will be able to deepen your bond with the Lord, reflect on your actions, heal from pain, understand others, and develop spiritually.

Communicate with Him through prayers

Prayers are among the strongest weapons people can possess. It is a method of existing and relating — existing in time and space and relating to God and ourselves. Allocating some of your time say a brief prayer doesn’t only warms your heart but also helps you get to connect better with Him. Praying is also a great, convenient, and effect way of mending and improving your spiritual well-being. There is nothing better than releasing the baggage in your heart and expressing the thoughts in your mind through talking to God in the form of prayers.

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