Sunday, 1 January 2017

When the Past Provides Inspiration.

Are you from the time period that enjoyed to watch "The Sound of Music"? The "Sound of Music" was a family favourite in our family. We saw it on the big screen, purchased the record - remember those? We would listen to the songs for hours on end and practice many of the songs. Some of us would even practice some of the dances that went with them. That famous twirl being one of them.

Finding joy and incorporating joy into your life has become rather popular in recent times, but it's not a new idea! Julie Andrews sang many a song that helped one to internalize just how important joy is and gave us wonderful clues as to where joy can be found.

"The hills are alive, with the sound of music..." A famous start to one of the songs of this musical but it is so much more than a song. When one has joy in your heart, you can literally hear music wherever you are, especially when out in nature. The truth is, if you do not feel joy in your heart, by spending time in nature and listening to the wonderful silent sounds of nature you can begin to hear that music that Julie Andrews spoke of and if you will let it, the music will fill your heart with joy. So it really works both ways.

I was about to do a little research for a project we are working on when I stumbled upon this wonderful video. 50 years after the production of "The Sound of Music" Julie Andrews re-visits the places where most of the scenes were filmed and provides some wonderful behind the scenes insight into the story behind this special film.

If you have not seen the film or if it has been years since you have, do yourself a favour and look up the old movie "The Sound of Music". For those familiar with the film, take a break and enjoy learning a little of the story behind this film. Let the songs fill you with joy and inspiration for the week ahead.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A Fun Sale

We had a lot of fun at a YardSale on Friday. A few potential buyers were looking at some of the art at the back of the table. One lady decided she would like an Oriental drawing. As she debated whether or not to purchase it, the gentleman next to her decided he would like it too. It was funny to hear the interchange. I do admit I considered raising the price and turning it into a mini auction. Needless to say the first buyer made her purchase and the gentleman and his wife began to browse to see if there was anything else they would like. All of a sudden there was a hoot of delight on discovering "Relationships" by R.A. Kahn.

What was the excitement we wondered? Had they heard of the book? Did they know the author? Did they like the title or the cover design?

I mentioned that they would be purchasing from the author....

They looked at each other and asked who the author was. I introduced her standing on my right. They were very excited. Evidently they have a relative who is also R. Kahn.

One never knows what will inspire a sale. For one, it is the title of the book. For another it is the cover design. For another it is the blurb on the back cover, in this case it was the author's name.

What inspires you to purchase books? Let us know in the comment section below.

Have a wonderful week

Monday, 19 December 2016

Interview with Author Robert Skead

It's always wonderful to come across an author who has a motive to inspire others, especially that they should use their gifts too. This next author is just such an author. Enjoy the interview that follows.

Q1) Hi Rob, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our blog. I loved to read on your website that "Writing is your gift". When did this begin? Or how did you discover your talent in writing?

A: My writing gift began in second and third grades when I always received As in Creative writing. I never thought much about this until I was in my mind 20s and trying to figure out what to do with my life. I spent a lot of time praying asking God to show me what my talent was. Soon thereafter I started getting ideas for stories but I didn’t know what to do with them. Still frustrated, I did what any 20-something year old boy would do—I went crying to my mommy. She reminded me about those As in Creative Writing in Elementary School and suggested I go back to school and get a Masters and focus on writing. Her recommendation combined with the ideas I was receiving made me feel this was a revelation.

I later took my Mom’s advice, went to grad school, and focused on writing.

Q2)   On your website you state: "I also love to inspire others to discover their gifts. Because when we use our gifts and talents to help others, purpose is born and life is fulfilled." This is such a beautiful message. Can you share something about this? How did you develop it and what can you share with our readers to help them to want to help others to achieve their talents too.

A: Lots of people want to be rich and famous—they think that will make them happy and give them purpose.  It’s so far from the truth. I’ve discovered purpose comes from discovering your talents and using them in life—that brings pure joy. My parents’ generation used the word vocation, which implies a calling to one’s work. I believe that is true and when that happens and we use our gifts to benefit others, life also has joy and others get blessed from our talents. 

I always encourage others to find their talent, develop it (practice) and find ways to use that talent for the good of others (this doesn’t even take a lot of work—we all have skills and gifts that can be used somewhere in a volunteer or other capacity) – and then joy will be the result. We are blessed to bless others.

Q3) On your website you state that when you were at school you did not enjoy reading. However, your creative writing was your strong point. That is fascinating. Authors / writers are usually told that you need to read a lot in order to be a good writing. What are your thoughts about reading now and how would you inspire children to improve their interest in reading.

A: I disliked reading as a child, mostly because I never connected with any books that moved me or grabbed me.  I liked biographies on Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. That’s pretty much it. Today, there are so many great books in so many varieties of genres to appeal to any kid—that wasn’t the case in the 1970s.

The first book I read that I couldn’t put down was The Hobbit.

Then school work took time from reading for enjoyment.

But I agree—to be a great writer one has to read a lot. I became a voracious reader beginning in my 20s—for enjoyment and to study storytelling to get better at my craft.

To improve your interest in reading, it’s simple---find a writer or type of story that interests you and try it. Professional booksellers at B&N are great about giving great recommendations.

Q 4)  Who inspires you as a writer? Do you have a role model or someone you admire that inspires your writing?

A: No one person inspires me as a writer. But I do aspire to be as good as authors like Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, Rick Riordan and John Grisham.

Q 5) Did you take any courses to further your writing or was it more a case of you loved to write and got on and began producing books?

A: As part of my masters’ degree I took courses in screenwriting and story structure. Since then I’ve learned by reading and studying how best selling books and their stories are set up, characters created, etc..

Q 6) I notice your books are historical fiction and sport. Can you share about these Genres. What do you love about them?

A: Historical fiction: I am an American Revolution buff and when we I visited a house that General Washington used as his headquarters for two days in 1777, a story idea was born. That story took greater shape when my father discovered our ancestor fought in the American Revolution for the Continental Army and Connecticut Militia, and our book Patriots, Redcoats & Spies was born.

Sports:  I love baseball and since we should write about what we know and love, several stories birthed from this interest.

Writing is fun—and even more so when we write about things we love.

I hope that love shines through in the storytelling and that all those who read my books finish each book with a great feeling. 

If you would like to learn more about Rob and his books, you can visit him on his

This interview was carried out and compiled by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"


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