Showing posts with label self-help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-help. Show all posts

Monday, March 26, 2018

No Fourth River Book Review

No Fourth River book review.
I just finished reading No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield. As soon as I read the final word, I turned to my laptop to begin writing this review. Christine has shared her life with us - from her very painful beginnings to the moment she took control of her own life and beyond. She shows us how she created safety, happiness, love, and success and assures us that we can do the same. 

Christine was born into a family in which her father's parenting style was over-the-top abusive. At the tender age of 5 (just old enough for kindergarten in the US), she was sent to a boarding school with nuns who not only shamed and tormented Christine but encouraged the other students to do the same. So it is no surprise that Christine turned to sex and alcohol as a teen. Then things turned really bad. 


No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield


Set in Belgium and the UK, Christine describes her life from age 5 to 58. She describes how the actions and inaction of others leave scars - physical and emotional. 


No Fourth River's Cast of Characters



Christine's Father - Christine's father is a wealthy businessman and well-known in their village. We are given the impression that he's ruthless in business and clearly he's ruthless in his expectations for his wife and children. 

Christine's Mother - Christine's mother conspires with the children to have happier times, to hide some things from their father, and provide for their material needs. And yet she is unable or unwilling to stop the abuse.


"Mum regularly got the worst of my father, and she never seemed to be able to please him for long, although she never gave up trying"
"I remember my mother telling me once, in later life, that she stayed in the relationship because of my father's money."

Christine's Brothers - Of the 5 children in the family, all are boys except Christine. The children take their roles in the family. Kane takes the role of being most able to meet dad's expectations and avoids some of the physical punishments. However, it is clear that even he has not escaped unscathed.

Christine's Husband - After Christine leaves home and is living independently, yet constantly in the realm of poor choices, she marries her 1st husband.  During that marriage she is nearly murdered. She decides "enough is enough". Christine finds her voice, and the trajectory of her life changes. 

Shame & Doubt - Shame and Doubt are so tangible in this story that it as though they become part of the list of main characters. Humans make decisions, usually horrible decisions, based on Shame and Doubt. Christine was not immune to this. Through the story she describes how shame and self-doubt initially controlled her but then how she learned to take control of herself and her life - relegating shame and doubt to the shadows. 

Well-meaning friends and miscellaneous onlookers - I have learned in my experiences at work and in life that it often seems easier to take the physical abuse from the abuser than the hurtful things they say. And sometimes, even more hurtful, are the reactions (real or imagined) of friends or onlookers.


"I felt their eyes on me and their pity and anger. It felt terrible to be so exposed like this, for people to see how my husband treated me."

There are many other very important characters in this story, but I don't want to risk any spoilers. I want you to discover these important people naturally as the story unfolds. To learn how Christine finds her true self and not only survives but launches into a life of her creation.



This book begins with the harsh realities of child abuse, teen rebellion, and domestic violence. The subject matter is TOUGH. There are no gratuitously violent scenes in the book. However, there are many violent scenes described. I felt nothing was told in a shocking manner just for the shock value and to sell the story. But the truth of this subject matter cannot be told without exposing the cruelty that occurs when people choose to abuse. The lessons can't be learned without honesty - even if that honesty is what nightmares are sometimes made of.

Christine Clayton describes the transition from the abuse and turmoil to her life as a happily married wife, successful business woman, public speaker and advocate. She ends the book with an afterword that includes some of her philosophy, why she doesn't blame her abusers, the reality of some of her health issues as a result of the abuse, and 12 valuable messages meant to help others.

Christine writes: 
"If I can change one person's life who will read this book, I will have achieved my goal. I have shared my life experiences and hope to make a difference in someone else's life" 

Having worked in the field of social work for over 20 years, I am quite sure that her story, her style of telling it, and her sharing of the lessons learned will help many people in a variety of ways. I highly recommend No Fourth River. This is the most important story I've read in quite some time.


Note: I received a copy of this book from the author for review. However, all comments are mine and based on my honest reaction to the book.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Social Media For Writers Reviewed

Authors Need To Market Their Work

writers market
Writer Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
One of the gifts that I just received for Christmas was the book Social Media For Writers. My daughter thought it might be helpful for me to brush up on the skills needed to be successful with the use of Social Media in regards to my marketing strategy in order to sell my books. 

If you are a regular reader of Review This, you are probably aware that I published my first Cozy Mystery novel in October of 2017. Then in November I published my second book in the series. It isn't like in the past when if you were lucky enough to find a publisher for your books who offered you a contract. Back then if you were a writer with a large publishing firm, they did a lot of the marketing for you. A lot of us have gone the self-publishing route which means that all of the marketing is up to us, the author. Even if we had a big name publisher we would need to market our own work. Most publishing companies of today only spend their advertising money on well known authors (who kind of don't need it but that is another topic all together!). 

Those of you who know me probably think that I probably already understand how to use social media because this isn't my first rodeo with a writing gig. I might have published my first fictional work but I've been around the block several times when it comes to promoting my online writing ventures. I do understand the basics of social media and use it regularly but I will admit not to its fullest potential. The game is different for authors in particular and let's face it...the way to use these social networks changes on a regular basis. How many times have you reached a point where you feel that you have figured it all out, to have one or two of the popular sites change the playing field? I'm guessing a lot!

So, I really appreciate my daughter gifting me this book! I'm reminding myself of the basics while being able to come up with a strategy for my writing and promotions.

What I like about this book by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine is that it is written in an easy to understand format. As I said, I'm not new to social media but even if I were the content would be easy to understand. They do a really good job of explaining how each option works and best practices for a writer to use on each platform. They cover blogging, podcasting, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Do they recommend that you try to use all of them? Actually, no. They understand that if one were to try to have a solid presence on all of them; there would be no time for the actual writing of the books. They suggest that you pick the three that you are most comfortable with and go from there.

As I am studying this book, I feel confident with their advice. They are both authors in their own right and I can tell by the content that they actually use social media to promote not just this book but a series of books that they have co-authored together. I don't know about you but for me that is huge. I'm sure that you have experienced the same as I have over the years with getting advice from a so called expert who has less experience than you do when the dust all settles.

I really like that the authors break down the formats and give realistic time frames for using them. Having experience with most of these social media networks, I can tell that they are giving good information on the time that can be invested in working with the different options. They are even honest about having invested a lot of time on a few of them and figuring out that for their needs and their time constraints, it wasn't worth it. That doesn't mean that you will come to the same conclusion because we all have different styles and comfort levels. I do appreciate their honesty in the results for themselves!

Now, I realize that not all of you are planning to write a novel or a work of non-fiction; that being said I do know that many of you have a strong online presence either contributing here on Review This or your own sites. Perhaps you contribute on another multi-user site. My point is that much of the information will be beneficial for your online work as well.

I know in the past, I have tried to have a presence on all of the social media sites. It doesn't take long to get burnt out trying to keep up. Reading a book like Social Media For Writers is helpful in reminding us of what it is we want to accomplish and the audience we are trying to reach. This book gives some realistic advice on coming up with a strategy that is not overwhelming and that with the proper effort put forth should offer a successful result. It is not going to happen overnight but with dedication and a good plan, it can happen.

I am finding this book very helpful and I think that many of you will, also. I know I am changing my strategy after having read it. I am going to concentrate on three platforms and not worry about all of the others. How about you? If you were going to limit your marketing to three platforms, which would you be willing to invest your time in?



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Art of Tolerance

Get For All Good on a Pillow
The Virtue of Tolerance: Making an Effort with Empathy, Kindness, Goodness and Grace

Getting Better, with Tolerance.
A personal saying 'Kindness breeds Tolerance' ...Tolerance requires an accepting mind and a willing participant. It's not a spectator's virtue. To see life from another person's perspective suggests that we are attempting to live outside of ourselves, to mentally travel the journey of another soul.
This world is our home, we all live here, and we all deserve the best from each other.
Below you'll find a few of my works on Tolerance, Perspective, & Self Awareness.
I hope all your flowers grow

TOLERANCE



Hold my hand
then judge me
Or better
Feel my sameness,
Look me in the eye
then tell me I don't matter
Or better
See I am you,
Sit at my dinner table
Sharing food and conversation
then tell me I'm not worthy
Or better
Understand my hunger is like yours,
Take a walk with me
then hate where I live
Or better
Understand my plight,
Watch my children play
and tell me they are expendable
Or better
Love them as your own,
As I hold your hand
Look in your eyes
Eat at your table
Walk with you
Understand your plight
And watch your children play
I know I want to be better too
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

PERSPECTIVE
From Your Perspective
What do you want me to know about you
I'm interested in your life
You're journey is my teacher
I'm wrong about so much
How can I make your day better
Show me what I can do
I am a willing spirit
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

SELF AWARENESS


I can't judge you
I'm too busy judging myself
I can't hate you
I'm too busy learning about myself
I can't envy you
I'm too busy competing with myself
I can't expect anything from you
I'm too busy expecting the best from myself
I can love you
By loving myself
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak, Copyright

COMPASSION



Youtube Channel - DragedaPoemsLyrics
Drageda.com




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul

By now, it is likely that everyone has heard of the book series "Chicken Soup for the Soul". According to their official website, the idea of touching lives through telling positive stories began during Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen's motivational speeches.  After some time, they compiled these stories into a book. A small publisher gave them a chance after they had been turned down by the big publishers. And so, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series began.

Over the years, I have read several of the books.  Then I had basically forgotten about them. Until recently.  

For several reasons, work related and writing related, I picked up newer copy of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. And I was again reminded of how down-to-earth and wonderful these books are.  

Living with Alzheimer's photo by Amazon

I am currently reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias.  As I read, I am struck by how educational and supportive the book is. It is quite a bit like being at a good support group but never having to get out of my pajamas or leave the couch.  I do not currently have any family members or close friends who are suffering from dementia. But I have learned a great deal from this book and believe it would be very helpful to the family members and friends of folks who are living with dementia.



Teenage Soul photo by Amazon


Because I work with special education students and am always on the lookout for positive messages for them, I purchased Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and took it to work. I understand that the kids will always listen to other kids before they listen to a boring, old social worker.  While many of my kids at the school are too young, I did have some teenaged students who read portions of this book. Some of the the students seemed to benefit from these stories.  In fact, my book disappeared. Which means, one of them related well enough that they borrowed it permanently. 



As I mentioned, there are 250 books in the series.  Some of the topics or themes you will find include:holiday:

  • pets
  • age-specific (teen, pre-teen, seniors)
  • motivational
  • dealing with illness
  • religion (angels, miracles)
  • self-help (empowering yourself, finding happiness)
  • and much, much more


It's Christmas photo by Amazon

If you've never heard of the series, I strongly recommend that you find a copy on a topic that interests you. Because there is such a large variety of topics, I'm sure you will find a one that suits you perfectly.   If you've heard of the series, but like me, hadn't read any of them for awhile, I urge you to pick up a copy. 

Slow down during this hectic season and take time to feel good.  Soothe your soul with a little chicken soup.



Disclaimer: In affiliation with Amazon.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of Amazon products


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON: