February 18 . Issue #131

“What you seek, you will find. What you summon, will find you.” Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Welcome to my weekly journal where I share with you 5 points of interest. Just some of the things that offered me some inspiration, joy and wonder. The featured photo is of the character who became the inspiration for my new book Scratchy the Squirrel: A Time For Friends.

1. This week finds me reading children’s books. A genre close to my heart. The children’s picture book Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal, with illustrations by Holly Hatam.

The synopsis for Dear GirlThe bestselling author of I Wish You More, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter Paris Rosenthal collaborate to bring you the heartwarming and inspiring Dear Girl,

Through the charming text and Hatam’s wonderful illustrations, any girl reading this book will feel that she’s great just the way she is. Whether she enjoys jumping in a muddy puddle, has a face full of freckles, or dances on tabletops. Dear Girl encourages girls to always be themselves and to love who they are both inside and out.

I noticed the illustrator, Holly Hatam dedicated the book as such: “In memory of AKR.” That caused me to pause. What ?? I had to check that out.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal passed away from ovarian cancer March 13, 2017 (aged 51); she was born on April 29, 1965.

The highlighted parts above are links to Rosenthal’ TedTalks, her website and a New York Times memorial.

2. I am always looking for new sounds – that’s one of the reasons I enjoy NPR’s Tiny Desk, music platform. This week I was watching what I thought was Tiny Desk From Home concerts and a band was featured that sounded great.  I saw it on Youtube and I thought they were named Mahogany – but no!

The Youtube music streaming venue was named Mahogany. So how will I find this band? I searched bands with a singer-guitarist who sounds like Otis Redding – The Teskey Brothers popped up in my search.

So much for originality, The Teskey Brothers have that Motown sound going on; nothing wrong with that.

3. This week I started harmonica lessons with a master musician who specializes in chromatic harmonica. I’ve started a Patreon with the harmonica player Filipe Jers. Awesome!

The amount of material, the lessons and the play alongs, as well as the tabbed practice sessions are quite extraordinary.

4. Rip the great filmmaker Ivan Reitman (October 27, 1946 – February 12, 2022) – I wish to give thanks to Reitman for the fun memories he provided – the great movies that delighted and influenced a great number of the current ranks of filmmakers.

Thanks for the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Reitman Square in Toronto.

I enjoyed Eugene Levy – actor and comedian paying tribute, as he remembers his friend Ivan Reitman.

5. Authors need honest reviews of their books in order to help them sell more books and to get them in front of book lovers. When I publish a book to Amazon, especially an e-book, I add a statement at the end of the book requesting honest reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. 

Some people have asked me how to complete a review in such a way as to be honest and in more words than simply, “a great book”. Check out my tips for, Writing a Book Review.

I have made a list of review key points that I use when reviewing items. In another life, I was a professional music reviewer. Reviewing cd’s, books, videos and concerts, I’ve literally reviewed hundreds of items.

Thanks for reading, if you think someone you know would like to read my newsletter please share it with them.

If you are looking for a great children’s book check out one of my books, including my new children’s early reader chapter book Scratchy the Squirrel: A Time for Friends.  Paperback version, on sale for a limited time.

Or one of my other children’s picture books, Samba on a Snowy Day or the Brazilian/ Portuguese version Samba em um Dia de Neve. Or you may enjoy Samba in Brazil or the Brazilian/Portuguese version Samba no Brasil.

Stay safe, stay well, stay strong and keep going.

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