Over the past few years, I've had the pleasure of having some visiting authors provide a guest post. It's always fun to learn more about the writing practices of other writers, and to learn more about the topics that they're passionate about, as well as their books.
Hope you'll enjoy this author roundup. I'm always looking for ways to make the blog more fun. If there is an author you'd like to see interviewed, please share in the comments and I'll do my best to feature him/her here.
You've likely heard that old adage: "the family that plays together, stays together," or some reiteration of it. But what about the family that reads together? Are they any better off than a family that doesn't?
The answer, according to C.W. Hawes, author and avid reader, is a resounding "yes!"
C.W. has kindly offered to tell us more about it here on the blog. Please settle in and grab your favorite beverage. Here we go...
Can reading together as a family be (gasp!) more fun than watching a movie together?
"There is nothing more enjoyable than a good book, unless it’s a good book shared with others," says C.W. "And the best way of sharing a book is to read aloud to each other.
"A book has a magic that just doesn’t exist with movies and TV. That’s because reading aloud is interactive in a way movies and TV aren’t.
"We talk about a movie or a TV show after-the-fact. Then we might re-watch it. But with a book we can talk about a concern or a plot point right there during the reading. We can re-read funny sentences or paragraphs. We can pause to digest a heart-wrenching scene. Confusing scenes or dialogue can be cleared up right away.
"Yes, we can hit the pause button or rewind button when watching a DVD or when streaming. But with a live show, that’s not possible. With a book, it’s possible any time.
"The other great advantage reading has over TV and movies, is that it stimulates the imagination. It’s not passive entertainment. It’s very active. And stimulation of the mind results in minds that are much more active and developed. Which is a very good thing."
C.W. reflects, "When my daughter was young there was no family TV. For entertainment we read books. And we read them together as a family, as well as individually. Harry Potter. Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. Winnie the Pooh’s and Artemis Fowl’s adventures. Jules Verne, HG Wells, and Saki...among many others.
"We had great, great fun. And we also discussed the moral and ethical issues some of the books delved into. Fun and intellectually stimulating. What more could you ask for?
"I want to thank JP for having me on her blog to talk about one of my favorite hobby horses. It’s been a pleasure!"
Thank you, C.W., for making the time to be here. I appreciate it and your story!
Learn more about C.W. Hawes
You can learn more about C.W. Hawes and his work by visiting his website at http://www.cwhawes.com. He is the author of several books and short stories in the post-apocalyptic, mystery, alternative history, and horror genres.
His love of fine food, interesting locations, philosophy, music, art, books, and history can be seen in each of his tales. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, suburban Minneapolis, MN, has been his home for nearly 50 years.
Other ways to get in touch:
Readers: what is one thing that you'd like to know about reading together as a family? Please leave a question in the comment section below.
Today, I had the pleasure of guest posting over at the PacWest Bigfoot site. This is a really intriguing website, filled with first-person stories of Bigfoot encounters. David, the host of the website and head of the community there, notes that these stories are the perfect ones to tell around a campfire. He's also had his own Bigfoot encounter...
Please head over to check out the guest post and all of the interesting, spine-tingling stories that readers have shared at PacWest Bigfoot. You could even nab a cool Bigfoot t-shirt or some Sasquatch Coffee to really make your experience memorable.
"We all have one fear or another."
Everyone is afraid of something. From Fear to Flourish, a bi-monthly series, will share true life stories of people who did something that scared them ... and how it changed their lives for the better.
This week we'll meet John Bielicki in the series. John is a vibrant spirit who regularly performs in plays, musicals and other art events. He's recently retired, and enjoys laughing and living in Vermont with his lovely wife.
Ready to hear John's story? Let's begin!
One time I was scared of:
In 2002 I was diagnosed with the nerve condition of trigeminal neuralgia. My dentist was the first to discover it. I was referred to a neurologist who treated me with pain medication.
The pain became unbearable, though, the left side of my face began tightening and I was having difficulty speaking. I was referred to the Chairman of the Neurological Surgery Department in Burlington, VT. We discussed treatment. He was the only surgeon with the expertise in this specific surgery which would involve entering my skull and lifting two nerves that were resting on my aorta. A Teflon pillow was to be placed between the aorta and the nerves.
After the consultation that night I had a dream that the surgeon sneezed during the surgery. Frightened, I awoke. I could not fine the courage to submit to the surgery. I was afraid I would die.
What happened next?
The pain continued. But better to endure the pain than have the surgery and die. It occupied my mind daily, though. I wondered, what choice should I make? I was afraid and did not want to show nor tell anyone of my fear.
Why did you decide to tackle this particular fear?
I could not tolerate the pain anymore.
I was on the telephone with a manager in our Buffalo NY office discussing business. She had lost a relative at the 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center. She knew that I was in NYC on that day and experienced the horror. Our discussion drifted away from business and I shared my worry about having trigeminal neuralgia
and my fear of having surgery. The discussion gave me the strength to overcome the fear.
My colleague from Buffalo NY told me about her eighty year-old father who had the same condition for forty years. He finally had the surgery, was cured, and lived another twelve years pain-free. I also did research about the treatment and spoke with the surgeon again about what the surgery would entail.
What was the result?
I decided to have the surgery. I awoke after the surgery and the pain in my face was gone never to return. It is nine years now since the surgery and my face is still pain-free.
Any wise or encouraging words you'd like to share with others who might be facing a fear-inducing decision?
We all have one fear or another. Some serious and others not. However, each fear is significant.
Others may have a different way of handling their fear. For me, in this situation, it was finding my own support group. And I have used similar means in dealing with other surgeries that I have had to have. I am not alone.
Thanks so much, John, for sharing your story with us! Happy to hear that you are now pain-free and continuing to enjoy life.
Readers, feel free to leave a comment for John here. Have you faced a similar fear or had a friend/family member with an issue like this? What did you find were your best methods of coping? What helped you the most?
Welcome to the website of author J.P. Choquette (pronounced, "show-kett"). Join the Reader Group for all the latest news, freebies and giveaways, upcoming event announcements and more.
Are you a reader and new to J.P.'s writing? You might want to try a short story for free.
Already read a book? Have you checked out her other suspense novels?