Friday, 30 December 2016

Five Photographs to Showcase Our New Arrival

I'm having fun being creative. I probably should set up the scene a little better. What are your thoughts of the images below. Which of the images below do you prefer and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image number 1. Teared with a very slight spiral and one book propped up to see the full image.

Image number 2 is a lovely spiral design. Works beautifully with paper napkins, what do you think of this with books? Should the spiral be more pronounced?

Images 1 & 2  are taken with wood surface and background.


Image number 3 is taken in a different location. The lighting is not the best as it was taken at night. Having a bit of fun with grouping the books. This image shows two distinct variations. Notice what they are?

Image number 4, same location as number 3 is. This time I decided to arrange the books between a set of bookends. The bookends are butterfly bookends, designed and made by me. I like the metamorphosis that takes place with a butterfly and in the therapeutic process. It could be this one needs a bit of work, perhaps photographing a little more from above to show the butterflies more. What are your thoughts?

And the images taken so far inspired the last one. I'm not sure if the book title can be seen enough. What are your thoughts?


I really should be preparing for Shabbat, but some creativity is stirring since our latest arrival which happened less than 24 hours ago. 

If you are interested to know more of what this is about, you can take a look at the video below.




I'm thinking this has the potential to become a competition. Hm, post your comment below and I'll contemplate what the competition will be and share soon.

This post is prepared for you 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"

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Waiting to Hear from my Readers


I am waiting with eager anticipation to hear how the non-OTs reading my book are enjoying it. I have heard from one that she received her copy, loves the cover and was looking forward to starting to read it. It is so wonderful to hear that people are enjoying the cover. A lot of thought and discussion went into the cover design. The title of the book was changed too.

I have just heard from another non-OT that she is about to begin reading the book after 2 weeks of being ill. Winter certainly can be a time of illness. Stay warm, drink plenty of hot drinks and I wish you a healthy winter.

On my end though all I can say is "Oy, the waiting can be hard!"

What about the OTs reading the book? Well, one of them had a busy schedule and was about to begin. One has begun reading her copy and so far describes the book as "Compelling reading!" Not that is encouraging to hear. Another OT I am waiting to hear from.

These are not the only sales though. There are a few who have purchased without letting me know who they are or if the book has arrived. For these I can only wait and hope to hear from them. I do enjoy hearing from my readers.

It is slow beginnings but every interaction, every positive comment, every OT or non-OT interested in reading the book helps me to have the motivation to strive to get the word out and to continue to write further books. 

Do you have a question related to Occupational Therapy? Please send in your comments / questions. I will be happy to answer them either in a blog post, an eBook, in my newsletter or another book. 

Have you purchased your copy of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"? If not, it is easily available online:






It is so amazing to see more and more online retail bookstores stocking this book. So hurry along to get your copy today. 


This post is prepared for you 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"



 


 


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

My Goals for Healing Your Life Through Activity






Yesterday I was chatting to a wonderful new graduate of occupational therapy who has shown interest in my new book "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story". She mentioned in a Guest Post of mine on her blog, how she hoped to receive a signed copy of the book. My heart sank. On the one hand I would love to be able to give out free copies of my book and the fact that someone wants a signed copy was really wonderful to hear. That is really the reason I ran a crowd fundraiser ahead of launching my book. Sadly, I had very little response and hence, do not have the means to order and ship free copies. Quite simply there are costs involved to do so. The expenses are totally understandable I just lack the means to cover them.


We chatted a bit about my OT journey and the fact that despite all the challenges and let downs, I still have this inner drive to do something to improve the situation. So I decided to share my goals for the book as part of a process towards setting up another crowd fundraiser, one that I aim to make far, far more successful.

Here are some of my goals for this book:

- I would really love to see the profession of occupational therapy properly recognized and appreciated. Since coming to Israel I have had a few experiences that to me should never take place. Not if there is appropriate respect given to a profession that makes a difference in a tangible way. If you have heard these stories, I apologize for repeating myself, if you have not, then let me share:

When I first began doing a job search in Israel I was offered some jobs and turned down for others. Those who were offering me work thought that ₪25 on average was a really great offer. Now the rate of minimum wage was around ₪20-22 so I would not be earning too much more. However, I also had come with about 12 years of experience so this low salary offer was not much fun. But now came the part that really distresses me and that is the amount of people who would tell me I did not need a profession but just to go and clean houses, something that would give a salary of ₪ 40 - 55 an hour. This knowledge distressed me. But more than this, over time I began to discover teenage baby sitters or house cleaners will earn more than a qualified OT. Those jobs that offered a better salary expected one to be prepared to forfeit ones pension and benefits. Why should anyone do that? Everyone needs a pension. To me, this kind of scenario can NEVER take place in a world or a country where there is respect and appreciation for those who have taken the trouble to go to university and obtain a degree that has the potential to improve the lives of others in very meaningful ways.

- Occupational Therapy needs to be understood by doctors, other health professionals and business people. It does not make sense to me the extent to which I see people posting about an illness, accident or other issue where OT intervention can assist only to hear that OT was not considered not by the doctors, not by the rest of the team and not by those asking for prayers. Why is OT not featuring? As for business people, I often recall my many attempts to obtain assistance from the business consultants at small business development organization here in Israel. Every time I would mention I am an occupational therapist and my goal is to build a treatment centre we would waste time in explaining what OT is or how my vision is completely ALL OT. No I am not doing too many different things, I am doing OT. A full centre all of OT. What does that mean? Well now we come back to the need for my book, that you can learn what the profession is all about and exactly how my vision is all my profession.

- Recently I was interacting with an OT who gave up being an OT after 18 years of practicing in order to move on to better things. What did that mean? A job with better pay and better conditions that were conducive to good mothering. That has to be one of the saddest pieces of information I have heard. After 18 years of being an OT, an OT should be loving her profession and sharing more of it with the world. It should be possible to write books, give talks, teach, develop, enhance the profession. If one is tired of a profession, fair enough but due to not enough pay and too many hours or unrealistic demands on one's time, those should not be happening, not in a world where occupational therapy is being respected and appreciated.

How do you show respect for a profession? Number one is to pay better. A god salary has far more chance of keeping experienced therapists continuing to progress in the profession. Pay on time. Give the benefits that are owing to the worker and respect their personal time as their own. Being an occupational therapist does not mean being a slave to the place of work, it means using ones professional expertise to assist ones clients to attain their specific goals in the best possible way according to our profession, level of expertise, mix of skills, evidence and clinical reasoning. Which brings me back to the sad reality that too many places will turn down a therapist who has years of experience. That to me is shortsighted. If those with years of experience are given work, they can offer their skills, knowledge and experience to help to build the next generation of occupational therapists into even better OTs than the ones that are retiring. But by missing out a group of therapists due to refusal to pay their salary? Well that just shows lack of appreciation for what goes into obtaining experience.

I hope these goals make sense to you. Occupational Therapists are focused on finding solutions. So if one main key to the types of problems listed above is lack of understanding of the vast and incredible profession of occupational therapy, well then a book is in order to make the necessary change. What do you say? How much do you know about the profession?

Please join me to increase appropriate understanding, recognition and appreciation of occupational therapy through this book, further books (I have at least 10 that are in the process to being written), video presentations, talks and more.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please purchase your copy. Oh and if anyone is feeling generous, please be in touch to sponsor that signed copy for this enthusiastic, wonderful OT who has taken an interest in the book. The cost is really affordable, be in touch if you would like to make this happen. And if you are willing and able to come on board and share the crowd fundraiser, make a contribution, book me to give a talk, share this blog post, please do be in touch. I am currently developing a list of those who are willing to help.

Thanks for your interest.

This post is prepared for you 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"


Monday, 26 December 2016

Being Active at 90

Every day that passes we age a little more. If you follow a healthy balanced lifestyle that promotes health and well being, your chances of a longer, fulfilling life are stronger. Part of  a lifestyle that promotes health is one that includes adequate exercise 2-3 times a week. The most effective form of exercise is one that you enjoy.

The video that follows shows what is possible. Watch this wonderful 90 year old as she enjoys some twists and turns on the dance floor.


Many erroneously believe that when one reaches retirement age of 60 or 65 years that your years of activity have come to an end. What do you do to maintain your endurance, agility and zest for life? This woman is an inspiration and certainly shows that being active is possible beyond 60 and all the way up to 90 years of age.

Let us know in the comments below what kind of exercise you prefer and what you do to help you to reach a ripe old age as alive and healthy as this 90 year old has. 



Slow Progress of My Virtual Book Tour


As I was working on bringing my book "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" to print I started working towards having a virtual book tour. Our train seems to be on a very long journey with stops of days or weeks apart.

Thus far we have:
I would really love to have a few more stops in this virtual book tour. So if you have a blog and post on occupational therapy, health and healing, parenting, inspiration or books of benefit to others, please do be in touch to host a post on your blog too. Anyone interested in doing a Q&A of the author? I don't have one of those posts yet. 


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Connecting to my University Days

The above image is of the stunning University of Cape Town, where my late grandfather was the first full-time dean of engineering and where I studied occupational therapy. The occupational therapy department was part of the medical faculty and hence we were located on a different campus right next to the main teaching hospital. However, we did get to have lectures on this main campus during first and second year and visiting the main library was always wonderful. 

Aside from sharing the beautiful setting where the university I attended is located, there is another purpose to this post. Over a month ago, I sent a copy of my book, "Healing Your Life Through Activity" to the first head of the university occupational therapy department, Miss S.W. Mountford. I hope that she will write a letter to go into the book.  

I called her a short time ago to find out whether the book had arrived. After a month it certainly should have. I was delighted to hear that yes, the book had certainly arrived. Miss Mountford shared her initial impressions and in her first few sentences commented on how I was as a student asking if I remember. Well, with such a beautiful setting, who can forget? Here are a few of Miss Mountford's impressions thus far:

- She very much enjoyed the title of the book
- The cover she praised very highly. When I mentioned that my husband had designed the cover her response was that it is brilliant.

Phew, 2 good comments, but she has not yet opened the book.

Yes, she has taken a brief look. She said she has some commitments with the holiday season but was very much looking forward to getting into reading the book from cover to cover. As for her initial impression of the content, so far she says it is compelling reading.

Well now I sit and wait on tenterhooks to hear what her impression will be after reading the book in detail. I do hope that it is still as favourable as the initial impression has been.  

Have you obtained your copy of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"? If you have, do be in touch and let me know how you found it. If you purchased it online please do leave a review as this helps other potential readers to find the book too.

The book is available on the CreateSpace eStore, on Amazon in US, UK, Canada and has just come up on Barnes and Nobles and Book Depository too. So it's easy to obtain for those who shop online. 

This post is prepared for you 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"

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Preparing a Series of eBooks

 

I've been toying with writing an eBook or a few for some time now. Most of the time I do admit, I have avoided getting into eBooks for the simple reason that I just prefer print books. But I do see that eBooks are popular. As a result, I'm taking the plunge and doing the necessary research. It is amazing how much there is to learn.

There are similarities and differences between the print book and the eBook. Formatting differs in many ways. First obvious difference is that the print book has a cover that wraps around the book resulting in a need for information, detail and design on the front cover, the spine and the back cover. The eBook only has a front cover. This makes the process interesting. What does one do about the blurb one would usually put on the back cover? On the other hand, it does mean one does not have to worry if the book get's longer or shorter as there is no spine to be altered. Also, one only has to think of one design not two or one divided into two.

Inside the book, it seems the title page is missing in the eBook and the copyright page goes at the end of the book and not the beginning. But the biggest challenge is how to convert the Pdf into eBook and where to sell the book. I am busy doing some research and discovered that there are 50 options or more. No wonder I am overwhelmed and unsure which to select.

In one article that I am busy reading, the author stresses getting to know one's audience and their needs as much as possible. As a result, before I go any further in my research as to how to format the book. And, before I go any further in writing the book. I would like to hear from you, what kind of eBook or print book for that matter, would you prefer. What kind of information would assist you in achieving your life goals and life roles.

Do you understand about setting life goals? Do you know how to set life goals?
Do you need help in revising or in formulating your goals?
Do you understand about life roles?
Do you need any information on either of these?
Do you need help to develop suitable action plans?
Are there specific skills you feel you would love some pointers on?
Do you have questions about occupational therapy that you would like explained or addressed?

Please let me know what your needs are either in a comment below or by sending a message via my website.

I look forward to hearing from you

This Book Review was written 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"

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Book Review of A Damaged Mirror




Book Review of "A Damaged Mirror - A Story of Memory and Redemption" 
by Ovadya ben Malka and Yael Shahar.

I have just completed reading A Damaged Mirror. It is a book that one can not put down and yet other responsibilities dictated that I had to limit the amount of time I would devote to reading it. In a certain sense, reading the book over a period of time rather than in one sitting, did enable a certain process to take place. Before I continue, I have to say that this book is not easy for a sensitive reader. There are details that are not easy to read and I can imagine must have been even harder to write.


A Damaged Mirror is a remarkable book. It is very well crafted, alternating information from the life of Ovadya ben Malka and that of Yael, gives the reader the opportunity to have a break from the enormity and very difficult material being presented by Ovadya to read of events of more recent times. The book also includes quotes from various sources that are very appropriately selected and also give the reader a breather from the difficult material and subject matter. I enjoyed the way that these verses helped to bring the reader back to focus on the bigger picture and the reality of truth from Torah and other writings.

The book reminds me of the work of Brian Weiss who discovered regression therapy or working with helping a patient to heal from a past life and how this work enabled his patient(s) to live their current life more effectively. Aside from the work of Brian Weiss, there are many alternative therapy techniques that teach that ones memory is stored in ones DNA and very often this memory requires healing in order for a person to achieve a specific goal in this life. This memory can be from earlier in the day, from yesterday, from a week ago, a month ago, a number of years ago or even a previous life time. Some alternative therapy techniques work with the actual details that hold the person trapped and others will use them as a symbol, becoming a stepping stone for other work to release the trapped energy.  

Some of the content of the book and the types of experiences or exercises that Yael describes in her recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) very much confirm the teachings of these therapies. However, this is where the therapies end and the Damaged Mirror continues to address an area of healing that following Torah achieves that I do not believe other therapies can touch. This is the power of Torah learning, prayer (Tefillah) and Teshuvah, the path of return to G-d. The book has a very powerful message. That of the path of the Jewish nation, the fulfilment of certain prophecies and redemption or the promise of redemption combined with the need and power of Torah, Tefillah and complete Teshuvah.

This is a very lengthy book of, interestingly enough, 613 pages including the Glossary. It's worth reading and the journey / transformation that goes with reading a book of this nature.

Having completed reading this book I feel a sense of wonderment at having been a witness in a certain sense to a certain part of history that I would rather had never taken place. It is a very humbling experience. The book helps to answer some questions of relatives or family friends of mine who either survived the horrors of the holocaust and even of Auschwitz  or of those we knew of who had perished. The information is hard to digest but the power of Teshuvah stands as a reminder that healing is possible and that redemption is promised. The book also serves to attest to the fact that despite all kinds of terrible attempts to eliminate the Jewish people, G-d's promise that we (the Jewish nation) will survive is stronger than any plan of any group of people. 


This Book Review was written 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"


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Book Review of Cosmic Dreams Colouring Book






Cosmic Dreams: Adult Colouring Book by Timothy and Theodore Ashford is a colouring book with a difference. I love the way it begins with a story to give the reader / artist permission to enjoy being creative. Creativity and using one's imagination is very important for health and well being and to improve important life skills such as problem solving. It's a wonderful stress release.

I love the fact that the drawings include stars and the luminaries as a means to waken the imagination. The author / artist has given some ideas for those using the drawings to colour in the images provided. The images actually lend themselves to being creative on several levels. It would be rather fun to sprinkle glitter or coloured sand where the stars are, probably after colouring the sky in whatever colour you choose. Use stickers or other crafty items to enhance the picture.

As an Occupational Therapist, I could very much envisage a fun creative group with teenagers or young adults combining drawing / colouring with creative writing, discussion and possibly some mime or drama. What a wonderful way to increase creativity in one's life, or as a warm up for a personal development group.

Some of the images are a little busy, but the fun of this colouring book is that you can choose which images to colour or not to. Some images are wonderful just as they are, and still tell the story of this interesting book.


This Book Review was written 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"

 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Upcoming GoodReads Give Away of Tuvia Finds His Freedom


As Chanukah approaches, we are very excited to announce a competition coming up to win a copy of our children's book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom". The competition will be happening for ONE week ONLY so hurry along to secure your chance to win a copy of this fun, nature story. Find out what happened to Tuvia. Find out why he needed to find his freedom. What exactly does that mean? How does he find freedom? What help does he need and who comes to his rescue?




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tuvia Finds His Freedom by Shoshanah Shear

Tuvia Finds His Freedom

by Shoshanah Shear

Giveaway ends December 15, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
We had a lot of fun writing the book, preparing the photographs.We would love for you to have the opportunity to share this book with your children, grandchildren, class if you are a teacher.

The GiveAway begins on 7th December, so, hurry along, enter your chance to win. Let your friends know about it. The offer ends on 15 December. Now is your chance to win a signed copy. Who will be the winner?

Shoshanah Shear

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Book Review by Lynette Hampton




It is very special to have another book review sent in to us. This one comes from South Africa. Sadly, being in South Africa, the reader was not able to post this to Amazon and sent it to us instead. 

"Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear
A lovely concept to base a story on a real animal - Tuvia is the perfect name for a turtle - and we are immediately drawn into the quandary of what is to become of him. The book highlights one of the most important lessons a child can learn, that being, to care for our world and all its creatures. The story is an expression of kindness and love, involving problem-solving and delightfully told.
~ Lynette Hampton (art teacher) from South Africa.
For those who are not familiar with this book, "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" is available in both English and Hebrew on the link provided here as well as other online, retail bookstore outlets. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Be Active, Be Healthy, Understand Occupational Therapy



As my late grandfather's — Professor Vincent Louis Granger (Yehuda Leib ben Yosef) — 3rd Yartzheit approaches, I am excited to announce the release of my new book that is dedicated to his merit. The book is entitled: "Healing Your Life Through Activity — An Occupational Therapist's Story" by Shoshanah Shear.

Most people I have met have no idea what occupational therapy is, or if they do, their perception of the profession is usually limited. It was my grandfather, who opened the door for me to a world of the importance of empowering others to succeed to the optimum no matter what their limitation is.

The book was written following requests from some of my patients and their families. My patients were frustrated that they had not known about occupational therapy sooner and the many benefits it would offer them, resulting in needless time wasted —where they could have been receiving the intervention they needed and deserved.   Ironically — these patients did not come to me of their own accord, neither were they referred to me. I had come across them through an indirect manner, and hearing their story, I realized that what they were in need of — was occupational therapy! As they requested, the book was written to educate the layperson, as well as medical students and professionals, in order to improve appropriate and timeous referrals. 

To write a work that would be equally useful to such a diverse population was no easy challenge. Through the four sections of the book, I hope that you, the reader will:
·  understand what occupational therapy is
·  value the power of meaningful activity
·  appreciate the depth of knowledge that an occupational therapist has
·  recognize that OTs works with people of all ages, throughout the life-cycle in various different settings
·  appreciate the wonders and complexity of the progression of life from fertility to old age
·  learn about the valuable contribution that my grandfather made to the disabled population in South Africa
·  recognize the validity of the profession

The book has letters of endorsement from Emeritus Professor Tuviah Zabow, retired head of psychiatry at Groote Schuur / Valkenberg, and Norman Samuels M.D., Medical Director and retired obesity surgeon, Florida, USA.

The book is available online on:

CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/6406489

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Your-Life-Through-Activity/dp/1535161604

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Healing-Your-Life-Through-Activity/dp/1535161604
                                          
and will be available on other online stores shortly! Contact me for orders or further info.


Friday, 4 November 2016

Twins Switched at Birth

There is a lot written or spoken about nature and nurture. What happens when identical twins are raised apart and then re-united? For me the first question is how can identical twins be raised apart?

The following video raises all kinds of questions. This has to be every expectant mothers worst nightmare. Here are two sets of identical twins who were born in the same hospital and switched at birth. The result is that both sets of twins thought they were non-identical or fraternal twins and not identical. Both sets of twins are raised in very different types of backgrounds. One in the city, one in a rural area.

What happens when they discover their real twin?


How would you handle such a situation? What would you do if you were the mother of either of these sets of twins?

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist


Monday, 31 October 2016

Shoshanah Shares About Her Book

I have shared YouTube videos quite a bit on this blog, now I have the opportunity to share one of my own. It took quite a lot of time to consider the script, practice the script, video a few times and decide which version would be most suitable to use. There are some changes I could make, but here it is. I hope you enjoy it.


As you can see, my book is a printed book and the copy in my hands is the 3rd proof copy that I am now working through. It is amazing how many times one has to read, re-read and re-read a manuscript or proof copy before the book will be ready to make available for the public. I am particularly excited about the cover. I really love to look at it. The cover is calming and alive. It's what a healthy life should be about. I'm working hard to make sure that the content is on a par with the lovely cover. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I do hope that the completed book will be enjoyable all way round. 

Please do share the video and visit the campaign. Stay tuned for updates of the book. With that I am off to edit the next chapter.

Interview with Children's Book Author Sandra Lanton


It is always a pleasure to find a teacher or retired teacher who is involved in writing quality children's books. Sandy Lanton is just such an author. She has a very pleasing website to look at with some impressive information. I invite you to get to know Sandy and her books through this interview.

Hi Sandy, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our blogs. On your website I was happy to see that you are a teacher by profession and have become involved in writing children's books. By way of background can you share what age range did you teach?

Sandy: "My degree is in Early Childhood Education.  I taught Kindergarten for 2 years, then taught at the local JCC for three years.  I started in the after school program and then  created their Mommy and Me class.  I taught   the graduates of Mommy and Me (2 year olds ) Toddler Playgroup (2/12, ) and 3’s and 4’s in the Nursery School."

2) When did you begin writing?

Sandy: "I was inspired to write while I was teaching nursery school.  I was reading to my class and reading to my kids at home.  I thought—“I’d love to create books!” 
I signed up for a class in writing for children at a local college in the evening."

3) What inspires you to write and or where do you get your ideas for the theme of each book?
Sandy: "My ideas come from life.
 I wrote  DADDY’S CHAIR, when my cousin died of cancer at the age of 46 and I couldn’t find anything to read to his 6 year old son.  There were plenty of books for his 12 year old  and 15 year old,  but nothing for young children.  I was taking a class with the late Pam Conrad at the time, and she helped with the manuscript.

LOTS OF LATKES was inspired by my writing group, The Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators (LICWI).  Instead of the July meeting we always have a gathering in a member’s backyard for a potluck lunch.  I thought “WHAT IF everybody brought the same thing.   (What if is a great story starter).

THE HAPPY HACKERS started in a screenwriting class at Hofstra.  The assignment was to write a monologue for a person  talking to somebody who doesn’t respond.  One classmate wrote about a woman talking to a photograph, and another had a man speaking to a  corpse.  As the mother of teenagers at the time, I wrote about a mother trying to wake her son, who had been up all night at his computer.  I modeled the main character after my son.

STILL A FAMILY: A YOUNG CHILD’S BOOK ABOUT DIVORCE:  was written when my daughter got divorced.  My two granddaughters were three and eighteen months old  at the time.  Again, I searched for appropriate books and came up empty.

THE LITTLEST LEVINE was inspired by my nursery school class.  As part of the Passover curriculum, we had to teach the four questions.  I was amazed that these tiny children, who couldn’t reach the sink without a stepstool, or tie their shoelaces, could memorize the four questions and recite them beautifully.  The idea mulled around for years and the manuscript went through many revisions until KAR BEN published it in 2014."

4) Are your books self-published or published through a recognized publishing company? Can you tell the reader how you found the publishing process and why you chose either self-publishing or to find a publishing company?

Sandy: "Three  of my books were published by KAR-BEN, (DADDY’S CHAIR, LOTS OF LATKES, and THE LITTLEST LEVINE)  one by an educational publisher, Wendy Pye, (THE HAPPY HACKERS) and one was self-published (STILL A FAMILY).  When KarBen took DADDY’S CHAIR our of print in 1999, I got together with the illustrator, Shelly Haas, and we reprinted it because we both felt it was an important book.  I self-published STILL A FAMILY because I got tired of collecting rejection slips from publishers who said either “well-written, but we don’t want to touch the subject” or “well written, but we have one in the works”.  Again, I felt the topic was too important to let the manuscript languish in a drawer."

5) I have only seen the covers of your books, but the illustrations seem to be gentle and beautiful. Can you share anything about finding a suitable illustrator for your book and how it feels to have your writing in book form, complete with illustrations?

Sandy: "Part of the editor’s job is to play “matchmaker” for the author and illustrator.  I was pleased with all of them except THE HAPPY HACKERS.  I had described a messy teen’s room and the cover illustration shows a single piece of paper on the floor instead of the laundry all over the room and socks hanging from the light fixture as I had described in the text.  Since I self-published STILL A FAMILY, I was able to select the illustrator  and have input into the finished product."


6) Which of your books is your favourite and why?

Sandy: "That’s like asking a mother which child she likes best!"

7) Through your experience as both a teacher and an author of children's books, what message can you share with the reader about the importance of reading to children and enabling children to read? If you are able to add, do you have a preference to children reading books or eBooks and why?

Sandy: "I think reading to young children (starting in infancy) is the best thing a parent and grandparent can do for a child’s intellectual and emotional development.  I know that e books are popular, but I still love the feel of a book and having a child on your lap while turning the pages together is heavenly."   

Thank you Sandy, it has been a pleasure getting to know you and your books. Can you share with the reader where are your books available?

Sandy: "My books are available from Kar-Ben (1-800-4 KARBEN) Amamzon.com, barnesandnoble.com, Follett, and  my website : www.sandylanton.com.  Your local bookstore might be able to order them for you."




Sunday, 30 October 2016

A Powerful Lesson about Disabled Parking Bays

One of my pet hates is those who are able bodied and have no regard for the needs of disabled in general and disabled drivers in particular. Have you noticed how many with large cars but perfectly healthy will park in a disabled bay. Ever wondered why the bay is larger than regular parking bays?

This video teaches an excellent lesson. Watch it, share it and learn the powerful lesson of what the disabled bays are and who they are for!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Writing a Book - A Great Opportunity for Growth


If you are looking for the opportunity for some personal development, I recommend writing a book and seeing the process through to becoming published. Putting in the effort to write a book is a journey of its own. However, once you reach the editing phase, I really do not know how to describe the challenges that one goes through. It might be hard to notice how many mistakes you have made. This can be humbling to say the least! Or you might decide that you know exactly what you have written only to find an editor say, "what does this mean?" Or, you really like a certain sentence and then discover the sentence is changed, altered or transformed.

It's tough but it is so worth it. Having one's book in print is so very satisfying.

Of course, my latest full book is not yet completely in print. I have the 3rd proof copy sitting next to me. I thought I had completed writing the book and excitedly went ahead to order a proof copy. I read through the book as have a few others and the editing began. Then came re-writing and adding some sections. Finally, I was ready for proof copy 2. Gosh, the process has taken a while. After proof copy 2 was all polished, I was so excited for little editing or changes but not so fast. Give the book to a good editor and oh gosh, let's just say it's exciting to find a page without any pencil markings.

So we're having a super exciting challenge here and all the while I look forward to the book sitting next to me to be the final, printed copy all ready for others to purchase.

So nearly there and still, quite some work to go. In the meantime, plans and preparation are underway for a FB group. Ideas are being formulated for other promotion and marketing adventures. We are still on the look out for 9 blogs to be exciting stops for our virtual book tour. So if you have a blog, please be in touch to host a post about my book as soon as it comes out.

And for those interested in writing your own book but unsure about where to begin, we have some exciting freelance services available to you. So hurry along to my freelance page and see if the services offered are what you are looking for.



Thursday, 20 October 2016

Weighing up the Benefits of Writing a Book Versus Whether the Book Will Sell


Recently I met someone who asked what my husband and I do. When telling him what we do I mentioned that my husband and I had brought out a children's book as a combined work and are working on our own individual books. His response was that you cant make a living from books and better to get a trade. Well now that is some really positive encouragement. Should we listen?

Let us take a look at what the possible benefits of writing a book are and then some info that comes up about the potential of selling books:

- Writing a book helps to build credibility. It demonstrates to others that we have knowledge about a given topic that is sufficient to fill a book. It tells a message that we have the perseverance to complete writing a book and to make sure that the book is prepared in a manner that looks professional, is pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to read, hopefully with beneficial information. 

- Writing a book can open the door to giving talks, workshops, teaching courses or teaching individually.

- Writing a book such as my latest one that helps to promote occupational therapy serves to meet a few goals. Firstly, it helps me to take all the negativity I have received over 25 years of being an OT from so many who are clueless about what the profession is and to turn that to something good and productive to educate them on OT. I hope that it will also be a good response next time I come across someone who dogmatically says that I do not know about my own profession. I look forward to being able to say, thank you for your opinion, would you like to read my book and then we can discuss whether I know anything about OT or not. 

- For those who call in for a potential session who ask if I have a degree and whether OT is recognized at all, having a book in print would be a wonderful way to say, yes, I have a degree. Yes, with letters to endorse the book from a few doctors, I do believe that the profession is recognized. 

- Writing this book helps me to fulfill a request made by the parents of quite a number of clients / patients of mine. They all requested that I write a book to promote and educate about what occupational therapy is. Now I can be able to say to them, thank you for the request I am happy to relay that I have followed through and completed the book.

- Writing a book to educate about what occupational therapy is, for me gives a sense of accomplishment. It helps to confirm that I studied an incredible profession and for all the nay sayers out there who sadly do not understand what good can come to the life of someone who receives OT intervention, I hope and pray this book will help in some way to demonstrate just how much benefit there is to this profession. And yes, there is a part of me that looks forward to showing all those who believe that I do not need my profession and why not learn a trade or take a minimum wage job, in my heart I believe I can do more good in the world through my profession. Once again, I thank you for your opinion and invite you to read my book. After that we can discuss whether burring myself in a minimum wage situation is really the best use of the skills, knowledge, talents and insight that G-d gave me. After all, we all come into this world for a purpose. Yes, some are suited to the menial types of work. But when someone has skills that can help others, why try to prevent them from fulfilling their potential and helping all those along the way who could benefit in a meaningful way.

- Finally, it is rather fun to be able to give a gift of something I have made. Yes I do give handmade cards, and yes I have given my artwork as gifts. When we printed our set of 4 fridge magnets, some of those have been given as gifts. So now we can add our gifts to our potential gifts. 

As far as those who believe that it is impossible to earn from writing books. Well, I did a google search on best sellers for 2015. I did not look at 2016 as we are still in it. The top few listings show:

Nielson BookScan has a list of the top 20 Adult Fiction,  top 20 Adult Non-Fiction and top 20 Juvenile books. Doing a search on Amazon for best sellers in 2015 brings up 100 options of best selling books. Amongst these are books that are receiving over 1000 and even over 9000 reviews a few books have reviews of over 25 000. These reviews are only of those writing up something on Amazon, it does not tell us of all the reviews that could be in newspapers, magazines or on blogs. NY Times has 112 fiction books that are listed as best sellers.

Does this mean that our books will be best sellers. Currently, we have no way of knowing, however, it does show that there are books that are not just selling but are selling well, well enough to become listed as best sellers. Of course, if we leave our books unwritten or if we listen to the nay sayers and do not bring out books to print, we will not have the potential to work at promoting our books or at seeing for ourselves if the books will sell and to what extent they will sell. A lot is in whether we promote the books and how and that means that some further work is involved. 

So, thank you for your concerns, but I do not believe that the time taken to write and polish our books is a waste of time in the least. Further, the potential benefits far out way the fear of not earning and hence, we are proceeding to bring our books to print.

Sign up for our newsletter where you can be kept up to date on the progress of our books and other services, or visit my website to find out more

Shoshanah Shear




Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Join Us On Our Virtual Book Tour Train


I'm not sure whether this post is the way one should go about this, but here goes. Yup, we're going on a tour, but it's not the kind that one has to pack up for weeks on end and fly all over. My book is nearing the end of the editing stage. While I am waiting for two letters of approbation or endorsement from doctors to include in the book, I'm working on preparing a virtual book tour. I was not so successful for our first kids book. I hope this time goes better.

I do have two OTs who are willing to either host a book review or to do a book review. But, two is not enough. I need about 9 or 10 blogs / websites who will feature something about my book preferably when it comes out or shortly afterwards. Radio or podcast interviews are great too. I suppose that each blog will be rather like the train station and venue at each destination along the virtual book tour. I want it to be a lot of fun and very interesting. 

These are the categories of blogs that would be suitable:
- occupational therapy
- parenting
- health and wellness
- entrepreneur / social entrepreneur
- progress in Israel

These are the topics I can think of. If you have a blog or website, or you are a radio presenter or do podcast interviews and are willing to feature something about my latest book, please do be in touch so that we can discuss this further. My book is all about promoting the amazing profession of occupational therapy.

If you have any other ideas to make this virtual book tour a real success, I'd love to hear from you too.

So what do you say? Would you like to climb on board our virtual book tour train and make this the most incredible happening?
 
Thank you so much for your help. Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of my book, when it will be released and then further plans. It is all very, very exciting.

Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist, Author and Freelance Writer
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