Tag Archives: #RRBC

Spotlighting #RRBC and #RWISA Author @JohnJFioravanti

Greetings! Today, I am hosting RRBC Spotlight Author John Fioravanti! 

Take it away, John. . .

The REFLECTIONS Blog Tour

I’m grateful to my host of this seventh post of the REFLECTIONS TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules and the #RRBC Team who arranged it all!

 

 

Reflection 46 • What Winners Have that Losers Don’t

 

” Winners view ticking clocks as precious time, and work fervently to accomplish much before the sun goes down.

 

Losers view ticking clocks as the means to get them closer to the end of their 8-hour work day.”

 

~ Nonnie Jules

 

Nonnie Jules, founder and President of Rave Reviews Book Club, inspires those around her to be the very best they can be, both in their personal life and their professional life. She is an excellent writer in her own right, as well as a loving mother and wife. She dedicates enormous hours, in any given day, to promote the well-being of others.

 

The central idea behind this quote is the most significant ingredient in any formula for success, and that is a person’s work ethic. We all know people who work hard at whatever they do and those who seem to be allergic to honest work. I have known families where not all the children grow up with strong work ethics, despite the fact that they had a good example from their parents. I have often wondered why one child in a family is incredibly lazy, while another works very hard at everything. There is so much not understood about human development, but I suspect that a good work ethic is the result of both heredity and environment. A predisposition to exert yourself could be an influential factor.

 

Having said that, I do believe that responsibility is learned. Parents must teach their children about priorities and then model those lessons. Not only must we teach the important priorities, but also that priority activities are completed first. One other aspect to this teaching is the importance of giving our work our best effort every time. We need to instil work principles: a job isn’t done until it is done well; it’s important to strive to improve our performance each and every day.

 

When a child grows to maturity having mastered and internalized these lessons, how can they not be the winners Nonnie Jules references? My parents modelled hard work and taught their children the lessons outlined above. Yet, I recall that it took a long time for me to develop my work ethic. I could have earned much higher grades in high school and university if I hadn’t been so lazy then. I did only what had to be done and that was all. I wasn’t prepared to expend any extra effort. Perhaps it was immaturity. I do understand laziness to a degree – it’s easy. Unfortunately, it is a one-way ticket to Loserville.

 

I turned the proverbial corner and began to develop my work ethic after my first year of teaching. My attitude changed because my work became very important to me. I chose to become the best teacher I could be, and spent the next thirty-four years working each day to be a better educator than I was the day before. It was, and is, a mindset.

 

This quote describes how winners view the passing hours on a clock. I immediately identified with Jules’ words. That’s how I feel, I thought. But for me, the concept of the sun going down is more figurative than literal. As a young man beginning my career in education, my whole life stretched out before me. Now, most of my life is behind me. There is an urgency within me spawning my second wind. I have unrealized dreams and I don’t have decades more to achieve them. The hours of each day are precious… not to be wasted… but filled with the best efforts I have to give. I begrudge the hours of sleep my body needs each day.

 

Am I a winner? I know that I may never achieve my dreams – either because my days ran out or skill was lacking. But as long as I stay in the race and put my heart and soul into my work, then yes, I’ll die a winner. My dad taught me as a teenager that the perfect man is one who never quits in the face of failure. I have tried my best to live that way, and I’m grateful to mentors like Nonnie Jules for the wisdom and inspiration to fight the good fight and run the race.

Author Bio:

 

John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.

 

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

 

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life! Book Two is Treachery & Triumph.

 

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-six years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

 

 

 

Welcome to the WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RRBCWRW Day 15

MOM’S FINAL WORDS

By Gwen M. Plano

Worn out by time, mom lay motionless on the sheets. Life lingered but imperceptibly. At ninety-one, she had experienced the full range of life’s challenges. And, now, she rested her aged shell of a body and waited.

A farmer’s daughter and wife, her life was marked by practicalities and hard work. Always up before daybreak, she prepared the meals, washed the clothes and hung them on the clothesline, and otherwise attended to the needs of the household.

Her garden was a cornucopia of tomatoes and corn, of squash and lettuces. And the refrigerator always had freshly gathered eggs and newly churned butter.

Mom rarely paused, to catch her breath, to offer a hug, or to sit calmly. Time is not to be wasted, she taught. And so, she was always busy.

Over the years, there were multiple times that she almost died. But, with each surgery or ailment, she emerged from death’s clutches more determined than before – to surmount her difficulties, to forge a path, to care for her family. “Life is a gift,” she would say to us.

Mom knew poverty and uncertainty. Ration coupons from the war lay on her dresser, a reminder of harsh realities. Nothing ever went to waste in our household, not food, not water, not clothing. “Many have less than us,” she claimed. She would then insist we be conservative and share.

She knew sorrow well, having lost her parents when she was young, and then two of her nine children. As the years passed, she also lost her sisters and many of her friends.

Mom was a woman of faith. Throughout the day, you could hear her quiet entreaties. Prayer was always on her lips. When mom walked from one room to the next, she prayed – for this person or that friend or for our country. She’d stand at the sink washing dishes and invoke help, from the angels, from Mary the mother of our God, and from the Holy Spirit. “Pray always,” she’d remind us.

This busy mother fought death to the end, but when the doctor finally said that nothing more could be done, she simply responded, “I am ready.”

It was then that she met with each of her seven children. Barely managing each breath, she whispered her I love you and offered a few words of guidance.

When I was at mom’s bedside, she told me she loved me, mentioned a few family concerns, and then in a barely audible voice she said, “I don’t know what to expect.”

This precious little woman, who had spent her life busy with raising a family and helping with the farm, now was unsure of what would happen next. I was surprised by the words.

She taught me to pray when I was quite tiny. “Get on your knees,” she would instruct. “Offer up your pain for the poor souls in purgatory,” she’d suggest. Then, she’d lead us in the Lord’s Prayer. Mom had us pray for family and friends, for anyone suffering, and always for our country. She’d share stories of angels and saints, of miracles and wonders, of midnight visitations and afternoon impressions. This fragile diminutive woman had instructed my siblings and me of the invisible eternal. And, I lived with those images as a child until they became as real to me as the world we see.

Yes, I was surprised by mom’s words to me. “I don’t know what to expect.” But then I wondered, did she know? Did she know that I had studied near-death experiences? That I had written of the dying process? Had I ever told her?

I don’t know what to expect. Simple words, but a storm of thoughts followed. I held back my tears and took her hands in mine.

“Mom, I will tell you what friends have said and what the research has shown. The angels are coming soon, mom. You will see them in the light. Just follow their lead. Your sisters will join you, as will your mom and dad and your babies. Your whole family is waiting for you. It will be a wonderful reunion. There will be much joy.”

Her breaths grew slower.

I told her of Charles, a friend I met in my prayer group. He had died twice and because of that, he had no fear of his final death. Through his experiences, he saw that life continues. He spoke of celestial beings, of extraordinary love, of boundless joy. And, he told the prayer group that he looked forward to death.

I shared these things and more. And, as I spoke, her eyes closed, and her breathing slowed. She had fallen back to sleep, to the middle ground between this world and the next. And I wondered, did she really need to know what to expect or did she want me to remember that life never ends?

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

 

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Gwen Plano RWISA Author Page

How would you like to become a RWISA Member so that you’re able to receive this same awesome FREE support? Simply click HERE to make application!

A Few Words With June the Prune!

I am thrilled to welcome #RRBC Spotlight Author Gracie Bradford’s June the Prune to The Indie Spot. June is the main character from Gracie’s book June the Prune & Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks. So, without further delay, take it away, June…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMART STRATEGIES FOR SMART CHARACTERS

Interviewer: You have an interesting name. Do you know why you were named June?

June: My mother and her sisters were born in June. I was born in June. My mother probably could not think of another name.

Interviewer: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

June: Yes, I have one brother, Alex. I must take care of him because our Mom isn’t always available. I am younger than Alex. He should be taking care of me as my big brother. But, he is a little slow. I do what needs to be done around the house to keep the peace.

Interviewer: What is the story behind calling yourself “The Prune?”

June: When we returned from Europe, I lost so much weight until I looked like a dried-up prune with sagging skin. It helps me to be able to laugh at myself. G-Mom taught me to look at the bright side of life. So, when I write my friends, I sign my name – June the Prune to create humor. I don’t want my friends having pity on me.

Interviewer: Who is G-Mom?

June: She is my grandmother. She thinks she is still young, so she won’t allow us to call her granny or grandma. She said saying grandma makes her feel old. She is young in spirit.

Interviewer: What went through your mind when the doctor first told you that you had brain cancer?

June: “That I would lose my hair and be bald.”

Interviewer: Were you afraid?

June: Not at first because I knew my grandmother would protect me if she could. But, when they put me in isolation for long periods of time, I was scared and lonely. They would make G-Mom dress in these funny outfits to pierce her head inside the room to say hello to me. They would not allow anyone inside the room except the folks who took care of me.

Interviewer Who is Lady Bird?

June: She is my dog. I have had her since she was a puppy. We do and go everywhere together. When I am with her, I am not afraid.

Interviewer: How do you feel about not being able to see Lady Bird for such a long time?

June: I do see her in my mind. She is always present with me.

Interviewer: You talk about “power codes” in the book. How do you use these codes? Other than you, who else knows the codes? How are they working for you?

June: Smiling. You must read the book to find out.

Expect to see the 3rd book of the Lady Bird series late 2018 addressing Autism.

You can pick up a copy of Gracie’s current books at:

http://amzn.to/2gfLCEJ

Like and follow this author through the social media platforms below:

Blog: www.free1592.wordpress.com

Website: www.authorgraciebradford.com

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/authorgraciebradford/

Watch RWISA Write: Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

August is Watch RWISA Write month. Today, we celebrate author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko!

 

WOMAN

 

He calls me Woman because that’s the way some men refer to their wives in this part of the world. He calls me Woman! But I have a name.

Ngozi is alone in her house. She sits all alone in her well-furnished parlor, on a love sofa, reading a magazine. Beside her on a side table is a glass of red wine from which she sips. Her feet rests comfortably on a beautifully decorated ottoman. Her toenails are not painted, but are well-manicured, so are her fingernails. In front of her, a wide screen television shows a soap opera. The sound is tuned low so she can hear the dialogue as well as hear what is happening around her.  Calm and peace surround her, but not for long.

 

She hears a car pulling stealthily into her open garage. She knows who it is. Her moments of peace and reprieve are over. With haste, she quietly puts everything away; her glass of wine, the wine bottle, her magazine, and she wipes and cleans away the telltale signs like the reclining sofa that shows she was resting. She turns off the television and hurries into the inner room of her house.

 

Emeka walks stealthily into the house with his briefcase, without making any sound, as if to catch the wife in some mischief. He sniffs aroundand scans the house with his eyes looking for her. Everything is spick and span clean, and there are no signs of any mischief in his house. Finding nothing to hold against his wife, he tosses his briefcase onto one of the sofas. He walks to the switch board and puts on the fan, picks up the newspaper, flops down on the sofa, and pulls at his tie to loosen it. He crosses his legand reads his newspaper.

 

Ngozi returns to the parlor with a tray.

 

 “You are back!” She smiles and offers Emeka a glass of water. “Your food is ready,” she says, walking away toward the dining area.

 

You are back, you say.  What do you think, that I won’t be back?” He sucks his teeth and goes to the dining table to eat.

 

She serves him his food.

 

He finishes eating and withdraws to his room … mind you, they sleep in separate rooms—he changes into something comfortable; khaki shorts and a white tee.  He returns to the parlor, sits down again, and reads his newspaper.

 

Ngozi finishes tidying up the dining room and the kitchen and returns to the parlor, sits and picks up her magazine to read.

 

“Have you nothing to do, Woman?” Emeka frowns at her.

 

“Is there anything you want me to do for you?” she fires back without looking up from her magazine. Emeka looks at her with a frown on his face.

 

“What is this new thing about sitting around doing nothing?”

 

“I have finished my work, and I am resting!”

 

“Resting from what? Have you mended the button that fell off my shirt this morning? Have you fixed it?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And my socks?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Emeka tries to think of something else to say, some job she must have missed, and not coming up with anything, he shrugs. “Well, if you have nothing else to do, find yourself something to do.” He returns to his reading and, at the same time, waits for her to leave.

 

Ngozi doesn’t move. He wants me to leave?! He doesn’t even think of me as his wife. He calls me Woman. As if calling me his wife will give me the respect he isn’t willing to give me; the respect he has always denied me all through this marriage.

 

I know why he calls me Woman. To put me down, way below him, so that he can continue trampling on me.  He knows that as a wife, he will owe me the respect which will allow me to sit here with him, relax and read, if I want. But, as Woman, I will always remain his thing, his toy, his property to be bullied into subjection. I will not leave. Let him do his worse!

 

She sits tight, but alert.  She doesn’t know what her stubbornness this time will trigger, but she sits nervously, waiting for his next move. She fixes her eyes on the magazine, but lowers it enough for her to see Emeka’s movements. She has been on the receiving end before for less than this, with him throwing objects at her or whipping her with his belt.

 

Not anymore! This time, I will fight him if he tries to lay a finger on me.

 

Emeka is also jittery. He is used to being obeyed. He doesn’t understand this new attitude from Woman. After many years and four kids, she should know his likes and dislikes. Why is she being so stubborn? For much less than this, he would have taught her a good lesson. Where is she getting this courage from, enough to challenge him? Our people say that if you come out in the morning and your chicken begins to chase you, you better run because you don’t know whether the chicken grew teeth the night before. Woman has grown more than just teeth, she has grown wings!

 

“Did you hear me Woman?” he growls at her.

 

Woman stands up, slaps her magazine on the small center table, and huffs and puffs as she walks away.

 

Emeka tenses up with a level voice.  “What do you think you are doing, Woman?”  She doesn’t respond and continues to walk away.

 

“Stop!” Emeka shouts.  She stops, turns, her expression questioning. 

 

He fumes. “Can’t you understand that when I come home, I want to rest! I work myself to death from morning till night to provide for you, and when I come home, you will not allow me to rest.”

 

“What have I done? What did I say?”

 

 “You are disturbing me. Do you hear that? You are disturbing me!” he shouts.

 

“What do you want me to do?” Ngozi asks, feigning remorse.

 

Emeka glares at her and holds her gaze for as long as it suits him; then he shrugs and resumes his reading.

 

Ngozi returns to her seat, picks up her magazine, and flips noisily through the pages. Emeka looks at her with a twisted upper lip. He realizes that Woman is looking for a show down.

 

Woman on her part is thinking that after so many years of marriage and four kids, she has earned respect for herself. She deserves, no, she demands to be respected. This house is her house, too. She has every right to enjoy it as much as he does. She works herself too hard cleaning, cooking, and making the house comfortable, for her not to enjoy it, as well.

 

The days are gone when she squirmed at the sound of his car, his voice, his threats. Now, with her children grown, and in position to defend her from their father, she sure has grown wings. Her kids have warned their father of the repercussions of beating their mother ever again. She smiles to herself.

 

He cannot touch me anymore. I have arrived. Is he even sure that he can defeat me in a fight? I know I can beat him! After all, I’m bigger than him. Why should I find something to do when I have nothing to do? What is wrong with sitting down and relaxing? Why should he relax and not me? He doesn’t work more than I do.

 

Emeka stares at Woman some more, and then he gathers his things and walks off. Ngozi does not even raise her head from her magazine.

 

After casually turning another page in the magazine, she says, “My name is Ngozi.”

 

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, RWISA Author Page