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Beautiful, Complex, and Transformative

Preethi Saravanakumar Author Interview

Scribblings of my Soul is a unique collection of poetry focused around the number nine. What was the inspiration for this concept?

I write poetry on my Instagram poetry page. Over a year there were about 90 poems, so I decided to make them into a book. Just like I did in 2011 with my first poetry book, and in 2017 with my second poetry ebook. Back then, I used to write on writing.com website. Once I had about 150 poems I compiled them.

When I had decided to compile Scribblings Of My Soul, I knew I would have few sections and I would have a certain number of poem under each of them. When I thought of 5 it seemed too less because I had too many poems. Then I found the significance of number 9 and decided to go with that number. My poems have a similar feel and style throughout, as I read through thinking about sections I saw recurring words that popped up. I wrote down the words and selected the most relevant ones. Also, I knew I would have an art as a section header. Then approached the artist and got the 9 artworks done. I was clear about the book cover as well, I asked for a rainbow peacock. In all, the compilation process happened in a couple of days and within a few weeks the book was ready to be uploaded.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

This is an interesting question. As soon as I decided to compile the book, the first thing was the title that I had to think of. It wasn’t hard, my first book is Words From Heart. So I thought I could use “soul”. When I was thinking about the possibilities I got this title, Scribblings Of My Soul. It felt very apt!

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Juliana Duclos?

Thank you for asking this question! Juliana is amazingly talented. I found her on an artist platform. I told her about the concept and gave her 9 section titles with the micro-poem headers for each section. I also gave her the manuscript to read, I wanted Juliana to know the book before working. She quickly understood my requirements. After exchanging a few reference pictures we decided we would do dreamy style artworks. The first artwork she gave, instantly won my heart! I loved how the artwork had a Sunflower. Sunflower to me, is happiness, brightness and hope. I told her to use sunflowers in all the artworks to tie everything together. She loved the idea too. After finishing 9 artworks, we decided on a cover. Like I told I asked for a rainbow peacock. Why peacock? Because peacock is beautiful, complex and transformative! Much like the number nine and the poetry book. This book might affect every individual in different levels. The words may seem simple to some, or complex to some. It would resonate with each one differently. Like when we see a peacock, the first thing anyone would see is it’s beauty. Though the peacock has such complex and intricate designs or layers!

Juliana is a very professional artist, she knows to get what the client wants. She delivers great work that exceeds all expectations! I loved working with her. She has illustrated my Children’s Picture book in the past. She is designing my forthcoming book’s cover art as well.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently working on a nonfiction book, Pearls Of My Mind. The book would take the readers on a self-reflective journey. It’s a book that houses my opinions and thoughts. Readers may or may not agree with all of them, but the book would definitely make them think and revisit their life’s actions and beliefs. Pearls of My Mind, is a positive book that shares perspectives.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Scribblings Of My Soul, is a poetry compilation of 9 Words, 9 Sections, 9 Emotions, 9 Poems and 9 Artworks. SMILE with all your HEART gathering STRENGTH from LIFE, shedding any lingering PAIN to learn the TRUTH of LOVE and HOPE, walking towards the LIGHT.

Scribblings of My Soul

Scribblings of my Soul is a poetry collection by Preethi Saravankumar that consists of nine different themes. Each theme comes from a word in the sentence:  

“SMILE with all your HEART gathering STRENGTH from LIFE, shedding any lingering PAIN to learn the TRUTH of LOVE and HOPE, walking towards the LIGHT.”

The entire book follows the number nine, with nine themes, nine poems, nine artworks, and nine different emotions. “Nine represents completion but not the end. It represents the end of one cycle as well as the transition”, the poet explains her choice of the number nine in the foreword.

The book is beautifully arranged with the right mix of text and monotone artwork by Juliana Duclos. It’s not just a compilation of beautiful, inspiring, and sincere poetry but also a total treat to the eye. The selection of the nine themes is different yet interlinked by a common thread, as depicted in the sentence above. There are more subtle connections within the poems as well. The poet establishes unique structures within her poetry, which one can find repeated across the book. For instance, the repetitive structure found in the poem “Mothers and Sons”

Let him walk his own path……

Let him breathe as much he’d like..….

Let him make his own decisions…..

It is again found in “In the End, it was All a Lie”

When you said, “I love you”…..

When you said, “ I miss you”…..

When you said,” I am there for you”…..

When you said, “My life is for you”…..

This familiarity of structure is almost comforting and many such similar but unique structures give this collection of poems a common link yet allow it to be diverse. The poems have logic leading to clever insight, simple imagery of nature, and an expression of human connection and emotion.

Scribblings of my Soul is a profound collection of poetry that will speak to people at all stages of their life. These poems touch on philosophy and emotions, the themes of nature and self-love all combine to create a unique reading experience.

Pages: 160 | ISBN : 1088001998

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10 Steps to Help You Get on with Your Life

Life is a series of peaks and pits. One day you are down, the next you are up. But then amidst those who leave you and those who love you is life’s interesting journey. Often, when something happens to break us, we have no idea where to start. We want to curl up in a ball and protect ourselves from the world. This book is a step-by-step guide not just for getting through the difficult parts but coming out on the other side stronger and with more wisdom. It is a roadmap to finding God and holding on to God’s grace when you need it most.

Author Mary Dunbar is very realistic about the human condition. She knows that human beings are prone to being angry with God when things start to go bad. She urges the reader to remain steadfast in prayer and frequently consult the word. She is not condescending and is fully understanding on everything life can take you through.

The author also recognizes that prayer may not be enough. She advises on the importance of watching who you relate with. Some people are only meant to be in your life momentarily. Through God’s grace, you can realize that. She also advises readers to do something to accompany the prayers. If you want to get out of the hole, you can pray to get a ladder but you would have to climb out yourself.

The author has created a brief yet insightful and incredibly useful set of lifehacks. Rarely do people mix prayer and proactivity when giving advice. Hers is a full dimensional tutorial on how to overcome the various obstacles that life presents. This inspiring self-help book is written in very simple language that anyone can understand. Her writing is conversational. The author is seeking to help people who often find themselves having trouble moving on from hurt and disappointments.

10 Steps to Help You Get on with Your Life by Mary Dunbar is a motivational and thought-provoking book that is different from the average self-help book. The information is broken up by poems that are entertaining and expressive, providing a well-deserved pause from material that is deeply affective to anyone who reads it. Do not wait for the storm to buy an umbrella. Get your umbrella now and keep it ready for the rainy season. Read this book and pass it along. Share it with someone, let them learn how to overcome too.

Pages: 34 | ASIN : B08XVM11KM

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You’re Not Alone, You’re Not Crazy

Elizabeth Onyeabor Author Interview

Elizabeth Onyeabor Author Interview

From The Shadows describes your personal journey through some very trying times. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I want people struggling with depression to know there’s hope. My message to them is: if you’re depressed, you’re not alone, you’re not crazy, and you can obtain lasting happiness.

The last thing I thought I’d share publicly was my journey into and out of despair. But writing this story uncovered a passion I buried forty-eight years earlier. By recounting and working through my most painful mistakes and memories, I discovered meaning and renewed purpose. I now experience joyfulness and self-love beyond my wildest dreams. I share all the steps I took so others can follow my path and find healing, too.

You were able to take a deep look at your depression, explaining its breadth and depth. What are some common misconceptions you feel people have about depression?

First, most articles focus on the sadness, but for me, depression also felt hostile. I remember constant self-loathing over the past, hopelessness about the future, and emptiness in the present.

Next, depression isn’t only about a person who’s stuck in bed. For years, I contended with high-functioning depression, or dysthymia. To the casual observer, I seemed healthy, but I wasn’t. Many times, I wanted to sleep and never wake up. But, I crawled out of bed every day and went to work pretending everything was peachy.

Last, depression is more common than many realize, surpassing all other disabilities. According to the World Health Organization, one in five people will suffer at some point. When I talk about my triumph, so many people privately tell me about their own or a loved one’s battle against depression that I wonder whether the one-in-five estimate is too low. Few admit to their condition because of the crushing stigma. Perhaps resources like my book can shift reader’s perceptions from judgment to empathy.

I felt like this emotional book was ultimately uplifting. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

If you’re combatting depression, I hope my insights from the trenches encourage your healing and self-love.

If you’re not, I hope by revealing the chaos my disorder caused, it furthers your understanding and compassion.

Either way, my wish is that sharing my intimate story serves as inspiration.

What is the next book you are writing and when will it be available?

Currently, I’m working on two books for release within the year. The first is Escaping the Shadows, a poetry collection. The second is Beyond the Shadows: The Light Within. It provides an even deeper dive into I how I healed my motherhood guilt. I share the ways I found forgiveness for myself and my molester to reclaim innocence lost and cement self-love.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

From The Shadows: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Renewal by [Onyeabor, Elizabeth]

Offering hope and healing, the author retraces her beautiful transformation from suicidal despair to habitual happiness, sprinkling each step with soul-stirring original poetry and journal excerpts.

For decades, she hid her chronic depression from everyone, including herself, until hitting a crisis point. She seemed successful and happy to all, except her closest confidantes; they knew the anguish she wished to end by killing herself. Through self-exploration, she found a pathway to conquer the pain.

In From the Shadows, she shares the questions she confronted, unearths her root causes, and presents a map out of the mire. Finally, she unlocks inner wealth by facing phantoms holding long forgotten keys to her past.

Joining in her journey, you may uncover a few treasures of your own.

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Tools That Empower Women

Bozena Zawisz Author Interview

Bozena Zawisz Author Interview

Liberating Inner Eve tackles the many perspectives Christians have on the story of Eve. What was your inspiration that made you want to write this book?

What inspired, or more accurately, “compelled” me to write “Liberating Inner Eve” were a couple of influences that crossed their paths during my life’s journey.

One was my ongoing professional dedication to nurturing high levels of confidence and self-love in my clients. Part of this calling always involved being aware of the many factors that restrict their experience of high self-worth, including those less obvious such as layers of historic conditioning (for example those relating to women being less encouraged to pursue self-development outside of their caring roles (than men)).

Another influence that inspired me to write “Liberating Inner Eve” was my journey as a mother. When introducing my son to characters from Bible stories, I found myself being very mindful of the messages that society’s common interpretations of popular Bible stories (like the account of Adam and Eve) continue to send to our future generations. For example, the popular depiction of Eve as Adam’s helper in many of today’s children’s Bibles often falls short of placing enough emphasis on Adam and Eve’s calling towards a complementary, mutually supportive union, as interpreted by JPII.

In every chapter of “Liberating Inner Eve” I decided to explore a theme that I frequently address as a counselor, presenting it as a holistic marriage between cultural, historic, and psychological influences. And pair it with those strategies that I found to be most effective in helping to transform it, so it resonates with the Gospel’s message of inclusion and empowerment.

I wanted to write “Liberating Inner Eve” from the heart, sharing my own journey of transformation with my readers, as well as the lessons I’ve learned from having the privilege to listen to so many female voices.

What do you find is a common misconception people have about the Genesis account of Adam and Eve?

As a counselor I appreciate the power that visualization has in stimulating the various sensory pathways and emotional patterns within our brains. There is much written about the power of visualization and metaphors in influencing our subconscious mind.

What I love about the Bible is the way it abounds in metaphors and analogies that describe not only the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven but also the many aspects of our humanity.

What I find most concerning about the common interpretations of the account of Adam and Eve, that is the ones that imply in some way that Eve is the more inferior of the original pair, is how this emphasis has been represented in art throughout history, as well as how influential it was in the forming of subsequent theological reflections and practices.

I feel that Adam and Eve’s calling towards a complementary, mutually supportive union (as interpreted by JPII) and her release from blame for mankind’s downfall (which I address in “Liberating Inner Eve”) needs a lot of reinforcement. So that in the midst of today’s “movement of equality” we can prevent many women from turning away from the depth and beauty of Christian spirituality, because of these and many other historic/social misconceptions.

I found this to be a soothing book that also serves as a guide to self reflection. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

My aim for “Liberating Inner Eve” is to raise awareness in relation to the many historical/social pressures and restrictions that impact on women’s experience today (as awareness is the first step towards transformation). I would also like to offer tools that empower women to manifest Christian values of equality, freedom, and mutual care in their life’s unique circumstances.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book, on which I am working on with much excitement and enthusiasm, will be another “Reflective Journey for Women, within Christian values” book, about the importance of deepening the experience of our “connection” with ourselves. I hope to make it available within 6 months 🙂

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebook | Website

Liberating Inner Eve: A Reflective Journey for Women by [Zawisz, Bozena]

I wrote “Liberating Inner Eve” as a result of my encounters with female clients from a Christian background who struggle to find a sense of personal strength, high self-worth, love, and acceptance.

“Liberating Inner Eve” offers psychological insight around the impact of commonly found interpretations of the teachings of the Old Testament (in particular the Genesis account of Adam and Eve) and New Testament (the lifetime of Jesus), on various themes relevant to women’s daily lives, such as how they experience their identity, self-acceptance, and self-worth.

Every Chapter of this book includes simple exercises, encouraging readers to take time to review their thoughts and feelings, relating to a particular topic.

Through “Liberating Inner Eve” I long to share with others how empowering the Bible can be in helping women find self-love, self-acceptance, and personal strength.

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Guided Meditation Adventures

Christopher Stone

Christopher Stone

The LGBTQ Meditation Journal offers contemplative spiritual adventures to enhance confidence and tranquility. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Your question necessitates a brief history of the Meditation Journal genesis.

Mary Sheldon originated The Meditation Journal concept, back in the mid-1990s. By the end of that decade, three highly successful books of guided meditations had been published, namely, The Meditation Journal, Meditations for the Twenty-first Century, and Meditations on Relationships.

Our first three volumes flew out of Costco and Target stores nationwide, as well as traditional bookstores. We were surprised by their immediate success. For a while, we considered a fourth volume, Meditations for Teenagers, but for various reasons, the book never happened.

Five years ago, Christopher signed on with Laura Baumbach’s MLR Press, a publisher of primarily LGBTQ fiction, and he has subsequently written three novels and four short stories for the Press.

Mary Sheldon

Mary Sheldon

Ever since becoming an MLR Press author, I have thought about an LGBTQ Meditation Journal. In the summer of 2016, at Mary Sheldon’s housewarming party, I asked my non-LGBTQ co-author, if she would write it with me. She said, “Yes!” and soon thereafter, I pitched the book to Laura Baumbach. The publisher greenlighted the project and then blessed us with her amazing Executive Editor, Kris Jacen, as our editor.

When trying to improve any area of our lives, Mary Sheldon and I turn to the real and eternal, namely the spiritual, rather than to the erroneous and temporal, to wit, the material. So, for the both of us, it is organic to improve all of the conditions of our lives with the metaphysical discipline of meditation.

So, it follows that it was important for us to help others help themselves by using the same spiritual approach that we use effectively in our own lives.

But even though the LGBTQ Community was our focus, we were determined to write guided meditation adventures that could benefit everyone, LGBTQ, or not.

felt that there was a focus on self-love and acceptance in this book. What were some themes you tried to capture while writing?

Yes, self-acceptance and self-love are essentials for healthy, successful living. We both believe that everything made by the Creator originated spiritually and perfectly. And so, Christopher and I ask readers to employ a spiritual perspective when using our meditation adventures. We ask everyone to think of themselves as the perfect, spiritually-created, externalized ideas of the Creator’s making, and not as the flawed material beings reflected in the mirror. Our point of view reflects Divine Science rather than Earth’s limited material sciences.

And, regardless of the current conditions in their lives, we want everyone to know they have value and worth; quite simply, they matter.

After reading this book I felt that my open-mindedness of the world was reinforced. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

We hope readers will open their minds and hearts, and come to an understanding that self-acceptance, love, peace, pride, and dignity are essential. And we want them to know that if these qualities are now in short supply, our guided meditation adventures are one excellent method of enhancing them.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?

Christopher and I would like to write The Children’s Meditation Journal.

Of course, winning a contract for such a book is largely contingent on the current book being successful.

Right now, Christopher is in edits with the second volume in his series of Minnow Saint James Metaphysical Adventures novels. It is named The Coming of Beth, and it will be MLR Press published in the first half of next year.

Author Links: Twitter | Christopher’s WebsiteMary’s Website | Facebook

The LGBTQ Meditation JournalFor the fourth in their highly successful series of guided meditations books, Christopher Stone and Mary Sheldon focus upon the LGBTQ Community, offering a month’s worth of contemplative spiritual adventures to enhance confidence and tranquility while inspiring self-acceptance, love, peace, pride, and dignity. Edited by Kris Jacen, the book explains the process of focused attention known as meditation and it offers a simple relaxation technique to induce a meditative state of mind.

Editor’s Note for eBook readers: For those that do look at page counts between print and ebook files, there is a big discrepancy between the print and ebook editions of this journal in PDF format. Don’t worry, you are not missing any content. The difference is that the print version of the book contains space to note several months observations for each meditation.

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The LGBTQ Meditation Journal

The LGBTQ Meditation Journal

There are different beliefs when it comes to religion, but when discussing all things spiritual, just know these two are completely different. In that, we all can relate to the familiarity of metaphysical or spiritual events, which allows us to be more open-minded in all aspects of life. In The LGBTQ Meditation Journal, authors Christopher Stone and Mary Sheldon are allowing their readers an experience on a higher level than what can be “perceived by the five physical senses”. By doing these meditation exercises, or any kind of meditation session will indeed be the start of a foundation of the eternal peace both Christopher and Mary stated as our birthright. It starts off by explaining self-acceptance, as that is the first step to moving forward in progress to loving yourself. The most challenging thing that can be conquered is self-love and that way no one else can attempt to rob you of your value.

I, myself am not of the LGBTQ community, but reading this enabled me to continue being my open-minded self, having a better understanding of how those within the community must feel, which invoked such empathy towards them. Unfortunately, the world we’re living in many people aren’t open-minded or empathetic to others and that upsets my very being. Even though the entirety of this book said many things that are relatable, there was one thing that stood out the most to me. What stood out was “self-love never includes arrogance, conceit, narcissism, smugness, and vanity”, which will bring clarity to everyone who tends to think otherwise. We are all people who need to learn to love ourselves more, in doing so I hope the world can turn around for the better.

I learned so much from reading this book, it allowed me to use my empathy and truly understand how individuals within the LGBTQ community feel living in this world. I already view them as another individual living life and don’t want to be viewed as anyone less. It’s not meant to bash anyone, but to enlighten others in hopes that they will change their perspective and treat everyone, especially LGBTQ people with respect as they would want for others to treat them. The spiritual aspect of this book doesn’t label us, it encourages us to not see the next person as another species, but as another human with feelings. I truly enjoyed reading this book and it will be an eye-opener to closed-minded individuals or those wanting to learn more on how to accept it. I highly recommend this book for everyone, there’s a lot one can learn.

Pages: 91 | ASIN: B075K69CKR

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