Even though the first month of the year is winding down many people are still working on their New Year’s resolutions. This year, like every other year before, there are many people looking for new adventures, setting new goals, and perhaps concentrating on one’s job search. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to have my book published was to give hope and encouragement to those who may be struggling to find a job that is a good fit for them.

Today, job search experts suggest searching for a job that emphasizes the strengths of the candidate. In fewer words, what are you good at doing? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy? With the winter weather here, many of us are keeping close to the indoors sitting in a comfy chair next to the fireplace and tucked under our favorite blanket. We have more time to ask ourselves the above questions and make plans.

And when there is a break in the weather, there’s never a better time than now to go out and find where you belong. There are many organizations and people who are ready and willing to help you find your dream job. It’s okay to ask for help; just think of Rainier. He had Mr. Gray and Aunt Patty to help him along in his journey.

Here in the real world there are organizations or groups to help you reach your goals. For example, Toastmasters can help you gain confidence and to hone your speaking skills. If you’re around Cincinnati you might run into me at a Toastmasters’ event.

You never know what your adventures may bring you. I wish for you the best.

With 2018 here I know many people have resolutions to stay in shape or become more active. Even thought it has been cold and snowy there are still things you can do outside. Here in Cincinnati there have been a few snowfalls recently and there is nothing better than a nice winter walk in a snowy wonderland. There are many Great Parks around the area for you to check out and take a walk. As always though be safe if you venture out, wear your layers, stay clear of any icy lakes or ponds and always be careful if you drive.  

If you are out for your walk with family you might take a little time for a fun activity. While you are out on your walk take a minute or two and see all the animals who stick around for winter. You might see Mr. Gray, the squirrel running around looking for some food. Or maybe you spot a few cardinals flying around in the bushes. Take a quick look at one of my recent blogs, The Cold Winter Months, to learn about where all the animals in “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” might be hiding.

If you go out to one of the Great Parks of Hamilton County stop by one of their gift shops to pick up a copy of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.” You can find a listing of all their parks and gift shops on their website.

Janet

I want to wish you all very Happy New Year! 2017 was a big year for Rainier and me.

I have been busy over the past year to bring Rainier to life. From the earliest parts of 2017 I was working hard to create the story of Rainier. I worked with many people to bring Rainier’s story to life and it all led up to the release of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.”

Since Rainier was released to the world on July 7 he has made appearances all over, from his release at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve to the Lebanon Girls Night Out to the Kentucky Dragon Boat Festival. Be on the lookout for more Rainier appearances across the region coming in 2018.

But even if you haven’t made it out to one of these events you can still find the story of Rainier in a few stores across Ohio. If you would like to pick up your very own copy of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” you can do so here on my site, at Picture This is downtown Lebanon, or at one of the Great Parks of Hamilton County gift shops.

I know 2018 will be another great year for Rainier. If you would like Rainier to make an appearance at your event or you know a store that would like to have “ Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” on their shelves please let me know.

I wish you a very Happy 2018!

Janet

Happy Holidays from me and Rainier! While “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” takes place in warmer weather, did you know cardinals stick around for the winter? And it’s not just Rainier that stays during the colder months. Let’s see what the real life animals are up to during December.

Cardinals

Unlike some birds in the region, cardinals do stick around for the cold winter months. If you’re trying to spot a cardinal there are a few things to look for. It’s easy to spot the bright red males, especially when there’s snow on the ground. They like to put their nests in bushes, especially evergreens, so be sure to take a look at your bushes. Finally, if you have a bird feeder, put out bird feed and some say sunflower seeds are the cardinal’s favorite to eat. If you keep your eyes open, you might catch Rainier and his family.

Squirrels

Squirrels also hang around for winter but they do a few things differently than when it’s summer. One thing they typically do is fatten up a little to stay warm during their foraging trips outside. They also go out to forage, keeping food they find stashed around in little holes in the ground. It’s true they forget where some of their stashes are which can lead to some bushes, trees, and other plants coming up in the spring. Also, they try to stay warm by staying in their nests more. So while he might be a little bigger, you might see Mr. Gray.

Ants

While the others are still out and about, you won’t catch many ants in winter. They are easily cold so as soon as the temps drop the ants go hiding deep in their colony, keeping close to each other to stay warm. They too bulk up a bit for winter as their body slows down in the cold. So you might have to wait until spring to see Aunt Patty.

Let’s not forget the little boy!

Our little boy stays around during the winter. He enjoys sled riding and going for a skate on the rink. As we all know, most of us stay around during the winter, and we all have different traditions and activities we like to do during the winter months. What are some of the ways you make it through the winter? Do you celebrate Christmas with your family? Do you go out to your friend’s for New Year’s Eve? Do you make lots of soup? Do you curl up with a good book?

There are so many things to do during the winter but remember to stay warm, have fun, and be safe.

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Happy New Year

 

Janet  

 

Many people have heard about the importance of reading to children? But do you really understand why it’s important? It’s not about the children reading that is important, it’s important for children to hear others read to them. I want to talk a bit today on why reading is important and what you can do to make sure children are reading – whether the children are your own, your niece or nephew, someone you tutor, etc.

First off, and this is one of the most repeated things you read or hear: the ability for a child to read is closely related to their school achievement. In a white paper from The Center for Public Education the authors state children who fall behind in reading by the third grade have a hard time catching up to their peers. They even write about children who are behind in third grade are four times more likely to be high school dropouts!

One reason reading is important to learning is it is through reading that children learn new words, expand their understanding of the world, and use their imagination. These are just some of the benefits of reading. So what can you do to help your child stay ahead of the game? The most important thing is to read to your child and read to them early and often. Kids pick up on language and how to read long before they can read. But they can only learn the language if mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc read to them.  Bedtime stories can really pay off for your child long into the future!

Reading is a good way for children to soak in their knowledge of the world. Think of all the stories for kids! The books can teach them how to make friends, feel emotions, imagine their wildest dreams, and much more! Without the reading skill, your child will miss out on so many adventures.

What makes reading important to you? What do you remember about reading as a kid? How do you help children read?

Photo via Visual hunt

 

One journey ends and a new one begins.

 

Isn’t life really about going from one journey to the next? But sometimes we’re afraid to move out of our comfort zone – we feel safe because we have a job, we think we need to follow what the grownups tell us because they’re older and know everything, right, and if we don’t follow the status quo (gasp!) then people will think we’re a rebel or worse “weird.” My story about Rainier allows you to dismiss all the “stuff” you’ve been told or learned or held onto and choose to follow your dreams to do what makes you thrive and more importantly, what makes you happy. 

Even before I started writing the adventures of Rainier, I knew there was a story to tell and Rainier’s journey needed to be shared. Last last fall I decided to take the plunge and begin the process of bringing Rainier’s journey to life. Though it wasn’t always easy, with the many drafts, edits, choosing which illustrations to use, and all the other tasks needed to bring you Rainier’s journey, I knew Rainier’s self-confidence to eventually find his joy would touch everyone in some way. 

Rainier’s excursion has started; join him as he leaves the safety of his family nest and searches for a job he enjoys performing but is also rewarding. Meet Mr. Gray, the squirrel, who gives him his first job away from home, and be there as Aunt Patty, a dear family friend, welcomes Rainier into her colony. Laugh with the little boy Rainier helps thanks to everything Rainier learns through his personal journey. 

As someone said:

“. . . delightful story will inspire children to explore and discover new paths and will encourage adults to facilitate those efforts. Adults might decide to pursue their own new journey.”

I hope you enjoy the story of Rainier as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you decide to make a change and leap from one journey to the next, remember Rainier’s courage and go for it! You can purchase the book here or on Amazon.

Janet 

 

 

Hello readers!

I would like to personally invite all of you to join me July 7 for the first public launch of “Flip Flap Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.” Beginning at 11:00 am at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve’s Ellenwood Nature Barn I will perform the first reading of my new book. Listen to Rainier’s adventure of discovering what he does best. Fly around with Rainier as he travels from the safety of home and his parents’ Noel and Joy and meets his forest friends, Mr. Gray, Aunt Patty, and the little boy who helps Rainier find his true passion.

Stick around after because I’d love to meet you and we will have some light refreshments too. You’ll also be the first to purchase your very own copy of “Flip Flap Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.”

The proof is in and the first order is on the way!

I’ll see you on the 7th!

As the days to the launch of “Flip Flap Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” draw nearer, I wanted to introduce everyone to the main character of my story, Rainier. The reason I chose a cardinal to be the main character comes from a camping trip I took with my husband. There was a very persistent cardinal that kept attacking my husband’s truck, so much so he had to move the truck and park somewhere else. It was the persistence of the bird that stuck with me. Since the bird would have most likely injured itself by continuing to attack my husband’s car, I wondered if one could be persistent to a fault; whether sometimes it is better to quit and try something new.

The name Rainier holds more meaning for me. Rainier means strong counselor/wise warrior/decision maker. As the main character in my story, Rainier has to make several decisions. He keeps searching for a job he is good at and most importantly, a job he enjoys and makes him happy. Rainier doesn’t settle on a job he isn’t happy with and during his exploration he guides us all in our own journey. Through Rainier’s persistent job search, and not being afraid to try something new, he shows us it is okay to search until you find what value you bring and enjoy doing . . . Also, the name Rainier is a tribute to my father, Raymond.

Thanks for reading,

Janet 

P.S.

Catch Rainier coming to Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve on July 7th! Stay tuned for more info about the launch of “Flip Flap Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” coming soon and visit my Facebook event for the most up-to-date information about my launch.  

 

A Speech Becomes A Story Which Becomes A Message

Have you heard the saying, “everyone has a story inside them?” That is not exactly how “Flip Flap Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” started (for me it was more like a speech inside me), but my speech evolved into my story and we are counting down the days until print. Rainier’s journey originated from a speech I wrote for a Toastmasters International storytelling project. After giving my talk and as time went on, the more and more I thought about it, the more I knew one day I would publish the courageous adventures of Rainier.

With the assistance and support of a life coach, a book coach, and a professional author’s assistant, my speech turned into the book I dreamed of publishing. “Flip Flap Try . . .” is a children’s book with an adult message. No matter your age, this book has an underlying theme for everyone: keep searching until you find the job or task you like going to each day. Part of finding the job you like includes knowing your unique capabilities and weaknesses and once you figure those out it helps you find a job that suits you.

How many seniors in high school go straight to college because “it’s the thing to do?” How many children are guilt-driven or shamed into doing something they dislike instead of something they enjoy? Life is for us to enjoy. If you don’t find out what you like doing on the first or second try it is okay. Keep your head up and move on.

You’ll find your passion and you’ll be glad you did!

If you’d like to follow my journey, I’m on Facebook. Also, stay in the loop for our upcoming launch date in Cincinnati and other events in the Tri-State area.

More soon, 

Janet Kassalen, Author