Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Censorship of Books & Internet - Is This the Solution?


Do you express concern when someone tries to tell you what books you and your children can and can't read? Are you concerned about what's out there on the Internet that your children might discover.

So should the Internet have more government control? Books and Internet provide information for children and adults. Should the government control what we read and see? Or is that the responsibility of the parents?

Aaron Brazell provided an interesting post at Technosailor, UK Plans to Keep Kids Safe on the Web, Ignores History, about this topic, sparked by a proposal by the British Cultural Secretary. The Secretary has more control of the Internet in mind and expresses the desire that the US, when Barack Obama becomes President, will join him.

At Technosailor, you'll find some "food for thought," so that you don't accept this idea blindly.

I've also posted at One Book Two Book, Government Control of Books and Internet - Do You Agree? and at Obama Alert, More Control of Our Children and Our Lives?

What do you think?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Will Print Publications Disappear?


Saving trees and deleting the energy intensive processes involved in turning trees into paper is termed as being "eco-friendly" or "eco-conscious." We're finding that more and more print publications are developing an online presense.

Some have an online edition as well as a print one. Others are discontinuing their print versions as they publish solely online.

My daughter found that her favorite quilting magazine has developed an online subscription which costs less than the print version. The publisher will be offering both, but one wonders for how long.

My husband received a notice from a magazine he subscribes to that starting with the February issue, it will only be available online. He can no longer receive a print issue. If he doesn't desire this, he can get a refund. However, he says, even though he prefers a print edition, he does need the magazine for the information it contains for keeping current in his business.

Which do you prefer? Have you found a way to download online magazines onto an electronic reader?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Fav b5 Blog Posts of the Week

Favorite Posts

Periodically b5 bloggers post their favorite posts of the week. I write three blogs at b5media, Alzheimer's Notes, Quilting and Patchwork, and One Book Two Book. (The latter I co-blog with Marcie Pickelsimer.)

Sometimes it's difficult to choose your very favorite for the week. However, here are the three for this week:

http://www.quiltingandpatchwork.com/...ilt-mysteries/ http://www.onebooktwobook.com/mary-e...storm-of-2008/http://www.alzheimersnotes.com/not-h...-nursing-home/

Monday, December 08, 2008

Children's & YA Books About World War II Adventures

Yesterday, Dec. 7, was Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the attack that caused the United States to enter World War II. I was a child at that time and remember the scary time it was, even though there was no fighting in our country.

I often write down my memories for my daughter and grand children and share them with others, too.I also have found some children's books about young people's experiences and adventures during those times.

Here are some children's books about World War II that I've enjoyed and have in my collection:

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

The Art of Keeping Cool by Janet Taylor Lisle

The Night Flyers by Elizabeth McDavid Jones (An American Girl History Mystery)

Shadows on the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow

A Boy at War by Harry Mazer (A novel of Pearl Harbor)

The Spy Who Came in from the Sea by Peggy Nolan

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tea for 200 (not two..or you..or me) with JK Rowling

Tea Party

To celebrate the release of her latest book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, famed author JK Rowling invited approximately 200 school children to enjoy tea with her. What an exciting experience!

Read more about this at my One Book Two Book blog. This book is a spin-off of sorts from the latest Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows.

I wonder what they had for tea and refreshments. Possibly something with a Scottish influence since this was to take place in Edinburgh.

Giveaways? Here Are Some With Gifts for Youngsters

One Book Two Book Giveaways

If you're a fan of giveaways, you'll find a series of them at a blog I co-author, One Book Two Book, running from Dec. 2-7.

Check out the rules and leave comments at the following links. You can enter any or all of the giveaways. These will make great Christmas gifts for youngsters, too. Enjoy!

Book Swim Giveaway
Readeez DVD Giveaway
Baby Can Read Giveaway
Wii Pop Star Guitar Giveaway
Fly Me To The Moon Giveaway
Giveaway - Celebrity Arthur Book from Speakaboos
Giveaway - Countdown to Bedtime Soundbooks
Giiveaway - ECO Baby Organic Playdough
Baby Potential Teacher Onesie Giveaway
Natural Pod Giveaway
RideMakerz Giveaway
Happy Green Bee Giveaway
Mead Writing Fundamentals Giveaway

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from Potpourri of Writing

Happy Thanksgiving

We've been busy this morning getting the turkey ready. Yes, we're having the traditional turkey. My hubby selected it so has been monitoring the preparations. After I made the stuffing ("like Mother used to make!"), I left the rest to him. The engineer in him cooks to precision.

My daughter has been preparing her special recipes to add to our menu. She made her daughter's request of "glop" for breakfast...a combination of bread cubes, eggs, sausage, cheese, and milk. Some of us like that, while others have something else. (We live in a multi-generational home with six family members, a dog, guinea pig, and rabbit.)

Perhaps you'd like to see my Thankful Poem, a project on my Quilting and Patchwork blog.

How about writing your own Thankful Poem this weekend? Or any time of year?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Controversial Books...Is The Rainbow Fish One of These?

The Rainbow Fish

I've often wondered where readers, teachers, reviewers and literary "experts" find the hidden meanings in books, unless the author has made a statement to this effect. Of course, if you know the author's beliefs and lifestyle, some may show through in their books. But how can we be sure all the interpretations aren't simply someone's opinion or speculation?

Whenever we've written about The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister at One Book Two Book, we've received a number of comments, some of them mentioning what a controversial book this colorful picture book is. Apparently to many people, it has underlying social and socialistic meanings. Some agree and others are vividly opposed.

You may want to check out:

What Does The Rainbow Fish Mean? Is There an Underlying Meaning?
Rainbow Fish Makes a Comeback at Our House

All this makes me wonder if anyone reads hidden meanings into my books and stories. It might be interesting to find out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrances of Veterans Day, Past & Present

Veterans Day meant a great deal in my childhood. Two of my uncles served in the World Wars. My husband is a veteran, too, so for several years I was a military wife.

I've written about this day at several of my blogs and have included a post of Alicia Sparks:

One Book Two Book: Remembering Our Veterans on Veterans Day.

Alzheimer's Notes:Veterans Day Memories in Alzheimer's World

Quilting and Patchwork: Patriotic Quilts for Veterans Day

Alicia Sparks' Mental Health Notes: Help Veterans Obtain Mental Health Resouces

Do you have associations, past and present, with Veterans Day?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Thanksgiving Books for Fun and Facts

Thanksgiving Books

If you're looking for Thanksgiving and harvest book ideas for your youngsters and yourself, check out my list and post at One Book Two Book.

Fun & Fact Books for Thanksgiving & Harvest Season

Favorite Thanksgiving Books

Do you have any to suggest?

Monday, October 13, 2008

October - A Time for Spider Month, Books & Activities

October seems to be "Spider Month," when people are searching the Internet for information about spiders. Perhaps it has to do with Halloween.

Marcie Pickelsimer, my co-blogger at One Book Two Book, has done a great deal of research on this topic as it applies to children's books and activities. You might enjoy visiting our blog, especially the following posts:

October is Spider Month
Spider Activities for Kids: Young & Old
10 Best Spider Books
Spiders, Spiders Everywhere

Enjoy! Then you might want to leave Marcie a message telling her how much you appreciate all the research she has done on this topic and the books and spider activities she's found.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Writing Workshops for Tots Through Teens & Adults

I love encouraging young and beginning writers. So I'm often invited to schools and libraries to present writing workshops in various types of this art form....fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Since I've also illustrated some of my books, I'll include art in these presentations, too.

For more information about my writing workshops, check them out at my Children's Author Tales blog. (Contact information is there, too.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Discover Weekly Writing Tips at One Book Two Book

If you or your family entertain thoughts of writing...for pure fun, to write stories for school lessons, or to record your thoughts in journals, you might enjoy the series I've begun at One Book Two Book, Mary Emma's Writing Tips. Although the weekly tips, prompts and activities are slated for young writers, they will work for anyone.

These will appear at One Book Two Book each Sunday. I also will suggest books and web sites where you can find help and inspiration, too.

One of my joys is sharing my writing with others and encouraging them in theirs, whether they're children or adults.

Related Posts:
Mary Emma's Writing Tips for Young Writers
Mary Emma's Writing Activities for Young Writers
Mary Emma's Weekly Writing Tips -Scary Stories

(c)Mary Emma Allen

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Daily Giveaways at One Book Two Book beginning August 24

Giveaways at OneBookTwoBook.com

You’ll find them daily for several days (August 24 - Sept. 6) for the Back-to-School Blast. Some days there even two drawings!

Among the prizes are many items to get the youngsters ready for school from snacks, lunch boxes/kits, back packs, books, and other supplies.

Stay tuned and have a blast! Visit One Book Two Book often.

Get One Book, Two Book’s Feed!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


At my Home Biz Notes blog, I'm offering a random drawing giveaway of Susan Gunelius's new book:

"To celebrate the U.S. release of Harry Potter, The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Susan Gunelius, we’re conducting a random drawing giveaway of a copy of the book. (See my interview of Susan at Home Biz Notes for more information about the book and why Susan wrote it.)"

Check out the giveaway, especially if you're a Harry Potter fan or are interested in phenomenal marketing strategies.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

One Book Two Book - Book Blog for Kids of All Ages

I'm having great fun co-blogging with Marcie Pickelsimer at the b5media blog, One Book Two Book which features books and information for kids of all ages. You might want to check it out. Even become a regular reader!

We feature: reviews, interviews, giveaways, theme weeks, book news, word of the week, book quotes, reading related activities, and much, much more.

Come join us!

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Writing & Publishing Month at Home Biz Notes

Want to learn more about writing and publishing? Also working at it from home?

Check out the exciting features this month at my b5media blog, Home Biz Notes. My coblogger, Yvonne Russell, and I are interviewing writers, featuring self-publishing businesses, talking to tax experts. We're hosting authors, doing book reviews, and posting guest articles as well as mentioning our own experiences in the writing/publishing field.

*Tim Bete with 10 book promotion tips
*Susan Gunelius and her new book about the Harry Potter phenomenon.
*Anne Wayman, blogger and writer
*Lois Collins and the Spencer Family Books
*Janie Lancaster and running serials in newspapers
*Kathleen Walls and GAP

This is only a sampling of what Yvonne and I have planned.

Come join us!

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Debbie Yost Writes About What She Knows

"Write about what you know," has been the age-old advice for writers. Sometimes this works and sometimes writers choose a different path.

However, for daycare provider, blogger and writer, Debbie Yost, this advice is paving the way for her writing. Debbie appeared as a guest blogger on Home Biz Notes, a blog I co-author with Yvonne Russell at b5media. In a four-part series, Debbie provided information and suggestions for anyone who is considering a home daycare or currently is operating one.

Most of Debbie's suggestions also work well for owners of other businesses. Check out the post, In Home Daycare Business Series Roundup. Here you'lll find the links to all of Debbie's posts at Home Biz Notes.

What are you doing in your life that you can expand upon and write about...either for the print media or online? Make a list of "what you know" and see what will come from it.

I'd enjoy hearing how you make out.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Karin Abarbanel & Birthing the Elephant Visit Home Biz Notes

Karin Abarbanel stopped by my b5 media blog, Home Biz Notes, during her April author tour of the blogosphere. In my post, A “Birthing The Elephant” Strategy To Business Success, you'll learn about this unique and very helpful book for women entrepreneurs. However, much of the information has general application for men and women and their businesses.

Subtitled, The woman’s go-for-it! guide to overcoming the big challenges of launching a business, Birthing the Elephant, encourages women to design their destinies and gives stories from real people who have become successful in business. In fact Bobbi Brown, owner of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, writes the foreword.

If you have questions for Karin, about her book and business, leave them in the comments section of my post at Home Biz Notes. Also, post a comment and become eligible to win a free copy of Birthing the Elephant at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on April 30!

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Visit With Allison Bottke, Author of Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

Allison Bottke, author of Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, stops by Potpourri of Writing during her April Blog Tour. She's spreading the word about a topic she feels desperately needs to be addressed and leaves a message already striking a chord in hearts around the nation about adult children whose lives are out of control and who often come home to live.

MARY EMMA: Welcome, Allison, to Potpourri of Writing. Thank you for coming to share with us. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children
comes out of your own personal experience with your son. Please tell us about that.

ALLISON: For years I really thought I was helping my son. I wanted him to have the things I never had growing up. I love my son, and I didn’t want him to hurt—but sometimes pain is a natural result of the choices we make. For a long time I didn’t understand the part I was playing in the ongoing drama that had become my son’s life—I didn’t understand that I didn’t have to live in constant chaos and crisis because of his choices. When I chose to stop the insanity and start living a life of hope and healing my life changed. It’s a feeling I want other struggling parents and grandparents to experience. I want other parents to know that change is possible when we choose to stop the destructive cycle of enabling. And we can stop it. I know, because I’ve done it.

MARY EMMA: Why do you think so many parents struggle with enabling their adult children?

ALLISON: We don’t understand the difference between helping and enabling, that one heals and the other hurts. We don’t realize that we handicap our adult children when we don’t allow them to experience the consequences of their actions.

MARY EMMA: How can we determine whether we are helping versus enabling our children?

ALLISON: Helping is doing something for someone that he is not capable of doing himself.
Enabling is doing for someone things that he could and should be doing himself.
An enabler is a person who recognizes that a negative circumstance is occurring on a regular basis and yet continues to enable the person with the problem to persist with his detrimental behaviors. Simply, enabling creates an atmosphere in which our adult children can comfortably continue their unacceptable behavior.

MARY EMMA: What are some of the most common ways that parents enable their children?

ALLISON: Being the Bank of Mom and Dad, or the Bank of Grandma and Grandpa. Loaning money that is never repaid, buying things they can’t afford and don’t really need. Continually coming to their rescue so they don’t feel the pain—the consequences—of their actions and choices. Accepting excuses that we know are excuses—and in some instances are downright lies. Blaming ourselves for their problems. We have given too much and expected too little.

MARY EMMA: What are some things that parents can do to break the cycle of enabling?

ALLISON: Follow the six steps to S.A.N.I.T.Y.: Stop blaming yourself and stop the flow of money. Stop continually rescuing your adult children from one mess after another. Assemble a support group of other parents in the same situation. Nip excuses in the bud. Implement rules and boundaries. Trust your instincts. Yield everything to God, because you’re not in control. These six things can start a parent on the road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. in an insane situation that is spinning out of control. However, a key issue in breaking the cycle of enabling is to understand whose problem it really is.

MARY EMMA: What does this book accomplish that other books on the topic do not?

ALLISON: Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children will empower readers with a no holds barred six step S.A.N.I.T.Y. format, stating in black and white the parental behaviors that must STOP, along with identifying new habits to implement if change is to occur. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children will identify the false conceptions parents believe about themselves and their adult children and will counter each lie of captivity with the truth that setting boundaries is not only a good thing—but a vital part of hope and healing. True stories from other enabling parents and grandparents are woven throughout the chapters. Discussions with and observations from licensed psychologists and psychiatrists are also included.

MARY EMMA: Tell us about the S.A.N.I.T.Y. Support Group Network you founded. How can people get involved?

ALLISON: The “A” step in S.A.N.I.T.Y. is to ASSEMBLE a support group. This is a vital component in being able to look at our situations more objectively. We have developed a powerful Companion Study Guide that can be read individually or in a group setting. This Companion Study Guide contains all the information you need to conduct a S.A.N.I.T.Y. Support group in your neighborhood or community. Visit our web site here to find out more:

MARY EMMA: Thank you, Allison, for visiting Potpourri of Writing during your blog tour. Is there anything you'd like to add?

ALLISON: I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children. I really do want to hear reader feedback. They can reach me at:
SettingBoundaries@SanitySupport.com. Please be sure to visit our web site at http://www.sanitysupport.com/blogtourguests.htm where they will find additional resources for helping them on their road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. Remember to tell a friend in need and help save a life!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fact or Fiction? How Can We Be Sure?

I found an interesting post, More Literary Hoaxes, on Heather Goldsmith's blog, A Creative Journal. She discusses some of the current literary hoaxes, whereby writers have tried to pass off fictionalized accounts as memoir or autobiography.

I left a comment at Heather's blog, but thought I'd include my thoughts here. Since I write a great deal of memoir in my "Country Kitchen" newspaper column, I began to wonder if my readers would think I made all this up. I attended a writers' group the other evening, and when the discussion turned to memoir as a genre, many were shaking their heads, wondering what to believe anymore.

We begin to wonder what's true and what isn't, don't we? Of course, when you write about your life, you may find you don't recall incidents exactly like others who experienced them with you. But these usually are minor things. If you fictionalize too much, you'll be caught up on it sometime.

When I was taking a children's writing workshop, we had to write about an incident in our childhood. The instructor liked mine but gave suggestions for making it more exciting. Since those details were fabricated, I was uncomfortable about writing it this way. So he suggested I make it a fiction story, incorporating the fact with fabrication. This turned out very well and sold to several children's magazines and appeared in an anthology. (I retained the rights so I could sell reprint and anthology rights.) Fiction based upon fact can be fun to write, but it should be labeled as such.

What do you think?

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Author Dyan Garris Tours Home Biz Notes

Author Dyan Garris stopped by Home Biz Notes today on her blog tour as she promotes her book, Money and Manifesting. She has a unique way of approaching the topic of making money.

"It is not enough to think positively, repeat affirmations, and attract positive energy. We must implement and integrate this learning into our daily lives. This is the real secret of manifesting money. It is the real secret of manifesting anything."

Learn more about Dyan's evolution as a businesswoman to author. She has an interesting story to tell and shares her ideas at Home Biz Notes and in her book.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blog Writing - For Fun, For Profit, For Promotion, For a Cause

Blog writing has taken off in the past few years and is used for various reasons. I'll mention a few of the reasons bloggers blog. Some of them interrelate.

FUN - Some bloggers write purely for fun, using their blog as an online journal. They may base much of their blogging around a particular theme, as my daughter does with her fabric art at Meandering Threads.

PROFIT - Bloggers write for pay, some for blogging networks, as I do for b5media, others for companies that need someone to maintain their blogs that provide information for customers.
If you'd like to see what it's like to blog for a network, check out my blogs at b5media (Alzheimer's Notes, Quilting and Patchwork, and Home Biz Notes).

PROMOTION - Authors are using blogs to promote their books and workshops; crafters promote their products on their web sites; businesses call attention to themselves and their products/services. You might not have a "store" on your blog, but you provide interesting information that will lead customers to your online and offline places of business.

A CAUSE - Bloggers write about topics that fire them up whether political, environmental, health, business, religious, as well as presumed and real slights and injuries. The blogosphere has become a powerful tool for people to voice their opinions and get their views across. Sometimes the power is used negatively, as well as positively.

I enjoy blogging, whether my personal blogs here at Blogger or those at b5media, so much that I teach workshops and give talks about Blog Writing so others can learn about this, too.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Highlighting Gary Maccagnone and St. John of the Midfield

As he tours the blogosphere this month to promote his book, St. John of the Midfield, Garasamo "Gary" Maccagnone stops off at Potpourri of Writing today. He also is the author of the children's book, The Suburban Dragon and the collection of short stores entitled, The Affliction of Dreams.

After pursuing a college baseball career, business and marketing careers, coaching youth soccer and writing, Gary has combined soccer and writing in St. John of the Midfield. The idea for this book came about after Gary met former Bulgarian national soccer player, Jordan Mitkov.

In a synopsis of the book, we learn this book is:
An almost mystical story of Bobo Stoikov, one of the world's greatest soccer players, who escaptes death in communist Bulgaria to find the American Dream. Due to severe injury during Bobo's escape, he is unable to play once he arrives in America.
Though he finds peace and happiness in simply coaching soccer to youth travel teams, his eccentric ways of teaching and his success lead to a hate-filled rivalry, and eventually, his death.

To read an excerpt, visit Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours.

You can visit his website at http://www.garasamomaccagnone.com/.

Thomnpson also conducted an interview with Gary at The Writer's Life, February 15 posting.

May you have much success with your tour, Gary, and your book.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The second the All About Alzheimer’s Carnivals is open for entries at Alzheimer's Notes, a blog I write with Liz Lewis at b5media. Here is a platform for you to write your thoughts and feelings about Alzheimer’s and caregiving.

Entering carnivals (collections of articles about particular topics hosted at one blog) proves to be very enjoyable, I’ve found. If you’ve never entered one, simply follow the directions by clicking on the link above.

I’ve also posted some suggestions for carnivals at my Home Biz Notes blog that I write with Yvonne Russell. You may like to take a look at these.

Tweak Your Topic for Carnivals
Home Biz Owners - Join the Carnival!
Participating in Showcases and Carnivals
Entering Your Home Business Post in a Showcase

Reading the numerous entries at a carnival also provides enjoyment. So if you don’t enter (and if you do), come over to Liz’s post at Alzheimer's Notes on January 19, when she’ll publish all the entries.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen