Thanks to All of our Military Veterans on Memorial Day!

My wonderful husband John retired after 21 years of serving in the  Air Force and Air National Guard. We're proud of him!

My wonderful husband John retired after 21 years of serving in the Air Force and Air National Guard. We’re proud of him!


I may just be echoing what no doubt thousands of other people have said today but

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR MILITARY VETERANS! WE DO LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOU! YOU HAVE DEDICATED YOUR LIVES TO OUR FREEDOM AND WE CAN NEVER REPAY YOU. I’M GLAD TO BE A PATRIOT! THANK YOU!

Our son Chris flies Predators by remote control that fly in Afghanistan.

Our son Chris flies Predators by remote control that fly in Afghanistan.

7 Tips to Getting Published

Meeting famous authors like Tracie Petersen offers chance to ask writing questions. Tracie is in middle.

Meeting famous authors like Tracie Petersen offers chance to ask writing questions. Tracie is in middle.

These are tips I’ve shared with beginning writers at workshops I’ve conducted. There are other facets to establishing yourself as a writer, but these are good to start with.

1. Decide what you want to write
I loved reading fiction and thought that was what I sh write. But I don’t have any people talking in my head. That’s how I’ve heard fiction writers describe their lives – characters are up there just screaming to get their dialogue on a page!
I prefer writing non-fiction since while a few fiction writers are well-known and have thousands of fan, non-fiction sells better – always has and always will.
Look at magazine racks – nearly all filled with non-fiction articles—essays, how-to’s, research.
Decide what you like to read and study those publications to help develop your own style of writing.

My two good writing friends Cathy Shouse, Shirley Jump & me at Shirley's former writing club meetings.

My two good writing friends Cathy Shouse, Shirley Jump & me at Shirley’s former writing club meetings.

2. Learn everything you can about the craft of writing.
Read writing books (your public library probably has many!), also The Writer and Writer’s Digest Magazines.
Take online writing courses. Sign up for writing ezines. Join writers groups. Ask about them at your public library, watch for signs posted on bulletin boards around town, check online for Meetups. I host two writing clubs which meet monthly.
Attend conferences—this can be an expense, but by putting yourself out there, you’ll meet people that will encourage you and help you discover the joys of writing, especially for publication.

It was fun meeting writing friend Maura Oprisko at a writing conference.

It was fun meeting writing friend Maura Oprisko at a writing conference.


3. Network with other writers. I touched on this in the previous point but I find this is the most helpful aspect of writing today. Writing can be a lonely occupation. By working with other writers you’ll be more inclined to stick with a tricky project.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you’ll feel more inclined to continue writing when you’re in touch with other writers.

4. Get your name out there!
Look for places that will publish your work. Newspapers will publish editorials and columns on Faith/Religion pages for viewpoints. This can be a good experience and exposure for friends and family to understand your determination and talent.

Women’s magazines are another source. My first sale was two paragraphs to a religious publication I read regularly about our daughter’s wonderful, effective Sunday School teacher. I’ve also sold recipe tips, kids’ sayings, travel tips, holiday tips. The pay would not finance my vacation, but it’s pretty fun to show my family my name in Ladies Home Journal!

5. Develop a thick skin.
You will get rejected- every writer does. It’s not personal. Don’t quit! Keep writing and seek encouragement from other writers. It’s a bold move to write for publication. I tend to dwell on negative comments (though rare) instead of dwelling on the compliments I receive. I’ve posted thank you notes from people I’ve written about around my writing area so I can focus on them when I’m stuck emotionally or mentally.

6. Write regularly.
Make writing a habit. Try to fit it into your daily schedule. The more you write, the more your subconscious will help you! If writing is important to you, you will find time to write! I like to write in the morning when I’m fresh so I’ll often write before going to my school job. I’m writing this now at 6:40a.m.

7. Call yourself a writer.
If you practice all of the above, you are a writer! Be proud!

Are you starting out on this marvelous road of writing? What is your goal as a writer?

Medusa Visits Bluffton Elementary School!

Speaking to 2nd graders @ Bluffton Elementary School.

Speaking to 2nd graders @ Bluffton Elementary School.


When a principal at a school asks you to attend because she believes in you and your books, it’s really an honor. Julie Meitzler, principal of Bluffton Elementary School sent me a request earlier this year, saying that she had contacted teachers in her school with the recommendation that they invite me to visit their classrooms for an author visit.
2nd graders at Bluffton Elementary School loved their visit from Medusa!

2nd graders at Bluffton Elementary School loved their visit from Medusa!


The 2nd grade teachers followed up and the result was a successful and exciting visit! The second graders at BES are great! They were good listeners as I, dressed as Medusa, introduced them to my ‘friends’ – Hades, Hephaestus, Hermes. These are of course, books that I’ve written.

Keep in mind, I’m wearing a long flowing peach-colored gown and a wig of rubber snakes, very Medusa-like! I also speak in a gravelly, creepy voice as only Medusa would do.

Medusa de-wigged, student teacher Stephany Derengowski, teacher Lindsay Schroeder.

Medusa de-wigged, student teacher Stephany Derengowski, teacher Lindsay Schroeder.


At one point I take off my wig (yay! It’s hot and heavy!) and then tell the students about the rest of my books. At the end we had a Question and Answer time.
2nd grade teacher Kim Bitner & me.

2nd grade teacher Kim Bitner & me.

They were attentive and the teachers were helpful and supportive.

2nd grade teacher Allison  Krinn's class sent me thank you notes that were precious!

2nd grade teacher Allison Krinn’s class sent me thank you notes that were precious!


A few days later I was delighted to get a packet of thank you notes from Allison Krinn’s class. They were delightful and made it all worthwhile.

If you’d like ‘Medusa’ or Kayleen Reusser to visit your class, please contact me at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (Remove the x’s).

Make Flower for Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift!

Coffee filter flowers are a fun and quick gift to make for Mothers Day!

Coffee filter flowers are a fun and quick gift to make for Mothers Day!


This craft is quick, inexpensive, pretty –and fun to make! Young children may need a little help but they will love to present these flowers to a loved one! The world’s largest flower– Rafflesia Arnoldii– is indigenous to Indonesia, hence I included it in my book, Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia by Kayleen Reusser

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia by Kayleen Reusser

This flower also stinks like rotting flesh but nothing about this craft smells!
Have fun making this together!

Materials Needed:
4 white coffee filters any size
1 pipe cleaner, cut in half
2 small bowls
3/4 cup water
Food coloring
Plate, wax paper or plastic surface to dry the filters
Instructions:

1. Lay coffee filters on flat surface.
2. Fold filters accordion style in one inch pleats.
Digital StillCamera

3. Fold in half and twist pipe cleaner around middle (Depending on size of filters, you may want to use wire cutters to halve the pipe cleaner).
4. Put 1/2 cup water in a bowl; add 6 -10 drops of food coloring. Stir.
5. With filters still folded against each other, stick the ends in the food coloring and allow saturating for a few minutes. Take out and dry.
6. Mix 1/4 cup water in a bowl with 6-10 drops of food coloring. Stick the folded center into the mixture. Allow to saturate until color meets color on ends. Remove and allow drying, leaving the pleats folded.
Digital StillCamera
7. Separate layers on both sides of the pipe cleaner. Your new flower may not be as large as the largest flower in the world, the rafflesia arnoldi found in Indonesia, but it is full of beauty!

The End

Southern Wells Elementary School Hosts Medusa!

DSCN3087
Great kids, beautiful building, friendly staff—Southern Wells Elementary School has it all! After receiving an invite from Laura McKinney to speak to her second graders, I gladly accepted (Thanks Tricia Tucker for the recommendation!)! I walked into their group with my Medusa costume which you can see here. By the time this photo was taken, I had removed my snake wig but you can see it below w/ another class.

I always ask the young students if they’re afraid of me. If they say, “Yes!”, Then I say, “Good! Then you had better sit near the back.”

Some of them actually move to the back! I thought they were kidding!

Anyway they were all sweet students and great listeners. Ms. McKinney was there with her class and 2 other classes—I’m sorry, I didn’t get the other teachers’ names. We had a great time talking together about books – they had questions about how long it takes to make a book and do I get to choose the photos inside the biographies.

Medusa sans her snakes talks to students at Southern Wells Ele.

Medusa sans her snakes talks to 2nd graders at Southern Wells Ele.

I explained that it took me longer to write the first book because I had so much to learn. The other books went faster. And no, I don’t get to choose the photos – the publisher emails them to me and I write captions for them that appear in the book.

Then I spoke to the school’s 4th graders, thanks to the invite from teacher Brittany Atkins. They were a great group also with more great questions. I love talking to kids about books!

Speaking to students at Southern Wells Elementary School.

Speaking to students at Southern Wells Elementary School.

Do you know of a school that could use an author visit? I’m still scheduling several visits for the end of the year and into next year. Please contact me at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the x’s to prevent spam). I’d love to hear from you regarding an author visit. My goal is to encourage as many children as possible to read! Their success in life depends on it!

Austin Is Fan of Hephaestus, Greek of Forge

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Austin loved reading my book about Hephaestus, Greek god of forge.

Austin loved reading my book about Hephaestus, Greek god of forge.


I love it when students review my books. Here is a review of my book on the Greek god Hephaestus by my friend
Austin:

It was a great book about a Greek God that was rejected by his mother. And then he started crafting things from pins to tables. Then his mother wanted him to make something that trapped her but for the rest of the book you read it to belive it.

**
Great review, Austin! I’m glad you were intrigued by the story the Greeks made up about Hephaestus, the god of the forge.

If you are a student or librarian, would you consider writing a review about one of my books? You may email your photos and reviews to me xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the X’s that are there to prevent Spam).

Please recommend that your local library order these books from Mitchell Lane. I also have 2 new books published by Purple Toad Publishing Www.purpletoadpublishing.net.
[/caption]Big Time Rush published by Purple Toad. Big Time Rush published by Purple Toad.
Big Time Rush biography
(ISBN 9781624690105 Ebook ISBN 9781624690297
Big Time Rush is a Beacon Biography and is offered as part of a seven-book series.).
Now You're Cooking: Cuba published by Purple Toad. Now You’re Cooking: Cuba published by Purple Toad.
and Now You’re Cooking: Cuba.
(ISBN 9781624690402 Ebook ISBN 9781624690419
This title is offered as part of a five-book series.)

They are all library-bound, full-color and beautiful!
If you have an Amazon account, you may post reviews there, on http://www.Goodreads.com and Barnes & Noble’s website.

Thanks!

Does God Listen to Poor Kids?

Tulips can remind us of God's promise of renewed lives.

Tulips can remind us of God’s promise of renewed lives.

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

As a 10-year-old child, Joe thought life was one long struggle.

For five years his parents had moved their 14 children throughout the United States picking fruits and vegetables. One-room cabins with no heat or indoor plumbing, located in camps on the wrong side of town, offered shelter, but no safety or comfort. In these camps Joe saw violence and corruption. He asked God for a safer place to live, but nothing changed. Joe learned to trust no one.

Then a friend invited Joe to attend an evangelistic crusade at the high school football field. Joe didn’t want to go, but he gave in. There he heard the preacher say that Christ could make a difference in a person’s life if he surrendered his will to God.

Tough Joe made my way down to the front and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. He had arrived at the meeting with hate and anger, but left with peace. God had changed his life.

Today, Joe tells people that God can use them if they will surrender their will to His. That is a big statement, coming from someone who used to think God didn’t listen to poor kids.

The End

God, help me to remember there are lost souls who just need to hear the Word of God spoken to them once for them to turn to You. Help me to show people what You can do for them if they will surrender their lives to You.