Veteran’s Day-Opp to Honor Our Heroes

241 Remember sign

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us and many other military families around the nation. Veteran’s Day is perhaps the biggest day of the year for all vets. It gives the public the opportunity to honor them in so many ways.

Vet Day bus

John & I participated in Fort Wayne’s Veteran’s Day Parade. He rode the Air National Guard bus while I walked with the Blue Star Mothers. I had more fun handing out candy to children along the mile-long route, but guess who was more tired at the end of the parade?

Thanks to everyone in the Fort Wayne area – Boy Scouts, school bands, military groups and supporters – for going to the effort of showing our vets how much we appreciate them!

Lineberry class

Speaking opportunities for me to tell people about my World War II book of veteran stories abounded. These are pictures of some places I’ve been.

Belmont Lineberry K

Brian Lineberry allowed me to speak to his class at Bellmont High School in Decatur. The class is studying World War II and preparing to write profiles of fallen World War II soldiers from the area. Cool! I gave them tips on research and what they might discover.

Lani 2015

Lani Mahnensmith asked me to speak to a grief support group that meets at Kingston Retirement Center in Fort Wayne. Met some vets there I’ve interviewed and ate lunch with them. Double cool!

K display

The Allen County Public Library Author Fair was well attended. Several people stopped by to ask about the book and we chatted about World War II vets in the area.

Laurie Gray auth fair

It was fun seeing author friends Laurie Gray (above) and Doris Rapp (below).

Doris Rapp

We all were asked to speak on panels about writing.

Amn 241 fallen heroes display

one last thing to mention—the American Legion 241 Post in Fort Wayne hosted an exhibit that I’m sure moved everyone who viewed it.

It displays names, photos and mementos from family / friends of fallen soldiers from Indiana. The display was organized by a father who feared the public would forget his soldier son after his death. It is respectful and maddening to think of our loss because of their sacrifices on our nation’s behalf.

Hiester

The display is especially meaningful for me as there is a photo of a man who grew up in my church. See lower left.

Master Sergeant Michael Hiester, 33, was killed in Afghanistan in 2005 by a mine explosion. He left behind a wife, son, daughter, parents and two sisters, a church who loved him and many, many friends. I love them and respect them so much for carrying on. I don’t know how family get through those painful experiences. The least we can do for our fallen heroes is to show respect for every veteran we meet.

Learn more about this unique exhibit here.

If you have a chance today, thank a veteran for his/her service!

 

 

Want to Grow as a Writer? Join a Writing Group!

Bluffton Christian Writing Club members meet monthly.

Bluffton Christian Writing Club members meet monthly.


People often ask me what is something they can do to promote their writing career. I always advise them to meet regularly with other writers.
The reasons are myriad. I help lead 2 Christian writing clubs and belong to several others that I attend as time permits. Due to time constraints, for me the most conducive way to meet with writers is usually as a group. There are other advantages to meeting as a group as well.

River Terrace Estates, a retirement community located outside of Bluffton, has allowed the Bluffton Christian Writing Club to meet in its library each month for five years. We have given them thank you notes and homemade treats in appreciation.
Our group numbers 3-10. We cancel in January & February due to weather and we continue to meet in the summer. Rhonda Maller is the other co-founder of this group.

My good friend Rhonda Maller is co-founder of Bluffton Christian Writing Club.

My good friend Rhonda Maller is co-founder of Bluffton Christian Writing Club.

We meet the second Monday night of each month at 6:30 pm.

The Ft Wayne (IN) Christian Writing Club meets at Waynedale Public Library in Ft Wayne Indiana. We have to check in with the Circulation staff to keep our name on the book for the room for 3 months out. Since our group numbers as many as 15 people, the meeting room, which has plenty of space/chairs, is always helpful.

We don’t have time restraints at the nursing home, but because the library closes at 8:00 pm, we meet at 6-7:30 pm on the fourth Tuesday night of each month.

An advantage to meeting at the library is having access to Wifi during the meeting to look up info like writing conference details. Of course, the books in the library are also handily available. Our larger group has sometimes necessitated us breaking into small groups to take turns reading our selections and sharing critiques.
At both groups we open each meeting with prayer and encourage kind comments throughout. We also limit the time for each person to speak to allow every member who brought something to read to have time.
Our focus for each group is to share writing that honors God. No pornography, swearing, or other inappropriate content is allowed.
Both groups are the result of a group I joined as a brand new writer in the 1990s in Ft Wayne—Ft Wayne Christian Writing Club. We met on the northwest side of Ft Wayne and was led by Linda Wade.
I had never written anything and was terrified to go to the meeting alone but made myself because I wanted to write so badly. Everyone was so helpful and friendly and encouraging. The group broke up several years ago and I miss it.
Just to give back to the Ft Wayne community I decided to form a similar group in Bluffton and Ft Wayne. It’s a joy to lead both groups.

We don’t take dues and most of us don’t see each other outside of the meetings, but I think we’re becoming good friends.
If you’re a writer, you probably belong to at least one writing club. If not, I encourage you to look for one in your area. You’ll be surprised at the help you’ll receive.
What writing group do you belong to and what has been the biggest advantage to you from belonging?

Learn to Make Cuban Sandwich, Papaya Mango Shake

Now You're Cooking: Cuba (Purple Toad Publishing)

Now You’re Cooking: Cuba (Purple Toad Publishing)


If you don’t know by now how much I love libraries and the people who work in them, then we need to spend more time together! I’ve worked in a college library and now work in a school library. I love being surrounded by books!

My 2 cookbooks are part of the cookbook section of the Huntington City-Township Public Library collection.

My 2 cookbooks are part of the cookbook section of the Huntington City-Township Public Library collection.


As an author, it’s a joy to see librarians excited about my own books. When Linda Smith at Huntington City-Township Public Library (Indiana) wanted to plan a kick-off for the library’s new cookbook club, she asked me to host it with a cooking demo from my new Cuban cookbook.

Cutting up a papaya at the demo.

Cutting up a papaya at the demo.


I was thrilled! My book’s title: Now You’re Cooking: Cuba (Purple Toad Publishing http://www.purpletoadpublishing.net/).
The library advertised it well and approx. 20 people attended.
We served two recipes from the book. The first was one of the drinks featured in the book: Papaya Mango Milkshake. I love this drink! Papaya is now my favorite fruit. After peeling a mango and only getting a little amount of pulp, I’m convinced to buy this fruit in its frozen state, cubed. It is smooth, creamy and healthy with no sugar needed!
We also prepared and served Cuban sandwiches which I cooked on an electric skillet. The dill pickle slices added a tangy fragrance to the browned chicken slices, Swiss cheese, spicy mustard and sweet bread.
Lana Miller did a great job of pressing the Cuban sandwiches.

Lana Miller did a great job of pressing the Cuban sandwiches.


My good friend Lana Miller and my husband John assisted with the creation of the sandwiches by pressing a skillet on top of each and serving them. The finished sandwich were only be 1/3 of the original size.
They were scrumptious! This sandwich combined with the Papaya Mango shake is a complete, quick meal!
20 people attended my cooking demo at the library-- a great turn out!

20 people attended my cooking demo at the library– a great turn out!


Purchase a copy of my book and see for yourself how good Cuban food can be!
I’d love to come to your library, church, social event to give a cooking demonstration or talk. Please contact me if you could use a speaker. xxxKjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove x’s there to prevent spammers).

Downton Abbey Brings My Family Together!

Daughter Mandy, my sister Lyn and I attend a free tea at our local library honoring Downton Abbey.

Daughter Mandy, my sister Lyn and I attend a free tea at our local library honoring Downton Abbey.

As this is a blog that honors well-written stories, I’m taking the opportunity to mention one of my favorite filmed shows– Downton Abbey!

Some of you are part of the craze that’s swept the English-speaking world that is Downton Abbey. If you are not a Downton Abbey fan yet, you should be!

Downton Abbey is the name of the most-watched show in PBS’ history. It is based on the lives of an aristocratic family in England in the early 20th century, as well as the large staff that serves their daily needs. I like the show because the rich people are not snobs and care for their staff. No one is perfect but there are some characters I’m tweeting with on Twitter and learning more about them!

Attendees of the Downton Abbey tea were treated to hot tea in china cups and lemon curd.

Attendees of the Downton Abbey tea were treated to hot tea in china cups and lemon curd.

Downton Abbey is filmed in England in a gorgeous place called Highclere Castle. If you’ve not yet viewed this cultural phenomenon, I highly recommend watching it from the beginning of Season 1. Many libraries have DVDs and it has been on Netflix at times.

The show has run for three seasons and is currently in the middle of Season 4.

Mandy visits with a guest at our table while sitting at elegantly dressed tables adorned with pretty china dishes.

Mandy visits with a guest while sitting at elegantly dressed tables adorned with pretty china dishes.


Recently, the Allen County Public Library in Ft Wayne Indiana geared up for the intense interest in the show with a free afternoon tea catered by Fort Wayne’s premier tea house, Sweet Violets Tea & Antiques (www.sweetvioletsteaandantiques.com).

My sister Lyn, daughter Mandy and I gathered with other fans of the show to talk about the show’s intricate plot lines and relationships while partaking (that’s an English word, isn’t it?) of complimentary tea and pastries. We had tasty lemon curd, scones and tiny cakes. Delicious!

Registration was required and space limited to 30 people.

I dressed for the occasion in long gloves, white feathered headband and jewelry reflecting the time period. Other fans dressed full-scale in longish dresses and costumes. Cool!

As a separate act, our local PBS station coordinated a free viewing of the first hour of Season 4 at The Embassy Theatre in early January. My husband, two grown daughters and I all attended and had a wonderful time! There was a huge turnout and it shows that people love to gather for good stories!

OK, enough fawning about the show. Watch it and determine for yourself if it is worth the fuss. I’ll be surprised if you do not agree that it is one of the best mini-series to hit TV in a long time.

If you’re a fan of the show, who is your fave character? What was your fave episode?
Other appropriate comments are welcome.

Cheers!

Indy Author Fair Offers Opportunities for Writers, Readers

Book signing at Indy Author Fair was chance to  offer my books to new readers.

Book signing at Indy Author Fair was chance to offer my books to new readers.


Recently I was honored to be chosen to participate in the Indy Author Fair. It was held at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis. The Indy Author Fair is presented by the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award and The Indianapolis Public Library. The fair was free and included other free activities including a panel discussion of award-winning authors.

While I did not participate in the discussion as a panelist, I did enjoy the book signing session and meeting other authors from the state of Indiana who have published books.

James Alexander Thom is Hoosier author of historical novels.

James Alexander Thom is Hoosier author of historical novels.


One author I was especially privileged to meet was famed historian James Alexander Thom. I read his book Follow the River in the 1970s and loved it.

As luck would have it, I was seated near Mr Thom and took the opportunity to tell him of my admiration for his research in the historical novels he’s written about Native Americans. We chatted several minutes and it was a highlight of the day for me. I purchased his book, Red Heart, about the story of Frances Slocum, a white child kidnapped and raised by Miamis. She was eventually found living in Peru, Indiana, with the tribe and refused to leave them when her white family begged her to return with them to PA. Interesting!

Another highlight was meeting a ‘fan’ of mine of sorts.

Meeting readers is a fun part of author fairs.

Meeting readers is a fun part of author fairs.


Mandy Suhre attended my workshop in 2012 of the National Missionary Convention in Indianapolis on ‘Writing That Praises God’. She’s kept in touch with me during the past year and is pursuing her ambition of being a published writer by meeting authors at the fair. Although she didn’t know I would be at the fair, she did introduce herself to me. I was thrilled to see her and wish her God’s grace on her future as a writer.
Laurie Gray has authored books for children and teens.

Laurie Gray has authored books for children and teens.


Still another highlight was spending time with my friend Laurie Gray who is the author of books for children and teens—Summer Sanctuary and Maybe I Will. She has other books being released by Luminis in 2014.
Plan now to attend the next Indianapolis Author Fair. http://www.indianaauthorsaward.org/
What opportunities are you using to expand your knowledge of writing and book publishing? The year 2014 might just be your time to shine!

Pontiac Author Fair — Allen County (Indiana) Public Library

Presenting talk at Author Fair at Pontiac branch of Allen County Public Library in Spring 2013.

Presenting talk at Author Fair at Pontiac branch of Allen County Public Library in Spring 2013.

As an author of nine non-fiction middle grade children’s books, I’m always excited about opportunities to share about the writing process. This week I’ll be at the second annual Author Fair at Pontiac branch of Allen County Public Library on Tuesday, November 5 from 6:00-8:30. For more information go to <ahref="http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/&quot;.

Benita Browning, branch manager, hosted the first Author Fair at her branch in 2012. I participated and was so glad I did as it was fun and interesting to meet other area authors.
Authors at 2013 ACPL Pontiac Author Fair.

This year ten local authors are scheduled to attend!

We each talked to the crowd about our books and how we became writers and authors. There was a question and answer time and refreshments followed.

Day by Day with Taylor Swift by Kayleen Reusser for Grades 1-3.

Day by Day with Taylor Swift by Kayleen Reusser for Grades 1-3.

Approximately 10 local authors are scheduled to attend in 2013 so it should be another educational and helpful time! If you live in the area, please plan to attend and talk with people who love to work with words and create boatful stories for people of all ages.

Best-Selling Author Tess Gerritsen Speaks at Wells County Public Library

Best-selling author Tess Gerritsen poses with me during a book signing.

Best-selling author Tess Gerritsen poses with me during a book signing.


I’m thrilled to say I met a best-selling author this week! Tess Gerritsen, creator of Rizzoli and Isles books and TV show and author of 24 fantastic suspense novels, including Gravity, visited the Wells County Public Library on Wednesday, October 2.

Gerritsen created characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles for TNT series.

Gerritsen created characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles for TNT series.

It was a great night with a turnout of 100+. This was a big deal for my small town as it was possibly the first time a major author had ever visited.

More than 100 people attended a book talk/signing by best-selling author Tess Gerritsen at Wells County Public Library.

More than 100 people attended a book talk/signing by best-selling author Tess Gerritsen at Wells County Public Library.


Ms. Gerritsen talked about writing her books and then had a book signing. It was thrilling to meet an author whose books I’ve read and admired for years. My friend Shirley Jump got me started with a book called The Bone Garden. I re-read it and enjoyed it just as much the second time!
Terr Gerritsen is author of The Bone Garden.

Terr Gerritsen is author of The Bone Garden.


I bought Gravity because it was such an unusual plot for me to be intrigued by – space, biological terrorism, in other words technical stuff. But Ms. Gerritsen is great about not using too much of it to bog down a plot for an average reader.

That was the title our library chose to focus on and the librarians made a neat display advertising her talk.

The Bone Garden display at Wells County Public Library promoting author Tess Gerritsen's visit.

The Bone Garden display at Wells County Public Library promoting author Tess Gerritsen’s visit.


The tour was part of Ms. Gerritsen’s efforts to promote public libraries as places of learning. She had never been to Indiana and I hope we gave her a warm welcome! From the comments she has posted on her blog, I think that happened. Read them here.

Thanks, Ms. Gerritsen, for going out of your way to visit the Midwest. We loved hearing you talk and hope you’ll come back soon!