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.


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 get students to read? Invite Medusa!

OES Meyer Em 04-14DSCN2981OES Meyer Em 04-14 Hades

I’m not too proud to pull out all of the stops to inspire kids to read. That includes wearing a head full of snakes—rubber snakes, that is!

As the author of 3 books on Greek gods – Hades, Hephaestus, Hermes, I’ve decided to create one of the creepiest characters in Greek mythology to tell kids about them—Medusa!

Her story of having a passel of snakes instead of hair always made me cringe. That’s just the reaction I’m hoping for from kids because I know they’re listening and they love creepy things!

It took 2 hours to sew 12 or so rubber snakes to a black skull cap but worth every minute as I talked with fourth graders last week at Ossian Elementary School for Young Author Day. Wearing a peach-colored flowing gown my beloved mother-in-law wore at our wedding, I talked in a what-else-but-creepy voice to the classes of Emilie Meyer and Beth Mallery.

Their kids were attentive and interested and it was a joy to speak to them.

I felt right at home with my snake hair as the teachers had also dressed up as book characters. Ms. Meyer was Pinkalicious which also looked pretty.

I’m available to introduce my 11 books to students at schools, libraries, groups, even Skype visits would work!

Please contact me xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the X’s which are put there to evade Spammers)

What are you doing to inspire your child/student to read? Nothing is more important to their success in life than the ability to read!

Speaking to Lancaster Elementary School Students Rocks!

I love speaking to students at Lancaster Elementary School!

I love speaking to students at Lancaster Elementary School!

Recently I spoke to 3rd and 4th grade students at Lancaster Elementary School in Ossian IN. My friend Lyn Rodgers arranged it and I thank her and the other teachers for allowing me to speak to their students about the writing process, how I get my ideas for writing and the importance of reading, spelling and grammar, of course, writing itself!
I spoke to 3rd and 4th graders at Lancaster Elementary School.

I spoke to 3rd and 4th graders at Lancaster Elementary School.

The kids were attentive and respectful. They had lots of questions and listened while I showed full-color pictures inside my books and told them how hard an author has to work. I can carry around the desire to be an author for years but until I’m actually sitting in a chair at my desk, putting the words on paper, nothing in that dream will come true.

I work in a middle school and enjoy interacting with kids, especially about books and reading. Do you need a speaker at your school to motivate your students? Please contact me and we’ll try to make it happen!

My lovely friend Lyn Rodgers arranged my visit  at Lancaster Elementary School. Thanks, Lyn!

My lovely friend Lyn Rodgers arranged my visit at Lancaster Elementary School. Thanks, Lyn!

What advice would you give students today about being a writer?

Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald Helps Speakers ‘Un-Sabotage’ Messages

Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald has interviewed me twice for her TV show.

Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald has interviewed me twice for her TV show.

I met Elizabeth Nulf MacDonald a few years ago through a mutual friend who was interested in communication skills. Elizabeth has interviewed me on her public access TV show which focuses on perfecting communication skills. She is an artist at what she does and it was a thrill to turn the tables and interview her. What communication errors do you believe needs to change in your speech?

“What have you done to sabotage your message?”

According to Fort Wayne resident Elizabeth MacDonald, that statement always surprises participants when she asks it at her communication workshops. “We all have much to say but many times people can’t hear our messages,” she said. “Our messages are drowned in a sea of extraneous non-essential verbiage by clichés and mindless phrases such as awesome and cool.”

MacDonald who grew up New Haven has served as an impassioned communicator most of her life. After earning a degree in secondary education from Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne, she became a professional broadcaster for a TV station in Norfolk, Virginia, and with WANE TV Channel 15.

From 2003-2007 she taught English at Southside High School and worked in communication and marketing for Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Today, she is a self-employed communication coach for her business, The Verbal Edge. “At my website ( I offer a blog that focuses on correct uses of grammar,” she said. “I love teaching vocabulary, having honed those skills as a reporter.”

MacDonald also hosts a program on Access Fort Wayne called The Verbal Edge. Since April 2010 when the show first aired, she and a crew of volunteers have produced 80 shows, most of which feature local professionals in the area of communication. MacDonald’s guests have included Troy Ganser, owner of The T.A.G. Art Company and DeShawn Moore, CEO / Publisher of Moore Gospel Magazine. “I feature accomplished communicators on my show who present themselves effectively,” she said.

The shows are produced free of charge in studios at the downtown Allen County Public Library. Excerpts from MacDonald’s shows are available on her Facebook page (The Verbal Edge) and on Linked In.

MacDonald also teaches workshops on facets of communication, including professional email formatting and texting. “Effective email messages permit salient points to be noticed,” she said. “Writers may think it is just a note they’re writing when they compose an email message, but it is also an expression of who they are.”

MacDonald admitted she does make one exception for correct grammar. “Twitter has a limit of 140 characters so I allow for that,” she said.

MacDonald, who attends Fellowship Missionary Church with her husband Greg, is just as impassioned about telling people about her Christian faith. “I work it into conversations because I want people to know about salvation through Jesus Christ,” she said.

The MacDonalds have two daughters, one of whom is a reporter and broadcaster for the Air Force in Turkey.

MacDonald will teach a session on communication at Tapestry for Women held April 27. Sissy Spacek is headline speaker for the event. “Each time I have the opportunity to awaken people’s awareness of how they can speak and deliver messages, it’s thrilling to me,” she said.

The End
Communication Coach
The Verbal Edge
cell: 433-3734

Fulbright Scholar Lauren Petersen Completes Year in Poland

Lauren Petersen and US Ambassador Feinstein



“Europe is this huge melting pot of cultures,” said 2007 Bluffton High School graduate Lauren Petersen. “That’s what I wanted to experience as a Fulbright Scholar. I wanted to be immersed in something completely new.”


In June Petersen returned from a year spent as a Fulbright Scholar teaching English to students at Wroclaw University in Wroclaw, Poland. Petersen had applied for the scholarship during her senior year at Ball State University. She received notification of her acceptance into the Fulbright Program in May 2011, the same month she graduated with a degree in Urban Planning and Development.


Lauren Petersen with some of her students.

According to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars website (, the Fulbright Scholarship is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government designed to increase understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries. Participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential in order to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.


The Fulbright scholarship paid her room and board and salary from September 2011 when she arrived in Poland until May 2012. During the year, she taught English to 20 Polish students who had graduated from college.


“They were fluent in English but desired to increase their conversational knowledge of the language,” she said. Using a syllabus, she challenged the students to think critically and share thoughts about specific subjects, such as their home lives and war and peace. At the end of the year they were required to present a speech on a topic of their choice. “I graded them on their fluency and usage of English,” said Petersen.


Lauren with Andrzej Dakowski, Executive Director of the Polish Fulbright Commission

Although Petersen had taught piano and swim lessons to students one-on-one in the US, she had never managed a large group. She discovered a love for teaching. “My mother is a teacher and I realized that passion she has for it,” she said. “To see the students’ progress made my preparatory work so worth it.”


Outside of the classroom Petersen struggled at times with communication. She had traveled overseas previously for academic and recreational purposes but had never lived in another country.


Assigned a room in student housing of the university, she daily encountered students from other countries, including Spain, Turkey, Germany and France. “I not only had to contend with learning Polish language but other languages as well,” she said.


While trying to befriend those whom she met, Petersen learned enough of the Polish language to order food in a restaurant, travel by bus and purchase food at the supermarket. “Using the Rosetta Stone program helped me much,” she added. Rosetta Stone is a foreign language teaching program.


During the year, Petersen traveled to 18 countries and wrote for an online magazine. She met up with friends from the US who were living abroad. She also assisted the country’s Make A Wish Foundation, the same program of which she had been a part while serving as Miss Central Indiana and other pageant positions in recent years.


“In Poland I worked with a 12-year old boy who wanted to go to the Baltic Sea with his family,” she said. She met with the child’s family and promoted the program within the community.


One of the highlights of her year was working with the consulate of the US Embassy. “Together, we promoted the international exchange program,” she said. “We gave presentations at high schools and the university, encouraging students to study abroad.” She added that one of her future goals is to work for the consulate and ambassador.


Currently, Petersen is interning through the summer with the Indianapolis Colts in the Community Relations Department. She hopes to return to Poland someday. “I met so many wonderful people this past year,” she said. “I absolutely intend to make it back. It was a life-changing experience.”


Note: Lauren Petersen recorded many of her experiences of traveling and living in Europe at her blog:


The End


Cutline: Lauren Petersen of Bluffton met the Ambassador of the US Embassy, Lee Feinstein, during her year spent teaching English in Poland.





Speaking at Norwell High School was an adventure!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to English students at Norwell High School. Rhonda Bower, one of the school’s English teachers, arranged my day-long visit.

Rhonda Bower teaches English to students at Norwell High School.

It was a pleasure to share the time with another speaker and real-life adventurer Paul Sell. Paul, 86, put together a great Power point presentation about his ventures into writing (he has self-published 3 fiction books about Alaska), sharing photos of his life in Alaska living with Eskimos and then working for the National Weather Service.

Paul Sell has self-published three books about living in Alaska.

He’s pretty amazing! Who else do you know has been on a whale hunt?

He has also taught himself to use his Iphone and Ipad. He’s light years ahead of me with technology!

Then I shared my experiences in teaching myself how to write and the discipline it takes to continue to generate ideas and income, the importance of meeting deadlines, being accurate, not plagiarizing, and seeking work.

I spoke to 200 or so students at Norwell High School about being a writer.

It was a fun day speaking to the 200 or so students. I’d love to do it at other schools. Do you know of a school that could use a children’s book author who could talk to students about writing? Please contact me at (remove the @’s).

Happy weekend!

Speaking appearance at Park Elementary School

Hades is 1 of 3 books I've written on the Greek gods.

I’m thrilled to be invited to speak to the 6th grade class at Park Elementary School on February 3. our subject will be the Greek gods. My thanks to teacher David Pyle and school principal Andrea Baker for inviting me.


The students are studying Greek mythology so it should be interesting. I’ll show them my three Greek gods books on Hermes, Hades and Hephaestus and explain what makes these gods unique.

Hermes was the messenger god.

After school, I’m headed to the Fairmount Public Library to give a book talk from 3-4pm. Thanks to librarian Linda Magers for helping with this appearance!

A bio on Taylor Swift was my first book.

My nine non-fiction children’s books will be on display. These include biographies of country music singer Taylor Swift and Disney actress Selena Gomez; three books on the Greek gods; Celebrities Giving Back and Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia contains 10 recipes/10 crafts.

Autographed copies of my books will be available for $15 each (cash only).

In celebration of my children’s book on Indonesia called Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia, I’ll distribute free candies from that country to visitors.

If you’re in the area and can stop by, please do! It should be a fun visit!