Tag Archives: inspirational

Building Resilience and Finding Meaning by June Rousso, Ph.D. Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author June Rousso, Ph.D. takes readers on an inward journey to discover the tools that we both have within us and develop over time as we face life’s challenges and how we can use those experiences to find meaning in life in the book “Building Resilience and Finding Meaning”.

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The Synopsis

Building Resilience and Finding Meaning in Life: A Guide for Teens is an interactive book meant to engage readers in learning how to face adversities in life and to find meaning in these experiences.  It gives the message that we have a treasure chest of inner resources that can be called upon in the face of adversity. These resources must be discovered and, in some instances developed to build resilience and find what holds personal meaning.  

The guide also can be read by counselors and educators to help teens cope and live a more meaningful life. The guide was inspired by the teachings of Dr. Viktor Frankl, noted author of Man’s Search for Meaning, and by the research findings on character strengths presented by the VIA Institute on Character.    

The Review

This was an incredibly well-written and captivating read. It is rare that I am able to get the opportunity to read YA-driven nonfiction books, and the author did a fabulous job of writing in a way that the book’s intended audience would have no trouble understanding the research and development that the author speaks of, while also providing emotional narrative elements to keep the reader invested in what that research delves into. 

The thing that stood out to me immediately was the author’s study of the works of Dr. Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi Concentration Camps, who helped to develop logotherapy and the three tenants that it is comprised of. The passion and zeal for life both the author and Dr. Frankl share were amazing to see come to life on the pages of this book, and the lessons that come from this line of the study were great to see. From the examination of freedom of choice growing up and the fine line between following a parent’s rules and accepting total compliance throughout one’s life, to how the perceptions we hold about ourselves and others reside within our spirits, this book does an excellent job of showcasing both the detailed study of Dr. Frankl’s work and the author’s ability to reach a younger audience in an impactful and meaningful way.

The Verdict

Captivating, thought-provoking, and engaging, author Dr. June Rousso’s “Building Resilience and Finding Meaning” is a must-read book for 2022! The fast pace of the book and the thoughtful approach to life’s challenges and the lessons teens can learn from these hardships, as well as the history and study of Dr. Frankl’s work, made this such a memorable read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dr. June Rousso is a licensed psychologist, life coach, and writer. She is a Clinician Diplomate in Logotherapy and Existential Analysis and maintains a private practice in New York City working with children and adults.  Dr. Rousso is on the advisory board to Child Resilient, a student-led nonprofit organization focusing on fostering emotional resilience and mental health wellness in children and adolescence thorough education, outreach, and awareness. She also is the author of The Little Book of Character Strengths that focuses on helping children become aware of their character strengths to feel better about themselves and learn to face difficult situations in their daily life. 

http://junerousso.com

Life Skills 101: All You Need, But Won’t Learn in School by Ivi Green Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The collective team of Ivi Green takes readers on a journey to explore the highs and lows of teenage life, giving a comprehensive study of the expectations and lessons we can learn from those coveted years in the book, “Life Skills 101: All You Need, But Won’t Learn in School”. 

The Synopsis

The Most Valuable Life Lessons For Teens Told Through an Infographic, Essential Social Skills and Mindfulness for Developing Personalities.

Growing up is a painful process for everyone involved. Teens want freedom, while parents want their kids to be responsible. Teens struggle with heartbreak, friendship troubles, self-esteem issues, and overwhelming expectations. Parents worry about the choices their kids might make but can’t get through to them… and nobody knows what the #@!% they’re doing. It just so happens that we’ve got a manual for that.

It’s a colorful, practical, and engaging 100-page guide to every soft skill your kid needs to be happy. And you won’t have to rack your brain trying to get them to read it! While applying the scientifically proven method of visual learning, Life Skills 101 teaches important life lessons in a way that is accessible and easy to digest. Whether 10 or 18, your kid won’t be able to put it down (and neither will you).

✔ACCESSIBLE TO A WIDE RANGE OF AGES: although it is primarily targeted towards teens 12-16, the skills this book teaches are not age-specific; it’s never too late or too early to learn and work toward growing into the person you strive to be

✔SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN WAY TO LEARN: our infographics use attention-grabbing, and relevant illustrations to help your teen learn and retain valuable lessons long-term. Keep their attention with the most visual of all books for teen girls and boys

✔FOR TEENS, BY A TEEN: this is a unique book that has been written by a mom for her teen girl who then translated it into English. It won’t talk down to its readers; it’s a much-needed, fresh teen take on the self-help genre

The Review

This was such a comprehensive and detailed read. The collective creators and people who go by the name Ivi Green do a wonderful job of creating an easy-to-read guide and found the perfect balance between written content and bright and colorful imagery to help illustrate the points the passages are making. The amazing content allowed for readers to have some sort of information and guide to not only their teenage years but their adult years as well. 

I loved the wide variety of topics the collective group of creators brought to this book. From everyday topics like calculating taxes to more profound and meaningful topics like who we are as individuals and emotional intelligence, the book did an incredible job of providing a thorough and thoughtful collection of information to allow teenagers to understand the often confusing and difficult years of their teenage years. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, engaging, and interactive, the collective of Ivi Green’s “Life Skill 101: Everything You Need, But Won’t Learn in School” is a must-read book. The way the writers and creators were able to include both fact-based graphs and information with more personal and emotional-based writing allowed for a much more well-rounded read, and the book also makes for a great reference read in case teenagers need to go back and study up on issues facing them in certain moments of their lives. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ivi Green is the curious bird peeking out at you from our logo. Her cheerful, curious, creative temperament helps her to navigate life with love and wonder. Ivi Green is also the alias for our big team of passionate parents, dedicated kids, and creative professionals who participate in the project with the same Ivi spirit.

It all started from a never-ending stream of questions that Sofiya, now 16, brought to her mom, Maria.

https://ivigreen.com/

Executive Coaching: The Ultimate Success Blueprint You Need as a New Executive to Get The Best Business Results by Robert Moment Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Robert Moment takes readers on a journey to discover how leaders can find the skills to become a success and strong leaders in the book, “Executive Coaching: The Ultimate Success Blueprint You Need as a New Executive to Get The Best Business Results”. 

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The Synopsis

Are you a new executive leader who needs a blueprint for success and has untapped potential?

Do you want to release it and be an even stronger and more effective leader as a result?

This book will show you how to do it!

Every leader wants to be the best they can be; to inspire, motivate, display strength and be decisive. Most leaders have unexploited skills that lurk beneath the surface and with little idea of how to make the most of them. Of course, there are ways that these abilities can be brought to bear and the good news is that it’s easier than you might think.

With this book, Executive Coaching, you will find that releasing your additional unlocked potential can be achieved with a few adjustments to the way you operate, such as:

  • Knowing your executive value
  • Leveraging your skills for maximum performance
  • The FAST method to becoming an effective leader
  • Developing successful leadership skills
  • Problem solving skills to deal with today uncertain business challenges
  • Turning problems into opportunities
  • Effective success habits for you to adopt

And lots more…

Executive Coaching book will give you the tools to get the business results you want today.

The Review

The author did such a fantastic job of crafting a well-developed outline of the steps would-be leaders and readers can take to become the executive leaders they were meant to be. Through simple yet effective steps, the author showed readers how to elevate the skills and untapped potential already within themselves to become the leaders their work needs them to be. 

The outline and steps the author mapped out in this book were both effective and thought-provoking. One section that stood out to me was the ability of an executive leader to have a good Emotional Intelligence or EQ. Studying and allowing oneself to understand their own ability to control their emotions, as well as the ability to recognize, empathize, and identify with the emotions of those working with or under you. As someone who has recognized the effects of emotional intelligence playing out in front of me, it was refreshing to see a business and inspirational-led book take a look into this side of things.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, educational, and engaging, author Robert Moment’s “Executive Coaching: The Ultimate Success Blueprint You Need as a New Executive to Get The Best Business Results” is a must-read nonfiction book of 2022, and the perfect read for executive leaders or those who want to move into higher positions within their fields. In a thorough and well-researched business and motivational book, the author does a great job of connecting with readers and providing the tools to unlock the skills that already exist within the reader. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Robert Moment is an ICF Certified Executive Coach and ICF Certified Emotional Intelligence Expert. I help new executives achieve peak performance by identifying and removing their blind spots.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lifecoachrobertmoment

Hospisophy by Danny Blorian Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The emotional and spiritual journey that both patients and caregivers can undergo working and living within a hospice care situation can lead to times of contemplation and understanding, and in author Danny Blorian’s “Hospisophy”, the reader is treated to a series of personal experiences and stories from both the author’s work experience and the personal experiences of patients as relayed to him.

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The Synopsis

Every man, and every woman, has a story – and stories beget wisdom.

Those who know their days are numbered gain a certain clarity that far exceeds the common knowledge we are often trapped in during the day to day.

From the clear, sober perspective of people who know they are no longer dealing with an uncertain future, but with how to cope with impending death and the meaning of the life they have led, a moving, insightful string of stories emerges, stories of deep, penetrating wisdom and life lessons under whose reflective light an individual can better live.

This book collects the life stories of men and women who have related them in the last days of their lives. Stories of people who felt unable to leave this world without their telling. They are short, illuminating stories about the variety of ways a life can be lived, and the various ways it is possible to prepare for death.

It is surprising how simple things can appear to be when exposed to the core, and this is true of the stories in this book. All can be read from a healthy sense of curiosity, from a need to look into other people’s lives, as well as a guide to use to avoid all those missed opportunities in life, the crossroads where so many of us take a wrong turn.

The Review

This was such an emotional and heartfelt read. The author takes an inspirational and grounded approach to a very sensitive and emotional part of a lot of people’s lives. Whether it is the reader who finds themselves nearing this point in their own lives or the reader who has a loved one enduring this moment themselves, the book speaks to everyone and delves into the human condition in a raw and real way. 

Yet it is the way the author and the people he spoke with and shared their stories use these emotional moments and memories they share to inspire the reader. Delving into five areas under the subject known as “Regrets” in the book, each story and experience the author shares deals with an important life lesson that the author hopes will encourage others to take advantage of the life they have left and do the most with it. The writing was compelling and did a great job balancing storytelling with establishing an emotional connection between the reader and the subjects of this book. 

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The Verdict

A memorable, honest, and emotionally-investing read, author Danny Blorian’s “Hospisophy” is must-read nonfiction and inspirational read. Exploring the concept of death itself and how it impacts life, the author does a phenomenal job of taking these personal and impactful stories from these patients and their families and showing readers how to live a life without regrets. A life fulfilled, and with a sense of purpose that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

The Big Power of Tiny Connections: How Small Interactions Spark Awesome Outcomes by Jen Nash Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Jen Nash takes readers on a unique and thought-provoking journey to share personal experiences and scientific studies that show that our need to make connections with others can ultimately lead to a more productive life in their book, “The Big Power of Tiny Connections: How Small Interactions Spark Awesome Outcomes”. 

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The Synopsis 

Using amazing true-life stories and scientific research on how we listen, talk, and crave connection, this book demonstrates that making time to connect is the most productive thing we can do to thrive at home or at work. Jen Nash underscores how powerfully connection supports your happiness, health, and well-being, while also sharing practical ways you can find and make connections on a daily basis—almost anywhere.

In this zippy read, Nash explains how the opportunity to connect is everywhere and how we can get more than we ever dreamed of out of life if we make the effort to lean in and say hello.

Whether you want to go to more parties, get a better job, make more money, or get laid more—reading this book can give you practical strategies for doing it all. A happier, more successful, and more fulfilling life is within your reach and The Big Power of Tiny Connections will show you the way.

The Review

This was such a captivating and engaging read. The author did an amazing job of striking that wonderful balance that is needed in nonfiction reads between well-researched information and facts given to the reader and the more personal, well-experienced moments in the author’s own life to validate their findings. 

The way the author is able to utilize the power of connection not only for people’s careers, but for their personal lives as well felt like the book became a lot more inclusive and well-rounded, and showed how these two aspects of a person’s life often cross over with one another. The book flowed smoothly and showed a depth of research and ironically, a personal connection that the author held with the reader as they learned of the author’s own experiences and witty style of writing.

The Verdict

A memorable, educational, and thoughtful read, author Jen Nash’s “The Big Power of Tiny Connections” is a must-read nonfiction book! The inspiration and expertise for which the author writes are so engaging, and as someone who personally struggles with social anxiety yet craves personal connection, I found the author’s words to be moving and gave me a means of learning and growing in my social skills. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Some authors are shy and a little withdrawn…but not Jen Nash. As a Connector in Chief, Jen Nash helps people add more meaning to their lives through connections. She is a master facilitator, author, sought-after executive coach, and corporate trainer/speaker. Not surprisingly—her Masterful Storytelling corporate training garners rave reviews when it comes to helping support employees become more audience-focused, connection-minded, and grounded when they speak or present.

With over twenty years working as a senior consultant for Fortune 100 Pharma, Health, Tech, and Finance giants, Jen Nash now regularly inspires and supports leaders at firms large and small—to deepen their connections in support of all the good things in life: happiness, growth, and sustained community.

Born in Canada and raised around the world in such countries as Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia, Jen loves to try her hand at speaking a smattering of many languages. She studied Communication Design at Parsons School of Design and The New School in New York City.

https://www.jennash.com/

Live Your Best Life by Julia A. Royston Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Julia A. Royston leads readers on a personal journey of self-reflection in order to showcase the way she has learned to be her best self in her short non-fiction and self-help style book, “Live Your Best Life”.

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The Synopsis 

What does Live Your Best Life really mean? To me, it means being the best me that I can be for me and not anyone else. It means living in my truth and not the truth of someone else. It means living the life that I was meant to live and being okay with it deep down inside myself and not based on what others think, believe or approve. It means a lot to me. It’s not always fun and sometimes it’s downright scary but it’s me and I’m okay with it. Why? I only have one life to live on this earth and this is it. You ready? Let’s go!

The Review

This was a truly unique and succinct read. The author does a great job of incorporating their own beliefs and faith into their self-help system that has helped them not only in life but in their business life as well, while also giving readers enough room to feel they can incorporate the things in their lives that they believe in, even if it is not the same as the author. That is a rare thing in non-fiction reads, as books are often curtailed to specific things like a certain faith or belief system, but the author takes that and flips it on its head early on in the read, giving readers the chance to customize their experience with the author’s system for their own lifestyles. 

The author does a great job of exploring the basic building blocks of success both in life and in business and connecting the two together to form a perfect balance. From establishing an important support system to weather the harshest storms we will face in our lives to discovering our true purpose in life through our passions, dreams, and talents, the author does a great job of connecting readers with not only her message but themselves in the process.

Amazon Music: Six Months of Disney+

The Verdict

An informed, passionate, and engaging non-fiction read, author Julia Royston’s “Live Your Best Life” is a must-read story of hope, purpose, and the desire to live life according to what we want out of life, not what others desire for us. Whether it is a religion that makes the bedrock of your life’s foundation or some other passion or inspiration, living a life of purpose without sacrificing our passions has never felt more possible than in this wonderful read. If you haven’t yet, be sure you grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Julia Royston spends her days doing what she loves, writing, publishing, speaking and coaching others to tell, introduce and create businesses surrounding their messages to the world. That is her “Why.” Her companies, BK Royston Publishing LLC, Julia Royston Enterprises, Royal Media and Publishing and Royston Book Fairs are the conduits that support all of her client’s endeavors. 

To date, Julia has written 60 books, recorded 3 music CDs and Coached more than 200 to write and publish books as well as establish their own businesses. She is the Host of the “Live Your Best Life” Broadcast heard each Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. EST on http://www.envision-radio.com. She hosts the quarterly Book Business Boss Podcast heard at www.bookbusinessbosspodcast.com

To contact and connect with Julia,

visit solo.to/juliaaroyston

www.facebook.com/juliaaroyston

www.twitter.comjuliaakroyston

www.instagram.com/juliaaroyston

www.tiktok.com/juliaroyston

www.linkedin.com/juliaroyston

https://www.bookbub.com/books/live-your-best-life-by-julia-a-royston

The Extraordinary UnOrdinary You: Follow Your Own Path, Discover Your Own Journey by Simone Knego Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Simone Knego shares with readers how to better one’s life by changing the way we see ourselves in her book, “The Extraordinary, UnOrdinary You”. 

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The Synopsis 

Do you wake up every day feeling like you’re going through the motions, that the hundreds of choices you make have almost no impact on the people around you?

Many motivational books will tell you that in order to better the world, you must first better yourself. But you really only need to change the way you see yourself and the world around you will change.

What you do every day matters and inspires others. By sharing your story, you can motivate and encourage those around you—and in doing so, change the world.

Everyone has a story, and in The Extraordinary UnOrdinary You, Simone Knego takes you inside her unique journey and the extraordinary moments which have shaped her life and defined her mission. Sharing the lessons she’s learned from life’s ups, downs, and laugh-out-loud moments, you’ll be inspired to discover your own journey, and to go out into the world and be the good. The world is waiting for the Extraordinary UnOrdinary You, and you already have everything you need to get started, simply by being you.

The Review

A powerfully written book, author Simone Knego does an excellent job of connecting with readers on a personal level by sharing her own life and experiences that people can relate to. For so many people there is this need to find people who appear to be living truly extraordinary lives and emulate them, but what the author showcases here is that by being our best, most authentic selves we are able to achieve change and growth we want and the impact we hope to have on the world around us, whether it is on a large scale or simply by inspiring the people we love the most. 

The author does a great job of imparting some truly memorable lessons to the reader, from realizing we’re all human and therefore apt to make mistakes or second guess ourselves at moments in our lives, to realizing that every single one of us has our own journey to undertake, which speaks to individuality and how unique and yes, extraordinary, we all are. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, inspiring and relatable, author Simone Knego’s “The Extraordinary UnOrdinary You” is the perfect non-fiction, self-help read. With 2020 coming to close and so much chaos and upheaval ruling our lives, the need for inspiration and hope has never been higher, and through the author’s book readers are left with that sense of hope. Giving readers the power to find their own power and ability to inspire others around them, this is the book to read in the closing month of the year, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

SIMONE KNEGO leads an ordinary life filled with extraordinary moments. As a wife, mother to six children (and three dogs), and a serial entrepreneur, she splits her time between her family, businesses, and personal growth. She’s realized the small choices she makes every day to do good actually have the power to inspire others. Simone shared that message during speaking opportunities she received as co-chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet for the Jewish Federations of North America. With this book, she hopes to inspire you to embrace life’s ups and downs and realize the impact you’re making on the world. 

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Guest Article: Signposts of Inspiration by Carol Es

Editor’s Note: This is Anthony Avina, and I wanted to personally welcome author Carol Es to my website. This insightful and honest article was something I wanted to share with you all, and I couldn’t appreciate it more that Carol took the time to write it for us. I hope you guys enjoy it. Now on to Carol’s article…


When people ask what inspires me, I never know what to say. Not because I’m lacking in the inspiration department—it’s just too general a question. “Everything,” I’ll say. If asked what my inspiration might be for something specific, you probably won’t be able to shut me up.

As both a writer and a visual artist, my work is predominantly autobiographical. I love anything with a narrative. Stories move me to create, they draw me in and take me on an escape, like a drug. When combining writing with art together, all the better. I have made many Artist’s books that mish-mash art and words, a genre unto itself, and it’s mostly what I’m used to working in.

However, I’ve been writing short stories and poetry since I was a kid. I wrote a screenplay when I was 17-18 that I never finished. (It was terrible.) Throughout my 20s, I made several attempts at writing novels, but had never been able to get more than 50 pages in. Most of the fiction I wrote was autobiographical. I’ve been inspired by authors Charles Bukowski since I was a young teenager, and later John Fante. It’s not that I wanted to write in either of their styles, but I wanted to be able to evoke a similar feeling from my writing.

Still working on that.

It was nerve-wracking writing in nonfiction, though I think it drove me to finish an entire book. At first, I didn’t write about myself much at all. I found the stories of people much more interesting, and so, I’ve written Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley several times over. It was hard to come to grips with, but a memoir is supposed to be self-indulgent. It just feels uncomfortable. I had to carve out an honest story and reveal my raw self to the world. It’s risky business.

Along the way, I probably couldn’t have finished it without bits of inspiration. My partner, Michael Phillips, also a writer pushed me and supported me immensely. I was also absolutely dazzled after seeing Jonathan’s Caouette’s documentary art film, Tarnation.

Caouette took 20 years of home movies, snapshots, and answering machine messages, stuck them into a blender and came out with a unique examination of his early life—his tumultuous childhood with his mentally ill mother. How could I not identify with that? My mother was bipolar.

This incredibly brave movie deeply inspired me to stop apologizing for my own dysfunctional family and embrace them as my muse. I also began to see the strength in vulnerability instead of viewing it as a weakness.

But I had been wanting to write this book in one version or another for a long time. At the start of it, I began to think back some 20 years when I lived off of Laurel Canyon—a winding road through the Santa Monica Mountains that connects the southeast San Fernando Valley to West Hollywood in Los Angeles. It was the most inspired time and place for me.

A few people in the apartment building I lived in donated books in the laundry room and we’d all give and take them. Once I found a big hardcover book that got me really into my Jewish genealogy (Finding our Fathers by Dan Rottenberg), which sent me on a wild and freaky ride to nowhere. Or maybe it sent me to a sad wasteland. I never quite got to the bottom of my family search, but I got a lot of stories from all the digging I did. Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley actually began with my parents’ backstories, but most of it wound up on the cutting room floor as they say.

Once I’d been working on the book for a couple of years, I found even more inspiration in Myla Goldberg’s Bee Season. I’d been living in San Pedro and picked it up at the free clinic, much in the same way I did Finding our Fathers.

Though Bee Season isn’t a work of nonfiction, it changed the way I saw memoir writing. It’s written from a young girl’s point of view looking back as an adult woman. She recalls the span of time in her life when she was able to win over her father’s love by excelling in national spelling competitions. Though I’m no good at spelling, I really identified with the character who was the youngest in a Jewish family of just four. She’s also been severely overshadowed by her older brother. More than her thoughts and desires to be loved, it was the way she was able to bring in each of her family members’ backstory so seamlessly. I loved that and wished I could have done that. Perhaps in the future.

I get wildly excited and inspired by other visual artists too. I’ll fall in love with painters, i.e.: Amy Sillman, or Lisa Sanditz. I’ll want their work to influence mine. Inevitably, it is nearly impossible to duplicate the same feelings or techniques because everyone has there own thing. My work always winds up looking like all my other paintings. It’s frustrating because I often like other artist’s work much more than my own. That happens. That’s life, I guess. We aspire to be better and are inspired by the beauty that surrounds us and keep on going.

Spring Promotion – $5 off $45 @ eBooks.com. Use Code: springebookscp. Valid until June 20.

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Author Bio

Carol Es

Carol Es is a self-taught artist, writer, and musician born in Los Angeles. Using a wide variety of media, she is known for creating personal narratives that transform a broken history into a positive resolution. Her paintings, drawings, installations, videos, and books have been exhibited nationwide in venues such as Riverside Art Museum, Torrance Art Museum, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, and Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles. Some of her works can be found in the collections at the Getty and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Her collaborative film was also featured in the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale. 

Awarded many honors, including several grants from the National Arts and Disability Center and California Arts Council, she is a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation, a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship, and the Wynn Newhouse Award. She has written articles of art critique for the Huffington Post and Coagula Art Journal, as well as having poetry published with small presses. She also received a writing grant from Asylum-Arts—a Global Network for Jewish Culture.

Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley

esart.com

Desert Dog Books

Inspiration Mondays: Christmas Time

For those who have read my books before, you guys know that I in general write horror based stories, filled with good men and women having to overcome great evil, (both human and non-human), and from the outside, that probably looks like most of my inspiration for writing comes from horror movies, true crime novels and a questionable childhood. However, that is not the case. While I’m a huge fan of the horror genre and love horror movies, shows, games, books and more, I’m also a sucker for romance and feel-good stories that touch the heart. One of the big inspirations for me when I try to be creative in both my writing and my filming is the holidays. Halloween is a big creative push for me, but one of my favorite times of year that truly inspires me is Christmas time.

Christmas means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For those of you guys that are religious, this holiday holds a special
meaning to you guys. For others, this is a time where you get free gifts and get to eat your favorite foods. However, since I’m not religious
and since I don’t really focus on the gift portion of the holiday, Christmas has a sort of different meaning for me. To me, Christmas is a
time to be with family. The actual traditions associated with the holiday, (i.e. decorating, baking, wrapping presents, putting up the tree,
listening to Christmas music, watching holiday movies and shows, and even playing games and reading books), these are all a part of the same overlaying tradition, and that’s spending time with family. Family not just by blood, but the families we create as well, whether its significant others and friends to your pets.

These things and the act of being with friends and family is truly inspiring. It lifts my spirits, and boosts my creativity ten fold. Being
around all of these traditions and my family reminds me about the power that family, friends, hope, and love can bring about. It reminds me
of what it is my protagonists are fighting for, and what it means to be connected to one another. No matter how dark things get, the power
of hope and love is strong enough to get you through that darkness. That is what the holiday means to me, and why Christmas is a huge
inspiration to me around this time of year.

Question: What does Christmas mean to you?