Happy Independence Day!

As we celebrate our Independence Day here in the US, I think about the freedoms that are very dear to me.  My freedom of speech is something I take very seriously as a writer and author.  It is also a way for me to make money to help support my family.  

I have friends and contacts on social media from all walks of life, from all over the globe – likely one of the most diverse groups of people anyone has ever seen.  Most people I know from all of the locations I have traveled and lived have been supportive and open-minded and simply great.  If they have not been openly supportive, or do not agree with views expressed in my articles, books or posts, I wouldn’t really know it, as they themselves know enough to just scroll on by.  You see, we all used to be able to have different opinions and views yet still be friends – we could still be civil even in disagreement.  Sadly, more and more these days, this is not the case.

For those of you who have been supportive of me and my family – thank you.  Keep being you and never give up on what you believe in.  Share your opinions freely, but realize you are on social media, where most have the attention span of 250 characters and cowardice and narcissism rule. 

For those of you who have attacked me – be it by arguing incessantly with my friends and family via comments, blocking or unfriending me personally, or whatever – I have this message for you:  I’ve watched some of you change from seemingly happy-go-lucky fun-loving people to angry, outraged trolls.  You spout your self-righteous virtue signaling and I see right through it.  I have always respected all of your opinions, even if I thought they were misguided and misinformed.  I just scrolled on by.  But you don’t want to give me the same consideration.  Get over yourselves and stop with all the outrage.  You are clearly miserable in your life, and you look it too!  Get off of Facebook and make a positive change in your life.  

I get at least 3-4 messages a week from various contacts who are convinced my posts, articles or books are all about them.  It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.  If you think every post, article or book is about you, then you might be a narcissist.

I won’t be bullied or silenced.  Don’t ever try to tell me what I can or cannot say on my own personal page, blog or whatever it might be.  I am a writer, I stand for free speech and expression.  I’m not sure when cowing to tyrants became the norm, but I won’t be participating in that activity.

A word of caution: be careful of using Facebook as your way to stay in touch with people.  I have written articles about this subject.  The dangers of thinking you understand where someone is coming from based on a quick Facebook post are numerous.  Comments made at the click of the button can be easily misconstrued, by a largely ignorant herd-mentality crowd.  Just because you shriek louder does not mean you are right. 

And to those dearly departed UNfriends: over the past few years their tolerance for perceived opinions that differ from their own has waned and apparently have warranted swift unfriending! Here’s to you – Happy Independence Day!  Your bitterness and hate only leads me to more and more success.

Mommy’s Gone Mad! The Lost Tracks

Mommy’s Gone Mad! The Lost Tracks – Album Just Dropped!

Laugh along with this sequel to the original Mommy’s Gone Mad! Streaming now on Spotify, Amazon Music, Napster, Shazam, Tidal, Deezer, YouTube Music, Google Play and more!

Try it out! Mommy’s Gone Mad! The Lost Tracks. Anyone who works from home can relate to this one – Mommy Didn’t Get Anything Done Today

Mommy’s Gone Mad! The Lost Tracks

Pick up where we left off with Mommy’s Gone Mad! and join us for fun sing-along songs your kids will love!

My Music!

Over the past few months I’ve become a rockstar! I now have three singles out – in addition to my children’s music album released last year. Each of my songs goes along with one of my books — see if you can figure out which book goes with which song!

These songs are streaming on Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Napster, Apple Music/iTunes and more!

The Lemon Seed

My second children’s picture book, The Lemon Seed, is now available just about everywhere books are sold! I wrote and illustrated this one myself! You can get it in hardback or e-version (hardback always translates better when you’re dealing with a children’s picture book).

A story of thriving in adversity and flourishing, even in dismal circumstances and environments. A children’s picture book about a lemon seed that gets thrown in the trash and ends up in the garbage dump, where it grows into a beautiful tree, supplying lemons to all of the animals.

I hope you like it!

E-Learning Resources

I’ve been trying to think of ways I could help someone during this time…. Then it dawned on me that I have taken dozens, if not hundreds, of classes online over the years.  I’ve compiled a list of resources for online learning – from resources for teachers and parents to use with homeschooling, to adult-themed subjects – from great sources. 

Futurelearn.com – This is a great place to find free classes on just about anything you can imagine.  They offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop.  They have hundreds of partners from around the world. These include many of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, such as the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Film and Television School. They also work with a range of internationally renowned organizations – from professional bodies such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), to businesses like the BBC and Marks & Spencer, to the UK Government.  I have taken everything from a class on Infant CPR given by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to World War 1: A History in 100 Stories, to one I’m currently taking on Rome.  

Edx.org – Free college classes. I have taken everything from Harvard classes titled China’s Political and Intellectual Foundations and Buddhism and Its Scriptures to a class on The Spain of Don Quixote given by the University of Madrid, to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas given by the University of Iceland. They have just about anything you can imagine from some of the best schools in the world.

Udemy.com – They have a wide range of classes in subjects ranging from game development to mobile apps to IT certification, to marketing and business. They have Python, ethical hacking, you name it.  These have a small price usually, but I see lots of sales going at all times.  

*** Update: Udemy.com now has a free resource center. FREE classes!

Environmental education materials – bringing ecology to the classroom.
https://education.mongabay.com/

NASA/Kennedy Space Center – Initially it was announced by some media outlets that they would be having Facebook Live events, but it appears they have been canceled for now.  You can still access their online learning links though.

https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/camps-and-education/educator-resources

World Wildlife Fund- biodiversity toolkit :

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/biodiversity-toolkit?utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu

World Wildlife Fund – coloring pages:

https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/SPageServer/;jsessionid=00000000.app257b?pagename=coloringgallery&utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu&NONCE_TOKEN=CDCA283F6791649566D32A5464031E1D

World Wildlife Fund – elephant toolkit:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/elephant-toolkit?utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu

World Wildlife Fund – dolphin toolkit:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/dolphin-toolkit?utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu

World Wildlife Fund – polar bear toolkit:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/polar-bear-toolkit?utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu

World Wildlife Fund – sea turtle toolkit:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/sea-turtle-toolkit?utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu

World Wildlife Fund – monarch teaching toolkit:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/monarch-toolkit?utm_campaign=wild-classroom&utm_medium=email&utm_source=enews-wc&utm_content=200322-edu

Free education resources from the Nordic countries: Here you have 40+ remote learning solutions from Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden that you are welcome to use. For kids, preschool as well as K – 12, great resources to include ones for other languages, from all over the world.  Don’t let the 99math throw you off – there are resources from ALPA Kids – a mobile application where children can learn colors, numbers, the alphabet by playing with examples of their own culture and local nature, to the Future Astronauts Program – a 12-week program with activities connected to life skills of astronauts. Consists of inspirational Space material and easy-to-introduce activities to support STEM learning. Teachers have curated NASA materials that are relevant and interesting for young children, to Finland Math and it’s digital exercise platform Eduten Playground – an excellent resource for remote teaching and learning. It’s the most popular math learning tool among Finnish teachers, and one reason is that it is very easy to assign exercises for the students, and set and track goals, to resources specifically for teachers’ management of students – I could go on and on this one has so many different resources – all the way through higher education. 

https://education-nation.99math.com/

Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income: Online business toolkit. Mr. Flynn is a master of passive income.  He offers all sorts of training, lots of it free, on how to successfully work from home, how to create passive income streams that really make money, and more. Ever wondered how to set up and make money with affiliate links? This guy is a master at it.

https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/online-business-toolkit/

Graduate School USA (used to be Grad School USDA): Long ago, I took classes on HTML through Grad School USDA.  Now, it looks like it is more geared toward the federal workforce, specifically management and human resources.  And it looks like they cost a bit to take. But still might be a valuable resource for someone.

https://www.graduateschool.edu/content/online

Tonya Leigh of French Kiss Life: Ms. Leigh runs a lifestyle brand and global movement called French Kiss Life.  She teaches people how to manage their own minds and bring joie de vivre into their daily lives. She does blog posts, podcasts and YouTube videos. 

My Life Suckers: A comical YouTube channel and blog run by a mom who used to be a Senior Editor for Nickelodeon’s parenting website for 6 years where she wrote about snot and ear infections.  They have put together a great blog post full of resources. Resources ranging from Khan Academy: Excellent free tutorials for all ages in math, science, computing, humanities and more. They have courses from preschool math all the way to AP Calculus to Hike Find Draw: A hiker takes you along with him as he photographs what he finds. He then chooses a photograph and teaches his audience how to sketch what he has found on his hike, there are so many different options. 

Yoga…

…Standing in formation at a beginning yoga class that one of his past girlfriends had taken him to, he was admiring the very attractive yoga instructor. The instructor moved around the room assisting the students with each new pose as it was introduced. As the instructor lightly pushed on Jay’s back to guide him into the correct posture, Jay had taken a deep breath and, as she pushed his spine into place, Jay had suddenly broken wind, very loudly. The entire room had gone silent before everyone had burst into gales of laughter. Jay and the yoga instructor had ended up dating for a year after that…

From my book, Mission: Stand Down.

A Different World…

…. he soon came to realize that no one was reading his cables, and he decided to stop wasting the effort.

The beauty of the park was sharply contrasted by the sight of a young teenage girl being questioned by two young men in uniform. Jay stumbled upon scenes such as these quite often, and he identified these men, who were likely only a few years older than the teenage girl, as being from the             militia. Jay supposed she was not adequately            , or had too much makeup on, and was being harassed for it.

From my book, Mission: Stand Down.

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Happy New Year 2020!

In true tired-mommy fashion, I fell asleep before I could continue on with the Mommy’s Gone Mad! listening party. But, not to worry, we can listen all year round! I hope everyone has a fun-filled, healthy, laughter-filled year!

Some background on Mommy’s Gone Mad!:

So…. I had all these songs recorded from as far back as 2013 when my first child was born.

Since that time I guess you could say that we’ve lived in some very remote locations.
One foot in the rubber room? Why yes, yes I am.

The kids and I have had fun making these songs – and they truly think these are hysterical.

Those of you who really know me know that I have a horrendous voice and zero musical talent. As any parent knows, kids love repetition (some more than others) and sometimes putting something on that a kid really likes (though it could be maddening) can give you time to do something you need to do, or give you a laugh yourself if you can find humor in the moment.

So, I made this album – the kids do backup on some of the tracks – and it will bring us laughs for life! (And a nice passive income stream which any parent can appreciate).

Mommy’s Gone Mad! is available on Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Napster and more! It’s everywhere! I don’t know whether to be horrified or excited…. With tracks like I See Your Boogie and Pee On The Potty, it’s sure to be relatable to anyone who spends time with small children. If it entertains just one child, or makes one frazzled parent laugh, I have done my job.

Celebrate the New Year with Mommy’s Gone Mad!

Join us for a 2020 celebration and the release of my first album! That’s right – Mommy’s Gone Mad! has dropped!

Listen to it on Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Napster and more! It’s everywhere! I don’t know whether to be horrified or excited…. With tracks like I See Your Boogie and Pee On The Potty, it’s sure to be relatable to anyone who spends time with small children. If it entertains just one child, or makes one frazzled parent laugh, I have done my job.

Many thanks to the record company Amuse, Will.i.am and all involved, for the chance to get my release – my own particular brand of lunacy, out to the public – worldwide!

Join us for a listening party – December 31st 8pm to 1am!