Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family's Struggle Through the Great Depression Featured in Local Paper
Sunday, September 20, 2009
By Phil Angelo with The Daily Journal
It is one of life's greater tragedies -- coping with the death of a child.
"It never goes away," says Donna Eden Vinke, of the pain.
Vinke, now 65, lives in
Thursday, September 17, 2009
By Tisha Powell
SOUTHERN PINES (WTVD) -- A Southern Pines Army wife has found a special way to share her story with others, and she is this week's Person of the Week.
She is one of many who honored a loved one on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
On September 11, 2001, Jill Connett lost a special friend -- someone who was like family.
In the military, people who become an important part of your life often come and go, but Connett hopes that by sharing her story of joy and pain she can inspire others.
Home is where the army sends us," Connett explained. "Japan, Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Leavenworth, KS, Fort Carson, Colorado, Stuttgart Germany, Fort Benning, Columbus, GA, Patrick Henry Village, Heidelburg, Germany and we're back here to Fort Bragg NC."
Connett and her family have moved eight times in 15 years, but that's not unusual because it's the Army way of life.
Her story is a love story that started when a young lieutenant swept her, a young Alabama teacher, off her feet. He promised her the world, beginning with Okinawa, Japan.
"That was huge," she said. "I have to say I cried for about two months because I thought what am I doing in another country where I can't even speak the language, but at that point I decided I could either learn to love this lifestyle. Or I can be miserable. "
Connett decided to explore her new surroundings, get out and meet people and make the most of every move.
After settling into a new home in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, meeting her new neighbors was at the top of her list of things to do.
"When we moved in, I got out a plastic plate -- it happened to be green -- and I made some cookies and took them over to my neighbor to say hello and meet them," Connett explained. "And when I did, a tall man answered the door. His name was Dwayne Williams and that was the day that our friendship with me and his wife started."
The Connetts and the Williams became fast friends and for 10 months continued to pass the green plate filled with goodies from one home back to the other.
"When we moved, she didn't like to say goodbye, so she decided you know what I'm not going to say goodbye -- but she came over when the moving truck was about to pull out and said this started our relationship and I know it's plastic and I know it's just a plate, but I want you to keep it," Connett recalled. "So I kinda laughed, we cried [and] we said goodbye."
Three months later Dwayne Williams, who was just beginning his new assignment at the Pentagon, was killed on 9/11.
"At that point that plastic plate became like a little monument in my kitchen" she said. "I now put it out in my kitchen to remind me that you know what, you can't waste time. I knew I was only in Fort Leavenworth for 10 months, but I'm so glad I got to know that wonderful family and spend time with them."
Connett writes about the Williams family and military life in The Green Plate -- a book she hopes will inspire others to extend a hand of kindness, cherish those you hold dear and make the most of everyday.
"The green plate reminds me that whenever I have to move and start over again that you know what, I can be the one to get out and meet somebody and start my life over," Connett said.
And if you happen to be on the receiving end of a greeting from new neighbors, Connett says, ""What I like to get out to people who aren't military is you can be a part of making up feel welcome. You can be a part of recognizing a new kid on the block and new kid in the school. Teach your children to welcome those new kids and make them part of your school, your community because that means a lot to us."
There will be a book signing at Borders Books on Walnut Street in Cary Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Connett will be there signing copies of her book. If you would like to buy a copy for yourself or donate one to a wounded warrior, visitthegreenplate.net.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Local Special Education teacher Danny Kofke has written the book, " How to Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher's Salary ."
Kofke has some tips on how to translate valuable money lessons into habits your kids will really understand, and even enjoy.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tate Author Jim Baumgardner has seen a lot of success emailing a monthly newsletter to his readers. When his third novel, Sarah’s Escape, became available in pre-release, he already had over 100 books sold before he bought them because of his newsletter.
The newsletter’s content expands on the characters and setting of his novels. Each newsletter includes the following elements:
Interesting Facts such as:
A horse over 9 years old is considered 'aged'.
A "bomb-proof" horse is one that doesn't spook. In Sarah's next adventure she becomes the owner of a bomb-proof horse.
(Note how Jim uses the second fact to stir up interest in his next book.)
A Question of the Month that may be a trivia question (Example: What was a 19th Century pound cake, and why was it called by that name?) or a question about one of his books.
Answers to Last Month’s Question of the Month. Jim prints the answer and the names of everyone who got it right.
Comments from readers. Primarily, these are raving reviews about the book.
Words of Wisdom. Some of Jim’s favorite quotes.
Note to New Readers. Jim brings forward some facts from past newsletters.
His marketing rep, Jim Miller, asked him a few questions about the newsletter that may help other authors.
JM: Do you design it yourself? What program do you use?
JB: I use Bravenet for my website and newsletter. All I do is fill in the areas with information I want to send to my readers.
JM: I’m guessing you send them a handful at a time in the BCC box, since your own email is in the “To” field.
JB: Yes, I do. I send out several hundred and break it up with 4 e-mailings. Bravenet has a sign up and I could use that, but I prefer this way.
JM: How do you build your list?
JB: I have a sign up sheet at my book signings. I get a lot of new readers that way.
Jim has some additional tips for a successful newsletter:
1) Always include a note that says, “Forward this email to your friends.” Find ways to customize the note to your book.
2) Make sure every newsletter has links to your website and/or Tate’s website to buy books.
3) Post back issues of your newsletter on your blog or website. This will improve your Google rankings for key words related to your book’s topic.
A newsletter is an excellent way to increase word of mouth and keep your book on the top of your readers’ minds.
Martha A. Cheves
As soon as I picked up this book and read the first chapter, I couldn't put it down. It kept me wondering until the very end. The character development pulls you in and won't let you go. I give this book 4 stars and this one I will probably read again.
Pinching pennies reduces painDanny Kofke, author of "How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher's Salary," is a big believer that trimming small expenses can add up to big savings and better spending habits.
Kofke and his family of four in Hoschton, Ga., have been able to live exclusively on his $37,000 a year salary -- and save money -- by making adjustments to small expenditures, such as switching to cheaper cell phone plans, using the library instead of buying books and making their own coffee at home.
Saving money on little things has a snowball effect that can lead to better financial habits, he says. Once people cut down on a few things and see the positive financial impact, they are often motivated to cut back on the big stuff.
"Small steps are the best way to form habits that will stick," Kofke says.
Saving money is like losing weight, Kofke says. Trying to make drastic, wholesale changes can quickly become discouraging. However, if you cut back a little at a time, you'll have better success.
While he acknowledges that big expenses can pose outside risks to a person's financial stability, he contends that it's a mistake to overlook the power of trimming back on smaller spending.
"I know many people who got into trouble because they bought big-ticket items they could not afford," Kofke says. "But I think those smaller everyday purchases also played a major role in our country's economic problems.
"Little things do add up."