Category Archives: books

Every Child Can Bloom in the Inclusive Classroom

 

 

Not only can every child bloom, but every teacher by tweaking the way they do things can  also BLOOM, and I tell them how to do it in my new book from Ramps’nthings Press. Available from Amazon.com,  EVERY CHILD CAN BLOOM IN THE INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM, A QUICK LOOK DISABILITIES HANDBOOK FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND ANY TEACHERS gives  practical helps in “quick read” as I did in my first Quick Look for Volunteer Responders.

It’s about children with and without disabilities, and covers everything from sensory overload and calming actions to successful hands on teaching practices and spiritual formation and worship. There’s a bonus of    27   exciting ways to use a story.  Intentional church policy information can help your church decide which options for grouping best suit your needs.

If you don’t know what a Venn Diagram is, you need to buy this book. If you don’t know about social thinking, you need to buy this book. This information will help you exhale and sink onto a soft cushion as you enjoy your students. Maybe you didn’t know your were holding your breath!

Homer Carvajal did a fantastic job in designing the book. He took my black and white words, and with thirty color illustrations made them come alive.  Amazing!

 

 

The Long Road Home Romance Series

Long Road HomeFrederika from my young adult historical novel had more romance in her bones than I knew, and The Reluctant Immigrant is now one of four books in a single volume of a romance series. Available November 1, The Long Road Home Romance Series features Mandy, who didn’t expect to be left alone in the wilds of Indiana, Bess  a prostitute growing up in the unsettled West, Deidre, a runaway slave looking for her husband who had been sold away, and Frederika who didn’t want to leave Germany to come to the wilds of Texas. Each of the four discovered love on the frontier.

Available in paperback: Amazon,  $ 12.80

Kindle: Amazon, $9.99

First Emergency Responders Responding to My Book

September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and it has made responders curious and interested in QUICK LOOK FOR VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, A GUIDE FOR AIDING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.  It’s great graphics and quick read are popular for busy persons, and its small size to fit a pocket or back pack gives it easy access. A popular part of the book is the section with picture boards that allow persons who are non-verbal or use English as a second language to indicate where they are hurt or what they need.

If you are a teacher or work with persons with special needs you will find this book helpful in daily work as it can give you a quick understanding of your students, sort of a thumbnail sketch of an individual disability.

I have to admit my title is too long, but it tells you exactly what it is about.  I hope your interest drives you to Amazon.com to purchase one even if you aren’t a responder.
A bargain.

Governor Perry’s Un-Library

Governor Perry’s Un-Library  according to the picture in the Houston Chronicle has no books. The library furnishings are beautiful, decor tasteful, but there isn’t a book in sight.  Even if the library is solely for guests, there should be shelves of books indicating a literary/sophisticated atmosphere. Or maybe the decorator could put a few books around on tables as a gesture of friendliness and an indication that people in Texas can read. Considering Laura Bushes love for and promotion of reading books, she must be disappointed at the state of her former home.

Even beyond education and enjoyment, books speak special languages. My librarian friends tell me that children often smell a book before deciding to check it out. If it smells just right, they take it. They feel the texture of its cover before making a selection. Selecting an attractive book can open a new world of curiosity and learning. Let’s also remember how third graders who must write book reports weigh the book as well as look at the number of pages.

How to be a Writer!

Each of us has a reason for becoming a writer, author, texter or word-player. Leon Uris once said, “I was too heavy to be a jockey and unfit for honest work, so I became an author.”  I wrote for years before becoming aware that I could actually sell what I had been giving away, and this happened only when I could no longer lug boxes of teacher training materials and drama props from one place to another in the back of my station wagon. This was a hinge of life for me, a door swinging open, one that I could open even if the hinge squeaked.

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Over the years, many people have given writers advice to either encourage or startle.

Samuel Johnson said,”What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”

Elizabeth Gray Vining said this about writing: It should be

“Clean as a bone

Clear as a crystal

hard as a stone

two words are not

so good as one.”

If you, like me, used these words as guidelines for writing, consider the words of Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr., a writer after my own heart:

“A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.”

As a discouraged writer, I received a post card from my poet friend Jean Marvin who had listened to me wail about not selling my MOO COW MONTY AND THE BIG BULLY. The card contained a quotation from Isak Dinesens Last Tales. “When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, without faith and without hope, suddenly the work will finish itself.”  Very encouraging and very descriptive, but Jean, wherever you are, twelve years later and no one has bought that exciting, wonderful children’s book. I’m waiting. That’s what writer’s do, or maybe they do what Gene Fowler said, “Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.”

I’m off to find a kleenex.

Ramps’nthing Press

Several people have asked me how I came to start Ramps’nthings Press, so here it is.  Disability materials, although important, do not make much money as the sales are limited, so after trying to sell them, I concluded failure and branched out on my own. First, I had to agree that I would not make any money, so if I broke even, it is okay.  Second, I had to have an organization to put them out there, one that sounded like what it really is. Finding a name was not as easy as it sounds as so many domains and names and logos are copyrighted. I came up Ramps, but it had to be more so I added the “things”. My friend K. said I needed a picture of it for a logo, so Homer Caravjal (the greatest graphics designer in the world) developed one that says it without words.

RP’s first book was Get With It Spencer about a rooster that needed glasses and kept crowing at the yard light. Then came Quick Look for Volunteer Emergency Responders: A Guide to Aiding Persons with Disabilities.

Ramps’nthings Press has several things in the almost-finished department including a book of participation stories, another Quick Look book, and a book about change. Just for kicks, I may put my collection of skits and dramas out there, but it needs to be free or at cost.

On other front of ramps: I just bought another small suitcase ramp to use at my den door, replacing one built by a carpenter that is too rough and too steep. It is great to have so much helpful equipment available, and this will make my riding much smoother.

Naomi Mitchum is Author of Quick Look for Volunteer Responders, A Guide to Aiding Persons With Disabilities

I am, in fact, the author of this great little pocket book, and it is for sale on Amazon.com, but they have not listed it properly, so I am listing here with the hope that a search engine will pick it up.

This small 5 x 7  book made of durable plasticoat will fit into a rescuers backpack or pocket, or its bright yellow color will easily be found on a teacher’s desk or by a church usher. Reviewed ahead of time, then carried to an emergency site, it can save lives when the rescuer can quickly refresh the memory about what to do. For example, it will tell him or her precursors of a seizure or that  a person who is having a seizure  needs to stay in place, in fact, can do nothing else, but follow up is important.  Other details about what to do with persons with disabilities are stated concisely with great graphics to stimulate thinking. Very important picture boards and body pictures help a non person or one who speaks English as a second language point to where they are hurting or what their needs are.  Other topics include how to help someone who is homebound, how to deal with loss of power or lockdown and how to safeguard persons post-emergency. In the beginning Quick Look gives the process of quickly communicating, assessing and responding.

I’m not telling you this with the hope you will have an emergency, but an emergency can happen any place and any time, and each of us needs to be prepared to help and save lives. Persons with disabilities need a little extra help, and you can find out what kind of help that is.

What is your latest emergency?  House fire, running out of milk for your cereal on Sunday morning, helping a person at a car wreck (how did you know they were disabled?), hurricane or flood  (Mitchums are five time winners on this one). Or is  your emergency standing up to make a speech and noticing your shoes don’t match? For the shoe thing, it’s too late, for other emergencies, you can prepare.

This has nothing to do with my book, but one of my funny emergencies happened because I am diabetic and was trying out some new doctor-suggested liquid glucose. Scene: Sitting on the stage in front of hundreds of people waiting to make a presentation after two others finished. They talked too long, and my blood sugar dipped, so I pulled out the little tube and squirted some glucose in my mouth while holding a paper in front of my mouth. The sticky glucose, which turned out to be red, stuck to my hands and to my paper. I could not turn loose of the paper. And I had a new color of sweet lipstick. Saved by the bishop just as I was wondering what and how. He called lunch, and my speech could be afterwards. Diabetic readers will have stories to share.

INFORMED RESCUES WILL SAVE LIVES

At last! Amazon has my Quick Look for Volunteer Emergency Responders in stock, so my friends in the disability community can spread the word that it is available. This book will save lives as well as provide a safe and comfortable rescue zone for both the rescuer and person in need of help. The title page listed on Amazon needs a tweak, but that is out of my power. It lists the author as Naomi Mitchum and Naomi Mitchum.  There have been many days when I  tried  to clone myself and was unsuccessful, but finally the power structure at Amazon did it! Yahoo! One of me is going fishing while the other works.

On the local scene, our teens and friends group of Circle of Friends is doing a talent show next week, and it promises to be the best ever. Best part is that they learned a lot about their natural talents before they put the show together. There will be singing, playing, dancing, basketball shoots and many other events. I’m told it will be live streamed, but to get it you have to have a personal link known only to parents and friends.  Our number of students keeps growing, so the set up takes many  chairs.  The drama group of adults is preparing a wonderful Easter play. We do have fun, and every week we realize that we are a big family within a family. Next time I will tell you about our theme Bible verse this year.

Helping Persons With Disabilities to Safety

Disabilities often change rescue procedures. New statistics tell us that in the United and States and Canada, one in five persons has a disability. In light of the many storms and major emergency events in the last three years, volunteer responders as well as parents and caring individuals must know how to quickly procede in helping  them to safety and how to protect them after rescue.

This is the theme of my new book Quick Look for Volunteer Emergency Responders, A Guide for Aiding Persons with Disabilities that will be available on amazon.com soon.  Soon could mean two or three weeks if I’m lucky. This is my first brush with marketing a book myself, and it turned into a steep learning curve, and I wouldn’t have made the last image step without my son, Paul, who pulled me out of the last throes of despair. If you have never listed a book on Amazon, you would be amazed at the number of screens you must look at simultaneously or else print them out.  Finally (since my big screen computer is injured), I printed out 26 pages to use as work sheets.

On a lighter note, the big Houston storm today did not flood me. Good news note is I get my big Mac back tomorrow and a great guy is going to get the half a million files transfered to it. Yes !  Yes! Yes! Look for the sunshine of my smile down this way.

Books and Immigration

History can be fun when you read fiction with history as the setting. Teenagers can enjoy getting ready for history next year by reading The Reluctant Immigrant. It has romance, character and intrigue with threads of encouragement and faith woven into the plot. Personally, I’ve been an immigrant before, and I didn’t like it a bit. In fact, when our family moved to Houston from Tulsa, my fingernail scratches were left on the highway as I dug in all the way. Ah well! It turned out okay, just like Rika, because I am now a Houston fan. But it’s a real “trip” to take a trip to a new location. We loaded the moving van in a snow storm, and carried the goldfish, plants, dog, and three children in the station wagon. What a trip!  Imagine Rika coming from Germany on two ships and living on the beach then slogging her way north. I had it easy. By the time we got to Houston, we thawed out and had to use air conditioning.

I’m getting ready for the national conference of Church and Synagogue Library Association’s conference this month.  I’ll be an author on review as well as a vendor, so I’ve been getting books together for a display. If you’re there, stop by my table for a sweet treat as well as a peek at some of my books. There’s one for every age. The Reluctant Immigrant is young adult. Harps in the Willows is adult, and Get With It Spencer is for children.