Post-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden – Makes the Grade

 

One way I like to give back to the writing community is to help new and aspiring writers spread the word about their books. This activity has been a revelation. Most beginning writers are surprisingly good; some need to put that pen, that tablet, that laptop, away and get a job that has nothing to do with writing.

Every once in a while, I come across a gem. Now, if I had seen Meg Eden’s new book, Post-High School Reality Quest (PHSRQ) in a bookstore, I would have passed it over. A story about a young woman’s final year of high school and the beginning of her collegiate career is not exactly in my wheelhouse. But that has changed; after reading Ms. Eden’s novel, I will now be on the lookout for any subsequent offerings.

PHSRQ is the story of Buffy, a gamer girl who goes through a significant period of her life as if she is living in a virtual reality where real life situations can be replayed should anything go awry. As the story progresses, however, Buffy and her gamer friends learn their decisions may have irreversible and sometimes devastating consequences.

I like the development of the characters in this story. They feel like real people, and just like real people, they are unpredictable and did things that often surprised me.

More than anything, I enjoyed the superb writing of Ms. Eden. Though I have little in common with the characters in PHSRQ, I became immersed in the story. High quality writing finds eager readers. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to review this book. Five stars and highly recommended.

Just Published!

My latest book, I am not a Pest! A Story about Asperger’s Syndrome, has been released for publication today. While it is a book for elementary school students, my wife, Sherri, and I wrote an afterword for their parents. It is posted below.

For Parents

Children face many challenges growing up in our world today. For the child diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, the difficulties are multiplied.

Children with Asperger’s tend to lack the social skills other kids possess, and so they struggle with making friends. Because they often have additional diagnosis such as ADHD and Anxiety Disorder, they have trouble keeping up in school. Routine and consistency are of paramount importance to these children yet so much of life is beyond their control.

These are just a few of the hurdles children with Asperger’s face. I know we can never really walk in another person’s shoes. All we ask as parents is please take the time to educate yourself and your children. Please teach them to befriend rather than belittle.

No one should be defined or limited by a label. There are more Albert Einsteins and Susan Boyles and Satoshi Tajiris and Vincent van Goghs in this world. When we accept others and support them as they are, we give them the freedom to become their best.

George and Sherri

“I am not a Pest!” Cover Reveal

I am pleased to reveal the cover for the third installment of The Stinkbug Chronicles. “I am not a Pest!” is a story about Asperger’s Syndrome that is written to help early readers understand what Asperger’s is all about. The release date is exactly one month, Dec 1st. Pre-orders availability will be announced soon.

Please let your friends who are interested in advancing the understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome know about this upcoming book. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the children who experience this condition on a daily basis.

Thank you very much.

COMING SOON!

I am excited to announce the release of the third installment of The Stinkbug Chronicles. 

I am not a Pest is a chapter book for early readers in which Walter, the alien stink bug, helps his human friend, Brandon, understand the disorder known as Asperger’s Syndrome.

My hope for I am not a Pest is for children to have a story that helps them better understand their friends, classmates, neighbors and siblings that have this condition, which is part of the autism spectrum.

The tentative release date is December 1, 2016. The cover reveal will be November 1st. An announcement will be forthcoming for preorders on Amazon.

I am not a Pest follows The Invasion has Begun! and Don’t Let that Bully Bug You! in the series. The books are available on Amazon. Kindle versions are always 99 cents.

Also, if anyone would be interested in reviewing the book, please contact me at Reaganwrites@Yahoo.com. Reviews are an author’s best friend and would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Of Bullying and other Things that Stink

 

I’m not a big fan of real, live stink bugs. An invasive species that apparently never goes away, they remind me of hungry teens lurking in the kitchen, and especially around the fridge. Then there’s that horrid odor they release. Yeah, that reminds me of teenagers also. At least the bugs don’t leave their smelly sneakers lying anywhere and everywhere around the house.

In the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States where I live, stinkbugs are particularly and unpleasantly present. The attic sitting over the top of my carport must be the hiding place for their mother ship; there might be thousands of those pesky critters holed up in there. They get into everything, even apparently closed boxes and jars. In other places in my country and around the world, stink bugs are not as much of a problem, and the inhabitants of those areas should feel very blessed.

Unfortunately, bullying knows no geographical boundaries. Anyone, at any age, at any time can fall victim to the confusion, humiliation and even physical harm caused by bullying. Young children are especially vulnerable, and in many cases, they lack the experience to even understand what is going on. Many will conclude there is something wrong with them or it is their own fault. Even worse, many bullied children will silently withstand the torment, even though the solution(s) to their problem may be very close. The mere fact they have to endure these situations stinks to high heaven.

But that is not the connection I am trying to make between stink bugs and bullying. In my fictional children’s books about these insects, I make them the good guys who help elementary age children understand difficult issues like bullying. I hope my new book, Don’t let that Bully Bug You! Book Two of the Stinkbug Chronicles, will be a reference point children can turn to so they can get the help they need. I want them to know bullying is not their fault, that there is nothing wrong with them, and most importantly, there is a way out that does not involve them getting hurt. As parents, teachers and administrators, we can help children in these extremely challenging and awkward situations by giving them the tools, resources and support they desperately need. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where the biggest problem for a child is where to put those stinky sneakers?

You Might Be a Grammar Redneck

I’m warning you. I’ve got a semi-colon and I’m not afraid to use it!

With all due respect to Mr. Jeff Foxworthy, the indomitable king of all redneck-related humor, I present to you a major reason some people may have trouble getting on with and communicating effectively with others in this life – they just might be a grammar redneck.

  1. If you think a semi-colon is what’s left after gastric bypass surgery – you might be a grammar redneck.
  2. If you think a comma is what great grandpa slipped into after consuming too much moonshine during the Great depression – you might be a grammar redneck.
  3. If you think conjugation is something you’ll have to “ask the parson about before commentin on it”– you might be a grammar redneck.
  4. If you think an apostrophe is one of the dudes who hung out with Jesus – you might be a grammar redneck.
  5. If you think sentence structure is what the county court uses to determine prison terms – you might be a grammar redneck.
  6. If you believe plagiarism is what happened in the Dark Ages that caused zombies to be invented – you might be a grammar redneck.
  7. If you think a paragraph is what you get when you skin both your knees real bad in an ATV accident – you might be a grammar redneck.
  8. If you think a colon is those two dots on your phone that you combine with that “arch” thingy to make a smiley face – you might be a grammar redneck.
  9. And finally, if you think a period is what happens after a relatively calm and peaceful part of the month – you are a grammar redneck.

The ability to write coherent sentences and paragraphs helps people fill out job applications and build winning resumes. It inhibits gross stupidity from being posted on Facebook and Twitter. It even helps folks get dates through posting witty profiles on internet dating sites. Please don’t settle for mediocrity as a thinking, communicating human being.

For those who are true grammar rednecks, I have some good news. There is a more accomplished version of you waiting to emerge. Yes, there is some hard work involved, just like there is in any kind of self-improvement project. But you can do this. So whip out those semi-colons and periods and don’t be afraid to use them. And don’t worry, lots of folks will find your conjugations fascinating.

George Reagan

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