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Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

August 15th is National Relaxation Day. In our crazy never-stop, always-on-the-go society, I personally think one day a year isn’t sufficient. I think we need more like one day a month, twelve days a year, in which to experiment, find and perfect the art of relaxation. With multiple methods available, we could find the one that matches our personality and needs the best.

Lying around in our jammies, binge watching TV or binge reading while eating ice cream? I’m in! Going to the movies? Cool. Traveling to the forest/beach/country/city/ happy place to take in the stillness? Or the sights? How about a spa? Massage? Golf? swim? Horseback ride? combing the flea markets? Most of those would be on my list to try.

Lounging on the front porch in a swing or hammock? With sweet tea of course. Chair with our bare toes gliding through the grass? Picnic? Park? Zoo? Day drive with the top down and music up loud?

I am so there!

 

How about gardening? Mowing the lawn? For some it’s work, for others it’s relaxing. For me, I find it soothing to putz in the yard, digging my fingers in the dirt, deadheading flowers and watching new transplants grow. And of course I am always planning next year’s planting designs. This next planting season I am seeking blue and white flowers to fill in some gaps. This was inspired by a lovely bouquet I received this summer, with a gorgeous, huge head of a hydrangea bloom. It was pure white with tiny baby blue pin dots in the center of each petal.

  Cats are masters of relaxing.

 

 

 

So in honor of National Relaxation Day, I’d like to offer some of my books for your consideration to find your perfect relaxation spot and get lost in another world. To me, that’s the ultimate relaxation!

 

 

If romantic suspense is your fave, there is “Upon the Tide”, set on a boat in the Caribbean. If you like a hint of two of mystical or paranormal with your suspense and romance, consider “Chasing the Painted Skies”, set on an isolated lighthouse island in the Great Lakes (complete with its own ghost) or “Wild Whispers”, built around the exciting world of horse racing.

If you prefer clean and wholesome Inspirational Christian fiction, how about “Shimmers of Stardust”, with a bit of time travel included; “Beside Still Waters” or “Rainbows in the Moonlight”. Both of these are family centered stories, rooted in romance, forgiveness and second chances. Sweet!

If you like anthologies, I got ya covered there too. “Sizzle in the Snow” is eight stories all about Christmas. “Food and Romance Go Together” is, yep, you guessed it, stories all about food and romance. Talk about cooking in the kitchen! “Craving Country” turns up the heat, with twelve stories all about finding love and good, country living.

And if you like a shorter read, consider “Glimpse Eternity”, a pretty little story centered around Valentine’s Day or “It Happened at the Park”, a rollicking romantic comedy including dogs and their humans.

Speaking of dogs, if you prefer non-fiction, how about my self-published story about Ty, my adopted collie (a beautiful blue merle) with PTSD and the first two years of our journey together? It’s called, appropriately enough, “Ty’s Journey” and features countless photos.

 

 

 

 

All these fine books can be found at Amazon or my website, http://www.ryanjosummers.com. Several have been nominated for various peer-review awards.

 

So there you have it, loads of ideas on how to relax on National Relaxation Day and a few not-so-subtle suggestions for a good book or two if reading is your fave way to relax. However you like to escape, feel free to drop me a line in the comments and share your secrets. As for me, I’ll be busy working August 15th, but I’ll be thinking hard of relaxing, most likely by trying to write another book.

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Recently I was visiting a friend at her house. Her seven-year-old granddaughter read a graphic novel about a lost kitten to me. I marveled at how well she read and praised her lavishly. Later, she stopped reading and marked her place with a bracelet. Grammy discovered she’d misplaced her bookmarks. They found one but I made it a point to give her three more bookmarks the next time I saw her.

Now, I like comics too, particularly the Sunday ‘funnies’. About the same time I came across the weekly strip for “For Better or For Worse’ by Lynn Johnston (www.fborfw.com) Reading it was almost a flashback to my friend’s granddaughter. While I dislike seeing books damaged or dog-eared, I especially liked how ‘dad’ gave a new perspective of it. The child was reading. Isn’t that the important thing to remember?

fborfw For SMP blog 1-15-18

Both events got me to thinking how, as adult readers and writers we have an obligation or duty to help the younger generation to become readers. Hopefully they learn to treasure books and take care of them in the process, but it’s even more important they develop an interest in reading. If you look close at the last frame of the comic strip, you will notice movies on each of the bookshelves behind the parents. A television set, with a VCR player on top is on one end of the frame and a computer is at the other. I have nothing against any of those things, however, nowhere in the cartoon does one see a book save for the dog-eared one ‘mom’ is holding. To me, that says a lot in itself.

I know so many adults who know how to read and write, they just don’t like to. They say nothing interests them; not fiction, not much non-fiction, maybe the newspaper if anything at all. To me that is sad, because I know there is so much out there ready to be explored, discovered, and enjoyed. I know one man, in his thirties, who told me in all seriousness he has read one book in his life. One! To me, that is tragic. He is smart, capable of reading almost anything, he simply has no interest in opening a book. He is a father and I can’t help but wonder if he fosters an interest in books for his young children. It would be difficult to encourage children to do what they never see him doing.

While I was growing up, books were my escape. I loved the places they took me, the friends they became, and many childhood gems still grace my adult bookshelves. However, I was in the minority. I never saw my mother with any reading material beyond a magazine. My brother would rather cut off an appendage than be forced to read. I did see my father with paperback westerns. Incidentally, I still have a keen interest in western movies and books to this day.

Compared to the rest of my family, I was book obsessed. I had to have loads of books to read. The older I got, the more genres I wanted to explore. To be blunt—I loved books. I liked the feel of them. I liked challenging myself with tougher subject matter and longer lengths. Discovering a series made my heart flutter. While my family did not demonstrate or especially encourage a love of reading, they also did not discourage it. They bought me books for birthdays and holidays. They (sort of) tolerated my long visits to the bookstore where I spent my baby-sitting cash on books. I still remember walking out of the bookstore (ours was called WaldenBooks) with heavy stacks and shopping bags of books. I felt so grown up! On the long drive back home I would already be immersed in them, picking out the next great adventure.

As parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, there are so many things we seem to get wrong while dealing with the children and youth in our lives. The one thing we can do right, and pays a high dividend on the future, is to encourage, foster, and model an enjoyment and respect for books.  When the youngster wants to read a story, remember it is a blessing to sit and be read to. If they want us to read them a story, that is equally as special. The impressions, lessons, and memories created in those moments will last them a lifetime.

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