More About Me

I can do more than just read and write. For example, I can wiggle my ears, move to a new state while pregnant (done three times), and lift things off the floor with my amazing toes. I also graduated from college with 2 and a half majors in 3 and a half years.

To contact me, message me on Twitter (Neilansteph), Facebook (StephanieNeilan-Author) or send an e-mail to HearthPublications@gmail.com.

Monday

Educational Books

It feels great when you've created things that other people value. My math book, Alligator Angles, which is all about the angles (go figure) has been ordered the most. And now another book, Writing and ADHD: Tips to Help Finish Your Writing Projects, has been highlighted in a local health newsletter and will be referenced in another article a speech professor is writing. (It has also been cradled to the chests of several members in my writing groups.)
I wrote those booklets for my kids, but I published them to benefit others who were dealing with the same issues. Their spread is a sign that they are living up to their potential and doing what they were designed to do - help.

Tuesday

Book Sale

Smashwords is having their July sale. Several books are 25-100% off...including mine. Check it out. Smashwords.com, It ends July 31st.

Thursday

Writing and ADHD


Print Versions are now available.
Createspace, https://www.createspace.com/5553406
Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Writing-ADHD-finish-writing-projects/dp/1514302225/
More locations to follow in 6-8 weeks.
Electronic versions coming in October.

Friday

ADHD and Me.

When my sons were diagnosed with ADHD it explained a lot. Their impulsivity, forgetfulness, and inability to focus now had a nice, neat label. However, I didn't want them to think they could use that as an excuse to be anything less than successful. Since I write, I wanted to know how to best help them with their writing skills should they choose to go down the same path I have. The more I learned, the more I realized that I did the same things they did, just to a smaller extent, and the techniques I used to help myself, could help them as well.
I compiled my findings into a booklet, and began beta testing it with my writers groups. (That's right, groups.) Every time I did, someone asked to keep a copy for their own reference. One of the members even referred me to a mental health newsletter he works with and hooked me up with one of the editors who will include a piece about my booklet in their forthcoming edition of the newsletter!
While I was originally planning on prepping it for an October release (ADHD awareness week lies in that month), I have never been one to turn down an opportunity. Instead of releasing it all at the same time, like I originally planned, I will have paper copies ready June 15th, and add electronic copies in October.
Mostly I'm just glad that what has helped me, has proved useful to others, and can help those, especially, who struggle with ADHD tendencies to accomplish their writing goals.  

Wednesday

For Sale on Amazon - LeAnn Mathis

I ran into an issue a little while ago trying to get my books on Amazon. I resolved it, and now the I've published under my pen name, LeAnn Mathis are available on kindle. This includes:
Little Red - Those fairy tales were somebody's life...mine.!
Cursed Corsets - After the death of her mother, Isabella took comfort in dance, her father, and new step-family. But that was all stripped away by a cursed corset. (A Cinderella Story - sorry no pictures)
Monster Nights - What happens when two monsters step out for a visit.
Leo Leroy: The case of the Lunchroom mystery - There was something wrong with the lunches at Elmhurst Elementary, and it is up to fifth grader, Leo Leroy, to find out what.
The Shakra - Saphira lost almost everyone she loved to the gnomes. She is determined to get them back or be captured trying, but it's not the gnomes she should be worried about. A far greater evil waits for her in their mountains. If she can't master an ancient weapon known as the shakra, then she will have no defense against the mighty navestrung.  

Memories

Recently, my Grandma passed away.  While those she left behind will miss her, we are happy to think that she is reunited with her husband, parents, and other loved relatives who have also passed on.  In her memory, I would like to share a short story about one of my trips to visit her.

It was one of those awkward junior high summers, and it was my turn for a "Cousins Trip" sponsored by my Grandparents. With my same-aged cousins, we were all headed to Yellowstone National Park.  Of course, since it was on the way, we stopped at Rigby and saw where Grandma and Grandpa had lived when they were first married and then visited the graves of some of their ancestors (not my favorite part).  Then we got inside yellowstone and I remembered the herds of buffalo and the stinky geysers.  I rembered staying in the log cabin they had rented, and even seeing a local play, Into the Woods, which I particularly enjoyed at the time.  But mostly I just remember talking.  It was great one on one time with my grandparents and also my cousin, who I didn't get to see very often. 

While I mostly remembered it as a great time, I see now how sneaky they were.  My grandparents were very dedicated to family, and they wanted us to feel as close to our cousins as they did to theirs.  They knew that nothing was as important as time and proximity when trying to get to know someone, and being trapped in a car for several days gave us plenty of time to get to know each other.  When I think of them now, I remember all the time, money, and energy they put into helping us develop loving relationships not just with themselves, but our extended family as well.

Tuesday

Obama Care (A Parody Song)

ObamaCare the Promised Fix
(To the tune of Shoo-Fly)

They saw the Poor and suffering
The pain made tender hearts a wring
Dems blamed it on their health care plan
And foretold change across the land

Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Just not for politic - ians

They spread their hope both far and wide
ObamaCare - the nation's pride
Better plans, for lower fees
Only fools did not agree

Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Just not for politic - ians

On its debut it signed up six
Not bad for all its glitchy tricks
But fees they promised to decrease
Instead we saw them all increase

Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Just not for politic - ians

True to its word and master plan
It caused change across the land
For everyone, but congressmen
Who said the plan was not for them

Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Obama Care, the promised fix
Just not for politic - ians

Note: I don't normally go political, but there was too much fodder to be had in the distance between the plan's hope and its reality, and the politicians who are still trying to make it work...as long as it doesn't have to apply to them.

McDonald's Happy Meal Books-Review

Dizzy Dodo goes to Orlando/The Goat who ate Everything.

Age group: Preschool/early readers

Premise: Dizzy Dodo tries to go to Orlando, but gets swept off course. And a goat tries to eat EVERYTHING.

Review: I was secretly excited that McDonald's was giving away books.  I loved the ones that Chick-fil-a had given out years ago, and was hoping these would be as good.  They were not.  The Chick-fil-a books, were just fun stories.  The McDonald's tried to force a moral (eating healthy).  Granted, this is a cause I support.  I think people should eat healthy, however, the idea was not integrated well enough into the story.  It was just added to the mix of what could have been very cute stories.  For example.  The goat ate everything, and then they suggested that he eat lean meats and vegetables and that solved everything.  If they had at least added a line about "Goat, you'll never eat enough, if you don't eat the right stuff.  Chairs and Sweets and big hair-dos, won't fill you like good food can do..." It or something like that would have been all that was needed to integrate the theme into the story and explain WHY he should do it. 
The dodo story was a little better integrated, and focused on how he ate right so he could keep his strength up to keep journeying.  However, its placement and disconnect from the rest of the story left me shaking my head in disappointment. 
I just think McDonald's could have done better because the ideas really DID have potential, they just needed a little bit more. 

Saturday

The Divergent Trilogy- Review


The Divergent Trilogy
By, Veronica Roth

Age Group-Young Adult and above

Premise: Society has divided into factions based on personality traits.  Each group has their own duty to perform in society.  When the children come of age, they decide what faction, they will join.  To help them make that decision, everyone is given a serum that is designed to help clarify the type of people they are.  Those who fit into more than one category are called divergent.  Unfortunately, somebody wants all those people dead, and they have the tools to do it.

Review: It was an interesting premise. I liked the first and third book the best.  The first did a good job drawing you into that world, and the last had a good realm of discussion associated with it.  Overall, I thought it ended with a good message related to the problem that defined the last book.
Some nitpicks: One of the characters, 4, is honored because he only has four fears. However, I think their society should have honored someone who was able to get past their fears the quickest.  I did like how she defined Tris and 4’s relationship with each other, but there was more under the shirt action than I needed between the two of them.  I also  think the author didn’t do a good enough job defining the purpose behind the “great experiment”  in book 3.  She gave an explanation, but it still seemed a little farfetched to me.

Wednesday

#Serina

The following story is compartamentalized into tweet lengthed pieces.  I posted them to my twitter account, but it is blocked out from beginning to end for you here.  You are so lucky.


#Serina

I walked across the deck and into the captain’s compartment. Among the gathered watches, gold, and jewelry, a book caught my eye.  #Serina1  

The Odyssey! I flung it through the port window and let out a scream of rage.  I HATED him.  #Serina2

I wanted to wrap my long thin fingers around his neck and squeeze until his eyes popped out.  #Serina3

He had long since turned to dust, but they still worshipped him. They celebrated his exploits, but he, HE, had caused their deaths. #Serina4

He had a chance. He could have saved me, but he left me to become…this. #Serina5

I glanced down at my body with its disproportionate ribcage - then to the trail behind me. The sight would have sickened me – once. #Serina6

Once, I was desperate for a way out – would have done anything to break free. I thought I had found a way. #Serina7

A man reverenced by the sailors.  A great leader. A great seamen. Blessed by the goddess Athena, and coming my way. #Serina8

I tricked my sisters so I could be alone, and then I called, luring him to our safest shores.  I could escape my fate. #Serina9

I promised him gold, power, secrets.  I would have betrayed my sisters.  I would have done anything, if he had just let me aboard. #Serina10

His was the one ship that didn’t stop - didn’t crash – didn’t stay.  I watched the one ship that could have saved me sail away. #Serina11

The heart break that followed was only matched by the pain my sisters bestowed upon me once they knew. #Serina12

Snide comments, tripped feet, and discarded meat. The only offerings to give the sister who failed. #Serina13

They were right of course, but not for the reasons they thought. Odysseus condemned me in more ways than one. #Serina14

I attacked the next ship with a vengeance – Hardened my heart to any pleas. Just as Odysseus had done to mine. #Serina15

He took away my options, so I embraced my fate.  My anger gave me volume, my passion gave me voice. #Serina16

I sent our voices further, expanded our domain. Triangulated all our strengths, and reigned as queen again. #Serina17

You didn’t know that?  You wouldn’t.  No one has escaped me again. #Serina18