For Stephen, his life on base is much the same as most other children’s. The difference is in the details. Look both ways before crossing a tank path and be sure to check if the spent bullet casings you find in the long-abandoned trenches are actually empty. Sports stop at the sound of the evening trumpet call as he and his friends stand at attention while the flag is retired. Quantico Cave is a story of friendship and competition, and when Stephen meets up with a friend he once knew at a previous home station, the contest hits a whole new level that places everyone at risk.
Everyone is scared, although we try not to admit it. Life can be scary. It's scary when our children head out the door for school or to play. Brave is a term we use for people we see as not having fear. When we see someone doing something that scares us we say, that was brave. In reality, bravery is, even when scared, moving ahead with doing what we must. Our children are brave most every day for we live in a pretty scary world.
Adults react to the social stresses around them. Now, a recent article in Science Daily shows evidence that these same social issues create stress in children. Youth and adolescents "physically react to their social networks and the stress those networks may cause." According to researchers at the University of Missouri, both the size and quality of your child's social network may affect the future health of the child.
Most people will take offense at the moniker BRAT. As for me, and for millions more around the world, BRAT is a well-earned tag. According to research by Michael M. Dunn, the acronym BRAT is a status first used by the British Army, not a person. BRAT, or British Regiment Attached Traveler, was used to identify a family member traveling with a service member on deployment. And the term stuck. Today, there are millions around the globe that proudly wear the tag of BRAT. If you meet a BRAT, tell them thank you. Please support BRATs at http://militarybratsinc.org/national-military-brats-day-initiative/
A famous baseball catcher, coach, and manager, Yogi Berra, coined the phrase "Deja Vu all over again," and in the case of growing up in the military, this does make sense. Military families move a lot, often every year. The children learn to make friends quickly and usually the process is pretty simple. They have everyday experiences, and fears, the stresses in their lives are the same as their peers, and they share a hierarchy determined by military rank. It is not unusual to have a best friend in Germany, and then discover two years later that same friend lives across the street in California.
One of the most important elements of a good story is making the book available to readers. Life On Base: Quantico Cave is on tour this week. Check out these great blogs and follow LOB Quantico Cave: March 7: Rogue's Angels March 8: BooksChatter March 9: Edgar's Books March 10: Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps March 11: CBY Book Club March 11: Books in the Hall March 14: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews March 15: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin' - review March 16: Around the World in Books March 17: Long and Short Reviews YA March 18: The Children's and Teens' Book Connection
Have you ever wondered how you would react when facing disaster, calamity, or danger? How would you act if you come across a car accident or heart attack victim? Life has a way of testing us when we least expect it. According to an article printed online in Healthy Utah, only 10% of people, when faced with a dangerous situation, will react quickly, the rest will freeze. The 90% who don't know what to do will suffer greater loss due to their inability to act in time. Children of the military (BRATs), America's Third Culture, train, learning from those that have seen the worst. Most BRATs know what to do when disaster strikes.
Stephen's dreams of a massive oak tree, a mechanical spider, a flat, cartoonlike friend, and a cave may have a message for him, one that he cannot express in other ways. One cool website I found, Dreams Cloud, may be of help in interpreting those dreams for Stephen. At Dreams Cloud, anyone interested in interpreting their dreams can input the dream symbols and find common interpretations for their dreams.
For Military BRATS, America's Third Culture, sports, health, and learning extreme sports is a way of life. Orienteering, parachutes, shooting, and survival skills are some of the skills the young take for granted. Their games are a test of these skills. Have you ever played paintball? Some of the best fields around are Skirmish USA in PA, Hollywood Sports in CA, CPX Paintball in IL, and The Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton.
Life can be a scary thing. It is when life gets scary that moving forward with our plans is often most important. Fear is designed to warn us, cause us to rethink and check the risks, and then devise a plan that will help us go forth and do great things. But it should not stop us.
Middle School can be tough for everyone, students and parents. Children are trying to find their place with peers, learn new social skills, and discover that one thing that makes them unique. The middle grades are also the time in most people's lives when they have to deal with a bully. Bullying in the 21st Century has taken on a whole new meaning as social media provides new, invasive tools to the bad actor. Children who in the past would never have bullied others are now able to make children miserable in ways never before possible. In Life On Base: Stephen and his friends have a bully in the group. How they deal with this bad actor pulls the group together when they learn what is driving his behavior.
Over the past fifteen years, we have watched our warriors battle enemies in faraway places. We watch as these brave souls return to families, weeping with joy, embrace, and walk quietly back to their Life On Base. What we don't see is the continued sacrifice these families make once they have come together again. Their sacrifice does not end when their warriors return. Life On Base depicts the stresses our service members face on a day to day basis. At a time when the rest of us evaluate to safer ground, military families hunker down in place. As Stephen and Jimmy prepare for a sleepover, we learn that Jimmy's father must ride out the approaching storm on his Navy ship.
According to Psychology Today, Freud believed our minds use dreams in many ways. One way, as Freud postulated, is to express our emotions. Psychology Today expressed several theories on dreaming, one of which is to practice a response to threatening situations. Researchers at the University of California a-Southern California suggest that dreams help us to express what is on our minds. Other researchers and psychologists suggest that dreams can be interpreted. A tree in a dream may be an expression of a person, and the shape and characteristics of a tree express something about the person. Spiders often express fear or entrapment. In Life On Base: Quantico Cave, Stephen’s dreams help to express his emotions. What do you think Stephen’s dreams are telling us?
Children of military families are often under stress. During a time o war, the stress increases as the service members return home and reintegrate into the family. As with all children, this stress comes out in the competition of sports and games. The military base is like an old fashion American town. Neighbors watch out for one another and care enough to chastise and correct one another's children. Fighting and any other social misdeeds get reported back to the service members command.
For thousands of years, the families of military parents followed their service members as they deployed to the field of battle. This is true for American military members as well. In the modern military, children that grow up in a military family are often taught the skills their parents learned along the way. In the first chapter, Stephen, and his friends are competing to practice orienteering, the skill of maneuvering across unfamiliar terrain using a map and compass.
Working Title: Agile Authors: An author’s guide to agile methods in a virtual world
This Book Is In Development
Every accomplished author is a businessperson, a marketing agent, a sales person, a reader, an editor, and a part of a larger network of professionals developing and promoting a message designed to affect the virtual world in which we live. Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, authors need a peer group that is ready and able to assist and guide their creative endeavor toward a successful book launch to reach their dreams. Agile Authors will guide the author in building their network into an efficient, agile team.
When a reader picks up a book, they have a big decision to make; a decision to trust the words you provide. Whether your customer will trust you or set your work aside is often a matter of whether they believe you. Approaching your writer's platform as a business opportunity can make the difference between word of mouth referral for good or for bad. Establishing yourself as a trusted source is critical.
Communicating is important, that's true, but accurately communicating is more important. To be successful, we have to communicate in a way that reaches the target audience, and has meaning to the receiver. An author's audience is often multi-generational, and each generation may receive the same message in different ways. The more we communicate and share information with our audience, the stronger the trust.
Electronic communication can make work convenient, very comfortable. We need electronic communications such as IM, email, video conferencing, and social media. E-Comms connect us to people and business that we could never reach without the internet. At the same time, it can separate us from building profitable, trusted relationships.
Knowledge workers are found in all industries, and in all jobs and roles, and that includes writers and authors. A knowledge worker is someone who's work output is the transfer of knowledge to a product. A couple of examples of such outputs is software code, engineering design, artwork, or fiction and non-fiction text. Interruptions and changes in scope and requirements can cause rework and restarts, most especially when these changes occur close to launch. When work is your knowledge, the need for flexibility and changeability is essential. Changeability is agility.
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