The Birth of a Book: Honest Conversation about Writing a Book

Posted by Alyson Jones.

I first wanted to be an author when I was 12 years old and in Grade 7.  In order to have an honest conversation regarding my journey to actually becoming a published author, I must admit that I was not a shining-star student in Grade 7.  I was actually dyslexic and did not know it at that time.  I did not understand how I could be so motivated to succeed in school and still be experiencing such a struggle, in particular with math and sciences.  I had the worst spelling of anybody in my Grade 7 class and still shudder when I think of those moments when a spelling test required me to stand up by my desk and spell the word out loud.  I would break into a cold sweat, stutter over the words, endure my classmate’s giggles at my misspellings and pray for the moment to be done. But even with the trauma of the spelling tests there was something about words that fascinated me – I just did not want to spell them out loud.

I was not sure what lay ahead academically, but I did believe I had more in me and I knew I wanted to express it somehow.  I wanted to be good at something!  I was 12 and desperately looking for an academic strength and a source of confidence.  I was also busy trying to cover up some of my academic weaknesses and was certainly learning that the only way I was going to achieve success was to work very hard.  I was probably creative enough to have received some decent marks in my Language Arts class despite the terrible spelling, but I was not an English whiz kid who everyone else predicted would become an academic and author.  But I was curious, and that curiosity kept me moving forward despite some of the academic challenges.

So You Think You Can Write…

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Once my interest in reading and writing was piqued there was no going back. My life has been filled with a fascination for books and through my years of education, training, and accreditations there has been many opportunities to both read and write. I am not going to pretend that all of those books and readings have been interesting, nor have I managed to retain all of the information that has crossed in front of my eyes, but my reading and writing through the years has built my knowledge base and deepened my love of words and ideas.

I still remember the grueling periods of reading the entire Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in grad school along with a plethora of other boring but required readings. I do have a certain level of pride for actually having jumped through these hoops and to have passed my exams on these materials. Of course I am deeply grateful for all the material that excited me, expanded my perspective and helped me build my knowledge base. I now balance my reading with a variety of books that I choose to read which inform me, entertain me and enlighten me.

How Parents Can Get MORE Out The Holiday Season

Posted by Alyson Jones.

GettyIt is the festive season again. Another year has rolled by and we are now busy decking the halls, trying to find that perfect gift, and worrying if we will be able to manage our holiday budget. When we pull out the old string of lights we remember that half of them do not work, and we are behind in our shopping. The Christmas commercials are in full swing, and each time we see a commercial we either see an idyllic family scene or harried parents trying to juggle it all. As parents, the two faces of Christmas are often reflected back to us as either perfection or overwhelm.

Many of the commercials try to tell parents that we can overcome our stress and have the perfect family Christmas, as long as we buy their product or shop at their store. That image of the family sitting at Christmas dinner, everyone smiling at each other and the ideal turkey perfectly placed on the platter, can quickly become a great disappointment if we make perfection our goal. Mothers, in particular, often feel that they do not measure up if they cannot achieve this image, and they fear that they may in fact be the harried mother who will not be able to make the magic happen. They can easily become overwhelmed trying to achieve an image that is just a fantasy, and then miss out on the reality in from of them. No one wants to be that mother drowning in the season, disconnected and overwhelmed. But can perfection be reached; can we achieve that perfect picture? No, give up now! Let the perfectionism go, let the fears of inadequacy go, and free yourself in order to make this Christmas a truly exceptional one.

MORE: A New Philosophy for Exceptional Living – OUT NOW!

Posted by Alyson Jones.

It’s a “BOOK”! Last night I launched my first book, M.O.R.E. A New Philosophy for Exceptional Living. The celebration was the culmination of months of writing, rewriting, and reworking often late in the evening, and always on a tight deadline.

Writing this book was much like giving birth (and I had twins)! The process of writing, editing and working with a publishing company was incredible and full of learning opportunities. I plan to share some insights and tips in a series of blog posts later this month. Watch for them!

How to Manage Anger Instead of Avoiding Anger: An Honest Conversation

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Let’s have an honest conversation about anger.  Many people try to avoid conflict and see anger as a negative emotion.  Even the word anger can bring up anxiety and avoidance in people.  However, anger is just like any other emotion as it has both a constructive and a destructive side.  Anger can fuel us and focus our energy.  Anger can let us know when a boundary has been crossed.  But if it is left unresolved and unmoved it can turn into destructive anger or rage that can harm others and ourselves.

Without movement, anger can simmer or explode.  Simmering anger and resentment can become bitterness, and I believe that bitterness is one of the least attractive traits in a human being. We do not want to connect with a person who is bitter and angry; it sucks out our energy to the point where we start to avoid that person.