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Archive for December, 2021

Title: THE MAN WHO TRANSFORMED AFRICA: THE REBIRTH OF A CONTINENT
Author: Peter D. Cimini
Publisher: Halo Publishing International
Pages: 488
Genre: Fiction

BOOK BLURB:

The novel opens with Vatican intrigue between liberal and conservative cardinals, which leads to the unlikely selection of an Indonesian pope. Seizing the opportunity, the new pope uses his ex-cathedra (papal infallibility) to declare poverty to be an immoral human condition. The pope decides to lead by example, taking the provocative step of selling Vatican treasures to fund a long-term plan to build a strong middle-class society in Africa.

The novel follows the pope, an ex-president of the United States, and an African nationalist during the first two years of an estimated twelve-year project to build a strong African middle-class society.

After a year-and-a-half of steady progress, the ex-president and the African nationalist realize they have miscalculated the costs of irrigating the African tropical savannas, and the project stalls. A brilliant, young, autistic project employee, originally hired to oversee the use of Africa’s natural resources, solves the irrigation problem, allowing the plan to continue moving forward. The autistic project employee later comes to the rescue once again when he clears the name of the ex-president, who had been falsely accused of bribery.

The author believes the fictional narrative of this unique story will show the need to stabilize Africa’s social order, infrastructure, and land use, which would result in an economic rejuvenation of the continent, eventually turning Africa into an agricultural giant.

Giancarlo Barzinni was born in 1938, the only child of Leopoldo and Anna Barzinni. The Barzinni family lived in Piedmont, south of the mighty Alps in the northwestern region of Italy. Giancarlo’s parents were domestic workers for a wealthy family who owned a villa overlooking Lake Maggiore. His father tended the villa’s grounds and his mother worked as a house cleaner.

When Giancarlo learned to walk, he accompanied his mother to morning Mass. By five years of age, Giancarlo became deeply influenced by his mother’s devotion to her Catholic religion. When Giancarlo began his schooling, he also started playing European football and soon became the dominant player among his peers. People from the Piedmont region of Italy heard of a young talented footballer from Lake Maggiore, and many traveled to watch the ten-year-old soccer phenom. At fifteen years of age, Giancarlo became the youngest player invited to Italy’s national team tryouts. Coaches from the national team had been impressed with his exceptional football skills. During the final week of tryouts, Giancarlo seriously injured his hip in a collision with another player. The injured young player returned home without qualifying for a spot on the national team, with the assurance that he would receive an invitation to the national team’s 1965 trials.

Giancarlo, now twenty years of age, received his invitation to the Italian national football teams 1965 try-outs. The coaches once again were impressed with Giancarlo’s skills and noticed an improved maturity in his approach to game of football. During the third week of trials, Giancarlo was participating in a kick on goal drill against a defensive player, he cut sharply to his right to avoid a defensive team member, and suddenly fell to the ground in severe pain. The team medical trainer accompanied Giancarlo to the medical facility for an ankle x-ray. The x-ray showed a broken anklebone. That evening during a coaches’ meeting, it was decided to exclude Giancarlo from further competition with Italy’s national team. The coaches were unwilling to hold a spot on the team roster, for an injury prone player, no matter how skillful he was. Giancarlo was sent home and informed that he would not be considered in the future.

BUYING INFORMATION

is available at:

Author Peter Cimini was born in New York City, in the borough of the Bronx. He attended both a Catholic elementary and high school. Mr. Cimini holds bachelor and masters degrees from New York University. He was a teacher both in New York and Connecticut, and served students twenty years as a curriculum specialist, overseeing and writing curricula. He is also the author of The Secret Sin of Opi, on the topic of missing and exploited children. His favorite novel is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Author Cimini admires the works of writers Kristin Hannah and Nicolas Sparks. He lives in Connecticut.

The Man Who Transformed Africa is his latest novel.

Visit Peter’s blog at www.peterdcimini.wordpress.com or connect with him on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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THIS IS HOW I SPELL GRIEF

Self-Help

Jeffrey Park Press

126 pp.

Erik Lewin shares how he turned the profound loss of his mother and father into life-changing growth, with intimacy, warmth and humor. He offers a no-nonsense, commonsense way to create your personal path to acceptance of your loss.
Lewin became an expert in his grief experience twice over, encouraging readers to find their own way, as no two lives or losses are the same. He eschews expert opinions and general analyses of grieving in favor of common sense, letting you know you are not alone in how you’re feeling. He shares how he turned his loss into an impetus to personal change. A former criminal defense lawyer, Lewin is now a full time writer and standup comedian.
This Is How I Spell Grief takes a counter-intuitive approach to self-help; there are no eight simple exercises to get over it. Instead, you gradually learn to address grief on your own terms, to make true and lasting peace with your loss.

PRAISE

“Generous, intimate and deeply personal, even funny at times. I believe this book will help readers work with their own grief.” – NOAH BRUCE, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director, Salinas Valley Medical Clinic

Outstanding work. Everything I felt about my father’s recent death and my best friend’s death 14 years ago was articulated in this writing. It truly is a wonderful tome on helping one to manage their grief after the death of a loved one.” – Philip Peredo

“This is the book that I wished I had many years ago when first confronting the passing of my father. The author expertly navigates all of the issues that one encounters when grieving. It’s a remarkable book in that even for those who think we have a handle on their grief, the author helps us understand new ways to engage with grief. It’s definitely not a self-help book, but I found it much more profound and valuable.” – AKF


CHAPTER 5

The World Goes on But You’re Still Grieving

5.1 PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND

One of the worst aspects of grief is it can feel like nobody knows what you’re talking about. This can make you feel emotionally alienated, and therefore reluctant to share your feelings with others.

Since losing my mom and dad, I’ve tried to share with family my feelings of alienation, but I suspect they’re convinced I’m something ofan alien; as if the emotional frequency I am tuned into is like dog ears—one they cannot hear at all.

Hey, I’m now alone in the universe. “Oh okay,” they reply, “want to get a hot dog?”

Or silence. They’ll just ignore the subject. It’s flabbergasting! Especially when it’s an anniversary of loss, and the person is aware of this, it hangs in the air real thick and gloomy; they treat it as no more important to discuss than the weather, something far in the distance, passing us by. The longer the absence of their acknowledgment of the loss, the gloomier and thicker the air becomes, until it’s suffocating to not say something. It’s up to me to bring it up! As if it wouldn’t exist otherwise! I’m sorry to have made them feel uncomfortable.

I understand that no one wants to talk about death. In the first place it’s depressing, and its finality is just plain hard for a human mind to comprehend. It’s baffling, overwhelming, heartbreaking, traumatizing, debilitating, anxiety-inducing, and this list goes on.

But the irony is laughable! Everybody on the planet dies, so presumably, many people have lost someone close already, and you would therefore think many could relate. The truth is somewhere in between; a lot of people still have not lost a parent, or child, or brother or spouse, someone integral to their life, and this often renders them incapable of meaningfully empathizing, or even sympathizing, with your experience. Likewise, certain people are simply incapable of dealing with the discomfort of the subject. In the end, there’s effectively not too much difference between the two, and so it just becomes too exhausting to examine the reasons why any particular individual doesn’t feel really “there for you.”

Nevertheless, as I grapple with the enormity of loss, I still do bristle at those who express scant empathy. I visited with a close relative, (whom I still love in spite of the following) shortly after my mom’s passing. I felt fragile and vulnerable, yet eager to commiserate with someone who knew my mother well. It felt like an opportunity to help with my healing process, and of course, listen to anything grief related my relative might have to share. When I arrived, to my shock, over the course of an entire day, he didn’t ask a single question, or say a single word regarding my mom’s passing.

We were outside his apartment later in the day already, and he looked at me with a certain intention. I figured this would finally be the opening salvo into the subject. He spoke.

 “Hey Erik, wanna smoke some weed?”

“No man, I’m good.”

“Drink?”

“Nope.”

“How about a little boxing?”

“Okay.” We plugged in the video game. My head swam with confusion. When is he going to say something? Then he suggested we go out for a burger. I thought I’d give him a head start.

“So how’re things with you?” I said.

“Pretty good, but tough sometimes, y’know.”

Okay, here comes the first mention of my mom’s passing.

“This place is a lot of fun on the weekend. . .”

OMG!!! At this point I paid little attention to whatever he talked about, none of which had anything at all to do with my mother. We hung out all day without so much as one solitary word on the matter. That my mom had just died. Not one question about it, not one question about how I was holding up. Nothing. We parted ways afterward, and as I drove off, the chance of any talk of it now gone, I was pissed.

I guess he was. . . unsure, uncomfortable, weirded out about how I’d react—

He maybe thought: So. . .  I guess I might as well say nothing. Yeah, ‘cuz if A, B & C options all mean saying something, and I’m not sure which one is right, then, uh, yeah, let’s go with D—say nothing. Can’t go wrong then. Besides, Erik’s here to get away, escape, have a little fun—what kind of dick would I be if I reminded him that his mom just died?

I promise you I haven’t forgotten that my mom has died! I also love when people say this sort of thing, like—I didn’t want to bring it up, I mean maybe you wouldn’t want to talk about it, and I’d be rude to put you on the spot like that, it’d be thoughtless and disrespectful of me to cause you pain like that.

Here’s a message to all humans who have said something like the above to someone in grief—THE PAIN IS NOT FROM YOU BRINGING IT UP. IT’S FROM THE FACT THAT MY LOVED ONE HAS DIED.

I say this emphatically, but with less anger and bitterness as my process of recovery deepens. In other words, it’s important to convert one’s frustration into an understanding that is cathartic. The message here is these feelings of dissatisfaction are perfectly acceptable and normal, though that doesn’t mean you have to hold them close to your heart. You can observe the reactions of people, as well as your own feelings, accept them and let go. 

There are friends who have gone so far as to have questioned what was wrong with me. Why am I not the same person? How I disappointed them. And from one point of view, who can blame them? They’re not the ones suddenly crying at a bar during a night out. It’s ME. That kind of behavior doesn’t scream fun to be with. I’d go out with friends and they’d be upbeat, living their normal lives, and I’d just kind of stare at them for long silences. After a while of that, I didn’t have to worry about turning down too many invites.

I didn’t mean to be dead weight. It’s just that whether or not your friend should switch to Dial soap to better moisturize their skin rash didn’t hold quite the same sway over my attention. All these mundane parts of life that everyone is so caught up with. How serious can I take any of it?

It’s even harder when some friends and family continue to wonder why I haven’t “moved on.” It’s been so many years already, how come you still seem so burdened? How come you’re still not back to “normal”? I’d love to send a message to people everywhere who have made any bereaved person feel this way: MY FAMILY IS STILL GONE. As in, not coming back to life. How could I not continue to be deeply impacted by this irreversible fact? I am doing the best I can.

These frustrations are commonly felt by those of us who have lost a loved one. I hope other sufferers have the good fortune to benefit from support that is healthy, responsive and supportive. It is also certainly possible to make new connections and to develop friendships that can be quite nurturing. Unfortunately, if you’re bereft of such help, a certain sense of estrangement can arise.  

There are mourners who may momentarily have an attitude of well one day you’ll understand, but I’m confident no one actually wishes grief on anyone. But the truth is, wished or not, everyone will be next in line at some point. The time will come when everyone will lose a loved one and be overwhelmed with grief.  I think it’s an instructive question to pose: What kind of support would you hope for?

Erik Lewin is the author of three books – This is How I Spell GriefAnimal Endurance, and Son of Influence – as well as numerous essays published in Ponder Review, GNU Journal, David Magazine, Real Vegas Magazine &Literate Ape. Erik is also a stand-up comedian who performs in clubs and venues around the country. He formerly practiced law as a criminal defense attorney in New York City and Los Angeles. He is at work on a new one-man show loosely based on This is How I Spell Grief.

Erik lives in Las Vegas with his wife and their furry pets.

Visit his website at www.eriklewincomedy.com or connect with him on Facebook and Goodreads.

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Title: YOUR MID-CAREER GPS: FOUR STEPS TO FIGURING OUT WHAT’S NEXT
Author: John Neral
Publisher: LLH Publishing
Pages: 281
Genre: Job Hunting/Business Mentoring and Coaching

BOOK BLURB:

Are you considering a career change but doubt yourself or get easily overwhelmed by the entire process?

Are you a mid-career professional ready to level-up, but unsure of what steps to take?

What if there was an easy and supportive way to plan your next career destination?

Your Mid-Career GPS will guide you to create your own professional roadmap so you can find the job you love or love the job have. John Neral, Certified Professional Coach, will help you strategically position yourself in the marketplace while teaching you how to leverage your unique skills from a place of value and service for any organization.

Learn how to prepare, position, and promote yourself as you create a tactical and strategic plan by building Your Mid-Career GPS. Let this book be your guide to answer many of the current questions you have about creating your next advancement opportunity.

PRAISE

“This book is for those of you who feel like you know everything and nothing about what’s next, you can’t fathom writing yet another cover letter, and you wonder “why bother” when it comes to updating your résumé. If you are feeling alone on this journey, bring this book, and all of the insight and tools it contains, along with you. You will have John’s company along the path and you will be one step closer to finding your way!”–Natalie Siston, Best-selling author of Let Her Out: Reclaim Who You Have Always Been and Founder, Small Town Leadership

“John expertly guides readers through the trials, tribulations, and common pitfalls of mid-career professionals and managers. He also provides information on the effective career strategies and mindset needed to be successful. This book is a must read if you are looking for professional support and could use a career GPS! — Porschia Parker Griffin
Founder and CEO of Fly-High Coaching Millennial Coaching Institute

“LinkedIn is the most powerful tool to help you network, build professional relationships, learn, search for jobs, and much more. I always say if you are not on LinkedIn you might be left out. Your Mid-Career GPS provides valuable tips and guidance to help you navigate LinkedIn and start growing your network and create your next advancement opportunity.”— Rhonda L. SherLinkedIn Specialist, Author, Speaker

“I picked up this latest book after enjoying John Neral’s previous book, SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career. In Your Mid-Career GPS, John Neral provides clear, actionable steps to put his six strategies into play quickly and effectively. I really enjoyed his conversational writing style as well. As a mid-career professional, I love that my cohort is the focus of his attention and expertise. He demonstrates throughout the book that he knows the benefits mid-career professionals bring to an organization and his thoughtful observations and exercises will help anyone define their professional value and market not only their skills but themselves. Reading and employing the strategies in this book can position you to be a more valuable resource to your current employer or challenge you to spread your wings and find your next, great career opportunity. The underlying message is one of empowerment and encouragement and that’s a message everyone can benefit from.”Victoria A. Bourgeois

Your Mid-Career GPS 7

MEET THE AUTHOR

John Neral

John Neral, MA, CPC reawakens, energizes, galvanizes, and innovates the mind think of employees, corporations, associations, and systems. A celebrated executive/career and professional development coach and in-demand, mindset-shifting public speaker, John’s professional walk included a 25-year career in education and a longstanding corporate consultant for Fortune 500 giant, Casio America, Inc. He now leads John Neral Coaching, LLC, one of the most progressive, mindset-shifting professional and organizational coaching and public speaking firms in the U.S. He is the author of Your Mid-Career GPS – Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next and SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career and the host of “The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.”

As a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index, John’s experience has made him an impactful and valuable coach to his one-on-one and group coaching clients and organizations. With Energy Leadership™, John identifies where people perform at their optimal levels and when they are under stress. Combining the Energy Leadership™ principles, a client’s workplace strengths, and their “unique professional value,” John helps his clients create their career GPS so they can take action toward achieving their professional and personal goals.

A former church organ prodigy, John is an avid traveler–having sojourned to 5 of the 7 continents, a professional bowler and the winner of a Professional Bowlers’ Association Regional Title (2010), and a game-show fan, having appeared on previous episodes of GSN’s Chain Reaction and Make My Day. John is happily married and lives with his spouse and their rescue cat, Amy Farrah Meowler (named after the Big Bang Theory character), in the heart of Washington DC’s Dulles Technology Corridor, Tysons Corner, VA.

You can visit his website at https://johnneral.com or follow him at TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

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