Tag Archives: Motivation

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I have had a copy of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul‘ (2nd Edition) for years.

The books are a collection of true stories with a feel good factor, empathy or message, but one story has always lived with me. Being a teacher I was struck with an end of year story of a tutor who was saying good bye to his students of that year. To some he congratulated them; others he wishes them luck in their new ventures, but to one student he gave a tiny box. When the student opened the box there was a pearl nestled inside.

The message of this gesture remained with me and in a way it worked on me over the years, just like the oyster covering the tiny piece of grit or shell, until I had the idea for a small gift book.

I wrote ‘Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself’ back in 2014 and, at the time, I was taking voluntary redundancy from my work at college. If I had not done so I would have been competing with colleagues, who were dear friends too, for the few jobs remaining. Two thirds of our department left or had to leave that year.

Recently I was remined of this draft manuscript and so I metaphorically dusted down the files and worked on them. After that, I asked several folks for their feedback (my beta readers) and amended it accordingly before publishing it through Eventispress.

If you need a bit of positivity, a feel good factor in your life, or you just need to read how others are coping with similar situations to yourself, then I really recommend the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. They now do books for Teens and areas like Dementia, but personally I just love the original mix of stories.


or the original version on Amazon.co.uk on their 20th anniversary.

I gained permission to mention the 2nd edition in ‘Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself’, a gift book for young adults ~ inspiration, motivation and encouragement.

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reading, Writing

Book cover competition ~ Watch This Space

A while back I was approached by a tutor from North Herts College in Hitchin, nhc-logo-190813

not far from where I live. He explained that they were always looking out for opportunities for their students to carry out real projects for local businesses and what did I think of putting forward my book cover as such a project which they could volunteer for.

This idea made me quite excited since I worked in further education for nearly fourteen years until last July and know how important it is for their learning to be embedded in realistic work experience, in order to make their studies meaningful.

I was quite nostalgic to be back in college talking to students as I outlined the specifications required and offered to answer any queries by email. This would give the students an opportunity to learn how to set up a book cover both for an e book and a wrap around cover for a paperback and to follow  the guidelines given, but it also allowed personal interpretation and imagination.

I know from their tutor and emails I’ve received that many have made an attempt, and this experience in itself will not be wasted. I am not surprised however, that only a few have completed the task and submitted their final ideas. To make the challenge more fun we have agreed that there will be a vote held in various places on line; on the college Facebook Page, on Google+, on my Facebook Page and here on my blog. Added to this I will have feedback from my writers’ group, and colleagues and friends not on Facebook. Yes, people like that do still exist. All of the results will be brought together and a winner finally chosen to be announced on 17th March 2014.

I am impressed by the varied submissions so far and look forward to sharing them with you.

For the successful designer this will only be the beginning. Once chosen they will then work with me remotely over the following two weeks to carry out any alterations required and polish it to the format and standard for publication, just as any book cover designer would.

Whatever the final outcome, I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all the students who have participated and especially to Ben their tutor for his strength to motivate and inspire, especially when you realise that this is added to, and not a part of their day to day coursework.

Tomorrow I will be putting the submitted designs here for you to have a look at. I will be truly grateful for your opinions and any encouragement you can give to the students for their hard work.


Filed under Murder Now and Then, Publishing your novel