Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Army Wife's Life @ChaT Magazine





I recently contributed an article for “Changing Tomorrow”, a fortnightly newspaper being published from Jaipur. 

Find them on Facebook.


In my post I talk about what is like being an Army wife. How the our friends, relatives and even strangers feel we have it easy.

Trust me, a life linked to Army is never easy. A lot of sacrifice, dedication and resilience is needed. Somehow we army wives do find it too.





"I am a proud army wife but then aren’t we all? She is viewed as a lady who is living a life of privilege, comfort, respect, & honor. Do people actually see the hard work, anxiety and sacrifice that is also a big part of being an army wife? She is making the country a better place by her contributions to the upkeep and betterment of women, children and various issues plaguing the society.
Army & army wives, they say sets an example for our society to emulate. Yes, the army wife is the epitome of what a lady should be like but is she all this and more? Is it all it is cracked up to be? Are we army wives really different?
“There is strong. There is Army Strong. And then there is Army Wife Strong.” 
 
Aditi Mathur Kumar, Soldier and Spice - An Army Wife's Life
Quotes like these and many more praise & admire the virtues of these ladies but do we see the truth behind these thoughts?
·               She is extra strong: she has to be as she has to virtually live on her own in many god forsaken places with no access to anything, yes in this day and age too!
·               She is multi – talented: needs to be, how else is she going to get her kid the theme birthday cake and party decorations in a place called binagudi or karoo?
·               She makes the best teacher: needs to be a teacher as there are always schools no matter how obscure the place might be. Plus you get to keep an eye on your kids education.
·               She stands out in a crowd: of course she will, especially if the crowd is of locals from the nearby mountain village!
·               She values life: Duh! She is married to an army officer; she has seen death at close quarters & knows that any goodbye could be the last they share.
·               She is so independent: Does she have a choice? When the hubby is away on exercise for 3 months eventually she will have to move out and get things done- on her own. This includes fixing the car & the ac if needed.
·               She is never lonely: Because after a few years you get used to it – the separations become routine; almost.
Missing someone gets easier everyday because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will. 
 --Author Unknown.



·               She celebrates all festivals regardless of her religion: Your own festival is really dull if your spouse is away for a 100 days so you celebrate whatever comes your way with cheer & joy.
·               She loves shopping & shops in the markets of the globe: Yes, she does. Got to pass time somehow? How many parties can you do in week?
·               She loves her parties & get-together’s: It’s a way of keeping busy; you throw one party and are invited to 4 in return. Everyone is busy. How else would you pass time in pace with no markets & malls?
·               She handles her child’s education & grooming so well: She is almost a single parent, so she has to improvise and be both a father & mother.

·               She moves cities like a pro: She stops herself from buying the designer decorations because she knows it will not keep well in her no ac drawing room or manage the shift from one end of the country to another. Lekhapani to Ferozpur, yes west to east; go on check the map!
·               CSD or the canteen is a shopper’s paradise: Seriously! How much grocery and soap can you buy? Namkeen & Naphthalene Balls are your favorite??
·               She lives a life of luxury: It can be quite hectic with the active social life, wellbeing initiatives & official commitments. Any help she can get is a blessing. Imagine coming back to back events for 3 days. She also faces the ‘maid issues’ good help is hard to find no matter which part of the country we live in.
·               We love Pay commissions; So much pride in being an army wife but where is the money? Ever went clubbing with an army guy? Discount is the first thing on his mind! 

“An Army wife is probably the only woman in the world who
knows and readily accepts that she is the mistress, because, let’s
face it, the Army is the wife and the wife gets all the damn
attention!” 


Last but not the least, it is true, She is second fiddle to the unit her husband belongs to. Imagine telling your 5 year old that, Daddy has another big family of 800 men, which is the unit and they need him too. So the needs of 800 come before the 2 of us. That’s how you justify the grueling working hours, long absences & being the second best always.

Being an army brat long before I became an army wife sure helped my cause. It is a difficult life but then all good things involve a lot of hard work. Plus, I won’t have it any other way!




Do tell me in the comments if you too have faced or thought or heard similar views about what they say and what we see. 

This newspaper has been conceived and conceptualized specifically for today’s Youth and Women. And I hope to be contributing to it often. 

Feel free to join me as you send your posts at editorial@changingtomorrow.in 




To know more go to ...... Changing Tomorrow

This article first appeared in Changing Tomorrow, Vol.-1,Jaipur, Friday,May 15, 2015. 










Friday, May 22, 2015

New Girl On Salt Flat Road Book Blitz




New Girl on the Salt Road

by

Jackie Hirtz and   Marcy Winograd



Book Synopsis

Lola Zola is back. . . and this time her world is being rocked by the new girl on Salt Flat Road! Eleven-year-old Lola Zola wants a bra, but her mother won’t buy her one, reminding her that she’s “not quite ready.” Ouch. But Lola isn’t giving up – she’s even praying for her pancakes to become cupcakes. Her prayers go unanswered and Lola and her BFF, Melanie, are coming to the realization that they’ll be the only girls at school without bras. Just when they’ve become used to being called “Flatty Patties,” a new girl with a great figure moves in next door in the sleepy desert town of Mirage. “Queen Pauline” as Lola and Melanie call her, hails from Malibu and lives tween life in the fast lane. She shoplifts, steals friends, wears eye shadow, and likes boys, boys, boys – including Buck, Lola’s secret crush from the lemonade war days. Before Lola knows it, Lola is also racing to womanhood, crashing into the law and making a spectacle of her fugitive self.

About the Authors


Marcy Winograd is a former congressional peace candidate and current community organizer, Marcy teaches English to special education students at a public high school in Los Angeles. In Marcy's class, students tell their life stories in poetry and debate animal testing and other charged issues in persuasive essays. Before introducing the writing of Pablo Neruda and Langston Hughes to her students, Marcy broadcast news on both commercial and public radio stations, such as Pacifica's KPFK and an NPR affiliate, where she earned three Golden Mike awards, the broadcast industry's top honors for writing and reporting. Marcy lives with her union-side labor lawyer husband Ira "Buddy" Gottlieb, texts with her stylish daughter Gina, and cuddles with her three rescue cats who compete for attention before bedtime. Sometimes, however, the whiskered ones must wait until morning because Marcy is also an insomniac who likes to write in the middle of the night. "It's quiet then, so my characters and I can think."



 Jackie Hirtz, M.S.Ed., is a former elementary school teacher, is a writer and writing coach. She discovered the power of the written word when she first began writing poetry at age nine, thanks to her wonderful grandmother Martha, who gave her all the encouragement in the world. Jackie's credits include Disney, The Los Angeles Times, and the Brentwood Media Group. She has also written for companies and non-profit organizations. Together, she and Marcy wrote for children's television, including Nickelodeon's animated series "Doug." Jackie believes that good books help make the world a better place because they open minds and hearts. When she’s not writing, reading or teaching, Jackie is training her puppy to become a registered therapy dog as well as a Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.™)


Purchase Links

Contact Links
Twitter @tweenoroma

BLOG TOUR 
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Read You Later Communications
Founder and President of Round Table Readers Literary Book Club




TOMS #WithoutShoes without fuss!

A chance reading of a blog post by Parul Kashyap Thakur at her blog galvanized me into action just as the day was coming to an end. I just picked my phone and clicked the pictures of all the available feet in the house.

I just loved the idea that a simple photo of bare feet will provide shoes to a person. So easy, simple and an opportunity to give back to the society so easily.

TOMS is giving away brand new shoes against each picture of bare feet and they have many other community help programs going on.

Just thought to share this with you and remind ourselves that each drop of water, a tiny effort and a small action do matter.

Here are the pictures that I posted, guess which one is me?

So keep at it, results will follow.



A photo posted by Inderpreet Kaur Uppal (@indywrites) on




The Perfect Summer Book Blast






The Perfect Summer

It’s summertime! That means it’s time to sit back, relax and just have fun, right? Wrong! For Marlena Fernadez, Gloria and Valerie James and Max and Mickey Martin. . .summer is all about life lessons in these three page-turning tales about kids in search of The Perfect Summer.


Synopsis of each Story


A Lesson for Summer 
by
Jackie Lee

Fourteen old twins, Gloria and Valerie James, had the ideal plan to spend their summer vacation. They would spend their summer shopping, talking about boys, and going to the movies. However, when their dad felt the calling of the Lord, they were now going to have to spend their summer moving to another town and volunteering to mentor a bunch of snotty nose seven year olds. The twins do everything to sabotage their parent’s plans for them. However, in the end they learn lessons in life that truly makes this the Perfect Summer for both of them.

Excerpt from
 A Lesson for Summer

I knew that look meant that my twin sister did not like what she was hearing.
“There you are. We were wondering what was keeping you,” Dad said in a cheerful voice.
I politely smiled and took a seat beside my sister on the sofa. My eyes darted over to the strangers in the living room. The man had fine gray hairs around his bald spot. He wore thick
glasses that made his eyes look like a huge red moon. He also wore too much cologne. Whew!
He had the living room lit up like the perfume part of Macy’s. The woman beside him wore this big Kool-Aid smile. She had on a red dress with blue flowers. Her dress was loud enough for my friends to hear her across the street. “I have heard so many wonderfulyou, young lady,” said the balding man.
The lady with the loud dress just kept smiling.
“Your parents tell me that you are the captain of the church praise dance team and worship leader for the youth. That is wonderful! I love to see our youth active in church,” the man
continued.  I just continued to stare at him. My sister elbowed me, so I managed to say, “Thank you.”
My mother jumped into the conversation.

A Country Summer
by
Morgan Billingsley 


It's summertime and Max and Mickey are headed to their grandmother's house. But these two city kids aren't ready for a Wi-Fi free country summer. But when Max makes new friends, he learns to adapt and have fun. Can he get his twin sister to see that attitude is everything and can determine whether they have the Perfect Summer!

Excerpt for 
A County Summer

When that last bell rang, signaling the  beginning of our summer vacation, I felt like I’d just been given a Get Out of Jail card. I had been counting down to this day and was looking forward to hanging out with my twin brother, Max, playing video games, and taking daily swims in the pool my parents had built last  winter. You know, just having fun.
I wasn’t expecting this.  I mean, in the fun dictionary, a road trip to a country town was nowhere in the book. Yet,  that’s exactly what we were doing.
“Ugh! Are we there yet?” I asked my dad, who was driving our large SUV like a skilled truck driver. My mom was next to him and they  were singing some corny old people song.

Gabrielle Anderson

It's summer vacation time, and the Fernandez family is headed to Disney! Marlena, the oldest, is not excited about riding the teacups, she out grew those long ago. She decides that she is old enough to hang out on her own. With her cell phone in tow, her parents allow her tackle the park alone. It's no surprise that she learns many life lessons the greatest of which is family love.

Excerpt from
 Two Big for My Teacups



Six hours, four arguments and three stops later, they made it to the hotel in Birmingham. It was early evening and all Marlena wanted to do was swim. They were staying in a room that had two queen beds and a pullout sofa.

“I call the sofa bed,” Marlena said while putting her bag on it. 
“I want the sofa bed,” whined Kyle. 
“It’s big enough for the both of you,” her dad said.
Marlena protested. “I don’t want to sleep with him. I called it first.” Her mother let out a loud sigh then gave Marlena a look. 
“It’s been a long ride, let’s go swim,” her father suggested. 
“Good idea,” her mom replied. “Get your suits on.”

Marlena and Kyle got dressed quickly. He in basketball shorts, and she in her one-piece. Of course she wanted a two-piece, but her parents said that was out of the question. Not until she was old enough to buy it herself. Marlena didn’t think it was such a big deal, most of her friends had one. While her mom was in the bathroom, she decided to dress Chloe in her suit. She found her little pick suit with ruffles around the bottom and put it on her. Chloe was such a cute little girl. She and Marlena always got along. If her mom wasn’t around, she preferred Marlena to anyone else. Sometimes Chloe even slept in Marlena’s room.


Biography of Each Author



Morgan Billingsley is a seventh grader, who loves writing, acting, swimming and volleyball. She enjoys helping out and making people laugh. Everyone who knows her, applauds her nurturing heart. Morgan can often be found assisting her mother, ReShonda Tate Billingsley at book signings. She is active in her school organizations and serves as secretary for her Teen group in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Follow her on Instagram @c_momo_b



Eleven year old, Jackie Lee is a lover of the letters and the arts. She has starred in three theatrical productions produced by Cherie Garland. She portrayed Crystal in “The Christmas Present,” Glenda, The Good Witch in “The Wiz” and the Ballerina in “One Night with a King.” Jackie’s love of arts also extends to church. She participates in the praise dance ministry at East New Hope Baptist Church. She utilizes her musical talents as a clarinet player at Forest Hills Elementary School Band. Jackie can often be found at various literary events assisting her mother and guest authors. She also enjoys journaling and making sketches in her notebooks. She resides in Virginia with her parents and siblings. You can follow her at http://thecreativelifewithjackielee.blogspot.com/



Eleven year old, Gabrielle Simone attends Pulaski Academy College Preparatory School, where her teachers describe her as hardworking and passionate about learning. She is the student council representative for fifth grade, plays both basketball and soccer and has a personality bigger than life. The confident young writer is also the daughter of young adult author Celia Anderson. Having grown up tagging alongside her mom at book signings and lectures, it’s no surprise that she has become interested in the art. Gabrielle says that one day she would like to attend Stanford University in California, but that may change as she grows older. Currently she resides with her mother in Little Rock, Arkansas, enjoys playing dress up, singing and playing with her American Girl Dolls. She lists both her mother and maternal grandmother, whom she affectionately calls FeFe, as the people who have influenced her the most.


Links to Purchase









BLOG TOUR 
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Read You Later Communications
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#SnapYourWeek 21

Tender, Loving Care!


My nieces and son tending to me as 3 Doctors! 
I was the only willing patient, patient they got!!

How to #SnapYourWeek


1.  Take a picture that you feel was the most memorable or influential moment of your week and post it on your blog. Use the hash-tag #SnapYourWeek

2.  Describe the picture in 20 words or less if you wish. No more than 20 words but none if you don’t want to!

3.  Please share the URL to your post by clicking the “Add your link” button at the end of this post and filling out the information. 

4.  Very significant! Please sharethe #SnapYourWeek linkup post with your blog readers.  Kindly do visit some of the blogs listed in the linkup and comment on their posts

5.  Do it every week for 52 weeks every Friday.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Mystery of the Missing Iguana Review


My Review 

Alex and Angelo are a smart team of detectives. Alex along with is pet monkey solve mysteries for their friends and family. The mystery of an Iguana going missing and story of how it is found is fun to read and follow.

This is the first book about their adventures and they do a great job. A day in school when all children bring their pets to school leads to one pet, an iguana going missing. How the two of them help find the pet is an amusing and fascinating story. The teacher asks for help from Alex and he quickly solves the mystery. Boys, especially will love this book.  I hope Ruchira writes a sequel soon.

The book has lovely illustrations and the narration is also easy for the kids to follow. The monkey is equally adorable and cute and kids will love Angelo. This adventure is just the beginning and I hope they have many more adventures ahead.


The Mystery of The Missing Iguana
by 
Ruchira Khanna 



The Blurb

Alex and his pet chimpanzee Angelo are the young detectives of their neighborhood. When a friend's pet Iguana goes missing, Alex and Angelo immediately take on the case, and the sneaky reptilian leads them on an exciting chase. How will alex and Angelo use their sleuthing skills to solve this mystery?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



A biochemist by profession she made a mere choice of enrolling herself into a technical writing course. Now, little did she know that this small decision would take her on a path to creative writing and eventually publishing a novel.





You can stalk Ruchira Khanna @

                          

         


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