Kurko Inspires: When The Odds Are Stacked Against You

“Sometimes in life, you may feel as if the odds are stacked against you. This is the point where you buckle down and push hard to get through the day. For tomorrow will become yesterday with a little  faith. Push forward, it won’t last forever …unless you let it.

We as humans are flawed, each and every one of us. We all have issues. What we do with our feelings defines us to a point. Feelings are hard to deal with for most of us.

With that said, think of something in your life that hurt you. Afterwards, you probably felt changed. Maybe you lost some joy, trust or that deep down goodness. Then multiply that over and over. That’s what some of us go through.

Never being able to deal with that first issue that hurt you -when multiplied by more hurtful events, can take a toll. Makes your light go from dim -to darkness. Well, I want you to know that you are not alone. Don’t believe me? Then read my book entitled ‘Issues’. When you’re done, use the Contact Form below to connect with me. Who knows. Perhaps, we can be there for each other.”  -Kurko Inspires

Issues by Paul Kurko

In his autobiography entitled Issues, Paul Kurko talks about the resentments he had when his mom died. Resentments that eventually led him on path straight to prison.

When Paul submitted his story to our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Peer Support program, I asked him “Why do you want to share your story?” He said, “Dude, I’m worried about the younger generation coming up out there. I’m a father now, and I don’t want them to experience everything like I did. They need to know that their past does not define their future. Maybe my story will show them.

“This page turner will grab you. In it, Paul doesn’t hold back. He says what he means and means what he says. That’s why we know you’re going to love his story. It’s real.” -Eric L. Jones, Sr., Publisher

Buy The Book $9.99Download The eBook $4.99

 

Step beyond the pages of Elsie’s latest release, and into her new apparel.

Stay warm in this Elsie Varn Harrell Book Club hoodie throughout the cold months. It’s breathable and extra thick for added warmth. It’ll remind you that Elsie’s thrillers are different, and that the good guys in her novels still wear the White Hat.

Youth: S M L XL: $39.99

Adult: S M L XL: $39.99 XXL: $41.99 XXXL $43.99

Colors: Black Blue Red White

Ships in 7-14 Business Days


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Renée Walker bids TGIM “Farewell.”

Today I come to you with a saddened heart, but solemn gratitude in writing this announcement. As of Friday, October 13, 2017, I have decided to pursue other avenues in my writing career. My passion for writing comes from reading many books in my childhood. I still have the same adrenaline rush when I open a new book, which has the distinctive smell and feel that only true readers enjoy.

“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a book.” – J.K. Rowling

My passion for screenwriting has opened new doors for me.  We are currently filming a TV series that requires the majority of my time and attention. TGIM and Writing for the Soul Workshop will always have a special place in my heart. I would like to thank the amazing Eric Jones for giving me the opportunity to work with him. I value the teachings and the publishing experience I received. Eric is not only a creative entrepreneur but also a good friend.

I bid a farewell and great success for TGIM.

Renée Walker

Note from our CEO

I’ll never forget the day that I first interviewed Renée for the internship position as publisher with us. I knew then, that she would be a tremendous asset to this brand. What I didn’t know, was that she would leave behind a legacy. Literally.

Right after successfully completing her on-boarding and training, Renée went on to adapt our writing program for adults who wanted to share their stories with the next generation. We named it the Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy Program. Under her care, the program went on to publish its first book entitled, ‘Timeless Memories‘.

Words can’t express how grateful I am to Renée for all she accomplished while with us, or how proud I am of her latest work as a screenwriter entitled: “Let The Church Say …” that will premier this Saturday during the Rack Focus Film Festival at The Texas Theater in Dallas.

Renée, I am forever grateful for all that you’ve done as publisher here at TGIM. You set a really high bar for our next intern. But, I’m most grateful for our friendship. Break a leg this Saturday! 🙂

 

Step beyond motivation into impact with Kurko Inspires.

Paul’s books are displayed beautifully on the back of this Kurko Inspires hoodie. Show your support of Paul’s message to those hurting, while wearing your warm hoodie well into the cold months.

Youth: S M L XL: $39.99

Adult: S M L XL: $39.99 XXL: $41.99 XXXL $43.99

Colors: Black Blue Red White

Ships in 7-14 Business Days


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Family Man by Bettye Westbrook

My name is Bettye Jones-Westbrook.  I was born in a family of ten siblings. Six sisters and four brothers. My parents did the best that they could to raise us with God’s help.  My parents were not educated.  My momma learned to read when my oldest sister started school. They learned together.  My daddy never learned to read.  Education was important for his children though, so we had to go to school.  Daddy was the first-born out of his siblings.  His father’s name was Matthew, and he was born during slavery. When slavery ended, my grandfather had no family except his father and mother, because his two brothers were sold during slavery.

 

Daddy worked hard farming, and at the end of the year, he would just break even. One day, Daddy came home and said to my mother that they did not make it.  Because he did not break even, they lost the farm. But he had an option to stay on the farm and continue work for the person that he was share chopping with …but God.

 

I can remember how Daddy would only buy what they did not raise on the farm.  He came home with a barrel of flour, sugar, salt and the major items. Momma would use the flour sacks along with some cloth to make our dresses. I can remember momma looking in the Sears catalog to make our dresses, and that was a gift from God.  Daddy was the best dad. He would take us riding in the horse and wagon.  He owned a horse named Bob, and a mule named Ole Jim.

 

At the age of twelve, I can remember my daddy saying, “Yes sir” to a white boy my age. I stood there feeling so awful, and I think the young guy was embarrassed too. But that was him, and the time he was from.  You see, Daddy was born July 3, 1903. My parents bought their first truck in 1953, and my brother was the driver.  

 

My daddy loved God above all.  He was the janitor at our church.  He also served as a deacon.  I can remember momma telling us that she taught daddy a verse in the Bible each week, so when he helped with the devotion, no one would know that he could not read. What love!

  

My Daddy would take us to Church every Sunday.  Ironing, playing ball and cards was not allowed because Sunday was Holy.  With the help of God, my daddy kept his family together. He was a family man. God blessed him to see six of his children grown and doing well and a host of grandchildren. He had one son in college, and two in school when he went home to be with the Lord. I loved my dad, and I thank God for him. When up against the odds, he didn’t give up. He made a stand and trusted God for everything.

About Timeless Memories

For centuries, we have used story telling as a way to maintain our traditions, values, and history.  As we have transitioned to the 21st century, we use the internet and social media to share who we are -creating a gap in our story telling traditions for those that experienced some of the most prolific events of the last 100 years.  The Great Depression, two World Wars, miraculous medications and awesome inventions mark some of the incredible happenings witnessed first hand by today’s seniors, many of whom do not use email or the internet.  The stories of how we lived life before computers may be lost in the shuffle from paper and pen to bits and bytes.

Timeless Memories: Our Legacy for Your Generation is a compilation of stories, poems and reflections of the seniors participating in our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy Program.  This one of a kind program offers a platform for our writers to leave a footprint of their history to this generation and beyond.

A portion of all sales benefit St. Luke A.M.E. Church in Waco, Texas, provider of Writing for the Soul Workshop Legacy.

Buy The Book $12.99Download The eBook

Life is hard.  Life is not fair.

Forward from Stories of Hope

Life is hard.  Life is not fair.  We’ve all heard these phrases, spoken them ourselves about our own lives, and helped family or friends through circumstances where these phrases apply all too well.   Some of us, if we are lucky, don’t have to endure the heartache these simple words bring with them until we are well into adulthood and can somewhat deal with them in a healthy way.  Some of us too, have these fantastic support systems of friends and family to help us through times that challenge us.  But then there are those of us whom, for unknown reasons, get thrust into challenges and dire situations at a much too early age.  How does the universe determine who gets to breeze through life with few problems and who has to endure tribulations that sometimes we think we will never survive?  We may never understand why certain things happen to some people and not others, and maybe we aren’t meant to understand.

What we do know is how we handle these events can either plunge us deeper into despair and sorrow, or catapult us to a better place if we so choose to channel our energies in that direction.  This may be an easier task if you have had enough life experience to truly comprehend what is going on and make the right decisions moving forward.  But when life deals you a bad hand earlier in life, those experiences are not generally there to draw from.  We do not even know where to start, or how to start, in picking up the pieces and changing the direction of the momentum in our lives.

Having taught for 14 years, I have seen a lot of kids endure some pretty ugly situations.  For some of them, they still struggle to overcome their challenges, to change their life’s path.  Some still do drugs.  Some still sexually offend.  The list is lengthy and sad.  Some have even committed crimes that have landed them behind bars as adults.  So many of these kids have gone through things in their incredibly short lives, which most middle-aged adults would shudder at the thought of going through.  It is so difficult to see them battle within themselves and try to comprehend why they struggle so much to “get it together.”

But then, every once in a while, you come across a kid with something deep inside of them that you can sense, but can’t explain.  These kids have a drive within them that pushes them, propels them to do something, to change their life’s path.  And they do! Why does this happen for some and not others? You see the same type of kids in front of you who go through the same kinds of life-altering events in their lives, yet the outcomes are so vastly different.

Every single one of these adolescents is a very special person with an incredibly varying list of difficulties and struggles.  However, woven throughout these adversities sometimes emerges an inner spirit, a drive for change and for something better.  They all have a story to share, and a lot of times they want to share it, need to share it.  These are the stories of those kids who overcame their challenges, and of those who continue to battle them.

Eric is currently conducting one of his workshops in-house with our students.  I have been completely blown away by the response that our students have given Eric and this program.  I have kids in class who struggle to write a sentence for me, write an entire page in a few minutes for Eric! Kids who have declared loud and clear to me, “I don’t write. I don’t like to write. I can’t write. You can’t make me write” who end up writing; and write from their gut.  Some of the responses from my kids:

“I love this workshop. I have never wanted to write before. Now I do.”

“I can’t believe that I am going to be a published author!”

“I want to write a book now!”

Eric really works to connect with the kids on an emotional level and can elicit written responses from them that astound me. He works from the very beginning to create an atmosphere of acceptance and safety that allows these kids to express themselves not only on paper, but also verbally in front of their peers. It is an extremely awesome scene to witness. You can definitely feel the healing that is going on with the kids through this process.  The kids want to continue to write and carry the process on long after Eric is gone. Some even ask to work on their own stories in class and after their work is done.  Kids ASKING to write because they WANT to.

This workshop is truly amazing and will touch whoever chooses to embrace it and dig deep into themselves.

Sincerely,

Sarah Lankford

Special Education Teacher

State of Missouri

About Stories of Hope:

Stories of Hope is a compilation of heart wrenching, and liberating short stories written by youth participating in Writing for the Soul Workshop™ around the world. Through a unique structure offering both engagement -and reward, this workshop brings education and passion together in a way that offers permanent life changing impact. As noted in the forward by educator Sarah Lankford, these unique and amazing individuals have received a rare opportunity to share a story they needed to share … and develop a love of writing as a result.

Details:

eBook:$9.99 USD
Soft Cover: $12.99 USD
Size: 6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Color: Black & White on White paper
Page Count: 158 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1537368849
ISBN-10: 1537368842
buy-nowBISAC: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / General
Purchase a copy of the book or download the eBook and enjoy it from your favorite device today! Stay connected with updates from our workshops in the United States on Facebook at: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in North America.

Removing Chains of Child Abuse Book Review

Top customer reviews

on June 10, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The collective voices of this anthology rise up as a rightful specter over the insidious realities of child abuse in all its forms. Thank you to its authors for finding the courage to speak to child abuse’s immediate and long-lasting effects. Whether you are a similar victim – or not – the take-away from this worthy effort is one of great emotion and necessary education. Only through the later, can we cause change. A must read…

Removing Chains of Child Abuse

The short stories, art and poetry collected in Removing Chains Child of Abuse are from survivors of human trafficking, child abuse and bullying.

This project was made possible through our Community Partnership with Ark of Hope for Children. Ark of Hope is a human rights umbrella organization using a trauma informed approach to serve survivors through various programs. This includes our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program.

These powerful stories allowed those who submitted them to experience writing and art as therapy. They give hope to the survivors reading them that they are not alone and they too can recover. This book is packed with resources  for those still suffering, as well as signs to look for if someone suspects that a child is being abused. Book includes a journal at the back. Proceeds from book sales benefit Ark of Hope for Children.

Buy The Book $16.99Download The eBook $11.99