The Journey Begins

“Life for me before writing my first book Issues, and the life I have now are two totally different ball games. My life before, was a life filled with resentment, anger and pain. Issues released me from those chains of self-oppression. Before, all I could do is hurt …now all I want to do is help.

Issues is an outline of all the times I was tarnished. My own self-will was to blame many times. There was a breaking point somewhere, when I was young. I quit caring about doing what was right because I felt I was done so wrong in life.

I knew at an early age that if I didn’t care about the consequence, I’d push it till all those that stood against me gave in first. They used alternative punishment, when all I needed was the truth and perhaps a heck of a butt whooping. This all gave birth to Issues!” -Paul Kurko

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

Are you using a trauma informed approach?

In our current school system, almost 50% of all children have experienced at least one ACE or Adverse Childhood Experience.  These include things like having a parent that is dependent on drugs or alcohol, abuse, neglect, and a dangerous environment.  Although these may sound like things only experienced in an urban, or high poverty area, the statistics are alarmingly clear.

Dr. Christina Bethell, Director of the National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Center states,  “If more prevention, trauma-healing and resiliency training programs aren’t provided for children who have experienced trauma, and if our educational, juvenile justice, mental health and medical systems are not changed to stop traumatizing already traumatized children, many of the nation’s children are likely to suffer chronic disease and mental illness. Not only will their lives be difficult, but the nation’s already high health care costs will soar even higher.”

Meg Walkley, MSW and Tory L,. Cox, LCSW / PPS, discuss the effects of trauma on the development of children and adolescents, stating “Trauma exposed youth are often hyper-vigilant, making it easy for them to become overwhelmed and undermining their capacity for self-regulation and anger management.” Often times, this leads to children being misdiagnosed with things like ADD, ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This leads to medications that simply address symptoms, and not the root cause.

Creating a trauma informed approach starts with changing the dialogue around behavioral issues.  Instead of asking the question, “What’s wrong with him/her?” the real question is “what happened to him/her?” This is where Writing for the Soul Workshop™ emerges as a viable component for organizations and schools to help better work with trauma impacted youth.

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ goes a step further than simply understanding what is driving behavior, we create safe environments that our participants need for healing, while giving them access in real time to tools to help lift themselves up by their own bootstraps.  This is key in truly changing outcomes for trauma impacted youth.  Instead of the constant stress of a “fight or flight” environment, our participants have the potential for financial independence not present in most other programs.

This means better emotional outcomes, and better overall outcomes as well. Teachers can better understand how traditional disciplinary approaches are seen as combative to trauma impacted youth, creating a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to youth dropping out of school, or getting into legal trouble, or both.

In schools that have already adopted a trauma informed approach, the results have been amazing.  Arnone Elementary, for example, which has 826 students from kindergarten through 5th grade, 86% of which are minorities, has seen a 40% drop in suspensions after implementing a trauma informed approach. When Lincoln High School  implemented a trauma-informed approach, suspensions dropped by 83% and expulsions dropped by 40% in the year following implementation.

Are you using a trauma informed approach?

No child is born bad. An estimated 2 in 3 children are exposed to traumatic experiences that have the potential to impact brain development, social functioning, and ability to learn and engage in school. Recognizing and addressing this issue must become part of our focus for those of us working to help men, women and children in your community. Trauma has the potential to affect all students, and implementing a trauma-informed approach is imperative to change this cycle. Contact us to discuss if Writing for the Soul Workshop™ would be a viable component to what your school, church or nonprofit already has in place. Use the Contact Form below to schedule a free consultation today.

TGIM New Release: Dreams Are Forever

When a freak accident robs him of his wife and children, a quirky but seemingly normal man is driven to a dangerously obsessive need to restore his family.  The aftermath brings terror into the lives of innocent children and their families.

In this second book of the Dreams Never Lie series, Josh Howard is summoned back to the FBI as a consultant, child kidnapping cases being his passion.  With no ransom demands, no witnesses left alive, and the lives of the children hanging in the balance, Josh resorts to the sordid world of the dark web where every form of evil lurks to solve this case. He has no choice. Time is running out.

Color: Black & White on White paper
Size: 6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Page Count: 446 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1726024013
ISBN-10: 1726024016
BISAC: Fiction / Thriller / General

Have you read the first book in the Dreams Never Lie series?

Dreams Never Lie by Elsie Varn HarrellJosh Howard is only eight years old when the little girl next door, Doni, is kidnapped and killed.  Josh vows to catch her killers when he grows up.  As a FBI agent, he knows the chance of solving the case after so many years is slim to none, but he still dreams about Doni.

Josh is assigned a serial murder case in which the victims are tortured and raped before being killed. After a long string of murders with no leads, Josh starts receiving coded messages from the killer, warning when another attack will take place.  Then, there are hints that connect the killer to Josh’s new wife.

As Josh faces one of the most perplexing cases of his career, his personal life is now in shambles.  Will he be able to stop this maniac before he strikes again?  Will he be able to save his marriage?  Is his wife the next intended victim?

Size: 6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm) 
Color: Black & White on White paper
Page Count: 526 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1976016257
ISBN-10: 1976016258
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General

About Elsie Varn Harrell

Elsie was born and raised in Brooksville, Florida a small town about 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. She moved to Texas with her three children in the 1980’s where she met her husband on a blind date. The lovely couple recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

Elsie lives in a small town in Texas where she is an active member of a Baptist church. Elsie is an insurance agent, and is also hard at work on her next novel. She loves the north-central Texas area as is evident in her books.

Removing Chains of Child Abuse Book Review

Top customer reviews

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

Shine by Lisa Griffiths

Don’t let the voices of the past rob you of your future.

What “they” said against you was from their own insecurity.

They don’t know you and what you’re capable of.

You might not even realize what you’re capable of, but trust me …

You’ve been refined in the fire.

You’re going to shine and do incredible things!


Lisa wrote this poem for the kids accessing our Writing For the Soul Workshop™ program to encourage them. Not only is she an avid supporter of our writing program, Lisa is one of 17 survivors of child abuse and child trafficking published in Removing Chains of Child Abuse. The book was made possible through a global community partnership with Ark of Hope for Children. Take a look at what one customer said after reading the book:

Top customer reviews

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.

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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