Tag Archives: holistic health

Interview with Stephanie Rose Bird, author of THE BIG BOOK OF SOUL

Stephanie Rose Bird graduated with honors from Temple University, Tyler School of Art and received her MFA from the University of California at San Diego, where she was a San Diego Opportunity Fellow.  She was Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute in painting and drawing; a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Australia in the field of anthropology, and she has taught at the Chicago Botanic Garden as well as the Garfield Conservatory.  Bird is a professional member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (Black Midwives and Healers) and the Herb Research Society of the American Botanical Council. She is also a member of Author’s Guild.  Bird is author of Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs, Four Seasons of Mojo: an Herbal Guide to Natural Living, and A Healing Grove: African Tree Remedies and Rituals for Body and Spirit.  She has been published in the magazines, Sage Woman, the Beltane Papers, WitchVox, PanGaia, Aromatherapy Journal, Aromatherapy Today, Herb Quarterly, Llewellyn Herbal Almanac naturallycurly.com and others. Bird is a practicing magical herbalist and aromatherapist who lives with her husband, family and animal friends in the Chicago area.  You can visit her website at www.stephanierosebird.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Stephanie. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit: Legends & Lore, Music and Mysticism, Recipes and Rituals, is all about?

The Big Book of Soul is all about soul and how it manifests in the healing ways of African descended people in America, Africa and the Caribbean.

Q: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

Well, this is actually my 5th nonfiction work, blessed be.  My work has gotten a lot more complex over the years and it has become a combination of being research-driven and drawing from experiences (mine and those of others) whereas in the past it was largely drawn from personal experience.  I think the work has evolved to become more welcoming to a broader audience than the way it started.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

I had times when I got stuck and blocked.  I tried to work through it doing other things like making art, dancing, cooking—anything except writing.

The Big Book of Soul by Stephanie Rose Bird (click on cover to purchase at Amazon)

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

Well, the book just released three days ago. I gave a presentation at a local college at an African, Caribbean and Native American Heritage Conference and the response was overwhelmingly warm and receptive.

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

I get up in the morning.  Have breakfast with my family.  Take my little boy to school, feed my animals and then write from about 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. continuing in the late afternoon at times.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

To relax I like to take walks, do yoga, dance, cook and read.

Q: What book changed your life?

The Secret

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

The Never-ending Stories

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

…that I love to laugh.

Thank you for this interview, Stephanie.  I wish you much success on your latest release, The Big Book of Soul!

Thank you!

Stephanie is presently on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.  If you’d like to visit her official tour page, click here.

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Holiday Memories: Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree: Memories of Holidays Past by Ingrid King

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree: Memories of Holidays Past
By Ingrid King

I love the holiday season, and my favorite part is always the annual decorating of the Christmas tree.  I’ve collected ornaments for the past twenty some years or more, and inevitably, bringing out the ornaments each year leads to a lovely, if  sometimes bittersweet, trip down memory lane.

I grew up in Germany, and traditionally, our Christmas tree was not decorated until Christmas Eve.  As a small child, I was not allowed into the living room while the tree was being decked out in its holiday glory.  I can still remember the eager and impatient anticipation of the moment when my parents would ring a small brass bell that hung on the tree, and I could finally enter the room.  It was pure magic each time.  The tree was decorated with multi-colored glass balls, sparkling tinsel, and real candles – something that we can’t even imagine in these safety conscious times we live in.

If you like this story, click on cover to purchase an even better story by Ingrid King!

When I moved to the United States in my mid-twenties, I was introduced to the tradition of putting the Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving.  I loved this – now I could have the tree up for several weeks, not the mere two weeks I was used to from my childhood!  I was also introduced to artificial Christmas trees.  At first I balked at the idea – the intoxicating pine scent of my childhood trees was such an essential part of the holidays, it was odd to think about having to give that up.  But, being able to have a tree up for five to six weeks won out over not having the real thing.  Not having to deal with cleaning up needles for weeks after the tree was taken down was a nice side benefit.  And since having a fake tree has become the environmentally conscious thing to do these days, rather than making apologies for my fake tree, I am now politically correct.

I’ve accumulated quite a collection of ornaments over the years.  Many of them are cat themed, and I can usually remember where I got them or who gave them to me.  There are photo ornaments that contain the photos of my cats, past and present.  There are ornaments from places I’ve traveled to, like the shell ornament from a beach trip, the fat glass cat from a recent trip to New York City (is there anything better than New York City at Christmas time?), or the handmade wooden ornament my dad made for me the year before he passed away.   There’s the white tiger ornament that reminds me of a trip to Las Vegas to see Siegfried and Roy’s amazing performance.  There’s the angel tree topper that came from the world famous Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany.

And of course, there’s the small brass bell from my childhood Christmases, and it still brings back the memory of that magic moment each and every holiday season.

Ingrid King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer.  She publishes the E-zine News for You and Your Pet, covering topics ranging from conscious living to holistic and alternative health.  She shares her experiences with consciously creating a joyful, happy and healthy life for pets and people on her popular blog, The Conscious Cat. Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cat Amber.  Visit www.ingridking.com .

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