Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and the children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


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Self-Publishing

One joy of self-publishing!

Self-publishing—the very words arouse visions of independence, control, and yes… even sole proprietorship. Having self-published memoirs, fiction, and recently a children’s picture book, I had come to see self-publishing as speedy, inexpensive, and totally in my control.

Oh, how the proud fall.

With copies of my children’s book titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in hand, I arrived ten minutes early at an agreed upon place, at an agreed upon time, to meet up with a person with potential to influence the local board of education to consider my book for their libraries. After all, my children’s picture book depicts a typical school day in the life of a child with FASD, so I imagined schools falling over each other to grab one, and even better, several. Ah, life was good.

We met up, drank coffee, talked a reasonable amount of small talk, and then, just at the right moment, I produced the book from my bag. His eyes lit up; always a good sign. He leafed through the pages and smiled. “My contact will enjoy this,” he said. He took a pen from his inside jacket pocket. “Do you have another copy?” he asked. “I’d like you to sign one for my personal use.”

Red-faced horror!

Red-faced horror!

Mentally patting myself on the back for remembering to carry extras, I pulled another from my tote. Taking the pen, I opened the book to write. Horror struck! The pages were out of order. Page 13 was where page 1 was supposed to be; my introduction was located in the center of the book, the copyright faced page 7, the end was at the beginning, and so on and so on. I was mortified. My cheeks blushed. I felt small, and no longer in control. How could my POD service have done this to me, and, worse, to my customers? People are buying: from Amazon no less! I imagined purchasers trying to make sense of the arse-about-face pages; their expressions creased, my reputation ruined. I wanted to run home, click on the POD website, and give them a piece of my mind.

My guest smiled. He understood, or so he said, but the atmosphere had changed. He appeared less excited about the book. Would he still give a copy to his contact? Okay, so it’s a learning lesson. I know that, but I don’t want to hear it. I’m 70 years of age; I’ve learned enough! What I do want is for my POD service to GET IT RIGHT!

Barbara Studham has written FASD memoirs, fiction, and is currently working on the second in the

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol series, titled, FIDGET!

See her on Amazon at the following link.

http//:www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Twitter: @barbarastudham

Also on: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn,

Barbara Studham’s blogs:

www.barbarastudham.com

 www.challengedhope.com


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Writing Contest

Avoiding Writing Contests

Despite writing seriously for ten years, I have never entered a writing contest. Do not ask me why as there is no specific reason. Perhaps, therein lies the problem; there is not one reason, but many.

A contest I recently considered, laid out the rules along with a picture of the judge. She resembled my high school English teacher: short frizzy hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and sardonic smile. An award winning writer, she did not impress me as someone who would welcome my measly entry. I imagined her nose crinkle in disgust as she opened my envelope, her condescending glare at my name.

Okay, so she has specific judging rules to follow which rules out bias, but what if her friend enters the contest. Is she relationship-bound to announce her the winner. I envisioned sweat dampening her brow as she thought up numerous excuses to let her friend down lightly. Or worse, what if an entry with an attached note arrives from a relative—Psst, it’s Vera. I signed my entry under a false name, but it is really your mother-in-law. I ask you, what choice would she have other than to declare her the winner?

Before entering the contest, should I read her long list of books to get an idea of the style she prefers, or leave it to chance and hope she likes mine? What if she suffers a heart attack while reading my entry? Would someone gather the pages from off the floor, and replace them neatly in the envelope to be read at a later date, or, due to the urgency, would paramedics render it unreadable? What if I miscalculated the word count, would I suffer disqualification for one word over the limit …. I warned you, my reasons are endless.

Avoiding Writing Contests

So, there you have it. A few of my hesitations when it comes to contest writing, and why I don’t enter. Of course, you know it’s all baloney, don’t you. The REAL reason I avoid writing contests is because I am confident my writing is not good enough to win! But, you can be the judge of that by visiting the following link to download one of my ebooks.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Priced at around the dollar mark, they are very affordable. Oh, and please leave me a review when you have finished the book. Even a bad one is welcome!


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eBook: Strawberry and Cracker, Twins with FAS

eBook Now Available!

In a few weeks, I will be celebrating my 70th birthday. Wow, I never expected to make it this far, but now I have, I am finding it fun. When I was in my thirties, I believed my becoming old would mean ill-health, dentures, wrinkles, and crepey thighs. Okay, so the thighs are a bit on the crepey side, but apart from that I look fine. And, who cares about old-lady looks anyway? What I am excited about is the recent launch of my children’s picture book. Already available in print, it is now a downloadable eBook on Amazon. Who knew retirement could be so busy?

Children's Picture Book

Children’s Picture Book

Information

Strawberry & Cracker: Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is now available in both print and ebook from Amazon. Category: Family & Relationships/Children with special needs. Printed version priced at $9.99 (usd). Ebook $4.99 (usd).

Introduction

Meet Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)! With over twenty years of experience parenting four grandchildren with FAS, I have created the children’s picture book through my perception of the disorder. Illustrated in the first of the Strawberry & Cracker series titled, The School Day, is the twins’ use of visual aids, the necessity to attend a special needs class, and living with a caregiver other than a biological parent. Initially featuring Strawberry and Cracker’s strengths, the story subsequently introduces the reader to a typical school day in the life of a child with FAS, and the supports required for a successful outcome. Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the picture book series, is designed to be enjoyed by children with FAS, for caregivers with a desire to introduce their children to FAS, and for the public to learn about the challenges associated with the disorder.

Illustrator

It is difficult to judge a book by its cover, so visit this link http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham to take a peek at the story and Heather Lamb’s, fabulous illustrations. Without a doubt Heather has captured the essence of FAS in her paintings, and done the book proud. 

 

 

 


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FASD Memoirs

And now for something completely different!

All ebooks .99 cents (usd)

All ebooks .99 cents (usd)

I love to write fiction. It is fulfilling, fun, and frivolous, but I’m not all head-in-the-clouds. I do have a serious side.

 

FASD Memoirs. Take for example, the twenty years I spent raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). While fulfilling, and sometimes fun, it was far from frivolous, which you will discover if you read my two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years.

 

FASD Memoirs. Two Decades of Diapers describes the emotional turmoil associated with teen pregnancy, how I became a grandmother raising grandchildren, and the challenges FAS brought into our lives. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years offers insight into the struggles my grandchildren and I experienced while living with FAS throughout their teen years.

FASD Memoirs. Both memoirs are available in ebook format for only .99 cents (usd), and, given the generous amount of sales on Amazon, I am delighted readers are either learning about FAS for the first time, or are involved with FAS and relating to my experiences in some way.

FASD Memoirs. Also, follow my blog, www.challengedhope.com, to read of the issues and effects associated with FAS: a severe mental illness so easily prevented through the abstinence of alcohol by both parents during conception and pregnancy. For quick reference, you can check the sidebar of this blog for a peek at my FASD posts.

All my books, including my two FASD memoirs, are available at Amazon,
most ebook distributors, and the following links.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com