Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck Celebrates First Birthday 🎂

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November, 9, 2019-

One year ago today, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck hit the presses!

What was a little dream, became a huge accomplishment.

Over the past year, there have been many firsts… holding my published children’s book in my hands for the first time, attending my first bookstore author events, first library events, visiting elementary schools as an official author for the first time, reading my book to children across North Carolina, and the list goes on.

The opportunity to share my children’s travel and adventure picture book has been a priceless gift to me.

I’ve driven all types of new terrain with Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck, and feel like we’ve barely hit the surface.

I am ecstatic to see what adventures lie ahead in 2020.

I would like to thank each bookstore, library, school, media outlet, and other venues for welcoming me with open arms.

To my friends and family, thanks for the amazing encouragement and support.

To my little monster truck fans, thank you for reading my book!

To everyone else that helped me find my way as a new author, who gave me advice, connected me with resources, helped spread the word… thank you.

The greatest lesson I learned this year is this— when you have a dream, follow it.

Make it happen.

Put your truck in gear and…

DRIVE TOWARD YOUR DREAMS!

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Jami McLaughlin- Mom On The Go!, Community Advocate, and Spring Lake, NC Mayoral Candidate

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Spring Lake, NC-

Jami McLaughlin is a visionary, active community partner and volunteer, mom on the go, and advocate for her beloved community of Spring Lake, North Carolina.

She is the creator of Mom on the Go! blog https://www.fayobserver.com/blogs/mom_on_the_go which was voted the #5 Best Blog by WRAL Reader’s Choice Awards 2018.

She serves as Spring Lake, North Carolina’s Town Historian and is a Member of the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board as well as Partnership for Children of Cumberland County Board of Directors.

Jami is a Sustainer with Junior League of Fayetteville and Fayetteville Holly Day Fair past chairwoman, and current active committee member.

To top it off she is an author and writer… among a ton of other accolades and professional experience in bettering communities located in Cumberland County, NC.

The busy mother of four’s current mission is to be elected as the Mayor of Spring Lake (a neighboring community and gateway to both Fort Bragg and Fayetteville) and Jami’s family’s native home where her deep roots are sowed. She vows to make the community shine through her leadership.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jami at my home to discuss her vision for Spring Lake, NC and why it’s residents should consider electing her as their mayor. http://jamiformayor.com/get-updates/

Listen to our podcast interview here 👇

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jami-McLaughlin–Mom-on-the-Go–Community-Developer–Spring-Lake–NC-Mayoral-Candidate-e8cbej

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Small Business Spotlight with Goldy

Fayetteville, NC-

This morning I was honored to be highlighted by the Women’s Business Center @CEED Small Business Spotlight on WFNC 640AM News Talk Radio in Fayetteville, NC.

http://www.wfnc640am.com/

It was my debut radio interview and I think it went pretty great!

Fayetteville’s favorite news talk radio host, Goldy, made me feel very at home in the studio. He was so poignant and genuine in helping me spread my children’s travel and adventure picture book’s message.

A huge thanks to CEED and the Women’s Business Center (as well as Rossana Allup’s awesome Facebook Live filming skills) for providing me the opportunity to market my book on the radio and on social media.

Watch our interview filmed live here:

Networking is CRUCIAL

Networking is crucial in developing a successful business. Whether you own a marketing firm, restaurant, boutique, bookstore, IT business— you must embrace networking as a main vein to grow your business.

Social Media is a fabulous way to connect and network with individuals worldwide or simply in your very own community: i.e. to simply introduce yourself to the world, find new customers and/or partners, advertise new services or sales, develop peer groups… what have you.

Doors 🚪 open through online exposure.

BUT, you cannot rely 100% on social media and online interactions to develop yourself as a professional entrepreneur.

Sometimes you have to actually bathe, brush your hair and teeth, put on clean clothes and a smile, and leave the comfort of your ergonomic home office desk chair (or couch) to mingle and talk to with real live human beings in the flesh.

Trust me.

It’s true.

You need to establish real life relationships to grow.

I recently experienced a perfect example of this very thing I am preaching at a business workshop put on by the Women’s Business Center at CEED, a local economic empowerment agency, located in Downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina.

To find out more about my experience and passionate plea to encourage you to get out of your “comfort zone” and on your way to building your biz like a boss, listen 👂 to my recent podcast here:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Networking-is-CRUCIAL-e5c6sc

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Blog and Podcast

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Cumberland County Public Library: Local Author Showcase

Fayetteville, North Carolina-

Trinity Bursey, Children’s Book Author

From Children’s Books to Science Fiction, Romance to Fantasy, Creative Writing Anthologies to Spiritual Inspiration, Poetry to Memoirs, Mystery to Anime Enthusiasts, Fiction to Non-Fiction, Cumberland County authors span all genres of literature.

On Saturday, June 15, 2019, Cumberland County Public Library Headquarters location downtown Fayetteville, NC, hosted the annual Local Authors Showcase where talented area writers groups and authors were invited to display their published books in an effort to bring attention to the growing writers community here in the Sandhills.

Alison Paul Klakowicz, Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

I was honored to be a part of this event alongside fellow authors and local writers groups in an effort to support my peers, educate myself on local writer’s resources as well as display my children’s travel and adventure picture book, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck: http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Fantasy Fiction Novelist Rebecca Lang

The vast amount of literature created by Cumberland County residents is impressive. I was taken aback by the fortitude and lyrical artistry of the authors featured at this year’s event.

Jack Welsh and Lorraina Nyanza- Veteran Memoirists

I found myself walking around the Pate Room of Headquarters Library in awe of each of the individuals I met— who poured their heart and soul into creating meaningful, poignant and entertaining prose.

Members of Off the Page Writers Group and contributors to The Mayor’s Tales anthology

Writing can at times be a lonely walk. So it was wonderful to be a part of an event that connected individuals such as myself with one another in order to nourish fellowship and support.

Donald Kemp, Novelist
Robin Minnick, Novelist

Networking with other writers and bookish enthusiasts in the community is crucial in spreading the word about the wonderful people and resources here in Fayetteville.

Talicia Smith, Poet and Spiritual Devotionals

Vivian Boylorn, Poet

Roberta J. Humphries, Inspirational Novelist and Memoirist
Steve Kamradt, Memoir

It was wonderful to see folks of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences gather in one room with the same objective and passion to educate the public on the local literature available to them.

Patricia Blanks, Christian Studies

Elaine J. Martin, Barking Dog Press

Sarah McCormick, Novelist

David & Sara Rothman, Anime/Manga/Japanese Culture Enthusiasts and Novelists

Even better to witness the inclusion and opportunity to share our own unique areas of interest and expertise with one another as well as event visitors.

Members of Chosen Pen Writing Group

Video courtesy of Cumberland County Public Library:

Kathleen Wanamaker, Fantasy Novelist

I encourage Cumberland County residents to attend next year’s event at the library and encourage you to seek out local authors for your next book purchase and schedule an author event at your school or venue.

There are some very talented individuals right here in our community that would greatly appreciate your support!

You can check out books from the Local Author Section at the library. For more information check here: http://www.cumberland.lib.nc.us/ccplicinfo/mobile_website/m.homepage.html

-Alison Paul Klakowicz, BA, MS

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Podcast: anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom

Instagram @alisonklak

Twitter @KlakowiczAlison

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

I can add puppetry to my resume!

I have Donna Cowan, California-based author of With the Courage of a Mouse: The Superhero School Series (https://www.amazon.com/Courage-Mouse-Superhero-School/dp/1640853839) to thank for this. She inspired me to take the plunge into the world of puppeteering.

You see, Donna told me all about her special handmade puppet created by a puppet-maker genius and children’s book author by the name of Debra Williams who lives way on the other side of the world 🌎 from the USA 🇺🇸 in New South Wales, Australia 🇦🇺. http://www.clewerpuppets.com

I fell in love 😍 with the idea of having my very own puppet designed to use as part of author events for Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178.

Donna kindly provided me Debra’s contact information and I got in contact with her right away. Although a bit of a challenge from Debra’s normal requests, she jumped right in and created the most adorable monster truck hand puppet that arrived on my doorstep today.

I tore open the package like a child on Christmas morning— the package that traveled so far to reach little old me here in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

When I opened the box, I smiled ear-to-ear because it could not have been anymore perfect. She did an amazing job hand stitching 🧵 the monster truck with perfect accents to match the illustrations from the book; not to mention two finger puppets to represent Mommy and her son which velcro neatly into place inside the cab of the truck.

No detail left undone.

I give Debra and http://www.clewerpuppets.com 👍👍👍 and an A+ 💯! I could not be happier with the quality and design.

Thank you Debra for bringing me such joy today! I can’t wait for the adventures to come with my new puppet.

Alison Paul Klakowicz, BA, MS

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

Instagram @alisonklak

Twitter @KlakowiczAlison

anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom

Alison Paul Klakowicz is a North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Do unto others and reap the rewards.

Over the past several months since publishing my first children’s book, I have had to ask others for help and support.

I’ve had to reach out and ask people to trust in me and my little book— and allow me to visit their elementary schools, libraries, bookstores, as well as other venues.

Not to mention I’ve annoyed friends and family with my constant posts on social media while asking them to share the news of my book.

Placing yourself on front street can be so scary. It’s much easier to hide behind the scenes, but I knew if I wanted to get my book in the hands of children I was going to have to work hard and get out there. Out of my comfort zone.

Sure, there have been some minor disappointments and rejections along the way. However, more than not, people have been EXTREMELY supportive of me; and given me (and my book) a chance.

To my delight and surprise, I have been shown so, so, so much kindness.

It truly amazes me.

Thanks to everyone who has shown me kindness and helped me to believe in myself.

Thank you.

I’m a firm believer that if you show someone an unexpected act of kindness it will pay off tenfold. I have certainly been the recipient of this as of late and feel it’s affects rubbing off on me. Not only from dearest friends and family, but also from complete strangers.

I love how the entrepreneurial world embraces one another. I’ve found myself being so affected by this empathy that when I meet new people whether here in my home state or across the country or world, I cheer for them and their pursuits toward their dreams. Because they are doing the same for me. And it feels good to my soul.

The world is the most connected it has ever been— thank you, Bill Gates. Through my interactions with other creatives and dreamers online, I am thrilled to connect with folks who hold a similar zest and zeal for chasing after dreams. And, it’s all the more sweeter when people— who do not even know you— can recognize the time, energy and struggle of your pursuits; and, applaud your efforts and encourage you.

How cool is that?

So, if you are out there thinking about your next steps in life, I want to cheer you on.

KUDOS!

I want to encourage you.

You can do it!

I want to give you some good, sound advice:

Keep a level head.

Don’t worry about the “what if’s” and “”what nots.”

Just put one foot in front of the other and keep your eyes on the prize.

You don’t have to be the best. But you do have to at least try.

TRY.

And if you fail, pick your ego up off the floor and try again.

Humility equals empowerment.

To know oneself and where you want to go in life is powerful.

Accept your faults. Strive to be a better person— be a loving, humble, kind, helpful person.

Be a determined and passionate human being.

You got this. I promise.

I am proud of you.

You ARE worthy.

Go for it!

Dream those big and little dreams. Put a plan into action.

The world is holding you up and cheering for your successes.

-Alison Paul Klakowicz, BA, MS

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

Instagram @alisonklak

Twitter @KlakowiczAlison

anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom

Alison Paul Klakowicz is a North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.