New Children’s Picture Book ‘When We Stayed Home’ Explores How Children Cope During a Pandemic

Huqua Press announced the upcoming release of a new children’s picture book ‘When We Stayed Home’ for Fall 2020 publication. Written by Tara Fass, a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist, and Judith A. Proffer, ‘When We Stayed Home’ was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who navigated the quarantine with imagination, adventure, heart, and tears.

“We hope to help children ages 3-8 deepen the capacity to see themselves in our hero, to cheer themselves on to get out of their own way, and make the most out of a bad situation,” says Tara Fass, who currently works with families and individuals via telemedicine to maintain mental health during this complex time.

“We know that when a child experiences any kind of trauma, and this pandemic certainly qualifies as such, the best action is to create an environment where they can openly share all they are feeling. We wrote this book for children to help them navigate these great big emotions. And to remind them that they’re resilient, and they’re not alone,” says co-author Judy Proffer. “We’ve included some whimsy and reminders that the creativity, indoor fun and abundance of family time have all been a salve in a sea of uncertainty.”   

Synopsis:

When Covid-19 traveled the globe, we were prompted to stay home, wash our hands frequently, socially distance and wear masks to remain safe and help the helpers. For children who don’t yet grasp the concept of time and haven’t weathered enough life to understand the art of endurance, it’s been a particularly complicated and sometimes trying time. When We Stayed Home looks at one young boy’s pandemic journey and through colorful illustrations and heartfelt prose we see how he has used his trusty imagination and childlike creativity to navigate the trials of staying home day after day, becoming a super-helper in the process while missing family, friends, school and the “normal” life he once knew. From decorating adorable toilet paper-shaped sugar cookies, building forts, painting and doing puzzles to frequent screen dates and dance parties with family and friends, young children will relate to his joys and sadnesses and how they too found connection and even serene moments of happiness while isolating. The book will comfort, entertain, and stir conversation about feelings and experiences the youngest stay-at-homers have experienced during these improbable times. Written by Tara Fass, LMFT and Judith A. Proffer, the book was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who continued to find big moments of mirth in home, nature, adventures and activities while at times tearfully longing for the virus to go far, far away. Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Fass has worked with families during the pandemic to navigate its bumpy road with tools, optimism and hope. This is their second book collaboration.

About the Authors:

Judith A. Proffer founded Southern California based and award-winning Huqua Press in 2010 as an independent publishing house to nurture talent and creativity. Previously Proffer spent twenty-five years in newspaper publishing, including nearly two decades with the alternative press (LA Weekly, OC WEEKLY, VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA) where she was Associate Publisher and Publisher, followed by co-ownership of the Sun Community Newspaper chain in the San Fernando Valley. Huqua Press publishes a diverse catalogue that includes culinary, juvenile, fiction and popular culture titles. Proffer seeks authors and works that uplift, inspire, inform and engage. 

Featured titles include Caroline by Brandi Carlie, Dog & Butterfly by Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie by Patti Davis, Our House by Graham Nash, The Lotus Kitchen by Gwen Kenneally and Places by Thaao Penghlis. She is the editor of I Hope You Dance, The Power of Spirit and Song (and co-produced the I Hope You Dance documentary), and is also the Vice-Chair of Meteor 17, overseeing literary and charitable efforts for the media company. 

Proffer was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the leading “Women Who Make A Difference” in the Southern California Community. Additionally, she was honored by Friends of The Family for her many charitable endeavors. In 2010 she teamed with Hollywood caterer Gwen Kenneally to create Magpie Mini Pie Gourmet Pies, a pop-up bakery with proceeds from the artisanal pies going to charity. The pies remain part of the event menu for Gwen’s Back to the Kitchen Catering Company. Proffer has taught writing workshops to children, adults and incarcerated at-risk youths. She is launching The Word Garden in 2021, a non-profit writing resource for non-writers. She’ll host monthly writing workshops, offer templates and writing tools on The Word Garden website and will provide writing workshops for at-risk students in underserved communities.

Tara Fass, LMFT has treated the walking wounded of Los Angeles for twenty years as a therapist/mediator and co-parent educator through her clinical work and private counseling. She was a Huffington Post contributor for six years and blogs for “It’s Over Easy,” an online divorce support resource. When We Stayed Home is her second book. 

“The work I am doing during covid through telemedicine is an attempt to sharpen inner listening, to accurately name and express pain, and thereby better regulate emotions. The impact of Covid and quarantine on families and children today is something we’ll be discussing for decades to come, attempting to make sense of it all.  It’s essential to talk about the ‘tough stuff,’ about real feelings. If we’re having awkward conversations, chances are we’re acting out less that which is not understood.  By not shutting down what feels unspeakable we get out of our own way sooner and are the better for it.” 

To request a review copy or an interview with the authors, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

LESS EGO, MORE SOUL: Search Your Soul and Make Changes in 21 Days

LESS EGO, MORE SOUL, by Janet Ioli, is a modern reinvention guide for women to search their soul make changes in 21 Days. It was released in July 2020, published by JI International, and is available for sale on Amazon. Genre: Women in Business / Self-Improvement / Motivational

As a Women’s Leadership Expert & Executive Coach, Janet Ioli has been helping people and organizations make changes and maximize their impact for over 25 years. 

In her new book LESS EGO, MORE SOUL, Janet helps women make changes to reinvent themselves in just 21 days.

“With what is going on right now (with Covid-19), what better time than now to reflect and reinvent yourself,” says Janet Ioli.

Janet Ioli was recently featured by Women to Watch Media. In her interview with Sue Rocco, Janet shared that after the death of her Father, she was prompted to ask herself this question – “Am I living my life in alignment with what is important to me?” This is a question Janet poses to readers in her book LESS EGO, MORE SOUL. Through 3 weeks of exercises, Janet encourages readers to – Embrace Yourself (Week 1), Find Your Inner Wise Woman (Week 2), and Create Your Personal Manifesto (Week 3). Search your soul and make changes in 21 Days.

LESS EGO, MORE SOUL is written for women who have achieved success in their careers— but are questioning if that is all there is.

“Ioli presents a different model for approaching life, focused on intentionality, exuberance, curiosity, and, above all, self-care. Interweaving autobiography with practical advice, she provides a functional toolkit for implementing real change in her readers’ lives through practices like writing, visualization, and creating a personal manifesto… Ioli has years of experience in leadership and executive coaching, and her background is evident in the clarity and compelling nature of the writing in this volume. Her advice is valuable because it is concrete. Rather than abstract concepts and ideas, Ioli offers step-by-step instructions that literally walk readers along the path to self-transformation. In addition to providing a clear road map for initiating change, this volume also uses personal narrative to both engage readers and illustrate the ideas being discussed. The result is a text that is enjoyable as well as transformative. There are so few self-help texts that give women permission to put themselves first and trust their instincts about who they want to be. Ioli not only grants that permission but shows how it can lead to real and meaningful change for the better. ” -Reviewed by The US Review

Synopsis:

When you feel stuck or fixed in your ways, reinvention seems unimaginable, even unattainable. But what if you could define your life to be more fluid, curious, and exuberant?

What if you were gently led through activities of introspection and empowerment in the setting of your choice, without an audience or need for any preparation?

Deep, impactful change toward the breath of new life.

Ultimate alignment of heart, mind, soul.

It sounds breathtaking, doesn’t it?

Your guided journey in this book will prompt you to let go of incessant pleasing, proving, and polishing. You will integrate the voice of your inner wise woman into a declaration of who you are, what you believe, and what you are committed to. The personal manifesto you will create here is a decision-making and alignment tool for the actions of not the person you are now—but of the person you are becoming. 

You will commit to live and lead with LESS EGO and MORE SOUL.


Excerpt:

Chapter 11

A Disorienting Place for All of Us  

As of this writing, in the Spring of 2020, you and I have been hit with a gargantuan thunderbolt impacting everyone around the world. We are experiencing a global health crisis, a pandemic that came out of nowhere and is impacting everyone. Most of the world is in some sort of stay-at-home quarantine period due to this crisis. We cannot comfortably and freely leave our houses due to the high risk of getting sick or spreading the illness, except to get food or medicine or attend to absolutely essential business. We wear masks when we do venture out for essentials, or if we are still going to a workplace that is considered “essential” during these times. Many of us are sick with this unfamiliar virus that is spreading. Some of us are hospitalized; some are even in critical condition. An unexpected number of us are eventually dying from this threatening organism.

Who could have predicted that the year of 2020 would bring this sudden, cataclysmic upset to our daily lives?

Everything “non-essential” has halted as we are ordered to stay inside the safety of our own homes to avoid continued spread of this invisible virus moving stealthily and steadily among us all.

Millions are filing for unemployment as their financial livelihoods have been severely impacted by the shutdowns.

I had no idea that this notion of a thunderbolt experience and subsequent soul searching I was writing about (in LESS EGO, MORE SOUL) would become so relevant. I never thought that we would be hit by a massive, global thunderbolt of unprecedented proportions.  That it would strike so suddenly and shake us to the very core of our beings.

You may be now sitting back during this thunderbolt experience and facing questions that are bubbling up in the midst and resulting aftermath. You may be having an identity crisis of some sorts as you are brought face to face with your own fragility as a human—and the fragility of those around you. You may be wondering if what you thought was important before all of this is really that important. You may also be questioning your own choices and behaviors.

Your wise self may have been thrust forward and your ego identity mask has been cracked. Your wise self may be speaking much more loudly now than that muffled whisper when your mask was securely in place.

Those designer handbags you covet and display as status symbols may feel pretty unimportant to you. Being impressed by people’s titles and their social status may seem superficial and unaligned to your deeper sense of values. You watch people show sides of themselves that involve compassion, empathy, and kindness. None of these attributes you admire and resonate with in these moments have anything to do with material wealth, social status, goal achievement, fame, or other measures of success you may have become accustomed to using as metrics to judge yourself and others over the years. You may be embarrassed when you are faced with what might appear to you to be the shallowness your own surface identity. Yes, yours. That superficiality that you could perhaps spot in others but didn’t see in your own self.  The things that impressed you that really were meaningless but were prescribed to you as important from those around you or from the conventional thinking you were socialized with—and had become your own.

This self-evaluation can be a scary, disorienting place to be. It makes you challenge and question what felt neatly normal and in order throughout your life. Yet it is also a time of renewal. An opportunity to discard the stories that no longer resonate with you or make sense.  Maybe they never made sense, but you didn’t stop to question. You didn’t stop to go deeper and listen.

Maybe the aftermath of an event like a pandemic isn’t a strong enough jolt to cause you to do this sort of complete reset and re-evaluation. Perhaps a different thunderbolt like the ones I mentioned earlier have shaken you to the core instead. Perhaps you have lost your job. Maybe you have lost a loved one or ended a relationship. Whatever the case, regardless of what kind of thunderbolt you have been hit with, I believe it is time for us all to wake us up to our deeper, wiser selves. That yearning for something more that you feel deep down from your core has always been trying to get your attention. It has been calling you. The thunderbolt experience just serves to knock your ego identity upside down and aside so that you have no choice but to listen. You are no longer immune to change.

Simple questions may be coming up for you as you’ve experienced this total loss of control and a staunch recognition of the commonality and fragility of all of humanity. Now is the time to reconnect to that neglected place and learn to listen to the deeper, wiser self that resides inside of you, that knows exactly what you need. It is time to find your wise self and come back full circle. It is time to become whole.

Thunderbolt Wake-up Call: Self-Reflection

Upon your last thunderbolt, whether the pandemic or something else, did you take time to reflect on the situation and dig around for your feelings?

Is the person you are being on a daily basis really the person you are or want to be at a deeper level?

What actions do you take on a regular basis that are not consistent with what you truly value?

Do you love, admire, respect the same things as before?

Are you focused on the right things for your wellbeing?


About the Author:

Janet Ioli has been helping people and organizations make changes and maximize their impact for over 25 years. As a former leader inside four Fortune 200 companies, she understands first-hand the complexities and realities leaders face leading their organizations.

Grounded in real experience working with thousands of leaders in different industries and countries and having provided over 10,000 hours of coaching, Janet has earned a reputation as an extraordinarily talented, highly results-oriented and sought-after leadership coach, change strategist, speaker, and organizational advisor. Forbes has recognized Janet as one of the country’s leading business coaches with membership in the Forbes Coaches Council.

Janet’s wealth of practical experience is backed by continuous and robust educational substance and focus, in addition to thousands of hours of self-study in psychology, leadership, change, neuroscience, and human development. She has master’s degrees in both Public Administration and Business, an undergraduate degree in Business, and has extensively studied Human Development and Adult Learning at the Doctoral academic level. Janet also holds a certification from the National Board of Medical Examiners as a health and wellness professional. Janet is certified as a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation and has an Advanced Executive Coaching Certificate from the Smith School of Business and a Certificate in Positive Psychology and Well-being Coaching.

Janet partners with major universities as an industry expert in women’s leadership— she is on the faculty of American University’s Key Executive Leadership Program for government leaders and is a designer and speaker for the University of California at Irvine’s Women in Leadership Certificate Program. As a recognized thought leader on leadership, self-development, and change, Janet is a contributor to Forbes and Thrive Global. She is the author of The Cure, Power Presence for Women, and Less Ego, More Soul.

Readers can connect with Janet on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://www.janetioli.com/

To request an interview with Janet Ioli or a copy of her book LESS EGO, MORE SOUL to review, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.