Sunday 5 February 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight - Principal Sam and the Calendar Confusion by Paul Semendinger/Illustrations by John Fredericks

Principal Sam and the Calendar Confusion
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Author: Paul Semendinger, Ed.D
Keywords: Children’s Books, Kid’s Books, School, Holidays, Principals, School Children, Action/Adventure
Categories: Children’s Books/Holidays
Pages: 32
ISBN: 978-1542790963
Imprint: Sunquills

ONE LINER: How in the world could Principal Sam get his holidays mixed up? The kids at Sunnyside rush to his aid in this adorable picture book that will have your child smiling and laughing with delight.

Book Description:
Sometimes Principal Sam can't remember.. what day it is!

When Principal Sam starts to mix up the holidays, it’s up to the schoolchildren to help him out!

How will Principal Sam learn to keep his holidays straight? Find out inside!

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The Writing Process

Becoming a writer takes a great deal of time, effort, focus, energy, and a willingness to fail.  Of course, these attributes are true for every endeavor in which one desires to become successful.

I have been a writer for my entire life.  As a child, I sought to be published in our school’s small newsletter.  My mother still has the two sentence passage I wrote that was printed when I was in the first grade.  It was my first published work!  Throughout my life, I have worked at the craft – earning small accolades over the years: a story printed in a high school literary magazine and a few years later, another story printed in my college’s literary magazine.  People told me I had “talent,” but, if I did, the talent was raw.

Over the years, I have crafted numerous books.  These ranged from a history of the Beatles to a “how to be a better teacher” book.  The educational book was considered for publication many years ago, but it needed a significant level of work and attention that I was unable to invest as an husband and active father of three growing boys.  I was also busy with my profession as a teacher and school administrator and working towards, and eventually receiving, my Doctorate in Education.  Being a published author would have to wait!

Still, I kept writing as a hobby if not a vocation.

When I became a principal, my memos to my staff began becoming longer and longer.  A Weekly Memo that I began publishing for my staff became a place for me to share my thoughts on a plethora of educational subjects.  As teacher interest grew, so did the length of the passages.  I started to become proficient in essay writing.

At the same time, I had a novel in my head that was fighting to get out.  I began to invest some of my free time in the novel.  I found that writing in this way came somewhat easily to me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the writing process.  Once the first draft of the novel was complete, I began to try my hand at children’s books – another area where I have a passion.

I, of course, have always been a prolific reader.  I love language.  My reading inspired my writing.  As I wrote more, I read more – one discipline helping the other.  I also searched for ways to build my craft.  I joined an organization for writers and attended conferences and writing craft weekends.  I met some published authors and listened to their advice.  One wonderful author, Rob Skead, gave a great deal of help to me – including sharing the name of an outstanding editor, Britta Eastburg Friesen, with me.  Britta has become my editor.  I cherish her advice, help, kindness, and support.

I have pitched my books to many publishers and literary agents.  I have received great feedback.  Many have also told me the same story – “I like your writing, but I can’t offer you a contract.”  I have learned, many times, what failure feels like.  I faced book rejections for many of my works for many years.

Yet, I kept at it.  I started a blog that has received a great deal of positive feedback.  I submitted my writings to on-line and print publications – and have been published a number of times in those forums.  I began working on other writing projects including a detailed and very unique history of the New York Yankees that has received a good deal of interest.

Writing is my hobby.  I love to write.  Yet, I love my profession as the principal of the most wonderful, dynamic, child-centered elementary school in the world.  I also enjoy sharing my passion for education, with a focus on children, by presenting workshops at educational conferences. 

The writing process never ends.  I continually improve my craft.  My family and friends who offer critiques help me grow.  My editor, Britta, pushes me a great deal.  I’ll probably never be fully satisfied with my writing, I’ll always feel I can do better, but when I see the smiles in my readers’ eyes, and receive positive feedback from followers, I know I’m making a positive difference one reader at a time.

It’s great to be a writer!

About the Author
Dr. Semendinger has been a passionate child-centered educator for almost 30 years. He first enjoyed a successful career as a middle school history earning numerous awards including “Teacher of the Year” and the prestigious “A+For Kids” grant before moving on to administration. Dr. Semendinger has served as a high school vice principal, a middle school principal, and is currently the principal of the most wonderful elementary school in the whole world!

Dr. Semendinger has enjoyed working in various professional organizations including serving as the President of the New Jersey Middle School Association. In addition to the above, Dr. Semendinger has worked for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and he has served as an adjunct college professor at both Ramapo College and William Paterson University.

An enthusiastic presenter, Dr. Semendinger brings his passion for children to his positive, happy, and engaging presentations.  As an accomplished public speaker, Dr. Semendinger has successfully presented workshops at many conferences including those run by the New England League of Middle Schools, STEMCON, the New Jersey Middle School Association, the Madison Institute, local ASCD Chapters, and many others. 

Dr. Semendinger is also an accomplished writer. His first book of motivational passages, “Impossible is an Illusion” will be released in June 2017 by Ravenswood Publishing.  Dr. Semendinger’s first novel, “Scattering the Ashes” will be released in August 2017 also from Ravenswood. In addition, Dr. Semendinger writes picture books.  His first picture book for children “Principal Sam and the Calendar Confusion” is currently in post-production and should have a 2017 release date.  Dr. Semendinger’s original and unique history of the New York Yankees “The Least Among Them,” is also currently in editorial review.  In additional to his (soon to be) published writing, Dr. Semendinger also frequently publishes on eduTopia and on his highly successful blog.

Dr. Semendinger leads an active life. He enjoys running and, to date, has completed twenty marathons including the New York City Marathon five times.  Dr. Semendinger also plays competitive men’s softball and enjoys backpacking and hiking. He also plays the saxophone and piano (but wishes his skills in those areas were much (much) better.)  (He’s working on it.)  In his free time, Dr. Semendinger enjoys reading, travel, and passionately rooting for the New York Yankees. 

Dr. Semendinger volunteers his time in many ways.  Dr. Semendinger was a three-sport coach (baseball, basketball, and soccer) for sixteen years as his children grew up and was also active in the Boy Scouts where he designed and led outings to historical sites that included Gettysburg, Washington’s Crossing, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York’s Central Park.  Dr. Semendinger has also successfully led two Boy Scout crews through the two-week backpacking experience at Philmont Scout Ranch hiking treks of more than 90-miles. 

Dr. Semendinger also is a daily contributor to the Radio Home Visitor (88.5 FM – Wilkes-Barre, PA) run through King’s College.  The Radio Home Visitor brings news to shut-ins in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley.  Most often Dr. Semendinger reads the daily health column and contributes an inspirational passage as well.

More than all of this, a family man, Dr. Semendinger enjoys and greatly values the time he can spend as a husband and “Dad” with his wife and three sons.  There is nothing he is prouder of than the fact that he is a good dad and husband.

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