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Melody Laubach originally ...
Melody Laubach originally started trying to write when her son was about 5 years old.That was about 19 years ago, when she didn't really know a whole lot about children's literature.But writing seemed to come easier after receiving a degree and reading hundreds of children's books. She now has written seven â€" her first book to be published is "Words and Thoughts," an illustrated storybook about a girl, Sarah, who's teased at school. According to Laubach, when Sarah discusses the teasing with her father, "he explains how science has proven that our words affect all living things."Laubach, 52, hopes the book serves as an effective tool for both parents and teachers in helping increase children's understanding "of how their words, thoughts and beliefs affect their world, bodies and relationships."Laubach, a former teacher for Garden City USD 457, is trying to raise awareness about the book.She had a book signing this past weekend at Hastings, 2108 E. Kansas Ave. She received her degree through Fort Hays State University and taught at Jennie Barker Elementary and Kenneth Henderson Middle schools.Her husband, Doug, grew up in Syracuse.Laubach is originally from Scottsdale, Ariz., but the couple was living in Phoenix at the time they decided to move to Garden City in 1991.She said her husband felt it'd be good for their son to grow up in a smaller community. So they moved, and Laubach eventually picked up writing, currently ending up with seven books that, she says, deal with questions children might have while growing up, such as what a soul is, what intuition is and how it helps them through life and the act of giving and how it has a ripple effect, eventually coming "back to you."Another book deals with what happens after death; and another teaches children "how to recognize God in life."Kids tend to have a lot of questions about the spiritual side of life, Laubach said, but sometimes it's thought that children either don't or can't understand abstract ideas, only concrete explanations.But Laubach hopes she's addressing some of the questions they have growing up by breaking down topics, including death, intuition and the spiritual side of life. To help get the books how she wanted them, Laubach created "dummy books," which were drafts she'd pass out to children, friends and family to give her feedback on the books.After feeling "Words and Thoughts" was ready for the shelves, she started looking for a publisher.Laubach came upon Outskirts Press, a custom self-publishing service.And after the work and marketing and promotion, "I'm surprised how much work it is," she said of the book.But she has her second book ready to go to the publisher. She feels the work is worth it. Looking back on it, "if I had just realized some of the things about life," it would have been easier to listen to her intuition and other lessons she tries to teach children through her books, she said.She hopes it will help children rely more on themselves for answers to life's questions.According to her Web site, Laubach and her site are "dedicated to addressing the spiritual development of children beginning at the very earliest age and throughout life.Though some believe that spiritual ideas are too abstract for children to understand, I believe that many ideas can be broken down to simpler terms that can be built upon as they age."During her more than 14 years of classroom experience, Laubach said, she saw firsthand "the damage hurtful words can have on children." She hopes "Words and Thoughts" can educate kids "on the power â€" both positive and negative â€" of their speech.And the result could put a crimp in bullying and playground put-downs.""Words and Thoughts" is available through Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and the online store for Outskirts Press.Throughout "Words and Thoughts," Sarah's father explains that people, plants and animals are affected by words that are used around them.After the discussion with her father, Sarah says, "Wow!I can't wait to tell Joey and the other kids about the power of words!Maybe that will help us to be nicer to each other."Laubach ends the book by stating, "Now that you know the power words have on every living thing, what kind of words will you use?What kind of thoughts will you have?"For more information on Laubach and her set of Little Soul Books, a set of storybooks Laubach will publish one at a time, visit www.littlesoulbooks.com.Outskirts Press can be visited at www.outskirtspress.com.