It’s mental health awareness month! Let’s show some love and support.

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Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!
www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a great month to help support causes in raising awareness on mental health and promoting prevention of suicide and self harm.

Please help our friends at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Augusta NAMI, Augusta, Georgia, Inc. – National Alliance on Mental Illness in their mission to help people build better lives for themselves and their families. Their goal is to raise enough funds to build and maintain a Respite Center where individuals who face mental health crises can go for a reprieve for up to a week.

http://www.namiaugusta.myevent.com/

Upcoming Events Including Giveaways, Free Books, Book Signings and More!

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New events are coming up soon including ‪#‎giveaways‬, speaking engagements, and book signings and readings! Be sure to check the events calendar, click here to see if I’m coming to an event near you. I look forward to seeing you!

http://bit.ly/1J2DFd4

Advocacy in the Face of Stigma With Ava Rosenblatt (The Goodness Geek)

Advocacy in the Face of Stigma.

Encouraging Our Youth: Journaling & Writing

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Thank you to a group of North Atlanta youth mentors and advocates for inviting me to speak to a wonderful group of brilliant kids who are on their way to becoming amazing young writers! I had so much fun speaking and answering questions about how journaling can jump start your writing career.

We began our day at LPYG with a lively group of teens who are part of a youth mentoring group that focuses on building life skills. Today’s topic was about how journaling can help build writing skills. Most of the youth in the group did not keep personal journals. Most of them admitted that they had not given much thought to keeping a journal. I explained that journals are used to keep personal thoughts, ideas, feelings, memories and experiences that we hold dear.

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The best part about keeping a journal is that you can write down anything you want and you do not have to share it with anyone if you do not wish to share what you’ve written. The teens seemed to like the idea of keeping a journal that they can be open with expressing themselves through words and language openly without fear of judgement. I brought a few starter journals for the teens to keep so that they can begin writing in journals. Some of them even said that they wanted to see if they could use the journals to write stories.

During the Q&A, I invited the youth to ask me questions about journaling and writing. There were a few interesting questions, but the one question that stood out to me the most was from a 14 year old girl named Shamiya. Shamiya said that she was interested in writing a memoir about her life when she grows up. She asked me, “If I write in a journal, will I be able to make it into a book about my life?”

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I encouraged Shamiya to keep a detailed journal and write in it daily especially if she wants to write a memoir one day. A daily journal will hold memories that she may not be able to remember in the future. Writing in a journal can help with keeping your most sacred and cherished memories for you so that when you want to look back and reminisce or recall the memory to write your memoir, the memories will be there.

Everyone seemed to be happy with the idea of keeping a journal. Some of them began writing in the journals as soon as I handed them out. When I was asked to share something from my journal, I helped them to appreciate the privacy of a journal. I told them that the privilege of having a journal is so that you can keep your thoughts private until you’re ready to share. For example, when I had written in my journals as a teen, I did not want to share what I had written about my memories of my late best friend Holly and what it was like for me growing up with major depression. It wasn’t until I grew up and decided to write a book about surviving child abuse and mental health that I decided to share thoughts from my journals. It’s more relevant now today because now my book can actually help other people who are dealing with those same issues.

My hope is that the teens were inspired by my experience with journaling and how it helped me build my writing career. I hope that they will write in their journals even if it’s just to have a way to release their thoughts and feelings openly and freely. I look forward to following up with them and their mentors to see how they are using their journals.

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Please visit my website to find out more about mentoring and speaking and to find out how you can book me to speak at your next event: http://www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com

Happy Winter! Best wishes to you this holiday season!

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Hello friends! The winter season has begun. As the days seem to be darker and the air a bit colder, let’s keep in mind that it’s just the season. We can choose to keep our light shining bright within ourselves and share the warmth of love and caregiving with others. The winter season is hard for me because of the short days and dreary clouds. However, I choose to eliminate negativity to enable positivity for myself and to share with others. Remember to love always and love deeply with sincerity. It will come back to you either way.

www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com

http://www.herthebook.com

The Rejects’ Holiday by Felicia Johnson

The Rejects’ Holiday by Felicia Johnson.

Fostering the Love: Reading and Training Foster Children and Parents

We are so looking forward to a great day this Saturday! I’ll be joining Personality Disorder Awareness Network to head over to the Atlanta chapter of National Youth Advocate Program.

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NYAP’s mission, from their website:

 

NYAP is an energetic instrument of compassion and change in the lives of children, youth, and families and the systems, structures and practices that affect them.

NYAP is a national organization that works closely with the foster care system, and they have three local chapters in Georgia.

On Saturday, I am honored to be reading a book to the children written by a psychologist for children to give them a bit of insight into parents’ behaviors. As I have been in the foster care system, I am really looking forward to getting to know these kids!  Afterwards, we will be holding a training on trauma for foster parents. Since many of the children in the system have been involved in one type of trauma or another, such as some kind of abuse, the trauma of losing one or both parents, or similar situations, it is so important for parents to be able to recognize and understand how to deal with symptoms and care for them compassionately.

Wish me luck that I can help inspire hope for the future of these kids and parents, and that maybe I’ll learn a little something new myself!

 

A Letter To A Dear Friend

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Dear Angela,

 
Sitting here, in shock, surrounded by pain that only a loss could bring. I seem to only be able to stop crying for just a second. It’s just enough time to wipe my eyes and see clearly enough to finish this sentence. Then the tears spring up again and cloud up my vision as I begin the next sentence. Either way, I’m going to get through this even if my face is drenched by the time I finish this letter. There are a few things that I must get off my chest. Wherever you are, you will get this message.
 
A little over a year ago, I saw your contest for writers who were looking to be published. I had entered many other writing contests and had been rejected. Unfortunately, I didn’t write the “ideal” YA genre novel. While werewolves, vampires, ghosts and other paranormal and mythical creatures were dominating the YA genre, you were looking for something different. You were looking for something with heart and that had a realistic message. 
 
Just when I was about to give up on my dream of being a published author, you called me on the telephone. You said, “I get it. This is about real life. This is about giving hope to others who feel hopeless. We’re going to make a difference in this world with this book. I believe in you. You have to believe, too.” 
 
You could never know how much your words meant to me. That was the beginning of this amazing journey that I am on with my novel right now. If you hadn’t believed in me, I don’t think anyone would have known about “Her”. You’ve not only helped me, but you contributed to helping every single person who has been filled with hope by this book. You are responsible for distributing it to the world. I am forever grateful to you.
 
You were a talented author. I learned what it was like to “think like an author” from you. You once told me, “It’s not what you write that will get people interested. It’s how you tell the story. You have to make your audience feel something.” Then you said something no one had ever said to me before. You said, “When I read your story, you made me feel something inexpiable. I don’t even know where to begin.” Little did I know, that wouldn’t be the last time someone would say that, after reading my novel. You started something there! 
 
Now, because of you, I know how to take that as a compliment. It’s a mission accomplished.  It’s like the quote that we both enjoyed by the late Dr. Mya Angelou. She said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” You helped me to appreciate that our stories must make people feel SOMETHING. Whether it is happiness, anger, joy, sadness, love, peace, hope…it’s better than nothing at all. That way, our audience will always remember how they felt. And they’ll remember the author who wrote the novel that made them feel that way.
 
You had a good eye for beauty and other people’s talent. I’ll always be grateful for the chance you took on me. I was just an unknown writer who was trying. I was like everyone else with a dream. 
 
Your belief in all things good had a magical effect on my confidence. You helped me to see that all things are possible despite what may seem to be happening. You told me to be patient, know that it will happen, and allow myself to learn and become wiser. I’m a better author because you believed in me. I’m a published author because you supported me and took a chance on me when no one knew who I was. I learned to believe…but I just can’t believe that you’re gone…
 
I look forward to continuing this journey that you helped paved the way for. Because of you, I’m an author. I’m not just a writer. I won’t take your advice lightly. Nor will I waste the opportunity that you gave me. I promise. No matter how hard things get on the journey, I promise you that I won’t stop until it’s over. Thank you for believing in me.
 
Love,
Felicia

First Live Televised Interview with WTOC Channel 11 + Special Surprise!

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Tune in July 3 at 10:00 am on Channel 11 Mid-Morning Live to see my for my first TV interview! I will travel down to Savannah to the WTOC studio, and I am so excited!

I will be speaking to Jody Chapin about my past experiences with abuse and mental health, as well as my novel, Her. There will also be a special announcement, so make sure you catch it live! If you aren’t in the state of Georgia, you can also live stream it by clicking here.

See you then, friends!

Episode 14 of #15minR@dio with Athena Moberg Special Guest Author Felicia Johnson

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Felicia joins Child Sex Abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder advocate, Athena Moberg to speak about mental health and Felicia’s upcoming novel-to-film adaptation of Her.

Links:
http://athenamoberg.com/15minradio
and
https://soundcloud.com/athenamoberg/15minradio-episode-14#t=0:01