Thursday, August 1, 2019

How to Make the Most of Your Day with a Coloring Journal

August 1, 2019

Whoa! Where in the world did May, June, and July go? In a blink of an eye, the summer has almost disappeared. I've watched my daughters get school supplies together for my grandchildren and summer slip away. Thank goodness I live in the south because I don't have to put up with the snow and extreme cold weather of the north. The moral of this story is that time flies; therefore, we must use it wisely. Each day I try to learn something new, give a smile to someone who needs it, lift people I love and in need up in prayer, and do one good deed. Live is simple that way without complications. This brings me to today's author interview with Dawn Witte and her book A COLORING JOURNAL PLANNER. This book can help you make the most of every day and every minute. According to the book's synopsis below, this book has all the makings to center your life with the use of journaling.



Express your innermost thoughts and dreams and begin turning your plans into a beautiful reality.
It's all about who and how you choose to Be in this world.
Today has never happened before and it never will again. When we believe each day is a gift, we can live our most beautiful and happiest of lives. Here in these pages are quotes to inspire, images to color, and a place to write your heart's desires.
Through the lens of 7 powerful words--LOVE, GRATEFUL, KIND, INSPIRED, HAPPY, GENUINE, and STRONG--celebrate your wins and the wonders of each day ... AND express yourself through the joys of coloring every step of the way.

I also have another book, slightly different from the first, but the author, Julian P. Flores' book HICKS ROAD: JACOB'S STORY is written in the perspective of a journal. How cool is that? The storyline occurs in the 1800s and takes place in Almaden, San Jose, California. As mentioned before, this story is written like a journal, so as you read, you follow the character Jacob as he grows into a young man.

You can learn more about Julian and Dawn in their author interviews below.

Dawn Witte

A Coloring Journal Planner

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
Dawn Airhart Witte is the Founder and Director of the Desire to Inspire Foundation, the co-founder of I Give On The Givers Marketplace, a Life Mastery Consultant with the Life Mastery Institute, an international speaker, philanthropist, humanitarian, and author of the book, “Be…”
25% of the Be Tour and Be Tour Product proceeds will be donated to the Desire to Inspire Foundation. (

Being a mom is her proudest role and title. Because of the great love for children, she started the Desire to Inspire Foundation which provides children around the world with a mother’s love and care. A philanthropist from an early age, Dawn’s company I Give On, began with her passion for fundraising and the nonprofit sector while supporting businesses and artists who generously donate to worthy causes. Her steadfast resolve in eradicating hunger and extreme poverty is one of her greatest passions and driving forces.

Her lifelong appreciation for community involvement earned her the honor of the Glendal News Press’s “One of the 103 Most Influential People in the Foothills.” Dawn served two terms as Public Works Commissioner for the City of La Canada Flintridge, California, and two terms as President of the National Charity League-Los Angeles Founder Chapter (NCL-LA). Raising her daughters, Taylor and Carrington, is her proudest accomplishment.

She is currently working on her second book, “Two Be…”

What inspired you to author this book?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my work with you. Love inspires me. The love I have for my daughters, the love I have for others, and the desire to be a person of increase in the world are what drive me in all I do. The idea of creating the planner was inspired by my book, “Be…” I have always loved to read the teachings of great thinkers and thought leaders throughout history. Great minds whose words and ideas have changed the world. I wanted to share the thoughts and ideas from people like Jesus, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama to great writers and philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Mark Twain to inspiring leaders like Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mother Teresa, and John F. Kennedy to name just a few. These people have left indelible legacies that inspire us to this day by their commitment to purpose, their vision, and their determination to make the world a better place for all. I too want to leave the world a better place and help others live their happiest and most fulfilling lives by sharing some of the insights and “aha” moments that I have had over my life.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

My co-creator and dear friend, Deborah Louise Brown, and I wanted to create something that looked and felt ethereal and transformational. She did the creative work and together we came up with a cover that we hope will inspire others.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
There have been so many significant influences in my life that choosing only one is impossible for me. I will say that the people of Africa have been hugely influential to me in my life. Their warmth, their joy, and their tremendous love, despite their difficult challenges, inspires my heart and enriches my soul. I have always been grateful for the many blessings in my life, but after my first trip to Africa, I realized just how very blessed I am. To have easy access to food, clean water, and basic medical treatment is a luxury, not everyone is afforded in this world. The profound gratitude I now have because of the African people I know and love has enabled me to have a much greater perspective on absolutely everything in my life.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written? Deborah and I created this book quickly and virtually effortlessly. I always love working with her because we inspire one another to be our best selves, and we share a passion to share that with others. When we collaborate, magic happens.
Tell your readers about your book.

The Be…Coloring Planner and Journal is something I hope inspires others to live their happiest and most fulfilling lives. My co-creator, Deborah, and I wanted to create a book that we would love to have and use. A place to write hopes and dreams, a place to plan, and a place to celebrate living a life of purpose by design.
Who is your target audience, and why?

I am a little biased, but I think that anyone could enjoy this book. We created this journal to help people intentionally design, discover, and record their desires so they can cultivate their own gifts and live into their own unique purpose. We wanted it to be a reminder for everyone that whomever they choose to "BE" in the world will come back to them; that everyone's life has challenges and being strong will help them persevere. We wanted them to understand the importance of being grateful for the life they have, to be inspired so that they can share their great passions with the world, and to realize that kindness and love are currencies more valuable than money. We hope it is a reminder to always be true to who you are and genuine about who that is in the world. And we wanted people to choose to be happy because it puts a special energy into the world that brings about even more joy as it spreads.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?

I hope that my greatest success is still ahead of me, but up until now, I would say it is being a mother. Watching whom my two beautiful daughters choose to be in the world makes me so very proud. They embody all of my seven words. They understand that we don’t always get to choose our circumstance or condition, but we do get to choose whom we want to BE in the world. My greatest hope is to be able to inspire my daughters and others to “BE the change they wish to see.”

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I think what makes the “Be…” Coloring Planner/Journal unique is that it contains several different elements to help people discover all of those parts of themselves that make them uniquely themselves. Through journaling, doodling, coloring, planning, and inspiration, we can start tapping into our inner voices. No one knows us the way we know ourselves. Many philosophies throughout history believe that we all come into this world with a calling or purpose The way to live into that calling is by paying attention to the things that bring us to life, things that make us happy, things that excite, inspire and attract us. All of those parts of us that make us uniquely us are like puzzle pieces that when all put together create the whole beautiful picture. Our hope is that The Be…Coloring Journal and Planner will help others to start tapping into their own inner voice to help them start putting their own beautiful puzzles together.

Contact the Author

Julian P. Flores

Hicks Road: Jacob's Story

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

My name is Julian P. Flores; I grew up in San Jose, California, in a formerly small town called “Willow Glen.” I live now in Boulder Creek, California, in the Santa Cruz mountains less than an hour away from where I grew up. I completed the majority of my schooling in Willow Glen: Willow Glen Elementary, this was the epicenter of when I started to story tell and made my first picture book; Willow Glen High; and college not too far away in Saratoga, a place called West Valley College, where I took every art class you could think of and Graphic Design as well.

What inspired you to author this book?

Willow Glen is very close to Almaden, where the urban legend of Hicks Road thrives to this very day. The thrill and mystery of Hicks Road really sparked my interests. Knowing the history of the region, including Almaden Valley and Mount Umunhum, and the more and more I learned of other people’s experiences on that road (I had a few personal experiences there as well, giving my imagination an extra boost), I naturally started creating in my head. This book wouldn’t have come out of there (my head that is) if it wasn’t for one person in particular - my wife. I like to say, if it wasn't for her telling me, “you should write a story about this, you have something here,” I may not have written this story at all. She made me realize that I should and that I could. I told myself, “wait a minute; I used to story tell when I was a kid. I’m an artist with a vast imagination. Why did I not think about this earlier?”

After that, everything organically fell into place. Even with my editor, now co-writer, Megan Sheridan. When she came into the picture, I knew she was the right fit. She was born and raised in Almaden, knew a lot about the urban legend - it was meant to be. 

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I wanted to give the audience the look and feel of an old discovered book. Partially because the writing style is a memoir, it’s a found journal, plus the story was based in the 1800s. The way the design is, the cover being worn and barring very little writing, it gives a sense of mystery and makes you think a little of what this could be. I didn’t even want the title on there, I wanted to intrigue readers to discover that old book for themselves. 

For true fans, I will also note that there is a hidden picture on the cover of the book. This is an early social media throwback, one that I will be posting in the near future. To whoever identifies the picture correctly, I have a giveaway for you. Be sure to follow and like us on social media pages to enter :)

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

I would say my family: my parents, my grandparents, and friends growing up. They all saw the creative potential within me and fully supported me to explore it. For this book, most of the writing was inspired by real-life experiences I’ve had that I wanted to share with Jacob. For example, Jacob’s mother is actually my mother, even some of her (Mary Smith’s) experiences growing up. I think as an author when you add that in your book in some way, that becomes the fuel that lights the fire. 

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

I had a lot of writer's block when I first started; that and the pressure of being a debut writer with my first book. So many things kept going through my mind. I questioned how I wanted to approach the storytelling, how I wanted to order the events in the book, so I started writing outlines for the drafts (outlines are my friends). Once I finally had everything set, I took off running, well writing. I would type like 2-4,000 words a day. It was such a great experience, everything flowed, and I had these moments of creative clarity. Moments though. Other times I didn’t flow, and I’d have to stop and regroup. Sometimes I’d worry, I was always afraid I would lose something in my mind, but in reality, I did not. I’d let myself get in the way too. Even after publishing, I’d look back on the process and my work, especially after reading some reviews, but they’re just that - views. I’ve received good and not so good, but mainly good. It took me a while to get back rolling, but I always found the zone again. I try to let my imagination propel me as I go through, ignoring the other influences around me. Once you’re in it, your creative mind keeps sparking, and you can continue. 

Tell your readers about your book.

“Hicks Road: Jacob’s Story” occurs in the 1800s and takes place in Almaden, San Jose, California. As mentioned before, this story is written like a journal, so as you read, you follow the character Jacob as he grows into a young man. Early on, you learn that Jacob is not like the other boys in Almaden, and the reader begins to learn about some rather inexplicable, mystical experiences that Jacob encounters. Throughout the journal, there are elements of action, suspense, spirituality, even a bit of romance. As Jacob ages, the land is changing, along with the California Gold Rush, and a fracture develops between him and his community, forcing him to take on some very heavy choices for both him and his family. A lot of the story is inspired by historical landmarks of the time; even the Native American influences are drawn from a local tribe called the Ohlone. There are also familiar landmarks if you’re a local, including the now historical Mount Umunhum, which is the epicenter of much of Jacob’s life. If you like something different in writing styles, this would be right up your alley. If you like storytelling in a unique approach, then give my book a shot. It is availble in eBook, paperback and audible on Amazon.

Who is your target audience, and why?

Twelve and all the way up. A lot of situations Jacob faces in this book will resonate with young adults, as well as older folks who may have had similar struggles to Jacob growing up with the changing of times. We have received comments from young kids saying how “awesome” Jacob’s story is, while a few older folks say how it “touched them.” Even moviegoers have reported on the book, or at least the story. In addition to writing stories, I’ve directed and produced movies, one of which being “Hicks Road” the film. It is not out in public yet… to be continued…but, in regards to that the writing style in my novel reflects that of a movie. 

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

Doing what I love doing, which is storytelling, and showing the world what I can do. It is a great feeling in which I thrive.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

My unique approach to storytelling, which reflects real life, is like a movie. I put everything into this, small details to large action sequences, it’s all out on the table. I don't have a degree in writing, I just love stories, reading other authors and their craft, so I draw inspiration from them, but I don’t mimic their writing styles. I am just a guy who, from childhood, has had this huge imagination. I have a story to tell, and readers are welcome to witness my vision... to be continued (part 2)...

Contact or Follow Julian P. Flores

Author website:

Goodreads site (author):

Goodreads site (book):



Tomorrow night the 48 Hour Film, ENTITLEMENT, screens in New Orleans. As the producer, I am extremely proud of the cast and crew for putting together a remarkable film we all can be proud to say we worked on. I want to especially thank our director, David Kirtland, for bringing a powerful team together. If you live in the New Orleans area, please join us for a fun night of watching films.