Posted on Leave a comment

Guest Blogger, Samantha Nemeth

October 6, 2020– Today our guest blogger is Sam Nemeth, author of DJ the Terrible! Check out her book here: and her blog post below:

Covid Blues & Soul Searching- It’s your friendly neighbourhood, Sam, here to talk about what I’ve been reading! But first, I need to discuss what led me to it. If you ask anyone who knows me, they would probably say I’m smiley, bubbly, goofy; like DJ in my book, DJ the Terrible. However, though I might often appear this way, I am not always sunshine and rainbows. As one of the only members of my family in the highly scrutinized arts industry, I’ve cultivated the self-inflicted need to validate myself by always being bigger, better, and more exciting. If I’m not, I’m my own biggest bully.

2019 was amazing for me. I was on set multiple times, my debut novel was published, I went to the Alps; I always had something new and thrilling to talk about. 2020 was meant to continue that momentum. The world had other plans. Suddenly, I was quarantined and out of work. I couldn’t travel, couldn’t get married, and struggled to promote myself. Instead, I was on the couch doing nothing, crippled by thoughts of how I was letting everyone down, and how I was meaningless in our new 2020 world. I still dread that little question everyone asks: “What have you been up to?” The voice in my head: “Nothing, nothing, nothing, I am nothing.”  On the outside: Smiling, “I took up Yoga. I can do the splits now.”

After some serious soul searching, the desire to create some positive habits led me to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The book explains what habits really are, how to create new ones, and about the habit loop: Cue, Routine, Reward. Ithought, could my negative self-talk be a habit? My cue: sitting on the couch doing nothing. It started in my high school days where I wanted to have good grades. Relaxing was the cue, negative self-talk was the routine that led to me studying and getting an awesome grade: the reward. 

I think I carried that perfectionistic cycle with me and without my go-to activities to combat the voice, my negative self-talk played on repeat. It dug me into a hole that was harder and harder to climb out of; especially when restrictions lifted and my peers raced to continue their successful careers. What started as a self-improvement tactic became what is holding me back.  The Power of Habit teaches how to analyze the habit loop and how to identify cues. I’m using this as a tool, among others, on my journey home to the person I want to be; the person DJ the Terrible is based on. For anyone hoping for more DJ & Godfrey adventures, fear not; I am not giving up on them. I’m slowly but surely plotting out their journeys.

If you have habits or thoughts that are getting you down, you’re not alone. I encourage you to pick up The Power of Habit. Oh, and for any entrepreneurs out there, it also talks about how you can use the habit loop as a strategy for your business! 

* Lacey here, I read The Power of Habit in 2012 when it first came out, a great book with lots of info on why we do what we do:)

Posted on Leave a comment

DJ the Terrible!

May 18, 2020– If you haven’t read DJ the Terrible by Samantha Nemeth, illustrated by Nikki Ernst, you don’t know what you’re missing! Meet the Terrible girl with the Terrible name and her Terrible Cat! DJ decides to go undercover with her sidekick Godfrey the Super Cat to assimilate with her new neighbours, AKA “The Borings,” gain their trust, then turn the town on its head! The only thing is…blending in simply isn’t DJ’s strong suit. With her inventive, mischievous mind, wild hair, and clumsy demeanour, Terrible trouble follows this Terrible girl wherever she goes! The perfect book for the middle-grade reader in your life!

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 1:

Djeaneautha closed her diary with a thump and let her chair scrape the floor as she pushed herself away from her desk. She bounded over to the mirror and judged her reflection. “If we’re going to gather Intel on the locals, we’ll have to integrate and blend in with them, Godfrey!” She said as she examined herself.  

Now, blending in is not something that came naturally to Djeaneautha, and there are a couple things you should know about her. Number one:  Everyone that she met said, “Djeaneautha? What a Terrible name and a Terrible girl.”  “I’m not Terrible, I’m just unique,” Djeaneautha would say, but no one ever heard.  Djeaneautha didn’t think her name was Terrible at all. It was created from herGrandmother’s names, Jeanneau and Dorothea. She was proud of her name and ignored all the teasing from the other children. They would scream and taunt her, “D-d-jeaneautha, D-d-jeaneautha, she’s Terrible it’s the Truth-ah!”  “It’s JEN-OOTH-AH! The D is silent!” Djeaneautha would correct them. But no one ever heard.  Number two: In most ways, Djeaneautha was like all the other girls her age. She liked going on adventures, art class, ballet and of course playing with dolls. But in some ways she was quite different; her feet were too big, her legs too short, her arms too long, her two eyebrows had grown into one…and her hair?  While the other girls had soft, smooth hair that their mothers could braid or pull into flowing ponytails, Djeaneautha had frizzy lion hair with a mind of its own. If Djeaneautha wanted it straight, it went curly, if she wanted it curly, it went flat. With every attempt at a ponytail, more and more hair would slip out of the tie and tickle her face. Every morning her mother would say, “What shall we do with the Terrible hair?” But no matter what they tried, every day, her Terrible hair sat smugly like a dust bunny on her head.
Djeaneautha, with her dust bunny hair and awkward limbs, spent most of her time with Godfrey, her best friend. The cat was rather round, his belly almost scraped the floor, and his grey fluffy fur grew in a tuft that decorated his head like a majestic crown. He had a sassy smirk, the mind of a genius, and was always ready for adventure. Djeaneautha’s favourite thing about him was that he refused to meow like all the other cats and would simply chirp like a bird. Godfrey also shared the love of Djeaneautha’s favourite snack: cheese.  Many days Djeaneautha would open up her bag at lunch to find that Godfrey had snuck into her backpack and hitched a ride to school. Much to her dismay, she’d also find that he had eaten all of her cheese!

and check out my interview with Samantha on our Pandamonium Publishing House channel on Podbean (available for download on Google Play and iTunes)
cover with name crossed