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Unlikely Teachers


SEACOASTNH: What does a black belt in Aikido do -- compromise the enemy to death?

Unlikely Teachers, Aikido & Conflict Management by Judy RingerJUDY RINGER: Your question made me chuckle, although what first attracted me to Aikido were the concepts of blending and redirecting - what you are probably calling compromising. With my accommodating nature, I was good at the blending. What I needed to learn was how to put my power out into the world in purposeful ways. Aikido is not about compromising at all, actually.Aikido is about finding an answer that supports all parties. Aikido is not a resistant art, but it is also not a passive art. It takes a while to learn the difference.

SEACOASTNH: The concept of using negative energy to resolve conflict is intriguing, but can we really learn it from a book?

JUDRY RINGER: Great questions - all of them. Without sounding too self-serving, I think yes, we can learn the concepts from a book. And, we have to go out and practice the concepts in real life situations, in order to make them our own. I've tried to offer practices as well as real life examples from former students, so that the reader can see how one might actually do it.

SEACOASTNH: Are you also OnePoint Press? We're very interested in self publishing techniques. Can you offer details about publishing the book for readers who may want to follow suit?

JUDY RINGER:  I am OnePoint Press. I began to think about self-publishing this book three years before its release in April, 2006. It was always my choice and I have learned a great many things, all of which I would be happy to share. People can email mre at the web site for more details. I'll list just a few details here:

1) If you want to publish a beautiful book that doesn't look self-published, try to find a mentor or editor to guide you in the process, someone who knows the ins and outs of the business. I had a person like this in my corner and am glad. Her name is Sonja Hakala, and she lives in West Hartford, VT.

2) You can find offset printers who will give you as good a quote as digital printers (if you are printing 1,000 or more copies). Even though digital printing has come a long way, there is a qualitative difference in the look of offset.

3) Find a good designer for the cover and interior of the book, and invest in a copy editor who knows her stuff and is detail oriented. Lots of red marks now will save you headaches later.

4) Keep at it. Find time in your schedule to write a bit each day, or each week, or whatever works with your schedule. Because my busiest workshop seasons are in the spring and fall, I primarily worked on the book in the summer and winter months. I think it helps to have a clear vision of why you're writing and how you would like the finished product to serve your audience.

SEACOASTNH: Who does your graphic design? It's gorgeous.

JUDY RINGER:  I am fortunate to know Lisa Scontras Noonis She does all my graphic design. And she is amazing (and, by the way, she is also a wonderful painter). She showed me at least fourteen very different possible designs for the cover. I showed them around, got feedback, and eventually chose the one that felt the best to me. It also happened to be one that got some of the best feedback. She also created a beautiful and readable interior design that, I think, makes people want to pick up the book and read it.

Unlikely Teachers:
Finding the Hidden Gift in Daily Conflict
One point Press (2006)
$15, plus postage

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