All posts by Sing Books with Emily

Emily Leatha Everson was born in Germany, grew up a Hoosier, became a New Yorker, married a soldier, started a family in DC, and now calls Arlington home. She went to Indiana University and spent most of her time in the Theatre and Drama department. She studied at HB Studio in NYC, performing in her first cabaret under the direction of Charles Nelson Reilly and Donna McKechnie, and acted in Elizabeth Dillon's master class. She attended the 2003 Cabaret Conference at Yale University. Emily has performed in many venues around DC, including Signature Theatre, Warehouse Theatre, Kennedy Center, and Arts Club of Washington. Emily’s one woman shows include “Let Me Tell You” (Parts I and II), “Domestic Disturbances” and “It’s a Jungle Out There.” Emily, proud mom of two, has created a children’s educational program "Sing Books with Emily," in which she sings picture books made from the texts of songs. Emily Leatha Everson SINGS picture books made from your favorite songs (or songs sure to become favorites) in a program of surprising artistic and musical variety from the folksy "All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir" and the funny "Ain’t Gonna Paint No More" to the fanciful "Beautiful Dreamer." The joys of illustration, reading, and singing are sure to delight children and adults of any age. The mission of SING BOOKS WITH EMILY is to share the simple pleasure of singing a song and telling a story, combining the magical wonders of music, text and illustration in picture song books. In achieving this mission, SING BOOKS WITH EMILY supports the arts and emergent literacy; inspires imagination and love for words, stories and music; and secures the blessings of these words, stories and music for generations to come. In addition, SING BOOKS WITH EMILY compiles and updates a comprehensive bibliography of illustrated books, poems and stories that can be sung; actively seeks the illustration of suitable songs; and promotes the “musicalization” of appropriate stories and poems. Visit Emily's blog about the wonderful world of Singable Picture Books at:

How to Be Happy (Expert Advice and Ideas)

My mom said, “It’s your job in life to make yourself happy.”

With this in mind, I’ve begun a collection of articles about THE ART AND SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS, that give advice and research about things we can do to make ourselves happy.



FLOURISH (Brain Pickings, April 2011)
Flourish: The Father of Positive Psychology Redefines Well-Being

A Simple Exercise to Increase Well-Being and Lower Depression from Martin Seligman, Founding Father of Positive Psychology

7 Essential Books on the Art and Science of Happiness (Brain Pickings, January 2011)

Do Good Things and Take Care of Yourself and Others (June 2015)
The Secret Of Happiness Revealed By Harvard Study

This One Simple Thing Can Make Your Life Much Better (, June 2015)

Happy Thoughts: Here are the things proven to make you happier (Barking Up the Wrong Tree, blog, August 2012)

For Adults, Coloring Invites Creativity And Brings Comfort


Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.
Steve Mariboli

Related Posts and Links


Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Laughter is the Best Medicine (Pinterest Board)

Music is Good for Your Brain and Your Body (Pinterest Board)



This post is inspired by an email that my husband sent to our kids containing quote #1 on this list, Theodore Roosevelt’s THE MAN IN THE ARENA statement.

The right quote can get a person through a hard time.

This list is for my children, to give them a place to find good advice when they need to find it on their own.

The quotes are numbered for reference.  Newest items are at the top.  #1 on the bottom and the latest addition to the collection will be on the top, with the highest number.


You don’t have to be friends, but you do have to be friendly.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Arthur Ashe

Fake it ’til you make it.

Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner.  Even if you’re behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.
Arthur Ashe

I like living.  I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
Agatha Christie

The whole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
Carl Jung

If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
Roald Dahl

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know.  But when you listen, you may learn something new.
Dalai Lama

Another Harvard Study says that Happiness comes from:

Do Good for Others: Cherish your most important relationships and be a contribution to them.
Do What You Are Good At: Do more of what you’re good at and less of what you’re not so good at.
Do Good for Yourself:  Take care of yourself, your health and well-being, your financial security, and your work/life balance.

Harvard Study says,
“Happiness comes from choosing to be happy with whatever you do, strengthening your closest relationships and taking care of yourself physically, financially and emotionally.”

You’ve got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart…
Carole King, From the song BEAUTIFUL

Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.

A terrific analysis of this quote (falsely attributed to Einstein), here:

Makes me think of Pooh’s song, COTTLESTON PIE

If you don’t take risks, you will always work for someone who does.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
Maya Angelou

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.
Isaac Newton

If you feel like something is missing, fill the void with achievement.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
Andy Warhol

Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory

A motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War.


A motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War.

Never, never, never give up.
Winston Churchill

If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

Have an attitude of gratitude.

Have a positive attitude.

Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Those who live by the Golden Rule, get the gold.

Grandpa Mo

Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.
Steve Mariboli

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never going to keep me down

Keep your eye on the prize.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Knowledge is power.

With everything you think, do and say: MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

Every day strive to make yourself a better person.

Be excellent.

Sometimes you have to be your own best friend.

Always be friendly, good natured, cooperative, and your best self doing your best work.

Never let what you can’t do interfere with what you CAN do.

You are what you eat, do, think, say and read.

You catch more flies with honey.

You lose 100% of the times you don’t try.

Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start concentrating on what could go right!

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
Erin Hanson

Two Rules for Being a Good Person:
1: Don’t be an idiot
2: Don’t be an asshole

(and don’t be a dick either)
PS:  This may be less than elegant, but better words to live by I’ve yet to find.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.
Michael Jordan

You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.
Toni Morrison, From SONG OF SOLOMON

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?”
At the second ask, “Is it necessary?”
At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”
Sufi Saying


Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham: this quote is what Agnes De Mille recounts from a letter written to her by Martha Graham.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt, excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

Related Posts and Links


Emily’s THOUGHTFUL INSPIRATIONS collection of Memes on Pinterest:

Figuring Out Dyslexia and My Boy, a Compendium of Dyslexia Info

I made this post to gather in once place the items I have found which have been most helpful.


More Than Dyslexics




TED-Ed Video About Dyslexic Brain


An Open Letter to the Secretary of Education

* Article about Dyslexics in the Classroom:

EMILY’S WRITINGS ON BRINGING UP A DYSLEXIC CHILD (and trying to get that child through a school system that didn’t even use the word dyslexia in the special education language until that child was in 7th grade)

Emily G. Writes  Little Message in a Bottle about Dyslexia and My Boy (May 2015)


By Ronald D. Davis
Info about the book, here:

Great Cultural Perforamances for All



Exposure to, understanding of, participation in/with Great Culture is enriching.  It expands our minds, gives us depth, expands our world view, makes us smarter and more compassionate, elevates our station, allows transcendence over grief and banality, gives us a reason to strive for something better.

Even though my family of 4 is what many in this country would consider well off, the price of tickets to cultural events like plays, musicals, and ballets gives me great pause.  I just purchased tickets to see a show, with a dinner reservation at the theater for my friend and I and the total bill was $220.  That is a lot of money.  We could certainly not afford that kind of theatre going very often, and this is being written by a person who got a university degree in the dramatic arts, spent a number of years as a professional singer/actor in plays and musicals, and has spent the rest of my life participating in the arts in one way or another.

Being a performer, I intimately understand that creating a production of any kind is expensive and requires the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of many.  Creating a new work of art is a gift to the ages, as Stephen Sondheim wrote in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, “Look, I made a hat…Where there never was a hat.”  And the people who do this creative work, deserve to be paid well for it.

But the cost of going to the see a play or musical, ballet or symphony is exorbitant.   The thought of taking the whole family to see a show makes us consider what else we could possibly give up that same month.

This begs the question:  WHO IS THEATER FOR?  Shouldn’t grand culture be for everyone? Most of society is starved for cultural experience and cannot afford it.  Individuals benefit greatly from exposure to great culture, yet it can only be regularly consumed by a select few.   The benefits of an individual’s cultural literacy extends to the larger society.  Filled with people who have an appreciation of fine art, theater, music, and dance are more likely to expect more from life.  If only great cultural experiences could be delivered and consumed in an affordable way!

We live in an era of technology.

If live performance is too expensive to be consumed in person, it can be recorded and electronically delivered.  Kids get so much from experiencing live performance live and in person.  Btu they can sitll get a lot from watching a recording of it.  If it is not AS good, it is still pretty close.

Can’t more venues record the performances so kids can see them at home or at school?

If there is not a budget to take children to the great museums of the world, schools can and should make an effort to go online and help kids discover the art as it is available online.

I sing to kids in schools.  Some of these schools are designated as Title 1, meaning

These children NEED and deserve exposure to cultural experiences just as much as anyone.

Human capital must be recognized, understood and appreciated, nurtured and cultivated.

Everybody matters.  Everyone should reach their potential, their Divine Design.

The world NEEDs every person to achieve his or her Divine Design.

Exposure to Great Culture is an essential element in allowing this to happen, for the transcendental treasures it gives.

On the other side of the coin, however, I recently bought tickets to see

Recording of live performances could be shown in movie theaters (like some opera events are currently being shown), libraries, school multi-purpose rooms, church basements and community centers.  If people can’t get to the theater, bring the theater to the people.

Some opera performances are being live broadcast to movie theaters, but this could be done with recordings and on a much larger scale to include Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End, Ballet, Cabaret, Regional Theater…all of it.

Artists and arts professionals would flourish by the wider audience and culturally under served audiences would flourish from their exposure to the art.  It is win-win.


Category: BIG IDEAS

This page catalogs posts that hash out and collecting info on ideas/solutions that seem to me need to be done to make the world a better place.

Great Cultural Performances for Everybody


Related Posts and Pages

Big Idea: Support Groups for Chronic Pain Sufferers

This issue is close to my heart since someone very close to me is a sufferer of chronic pain.

Chronic Pain Sufferers will be refereed to as CPS.

My Big Idea is for:

Support groups to inform, empower and support CPS.

Why a support group is needed:
The Health Care Catch-22.  Our society ties health care to a job benefit.  It is hard to excel and succeed in a job as a CPS .  It is hard to keep a job as a CPS.  Yet CPS need health care more than anyone.

Topic to discuss at support group meetings:

  • How to behave as a chronic pain sufferer.  People who suffer from chronic pain can learn modes of behavior so they can be more successful in their jobs
  • What are CPS disability rights? Understanding one’s rights according to and protections provided by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EOEC) imperative and The Americans with Liabilities Act (ADA)
  • How to take advantage of protections afforded by EOEC and ADA without employer backlash
  • How to obtain effective and affordable health care
  • How to get pain medications without humiliation and accusations of drug seeking
  • How to solve the Health Care Catch-22 of CPS needing health care that is tied to a job that is hard to keep because of CP.

Descriptive Ideas for the Support Group

  • Alcoholics Anonymous and Weigh Watchers have support systems for their members, so should CPS
  • A place to get support, information, help, resources and empowerment
  • A place to find a way to create a plan and achieve benchmarks to success
  • A place to access to counselors (job, career, psychological, emotional), life coaches, resource managers, ADA or EOEC officers, Affordable Health Care advisers, etc.
  • A place for members to exchange ideas.
  • A place for member to develop strategies and catalog best practices (maybe a website or blog to catalog, archive and convey all the findings, information, best practices, resources, ideas, etc.)


Americans with Disabilities Act homepage:

Americans with Disabilities Act (described on

ADA Facts on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website:

Better Help Online Counseling
Support and guidance from a professional counselor has been shown to make big changes.


Discrimination at Work: Understanding Your Child’s Rights

Emotional Fitness Training Blog:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),

Cut/Paste from EEOC Website

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

Jobs and Internships at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
EEOC hires in many locations around the country for investigators, mediators, attorneys and administrative and clerical positions. listed at USAJOBS See USAJobs.Gov for a list of current vacancies.

US General Services Administration: Resources for Americans with Disabilities webpage:

* (for learning and attention issues)
A website for parent who have children that have learning issues, but this site has a lot of great info on it:

United States Office of Personnel Management Disability Employment Hiring webpage:


Related Posts

Resources Found So Far (ADA, Disability Resources and Migraine) All in One Place

Category: Distracted Driving

This is a collection of posts and information related to the issue and dangers of distracted driving.


Don’t Text and Drive: