My Big Notebook

Carla A. Carlisle and her son JC Release My Big Notebook

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If we, as adults, have a difficult time navigating our emotions, can you imagine how hard it is for children? This notebook equips your child with the tools to develop insight into their emotions and identifies successful coping strategies to get them through it. It will not only help the child learn emotional regulation, but it allows you, as the parent or caregiver, to understand them and help point them in the right direction. After we better understand the emotions they are experiencing, we can make wiser decisions. Many adults have also found the exercises in this notebook to be very helpful in navigating and journaling their emotions.

As a former foster parent, Carla has traversed some of the greatest challenges a parent can face. Carla has invested her emotions and her strengths to help a young boy, who is now her adoptive son, to grow into a young man. An ongoing healing process becomes more palatable with the self-care and coping skills gained along the way.

Many caregivers would have given up, but Carla has persevered with much compassion in the face of anger, strength in the face of fear, and deep, unconditional love. My Big Notebook: It’s About Me with a Little Help from My Friend JC was written from Carla and her son JC’s life experiences. Carla has walked the walk and the skills within this book include exercises and tips for you to follow while having a little fun.


Carla on working with SPARK Publications
I met Fabi through a WNBA panel where we both spoke, and I felt that authority immediately. I reached out for help in realizing my vision of producing a buddy-in-a-book for our children. The partnership with SPARK exceeded my expectation. At my strategy session, we talked through the details until I felt good about my final product.

Is there a particular moment that SPARKed your interest in writing a book?

For My Big Notebook, I saw a need, a gap. I thought about all of our children out there dealing with stress (from the pandemic, life, and more) and I wanted to provide some help in a way that wasn’t intrusive.

What surprises did you encounter on the road to writing and publishing the book?

My son, JC, was so involved and had very strong opinions. His engagement pleasantly surprised me. I was also in awe of how much guidance and support I received from SPARK. It was a team effort!

How did SPARK Publications help in championing and publishing your book?

The SPARKlers gave me clear and candid direction and insight. If there was a challenge, we tackled it together. They helped me understand the corrections and disciplines from one task to the next.

Now that your book is published, are there any goals or experiences you’re looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the big release! My Big Notebook compliments the workshops and keynotes I offer including:

  • From Tolerance to Advocacy: How being Trauma-Informed Changes Lives
  • Supporting a Child with Trauma: The Resource Parents’ Blueprint
  • Care For Caregivers: The 4-Step Method

I partner with organizations focused on the well-being of our children and parents. My goal is to provide My Big Notebook to every child who could use a buddy in a book!

What advice do you have for other authorpreneurs and aspiring writers? 

Just get started! Start writing. Connect with people who support your passion. Know your intended audience. Expect everything to change along the way and expect something amazing to happen.

Tell us about your future plans—what’s next for you?

I am working on a second edition of my first book, Journey to the Son. I plan to share insights and reflections that will help women dealing with infertility and/or unconventional paths to motherhood. I’m doing a lot of speaking engagements and workshops. I’m on a mission!

What was the most interesting thing you found while writing this book? 

Every child deserves a loving advocate. It can change the trajectory of a child’s life. It literally takes a village to produce a quality book and get it into the hands of every elementary school-age child in the U.S.


Are you interested in custom publishing a book? Learn more here.

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