The floor looks empty without a big old hairy-toed dog lying on it.

Ol’ hairy-toes is gone. Pokey is wandering around the living room looking in all the empty dog beds, searching for his friend. Katsu was one hell of a dog –  an ADHD crazy crack-head bundle of pure energy – and love. Brian found him running up to moving cars on the freeway.  He opened the truck door and the black and white hairy dog jumped right in. He was obviously well cared for, and very friendly. Brian thought the best way to find the owner was to take him to the Animal Shelter. There, he was told that if the dog …

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We are now entering the Land of Ghosties…

I was very pleased with last week’s storytelling workshop with Terrance Mc Arthur. It was well attended – not to many, not too few, just the right amount. Terrance was talking about family and personal stories, and one of his “story starters” was “Your first job.” Ah, I remember it well. 1969. I was 18 years old and fresh out of high school. I was a nurse’s aide at The Clovis Nursing Home. It was on Clovis Avenue in a beautiful old house called Wolfe Manor. Wolfe Manor, sadly, was torn down recently. Built off the back of the house …

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Workshop notes for Terrance V. Mc Arthur

TELLING FAMILY STORIES: a presentation by Terrance V. Mc Arthur FINDING THE STORY Choose a Memory—Is there something you remember about a special person, place, or time?  It’s a story.  Write it down. Friends & Family—Ask questions about your family/friends.  Someone may remember what happened better than you do…or they may know the rest of the story.  Get a group together and start digging up the old times.  You may remember what you’ve forgotten…or discover things you wish you didn’t know. Diaries/Journals/Histories—Did someone write down what happened?  Study their words.  You may learn things you never knew that will surprise …

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The Birthday: A little late, but everyday is a new birthday.

The photos above: With Chris Estep at the Book Barn. He’s my own personal web designer. The second is with Lyn Meredith at Salsa’s Cantina. Ah, yes. I promised to tell you about my birthday. I went to work thinking I was working an 8 hour shift because so many people were off for graduations and honeymoons and seeing their husbands who had been deployed for 8 months. I had asked for the day off. I couldn’t be accommodated, so… I volunteered to work longer. Oh well. However… Another teacher said she would come in so I got to leave …

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No, this is not the post you were looking for.

Doc1 Yes, yes, I know I promised that this week there would be a review of Margarita Engle’s “Morningstar Horse.” I have two valid excuses for not following through with that promise. Excuse Number One: I am in the process of re-reading Morningstar Horse. I am reading slowly so as to savor the delicious imagery. Excuse Number Two: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! Sixty Six years ago, at 4:05 in the afternoon, I entered this world. My life in the previous world had just gotten too messy. I escaped just in time. Sixty Six. My, what a long time. I’ve been around …

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It’s One of Those Weird Rambling Types of Days…

I’m supposed to write a blog today. If I don’t do it now, it will be late, and I don’t think I’ve been late yet. Although I try to post by Saturday afternoon, as long as it gets posted by Sunday evening, all is well. Looks like I may just be rambling for this week. Brian headed off for a six week stay in Ireland on April 19, so I’m on my own, which mostly means not cleaning up after myself and not eating right. Someone said “Oh, your husband’s gone – you won’t have to cook!” I explained that …

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When life gives you lemons – learn to juggle!

Life has a habit of throwing lemons at me. It has done so many times. The most recent was about a year and a half ago. At work, I was assigned to work in the kitchen on a regular basis – no longer in the classroom! What? I went through all the stages of grief over the first weekend. I cried. I railed against the world. Why was this happening to me? I know I have physical problems. I can’t pick up the children. I can’t stand for very long, and I definitely can’t sit in those tiny chairs the kids …

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Patricia Newman, SCBWI – As Promised

(Random photo of Brian and Critters) I’m beginning to recover from conferences, plays, illnesses and other mayhem. Here’s the information for the last presenter at the conference. It’s shorter than what my blog likes, but my blog is not my mother and can’t tell me what to do. Patricia Newman is the author of many non-fiction books for children and her session, Staying Relevant: Life after Publication, was indeed, the most relevant for me. Rather than a handout, Ms. Newman created a webpage with a wealth of helpful resources, including samples of press kits, author visit brochures, performance contracts, and …

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Do dreams change from age ten to age sixty-five?

When I was in the Fourth Grade at Howard Elementary School in Madera, California, our assignment was to draw our dream home. While everyone else was drawing castles and mansions, and huge ranch houses with all the modern conveniences, I drew a little thatched cottage with red roses growing around the door. The interesting thing is that fifty six years later,  my idea of the perfect home hasn’t changed much. It doesn’t need to be thatched, and I’ve added a porch with a rocking chair – very important ingredients for a happy life. And of course there needs to be …

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FREE! It’s free! Did I mention FREE?

It’s a raffle! “There’s nothing to do” is a phrase never spoken by Rissa and her sister, Steph. Curiosity and imagination are the name of the game for these two girls as they romp through the day and into the night, chasing cows, dragons, and aliens. If you would like to win a FREE copy of my latest book, COWBOY GIRLS, all you have to do is sign up on my blog with your email address. If you’re a winner, I’ll even pay the postage – anywhere in the world! All names will go into a box and I’ll pick …

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