Assembly at Alma Heights

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DS CoverI’m looking forward to visiting Alma Heights Christian School on Friday. It’s always exciting to talk with students about writing. Of all the ways to inspire children to read, I believe talking with an author rates up there at the top. Let’s face it, kids do a lot of reading. In a school year, children read countless stories, but they rarely have the opportunity to talk to a book author about writing. Another aspect of my visit on Friday that excites me is I will be able to put my books into readers’ hands. Something about selling books to real people is validating. All that hard work equals books sales and ultimately appreciation. I can’t wait!alma

Writing for Children

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One of my passions in life is writing for children. The itch to write started when I was in college taking classes to become a teacher. I decided that I wanted to do a bit of writing for myself. Up to that point I’d written a lot of lessons, papers, and done exercises, but for teachers and classes. That was when the words started flowing and the genre was children’s literature.

Many years later, I find myself writing fiction for children. Now I have a blog and website, a pen-name, a few books to my credit, and even a few speaking engagements. There’s nothing quite like writing for children because most young children love to read. Reading is just part of what you do when you’re growing up. The other thrill about writing for children is that kids love unusual stories and wacky characters.

My newest story is called Dot and Scribble Fall into AdventurePicture 2A final

Hudson rubbed his eyes and looked again at the strange looking stick girl, who definitely was not his mother. Then he looked at his hands—gloves. He stretched out his long arms and clumsy legs through the branches and leaves. He had landed in a tree. Hudson grabbed for anything and held on.

The realization hit him. Somehow, he’d fallen into his own picture. But who was he? What was he?

“You come down here right now, Scribble,” the stick girl ordered.

“Did you just call me Scribble?” Hudson asked.

“Yes, I called you Scribble, and my name is Dot.”

“No way.”

Dot stomped her foot. “You come down, this instant.”

Hudson, now Scribble, shook his head. Was he really a stick boy up a tree? Was he really about to take orders from a bossy stick girl named Dot?

“I’m not gonna fall,” he said.

“I’m warning you.”

“I’m fine,” Scribble said, lifting up his hands.

The next few moments happened too fast for him to react. First, he heard the crack of the limb, and then he was falling to meet the ground.

Boosh!

 

New Book Release

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DS Cover

Available at:

Sunbury Press – Paperback

Amazon – Paperback

 

What is Adventure?

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What is adventure? Adventure is usually described as an undertaking, which involves danger. An event that involves a venture that requires overcoming a challenge. So, how does an adventure relate to literature or fiction?
In literature, the protagonist takes on a heroic quest, facing grave dangers. Whatever the task at hand, the protagonist must prove his or her worthiness. If the hero fails, dire consequences may befall the protagonist. In my soon to be released story, Dot and Scribble Fall into Adventure, two characters set out on an adventure to get a magic key. Here’s an excerpt.

“Come on, let’s go on an adventure—just you and me.”

“Who’s gonna take care of Boon?” Dot replied. “Besides, it’s too dangerous.”

Scribble jumped up and down. “You know the way to the castle, don’t you?”

“Of course I know the way. All we do is follow that path. I also know the legend of the Key to Adventure. I don’t believe a word of it.”

Boon was jumping and splashing in the water.

“Getting the key is not worth the risk. It’s only a legend. A key worth all the wealth in the kingdom? Please.”

 

Characters on a Grand Adventure

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Naming characters in a story is tricky business. Names need to be unique and descriptive enough to help the reader visualize your characters. At the same time, names can’t be too weird. One of the characters in my newest story is the boy who draws the pictures. I named the boy Hudson because the explorer Henry Hudson was an explorer and the story would be about adventure. I struggled to name the other primary characters, I decided to plot the story out and then start writing. What do you know, the names came once I got into character. There names came as I wrote this scene.

Dot and Scribble were born.

Hudson looked at the picture and then at the pencil in his hand. “Come on, do your thing,” he commanded the pencil.

He knew all he could draw were stick figures. Who was he trying to fool? He drew a stick boy, frowned, and crossed him out. The boy wasn’t quite right. Maybe if he tried another.

He drew another stick person and smiled. “Better—some pretty hair and a nice dress,” he said to himself. The stick girl stood tall with straight legs, a polka dot dress, and wavy hair.

Hudson finished the picture of the stick girl, smiled, and added some dots for eyes. He looked at the stick boy and shook his head. “You’re Scribble, ‘cause you’re a mess.”

Scribble looked reckless in a fun kind of way, but he was no knight in shining armor. And the stick girl was hardly a princess.

He looked at the stick girl. “You’re Dot.”

Dot and Scribble smiled back at him.

 

Here’s to Adventure

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Picture 2aHave you ever wanted to escape into a story you’re reading or into a beautiful picture you’re viewing?

Come on, be honest. Sometimes fiction is more fun than reality. That’s why we like to read. That’s the premise for my newest book, Dot and Scribble Fall into Adventure. A boy is transported into a picture he is drawing. The excerpt below is the moment when Hudson realizes he has changed into a stick figure character named Scribble.

“What are you doing up there?”

What was he doing up there in his room? He couldn’t quite remember. He had fallen. There was a picture.

If he opened his eyes, everything would be all right. His mother would be mad when she saw the mess, but he could clean it up. Hudson shook his head and cracked his eyes open.

He was outside.

Below, a girl stood with her hands on her hips. “What are you doing up there?” She stomped her foot. “You’re going to fall.”

Hudson rubbed his eyes and looked again at the strange looking stick girl, who definitely was not his mother. Then he looked at his hands—gloves. He stretched out his long arms and clumsy legs through the branches and leaves. He had landed in a tree. Hudson grabbed for anything and held on.

The realization hit him. Somehow, he’d fallen into his own picture. But who was he? What was he?

“You come down here right now, Scribble,” the stick girl ordered.

“Did you just call me Scribble?” Hudson asked.

“Yes, I called you Scribble, and my name is Dot.”

“No way.”

Dot stomped her foot. “You come down, this instant.”

Hudson, now Scribble, shook his head. Was he really a stick boy up a tree? Was he really about to take orders from a bossy stick girl named Dot?

“I’m not gonna fall,” he said.

“I’m warning you.”

“I’m fine,” Scribble said, lifting up his hands.

The next few moments happened too fast for him to react. First, he heard the crack of the limb, and then he was falling to meet the ground.

Boosh!

Dot marched over to meet Scribble who was in a heap on the ground. “You’re broken again,” Dot said. She picked up something and handed it to him. “Look.”

It was his arm. Not only was he a stick boy, but he was a klutz. Scribble shook his head at Dot’s gesture. “That’s my arm? What do I do with that?”

 

Full Swing of Summer

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Its carefree mood took me by surprise.

I wasn’t expecting it to intrude so quickly, but it it’s here and I am hardly prepared to relax.

Party. Beach. Vacation.

Kids standing around the pool on the hot cement waiting.

Can we jump in? Summer says “Yes!”

Cotton candy, carnival, fairgrounds, amusement park rides.

Standing in lines. Waiting for the fun to begin.

Finally the whistle blows.

Summer is here, but it will leave us too soon.

 

 

 

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