Today’s blog is about FIRSTS!  1sts! 1sts!!! 1sts!!!!  Our lives our full of them!

Hmmmmm….. as I recall,  first step, first tooth, first day of school, first dental appointment, first friend, first spanking, first boyfriend (mine was in kindergarten, he made me laugh and laugh!), first report card, first sleepover, first D, first F ( I know, some of you have never experienced those last two), first dance, first date, first job, first day at second job, first time fired from job with others to follow.., first day at college, first day at second college, first time on probation at college (I know… some of you have never had that unique experience either), first time meeting your husband or wife), first wedding (and only wedding… thankfully!) , first time being a parent, first time diagnosed with a learning disability, first attempt at my own cleaning business, first time quitting my cleaning business after 27 years, first time watching three daughters all leave home for college, first time marrying off three daughters!, first time being a grandparent, first time losing a parent, first time earning a living with art! (AT LAST!), first book with Harper Collins, first book signing at Barnes and Noble!

Yeah, can you see a pattern here?  Not all firsts are fun ones, but all firsts do eventually lead to fun firsts if you keep at it! Each experience makes you uniquely YOU. The bad 1sts can either hone you or wreck you.  The decision is yours.

My faith tells me to keep moving.  My faith tells me NOT to let experiences dictate who I am.  For me, this is not a vague faith in some mystic aura loaded transient do da day. I am not deep enough for that. . . or perhaps I am too deep for that?  Ha!  My faith? Jesus. He is the only one who knows how to put all these crazy pieces of life together to make sense and then pull off something I could not do on my own.  Pretty amazing eh?  I think so, but then again, it is not time to sit and bask in my own wonderfulness. haha… gotta keep moving forward and keep life fresh!  Keep faith’s fire burning!

Do I feel another book in me? … or … wait! … is that my pencil moving? .. is another character ready to appear on a page? Ooh…. how exciting!  Being an artist is so doggone fun!!!

My Grandkids liked it . . . .

When you write a children’s book and are trying to convince an editor of its great merits, a big no-no is to say, “…my children (or grandchildren) loved it!”.   I could certainly understand that one might not get an honest answer from letting their Aunt Elsie read the story, (she may not want to hurt your feelings) or your mother who thinks you can never go wrong, but children are without reserve. If they don’t like a story, they will tell you about it!

This past summer when Harper Collins mailed me the galley of my Peepsqueak book I read it to my grandsons. I did not even think twice about what their reactions would be. To my surprise, one of them laughed out LOUD!  This is when I realized that what little kids think is truly the best judge of whether or not a picture book is good. There is no convincing children.  They form their opinions early on, even before they can talk!

Many times we shudder at the books our kids want to read over and over! If you write for children, it is important that you find out why those little people feel so compelled as to memorize the pages. They will often times pipe up with, “Mommy, you missed a page!” and you must stop and go back.

My own kids loved a good story but they were also drawn into a book because of the illustrations.

It is my hope that children will see Peepsqueak and then be drawn into the story, rooting him on to full-fill his dream!

For now, I can tell you this, My grandsons liked it!!


It’s AMAzing!

After snow fall measuring more than 4 inches I find that I MUST shovel pathways for my tiny doggies.  You can see in this picture the maze that I made for my dogs.  Rosie is in the middle of the picture… We have about a foot of snow in the backyard.  The dogs LOVE running through the maze.  It makes me smile.

Why do I do it?  Why not?