Doggie Went A-Courtin’ is LIVE

For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a big thing.  I’ve been working on publishing a children’s ebook.

Any of y’all remember when I wrote a little picture book called “Doggie Went A-Courtin'”? Way, way back in maybe 2009?  I entered it into a contest and it placed in the top twelve and then went on to win 4th after all my friends, fans, and neighbors voted online day after day after day?  Anyone remember?  It’s been a while.

Well, after that contest I tried to get it published, but it’s never gone anywhere with traditional publishers.  So after Kindle made it possible for children authors to publish ebooks a couple of months ago, I went for it.  I’ve worked with an excellent illustrator who practically worked for peanuts and delivered a super product.

Here it is, in all it’s twelve pages of glory.

Its a cute little adaptation on Froggie Went A-Courtin’using a few down home animals.

There’s a couple of catches.

1) It’s only available on Kindle, so you either have to have a Kindle or a free Kindle app downloaded on something smart.

2) It has no reviews and in order for books to do really well out there in the e-world, they need reviews.  If you like it, please leave a nice review.  If you don’t like it, I’d rather you not leave a review, just go on and scrub your potty or something.

On Saturday, November 22, it will be free!! Grab it up then before the price returns to $2.99.

So buy it, give it a great review, and then finally, spread the word.  Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media, send a pigeon, a smoke signal or  write it on a bathroom stall next to someone’s number for a good time.  It’s all good.

Oh and of course, if you find errors, such as in formatting, please let me know so I can fix it up.  This has been a huge learning curve and I know just enough to be dangerous, you know.

Thanks friends.


Crossing that Line

Today I’m coming off a 50,000 word binge and it feels great.

What in the world am I talking about you may be asking? 

This November for the first time ever, I participated in Nanowrimo, short for National Novel Writing Month, and succeeded!  

The challenge is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days.  

It was daunting, none the less, but I feel so proud.  Last night I validated my 50,015 word novel.  

Is my book crap?  Absolutely it is.  But it no longer is just an idea that’s been floating in my head since 2006.  Now it is actually written down on paper.  

I couldn’t sleep last night for the euphoria.  The sense of pride and accomplishment after doing something hard.

Today I made myself not look at those words I wrote, but in a month or so, I’m going to revisit it, change it, mold it, and make it better.  

But for today I took a nap with my daughter, instead of sneaking out of bed after getting her to sleep to write my daily quota of 1667 words.  That was heavenly.  

Beginning tomorrow, I’m going to spend some family time giving thanks and sharing EK with my peeps.  But after that, I’m going to return to writing.  I’ve got another idea to work on.  

I have dreams and I know you do too.  What are they?  Think about your dreams for a minute.  When was the last time you spent some time on that?  It’s scary at first to admit you have them, to tell someone else about them.  But it’s crucial if you want to achieve them.  So, decide on a goal and work at it.  Will it be hard, heck yes.  Will you want to quit?   Everyday.  But dreams come true when you make a commitment and do the work every day.  Commitment and consistency.  Two very hard things that will get you to the finish line.

Keep dreaming friends and have a happy Turkey Day!


Dreaming Like a Baby

Our local library launched its summer reading program this week with the theme Blazing the Trails.  It is phenomenal and the librarians have put an immense amount of work into this.

On opening day for the Tiny Tots, we dug for pennies in sand, panned for gold, lassoed ponies, raced stick horses and sat real ponies.  EK loves the library and loves the books.  She wouldn’t put her book down before getting on the pony.  She walked around with her book open like she was reading it.

IMG_0550 IMG_0555 IMG_0556

The next day at the library, a trick roper entertained us with his horse, his rope, and his dog.

Understandably, EK’s new favorite word is “hosh”.

Early this morning, still sleeping but stirring, eyes shut, she rolled over in bed and let out a soft “neigh”.

Ah, the sweet dreams of babes.


I did not marry a literary kind of man.   I, on the other hand, love books, articles, the written word.  I come alive in bookstores and libraries calm me.  I love the smell of a new book, the way it has a little creak when you open it.  I do not own an electronic reading device and I still make trips to the local library to choose my books.

When I read something that speaks to me, whether it’s a book, a character, descriptive language, a quote, whatever, I always want to share it with someone.  This someone happens to be my husband.

I don’t know how long after we were married, after I had orated paragraph after paragraph of various topics to him, that  my husband informed me he hated being read to.  It just about broke my heart.  So now, I carefully choose my sharing times and always ask him if I can please read something to him.  He’s never told me no, he just endures it.  As is the husband’s job in marriage.  It should have been in the vows.

But before you start feeling sorry for me, just know that my little girl, EK, loves books.  Even thought she is only almost 8 months old, she shows delight in them.  She loves to pull every one off the shelves, chew on their covers, and eat their pages, which I think must be a sign of fondness.  Or genius.  Or perhaps just a nutritional deficiency, I guess only time will tell.

I get a free magazine called The Country Life.  It comes out quarterly and gives tips and inspirations for country living.  Things like how to arrange a fall flower container and the top 10 tools needed to get your home ready for winter.  Stuff like that.

But the very last part is an article written by a guy named Brent Olsen.   It’s very excellent writing in my opinion and makes you feel like all is right in the world.  So I asked my husband if I could read it to him, and even he agreed it was good.

And because I love to share things that speak to me, I now share it with you.

“Fall is a wonderful time of year.  A deep breath on a crisp morning expunges moist, stale pockets of air that have been cluttering your lungs all summer.  There’s a sense of urgency, an acceleration of pulse and ambition that turns the tired, sweaty trudge of summer into a brisk walk through falling leaves.  Winter is about enduring and dreaming, spring is unreasonable optimism, summer is growth and fruition-new potatoes and fresh tomatoes.  But fall is for planning and preparing.

It’s also about sitting on the patio in a worn wool sweater and warming your hands one the swirl of steam rising from a coffee cup.  It’s about walking across a darkened yard and seeing a flight of geese cross the face of a full moon.  It’s about settling in, relishing the sights and sensations of a world slowing down.

A house warmed by the memory of a sore back and splinters, and a kitchen table blessed by food there as a result of dirty fingernails, sunburn, and compost is a great and generous gift.  Enjoy your fall—we are each granted a finite number of them, and it is a vast mistake to let any go by without cherishing the moments that make them real.”

Fall and words:  these are a few of my favorite things.

And you?  What are your favorite things?



Dreams, not the night kind

We sat across from each other at a little round oak table finishing up our supper.  We hadn’t been dating long and were still in the beginning stages of exploring one another, learning all there is to know.  Things like favorite colors, how many dogs we’ve had, places we’ve visited.  We were new to each other so talking and kissing is what we did.  A lot.

And then he asked, “What are your dreams?”

The answer didn’t come to me quickly.  It wasn’t simple like yellow, three, or Boston.  I paused, I stammered, but I couldn’t come up with a dream.

“I guess I’m doing it.”  I replied.  “I’ve done everything I’ve wanted.  I’m content where I’m at right now.”

Maybe it was the way he looked at me.  Maybe it was me, but a feeling of failure overcame me.  Is this it?  Is this all I want?  Is that the best answer I’ve got?

Then nonchalantly, I let it out.  I said it.  I released my dream.  The dream I’ve been afraid to tell anyone.  The dream I didn’t even want to admit to myself.  I told it for the universe and everyone to hear.

“Well.  I’d like to be a writer.”  I felt my insides crumble.  My anxiety rose.  Will he laugh?  Will I fail?  Will the universe shake its head in disgust?

The years have come and gone.  I’ve written.  I’ve submitted.  I’ve been rejected.  But I will persevere.

I just finished a book by Amy Greene entitled Bloodroot.  She’s a debut novelist who wrote an awesome story.  I love debut novelists.  You know they’ve tried hard, as hard as they could.  I rejoice when a first timer’s book makes a best seller.  What an accomplishment.  I imagine myself.  I study the books and envision my name instead on the front cover.  Sometimes I even believe it can happen.  I get so wrapped up in these debut authors so much that I read their interviews and their stories.  I study their writing process.  I learn of their backgrounds and search for connecting threads to convince me that if they can do it, so can I.

Then I hear how they met so and so who introduced them to such and such who lined them up with this agent who loved their stuff who submitted it to the top publishing company in the U.S.  who made a book that went best seller.  And the demon of doubt knocks on my door, and foolishly I invite him in.  We sit on the couch, I offer him a drink.  Then he tells me, ‘here you sit in the panhandle of Texas with nothing but tumbleweeds and windmills, listening to the wind blow the prairie grasses, existing where agents, authors, and publishing houses might as well be a foreign country.  You don’t have a chance’.   I agree with him.  I know he’s right.  It’s a stupid dream.

But sometimes, like today, I politely show him the door.

And I’ll persevere.



Book Recommendation

Summer in the Texas Panhandle has descended upon us and is pummeling us with her hot, grubby fists.  Yesterday I believe the mercury rose to 106.  I don’t have my pool yet.  The problem lies in deciding where to put it. 

Do I:

a) put it in the backyard fully covered by a fence with absolutely no grass and let it become a mucky, muddy, mess? 

b) put it outside of the fence-shielded backyard and run the risk of passersby seeing me in my string bikini? 

c)  quit my crazy dreaming that I’ll ever wear a bikini again as long as I live.

You know what’s crazy?  Even when I could’ve worn a bikini, I didn’t.  I always have been self-conscious of myself in a bathing suit.  Still am, but so is 98% of all the other women out there.  The other 2%, I’m sure you’ve seen them too.

Since my swimming pool is not up and ready, and it was too hot to be outside for this delicate flower, I decided to hole up yesterday and read.  I spent my day reading Heaven is For Real and I must give it 2 thumbs up.

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back [Book]

It is written by Todd Burpo whose not yet four-year old son undergoes an emergency appendectomy and months later begins to relate to his family about his trip to heaven. 

Being the staunch skeptic that I am, I read the book with, well, skepticism.  And lots of it.  Because that’s how I roll.  But by the end of the book, I was convinced this young man really experienced the things he claimed to have experienced.

It’s an easy read.  It’s a can’t-put-it-down kind of book.  It’s a book you shouldn’t keep, but should pass on to someone else.  It gives hope.  It answers questions.  It causes the doubting Thomas’s of the world (like me) to have faith in things they haven’t seen and believe that others are blessed to get to see them.

If you’re a reader, you should read it.  And if you’re not a reader, you should read it.  It’s worth it.

And since I didn’t do a blasted thing yesterday except read and eat and sleep, today I must crack the whip at myself and get some things accomplished.

But first, I just thought of one good thing about it being so hot. 
I didn’t see a snake yesterday!
I stayed in the cool and they did too.





I have the need to read

I’m craving a book.  Yes, I said craving.  Like Elvis craved a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Longing, pining, desiring.   Sometimes all I need in life is a book, a blanket, and a couple of hours.  I don’t usually make it that long before falling asleep.

Mark Twain Image

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ~Mark Twain

I couldn’t agree more, Mark. 

If I think real hard, walk around the house a couple of times, and eat a chocolate chip cookie, maybe I could remember the last book I read.  Right now I’ve got a blank screen in my mind, occasionally flickering.  It’s been too long. 

Unless you count school reading, which doesn’t really count does it?  Right now I’m reading the book Sounder to my class.  Just today the poor, black boy in the story was saying how badly he wanted a book.  He probably could teach himself to read if only he had one.  He’d heard somewhere that some people had so many books, they only read them once.  Surely, there couldn’t be that many books in the world. 

I usually only read books once as well.  My dad, on the other hand, would read a book again and again.  One in particular was the Grapes of Wrath.  My mother finds it a waste of time to read a book twice.  I’m with her on this, unless it’s To Kill A Mockingbird, which I try to read every summer.  I also loved Eat, Pray, Love and vowed I would read it again someday, yet that someday hasn’t come.

But it’s coming.  Very soon. 

When June 1st arrives, I’m driving myself to the public library.  I’m checking out a stack of books and turning off the phones.  The grass can grow tall.  The dishes can pile up in the sink.  The tomatoes will need pickin’.  My legs will need shaving.  The chickens might even go hungry. 

Nah.  I’ll feed the chickens in between chapters. 

I plan on delving into some good books.  If you have a suggestion, let me know. 

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read~ Groucho Marx

Maybe I have a thing for men with bushy moustaches. 

Yosemite Sam

 I hope your innards turn to outards and your ears go visey-versey!   ~Yosemite Sam

Or maybe they just have good quotes.

What’s your favorite book?  Or quote?  Or moustached man?