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Showing posts from January, 2019

National Park Detour in Michigan

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"Remember the Alamo!" A well-known battle cry from the mid-1800's that conjures up feelings of patriotism and a desire to honor and avenge the struck-down defenders of the Texan fort.

However, before the Alamo, a young America had rallied behind a different battle cry: "Remember the Raisin!"

Remember the Raisin? What? A fruit?

As I drove up I-75 to Detroit this weekend I saw the brown sign advertising a national park system site: the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. I had never heard of this battle so in between watching sessions at the US Figure Skating National Championships, I pulled some info up on my tablet and discovered that yes, the park was open. I grinned as I added a short detour into my drive home the next day.

Sunday morning brought with it several inches of snow on the ground and frigid temperatures (although the next week was going to be even colder). Not the best conditions for exploring a battlefield that has two walking trails but the V…

January Writing Update

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Where am I with my writing this month?

1. The first novella of my Suitcases & Love trilogy is back from its editor. I have to go through and make decisions about which changes to keep, modify, or ignore. I am meeting with the cover designer next week. I am also receiving feedback from my beta readers so that will play into the editing process of the final draft over the next few weeks. I am still aiming for a late February release of the Kindle version (Feb 28 actually!).

2. The second novella has made it to its second draft. Next step will be to get it to the editing eyes of someone besides myself.

3. I have written a short story of almost 14K words that serves as a prequel companion story to the trilogy. I am not sure yet of the path I will follow for its release but it will be available sometime this year as well.

4. I am working on two other short stories of 2K-5K words. I really don't know the publishing plan for these two, but I am enjoying the writing. One of them is in…

January Children's Books

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Three more children's books with activities to share!



 If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki Vansickle was a delightful read that I highly recommend for any mid-elementary kid. It has a nice pattern to the words, and I love how it hits on so many mythological creatures across the world. Make sure to turn to the last page for a fun surprise.
This book lends itself to a variety of activities including more in-depth research on lesser-known creatures mentioned or brainstorming other problems to go along with a specific mythological pet. (Could you imagine taking a unicorn to the veterinarian for a check-up?)




A Song in Bethlehem took a unique look at the night of the Christ Child's birth. It had lovely illustrations that mixed the ethereal and the realistic. This book would work well for a read-together in early elementary or even a read-alone if the child has good reading skills. The story connects to music, so an extension activity could be to sing favorite Christmas carols or if your chi…