Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Big News!

Edited on Nov. 19 to add: Please read this post for an update regarding this news. 
* * * * *
I am thrilled to announce that I have two books coming out in 2016 under Sunscribe Publishers' children's imprint, Dancing Squirrel. I wrote the earliest drafts of my picture book  Josephine Abilene, Bona Fide Cowgirl and my chapter book Glory Osky: Perfectly NOT! over 10 years ago when I lived in Fort Worth, Texas, and I am so glad they both finally have a publishing home! Sunscribe is a new South Carolina publisher, and I am honored to be included in their debut list. 

This has been a long, twisting, and sometimes emotional road, but I am happy to finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have learned a lot along the way, but the most important lesson has been to never, ever, EVER give up. I have met so many wonderful writing friends over the years, and am excited to take this next step in my writing journey!

Thanks for helping me share my news, and Happy Writing! 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: Fall Poetry by My Childhood Self

Thank you to Amy at The Poem Farm for hosting Poetry Friday this week!

* * * * *

I have missed participating in Poetry Friday lately! I am happy to be back and thought it would be fun to share some poems I came across this week. Fall has always been my favorite season—even when I was very young, I loved the cooler temperatures, the beautiful leaves, and the anticipation of winter’s cozy embrace.

This week as I was reading through some poems I wrote growing up, I was tickled to realize how many I came across that were about fall. I don’t know if this was due to the fact that my teachers had more creative instruction time in autumn as opposed to spring’s annual round of standardized testing and end-of-year field trips, or if it was because I just liked writing poetry about fall. Whatever the reason, it was fun to go back and read what I’d written so long ago!

Here are a few of the poems that I found. When I typed them, I did edit for punctuation—proving that we will always have the urge to go back and edit our work, even over 30 years later! 

Here is one I wrote in about third or fourth grade (and yes, I grew up with the name "Becky Bookout"): 
Fall

Fall is here,
Winter is near.
The weather is cool,
We go back to school.

The leaves are falling,
Winter is calling.
As red, gold, and brown
Leaves fall all around.


And here is another, written about the same time:

Halloween

Halloween is coming soon,
Halloween, with a bright full moon.
Ghosts and goblins
Everywhere in sight.
And jack-o-lanterns glowing
Brightly in the night.

Halloween is coming soon,
Halloween, with a bright full moon.
Witches flying
Through the air,
On magic broomsticks
Everywhere!

This last one is from second grade, I believe.
Fall

Fall is nice.
There’s a nice cool breeze
As we play in the leaves.
Winter is on its way,
And it’s almost Halloween day.

Do you have any of the poems you wrote as a child? If so, please feel free to share in the comments below. 

Thanks for taking this autumn stroll down memory lane with me! Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Writing!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I have always enjoyed rainy days. I love the muted colors of an overcast day (especially in autumn), the cool lift of the air that accompanies a storm, and the quieter feel of rainy mornings and afternoons. There is actually a word for someone who likes rainy days; according to urbandictionary.com, a pluviophile is a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. I was happy to find this definition a few years ago!
But the rain this morning is a double-edged sword. After last weekend’s historic flooding in South Carolina, today's rain is not a welcome sight. Although the rain has effectively ended our recent drought, it has caused a glut of new issues. Many bridges are still out, much of the state is under flood watches through tonight, and already-swollen rivers continue to rise and rise. Although my area thankfully came through last weekend relatively unscathed, I am so sad for our neighbors to the south in Columbia, Charleston, and all of the other areas affected by this wet weather.

I have heard such tragic stories this week—and I am sure you have, too, if you’ve watched the news at all. But in the midst of all the BAD, there has been a lot of GOOD. This week my boys’ middle school collected cases of water to send via the Red Cross to the affected areas, and one of my sons' teachers left to serve as a National Guardsman in the affected areas (what a wonderful example for our young men and women!). Donation centers have overflowed with offerings for flood victims. And the welcome that USC is receiving in Baton Rouge for the Gamecocks vs. LSU Tigers game today is touching and profound. Who would’ve thought?  

Since I haven’t posted in awhile, I decided that this rainy Saturday morning would be a great time to jump back in and post a link for anyone interested in helping flood victims in SC. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website has information about how to donate, as well as a link to a list of most-needed items (click here for more information). 

I will have some exciting writing-related news to share very soon! Enjoy your weekend, stay dry, and Happy Writing!