An Interview with Jack

Today, I have a very special guest to interview. Jack, the dingo. Jack, of “Jack Learns to Grill.” So, without further ado, I’ll defer to Jack.

10675584_10203862322893408_1655186337325671995_n “Hi Mom! Why did you want to talk to me?

Me: “Well, Jack, now that you are the star of your own book, I wanted to find out how you felt about it.”

Jack:” Well, it is pretty exciting, but my life has not changed much. I still, you know, sniff for stuff and play with Hope and the others. Why did you write a book about me, Mom?”

Me: “Well, Jack, I was trying to think how to teach kids that it is okay to be curious and to question why things are the way they are sometimes. You are so curious and you love to learn new things, I thought you’d be the perfect dog for the job.”

Jack:” That’s me! The perfect dog for the job! You know, Mom, I have lots of questions about why humans do stuff and why they act like they do and it would be so much fun if I could help a kid figure those things out too.”

“Me: “I think you are right, Jack. When you are a dog or even a kid, sometimes, it’s hard to know why people do stuff. Sometimes, I even wonder why people do the things they do. Did you know that?”

Jack: “Really? I thought you knew just everything!”

Me : “Oh Jack, you will make me blush. I don’t know everything and I’m glad I don’t, so I can be as curious as you are.”

Jack: “Yep, I’m pretty curious , but it’s my dinnertime. I sure am hungry. Are we done?”

Mom: “Yes, I guess that’s pretty much it. I don’t want to keep you from your dinner.

Jack: “Okay, then. I love you, Mom. (slurp)


New Kid on the Block

Everyone knows that I am publishing my Jack Learns to Grill Book. I’m super excited (and I haven’t used that phrase in years!) to say that I have uploaded the manuscript and except for a few small issues I am done. These issues involve placement of the illustrations so the words fit the way they are supposed to. I can’t wait til it’s out!

In the meantime, however, I have begun another book – one for adults. I have to admit , I am having such fun writing it and it is about church. That’s all I know right now. I’m not sure in which direction it is going, but I really am enjoying writing it. And really, that’s what happens when I get in a writing mood- I just never know what might come out.

I have two more Jack books to publish and then I hope to have this new kid on the block shaping up into another one to publish. All I can tell you is that it is about a conservative Christian lady who is about to have her world turned upside down when she least expects it. The rest is every bit a mystery to me!

Writing is like having a baby, I think. It takes 9 months for that baby to be perfected. Growing pains for mother and child alike. Whether the writing time is long or short, I can guarantee the growing pains are there as well. Write, revise, revise, write some more. And when it’s time to deliver either the baby or the book, the joy is overwhelming . That’s about where I am just now . That’s where I hope to be for a long time to come.

I can’t wait to see what happens next. Can you?

Feeling a Little Overwhelmed

This week, I received 100 followers on WordPress. Thank you all so much for reading my little epistles. I don’t always have much to  say, but I declare my right to say it all the same! So, thank you for choosing to read my thoughts.

Starting last week, I began the process of publishing my children’s book, “Jack Learns to Grill.”  I am a bit overwhelmed by it all, but my good friend and author Jackie Smith, has helped me every step of the way. I can’t say how grateful I am to her.

Jack books official illustration1

Anyway, Jack of “Jack Learns.. ” books is a real live dingo that I adopted a few years ago. He is a curious, animated dog who is smart and has the warmest heart and the funniest expressions. His hero status in the “Jack Learns…” books is merited by his empathy for those less fortunate than his family, his desire to understand human conditions such as learning differences, bullies and other sides of humanity that encourages him to be proactive towards others. Jack is an amazing friend to those who may not have friends, a cheerleader for the downtrodden and an activist like none we’ve seen in the animal world. I cannot wait for the book to come out  this month.

This illustration of Jack, courtesy of Tana Leone Jacks of Whimsical Pet Portraits, who said “Yes!” to being my illustrator. Oh my gosh! I can’t thank her enough for her patience in working with me. She is certainly amazing. Check out her Whimsical Pet Portraits linked above. She is able to capture a pet’s personality with just a photo. I have three Whimsical Pet Portraits- one of Jack, one of our Pyrenes/Shepherd mix, Buddy and one of my horse, Licorice. She can do yours too!!

So, if you don’t hear from me much during the next couple of weeks, it is because I am feverishly working to get my first book out. I have three other books following “Jack Learns to Grill.”

Thanks again for your readership!

Book Publishing, Here I Come

Previously, I had decided I was going to use the crowdfunding group, to help fund publishing my children’s book. I have revisited my plan and decided to just go forward with it myself- put my money into the things I need to- it won’t be much and publish my book. I’m very excited about it. I will be contributing some of the proceeds to Saving Carolina Dogs Rescue & Adoption Network. Because my dog, Jack, who is, after all , the star of my books is a Carolina Dog- a dingo. They are the ones responsible for me finding Jack.

My friend Amber had texted me one day saying that a girl in Garland, Texas had adopted a dog thought to be a Carolina Dog, but she couldn’t keep him and  asked if I could go pick him up. So, my husband and I did go and pick him up and it didn’t take long figure out he was something special. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about dingos, other than the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine says hatefully, “A dingo ate cha ba-a-by”

Turns out these dingos are pretty smart. They’ve come over from the Bering Strait long years ago and are as primitive as they can be. They are wonderful, fun-loving, fiercely loyal dogs who love their moms and dads like nobody’s business.

Jack surveying his kingdom.
Jack surveying his kingdom.

Jack is the star of his own book series, “Jack Learns…”  In his first adventure, a newly adopted Jack is bored and wants to learn what grilling is. His second adventure finds him trying to quit whining and his third-well, he learns about bullies. Jack tries to keep the peace with his brothers and sisters, although he and Buddy, one of our Pyrenes/Shepherd mixes used to get into it. They are very separate now! It’s scary business when they get into it . I hope you follow my adventures in publishing these books. They are special because they teach children things without the child really knowing it. One book I am looking forward to writing is the one in which Jack learns not all children learn in the same way. We all learn at different rates, in different ways and not one of those ways is wrong! I can’t wait to teach that to Jack. I am praying these books are as successful as I imagine them. I hope you will join me.

the red in his coat is striking.
the red in his coat is striking.