Jack’s Fight, an Update

Thursday, I took Jack to the vet for the surgery to rid his body of a cancerous skin tumor. The vet, Dr. Brittain, thought it would be approximately a forty-five minute surgery. As it turned out, it was a little more complicated than that. But, he came through the surgery with flying colors . The incision was quite long , due to the size of the tumor and it looks as if he’s had a tummy tuck.

But, the news is good. No cancer in his lymph nodes and she doesn’t suspect any on the inside. The tumor could grow back, but in the event it does, we’ll catch it when it is small and it will be easier to remove.

Two days after his surgery, he is happy as a lark and last night resumed howling with the coyotes promptly at 11:15 p.m. as is his nightly ritual. He is on antibiotics for two weeks and then his stitches will come out.

I am so grateful to my friend and fellow author, Jackie Smith, for setting up a Go Fund Me account for Jack. We could have never gotten the surgery without it. For those of you who donated to the account, thank you so much. Our Jack is on the mend!

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The Inevitable Death of the Dash

As many of you know, I enjoy using dashes in my writing. To me, it’s like my own personal signature. Doesn’t every writer have one? After all, e.e.cummings did not capitalize letters in an effort to keep the text the most important in his poetry. Other authors had odd quirks as well. Mine was, well, the dash. It helped me break my thoughts into two parts or helped clarify what I meant.

Today, however, I had a lunch with my good friend and author Jackie Smith, who just happens to be my beta reader as well. Suffice it to say my dashes drove her nuts and I’ve been told (nicely, mind you) to get over the dashes already!  Since Jackie has my best interests at heart, I’m willing to comply. Therefore, you will not see many, if any,dashes in my posts again. I will miss them, but I’m over it already. I’m going to think positively. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

Thank you Jackie, for your wonderful guidance and thank you, too, for reading my novella, adding suggestions and generally cheering me on! I appreciate all you do for me!

If you have not read Jackie’s blog or her books, Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds and Boy Band, there is still time!  You can find all of the above just here

And an unabashed advertisement for my children’s  book, “Jack Learns to Grill” can be found here. If you have not read it to your kids yet, please get a copy and do so now. The price has been lowered and is now available for $10.00. Thanks!

look for this book, "Jack Learns to Grill
look for this book, “Jack Learns to Grill

Talking in the Library?

I am so excited! This coming Saturday, I will be at the Melissa Public Library giving a talk to a writers group about the writing and publishing process. I was always told to be quiet in the library, but this time, I get to talk! How cool is that?

It is interesting to me that I would be speaking to this writers group in this little town. You see, my mother was born in Melissa, Texas. She  passed away in 2004 and it is a sign to me that she is up  there in Heaven watching over me and watching this accomplishment. That’s such a comfort to think she knows what is going on with me.

Writing a children’s book a bit different than writing for an adult novel. For one thing, one has to think about the illustrations. What kind? How many? Photos? Drawings? Age of the child reading the book. Those types of things. I am also in the middle of writing my first novel for young adults and adults and let me tell you it is pretty different and in some respects, easier than writing for children . No matter who you write for you, you want your reader to be satisfied.

So many things going on and more engagements upcoming. After this weekend, May 1-2 , to be exact, I will be in Dennison, Texas at Authorfest! I cannot wait!  Then, the book signing at Half Price Books in Rockwall, Texas May 16. I have some things just after that and will let you all know about them when they are firmed up.

Thanks for hanging out with me for a bit. Have a good night . I hope you are reading something good. If not, try reading Boy Band by Jacqueline E.  Smith. She has one more amazing book on her hands. Enjoy!

First Book Signing

Today was my very first book signing. I thought I was going to be nervous, but I was filled with a strange calm-as if this is where I was always meant to be. Those who know me well, know my nerves constantly get the best of me. But, today, I was determined not to let that happened and it didn’t. I felt at home , at ease in the C.F. Goodwin Library in Royse City, Texas.

Many friends and relatives came out to cheer me on and get their books signed. I read part of  “Jack Learns to Grill” to my audience and left them to find out the ending for themselves. That was hugely fun for me- to read my own book to an audience for heaven’s sake. “Who’da thunk it?”

The book was well received , was oohed and awwed over and everyone loved the artwork in the book. I have to call the illustrations artwork because they are watercolor paintings by my friend, Tana Jacks. She is an amazing talent and I’m so glad she is my illustrator.

My best friend (since 9th grade) was there, cheering me on and fixing up my table with my books, cards , setting it up so professionally. Thank you Kathy!

My good friend and mentor, Jackie Smith took time out of her busy schedule to attend and it made all the difference for me. She has held my hand and guided me along and still is. She has written three books and working on another. She is an amazing author and if you haven’t read her books, they are Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds, and Boy Band (to be released this month!) Gosh, she is just so talented. I want to be just like her when I grow up! No kidding. She’s that good.

Anyway, thank you to all who came and made the signing such a success. Here are some photos to enjoy. Now, you’ll be at the signing too!

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Signing a book
Signing a book

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Up and Down in the List

I published my first book, Jack Learns to Grill , as you all know on Thursday, Martch 12. Friday, my friend Jackie Smith, told me it was in the top 100 children’s books on Amazon. Then, it went to the top 20!  No one was more surprised than me! Stephen, my husband and I watched as it climbed up the charts and then down and then up. To say it was an emotional couple of days has been an understatement. It has been truly humbling, fun and interesting to watch the charts .One could get quite obsessed over these numbers. But, I choose not to. It is fun to do so, but I never want my writing to be all about numbers and numbers alone.

My friends have been wonderful in spreading the word about my book and buying it . Thank you for the reblogs and liking my twitters… oh  wait! that’s tweets! (can you tell i’ve only just started tweeting?) I appreciate it more than you know!

If you haven’t read or bought my book, here is the link once more . I am working on the second in the series of Jack Learns books. Can’t wait to get it out! yay!!!!!

Book Released Today!

My first book, “Jack Learns to Grill” was released today – finally! And yet, just in time. I am so excited and can’t wait to see where the Jack Learns series takes me.

I wrote this little story about a year or two ago and have only recently , with the help of my good friend Jackie Smith, author of Cemetery Tours and my family  decided that publishing it was a real possibility. This is something I have dreamed of for so many years. Now, it is a reality and I’m so excited!!!! Thank you to Jackie and my family.

If you would like to see what Jack Learns to Grill is about, please click here. To buy your own copy, click here or here . Thanks for your support in my writing endeavors!

Just One More Illustration to Send Out

My book is almost a reality! I just sent most of the illustrations to my friend, Jackie Smith, author of Cemetery Tours , Between Worlds, upcoming Boy Band and the third installment of Cemetery Tours. She is helping me format the book and I couldn’t be more grateful.

The illustrations for “Jack Learns to Grill” are amazing. My friend, Tana Jacks did a marvelous job of capturing Jack’s personality along with my husband’s , other dogs and even my personality. I get to have pink hair in the book and I’m very excited about that! How did she know I’ve always wanted pink hair?

Originally, my book was set to come out today, on my dad’s birthday, my granddaughter’s birthday and the day my sister passed away. It’s okay. I think now my book needs to have a day of its own. One that can be celebrated just for what it is and what it represents. The Jack Learns series of books are ones that teach tolerance towards others  and I want it to succeed on it’s own.

Meanwhile, I have one more illustration to send to Miss Jackie. It was going to be the cover of the book and is much bigger than the others, so I must shrink it down to send. I’m hoping I can just enlarge the illustration for the cover instead. We’ll see.

Thanks for staying tuned to my new project.  I’ll announce the release date soon!