Doggone It!

Dear Readers and Dog Lovers,

Recently, I fostered an adorable, lovable poodle-bichon mix named Dante. He was a mini version of my own dog Jimmy Lambchop. I had been in the market for a friend for Jimmy for some time, and I was sure Dante was the one.

I will never learn if the person who named Dante admired the Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), best known for the epic poem The Divine Comedy. Since I had been a literature major in college, that possibility struck me immediately . As a result, I found myself calling Dante “Mr. A” for the nine days he called my house his home.

Dante was a rescue from Mexico who, at the age of seven, deserved a forever home. Sadly, mine just didn’t turn out to be the one. You see, Dante and Jimmy just didn’t “click.” No sparks. No interest. No engagement. Returning Dante to the rescue owner was heartbreaking for me. Perhaps for Dante as well. He had gotten very comfortable at my house. I had gotten very attached to him.

So get a clue, Readers. I miss Dante but know that the right loving home awaits him soon. (Thankfully, I’m told there is a long list of applicants for him.) As difficult as returning a foster to a shelter or rescue can be, stepping up and fostering an animal can be so rewarding. Just think about all the love and security you can give them, even if it isn’t forever. Fostering teaches you to live and love in the moment, regardless of the outcome. That’s one powerful lesson.

 

 

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Book Your Donation

Dear Readers,

I just got back from the Post Office. I mailed four boxes equaling twenty-four copies of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets to my Twitter raffle winners!

Twenty kids and four teachers in four different states will soon be reading my book in their #VirtualBookClubs. What a great feeling I have that I’m doing something constructive for kids and teachers during this Shut Down!

So get a clue, Readers. Keep looking for ways to bring a smile to others during this unusual time in everyone’s life. You’ll get back much more than you give!

 

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My Characters Live!

Hello, Kids, Teachers, Librarians, Parents, and Other Readers,

I just received word today from Tom Jordan, my narrator with ACX, that the Audiobook for Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets is almost finished!

After I do the final proof and hit the approve button, we bring the Botanic Hill detectives and the rest of the cast to life. Release date is tentatively set for mid May on Audible.com.

So get a clue, Readers. Audiobooks are great for classrooms, libraries, in the car, at home for reluctant readers or any readers, and whenever you just want to hear the characters’ voices. Get ready to listen!

 

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“And the People Stayed Home”

Dear Readers,

While out walking my dog Jimmy Lambchop yesterday, I came across the following evocative poem that a neighbor had taped to her front yard’s Little Free Library box.

I was so moved by it that I came home and Googled the poet so that I could present her poem to you. You might have already read it since, apparently, it’s gone viral–an ironic term these days.

It was written in March 2020 by Kitty O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain from Wisconsin. She and her husband live with five dogs and three cats. She wrote this poem “while trying to process the catastrophic news surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.”  Here is her poem:

And the People Stayed Home

And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested,
and exercised, and made art, and played games,
and learned new ways of being, and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant,
dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.

So get a clue, Readers. I hope many of you have “create[d] new ways to live and heal the earth fully” as you continue to wind your way through this unprecedented time. Please be safe, stay home, and stay well.

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Let’s Keep the Kids Reading!

Hi, Kids, and those who love you (teachers, family members, godparents, friends, neighbors, etc.),

My goal as a writer continues to be getting my stories into kids’ hands and hearts. Since most schools are closed, we all need to help KEEP THE KIDS READING!

For my part, I have reduced the price of my eBook on Amazon to $2.99 through April 30. (If you’re reading this, my Thursday blog, for the first time in my April 30 Newsletter, it isn’t too late! The sale doesn’t end until midnight.)

Please click on the following link to order and upload your copy of my eBook right now:  Nutmeg Street eBook

Then, to KEEP THE KIDS WRITING, please encourage them to leave a review of my book on Amazon. Click on the same link above, scroll down as you look left, and click on “Write a Customer Review.” Write as little or as much as you like. Submit. That’s it!

So get a clue, Kids and Adults. I would love to see what you kids are thinking about Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets. Please post a review. I’ll be on the lookout it! Thanks so much.

 

 

 

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Contact the Squares!

Hello, Kids and Other Readers,

Recently, I talked about how we are living in an unusual time with staying home and social distancing to be safe. We can use this problem for the good. I call it being Lemonade Heroes.

So while you’re taking lots of lemons and making sweet lemonade in the form of good deeds and having a generous spirit, consider trying this system to show others that you care all the time. I call it, “Contact the Squares!”

To start, take a sheet of notebook paper or printer paper. Fold it in half three times so that when you unfold it, you have eight squares or rectangles.

Next, write “Every Day” in one of the top squares. Then, label each of the rest with a day of the week.  (See photo sample.)

Then, write down the names of people whom you will make an effort to contact each one of those days to check in, to see how they’re doing, or just to say hi. Think hard. Don’t leave anyone out! For instance some people, like your grandparents and your BFF, you might want to contact daily. Others, like your classmates, you might feel the need to contact once a week only. Others, like your teachers or elderly neighbors, maybe twice a week. I left parents out since you are probably with one or more of them every day. If not, add them. Of course, you know your friends and family better than I do, so adapt this system to work for yourself and others. You get to decide.

Now, here comes the fun, caring part! Follow through with a text, email, personal message, or good old-fashioned phone call or written note to each person in the square on that particular day, plus your “Every Day” list. Repeat next week and for as long as you want or feel the need.

So get a clue, Everyone. This system can work whether you’re a child or an adult. And there will be many people out there who will know they can count on you, a Lemonade Hero, to care about them. And you’ll get a good feeling knowing that you are doing your part to help.

 

 

 

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