Looking Through the Rearview Mirror and to the Road Ahead
How does a struggling young reader end up constantly reading? What’s more, how does this struggling young reader end up as an author? Love of stories and determination make that happen.
What are my current writing projects?
First of all, I want to finish Thorns, Thistles, and Love, my great grandmother’s pioneer journey through Kansas and Nebraska. It has been a labor of love and a huge learning curve for me.
Secondly, launching Paxton Plays the Piccolo, a picture book that my oldest daughter and I wrote, is what we both are eager to see. It should be out soon. A portion of the sales will go to the Larimer County Animal Shelter.
Thirdly, I am wrestling with a few ideas for a Tulip’s Disappearing Act sequel, a new Little Honker book, or using a few memory sketches from Anna’s story for kids. As usual, I keep thinking of “what about” possibilities.
What lead me to my particular writing projects?
Moving and sorting through boxes gave me the idea for my Little Honker series. I discovered a short story that my youngest daughter wrote called, “The Cat That Went Honk,” and I asked her if I might play around with the idea. I combined that with the memory of our female Siamese cat giving birth to six kittens on our bed. Thus, my Little Honker series began.
My father-in-law’s veterinarian practice, my sister-in-law’s creativity, and skunk research assisted me in creating the Margie series. Skunks do much more than provide the famous Skunk Perfume! They are myopic, hence the spray when frightened, but also excellent for the environment.
Writing with my Creative Writing students gave me the idea for my critter series. It also gave me the idea for Tulip’s Disappearing Act when I remembered “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and wrote the poem called “The Bridge” about a trick I played on my younger brother. Our trip to Norway was the perfect way for me to flesh out that story.
The Pandemic gave me the idea for Mixing Up Some Happiness because everyone was cooking favorite recipes at home. The book is filled with yummy and creative ways of giving you a little comfort when you need it. I received more submissions than I ever imagined and have loved trying them out! The stories submitted with each recipe make you want to just sit down and
read the recipe book like a collection of short stories.
What are my biggest challenges?
Marketing is a huge challenge for me. I am not very good at it and find that it takes much time away from family and writing. In spite of this, I did win awards for both my Margie books, all of my critter books, and Tulip’s Disappearing Act. You have to enter a contest to get an award and I failed to do that with my Little Honker books.
This state is wrapped in talent and I feel fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group. Because I am constantly reading and writing, I seek out this state’s talent to inspire me.