Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I can't believe another year has come and gone.  I would like to thank all of you for reading this blog and following the musings of a every grateful teacher and author.  I hope that your  new year is filled with good things and plenty!  I look forward to writing more for you this coming year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

May you and yours be surrounded by Christ's love this Christmas!

In the words of Tiny Tim,  
"God bless us everyone."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tag! I'm It!

I have not played Tag or It since I was a child, so when I got "tagged" in this game by Katja Willemsen that helps promote an author's upcoming or newly released book, I got my gym shoes on and started running to see who I can tag next.  But before catching up to anyone, Katja had some questions for me to answer first.

What is the title of the next book you are working on?   
Mark the Missing Moose

Where did the idea come from your book?  
This is interesting.  A parent of a former student I taught back in 1997 recently contacted me via Social Media.  Unfortunately, tragedy struck her family when her 21 year old step-son took his own life this past August.  She said I had such a positive impact on her daughter that she reached out to me in hopes of wanting to write a children's book to teach kids that it is okay to open up and share their feelings.

What genre does your book fall under?  
Children's fiction

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?  
After becoming devastated at the loss his best friend, Jimmy comes to realize that opening up and sharing his feelings are the first steps in helping him heal.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
My book is being published through Tate Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  About two months

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  
While I am sure there are stories out there on the subject of overcoming loss and sharing your feelings, I believe Mark the Missing Moose is definitely unique in its storyline.

What or who inspired you to write this story?  
After my first children's book, The Moose at the Manger, was published I wanted to write another.  I did not have a particular storyline in mind. Then Sandi Czyznikiewicz contacted me about the loss of her step-son and her situation inspired me to write this story.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?  
With the suicide rate being what it is today, if we can teach children at a young age to open up and reach out to others for help, maybe we can make a difference.  Hopefully, Mark the Missing Moose is a story to do just that.

Here are some exciting authors I have tagged to tell you about their NEXT BIG THING!

Paul R. Hewlett and his newly released book Lionel's Christmas Adventure! 

Virginia Finnie and her newly released book Hey Warrior Kids! Grab Your Slingshot!

Amanda Stephan who just finished her latest work!

Darlene Shortridge who is working on a new story!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Just a short rant for today!

What message is being sent to our children when an administrator in the school refuses to say The Pledge of Allegiance?  This country and all of its hard-working citizens supports EVERYONE who lives here. For this individual to openly "pass the mike" each time he is the one doing morning announcements is disgusting.  We wonder why young people today don't have respect and pride in our country...the answer gets clearer each day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What a Show!

This past Sunday was Musichorale's 66th Christmas Noel Concert.  My husband and I have been in this choir for the past couple of years.  There were over 700 people in the audience for this concert and the show was a huge success!  The compliments are still coming in, and I can't get over the positive response to The Moose at the Manger.  I had the privilege of reading my book, The Moose at the Manger, during the concert while Musichorale enhanced my story with the singing of very appropriate, festive songs.  Pictures from my book were shown on the "big screen" in the auditorium and it was awe-inspiring to say the least.

I would like to thank Musichorale for the opportunity to share my story and a special thanks to the director of Musichorale, Jeff Silhan, for picking such appropriate music.  It added so much to the show! Thanks also to all of the people who purchased a book and showed their support for Musichorale.

In the spirit of giving this Christmas season, 50% of all proceeds I make on book sales between now and January 1, 2013 will be donated to the Musichorale Scholarship Fund.   Stock up now with these great gift ideas and help a great cause all at once.

Just click this link to start your shopping!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Where is the bottom?

I tried to stay away from school news seeing as this is the Christmas season, but I must take today to share the latest nonsense.

The Chicago Board of Education instituted a new discipline (or rather non-discipline) policy this year.  The logic behind this SNAFU is that there were too many detentions and suspensions given out.  So, the powers that be decided that the best remedy to curve negative behavior is to have little to no consequences for ones actions.  

The most common used form of "restorative" behavior is having students fill out a reflection paper.  

Act out in class...fill out a reflection paper.

Walk out of class without permission...fill out a reflection paper.

Get sent to the office for disruptive/defiant behavior...fill out a reflection paper.

Curse out a teacher...$%^&%...write a one line apology that looks like a 2-year old wrote it (no offense to any two year olds).

Have a permanent marker at school...YIKES!...DETENTION!!!!  

Get into a fight during lunch....back to writing a reflection paper.

Three things are happening for sure this year....

1 -Detentions/Suspension are definitely down!

2- Behavior is steadily getting worse!

3- It seems that CPS must have given up on the "going green" phase that they've been in because the amount of paper wasted on "reflection papers" in unbelievable.

I can only imagine what the behavior will look like come Spring!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Update...Concert just one week away!

I hope you can join Muse the Moose and me at this year's Christmas concert!

Come and CELEBRATE THE JOY of the Christmas season on December 9, 2012!

If you look closely, you can find me in the picture, but Muse the Moose is much more photogenic!

For advance tickets at a discount, simply click on this link 

To learn more about Musichorale, click this link 

Questions? Contact me at