Sunday, February 23, 2014

Upcoming Events

I have some wonderful events coming up and I hope some of you can attend .... On Saturday and Sunday, March 8 & 9 I will be at the 6th Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling. The 6th Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling is a FREE 2-day family AND pet-friendly handmade shopping extravaganza. Over 100 Artists, Crafters, Designers, Authors & Food Makers selling unique items they have hand-crafted! All proceeds from the Event Raffle benefit the Humane Society of North Texas!

Visit the FUNKY FINDS WEB-SITE  or the FUNKY FINDS FB Page for more information.

I was invited to The Tucson Festival of Books so I will be heading to Tucson, AZ on Friday, March 14 so that I'm there and ready to be a part of the Author's Pavilion on Saturday, March 15 from 2pm - 4pm.  If you know anyone in the Tucson area, please let them know of this great event!

 A great way to spend the FIRST DAY OF SPRING ... Come on out to the Spring Craft and Garden Show, Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 9am - 5pm. This is the first year for this event .... so stop on by, check it out and make it a HUGE SUCCESS!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ridglea Hills - 4th Grade

W R I T E R ' S    W O R K S H O P

After about 6 months of communication between the Ridglea Hills Elementary Counselor - Ms. Rogers and myself .... the 4th Grade Writers Workshop came to fruition! It was a pleasure to visit Mrs. Wengert and Ms. Hall's 4th Grade Writing classes on Wednesday, February 11. 4th graders always make me a little nervous ... so I knew I better bring my A game!

The teachers and children were welcoming and it was great fun to talk with them about creative writing.

I first spoke with them about the importance of keeping a journal and what kinds of things can go into a journal. It can be just about anything - sketches, definitions, new words, story ideas, thoughts and dreams ... I use mine for EVERYTHING! And read them a few excerpts from the sequel to A Simpler Time! My favorite journal is the Commonplace Journal from LEVENGER .

I explained to them about the writing process and the importance of working with the editor, illustrator and graphic designer to make your book PERFECT! I shared with them how long it took me to write The Life of Bud (10 years) and how my persistence paid off to get it published! One of their questions was how hard is it to give your book to an illustrator to do the illustrations. They loved seeing how Greg messed with me with the SpongeBob Nightmare Drawing! They agreed that The Life of Bud should NOT have been a cartoon book and really thought the illustrations were pretty!

I enjoyed sharing with them how I emailed Ted Kerasote asking for an endorsement, and him emailing me back in just TWO DAYS! I told them how he agreed to endorse the book, but he also gave me some great advice about editing A Simpler Time and all future works. I told them how exciting it was for him to invite me to his Austin book signing and actually meeting him!


The meat of the Writer's Workshop though was talking to the children about the importance of trying out new words in their writing ... using "high dollar" words. They agreed that using interesting language makes the reader want to continue reading ... So ... I read A Simpler Time and we began looking for Wonderful Words ... i.e. scanning, mesmerized, spying, persistence, picturesque, are just a few. I then challenged them to use two new words in their writing they are currently working on. Most agreed they would try!

The children had time for questions and I gave each of them one of my handmade pocket journals! I will be posting on Teacher's Pay Teacher's soon with some lesson plans for A Simpler Time! So you can see how to make and use a pocket journal!

Some students also wanted my autograph, and we were able to take a few posed pictures!
Thank you very much Mattrail Rogers, Mrs. Wengert, and Ms. Hall for inviting me to your school.  I had a wonderful time and hope to visit your school again!
If you would like me to visit your school for a Writer's Workshop, Literacy Night, or School Carnival please email me at
ALSO ... If you would like the chance to win a PetSmart Gift Card, download a rescue dog lesson plan, and win my TWO Muffin books ... visit Pre-K Pages to enter for a chance to WIN!
GOOD LUCK!!!!!  : )


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Spring has Sprung

The Groundhog said 6 more weeks of Winter and it is still cold and snowy ALL over the United States, but on Saturday, February 8 Spring Sprang at the SOKOL Gymnastics Spring Craft Fair! Cupcakes, jewelry, handmade pens by PUGH, were just some of the vendors at this event.

I have been wanting to make my booth more KID friendly and inviting ... so I have added a couple bean bag chairs, a rug, and a small table for coloring MUFFIN pictures! IT WORKED! It was wonderful seeing the kids feeling right at home in my cozy children's area! It also gave me a chance to talk with their parents and make some sales! I also got invited to the Bryson Elementary Spring Carnival because a mom saw me and said "My son LOVES your book and wants to meet you!" She went on to say "so you're Muffin's mom!"  Her mother had purchased the first Muffin book a while ago and so I will be a vendor at Bryson's Spring Carnival in April!

Let me know what you think of my KIDS area! Any suggestions on how to make it better? I'm thinking a few clipboards instead of a little table ...
Comment below and let me know ... if I have more than 10 comments I will choose a person who can choose one of ANY of my books.

What would a SOKOL Craft Fair be without BACON? Yep ... BACON! There's Steven, trying to make friends with the SOKOL piggy! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014



Even though the groundhog is telling us there is 6 more weeks of Winter -- you can celebrate SPRING at the SOKOL GYMNASTICS Spring Craft Show -- I will be there with 40+ other vendors to Celebrate SPRING!

Happy Groundhog's DAY! 

I always think of my Grandma on February 2nd! She was born in 1899 ... can you imagine? She was born in Czechoslovakia and moved here with my Grandpa in the 1920's. Life has changed so much since then! Happy Birthday Baba Demkovich! I miss you!!! Here is a picture of my Grandma and my Grandpa on their wedding day - September 12, 1921. I always wonder why she was sitting down in this picture! I wonder what they were thinking about? And ... I love her dress!

My Grandma shares her birthday with one of those "odd" and silly American traditions. Believe it or not, it has been around even before my Grandma was born .... Groundhog Day! Groundhog Day is a long-celebrated tradition, and first occurred in its current location of Gobbler's Knob in 1887. Punxsutawney Phil's predictions throughout the past century have been found to only have been 39 percent accurate. But that doesn't really seem to matter ... Don't many of you find it fun to wake up on February 2nd and hear if Phil's seen his shadow or not!?  I know many of my friends in Indiana are hoping Phil does not see his shadow! (Hang in there guys ... the humid days of Summer in Indiana will be here before you know it!)  My Kindergarten class voted 12 (Phil will see his shadow), 7 (Phil will not see his shadow). The kids here, in Texas, are hoping for another SNOW day this Winter!

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Will Phil see his shadow tomorrow?  or NOT?

This morning, Muffin saw her Shadow, in an unlikely place ... THE BIG BED ... she will now have 0 weeks of peace on the BIG Bed!

And ... here's hoping Spring really does come on March 21st!  :)