Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interview with the Progress paper in Yukon

I was recently interviewed by Mindy Ragan Wood for the July 29, 2017 edition of the Progress newspaper in Yukon, OK.  On pages 1D and 3D, were two photographs and much information about my eight books that I've written. Thanks, Mindy, for taking the time to interview me and for writing such a wonderful article.

Thursday, July 27, 2017



Clancy is my newest book. It's about a goat who suddenly finds a delicious treat on the farm. He searches everywhere for it, and enjoys it tremendously--except for the nails. Are you intrigued with the nails I just mentioned?  While searching all around the farm, Clancy finally finds a great supply of this favorite treat. However, he may have a little competition. It creates quite a ruckus!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Writing and Photography Awards

Writing and Photography Awards

Some of the awards I have received are for my books while others have been for poetry and photography.

Writing Awards  and Photography Awards

2017 Creative Women of Oklahoma Award for Poetry (Sunsets and Haiku) from Gamma State of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International  

2017  Poetry Award          First Place  Gold           Yukon Senior Games
          Short Story award   Second Place  Silver     Yukon Senior Games

         Photography Awards  First Place  Gold  for Nature photography  Yukon Senior Games
                                             First Place  Gold  for Every day life  photography  Yukon Senior

2016 Poetry Award  First Place in Poetry      Yukon Senior Games

2015 Poetry Award  First Place in Poetry      Yukon Senior Games
         Photography   First Place                       Yukon Senior Games {nature}

2013 Oklahoma Writer's Federation Inc.  Best Juvenile Book  (Ages 2-19) for The Great Elephant Escape

2004    International Reading Award/Children's Choice Award  for Grady's in the Silo
            Oklahoma Center of the Book  for Grady's in the Silo

Creative Women of Oklahoma Award in Poetry

Creative Women of Oklahoma Award in Poetry

Today I received the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award in Poetry from Gamma State of  Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for my Sunsets and Haiku book. It's a beautiful award and was presented at their state conference in Oklahoma City. I enjoy writing haiku, and I love taking pictures of sunsets. My book was published by Doodle and Peck Pub. Co.

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is a professional organization of women educators based in Austin, TX. It promotes personal growth and excellence in education, and there are thirty-six chapters in Oklahoma.

My friend, Hannah Harrison, also attended today. She received the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award for Illustrations. Below is a picture of Hannah and me. And, a picture of the award I received.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Grady County Outstanding Readers Celebration

Grady County Outstanding Readers Celebration

      I recently spoke at the Grady County Outstanding Reader's Celebration. That particular evening, over 250 students representing all the schools in Grady Co. were given reading certificates and recognized at the Activity Center on the Chickasha High School campus for their reading ability.

     These young students were dressed up and very excited. I don't often see evening celebrations like this one. The students, their parents, and grandparents celebrated their reading achievements that evening.
     There were signs that these boys and girls were good readers. They were quiet, focused, and disciplined during my presentation. They weren't talkative, noisy, or running around in the auditorium. Sitting in the audience were parents, grandparents, and teachers who were proud of each child's success.

     I didn't get any pictures that evening. I wish I would have done so. It was truly a great evening.

    Congratulations to all those wonderful readers in Grady County. You really are outstanding!

Introducing Scanner at a Variety of Schools

Introducing Scanner at a Variety of Schools

Introducing Scanner to young students has been great this semester. The book arrived in February, and by March, David Barrow, the illustrator, and I, were busy with many school visits. Some schools were so big that we only introduced Scanner to just one grade. Sometimes, grades Pre-K to 4th grade were included in the presentation. Those schools were smaller, but still very enthusiastic about hearing Scanner's story.
Usually I am asked to do an author's visit alone. I haven't been able to work with any of my illustrators since they live so far away. This time, David Barrow, lives nearby, and we're able to do a team visit. I usually cover introducing the two of us, and tell a little bit about publishing a book. Then I read my book. Next, David tells a little bit about his illustrations, and draws a picture or two for the students. They love it!

You Tube has a short one minute trailer on Scanner. Please check it out.        Scanner trailer

Here are some pictures of schools that we visited.

I'm just beginning the program. I'm talking about how a manuscript becomes a book. Mr. Barrow is waiting for his part of the program. He'll show how he illustrated the book, and he'll draw a few illustrations.
I'm showing students my "Scanner" dog.
Getting ready to read "Scanner" to some classes.
An interpreter for the deaf is also telling Scanner's story.

Just reading about Scanner in this picture.
Everyone seems to be listening intently to Scanner's story.
I always enjoy visiting this school. They created a great banner for David and me.

Great group of students. They were wonderful listeners and asked many questions about publishing, writing, and illustrating.
We had four grades in there, and they were so quiet. Good questions, too.

The Oklahoma Land Run

         The Oklahoma Land Run book was published in 2009. In the book, a young boy named Jesse wants to help his father stake a claim during the first of five land runs in Oklahoma. The setting is around the Yukon-El Reno area. Jesse's father has sustained an injury and cannot drive the wagon to search for land. He also doesn't want his son driving against the men who are set on claiming land any way they can get it. And, they have to watch out for "sooners". Pa has to make the decision to let his son drive for him or give up his chances to stake a claim.
       I'm often asked to come to schools during April and read my book. Some schools choose to have land runs, and the children often dress up as pioneers, sit on the ground to eat their lunches, and play a few old-fashioned games. If older students are available, then families are formed, and the families sit together to eat. There's usually a land run, sack races, and often three-legged races. One school has a group of square dancers come in and show students how to square dance. The school also had a trick roper.
      My presentation usually includes a selection of items from around the 1889-1907 time frame. A few are replicas, but others are authentic.
     I usually have some quilts, a rug beater, a washboard, some kitchen items, lye soap, a few pieces of children's clothing, feed sacks,  drinking gourds, etc. I also emphasize that there wasn't any electricity for plugging in computers, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, televisions, etc, and, sometimes, no running water. It usually takes about 45 minutes to read my land run book and present my "show and tell" to students.

Below is a picture at a school that shows me reading to students. In the background among the school's library books are tables with some of my "show and tell" items. It's always a fun presentation.

Reading my Oklahoma Land Run book to third grade students.


I'm showing some of my land run items. On the table are "sad irons", a small churn, a "hand mixer", gourds used for drinking, old glass jars, etc.

More items from my land run presentation. I don't always have room to include all of the items. My car is usually full, though.

A washboard, a coffee grinder, yo-yo bedspread, and baby clothes are shown here.

A link to a You Tube segment I made about my Oklahoma Land Run book.