Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

LETTERS

August 8, 2017

Just Sayin'

When is the last time you wrote a letter? When is the last time you received one? In our age of texts and emojis, letters have dwindled. When I wrote WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I was able to study over 600 letters written by my parents serving in WW2. Who preserves texts, even for the life of the phone? I decided I’d write a novel totally in letters. The result is JUST SAYIN’, a middle-grade novel in letters. The postmark and setting are Hamilton, MO, where I grew up.

COOL LANGUAGES

July 27, 2017

Every now and then, something wonderful arrives in the mail–a book I wrote but can’t read. I love imagining people in other countries reading my words in their words, their language:  Indonesian, Estonian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Norwegian, Korean, Chinese, German, French, Romanian, etc. Often I’m not sure what language it is.

KIDS STILL SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS

July 21, 2017

babysitters

This post only makes sense if you saw my last posting about Art Linkletter and his classic, KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. Here are a few kid quotes from the sequel I was honored to write: KIDS ARE STILL SAYING THE DARNDEST THINGS:

Q: What does God look like?

A: He’s really, really, really old–like 23. But He never looks a day older every time you see him.

Q: What makes God angry?

A: When his creations turn out too good . . like cockroaches and my brother.

Q: Why do you think we have mothers?

A: She’s the only one who knows where the Scotch Tape is???

Q: Who’s the boss at your house?

A: My dad’s the boss of our house . . . until Grandma comes over. Then he’s just one of us.

So many kid quotes in this book have shown up on the Internet. I’ve received forwarded emails from friends who thought I could use a good laugh. Only, all the quotes were from my book.

Finally, the three beauties in this picture are my granddaughters. Maybe I feel another book coming on: GRANDKIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS.

DAD’S MYSTERIOUS PROPHESY

July 19, 2017

Dad's prophesy

Let me explain. If you’ve read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you know that my parents left me an Army trunk with over 600 letters they’d written each other while serving overseas as Army Dr. and Army nurse. I also found a cigar box (neither smoked cigars) with intriguing contents, including this memo. It’s an old prescription blank of Dad’s. How old? Well, note the phone numbers: 21 (home) and 66 (office). In case you can’t make out the handwriting, the note says: “Daughter is writing a book called ‘Parents Say the Darndest Things.” 1) At the time, I was way too young to declare that I wanted to be a writer. 2) Who remembers Art Linkletter’s classic KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS? 3) Decades later than this mysterious note was penned, I wrote:KIDS ARE STILL SAYING THE DARNDEST THINGS, with an introduction by Art Linkletter!

ROCK AND ROLL!

July 4, 2017

Rock Away Granny Cover (2)

This is my new picture book, and I’ll bet it will bring back a few memories. “We get out records–they’re small and black. A guy named Elvis has a giant stack.”

How many of these dances (all in this little book) do you remember? West Coast Swing; The Twist; The Boogaloo; The Swim; The Monster Mash; The Bunny Hop (instructions included)?  “I slide and guide. Then I swirl and twirl./ My gran grooves out like a go-go girl!  And we rock, rock, rock at Granny’s house tonight.”

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU WERE

June 28, 2017

shock

WHAT? Big sis, Maureen, and little Dandi look even funnier than usual. I’ve been trying to figure out what had us so surprised. Then I saw it. *Do you?* And if you don’t, then take a wild and funny guess, which is what I would have done if I hadn’t spotted what I’ve spotted. And that is one way stories happen. I love that. When I teach a writing workshop, sometimes it’s fun to pass out pictures (not of me–I’m not that crazy) and let writers come up with a short story that explains the picture. Sound like fun?

http://www.dandibooks.com

 

 

WITH LOVE, . . . Whatever I Was

June 20, 2017

Nurse Dandi

I just ran across this photo yesterday. (And I probably should have kept running.) It’s funny because last week Joe (my wonderful husband) asked me if I ever wanted to be a nurse or doctor like my parents. I said no. I always wanted to be a horse trainer or a writer. And yet, here I am, nursing a bandaged doll. But I didn’t play with dolls. I preferred plastic horses. My big sister, Maureen, wanted to be a nurse from the moment she was born . . . until her biology class had to pith a frog. She loved to play hospital with her dolls. So I’m guessing she made me do it.

WITH LOVE . . . TO MY SISTER

June 12, 2017

Maureen and Dandi

The cute blonde is my sister–my older sister by 3 years–Maureen Mae Daley (now Pento). Growing up in our little town of Hamilton, MO, I think we were best friends. We rode our horses bareback, swam in the pond, played with our dogs, cats, ducks, birds. We built forts in the summer and igloos and snowmen in the winter. At night, we slept in our bunk beds and whispered in the dark. When we both got the measles at the same time, we shared glorious days missing school and reading books and comic books together.

Maureen is still my best friend. She’s been more exited about WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE than I have, and she’s done more marketing and publicity too. If you’ve read the book, you have an idea where Maureen got her name. Everybody loves Maureen, especially her sister.

BOOK SALE–BACKYARD HORSES

June 5, 2017

Horse Dreams

Every now and then, my publisher puts a book on sale for a few days or a month. I love that! But I confess I dropped the ball on this one, since we’re already into June. (How did that happen?) For the month of June, wherever they sell books, the first e-book in BACKYARD HORSES,  a series of juvenile novels, is $1.99 (which always sounds better than $2). It’s set in Hamilton, MO, where I grew up, where I rode our “backyard horses,” un-fancy horses boarded in our backyard or a near pasture–definitely not in a fancy stable.

DAD & DANDI

May 31, 2017
Dad and Dandi


Hamilton, Missouri

Since my last blog featured Mom (Helen) and my big sister, Maureen, I decided to share these photos of Dad (Frank) and me, taken in the home where I grew up, the first and last house my parents owned. I loved growing up in a small town (population 1,701, before the shoe factory closed).

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you know from the letters he wrote that Frank was a very good writer. Being a doctor, however, did get in the way of becoming an author. Still, the American Medical Association kept electing him secretary because they loved to read his witty versions of their boring meetings. Once, he had a cartoon in Reader’s Digest. And during a time before the Vietnam war became unpopular, he wrote an anti-war editorial for the Kansas City Star. I can still remember defending my dad’s stance when I went to school the day after the article came out, although none of us had a clue about Vietnam or war.