Archive for the ‘self-esteem’ 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.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

July 24, 2017

Imagine yourself serving in a makeshift hospital overseas. Now, imagine you’re in the middle of World War 2, trying to care for desperately sick, wounded, terrified soldiers. And on top of that, you are a newlywed, and your spouse of only a few weeks is also at the front, caring for battlefield wounded . . . in a different country. How could such a marriage survive?

Letters. These are just two of the Army trunkful of letters from my mom and dad, Dr. Frank Daley and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley. They lived for mail call, when they would hear from each other and know they were safe and still in love, in spite of the physical distance between them. Imagine waiting for a letter, hoping, praying . . . and nothing for days and days. You had been writing 2 or 3 times a day, every day. And then, imagine receiving a treasure–11 letters at once.

I based the novel, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, on my parents’ stories and on the over 600 letters they left me. http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

WOW!

July 13, 2017

WOW

Good News! Best news ever! And it comes in four simple words kids say all the time: Wow! Uh-oh; Yes! Ahh.  WOW! This one releases this month, and I’m so excited about it that I’ll stop and hope you watch the cute, cute video trailer (not made by me) below.

 

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.

May 26, 2017

sillouettes

If all goes as expected, I should be arriving in Hamilton tonight, after a 2-day drive with Joe and Ellie and Cassie, ages 6 and 9. Then tomorrow we’ll all be at the public library/J.C. Penney Museum for two talks/readings/book signings. At 10, I get to talk mainly to kids. At 11, I’ll talk about the stories and letters behind WITH LOVE WHEREVER YOU ARE.

My roots are deep in Hamilton, and this picture is of my family. Dad was the family photographer, but Mom created these silhouettes. I remember sitting behind a sheet while lights and camera clicked on the other side of the sheet. In case you can’t guess, Mom and Dad are on top. Then Maureen (left) and Dandi. And last, Susie, our Dalmatian. Apparently, my first word was “Susie.”sillouettes (2)

I tried to lighten the silhouettes, but I’m not sure if these are better or worse. So, I’m including both. Sorry!

PETE & THE POWER OF STORY

May 4, 2017

Pete (2)

Meet Pete. Dr. Lyle Peter Daley, MD was of the magical, or diabolical, age to have served in WW1 and WW2. In the second war, he taught Army medics and doctors, preparing them for battlefield care. Like his sons, the beloved Dr. Pete had a dry wit and ready smile. Legend has it that when I was born, he took one look at me and declared, “She’s a dandy!” It’s a nice story anyway. I think I have memories of Pete, my grandfather, who was never called anything but “Pete.” I can picture his large shoes under our dining table, where I’d taken refuge during the grownups’ dinner. I can picture him standing beside his old car, and me, clinging to his ankles because I wanted to go with him.

But I was only 2 years old when he died. And now, I can’t distinguish memory from story, stories I’ve heard dozens of times. Am I really remembering those moments?

It was Pete’s heart attack that made Frank and Helen leave Washington D.C., put off their plans of moving south to set up their medical practice, probably in Miami, and go to Hamilton, Missouri, to care for the town’s patients “until Pete recovered.” But Pete never grew strong enough to resume his role as town doctor, and Frank and Helen stayed…and stayed…and stayed–50 years.

 

With Love, Hair-ever You Are

April 12, 2017

hair (2)

First lieutenant Frank R. Daley, M.D., U.S. Army, took issue with the orders of a certain bald Colonel, orders which had little to do with combat. I don’t understand why the colonel wanted Frank to cut his hair. Helen loved to run her fingers through those curls. But Frank’s refusal, along with his comment to the hairless colonel: “I guess misery loves company,” put him on the train to a much more dangerous assignment.

SCHNAPPS

April 9, 2017

Schnapps (2)

I can easily identify 2 out of 3 in this photo: Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley, Army Nurse, and Schnapps, a true-to-life stuffed dog, whose name was a mystery to me before I read the letters I found in the Army trunk. If you’ve read this far in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you know how the dog got its name.

Mom (Helen) was too generous for her own good. If I complimented her necklace or bracelet, she’d attempt to give it to me. But one day when I was probably 7 or 8, I was playing in the attic and found this cute, black stuffed dog. Thinking I’d add it to my stuffed animal collection, I carried it down and ran to find Mom. “Mom! Look what I found in the attic! It’s kind of beat-up, but the stuffing isn’t leaking.”

She took that dog and smiled at it as if she’d finally run into an old friend from another life. “Take it back to the attic, Dandi.”

“But I wanted to play with it!” I protested.

She smiled again at that curly-haired black dog. “Not this one, honey. This one is special. Schnapps belongs to me.”

I thought about telling her “Schnapps” was a dumb name for a dog. I thought about pointing out that she was too old for stuffed animals. But something stopped me–maybe her expression; maybe having her keep something I wanted. It certainly wasn’t like the mother I knew.

When I came to the first mention of Schnapps in a letter Mom had written Dad in WW2, I’d already started seeing “the mother I knew” as something more–Helen, a young newlywed in a war zone, lonely, missing her husband, caring for so many injured and dying soldiers. Another dozen or so letters mentioned the dog. I finally knew why Schnapps meant so much to her.

As for the real dog in the picture, I have no idea, and you won’t find that one in the book. You’re on your own there.

WITH LOVE, AND MARRIAGE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

April 7, 2017

honeymoon dinner (2)FRANK and HELEN after their whirlwind marriage in Chicago. I believe this is from the Blackhawk in Chicago, but this is one of the few photos they didn’t label on the back. It’s definitely from their honeymoon. I’d love to know if this is how you pictured them as you read.