Sunday, February 10, 2019

Love, Live and Laugh

Love and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.

Love is not something you can touch; its a warm feeling that comes from deep inside your soul, like a hot flash.

Love has no age barrier, so when it strikes it still makes your heart flutter like a butterfly.

And its not to be confused with atrial flutter.

As we age together, we must remember to remain young at heart. Our body may change but not our soul.

When I was having a slight crisis about aging, my husband turned around and said, It doesnt matter if you have a few wrinkles, youre still you inside.

I said, Its true that love is blind. But hes right.

Forget about age, LOVE, LIVE, and LAUGH.

Happy Valentines Day

Just a reminder, Susanna Leonard Hills Valentine Writing Contest.

Post your story between 12:00 AM EDT Wednesday, February 13th and Thursday, February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT. Click here for more details. 

Oh! I have a website. Curious? click here.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Grandparents Survival Guide

There are many Blogs on the web about Parenting.  But no one Blogs about US the grandparents.

1st  Keep in shape, exercise every day, every week and the week after. Because when your grandchild arrives, youll want to be able to run as fast as he/she can. Climb a tree to fetch the kite, and rescue him/her when they cant get down from one of those new climbing nets at the park.


2nd Grandparents are allowed to give in, sometimes, because we are grandparents, remember? AND we usually give in when we have no strength left to say no. We typically say, Only this time, but don't tell Mom or Dad, its our secret. Uh-oh! Wrong, children are honest by nature, and the first thing they're going to do is tell their parents when you bring them back home, is, Grandpa/ma let me do this!

3rd -There are distinct kinds of parents, 
  • the ones that want their children to obey to all rules, which equals NO FUN.
  • the ones that dont want their kids to get dirty and are afraid of them getting hurt, NO FUN.
  • and the ones that dont mind in what shape their kids come home just as long as theyve had a good time with their grandparents. SUPER.
The latter is my case, thank goodness. I have warned my grandchild's parents that if they want me to babysit, that child is going to play in the mud, he/she might scratch his knee while playing, and well go for walks in the woods no matter what kind of critters we may encounter.

4th Beware of toy stores. I walked into a toy store looking for an educational game for my grandchild, Kevin, age 2 ½ and came out with this.

 Its sitting in my living room. See the tunnel? Well then, guess what?

I had to crawl through the tunnel to make him happy and got stuck; well lets be honest, I wanted to go through the tunnel. The good thing is that I called out for help and two tiny hands reached out to help me. Has your heart melted yet? Mine did. 

Toddlers dont realize that we are much older and not as agile as they are. They probably think we are Houdini.

Then I could smell something and asked my grandchild, did you dirty your diaper? No, Kevin answered with a smirk on his face. So, I invented a story.

Kevin, if we dont change your diaper mamma dragon will smell it. Kevins eyes peered into mine in amazement. I put my finger to my lips and said Shhhhh. Hurry, lets change your diaper before mamma dragon finds us. Pee-yew stinky poop. Giggle-giggle.

Kevin wasnt scared at all but went along with the charade. Now and then he does the same, Shhhh, the dragon. He whispers as he tiptoes around the house looking for the dragon.

Grandparents are kids at heart, and we have the excuse to act like kids because we want to entertain our grandchildren. Right? I love this part. We also get to watch cartoons or kids movies.

Toddlers see us as superheroes and friends. The human figure that is patient and spoils them. 

When Mom and Dad come home from work and have had a long day, I can understand that they dont have much patience left for their toddlers. The kids want attention, theyve been in PreK all day, playing, pushing and shoving, learning how to survive with other toddlers. When they dont get the attention they thrive for, they act up, throw things on the floor. Its normal. When ignored, mine cries out I want grandma/pa.

There you go.  My grandchild lives downstairs, and I can sometimes hear him cry. Shortly after I hear a knock at the door, who could it be?

I open the door, and that smile melts my heart once again. It doesnt matter if Im busy cooking a meal or ironing. I let Kevin in and play. 

Dinner still has to be prepared before grandpa comes back from work, so, I have Kevin help me. I pull up a chair near the counter and hand him a potato with cloves and have him create a face. On other occasions, I give him dough or whatever I am preparing at the time and keep him busy. Pots and pans have come in handy, add a handful of clothespins and listen to the music.

In any case, when he visits which is almost every day, it gives me an excuse to stop whatever Im doing and relax, more or less. Lets say; I set aside daily chores to cherish those precious moments with my grandchild that is so eager to play and learn something with his grandparent.

 The joy of being grandparents.

Leave a comment if you have time. What do you do to keep your grandchild busy and happy?
Do you have aches and pains the day after? Is it because you also climbed a tree?
Share your stories with me. I would love to hear from you.
Take care.

Monday, June 18, 2018

How I got the idea for my picture book, ‘Jurassic Rat.’ Pub. Clear Fork Publishing

I was surfing the web for information on rats. Roof rats had invaded my roof. Consequently, I wanted to find a way to persuade them to leave. I dont like to poison the poor things.

Then I came upon this significant discovery; A Chinese Super Rat Roamed Earth 160 million years ago.

A FOSSIL of the oldest known ancestor of modern rats had been unearthed in China.

Bingo! Jurassic Rat was born.

I realized that no one had written about an insignificant rat that managed to hide from gigantic dinosaurs and still be alive today. Although, modern rats anatomy are slightly different from their ancestors - then again, so are humans, in respect to their ancestors.

 Arent we, Homo sapiens, physically diverse from the Neanderthal man, or farther away in time, from the Australopithecus afarensis, named Lucy? If you click on the links, can you notice the difference? I bet you can.

 Did you know that rats are the most evolved class of animals known as mammalians?

May I name a few of the most common for you?

1-      Roof rat, (Rattus rattus) also called the black rat or tree rat for the reason that they can climb trees and not only. Mine climbed up the power lines to reach the bird feeder in the winter, on the second floor. Wow! What an acrobat. Isn't it cute?

2-      Norway rat, (Rattus norvegicus) They love to steal a free meal from my dogs bowl.

 This little guy above is a skeleton of a Norway rat. No worry, it died by natural causes. I think my cat caught it. I buried it in a paper box. Two months later I dug up the grave to find that the necrophagous insects had done a brilliant job. There lay only the rats bones and a few tuffs of fur. I brushed off some dirt and debris, then I assemble the skeleton. (I wore a mask and gloves)  Dont get grossed out; this is called science. We learn a lot from bones.

If you want to read more about rats, click here

How many of you have domestic rats for pets? Have you noticed how ingenious they are? Let me know. I would love to hear from you. Have any of you ever thought of becoming an anthropologist or a paleontologist when you grow up?

Oh! I forgot to mention that the roof rats moved out after I introduced them to my cat, Giant. In Italian, we call him Gigante.

The picture book 'Jurassic Rat' is coming out in spring 2019, Published by Clear Fork Publishing 

#loveyourbiz #internationalmarketing

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Susanna Leonard Hill's 7th Annual Holiday Contest - A Children's Holiday Story

Hi there. This holiday season, I am being courageous and entering the contest for the first time. Thumbs up for everyone, and Happy Holidays.

Working title: A Surprise for Ava. PB WC 250

Dear Santa,

My name is Ava Evans. Please make sure you have me on your list.

This Christmas I would love a pet, even if mommy doesn’t want one.

But if YOU bring me a pet… she won’t get upset. So, please, please, please, make my dream come true.

I’ve been very good this year, REALLY! Well, besides a few accidents.

It wasn’t my fault I broke my big brother’s ruler. He was making fun of me, and it sort of fell and broke.

It wasn’t my fault I spilled the bowl of cereals on the kitchen table and floor. I was trying to catch a fly that wanted to drink my milk.

It wasn’t my fault mommy found a box full of cockroaches under my bed. They were the only pets I thought she wouldn’t find.

I’m sure these little accidents don’t count as being bad, right?

Oh! Just in case you don’t remember my address, here it is:

222 Snowball Lane
Cupboard County, USA.
Big kiss and hug.

Ava put the letter in an envelope and slipped it into the mailbox.

On Christmas morning, Ava ran downstairs. She rummaged through the pile of gifts and found a big box with her name on it.

She unwrapped it and sighed. A few tears rolled down her cheeks.

 ‘I didn’t want a dollhouse, I wanted a pet!’

Then… Ava saw a tiny snout peeking through a window of the dollhouse.

“Awesome! I knew my dream would come true.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Publishing Quest for Children's Books

Oh, dear, where to start? Since December 2016 lots of things have happened. Therefore I didn't find the time to post.

Firstly, as per Alinka Rutkowskas suggestions, I followed writing classes.  Alinka is a pro in book marketing. I dont know where she finds the energy and time with two wonderful kids, but she has built an empire. For those of you that want to self-publish click here. (Ill get a small commission if you join) Theres a lot of information, read, read, read.

Then, I started following Childrens Book Insider and took a course in writing Chapter Books,(Chapter Book Blueprints) I also took a course on social media, which was great. I am still a member of CBI for the great information and monthly newsletters about trends and agents, etc. Check out Laura Backs and Jon Bard.

Then, I stumbled upon CBA, Childrens Book Academy where I immediately felt I was at home with Dr. Mira Reisberg.

Call it ESP. Mira is a wonderful person, she loves her work and she really wants to help new authors get published. I dont know how she does it? In any case, I have followed various courses; illustrating kids books, Middle-Grade Mastery, and in writing picture books, with CBA.

Its difficult, the classes are packed jammed with information, which we must digest in 5 weeks, but can have access to the material for 6 months after the lessons are finished.

Its a challenge for those who are serious about becoming illustrators and authors. I highly recommend you check them out.  Its well worth it. Psst...they also have the Golden Tickets. Click on the link's for CBA, and find out what it means.

This said, I feel fulfilled, I am learning and applying the know-how. Perseverance and patience are important here. Dont expect to get your book published soon.

Nothing in life is easy, you have to work hard to achieve your goals, as in any other business.

Become a member of SCBWI, theres a lot of information on the website to help newbies.

If you want a ROI, (Return On Investment), you must first invest in time and money. Attend workshops in your area, and hone your craft.

Become an active member of the SCBWI. You cant imagine the wealth of information SCBWI can offer.

If youre a Canadian citizen join CANSCAIP here.

Youll get contacts and make friends with other authors that are willing to help you.

Oh lets not forget critique groups.

I was once afraid of joining critique groups. Why? Will they steal my idea? Even if they do, they will never write the same story as you will. Its impossible. Sotake the dive, find other authors willing to critique your work and do the same. Youll learn a lot from it. Both ways.

This said, I hope you investigate and take a few writing courses or workshops, especially if you are newbies to the publishing business - they are so important.

Youll learn the ins and outs of the publishing world and what is trendy right now.

All of the above-mentioned courses and persons are wonderful people, it's up to you to take the first step and find the right fit.

Now, get out there and write a great book.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Read your manuscript out loud.

As suggested by many authors, and editors - to pinpoint if your story is working out or not, you should try reading it out loud. What I did was record it. I then listened to my recording the following day. Half way through there was a long pause. There was noise in the background, I had forgotten to pause the recording.

I gathered from the background noise that I had gotten up from my desk to check the minestrone, (Italian soup).  Oh dear, I had burnt it, and it was stuck to the bottom of the pot. I tried to save it by pouring it into another pot hoping that my husband wouldnt notice the burnt taste.

I went on listening to the recording hoping to have the time to get to the end before he came home for dinner. He was late that night so I did manage to listen to the whole recording.

 Dont ever ask me to narrate an audio book. There were so many pauses and sighs in between, no kid would want to listen.

Listening further to the recording I heard myself saying Ahoh I burnt it. It was funny, you should try it. The pots and pans were clanging and I kept on sighing. Why?

 Because being authors is a tough job. Most authors have day jobs. I now realize how difficult it is to have a full-time job and try to write at the same time and give my family the attention they deserve.

 This said, I know I cant do miracles, I am a multitasking mom, grandma, and wife, struggling to get those words down on paper no matter what. I am lucky to have such a patient husband.

Unfortunately, that evening I served the soup to my husband. He didnt complain too much, he just said, Ah you burnt the minestrone again.

Ohguess whats for dinner tonightminestrone. This time round I put the timer on.

This said, dear authors, dont get discouraged, we will make it in the long run, all we need is patience and perseverance.  I hope you get a best seller out there one day.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Try to relax during the holiday season and stay with your family. We have all of 2017 to finish our drafts and get our books out there.

La speranza รจ lultima a morireDont ask me how to translate it.

Yours truly from Italy.

I posted this on my pen names Blog as well, Jocelyne Turbett with E. A. Peterson. In the future, I will be publishing my childrens books under my real name, Eleanor Ann Peterson. All other genres under Jocelyne Turbett. Soon I hope.