Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dare to say Yes to a Dream

I have been blessed with the time to be able to write, while also having a job that allows me to be around school  kids and spend a lot of time talking with them about what they are interested in and reading the books that they like as part of my work.

Since I also love to write books at the middle school level and higher, and my novels are fantasy novels that interest several kids in any class I am teaching, this has given me a lot of feedback and stimulated new story lines to develop.

Once school ended on June 16th, I was able to pull my nearly completed, second novel out of the ignored folder it slept in, and bring it to a conclusion.  Today, I got the proof copy to hold in my hands and evaluate for possible publication.

I set it next to the book I published last year, and smiled.  I only hope they both bring other people some of the joy that they have already given to me.

Both my Tales of uhrlin

Back covers

Look at the double books please, not the double chins
I became a special Ed teacher, after being raised with a younger brother, who has down's syndrome.  I also had been bullied a lot as a student myself and the experiences I have had as a teacher and family member of a special needs kid, and as a victim of bullies, are both a large part of the framework of these novels.  But my Duffy, a boy who has Cerebral Palsy, and is bullied, is not handicapped or willing to be a victim.  He won't accept the word, "No."
My Brother and I in Panajachel, Guatemala

Boating in Lake Atitlan, bullrushes
 One of the most pleasurable parts of writing, Duffy Barkley: Seek Well has been the chance to review my journal and photographs and memories from a trip that my boys, my brother, my Mom and I took to Guatemala.

When you read this story, you will see a lot of the things that I loved about this poor, war-torn but lovely area around Lake Atitlan.
My son, teaching Duck, Duck Goose to Mayan children
You will also get to meet a character, who was first suggested to me as a challenge, while trying to write the first 50,000 words of this novel as part of National Novel Writing Month.  I love Fred, he loves baths, and he thinks he's a small, pop-eyed micro monkey.  Duffy thinks he's a Dragon, but neither one is right.
Mayan girls and my youngest son

Mayan Grandmother and my oldest son

By Lake Atitlan

Posada de Santiago Atitlan
 So, my dream was to be a Writer.  Like Duffy, I refused to accept the many times I was told "No."  I'm glad that I did.  The bullies lose if we refuse to be victims, and instead insist on our right to be who we dream.
Lake Atitlan

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