Monday, January 30, 2012

Press Release: Every Child is Entitled to Innocence

The following post was not written by me, but is reposted because the message is important and the book and stories are highly recommended by me

Special Post / Press Release:

      Every Child is Entitled to Innocence

Press Release

Every Child is Entitled to Innocence will be the first publication of the newly- formed Orangeberry Publishing Group. Due to release on February 14th, profits from the sales of this e-book will be donated to Child Helpline International.

Says initiator of the project, Dr. Niamh Clune, “I met many writers through the Internet that experienced difficult childhoods yet have overcome their brutal beginnings. I wanted to make the first Orangeberry publication a celebration of creative imagination. This powerful friend of damaged children plays an essential role in an abused child’s recovery. Gathering this series of stories was a joy. Orangeberry Books has developed special, vibrant relationships with contributors and has forged many lasting friendships.

We encouraged happy stories that reflected the innocence of childhood when infants feel wrapped in the warmth of loving arms. We wanted to contrast these with the sad ones, making them stand out in relief against a bright backdrop. We felt this comparison would demonstrate, without explanation, what happens when innocence is stolen.

In this book, the reader will find many wonderful, heart-warming stories; whilst the sad ones demonstrate the magnificence of the human spirit as it triumphs against all the odds.”

Executive Editor, Karen S. Elliott stated, “While I looked at all the stories in the Every Child anthology, I edited only a few. I thought it was important, for this tome, that the writers be able to express the heartbreak and joy of childhoods past without censorship.”

Spokesperson for Orangeberry Books, Niamh Clune, explained how The Orangeberry Group is at the vanguard of a new wave of Internet publishing companies. Orangeberry aims to put quality first and bring exciting, exceptionally talented authors to the reader’s attention. Its focus is not on commercialism, but on quality, beautifully written, well-told stories. Orangeberry will also publish poetry. A further aim of the publishing company is to bring a collection of exceptional artists from across many different art disciplines to collaborate on projects in a personal, hands-on, mutually supportive manner.

The motto of the company is, ‘Paying it Forward.’ The company relies on a well-developed social network, the dedication of the core team members, their talent and enthusiasm coupled with a socially entrepreneurial spirit. Supporters and members of this group will also benefit from on-line mentoring, a book-club, the Youth Tube Channel, and the OBBlog.

For further information visit: 

Join the FB group: 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Growth of a Story

When I began to tell my sons stories about Duffy Barkley and the fantasy world of Uhrlin, it was only natural to incorporate the things I knew with the things we imagined.  So I told them short stories and the stories grew longer as my children asked questions which had to develop answers.
 My love of dolphins and merpeople is one of my first memories, and as a small town, Wyoming, land locked child, I remember fighting with my mother when I was barely a toddler, angry that she hadn't named me "flipper."  I also had an intense love of Keiko, the free-willie whale who lived for a few years just north of us when my own children were toddlers, and the killer whales markings influenced the coloring I chose for my own mer-people and their Princess SeaBee.
 The lovely water of the Smith River in summer always reminded bye of living, liquid jade, and provided the first inspiration for flowstone.  Flowstone, is a colony of microscopic creatures who form a group which can be solid or liquid based on how fast they vibrate and which lives symbiotically with a tamarin like creature, forming the clothing and homes of the city of Oohline.  From a distance Oohline looks like a cluster of green grapes or a pile of glass fishing floats.  Well, finding one of those floats washed up on the beaches where  we live now is a goal like a treasure hunt.  Then one day, building sand castles with my youngest son, the castle kept crumbling and he'd scoop up and re-use the sand, and the idea of a city, where the rooms could detach and move around was born.  And the boys loved trampolines, and we thought how much fun it would be to live where the land was like a trampoline, and then we wondered if you would even walk if the land was that springy, so the tamarin, monkey like creatures began to roll up like a ball and bounce, and so did their flowstone bubble homes.
 I started sketching and painting images from the story which made me think of even more details.

I was a teacher of young children with severe handicaps, a role I grew into after being blessed with a brother with Down's Syndrome.  Most of my students had been amazingly strong, loving people who thrived with teaching and attention, and the ones I found able to express themselves had very strong opinions, so I made my main character a very opinionated 9 year old with Cerebral Palsy who hated being told "No"

 I wrote out our stories and drew a map and edited and re-edited the book, and still thought of it as a simple thing that I could share with the two boys I loved so much.  And then I printed it, and a sequel and now I find myself in the curious, wonderful position of not being the only one who knows and loves Duffy.

 I grew up by Yellowstone, so part of my fantasy land had strong ties to that amazing landscape
 but I live in the redwoods by the sea so towering first and ocean found a place there too.

 And my best friend as a child, was this chimp, named Judy after the one on Daktari, and many of the characters in Uhrlin have something of Judy in them, and something of the toddlers my children were.
Now, I am delighted to look on line and discover other people talking about my characters, and reading my books and leaving wonderful reviews on the kindle and paperback sites on Amazon.  I always wanted to be a storyteller, but i had never realized how much of myself would show up in my stories, or how much fantasy is shaped by my life.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 2 pairs of Pants Deal

I had to take a month off line because the hard drive in my computer died, and then I found out what a gift that was as I spent a great family winter break, talking and going for walls and being with family and friends. I barely missed the on-line addictions but I am back now and eager to look for JOY in 2012, I have decided that my focus word for the year has to be "Joy" as that is the one thing I have been struggling with my whole life, I tend to look for the problems first instead of seeing all the great things around me.

So, life is mostly great, even though money, not so much.

Sometimes I am joking, but always half serious when I say that I think I made an agreement before I was born.  I think the deal was what I call the "2 pairs of pants" deal.  I only ever manage to have 2 good pairs of pants at once, then if I buy more, one tears or I spill paint on it.  Same with every necessary thing, If I get extra money, my water heater dies or my tires need replaced and it and costs that exact amount.  But also, I never seem to go without what I need, so if the rent is due and I am broke there will be an unexpected gift, or job,
 or tax return and the exact amount will be there.  I do feel like the Lily in the field who might as well not worry because the worrying changes nothing
except how I view my world and whether I notice the Joy in it.

The great thing is, there is abundance in my life, and it is in the things way more important than money.  I have lived my life surrounded by those who love me and by beauty and by opportunities to be with great people in wonderful parts of the world

so this year, while I strive to move that scale, and to add to the bank balance, or at least to pay the bills, I am going to Trust that Joy will be there.

Every Day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Greeting 2012 with JOY

 It has been far too long since I have written a post, but I had an interesting December.  Mainly, it was interesting because my computer died and I was forced to revise my daily routines and interact more with the people in my home and my city, and less with the on-line community I normally surround myself with.
View of Castle Rock at Sunset
 I found my husband and I were talking more, and actually drug out the board games when I could not be on facebook or the 365 project and he could not play World Of Warcraft.

Granted, Christmas usually throws us into a different schedule anyway, and this year it was quite different.  It was my first year with my oldest son, old enough that he did not spend the holiday with me, and the family we have visited every ear for 6 years had a child away at college, a new house and a divorce under way, so it was a change, but still a great holiday, wonderful time with people I love, a lot.

Yes, Christmas
 Christmas here is not usually white, but it is also not usually as warm as it was this year.  it was delightfully sunny and New Years Day actually got to almost 70*
Watching historical slide show at town fountain and Christmas tree
 We went on the first history walk through our little Crescent City, CA and 200 people showed up.  It was hard to hear at times but everyone was in a great mood and it was fascinating to hear about the good and the horrible parts of the town history.  Yes, there was an Opera House but after it was thrice destroyed, by Water spout, fire and tsunami, it is no more.  Yes there was a China Town of 700 that overnight turned into 1 chinese man left in the county, yes there was a holocaust of the Native Americans, yes it is still a town of great beauty and tragedy.
All these are for me, and the ornaments too!

 Medford, Oregon has some large homes along a few streets where everyone decorates and then decorates some more, and they collect canned food and toys from the crowds that come to drive through.

The street looks different through fireworks glasses.

My youngest son is graduating with the class of 2012

 Then my return home after Christmas brought my brother-in-law and his wife to our coastal redwoods and gave us an excuse to get out and enjoy the area we live in.
two way road through Redwoods

My husband and I

So I did not get much done in the way of writing, but I did get my first novel, Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog,  into a free promotion on Kindle and that resulted in 230 downloads from Amazon and 40 more from Amazon UK and then I sold another few copies of the second Duffy Barkley book, Duffy Barkley: Seek Well, and I have reason to hope that at least a few of those copies will result in reviews and recommendation and good word of mouth.

I also found my book listed on a site as a 5-star recommendation for Tweens and older.  That made me smile.

So now, my sister-in-law warns me that the world will change a lot this year.  It can certainly change in many ways for the better, but I am greeting 2012 with joy, life is not easy, but it is worth it.