I am Dixie Dawn Miller Goode. My favorite protagonist is a young boy with Cerebral Palsy. "Duffy Barkley walks on four legs," the kids tease, because he uses crutches. There are many things Duffy has to work extra hard to accomplish, but no-one can tell him "No!"
This Blog has things that somehow tie into my Duffy Barkley books. Volume 1, Duffy Barkley is not a Dog; Volume 2, Duffy Barkley: Seek Well, or into my writing, including the new time twisted, Double Time: On The Oregon Trail
I should have been writing this summer, but the last book I wrote was still my Redwoods book. Instead of writing, I have been traveling From the OR/CA Border Pacific Coast, to visit family in DC and then we had company visit us here and spent a lot of days playing in the Redwoods, exploring the lighthouse and the sea animals.
Then I had to rip old, ugly carpeting out of my room, and while doing that, thin out the books crowding my bedroom library. The granddaughter thought I should keep all the books and just not put a bed back in. She assured me her dolly said the floor was comfortable to sleep on.
but her grandpa assured me a bed was necessary so she was out-voted.
I did keep the first books I ever wrote
and I took the granddaughter to arts and crafts at our local library to convince both of us that we don't have to OWN every book to be able to enjoy them.
the books I got rid of
The Virdi Goode reading picnic
But of course I got new books. Three books by R. R. Virdi, with lots of super supernatural encounters, mystery, mayhem and adventure joined my own novels and picture books for a pleasant afternoon under the maple tree.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed and depressed, and trying to find a way to connect with other people seems impossible. Lately it has been like that again. The whole world seems to be off its axis, tilting more and more away from being centered. The people in my life who often steady me, suddenly seem to need steadied themselves and I stop feeling like I can draw on their strength, I don't want to add to the burden of their lives.
That is when I look for ways to replenish my strength from something bigger than me. I am lucky, because I only have to step outside to find reminders that there are things much bigger and more eternal and more beautiful than the mind of man can comprehend.
I go to the world looking for beauty, and it is all around me, in the ocean, and redwood tree, yes. But also in the tiny banana slug, and the feather in the wind, and the child sifting through the sand for a sun kissed agate.
Then when I have to return to my home, and my family and the news of the day, I can do so with a well of quiet strength inside me. I can share that beauty and warmth with my family and friends and then quietly sit at the computer, dreaming in words that hopefully bring strength and warmth to a wider world. Yes, I'm an introvert, and sometimes I can't think quickly enough to get the words right in a conversation, and when I can, that interaction exhausts me, even though I also love it. I love teaching and being in a crowd, especially a crowd of children, but I get drained there, and for me, the quiet thoughtful times when it is just me and a blank page, are when my battery is being recharged.
When I look at the books I like to read, there are often underlying themes of violence and danger, but when I choose what I want to give back to the world, I find the beauty and love and celebrate the differences that make us able to be stronger together than any one of us will ever be alone. The first book I published turns five years old this year, and It still makes me happy that I put the energy into writing it. People who have also learned to love Duffy Barkley tell me that his story has shown them a lot about accepting differences and finding joy together. That is why I write.