Tag Archives: literacy

Meet Snakespeare—is he Lizard’s friend or foe?

Snakespeare is coming to life...!

Snakespeare is coming to life…!

Today is a good day. Besides being the first day of a shiny new month, it’s the day when the next adventure from our favorite bookworm…er…lizard… takes shape.

Illustrator Robin Wiesneth has already been hard at work breathing life into a new character in the series—a python named Snakespeare.

You can read how Robin visualizes and creates these characters visually on her blog at aBrushWithHumor.com.

Books have a new champion—SURPRISE!

IMG_1270Surprise! Robin Wiesneth and her magic brush have been busy yesterday and she has finished all the art for The Literary Lizard, a children’s story I wrote recently.

A mad genius with illustrations, she has brought the story to life with the most adorable and quirky lizard you will ever meet.

The Literary Lizard should be available as an ebook and as a special paperback on Amazon, hopefully by this weekend. Soon the paperback version will be available with local retailers in the Panhandle area and beyond. You can find out more about Robin Wiesneth and her wonderful, whimsical art, at aBrushWithHumor.com.

I am in love with the Literary Lizard and the joy of reading has a new champion 🙂

The Librarian Angel

imageOnce this was the home of the town librarian and was surrounded by tidy flower beds and filled inside with books of all kinds. Now it’s a small cottage forgotten at the end of a country road, overgrown with scuppernong and honeysuckle vines.

When the librarian lived there she loved to read out loud. Every summer evening after supper she would sit in the garden with books and read to anyone who listened. The neighborhood children gathered there ritually to eat the cookies she’d baked during the day and listen to her tales.

Because of this, the children in the town grew up intelligent, open-minded and compassionate. The narrow minds populating many other isolated towns towns were not found there. The wise children were good stewards as adults and because of it their town thrived. The librarian read to the end of her days, now to the grandchildren of her original visitors.

Eventually, she reached the last page in her own tale. That evening, like any other, she read to the group of children sitting on blankets on her lawn. At the end of the book she closed it and thanked them all for listening. She asked them to thank their parents, and their parent’s parents as well.

“By letting me give to you, you have given to me,” she said, and she closed her book. The moon had risen, a silver medal in the sky, and the light of it shone a halo in her white hair. Each child went home that night and reported that the librarian had turned into an angel and their parents laughed and agreed, not knowing the children had seen the truth.

After she was gone, her house remained untouched except the books which were all given to the library in a special, dedicated room. No one had the heart to move into her cottage so the door was closed and locked and everything left as is – a monument to a woman whose small gift shaped a community.

Now the house sits empty, but it is not still. So many words have flowed through it, like incense, that they have permeated the walls with their presence. On summer evenings, when the moon is full and shines like a silver disc in the sky, come sit on a blanket in the garden and let yourself drift to dreams under the stars… and you will hear her reading still.


I wasn't too busy to promote scary books with my "horror selfie." Click the pic to visit the site.

I wasn’t too busy to promote scary books with my “horror selfie.” Click the pic to visit the site. Stephen King and a plethora of great authors have participated.

I’ve had a few worried messages lately wondering where I am. I wish I could tell you, but I don’t know either. Our graphic artist put in for vacation in mid-October, and then I blacked out.

When any of us go on vacation it means three weeks of intense work. The first week is preparation for someone to be out. We do everything we can ahead of time.

The second week is survival. We are one man, or woman, down, so whoever is left on the island has to pick up the slack and do their job. They also have to figure out how to troubleshoot the inevitable problems that will occur.

The third week is all about catching up. I remember releasing Monsters Are Everywhere, and then life went down into a server shut down. I’ve been staying late and getting to work early and the hours in between have been a blur.

Now things can go back to normal… after all the things that got pushed to one side during survival week get caught back up. I thank everyone who has sent me messages asking if I were okay. It’s nice to know that if I suddenly dropped off the face of this earth, somebody would notice.

I will be back soon, and even though I’ve been worknapped, I will have a surprise.


Friends of the Library Book Sale/Signing a Success!

Signing books at the Friends of the Niceville Library annual book sale. I started with just over 50 books and took home just about 20.

Signing books at the Friends of the Niceville Library annual book sale. I started with just over 50 books and took home just under 20.

I was privileged to be able to sign books at the Niceville Friends of the Library annual book sale today. It’s been a few years since I’ve done a book signing so it was good to get out and do the social part of ‘authoring,’ but even better knowing I was able, in a small way, to contribute to a greater good.

I’ve watched this dedicated group of supporters over the last year. They put their own schedules to one side and tirelessly work to raise money to

They made me a poster... I was so thrilled!

They made me a poster… I was so thrilled!

contribute to our local library. With government cut backs, programs like local libraries are pinched, but with everyone’s budget pinched, public libraries are more important than ever. Today this group of ladies raised very close to $3,500 dollars that goes directly to library programs.

I am so honored that, in a small way, I was able to be a part of that. All authors need to be an active support for our libraries. Libraries promote reading, and what do authors need to survive? Readers. Supporting our local libraries is supporting literacy, and without literacy we are out of a profession.