Late last year, I had the honor of reading from my chapter book to my youngest son’s second grade class. The kids responded with laughter, enthusiasm, and cries for more. It’s a great memory. The book is called “Amazing Adventures with DoBot the Robot, Book 1: T Rex Trouble”, and it’s the first book in a 5 book series. I am seeking representation for Book 1 which has been to my editor and back, and through rounds and rounds of revisions (I promise your teacher is asking for the minimum when they have you do two drafts). My current work-in-progress is the second book in this series, though like many people I get sidetracked by other things…my job, short stories that won’t behave, and the laundry.
The DoBot the RoBot series was inspired by my sons who encouraged me to write down stories I made up for them. I also wanted to read fun books featuring kids who looked like mine – stories featuring loving siblings biological & adoptive, stories in which how they came to be a family mattered but that weren’t about that -and I couldn’t find any. So I wrote one. Then I got ideas for more. And let me tell you, these stories have all the good stuff – puzzles and science, mysteries and magic. In the first book, we ride a mystical train with brothers Luke, Keoni, and Gordon. We encounter William Walter – a kind, grandfatherly man – and DoBot – a 7-armed rusty robot. We learn a bit about chemistry, the building blocks of the universe, and paleontology. We solve a problem with a runaway T Rex and have a lot of fun along the way.
I promise to keep working on Book 2. Its working title is “Amazing Adventures with DoBot the Robot, Book 2: Equation Explorers”. It is all about adventures with math! There’s a rescue, problems to be solved and a snake named Python Agoram Theorum.
“Morning Joe” – Acrylic on wood. Sometime in the 90s, I painted this on a piece of wood I pulled out of a dumpster. I cleaned it first. 🙂 I was drawn back to this image after setting up a creator page at Ko-fi.com. Although other platforms that support artists, writers, and musicians are motivating for many, I found them stressful. I like Ko-fi because it is set up for a one-time donation of $3 which it likens to buying a friend a cup of coffee. If you are so inclined, you can “buy me a cup of coffee” here. If you are not an adult, ask your grown-up!
I am not terribly sentimental, but I have saved two beautiful Christmas cards from my friend “rjj“. They feature winter scenes painted by Kawase Hasui. That winter, I was feeling cold, sad, and sick and decided to do a version of one of the scenes, but in the spring. I never did finish the painting but was pleased I had not lost all my skill. This is my incomplete painting. What inspirations have come to you from unexpected places?
We celebrate Christmas at our house. On Christmas Eve, we make Stone Soup and read a version of that folktale. Afterwards, we go to church – a small United Church of Christ – for a candlelight service.
This year, I played flute during the service. I started playing flute when I was very young. I started playing the French horn a few years later, but stopped after I broke my teeth in a car accident (wear your seat belt!). I still think of myself as a horn player even though that hasn’t been true for decades. However, thanks to our church’s music director, I felt like a musician again. It was good.
After the service, we always drive around to look at Christmas lights, and when we get home our sons open two gifts. One gift is always a new pair of pajamas, a tradition we stole from one of Darth Husband’s cousins. The other gift is selected by the son, but Darth & I have veto power (mostly to avoid late-night Lego sessions when we are waiting for Santa). On Christmas day, we get up early and see what Santa brought.
We open gifts and hunker down with each other. We play new video games, watch new movies, read new books, and build new Lego kits. We eat candy for breakfast. We have family dinner that night after lighting a candle-powered carousel handed down through my husband’s family. I love this tradition. What holidays do you celebrate in winter? What traditions do you have that you love?