Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life Before.com 
and Seven Women, Seven Lives

At a Christmas Eve Party, hosted by my friends
Diane and Jim Bold, I met Mary Lou Greisen,
a lively octogenarian who took a memoir writing class
taught by Cecilia Dejoy at Nazareth College.  Along
with her classmates, their essays were compiled into 
two books which are now published.  They have had 
book signings around town and the books are available
on Amazon and the Red Bird Cafe.  Here are links to 
info about the books:  Life Before.com and

Mary Lou Greisen

Mary Lou raised seven children! Two of her sons that 
I talked to should be on Comedy Central.  Below is a 
pic of Mark giving tummy kisses to the family dog, 
Leilani.  The dog"s deadpan expression is priceless.


Mark's wife, Kathleen made the most beautiful, artistic
Christmas cookies I have ever seen.  They should be 
framed and put on walls!

Mark and Kathleen

That evening was the first time I saw Diane and Jim's
first grandchild,Colton. What a cherub!  Mama Kristen is in 
heaven!  Below are some photos of the evening.

Husband, Gary, and I

Diane, Kristen and Colton and below Jim with
his Christmas chef hat.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays 
to all my Friends and Family!
May next year bring joy and creative energy.
Do the work you love to do!  Believe and
wonder as a child.

Me at 3 years old.  I do believe in Santa Claus
and always will.  The world can be a magical place.

Monday, December 21, 2009

September-November Activities

Very busy months for me.  Time to catch up on posting.
I started substitute teaching in the Palmyra Macedon 
School District--every subject K-12.  The students
have inspired many ideas for my writing.  I have 
discovered and read many picture books and mid-
grade novels that have escaped my attention.  Love
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant.  Read it on this site.
Also read her mid-grade Missing May.  Hatchet by
Gary Paulsen was a good read--it's also a Newbery 
Honor Book.  At the Poughkeepsie conference in June,
I met editor, Lisa Graff, and finally this Fall I read her
three novels:  Umbrella Summer, The Thing About 
Georgie, and The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower.

My brother, Bob, and sister-in-law, Jessie, flew in from 
Nebraska for a visit.  How great to see them!  It's been
too long.  We have many interests in common, 
particularly enjoying the beauty of nature.  So we went 
to the Adirondacks to see the fall foliage.  I had a miserable
cold, but plucked along in the rain on one of our walks.
Somehow the sky dripping from the clouds and my dripping 
from my nose make the experience more memorable and
humorous.   Doesn't my brother look like Walt Whitman? 

I once again did a illustrator presentation for the Penn Yan
high school art students.  My friend, Sherry Blanco Lutzen,
is the art teacher there.  Here I am sharing an illustration for
my upcoming book, the Adventures of Marco Flamingo
in the Jungle to be released in Spring 2011, Raven Tree Press.  
The cover art is below.

The RCBF on Nov. 7 was a huge success. It was 
good to see some author/illustrators not there last year.
I sat next to Elizabeth Bluemle and bought her book,
How Do you Wokka-Wokka.  I also sat next to 
Linda Sue Park and bought her book Tap Dancing on 
the Roof.  I need a new bookcase!

Family Time

Gary and I spent Nov. 8-30 in Atlanta and Las Vegas visiting
family.  It was great to see the grandkids again and Erik and 
Emily.  It won't be long till the new baby arrives---May!  
It's a boy.  So, we had fun throwing out names at the dinner 
table.  For a literary character how about Icabod Jarkins or 
Rochester Jarkins?  I'm sure we'll be surprised as we were with 
"Anna" and "Taylor."  

Along with Emily's mom, Susan, we went to see the Rockettes 
Christmas Spectacular.  Below see the girls all dressed up for 
the event. 

It was wonderful being in Atlanta for Thanksgiving and 
Erik's b'day.  I also visited the girl's schools.  That was a treat.
Saw Taylor's Thanksgiving program and did a author 
presentation for Taylor's preschool.  Here is a pic of me
with Taylor and her teachers. 

I'm so glad that the girls love books and reading.  Grandpa is a 
favorite reader.  Even though Anna can read very well now,  
she still loves to be read to.

We took five days out of that month from Atlanta to fly to 
Las Vegas to visit my brothers.  Hadn't seen them for years.
Greg took us to the Hoover Dam with it's impressive Art Deco 
design and scenery.  

We met my brother, Norm, at his condo.  He then took us to the 
Piute Indian Reservation's resort. The mountains are beautiful in 
Vegas. What a peaceful setting! 

We drove back home in the most stressful and congested 
drivingwe have ever experienced.  Warning to everyone. 
Don't drive on the Sunday after Thanksgiving from Atlanta to 
NYS ever!

Once home, I was thrown back into substitute teaching, 
working on my writing and illustrating, reading, and exercising 
(Gary and I decided to take advantage of our Go-Getters free 
gym membership--sorry no pics here, especially of our 

I also did an author visit for the Holiday Open House at 
Village Book Market in Palmyra. Authors, Eileen Loveman, 
Sharon SanAngelo, and I were invited by the owner, Marsha, 
to do a short video introducing our books.  Without preparation 
we did "our spot" on the spot....wheeeew.........
we all did pretty well.  Except what's with my mouth?  
I'm usually more animated than this.  Looks like I'm trying
to push the words out of clenched lips. Well, it was the first time.  
I should get better and more comfortable with more practice.  
This business is all about risk taking!  Here is my spot--