Sunday, March 19, 2017


The thought that I wanted to write for children began seeping into the recesses of my mind about 10 years ago.  And I tried to make a successful go at it by flying by the seat of my pants for several years.

Then I heard about SCBWI.  The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  SCBWI is a national organization, with virtually all major children's authors and illustrators as members.

I slowly began to get involved in our Oklahoma Region of SCBWI...I mean, at first, I went like twice a year.

But then I caught the flame that this group of people have for writing.  And not only for being a successful writer for children, but supporting each other.  It truly is a tribe. 

I have learned more than I could ever have learned on my own by being a member of SCBWI.  And I learn continuously...through critique groups, speakers, critique days, and our annual conferences. 

If you have ever had that little thought in the back of your mind that says, "Maybe I should write children's books," or "Maybe I could illustrate children's books," you owe it to yourself to go for it.

There is no quick fix in this world of publishing, but you won't learn if you don't try.  And, to say that the publishing world is highly competitive and totally subjective is a fact.  But keep at it, and it will happen!

So, like I said, if you have ever had interest, the best thing you can do is jump in with both feet.

Here's the link to sign up - and the best thing is, it's never too late!!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Yes, it HAS Been Forever!

I spend so much of my time writing and editing my various works in progress that I have totally neglected this blog.  It's time to catch up, and the end of Spring Break is a good time to do that.

My blog is titled Reading, Writing, and Roaming, and I'm going to hit all three of those areas.  However, I'll probably need to break them up into three posts.  I'll start with Roaming!

If you know me well, you know that I love to roam and travel.  And when circumstances prevent me from going far, I can always find somewhere close to home.  And thanks to my partner-in-crime, Denice, we have been doing this for six years! 

In fact, thanks to Facebook memories, I got a reminder that our first expedition was six years ago this last week.  We went to Medicine Park and Mount Scott.

To say we have seen a lot is an understatement.  But there are always things to see...and experience.

Denice and I have gone to Pawhuska several times, way before it was the cool place to go, and home of the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile.  We've wanted to go to the Merc since it opened, but we also knew that the crowds would be crazy for a while.

They really haven't died down, but we decided to go for it anyway.  And since our district was out for Spring Break a day earlier than most, we took the chance.

We left at 7:00 and got to Pawhuska at 9:30.  (After our obligatory Sonic stop before we left the City.)

The lines weren't bad!  We had already decided that if the line was too long, we'd just go in the shop.  But being the early bird helped.  We only stood in line for 20 minutes!  Thank goodness, because it was a might chilly out there.

If you love home-style food with Ree's own twist, you'll love this place.  Since we were there so early, we ate a yummy breakfast.

If you go, you must try the Spicy Cowgirl Coffee.  So yum.

Spicy Cowgirl!

After we ate, we shopped! 

Then hit up the bakery upstairs.  This is not to be missed, folks. 

We headed out of town after that fun time to find our next place.

Denice had been here previously.  This is Bird Creek School.  Or used to be.  As I'm sure you can tell, it's in major disrepair. 

Yes.  Creepy is a great word for it.

It's said to be haunted, that if you write your name on the chalkboard, and come back, it will be gone but scratched into the board.  Hmmm.....not sure that would require a ghost.  But, the creepiness ensues.

However, we didn't get close.  There were visible signs of "someone" trying to keep people out of the yard of the school.  Like I said, Denice had been there before with her husband, Jody, and they had gone in.  When they came out, there was a creepy guy there, none too happy to see them.

Even from the fence, though, this place definitely sparked some story ideas for me.  And I know 4th graders love a good spooky story.

Pretty sure I wouldn't want to come back at dark.  Or would I?

We headed on from there and wanted to see something else, so we went to Pawnee.

If you're from Oklahoma, you probably have heard of Pawnee Bill.  The town was named for him.

Pawnee Bill was a rancher and also a Wild West Show performer.  
It's visiting places like this that make me think it would be fun to be able to travel back...just for a see what like was like. 
This Wild West Show was quite the ticket, and folks came from miles and miles. 

It was a great day, once again!

Later in the week, I also had to visit my favorite tree. 

Stay tuned for more information about this tree and me...coming very soon!