Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where has August gone?

Wow, today is the 26th already. This month flew by it seems. It started with a scare for us. My 91-year-old father had to be taken to the hospital in Macon, GA on 31 July with his blood pressure bottoming out at 48/28. Turns out he has a "mild heart attack" from being dehydrated. He had to spend two days/nights in the hospital to be checked out. This was his first time to be hospitalized in his life! Fortunately for all, my sister Sperry lives a hour+ away in Fayetteville, GA. She rushed down to Macon & stayed with him for the next six days. Linda & I drove over on the 6th and stayed with Pop until the 17th. He has recovered nicely, and the doctor says his heart suffered no real damage. His BP has returned to his normal 115/65 range without any medication. I take two BP prescription medicines, and my BP runs in the 135/80 range. I wish I had BP like Pop does! Unfortunately, healthwise I took after my mother.

When we returned on the 17th, I was way behind with everything -- bill paying, mail, reading newspapers and magazines, Internet emails at several sites, replying to on-line reviews received, etc. Plus there have been a couple of trips to White Lightning Road to visit with Uncle Travis since we returned. I finally got caught up! I finished preparing my posts for the Yahoo VBT book tour group last night for the September 1st & 3rd postings. My guest in September will be author Stephen Tremp who published the novel Breakthrough. Y'all need to drop in then to learn all about Stephen & Breakthrough.

I finally found time to write a poem this month. Here it is, folks:

Graveside Grief

Two angels sit atop a tombstone,
looking across the cemetery’s expanse.
A man sobbing while lying prone
on a grave catches their eye by chance.

Says one to the other: “That man
is grieving hard. He must have loved
the deceased greatly. Why, you can
see the grief he feels for his beloved.”

The second angel replies, “It heals
a human to grieve. A little bit of grief
is lifted from him so that he feels
better each visit. Time will bring relief.

“During each visit that small portion
of grief removed is then left graveside.
Observe how a different proportion
of grief by each of the graves resides.

“How much each human was cherished
is reflected in the amount of grief left
graveside. You can see some perished
unloved; their death made no one bereft.

“Yet others must have been loved quite
widely, for their graves are piled high
with grief from many mourners, right
up past the tombstone toward the sky.

“It is fitting that for all eternity just how
much each human was loved easily can be
discerned by any whose ability will allow
them this accumulated graveside grief to see.”

Well, I hope to see everybody on the 1st. Please stop in!



Monday, August 3, 2009

Read about Babysitting Sugarpaw by V.S. Grenier

Today we have the pleasure of becoming familiar with Virginia S. Grenier’s new children’s book, Babysitting Sugarpaw.


A little bear named SugarPaw hopes to get rid of his babysitter, Bonnie Whiskers, by getting her into trouble after making changes to his rules chart. As the story unfolds SugarPaw learns about honesty and friendship in this fun-loving story. Babysitting SugarPaw, with its child-centered plot on getting to know others, is the perfect book for little ones scared of being left alone with a babysitter for the first time. This book will delight three-to-eight-year-old readers, especially those who like to create mischief.

Come learn more about VS Grenier and her picture book Babysitting SugarPaw at

Babysitting SugarPaw release date: July, 2009!

Order today:

Babysitting SugarPaw $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-9352-6806-2

Halo Publishing:


Stories for Children Magazine:

VS Grenier:

What others had to say about Babysitting SugarPaw:

REVIEWED BY: Wayne S. Walker, reviewer with Stories for Children Magazine

Have you ever babysat a child, and, if so, do you remember the very first time? Bonnie Whiskers has never babysat SugarPaw for the Bear family before. While standing ready to knock on the door, she hears SugarPaw cry out, "Don't Go," and it makes her worry. SugarPaw does not want a babysitter and is very unhappy. When Bonnie goes into the kitchen to see Mother Bear, she notices a rule chart for SugarPaw on the wall and thinks that maybe it won't be too hard. But when Mama Bear and Bonnie leave the kitchen, SugarPaw sneaks into the kitchen and changes some of the rules. What is going to happen? Will SugarPaws and Bonnie hit it off or not?

Anyone who has ever done babysitting will be able to empathize with Bonnie and her plight. For that matter, so will anyone who has ever been babysat! Author VS Grenier has created a tender, heartwarming story that children will enjoy having read to them and that parents will enjoy reading to them. Babysitting SugarPaw should bring back a lot of fond, and perhaps a few not-so-fond, memories for both former babysitters and former children who were babysat. After all, what would we parents do without babysitters?

REVIEWED BY: Donna Shepherd, Author of Chizzy's Topsy Tale -

In Babysitting Sugarpaw by VS Grenier, children will love to read about the mischievous antics of Sugarpaw who doesn't want to be babysat. Will Bonnie, a first-time babysitter, be able to keep Sugarpaw out of mischief until his parents return? Bonnie Whiskers finds she is up to the task, teaching Sugarpaw about patience along the way. Sweet illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier perfectly capture Bonnie's babysitting challenges.

Please check out Babysitting Sugarpaw. There must be someone you know, either child, parent, or babysitter, who’d love to be gifted with this book.



Saturday, August 1, 2009

My guest this week is author Virginia S. Grenier.

I am happy to host Virginia S. Grenier this week. I hope you enjoy reading about this children’s author and her new book, Babysitting Sugarpaw.

Let’s learn more about the author by a bit of Q & A:

Q: Congratulations on your exciting publishing announcement of your first children’s book, “Babysitting Sugarpaw,” for July 2009. “Babysitting Sugarpaw,” started out as a short story and won 15th place for Fiction in the P&E Readers Poll. What prompted you to submit further to a publisher?

VS: After I wrote SugarPaw and the Babysitter, I could see the various illustrations of this little bear creating mayhem for his babysitter. Therefore, I set to work on the picture book version of this story entitled Babysitting SugarPaw. I knew this could be a really fun story for babysitters to read when tucking in all those little pranksters to bed at night while mommy and daddy are out.

Q: Did you need to expand the story further for a picture book submission? If yes, what did you add? If no, did you always envision this particular story as a picture book?

VS: I actually ended up cutting the story up, with a lot of red ink and sleepless nights, down to the bare bones. In other words, into a picture book outline. Writing a picture book is very different from writing a short story, so it took some reworking. After seeing the guts of the story on page, I knew Babysitting SugarPaw was ready to be written as a picture book.

I had always hoped to take SugarPaw and the Babysitter and turn it into a picture book. After all, a picture inspired the story to begin with.

Q: Were you a babysitter at one time? If yes, did you incorporate any of your experiences into your story?

VS: I only babysat once for a family outside my own family that is. Man was that a total mistake for both parties. I was never cut out for babysitting being an only child until the age of fifteen. LOL. Of course, I wouldn’t say I was much better once my sister was around either. It takes a certain type of girl to be a babysitter, and I wasn’t it. I was more a tomboy growing up.

However, Babysitting SugarPaw does reflect a lot about how I was when babysat by others. Now that I’m a mom, I can relate to Bonnie Whiskers, too.

Q: When researching publishers, did you seek out at least three possibilities or did you focus solely on one publishing house?

VS: Actually, I’m a Freelance Editor for Halo Publishing; so no, I didn’t look into other publishers for Babysitting SugarPaw. However, writers should have a list of at least three publishers in mind for any book they are getting ready to submit.
But don’t think I didn’t have to go through the same process as any other writer submitting to Halo Publishing. My submission had to be reviewed by many editors before I got my acceptance. After that, it had to go through the editing process and, believe it or not, the editor cut more out of my story and tightened up a bit more. The only difference for me was I knew most of the illustrators personally and was able to work closer with the illustrator, too.

Q: From your experience, what has been the greatest obstacle you needed to overcome to achieve publication?

VS: Sitting down and finishing my book. No, really! I’m so busy with running Stories for Children Publishing and its many divisions: Stories for Children Magazine, SFC Newsletter for Writers, and SFC Blog Families Matter, that finding time to sit down . . . write . . . research publishers . . . and so on, just isn’t on my mind. But I’m glad I took the time to get Babysitting SugarPaw in the shape it needed to become a published book. Now to make the time for my other manuscripts.

Q: Please share what current works-in-progress you have in the fire.

VS: Oh, there are so many. Well besides Stories for Children Magazine, which is always a work-in-process, I have four other picture book manuscripts I’ve been working on for about a year now. I also have the first four chapters of a fantasy YA novel and an outline of another book that is more of a mystery/crime novel for teens based on true events from my high school years.

Lastly, I am currently in the process of putting together the second Best of Stories for Children anthology.

Drop back by this blog Monday to learn more about V.S. Grenier’s book, Babysitting Sugarpaw. See you then!