The Creep and Pounce

Marlon is a cat, I guess you know that by now. He loves to quietly creep up on something, wait patiently until the time is right, and when that something isn’t looking, pounce and grab it quick. That’s the way cats go after things. Well that’s not going to work with Silky, the sparrow that Marlon likes so much.

When Marlon does the creep and pounce with his brother Albert, they get into all kinds of cat fights. And often Marlon gets mad and then does a scratch and bite. See, Marlon gets frustrated easily, and then mad, and then watch out!

Well if he tries that with Silky, she’ll just fly away. Marlon will have to change his ways if he wants to be friends with that sweet sparrow. But it won’t be easy. Can Marlon make it work?

Friends or ???

Coming soon from Nice Dog Books, Marlon Finds a Way

The Creep and Pounce Read More »

Silky, from “Marlon Finds a Way”

Silky is a sweet house sparrow. She’s smart, careful and can fly really fast. And then there’s Marlon the cat. Her sparrow friends tell her you can’t trust a cat. Marlon wants to impress Silky or find some way to gain her trust. Silky is skeptical, but willing to listen. In Marlon Finds a Way, we’ll learn some fun facts about sparrows. Like how they’re able to fly so fast and why they like to take dust baths. Yes, with dirt instead of water. Why? Well, you’ll find out in Marlon Finds a Way, coming soon.

Silky

Marlon Finds a Way is a chapter book perfect for young readers 6-9.

Silky, from “Marlon Finds a Way” Read More »

Marlon Finds a Way

After Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale, our next book is about Marlon, a cat with a big problem. See, Marlon really likes Silky, a house sparrow. He thinks she is really beautiful and wants to be friends. Silky, of course, thinks cats are nothing but “trouble on the double” and wants Marlon to just slink away. What’s a cat to do? Marlon is determined to make it work. But how?

MARLON

That’s just for starters. Stay tuned for more about Marlon Finds a Way.

Marlon Finds a Way Read More »

Did you ever feel misunderstood?

Did you ever feel misunderstood, like people didn’t really see you, or made assumptions about you that just weren’t true?

Well, imagine being a carefree tiger who wants nothing more than to just enjoy life and make friends with everyone who passes by. In “Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale,” everyone is afraid of her. When she reaches out a paw or roars a hello, everyone panics and runs away. What’s a tiger to do?

Emmalene

Well, you can read about her and how two spirited siblings, Abbie and Bobby, set out to get to know Emmalene and rescue her from looming captivity. What will happen when they meet up? You can find out for FREE on Amazon Kindle through Thursday, March 25.

You can find it here.

Did you ever feel misunderstood? Read More »

Picturing Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale

As I wrote and revised the story of Emmalene I also thought about creating images for the story. Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve had much more experience writing than drawing, although I’ve been doodling all my life. But I did take a few drawing classes to help. You know, you learn a lot by doing, and that’s what I did.

After I finished the first draft, I revised the story over and over until the words flowed along like a little bubbling stream. As I wrote and rewrote, I also thought about the images. I wanted one image to start each chapter. And sometimes I thought it would be nice to have another image in the middle or at the end of each chapter. And some ideas for drawings just popped into my head while I was writing.

Most of the images, like the one of Emmalene, above, were created after the story was finished. I looked at a lot of photographs of tigers before I started to draw her. And I should add, that although real tigers are fierce, I wanted Emmalene to look strong, powerful and yet friendly at the same time. She is a tiger, after all.

All of the drawings in Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale were created on my iPad. I used a drawing program called Procreate and an Apple Pencil, which is a pretty cool tool. Both let you jump right in and were easy to use.

Then, once the words and drawings were set, there was only one thing to do -cross my fingers and hope you like them. I really hope you do. I”d like to know what you think of Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale.

Please take a moment and leave a review. I read all the reviews and comments because they help me become a better writer. Also, reviews help other people decide if they want to read the story. So, it’s a big help for everyone. It’s easy. To leave your comments or a review, just click on this link to the book site on Amazon. Please let me know what you think, one way or the other. I can’t wait to see what you have to say. And thanks! I really appreciate it.

Picturing Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale Read More »

Emmalene Behind the Scenes

I want to thank you for reading about Emmalene and her friends Abbie and Bobby. It was fun writing and I hope you enjoyed it. In case you’re wondering, here’s a little bit behind the scenes of creating Emmalene a Tiger’s Tale.

Emmalene says a great big “HELLO”

Emmalene was inspired by a story I read when I was a boy about a bull named Ferdinand. Everyone thought Ferdinand should be strong and fierce because he was a bull. But he was a gentle soul who just loved smelling the flowers. That story helped me understand how we’re all special in our own way and how we just want to be appreciated for being ourselves. It sounds simple but it’s important, especially for children learning about themselves and the world.

And when my kids were young, I saw how my daughter and son were great pals, even though she (the oldest) would boss him around. I thought about their relationship when Abbie and Bobby joined the story. I wanted to show how they could come together to overcome challenges on the way to helping Emmalene. 

As I write, I try to let the story just carry me along, so there’s not much planning before I begin. I just get an idea or a feeling about something and then get going. Writing and drawing the illustrations are the fun part. Then comes the hard work. More about that in my next post.

Please let me know what you think.

Please take a moment and leave a review. I read all the reviews and comments because they help me become a better writer. Reviews help other people decide if they want to read the story, too. So, it’s a big help for everyone. Here’s a link to the book site on Amazon. Please let me know what you think, one way or the other. I can’t wait to see what you have to say. And thanks! I really appreciate it.

Emmalene Behind the Scenes Read More »

Emmalene’s on Amazon

Emmalene has a new cover

Emmalene’s new cover has a bigger drawing so it’s easier to see her when the book appears on Amazon’s website as a thumbnail image. I’ve been working on getting the site ready for her launch, which was set for October 5th on Kindle, and she’s also available in paperback. I used an Amazon template to help me make the paperback cover. The front for the Kindle version and the paperback is the same. The back has a short picture of me and a bio and a mini-summary of the book. It’s been fun getting everything together for the launch. There were lots of details to take care of before she was ready, but now that she is, I’m excited.

I hope you like reading about Emmalene and her pals Abbie and Bobby. Please let me know what you think. I love reading your comments. They help me become a better writer. And they help other people decide if they want to read Emmalene’s story too.

Emmalene’s on Amazon Read More »

Emmalene, Behind the Scenes

                                 Where Do Stories Come From?     

     Sometimes an idea just pops into my head. That’s how the story Emmalene A Tiger’s Tale was launched. I was also thinking about a story I read when I was little, by Munro Leaf, about Ferdinand the bull.

In the story everyone looked at Ferdinand as a big strong bull and, given how he looked, thought he should be fierce. But Ferdinand just wanted to enjoy life and smell the flowers. That made me think about how we often make judgements about how we expect someone is supposed to act or be. In that way, Ferdinand was misunderstood and he became part of the inspiration for Emmalene.

I also wanted to write something about kids using their common sense to solve a problem that befuddled the adults. So I decided for my story, there would be two siblings, a tiger and some grownups. And after that, I just started to write and the story just poured out piece by piece.

     I also wanted to tell this story from different points of view. So there’s Emmalene’s problem – she’s just misunderstood like Ferdinand. For example, the villagers are frightened when they hear her roar, but she’s just using her loud tiger voice to say “good morning.”

     Another problem is that the villagers just assume that a tiger means trouble. And they scurry about trying to solve the “tiger problem” and get all tangled up in their assumptions.

     But Abbie and Bobby see it differently. Abbie sees Emmalene as an over grown kitty cat, just like Snowball. They’re curious to find out if that’s true for Emmalene. If it is, then maybe she just wants to be friends. So they go to check it out.

                           It’s Important to be Curious

     I’ve learned long ago that it’s important to be curious. When you find yourself in a situation or a conflict, it’s important to check it out and ask a question. Like, is this what you’re trying to tell me? Is this why you did that? Is this what you’re trying to get across? The answer may surprise you. It also might be different than what you expected. 

     So, I learned that, before I assume this or that be curious and ask a question. 

Emmalene, Behind the Scenes Read More »

Launching Nice Dog Books

It seems like I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. First, it was to try to figure things out, with occasional poems and musings about this and that. Later came long descriptive letters to friends, and after that came stories.

When my kids were little, I’d tell them about imaginary creatures I named “The Griffleflix.” They inhabited my bedtime stories and I’d make up adventures on the spot, sometimes falling asleep in the middle of the telling. But their antics were always goofy and funny. I think my secret goal in life was to make my kids laugh.

So I decided to try to share my best stories with you and anyone who might enjoy them. I started with one of the more complicated ones about a tiger named Emmalene and decided to do my own illustrations. I feel my strengths lie more in the writing, but it’s also a lot of fun drawing, so why not? You’ll be the judge.

So this is the beginning of Nice Dog Books. Oh, the name came from my mom. When we’d go to visit, she’d always give our dog a pat on the head and say, “she’s a nice dog.” So I’m dedicating Nice Dog Books to my mom and mom’s everywhere. Because without them, where would we be?

Launching Nice Dog Books Read More »