Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Debbie Day!"




So late Monday afternoon I was genuinely having a case of adoration withdrawl. I called Gail and pleaded, "May I please come and play with my adoring fans?" How else can I park my car in an over-crowded lot and have three parents say, "Are YOU, Debbie? My daughter, my son, my kids are in love with you," before I can get my gear unloaded from my car and across the 17 steps to the front door?

So we agreed I could languish until Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. How cool is it to see the classroom announcement board still saying, 'tomorrow is Debbie Day.'
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WORLD PREMIERE




Bang the drum!! It's time for my new book to 'roll out' with my favorite fan-club of little peeps!! My flag bag is out and everyone's ready to see what I've been talking about all summer!! Big day. Serious excitement!!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flashback: Pre 9-11 Era

Third of July. Years back. Summer camp: Camp Ora. I owned a flag-bag filled with flags. We paraded around the Bexley JCC and sang songs. [Children are always excited to go on a parade, as evidenced by this *ancient* captured enthusiasm.] Then came the shocking unfolding of the events of September. September 11th. Those are the same waving flags I used across town at the New Albany JCC during my leading "Tot-Shabbot" on the national day of prayer and mourning.

This parade is the very event, the actual precursor to what would became the song, which was the precursor to my current book. I knew that this picture existed at some point in time, but just today, this morning as we began to pack things up in my office, it re-appeared on the very top of a box of goodies chock full of thank you notes, photos, children's drawings, all sorts of evidence of love and support. Having the photo suddenly turn up, when I wanted it, was one of those amazing serendipitous, 'God winks.' A special word of thanks to Allen for scanning it for me.

Flash back, indeed.

I thought you'd be interested in the quotations on the back cover of my book:

"A perfect marriage of art & narrative. The multi-cultural aspect of the illustrations reinforce the United States as a 'melting pot.' The quilts are exquisite.... the intricacy of work is amazing. Some of the best fabric art I have seen in children's books. What a fitting tribute to 9-11."
-- Floyd C. Dickman, Co-Director
Mazza Museum Children's Book Center

"A masterpiece for all -- the old, the young and the in-between! A dazzling display of artistic talent with a finale of fireworks that is uniquely Debbie!"
-- Pam Schiller, Ph. D.
"Creating Readers"

"Our rainbow-girl continues to astonish & inspire with her joyful quilts & songs. This beautiful book will sing in your heart. God knows, we need to sing together."
-- Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld, Author & Advocate
"Creative Experiences for Young Children"

I'll tell you the amazing story of how I became acquainted with Floyd Dickman shortly. That's a real hum-dinger, worthy of it's own consideration. Wonder what on earth became of that skirt??? I wish that would turn up in the bottom of one of my infamous piles. LOL.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Clement Park Car Show








Dateline: Denver.
Littleton to be more specific.
GeeGee
goes to a car show at Clement park...... seriously:
Clement park!
Three boys, four if you count the daddy, five if you count the grand-dad..... and lots of cars, lots of chrome, lots of engines, lots of fenders, lots of testosterone, lots of shiny wheel covers, lots of other things that I can't begin to think of the names for. Shiny. Loud. Seriously fun. Our grown-up first-grade reading guy had such a laugh -- when he found the row labeled: GG.
It's all in the details.
And knowing how to read, of course!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birth Announcement!!!!






I have a brand new, squeaky clean, infant, baby-child. Birthdate: Wed., Sept. 22nd, 2010. 5:56 p.m. Weight: 15 ounces. Eyes: blue. The delivery was safe-and-sound. Straight forward, uneventful. Mama & baby are doing fine. Mama's a bit overly-ecstatic, complete with sleep deprivation and audible sighing. Baby seriously has that new-baby smell. (New-book-smell ranks second: following actual new-baby-smell and preceeding new-car-smell. IMHO.) I've been sniffing deeply, ever since Allen popped the UPS overnight-package, containing two advance copies into my hands.... just after the appetizers had been served above.

All of this excitement began right after Sarah & Scott picked us up at the airport having just flown in from our Rockies adventure. [Yes, I am completely behind in my updating. The connectivity in the mountains was hit & miss. I'll back track later... start imagining golden Aspen trees spakling in the sun.] I could have been suspicious -- what with them coming in two cars, but they explained easily enough that we wouldn't fit comfortably with all the luggage, even in their mini-van. Turns out, Scott & Allen went to the warehouse to pick up THE package. Oh, yeah, there were all those tornado sirens blaring & us going down to the basement for safety. When we got the all clear we loaded everybody back up & made the quick hop to TGIF for my big surprise: the unveiling, the official birth.

Today the whole shipment of an entire skid of boxes of books was delivered safely to the warehouse. They're here!! They're here!! And not only are the books printed, but the CD inserts have also arrived in our absence!!! Whoohooo. For all those of you betting on whether this could get printed in under a month, the answer is: you-bet-ya!!

For the life of me, I can't figure out why it took five years to get this accomplished??? {{{Laughing-seriously-out-loud-at-myself.}}} In retrospect, it seems completely easy-peasy. At some point I'll need to do some reflection on having a goal, breaking it down, bite-size pieces, micro-movements, list making, oh, and the website about thoughts-becoming-things. ENORMOUS thanks to my friend Renee Sutherland, of Conscious Discipline fame, for turning me on to that brilliant resource.

Now to get the image uploaded to my website, so that people can order it. One step at a time. One step at a time. One step at a time. Exhale Debbie. Exhale.

"The thing always happens that you believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." --Frank Lloyd Wright
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Artist Preview Night: 2010

The new year has begun in earnest. We have had our gathering of the Artists-in-the-Schools. There are banjos and jugglers, drummers and story-tellers, jazz and dancers, magicians and multi-discipline performers. It's a combination of reunion & hug fest. PTA meets the numerous choices for program selection. Let the good times roll.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Asking for Help

Have I mentioned that I'm really excited about the release of my new book? Have you caught on that I'm REALLY excited about the advent of it's arrival? Do you know how truly THRILLED I am to have gotten this baby nearly birthed?? This is the awkward time between having approved the proofs for printing and not yet holding it in my hands. There was a huge sigh, when all was finally approved and now what?????

As a self-published author ready to unveil a third book, I know how this has gone in the past. My crazy, unbelievable expectations and then the blinding stark cold truth of reality. I have no budget, no people, no expertise, no marketing skills...... so I have just 'hoofed' the book from one early childhood event to the next -- hoping for word-of-mouth to be my friend. Those that have found me often love me, but what about the rest?

This time, I am absolutely bound & determined to harness whatever strength I can muster to make a bigger splash. I'm going to ask for help. I am going to beckon the universe to provide guidance & direction. Voila. Here's evidence of progress in that regard. Thru a delightful serendipitous bounce on FB, my dear Team January member Robin, announced an upcoming "writers workshop" that promised to help get your work 'out there.' I got all psyched, but alas, I will be in Kansas when Robin's hosted event takes place, but Robin sensing my deep need for these skills contacted her friend Cheryl Moeller : stand-up comedian on motherhood of Mom Laughs, and published author, from ol' college days, and found that Cheryl was leading a similar seminar in Chicago.

We rearranged our return trip from Door County to Ohio -- which has to go RIGHT thru Chicago and TA DA!!! Here's our little think-tank, tapping into Cheryl's expertise, advise and guidance, receiving individualized tutoring and guidance. Ask and you shall receive. Now to follow through. Now to use these baby-budding skills of mine. Now to continue to listen for guidance and follow thru. Having a dream is one thing. Having a dream & following thru is all together different. Here's to doing things differently! Here's to learning new skills. Here's to taking action!!

"All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and have an idea that is obviously impossible."
-- Dr. Frank Richards (1875-1961) English Writer

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Peak: PROOFS!!!!!!





..............................DRUMROLL....................... p..l..e..a..s..e........................................... Here it is!! This is the first peak at the final color proofs of my up & coming picture book. Proof of life!!! Whoooooo hoooooo!! Allen was back from golfing this morning and then went dashing out the front door with a huge smile on his face. I wasn't even the slightest bit suspicious. In retrospect he did look like he'd swallowed all the goldfish. He came skipping back with an enormous box 'quasi-hidden' behind his back. It took me about three heart-beats to realize what was going on. I launched off of my perennial seat in front of the quilt above and literally went leaping across our little living room. Squealing with gleeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

He made some effort to pretend he wouldn't let me open it until I finished the digital-proposal I was working on for KY. Ya don't mess with a mama-lion. He quickly relented and handed it over. What you are seeing is the first full size, full color, full-of-life "signature" -- which is the initial 8 pages of the book, starting from the title page onward. That is the over-sized sheet. The cover proof is a full size presentation in it's exact placement...... back cover on the left, front cover on the right. The 'pin-wheel' sheet is the full color/full size presentation of the "end papers" -- those pages that are glued down inside to the cover. I've been saying all year long, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." Today, I'm thinkin' it really, truly is gonna come to pass. Today is Sept. 9th and exactly one month from today is my presentation for CAEYC. The question remains, "will they possibly be printed and shipped to Columbus in that length of time?"

Inquisitive minds want to know. Stay tuned for the answer!!
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Picturesque Postcards





Snippets and snaps. Blooms and bounty. Memories and moments. We're seriously into the sands-thru-the-hourglass mentality. A very few days left in the season. So soon to return to the real world. Savor. Savor. Savor.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Hug is Worth............

............... a thousand words. This morning I open my Facebook account to find this amazing picture posted on my wall. This comes to me via the east-coast. My ZB buddy, Stuart is a man with a HUGE heart and together he & his wife offer their home as a foster-site for children needing love. They offer a port-in-the-storm, yet they offer more than that.

This brown-eyed beauty was in their home over her birthday. Stuart 'knew' that she needed the words of my book in her life and had a copy to 'gift' her. He reports that she listened to my song about 20 times. Won't you sleep better tonight knowing that there are people like Stuart & his wife who offer sanctuary to children in need? Sleep even more soundly realizing that they have literally given her the words, "I think you're wonderful." It's obvious to me from her smile, that she believed them. She believed their affirmation.

It's days like this that I ponder what these simple, yet powerful words can mean in the hands of caring people. Caring teachers. Caring parents. Caring grand-parents. Caring foster-parents. It takes a village.

Her eyes just sparkle straight into my heart as she hugs my book. Thank you Stuart for being the conduit. You have literally given her a firm foundation, when she needed it most. You have given me some additional fuel for my journey as I bask in the after-glow of her glittering eyes and those amazing long eyelashes. KUDOS, my friend.

Poignant. People. Perseverance. Powerful.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quiet, Calm, Serene, Peaceful




We're down to our final week in Shangra-la-la-land. Every sundown is memorable, because they are in such a finite supply now. This was the middle of last week -- on the shores at Peninsula Players, just before the curtain went up, the sun went down. Applause for each: sundown & comedy. I'm not sure if you would 'believe' these colors if it were in a painting of a sundown. That's why I posed some leaves there in the foreground, so you'd believe, so that you trust that I didn't make this up with some computer generated art software. The real experience of sunset here is sometimes nearly mystical....... the power of such saturated color haunts me with happiness.
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Almost-a-Book Launch Party





There is such amazing power in women, and in a gathering of women that power is multiplied even further, exponentially. There's power in listening. There's power that comes from supporting each other. There's power in encouragement. There's power in mentoring. There's power in enthusiasm.

Tuesday there were several of us gathered after yoga at Base Camp Coffee for nourishment & yakking. I hardly had any voice -- due to my all-day training/singing/talking of the day before in Waukegon. So they asked what that was all about...... which led me to attempt to explain what it is that I "do." (Which is not particularly easy to summarize. LOL.) Eventually I told them about my books, from my earlier songs. Which led the conversation onward to my new & up & coming release. Blink your eyes three times and everyone wants to see the art files, blink a couple more times and Cindy has insisted that we get together to celebrate in their home.

Next came a flurry of emails being sent, yoga peeps, book club peeps, and before you know it we're heading out Garrett Bay road -- out further than I even knew the peninsula extended. Her doorbell's ringing and suddenly the room is bubbling with energy. We visited. We introduced ourselves to one another. We laughed. We shared. Then it was officially my "Show and Tell" time. I had my laptop hooked up to my LCD projector and we projected my newest efforts onto a sheet held in place with duct tape. We then sang & signed together.

Just as we finished singing the lyrics for "Red, White and Blue"...... Norma exclaimed that an eagle had just 'flashed' us with a fly-by and she declared the sighting a blessing and good omen. We squealed in unison!!!! Then we all hovered close to my laptop, to see the art in full color on it's screen. [All of the finished quilts are in Ohio, so they had to use their imagination as I answered questions about their size and specific quilting techniques that I used. ***Note to self, have quilts along for next gathering.]


Before you know it, my Sharpie-marker was getting a work out, as I personalized my first two books going to beloved children from hither to yon.

So awesome, to have the support and encouragement of such a circle of woman. We then had a few moments to do some further brainstorming about what comes next. Door County here I come!! Watch out next summer. Watch out Tupperware. It may be time to start going door-to-door and giving "grandma-parties" where ever I can locate a group of such willing hearts. A special thank you to Cindy for launching the entire event and to her husband Dan who joined in the chatter & fun. It all started in your eagle's nest of an open heart.
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