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1. August Was A Wild Month



So much has happened in the month since I last posted.   The campground was super busy with our themed weekends, especially our Halloween ones!

And mid-month, Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest launched!  Over 200 people came to the campground, and sat on my front lawn to celebrate with me, my family and Islandport Press.  For a special treat, we invited Hope from Wind Over Wings to give a presentation on raptors and ravens.


Teddy – A Northern Saw-whet Owl


The crowd was enchanted with each and bird, and their hearts were touched by their stories and how they came to stay with Wind Over Wings.


Zachariah – Common Raven


Hope and Skywalker have a special bond, it was easy to see.  Sky sang to Hope, as Hope told Sky’s story on how he was shot out of the sky. He came close to death, but pulled through, only to find one wing had to be amputated.  Can you imagine being an eagle, only to find yourself grounded?

Angry, Sky turned his back on his caregivers. Literally.  It was only after much patience, love and special care on the part of Hope and her staff,  that Sky turned back to the world.


Hope with Sky – a golden eagle


Now he stars in many presentations each year to educate humans on the life and adventures of being an eagle.

The photo below shows Sky saluting me for my work on Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest.  I was very honored.


While my staff helped children make s’mores, and Maxwell Moose wandered around showing everyone who would listen about how he was a character in Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest, I signed books for my readers and campers and friends.


The campground was still in full swing, but I did find time for a few kayaking trips to see the loons


They are preening . . .


and gathering in preparation for their journey to the coast for the winter.


And I even caught the heron, who frequents the marshy area every Fall . . .





School has started as well, and it feels good to be back in the classroom, talking up books, and writing and helping students make the most of each and every day.  We are planning an event at the school which will include Hope, and Wind Over Wings.

Going through my photos tonight, I realized I’ve taken many, but posted few.  This is mainly due to the time involved in editing them.  But now that the campground is slowing down, I can start going through them and will be be able to post summer-time photos well into the winter months!

And you’re going to have to hear all about my research and writing ups and downs, while I tackle book 3:  Mystery of the Missing Fox!



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2. Tuesday's Question- Hmm...? A question that will bring you back in time...so, fasten your seatbelts

                                                                  Tuesday's Question          

Baby bottle

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Are you ready to answer A Nice Place In The Sun’s weekly post entitled Tuesday's Question???

Tuesday’s Question is as old as this blog, which I started writing sometime in 2007, thinking it would be a great way to get to know the people and bloggers who were reading my blog, and in turn, read theirs, but within a short period of time, I realized their blogs were just the icing on a spectacular cake, and that cake is friendship.  

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Moving on, please be advised of the fact that some of Tuesday's Question's are a bit heavy, for example, look at this poor man; 
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Just kidding, you can relax, most of the time Tuesday's Question's are light and easy to answer, because I want to encourage you to comment, that way my visitors, friends, and I can get to know you.        

Oh, I almost forgot to ask the question, which, by the way, will take you back in time, so fasten your seat belts. Here's it is: 

                                  What is your first memory?  
                                   Alright, I'll answer first:

                 When I was three my family moved into a house in a subdivision still under construction. Our house was one of two that were built and bought. Through the years we watched house after house become a part of our street and neighborhood.

                 But, before that my brothers and I had the run of an untouched world, full of green clover, wild animals, grassy green lawns, and Ant beds. 

Being too young to join my brothers, I was confined to the house without an adult, which was good, because I had time to plan an escape.

Anyway, long story short, one day I found an opportunity to escape my captors, and dashed out the door after my brothers when they ran outside.

I'm not sure if they were running away from me, or weren't aware of my existence, but I simply could not catch up with brother on or brother two- Finally, out of breath and gasping I stopped running and stood like a stone on an ant bed.- 

Ants began to climb my legs like a trapeze artist crawling the rope that he will swing to the top of a circus tent.              

My three year old fingers could not slap the ants fast enough, and my legs felt as if they were on fire.

I began screaming for my brothers, but they were out of sight and sound by this point, so I continued to strike the tiny monsters, while thinking it was the last day of my life.

Then, I saw my mother sprinting toward me with a bucket of water in her hand.- And I was saved by one of my captors no less.-  

Now, it's your turn, think back...What is your first memory?

You can write your answer in comments. 

Thank you for stopping by A Nice In The Sun, and for participating in Tuesday's Question.                                                    




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3. Summer Is Coming to A Close

Surrey Lane

I’ve been busy this summer at our farm.  We recently got this new sign from an artist in Vermont.  I thought I would share it with my Snuggery Friends!

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4. Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets

Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets
Author: J.A. Buckle
Publisher: Switch Press
Genre: Teen
ISBN: 978-1-63079-000-4
Pages: 224
Price: $16.95

Buy it at Amazon

Josh is nearly 17, a metal head, and a nerd by his standards. He has a pet ferret, a mom and sister, and a couple of unusual friends, but no girlfriend – yet. Six months before the big birthday, he sets some lofty goals, but “real life” is getting in the way of achieving them.

In the journal his mother gave him as a release valve, Josh records his everyday thoughts and feelings. Girls, work, guitars, friends, and ferrets are all covered in some manner, as well as his regret at never having met his really cool and handsome dad. But life is going to throw Josh some big surprises he never expects.

Turning 17 means facing demons from the past, and requires an extra dose of courage and strength. Growing up isn’t easy, and guys will relate to Josh’s struggles in trying to get his life going in the right direction. Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets is a great coming of age story from a guy’s perspective, although girls will also enjoy reading Josh’s private journal. I highly recommend this entertaining and lighthearted book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

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5. Green Leaves

Something I started for fun recently. It's big (well, for me) measuring 30 inches high and I'm having the time of my life painting vines and leaves and every green thing I can think of.

And I just posted an about/FAQ page on the sidebar. There's information about illustrating digitally, commissions and other assorted items. If there's a specific question I didn't cover, just let me know and I'll try to pop it in there. Hope this helps!

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6. Spawn: The Animated Series (Season 1 - Episodes 1, 2, and 3)

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7. Critique Group Advice

Though you should sometimes ignore the advice from your critique group, you should still have one. 


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8. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Sesame Street to Celebrate Beloved Show's 45th Season with Behind-The-Scenes Exhibition | The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Sesame Street to Celebrate Beloved Show's 45th Season with Behind-The-Scenes Exhibition | The New York Public Library

6:30 p.m.Muppet Master Class with Martin P. Robinson
1 p.m.Sesame Street Family Day
Pre-schoolers (3-5 years),
School Age (5-12 years),
6 p.m.Sesame Street: Making Learning a Funny Affair
3 p.m.KID'S FILM - Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird
6 p.m.FILM - The World According to Sesame Street
6 p.m.Sesame Street: A Digital Playground

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9. Lensmen by E. E. "Doc" Smith -the original Green Lanterns?

 The Lensman series is a serial science fiction space opera by Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith. Created in 1948 with the Triplanetary story.  It was a runner-up for the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series (the winner was the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov)

In the DC Comics universe, the Green Lantern Corps bears many parallels to the Lensmen, although its principal creators deny any connection (later creators, however, would introduce Green Lanterns named Arisia and Eddore as an homage).

What do you think movie buffs?

Lensman: Power of The Lens (1987)
 SF Shinseiki Lensman and The Secret Of The Lens

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10. How to promote Your Novel--one simple idea from the reluctant promoter

First my disclaimer—I’m a reluctant promoter. I try now and then, but I struggle with that part of being a writer. So I’m inexperienced. But I have been reading up on it a little, trying to know more.  One thing I keep reading is that writers have the opportunity to connect directly with readers, thanks to social media, in ways they never could before. So although the gatekeepers and influencers are still important, there seems to be a lot of potential to let readers know about your work without going through the middleman or woman. The problem is how do you make that connection?

There’s a much-quoted line from Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and co-editor of Boing Boing, “The problem for most artists isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.” Yeah, that is a problem. I kind of have that problem. His point is a good one, I think-- you should give away as much content as you can because the worry shouldn’t be that you’ll give away too much; the worry should be that no one will read what you give-away or what you or your publisher sells.

Of course Amazon and now publishers give away the first few chapters of books to try to get readers interested.  The SAMPLE has been around for a while and I’m a big fan of it. I usually read the sample of a novel before I buy it even if friends have recommended the novel.  But the SAMPLE—in most cases-- isn’t available until around publication.  It made me think that it would be nice if that kind of experience or an experience like that could be available before the book was published.

So my idea is pretty simple (it may have been done before but I haven’t seen it anywhere). You give away a short version of your novel before it’s published. What I did was make a 2-minute novel that is something that a reader can read in less time than it would take to listen to a song. I took select lines from my novel that comes out on Feb.10, 2015 --Utopia, Iowa-- from the beginning to the end. I posted it to my website. Here it is if you want to take a look at the post: http://brianyansky.com/2-minuteUtopia.html

I was careful not to give away the secrets of the story, of course. I picked lines that I thought were interesting or funny or revealed a little character or plot. I wanted it to be fun and short. More than anything I wanted to give a feel for the novel so that if someone read the 2-minute version and liked it, they might be interested in the full 300+ page version when comes out many months from now.

So here are some reasons I think this is a good idea and something you might try with your novel:
*It’s easy to do.
*It’s kind of fun.
*It’s basically free.
*You have something you can show readers before publication.
* The 2 minute version will remain on my website through publication so it isn’t a one-shot promotion deal. I did put it out there when I got my book cover but I can keep referring people to it as time moves closer to the pub. date and I do other promotions.

Will it help? Who knows?  But as a reluctant promoter I’m all about small steps; if it makes even a few readers aware of and interested in Utopia, Iowa, I’m happy. 

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11. NOVEDADES 2014

Muestra Itinerante 

“Trazar un futuro - Dibujantes Trabajando"

en Bahía Blanca

Exposición en apoyo a la aprobación del proyecto de ley de Régimen de Reconocimiento a Ilustradores, Historietistas y Humoristas Gráficos

Inauguración y charla explicativa sobre la creación del I.N.A.G.

29 de septiembre 2014 - 19 hs
 hasta el 3 de Octubre

Centro Histórico Cultural de la U.N.S. / Rondeau 29- Bahía Blanca.

auspicia el Instituto Cultural de la Municipalidad de Bahía Blanca

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12. RIP Challenge 2014

Turning the calendar page to September can only mean one thing when it comes to reading: time for the RIP Challenge! It’s been nine years —nine! — that Carl has been hosting what has surely become a highly anticipated fall event. I know I always look forward to it and actually started thinking about what I would read a few months ago, plenty of time to write and rewrite and rewrite again the list of books. And now here we are and I need to figure out what, exactly, I am going to read. Of course I can always change my mind. For some reason I don’t feel like I have much time to read many books for RIP, not sure why I’m feeling that way, maybe the big pile of books on my reading table has something to do with it. But I will still manage to get in a few, so here’s what I’m thinking of:

  • House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. I’ve been meaning to read this one for years and I think it is finally time I got to it. It is a sort of haunted house story in which the house, much like the TARDIS, is bigger on the inside. Only I don’t think the Doctor will be showing up to sort things out and save the day.
  • She by H. Rider Haggard. A little adventure, a chance at immortality, and a whole lot of Victorian prejudice, what more could a girl want? I actually started reading this at lunch today on my Kindle. Such proper gentlemen about to be terrified by a strong woman and Africa. Horrors!
  • What’s a RIP Challenge without some old fashioned gothic romance? The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve. Published in 1777, Reeve described it as “the literary offspring of The Castle of Otranto.” It is filled with revelations, horrors, betrayals, and a final battle between good and evil. I presume there might also be a beautiful maiden in there somewhere too.
  • If I survive The Old English Baron and find myself prepared to face more terror, I just might give Glenarvon by Lady Caroline Lamb a go. Lamb was Lord Byron’s mistress, one of them anyway, and the title character is reportedly a very unflattering depiction of him. It was Lamb’s first novel and a big success. Ah, revenge is sweet.

If the “classics” get to be too much I might substitute something more recent, but that will be a last minute decision. Stay tuned!

Filed under: Books, Challenges, Gothic/Horror/Thriller Tagged: R.I.P.

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13. Seven Year-Old Aims to Publish Anti-Gun Book

Indiana seven-year-old Terry Miles is writing a book about gun violence and with help from his teacher Ball State University student Brittany Cain. The work will be self-published published as an eBook.

The Shot Heard Around the Town: A Story About How One Boy Can Change the World stems from a letter that Miles wrote to the mayor of Muncie telling about gun violence in his neighborhood. He wrote: “Dear Mayor, I have a problem. I have been hearing gunshots in my neighborhood. Can you make them stop?” which ran in The Star Press. You can watch a news report about Miles here.

As part of a class project, Cain wants to help Miles publish the eBook through Kids at Heart Publishing company, a self-publishing services company that helps self-published authors publish and promote their books for a fee. Miles is currently seeking donations to help fund the project. Huffer Memorial Children’s Center is accepting donations on his behalf. (Via The Star Press).

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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14. Technical Difficulties

Blogger is not recognizing paragraphs for me this evening, and I refuse to publish without them. Blogger is behaving in other objectionable ways as well. So Time Management Tuesday will be coming tomorrow. Yes. On Wednesday. See? This was three paragraphs. As of 10:19 Tuesday evening, it's only one.

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15. ‘Private Down Under’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Private Down Under by James Patterson & Michael White has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 4.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 9/1/14. If I Stay by Gayle Forman continues to lead the list, followed by Mean Streak by Sandra Brown.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. Lately a friend of mine&#8217;s four year old is into saying, &#8220;I don&#8217;t like your good...

Lately a friend of mine’s four year old is into saying, “I don’t like your good idea.” (I assume this is a contraction of some preschool-learned politeness along the lines of “That’s a good idea, but…”)

Just putting it out there in case you’ve been looking for a new way to express displeasure/ issue a veto/ rebut a think piece.

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17. Video Essay: "What Is Composition?"

My latest video essay is now available at Press Play. It's the first in a new series by various hands on cinematic terminology. My term was "composition", and so I made an essay creatively titled, "What Is Composition?"

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18. reality of characters

Question: How can I make my characters into real people? Answer: I'm going to assume you want your characters to seem like real people, because that's

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19. FILM REVIEW: ‘Rocks in My Pockets’: A Deeply Personal Film About Depression

Can an animated feature about depression be entertaining too?

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20. #649 – Bonjour Camille by Felipe Cano & Laia Aguilar


Bonjour Camille

Written by Felipe Cano
Illustrated by Laia Aguilar
Chronicle Books              8/01/2014
Age 3+           32 pages

“It’s a Sunday morning, and Camille—adorned in a tutu and a top hat—has so many things to do! There is jumping on the bed (of course), choosing a new favorite color, drawing thousands of faces on thousands of balloons, hiding all of the umbrellas, seeking out the unexpected on a map, and more in delightful surprises, all experienced through the eyes of an inspired child.”


“On Sunday mornings, as soon as the sun comes up, Camille opens her eyes and . . . “


Camille wakes and puts on a tutu and a top hat. This is her battledress. She has many things to do on this Sunday, beginning with jumping on the bed until . . .


That was Camille’s mother. Camille has many things planned for her day. She plans on,

Bonjour Camille_Int_2

“Giving names to all the waves.”

Bonjour Camille_Int_3

“Asking the wind in a whisper voice to tell her a story.”

There are so many things Camille has to do on a Sunday. She most definitely must get an ice cream cone and then let it melt away in her hand. Depending upon the height of your viewpoint, Camille’s plans are either delightful ideas or odd and impossible. As Camille continues making her plans, giving balloons’ faces and yelling at winter until . . . a voice penetrates her thoughts,

“STOP that jumping!”

Camille is a typical young girl, bored on a winter Sunday, trying to find fun things to do inside the house. While she conjures up her plans, Camille continues jumping despite her mother sternly saying it was enough (but she did not say exactly enough of what). Camille, deep in her thoughts, may not have heard.

I love Camille’s spirit and I adore her whimsical imagination. Though many little girls have had ice cream melt on their hand and drawn faces on a balloon, Camille plans these activities and then allows the ice cream to melt, and draws faces on thousands of balloons. Camille has an indomitable spirit.

The illustrations look drawn with Camille’s own hand. The images are simple, yet fun. Originally released in Spain, Bonjour Camille is different from most picture books from Chronicle. Other than its small 6 x 8 size, the colors are not as bright and bold as most picture books. None of this takes away from book’s charm. Bonjour Camille is the perfect gift for a spunky little girl or the parents of an adorable baby girl.

BONJOUR CAMILLE. Text copyright © 2011by Felipe Cano. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Laia Aguilar. Reproduced by permission of Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.


Purchase Bonjour Camille at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryChronicle Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Bonjour Camille HERE

Meet the author, Felipe Cano, at his website:

Meet the illustrator, Laia Aguilar, at her LinkedIn:    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/laia-aguilar/1a/493/bb0

Find more picture books at the Chronicle Books website:    http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

First published in 2011 by BOBO CHOSES.


bonjour camille


Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Bonjour Camille, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, Felipe Cano, imagination, indomitable, Laia Aguilar, little girl dreams, picture books, translated from Spanish, whimsical

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21. Shelter

Massachusetts isn’t close
To Em and Henry’s farm
But still, a twister landed there
And did some major harm.

My bro-in-law got an alert
That shelter he should seek.
They hurried to the basement
But their dog began to freak.

Now Waldo is a greyhound
And has never mastered stairs.
The warning was unusual
And caught them unawares.

So bro and sis-in-law and pup
(Another family pet)
Just waited without Waldo
‘Til the ending of the threat.

The twister didn’t hit them;
They were fortunate this time,
But I think they have a reason
To teach Waldo how to climb!

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22. Where To Start: How To Write the Exact Right Beginning of Your Story

Pain shoots up from the bottom of her foot, enough so she limps and is forced to wear heavy boots with firm arch supports. Hearing the pain started about a month into writing a memoir and that she hasn't moved very far into her story even after more than seven months of writing scenes long-hand, I suspect that her foot pain and writing pain were linked.

Often problems with the feet indicate difficulty moving forward. I ask her what the problem is with moving forward with her story.

"I don't know where to begin," she mutters.

The struggle in determining the exact right beginning point to start your story is not isolated to memoir writers. Yes, when faced with scenes from your entire life, deciding what to put in and what to leave out can confuse a writer about where best to begin her memoir. The same can be said for novelists and screenwriters as well as memoir writers

With some intense theme explorations, both listing themes that fire up the most energy in her to write about and developing a thematic significance statement for what meaning overall she wishes to convey lead her to the perfect place to begin.

Is that the place the memoir will ultimately begin in the final, final draft? Not necessarily. At this point the most important action this writer can take is to start there and write an entire draft all the way to the end one time. Then she can go back and determine if, in fact, that is the place to begin or take the test I share in my upcoming Writers Store webinar: Where To Start: How To Write the Exact Right Beginning of Your Story and finally pinpoint the exact right place. (Oh, and I can almost guarantee that by the time she writes into the exotic world of the middle, her foot pain miraculously vanishes…)

Today I write!
For more about how to develop THEMES and a THEMATIC SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT for your novel, memoir, screenplay: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.
Need more help with your story? 
  • Looking for tips to prop up your middle with excitement? 
  • Wish you understood how to show don't tell what your character is feeling? 
  • Are even you sometimes bored with your own story?
  • Long to form your concept into words? 
We can help you with all of that and so much more! View your story in an entirely new light. Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing.

PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month includes 8 videos  (5.5 hours)  + 30 exercises

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23. The Internet is Also Real Life

The distinction between Real Life and the internet is frequently made. Particularly by people for whom the internet is not a big, or in some cases any, part of their social lives. But the internet is not on a different planet. It’s right here on Earth it was created by people and is made up of people just like Sydney or New York City or Timbuktu.

The internet is a huge part of my life, and has been since the early 1990s, when I was first introduced to the weird and wonderful World Wide Web. Oh, the glory of it.

I remember my very first email address. Hard to believe now, but back then email was a wonder. I could stay in touch with friends and family all around the world without stamps or envelopes or treks to the post office and without the insanely long waits.1

In those early days I spent a lot of time reading through various different rec.arts news groups. People exchanging opinions! As if they were in the same room! Except they weren’t! Woah! I joined loads of different listservs. I discovered weird and wonderful blogs and would lose days reading back through the archives. I even commented on some of them. By 2003 I had my own blog. Er, this one. In the last few years twitter has become a large part of my life and through it I have met many amazingly smart and witty an inspiring people.

Online I have found people who care about the same things as me. I’ve found communities I feel at home in. I loved it then and I still love it.

For twenty years now I’ve had many people in my life I think of as my friends whom I’ve never met in *cough* real life. But I know them. Not the way I know the people I’ve lived with. Not the way I know my closest friends. But in some cases I know my online friends better than some of my offline friends and acquaintances.

These online friends are not imaginary. We who spend big chunks of our lives online are real. We make each other laugh. We make each other cry. We annoy each other. We talk to each other several times a week. We fight bullies together. We share experiences. We care about each other.

When one of us dies it hurts.

Social media is not an abstraction. It’s real. It’s made up of real people, who live and die. Their deaths are real and painful.

  1. Okay, obviously, not entirely true. As with snail mail it all depends on how good a correspondent a person is. But in the first days of email we were all so excited we were amazing correspondents. Until the novelty wore off . . .

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24. REpost – in memory of Summer!

Previously, I posted a poem in honor of the hot months of the year. Now that they will soon be in our rear-view, I’ll post it again. And maybe later, I’ll write and post an ode to summer and a hello to AUTUMN! :)   SUMMER Kick off your shoes Wiggle your toes Catch the…

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25. First day of school.

First day of school.

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