Coming to a Book Near You

October 15, 2018

Coming Soon To A Book Near You

Meet my new friend Jeannie Ann. She is the star of my next book which is about to go to print, Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer. Seeing a need for breast cancer information when someone close to a child is diagnosed became the motivation for me to create this story in a children’s book. How do I tell my child or children about breast cancer? Where do I go to find help in doing this in the right way? How do I involve my child in my journey?
Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer by Diane Davies and illustrated by C.A. Nobens, has the answers for you to these difficult questions. Grandma’s breast cancer journey is told through the voice of six year old Jeannie Ann who with the help of her family and Grandma learns to face the fears, emotions and needs that she is experiencing. Cancer, tumor, mastectomy, chemotherapy, pain, love, death, prayers are all a part of the story that Jeannie Ann shares with us. Written with honesty, love and understanding, Jeannie Ann’s Grandma has Breast Cancer, is sure to impact the family of a cancer patient positively. C.A. Nobens caught the simple yet powerful message of Jeannie Ann and helped me to tell the story through her beautiful and perceptive illustrations. Available late December 2018 or early January 2019.

This little guy stars in Book 2 Life in the Neck Squirrel Trouble. You guessed it! His name is Eli. He and his Dad have built a log fort in the neck. From scratch you might say. They started by cutting down the trees, skinning the bark – the whole ball of wax to build a log cabin. Eli knows all of the terminology, just ask him. Before the chinking was finished, guests arrived and moved in preparing for the winter. The guests were a red squirrel family with three little ones, Chatter, Whistle and Squeak. As you can imagine they gave Eli a run for his money creating havoc, destruction, and frustration for our little hero. Book 2 Life in the Neck Squirrel Trouble will be available in the summer of 2019.

     

Kids Say the Darndest Things

October 14, 2018

I’m really dating myself with this one! Do you remember the Art Linkletter Show by that name? Google it and see some videos from the program. They are pretty cute. As kids, my brothers and I as well as our parents loved that show and watched it weekly on our old black and white TV where you had to get up to change the channel or adjust the volume. Believe or not! Well kids really do say the darndest things even today.

After my classroom visits last week reading Life in the Neck New Friends, I have a few of those kinds of sayings to share as well. Keep in mind that I was reading to 8 & 9 year olds in 3rd grade. I won’t use names to protect the innocent.

“Do you know my Grandma?”

“How old are you, really?”

“Are you the author or the illustrator?” “I wrote the story so that makes me the author.” “Oh, so you drew the pictures then, right?”

“Did you teach my Mom or my Grandma?”

“If that story was real, that Old Coyote would have eaten that little fawn right there in the garden!”

“Do you really live right in the neck with the animals – like out in the woods and all?”

These book reviews are some of my favorite!

“I have 100 books at home but my favorite is the Neck I like that they get a lot of friends.”

“I have 15 books. My favorite is Life in the Neck. Diane Davies will be glad to hear this!”

The Eagle

October 12, 2018

The Eagle

By Alfred Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls.

As I sit at my desk today an eagle lands in a tree not too far from my window. Well it looks pretty far through my camera lens, however. You get the idea! My eagle clasps the branch not a crag in our part of the world. And if you look carefully, there is blue in the sky behind him.

My wrinkled sea happens to be the St. Croix River and he is watching from the tree tops not a mountain wall. I wonder what he sees from up there with his incredible vision. He certainly has a commanding view of the river valley below. What is he watching for? A fish perhaps or is it a mouse or a muskrat crawling along the shore. I’m sure he’s checking out what he might have for dinner. With all of the rain recently the fall foliage is a little lacking in color and brightness but he sits and waits. Head swiveling to be sure to catch all of the views.

The thunderbolt only falls when he has his prey in sight and he is ready to strike. I love watching him from the safety of my desk chair but I would not want to be looking up and seeing that thunderbolt hurtling in my direction.

Battle Tribe

October 11, 2018

Do you remember Roxane Battle from KARE 11 – news anchor and co-host of NBC Today Show? Roxane is now an award-winning author of Pockets of Joy Deciding to Be Happy, Choosing to Be Free. She continues to make her home in Minneapolis where she is a journalist, author and speaker.

I had the privilege earlier this week to meet Roxane at an intimate gathering of Beaver’s Pond Press authors. We came together to have her share her expertise on marketing and media. Through Roxane’s charismatic character and charming appeal, she allowed us a peek inside to the real Roxane Battle personality. She radiates joy and projects positivity. She expertly created in one hour and a half the Pocket of Joy Tribe, or what I like to call the Battle Tribe, ready to take some baby steps into the media world.

Media, press, social media etc. is what sells books. You can write the best book ever and not move one off of the shelf without it. What good is what you think is a bestseller taking up space and collecting dust in your closet? If you are not willing to do the marketing work, then hire a publicist who will! If can’t afford the publicists, then you either do the work or let the books collect more dust where we all lose!

Roxane was sharing about her winning of the Minnesota Independent Publishing Associations’ Book of the Year Award and what that meant to her and her career as an author. She went on to talk about the Mom’s Choice Award and what a valuable award that would be to win. I very quietly piped up, “I have one of those.” She stopped in mid-sentence, looked my way and said, “What did you say?” I repeated my statement about having one of those and she began to applaud. I never in my wildest dreams gave that kind of credence to what I had already won with Life in the Neck New Friends. Thank you Roxane to opening my eyes to what was already in my hands.

I left Beaver’s Pond Press that night with renewed energy and might I say with a bit of a swagger as I walked out to my car in the rain. Only a few cars were left in the parking lot to see me, however! But look out world of the media, I’m ready to take you on and with the help of the Mom’s Choice Award sell more books.

Logo Loco Revisited

October 5, 2018

After sending out yesterday’s blog post, I received a bunch of yeas and 1 nay on my new logo. My friend, Troy Pribnow, responded: “ I like the logo but as a graphic designer I have wonderings in my head. What would you think of a quill drawing a decorative line between “dianedavies.com” and “author”? I am in no way trying to step on your toes or diminish your efforts; just my wonderings.”

I too must have had some “wonderings” as well. I liked the lamp and the colors all right. I really just wanted it done and out of the way. So I settled for the one I showed you yesterday with the lamp (bright idea! as another friend responded). I knew it wasn’t perfect but with the time and money involved it would do and I’d live with it.

Then along came Troy’s message and idea. After a lot of back and forth on Facebook this is what he came up with for me:

The quill says author much more than the lamp. I really, really like it so much. Troy’s response: “I think it fits you better, too.” Thanks Troy. You are the best!!!!

Logo Loco

October 4, 2018

Since starting to write, I’ve been thinking about creating some type of logo to use for this new adventure that I’m on – that of being an author. I must admit, it does make me a little bit loco trying to come up with something meaningful and creative and yet simple and tastefully done.   So here it is:

 

It is absolutely nothing meaningful and certainly not very creative. Simple – yes! Tastefully done – who cares.!?!?!?! I’m tired of trying to figure something out. The whole process has been a huge waste of my writing time. This works for me and is now crossed off my list so I can get back to the fun stuff – that of writing stories for children. I’ll put my creative juices to work there instead of trying to figure out a Loco Logo!

What do you think?

 

Vintage

October 3, 2018

When you see the word vintage, what comes to mind? First to my mind comes vintage clothes – old-fashioned, or out-of-date clothing. Not garage sale stuff but fine classic apparel from eras past. Or how about vintage appliances, vintage machines, even vintage equipment? Outmoded, antiquated, dated, old, antique are words that pop into my head but also of the best. A vintage wine is supposedly the best wine and a vintage car is called a classic. So if something is vintage it is out of the ordinary in a special way.

The fall season brings with it vintage sales that have become so popular with shoppers of all ages. The word vintage raises the sale to a higher level of reality. It is not just an antique sale but a vintage antique sale. There you will not find “junk” but vintage junk raising it a level above just plain old junk. I guess it is all in the eyes of the beholder.

No matter – a vintage sale in the fall is just plain fun! It gets you out in the cool crisp sunshine to enjoy the colors of the season, friends and neighbors that are out and about, fresh apples, pumpkins and squash, and you might even find some vintage junk that you just cannot live without any longer. The challenge comes in repurposing the find into something useful for today.

This weekend, October 6 & 7, and next, October 13 & 14, you will find for your enjoyment the Apple Pickers Vintage Sale at 8421 St. Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN. Vendors featuring furniture, garden art, tools, guys stuff, French country, metal junk, big old cupboards, barn wood creations, antiques and some just plain interesting stuff will be on hand. The sale is 1 mile south of Afton Alps on St. Croix Trail. You can’t miss it. I gotta go before all the good “junk” is gone.   See you!

 

 

I will . . .

October 2, 2018

Our world today is so full of hate and greed! It seems to be everywhere from our high government officials to men and women walking the sidewalks next to us and yes, even the bullying on the playground and in the classroom! Where does so much evil and malevolent behavior find it’s way into our society? How can we deal with it and change it for the better?

Austin Swayne, the Youth Director at Cottage Grove United Church of Christ, preached a sermon entitled; I Will Serve the Kingdom. You can hear this thought filled and thought-provoking sermon by going to www.CGUCC and clicking on sermons. Austin asks the question, “How can this world filled with brokenness, pain, and evil be healed”? The simple and yet problematic and challenging answer is “one step at a time, one brick at a time and one person at a time”!

So how do we do this? How do we make this happen? Or better yet, how do I do this? How do I make this happen? My answer is by being the change we want to see happen!

  • I will . . . be kinder in traffic, let that person in such a rush cut in front of me without comment or gestures.
  • I will . . . greet people on the sidewalk with me with a smile and a friendly hello.I will . . . acknowledge the very old and very young as people and take time to listen to what they have to say.
  • I will . . . greet the cranky clerk, waitress, bank teller, customer service rep with a smile and thank them for doing their job well.
  • I will . . . be kind. I can be any thing in this world that I want to be – so why not be kind.

Respond to this post and let me know how you will finish this sentence. I will . . .

Apples, Undershirts, & Crisp Sunshine

October 1, 2018

I read this post from 10/1/15 Joyful Surprises and decided to repost it again.  Enjoy!

Well it’s here – October that is! My favorite month of the year! And it has nothing to do with Halloween. In fact, that is my least favorite holiday of the year and it just happens to be in October.

Today in Minnesota is the perfect example of why I love this month. I call it the cool crisp sunshine of this season. Right about now I decide to get out and walk AGAIN so I can enjoy the fallness in the air and on the trees and in the animals. Harvest has started which means the gathering in has begun for all animals both the two-legged and four-legged. Apple orchards are once again drawing record crowds to gather in the Honey Crisps, Haralsons, and the Sweet Tangoes as well as enjoy the corn maze, hayrides and games available.

People also seem to start to gather in. Darkness descends earlier and earlier requiring families to “be” together for a longer period of time each evening. Board games come out, sweaters and sweatshirts, long pants, afghans and slippers – it seems to be a cozying up time.

I always looked forward as a kid to the day that Mom said, “Okay guys, its time to start wearing the undershirts.” Remember they looked like a muscle shirt but were all white and made of soft cotton. Mine always had a little silky bow in the middle of the front neckline. They hugged your body tight keeping in the warmth. You wore them under your regular clothes hence the name undershirt. I even wore mine under my pajamas at night.

Well enjoy the season my friends and don’t forget to put your undershirt on!!!!!

 

Golf Cart Driving 101

September 29, 2018

“As we age . . . “ is a phrase that I seem to be hearing all too often lately. As if I don’t know that my age is crawling up there!?!?!?! Doctors especially seem to love that expression to explain every new little development that my body gets into.

On the other hand, “as we age . . . “ can also apply to some neat stuff to make our lessening mobility not so hard to handle. Recently Butch and I purchased a fun little golf cart to run around our property with. For instance when traveling up the drive get

the grandkids off of the bus, or taking lunch up to the shop for the gang, or even hauling supplies down to the dock for an afternoon on the pontoon, the golf cart comes in very handy.

Driving the cart does take a little know how that with a bit of practice can be learned. You know the saying, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” So go ahead and call me the “old dog”.

On my first trip up the drive to pick up Eli off the bus, I drove very carefully trying to remember all of the tricks for smooth operation that Butch had shared with me. All went well until I tried to back the cart into the space in front of our front door. Eli is shouting, “stop” as my foot hits the accelerator instead of the brake. “I told you to stop,” implores Eli as we crash into the front door popping it open. “Did I break anything?” I asked. He looked rather stunned and replied, “Well there is just a few pieces of wood here, Grandma. I told you to stop!”

Eli is happy to take on the driving and the parking when he is with me now! Oh well, that works for me!!!!