Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Merry Christmas! Follow the Star!

This is my last post of the 2020 year. This year has had many ups and downs, days have sometimes felt like weeks, and months have felt like years. It has been a year that has held a multitude of emotions. All years do, but 2020 felt a little more sharp and dramatic. 

From humorous memes to divisiveness all over the world, to personal sorrows and stress brought on by fearmongering and toilet paper hoarding, and the fact that we have acknowledged UFOs, I don't really know how it all fit in 2020. 

I'm thankful for the Christmas 'Star" showing up on the 21st as Saturn and Jupiter draw near to each other in the visible night sky. If it is not raining or covered in clouds here, I'm hoping to see it.

No matter where you live, who you are, where you've been, and what you believe, I wish you a Warm, Merry, and Bright Christmas, Joyful Holiday, and Happy New Year!

May each day and each night be filled with light. 

Follow the star. Find hope. Discover Joy. 

 For the rest of the post, I'm re-sharing a 449-word poetic retelling of King Wenceslas who was actually a very young king murdered by his brother in his twenties - despite all the depictions of him as an old, St. Nicholas figure. 

Footprints in the Snow

In a land far away and long ago,
a man followed footprints in the snow:

By his cozy hearth window, he had seen
A family laboring in the harsh cold
Bringing wood in stacks tall and clean
To Noble house hearths and stoves.

As the day waned and darkness fell,
The wood-cutter family walked home.
Their arms were empty, but they rang a bell,
Singing Christmas carols to praise the Son.

The King marveled at their joy so replete.
In his wondering he gazed at his empty luxury,
And with a sudden shout, he leapt to his feet.
With a hurried dash, he called out to me.

And together, we packed a full leftover feast,
including candles, dishware, presents, and all
For a celebration fit for Wise Kings from the East.
Then I followed him out into the cold snow fall.

We followed the family into the night.
Following deep footprints in the snow.
My young king laughed with joy and might
He hardly seemed to feel the freezing cold.

His purpose clear as he knocked on their door.
They answered but bowed exceedingly low.
But instead, he knelt down on their dirt floor,
Presenting himself as their servant now.

My king served them every morsel sweet,
He even cleaned every spoon and dish.
No one, not even I, could stop his feet.
As he danced about, as was his wish.

His song and laughter rang through the dark
and in the early morning, as the family slept,
My king and I, we woke with the morning lark
To leave the presents on the hearth he'd swept.

Back in his castle and his royal-filled life,
Nothing seemed to sate the Nobles greed.
My King had to deal with much Noble strife.
But they caught him looking to his servants' need.

Time passed, plots made, the passing of a year.
As winter's chill grew in the castle yard,
My king went out to pray with his brother dear.
But his brother's heart had become tarred.

The deed was done, my king was brought low
In bloody, muddy footprints in the snow.

The nobles wanted a puppet on the throne,
But the truth pierces the darkest of hearts,
So the light has ever, ever shone,
and the king's brother fell to love's darts.

He repented his sin, his murderous deed.
From that day forward, he ruled as his brother,
And now, with my help he has decreed,
On Christmas, we give to one another.

No one is to live in greed,
but all are to give to those in need.

For once, on a chill winter's night long ago,
My King followed footsteps in the snow.

And I, I follow my King.

Monday, December 7, 2020

An Interview with Author Sherry Ellis to Celebrate Bubba and Squirt Adventures!


Sherry and I swapped author interviews. To see mine, head to her site! 

Interviewing Sherry Ellis, Author and Musician!

What/who inspired you to start writing the Bubba and Squirt adventures?

Multiple what’s and a who’s inspired the Bubba and Squirt adventures. 

Here are the what’s: When I was about 8 years old living in Florida, I decided I wanted to dig a hole to China. I got my shovel and dug in an empty lot near my house. Since we were so close to sea-level, my hole filled with water rather quickly, so I didn’t exactly get to my destination. But I always wondered what would’ve happened if it had worked. Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China is an imaginative possibility. Both Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China and Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure are set in places I have visited. I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures and history. I wanted to write something that could both educate and give kids an idea of what other countries are like. 

Here are the who’s:  The characters Bubba and Squirt are roughly based on the personalities of my own two children when they were younger. Not quite the same, but the character of Bubba captures the playful, imaginative nature of my son when he was young, and the character of Squirt captures the nurturing big sister.

I saw on a recent blog post that your trip to Belize inspired Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure. Can you describe a place, a scene, a person, or a moment on the trip that you included in the book or that inspired a particular moment in the book?

So many scenes were inspired by my trip to Belize. The storm and the muddy road scenes were based on an experience there. We didn’t have a tree fall in front of us, but the roads were nearly impassible due to the heavy rainfall from a hurricane. I also visited a village and had a little monkey, like the one in the story, sit on my shoulder.  The village was very much like what is described in the book. Finally, the scene where Bubba comments about the grass growing all over the pyramid was taken from my thoughts of seeing such a pyramid at Altun Ha. I too, thought somebody should get a lawnmower and fix it.

You're a professional musician and author. How do these two creative endeavors work together for you? 

Both appeal to my creative muse. I think being a musician gives me a good sense of rhythm which helps the word flow in my writing. If something doesn’t sound right, I intuitively know I have to change it. 

If you could give your younger writer self a piece of advice, what would it be? 

Everything about writing and publishing is a long process. Be patient!

Thank you for having me as a guest!

Thank you for your insights and your creative adventures, Sherry!

If you're looking for a great holiday gift for young readers, I highly recommend reading the Bubba and Squirt Adventures! These are really fun reads! 

An ancient Mayan civilization!

That's what Bubba and Squirt find when they travel through the mysterious vortex for another wild adventure. There they meet archeologists who are unearthing priceless artifacts.

But someone is stealing them. And an encounter with the Tate Duende awakens magic within Bubba. Throw in the mysterious Alux and a new discovery and things get sticky.

Will Bubba and Squirt solve the mystery, or will they be stuck forever in the jungles of Belize?

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis has previously published Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to ChinaDon't Feed the ElephantTen Zany BirdsThat Mama is a Grouch; and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN. Ellis lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about her work, she invites you to visit her website at

Sherry hosted me for an interview at her blog last week! If you would like to read about my process of writing Liftoff, please come check it out!

Also, Creative Colloquy has a great post up at the Insecure Writer's Support Group Site- "From Solitude to Connection."

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

DECEMBER 2020 IWSG: Productive Writing Times


Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this encouraging blog hop!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 2 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

OPTIONAL QUESTION: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Yes. I participate in NaNoWriMo so that makes my November really productive, but I'm also productive in October as I gear up for November. In December, my writing becomes centered on personal and faith writing, but in January I begin to write more fiction. February is usually a quieter month, followed by an uptick in March-April-May. I usually have a slower June, but in July and early August I write hard. September is iffy.  In certain months, I am more contemplative and I spend a lot of time reflecting and planning. Other months, I just write. I used to try to fight it, but now I accept it. I write when and where I can.

And certain months have specific meaning to me.


Advent is the beginning of the Christian New Year in the older traditions of faith. While I attend a new non-denominational church, I grew up in a Lutheran Church and served in my 20s as the church council representative for the worship and music committee. On that committee, I learned the meaning behind the colors and times of the church seasons. While I don't think those are necessary to know for salvation, I find them to be tools for going deeper into my daily faith. December is a faith-writing month for me. I will still work on fiction projects, but most of my writing will be spiritually based. 

For all who helped, encouraged, and cheered my book launch last month, 


If you missed out, it's still on sale (wink, wink), and I'm always happy to get more reviews (winking harder, possibly creating a small private windstorm - just kidding). 

Book Page    Apple    Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Bookbub    Kobo    Smashwords

Liftoff is a scifi novella centered around the adventures of Amaya, a teen girl who packs a bit of a punch. 

And why do I want to write strong heroines? While I don't think a woman has to know martial arts to be strong, the cause behind the following fundraiser is one of the reasons I want all of my characters to be strong enough to survive hardship and fight for freedom.


What is Dressember? It's a fundraising campaign to end human trafficking. 
Why a dress? Wearing a dress all month is to raise awareness, and to take back the dress as a symbol of strength. If you aren't into dresses, you are welcome to wear ties or dress shirts.
If you want to join the campaign, you can go to my fundraising page HERE.
And here is the Dressember Website for more information.


On the bright side, our community of writers is going strong and the admin team is preparing for upcoming events!

The #IWSGPit is coming on January 20th! See HERE for details.

Our Goodreads Book Club is changing things up! 
We will have quarterly book selections now, giving us more time to read. We will also have one fiction book selection and one writing craft book selection. Members can read both or choose between them. Finally, we won’t be offering 5 optional discussion questions anymore. Instead, we will be utilizing the polls that our members enjoy, so there will be one poll question for the fiction book and one for the non-fiction book on Discussion Day.