Fortunately for Madam Macaroni, Gert Derby (above) has a plan to save the old Ball Mansion!

Bedlam Brewing in Shady Tree 

It's been a while since my last blog. You see, I've been in Shady Tree helping Madam Macaroni and the Maestros uncover a fiendish plot by a mysterious man cloaked in black (identity unknown to us at this point in the story), who is trying to steal the old Ball Mansion right out from under their noses. Madam is very disturbed (eyebrow in arched position) because the old mansion had been promised to her by Mr. Phipps from The Land Grab Realty Company for the purpose of housing the new Shady Tree Arts Center! Fortunately for  Madam Macaroni, Gert has come up with a plan to save the mansion, although it involves danger and death! Gert is hoping they can save the mansion in time for the Halloween Dance on Friday night, for which she does not yet have a date! Who would have thought the old Ball Mansion was haunted by Mozart's ghost??????? I promise to keep you posted. For now, I really must return to Shady Tree, as bedlam is brewing and Mortimer (Madam’s finicky, old cat) is looking for his lunch.

A Letter to a Young Reader 

A young reader recently asked me a very curious question. “Why does a writer write books?” After giving this a great deal of thought, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to answering it.

Dear Emily,

First of all, let me say that even though I know lots of writers (we’re an odd sort and tend to bunch together like bananas), I can only speak for myself. So, to answer your question… I like writing books because sometimes I prefer my imaginary world to the real thing. In my imaginary world there is never any war, hunger, or pain. I can enjoy a rainbow without having to endure the storm. I can go on meandering walks and never worry about getting lost, or about the darkness setting in before I get home. I can spend long, lazy days dangling my feet into babbling brooks and running through green meadows filled with colorful wildflowers. I can dance with the moon and twirl with the stars. (Plus, nobody pays any taxes, and the food is very tasty while containing no calories whatsoever!)

Writing books allows me to travel to places near and far without having to leave the safety of my sunroom (which is where I do all my writing). Throughout my travels, I’ve met the most interesting people, including a quartet of amazing kids who solve mysteries. I’ve encountered shadow monsters, talking teddy bears, and colorful butterflies that wear oversized hats. My characters know all my deepest secrets, but I can always rely on them not to tell. I can trust my imaginary friends to be loyal and loving, although they’ve been known to misbehave at times (which is understandable, as none of us are perfect).

I write books because I’m a bit impatient and not very good at waiting for endings. As the writer, I know the ending to the story before it actually happens. My world of make-believe is warm, fuzzy, and safe. We laugh a lot, the birds are always singing, and the sun is always shining. I am a writer of books because God placed within my heart the love of writing! Writing is a gift I’d love to wrap up and give to everyone!

Some people might think this all very silly. If you don’t, perhaps you are a writer, too! I hope this answers your question.

Happy Reading!

A Call to All Writers! 

Welcome to my blog, which I have entitled, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (A Writer’s Journey). Wind in the Willows is one of my favorite children’s books ever! If you’ve read it, you’ll remember Mr. Toad and his out-of-control motor car. As I embark upon this new journey of starting my own publishing company, I can totally relate to how Mr. Toad felt. It can only be described it as a combination of excitement and fear at the same time.

I have always loved books, the way the pages smell as you crack them open for the first time, the feel and texture of the crisp new pages, the bright colors, and characters that jump out at you, eager to make your acquaintance. I’ve never met a child who didn’t love books. I adore watching my granddaughter (age 5) as she draws pictures on copy paper, folds the whole business in half, staples it together (sometimes backwards), and hands it to me saying, “Grandma , I wrote a book!” It reminds me of when I was a child.

Having said all that, I am eager to announce the release of Timber Wind’s first 32 page, full color children’s book, The Shadow Monster. I have enjoyed this project immensely, from concept to completion. I won’t say it came without its headaches (The layout process being quite stressful!) The illustrators were fantastic! The editor was fabulous, and the printer spot on. I was amazed at how God put all the right people directly in my path. Those of us who have tried our hand at writing books, know the joy it brings. But no matter how good you feel your book is, there’s always a publisher ready to reject it. My advice to you is to stay positive, keep telling yourself it’s only one person’s opinion. There’s always a way around a road block. I’m certain as I proceed into the world of publishing I’ll hit a few too.

 So this is a call to all writers to come join me on my journey. In my weekly blog, I’ll be discussing the writing and publishing process, share ideas and suggestions, and last but not least, you can come here for the encouragement you deserve to achieve success. Have a great day, and God Bless!