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Showing posts from December, 2016

Where Dreams Become Reality

In the early 1970's, I had just been assigned to my first classroom as a sixth grade teacher and had just finished writing my very first children's manuscript to fulfill a life-long dream. I read the story to my students as a classroom-read-aloud book just after the lunch recess each day for weeks. My heart jumped as I watched the positive reaction in my students. I asked several teachers if they would do same in their classrooms. The results were exactly the same. Without further hesitation, I approached a major publishing house with my sure fire children's hit and couldn't wait to see the book on shelves everywhere. My first response from the publishing house was a positive review and they passed it on to a second reader. This reader wasn't sure and gave it to a third reader. It was this reader that finally issued the rejection of the manuscript. My confidence was totally shattered. I placed the manuscript in my closet at home and stopped writing altogether.

Free Kindle For Two Days Only

Happy Holidays! All of my Amazon Kindle books are free December 16-17, 2016 as a way of saying thank you for your support through the years. I hope you enjoy each one.

Did You Know...

The Caesar Cipher One of the oldest ways of sending secret codes was the Caesar Cipher. This method was developed at the time of Julius Caesar in Rome as a way to send secret messages to his generals. As an example, lay out the alphabet from 'A to Z' (look below). Next, decide how many letters to the right the coded version will be. The example below is a coded version of 2 . You can see that the letter 'C' represents the letter 'A'. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B Using the coded version of 2,  solve this message: JAXG C ITGCV FCA This was the code used in the Amazon Best Seller ' Book of Codes '.

Arch Of The Pixies

Ages:       11 and Above                           Pages:     163 Book Description:  Arch of the Pixies , is the story of Hannah, a young girl, who moves back to her grandmother's house over looking a bay on the ocean with her parents and twin brother. The story follows the adventures of the twins as they soon discover the secrets hidden in their old house. Amazon

Teaching Calmness

William George Jordan  was born in 1864 and died in 1928. At the time he was a well-known editor for many publications, one of which was the  Saturday Evening Post . Although  Jordan  was a highly respected editor, he also became known for his presentations and books in the area of mental training – the art of being calm!  [i] Jordan  said, “Calmness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-centered, self reliant, and self-controlled.  Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence, and conscious power - ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis ." J ordan  goes on to state that the fatalist is not calm, and that this person usually surrenders to his or her present situation. I did not read the works of William George Jordan until I was much older in life. I was surprised to find a fellow author, who believed much as I that the art of stayin

Annie Fox Interview

Learning More About Bullying Annie Fox interview with me on bullying.


Have you visited my author Pinterest page? Please check it out and follow! Click Here

Do You Know...

The Fire Drill Years ago we had a fire drill in my school. I asked this cute little first grade girl, "What did you do during  the fire drill?" This beautiful little child looked at me with a huge smile on her face, "We all stood up and walked out the door in a line." I then asked her, "What happened next?" Her eyes just sparkled, "We ran like hell!" You gotta love children...

Do You Know...

Sitting Down As A Family Do you sit down as a family at the dinner table? Do you not allow cellphones or other electronic devices at the table. Do you encourage conversation while everyone is eating? Do you allow everyone a short time to share their day with each other? Do you propose situations to your children to see what they would do? I hope so....

Did You Know...

Value Of Children's Books Did you know children’s books play a vital role in the life of a child? Of course you did! Parents have been told for years there is a definite relationship between the ability of their child to read and to succeed in the future, which has resulted in kids learning to read at the earliest ages possible. As a parent, you probably understand that this makes sense, even though you may not know specifically why this is so. Here are a just couple of thoughts for you to consider: First, beginning at birth and extending the first couple of years in a child’s life, most children see their world as only including their parents, family, and immediate home or neighborhood. When a parent begins reading to their child, they are essentially exposing them to the wonders and enormity of what lies beyond their front door. The great part is that we as parents get to travel down this path of learning with our children for many years to come, as they begin to un

The Ghost of Lizard's Rock

Writing The Ghost Of Lizard's Rock Shona Anderson and I   first began writing in 2011 a new book series called the ‘ Cow Pie Gang ’.  As  leaders in education & bully prevention in our home countries of the United States and Canada, we recognized the need for books written for tweens (ages 11-14) and the issues confronting them in the 21 st  century  such as growing up, developing friendships, bullying, death, divorce, and so much more. Four books later, the ‘ Cow Pie Gang’  series has been adopted for use in thousands of classrooms in the United States, Canada, and five other countries. This is the series parents want their children to read or hear.

Did You Know...

Thought of the Day Where are the positive aspects of life? I'll tell you where they are at! They are all around you. Just open  your eyes and unplug your ears. Filter out the pessimistic 'doom and gloom' that surrounds us each day. Enjoy the love and positive wonders that we so often overlook each day. What am I doing at this very moment? I am sitting by my window looking at the evening sky on a light blue background interspersed with dark purple clouds highlighted  by the rays of the sun. I look forward to tomorrow to the wonders that will unfold for me. Will there be a pessimistic naysayer that tries to put my thoughts down... of course, but it won't matter. I am strong in my beliefs and know that my optimism is what leads to good and wonderful things... life is a choice! I just chose to see it through my lens.

Did You Know...

The Little Girl In the early 1970's I was completing my final semester of student teaching. At this particular time young men were rarely found teaching in the early grades of school, but my advisors thought it would be a great experience for me. Today, I am so thankful for their persistence to get me in a second grade classroom. If not, I would have missed a little girl who changed my life profoundly. As I am no small person, the kids in the classroom just stared at me from th eir tables without saying a word as the classroom teacher introduced me. Within seconds, the first student wanted to show me their work and then the next... and the next... and the next. I soon got down on my knees to look them in the eyes and fell in love with this new world. From that moment on, I was truly in love with early childhood. It didn't take me long to notice a small girl all alone in the room, who never talked nor let anyone get near her. The teacher told me that her parents had be

The Holocaust at Mauthausen

Ages 11 and Above In ' Truth's Lair'  you discussed Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Was this place real? Yes... Mauthausen Concentration Camp was first constructed in the summer of 1940. It's main purpose was to provide slave labor for the stone quarry, mines, and a variety of factories in the area having mostly to do with munitions and other weapons. Inmates were exterminated through labor (worked to death). Death tolls estimate that between 100,000 and 300,000 inmates died in the camp. Most inmates were well educated people and so called 'political prisoners'. One of the most horrific stories is of prisoners made to carry a 100 lb stone block up 186 stairs to the top of the quarry in a race. This continued until one prisoner died of exhaustion. The survivor prisoners were directed to form a line at the top of the stairs one behind the other next to the cliff's edge. The guard walked up to the person just behind the person at the edge of the cliff

Letters To Allie

BEST SELLING SERIES FOR TWEENS Amazon Link 'Letters to Allie' is the 2nd book in the 'Cow Pie Gang' series written by authors: J Richard Knapp & Shona Anderson for middle grade children (ages 11-14). This bestselling series focuses on the issues confronting our youth today such as growing up, developing friendships, bullying, death, divorce, and so much more in a setting of wonderful characters, humor, and even adventure. Special letters from Allie’s mom bring her to tears as she discovers a new connection through a box of beautiful and heartfelt letters. Get ready to laugh, cry and fall in love as Allie and Kati continue to figure out the trials and tribulations of being tweens.

Making a Best Seller

The Ghost of Lizard's Rock has been adopted by thousands of 5th grade teachers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and more. These teachers are using the book series as a highly engaging read-aloud book in their classrooms, reading groups, and individually. "I personally recommend Ghost of Lizard's Rock to every 5th grade teacher and students ages 11-14. 

Simple Solutions

The Simplest of Solutions Often the simplest of solutions to problems are the best in raising our children.  One of the most difficult problems facing our parents today is protecting quality time with their children. As a busy professional many years ago, my children (3 girls) recognized the problem, embraced it, and came up with their own solutions. First, they decided to protect a ' dad-time ' activity with each of them and assured me there would be no jealousy or other related problems. Sometimes, it was as simple as just walking through the local mall with one of my girls or going the landfill on the weekend. I often found myself  just listening in amazement as they talked.

Did You Know...

Today's Did You Know.. . (1908) At one time people would send abandoned children from back east and in the south by train to the Boise (Idaho) Children's Home.  One heartbreak part of the story is that some of these children were sent to a children's jail at St. Anthony if they got into trouble - unfortunately there was no one to help them at this time period.     Hard to imagine...