Friday, November 1, 2013

Metal Sculptures from Mexico

People who know me have been asking to see the metal sculptures I've been collecting from Mexico for the past four years (one each year). They are so gorgeous! I just love them! Each one is hand made and painted with auto paint, so they hold up well in the summer heat here in Arizona. The bottom two aren't hung on the fence yet. But they will be soon.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Still Can't Get Onto the Blueboard? Help Me Help You….

We are discovering that there are still people out there who haven't been able to log in at all. If you cannot get onto the Blueboard, I have set up a "trouble ticket" on my website for you to use. Filling it out will assist us (and the techs) in solving your login problems.

Here's the link:   

Gnashing teeth. Having a form for trouble tickets was a great idea. It didn't work. Trying to fix it. So far, it is winning. :-(

YAY!  *I* won! Trouble Tickets are now working properly. It takes a few hours for them to reach me. Please resubmit if you tried before.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Possibly the Best Way to Sign Onto the Blueboard….

Cyndi Marko came up with a better solution for people who haven't been able to get onto the message board. It worked for her in an alternate persona. We are HOPING it will work for all of you who are still unable to log into the new Blueboard!

OKAY I've had no volunteers but I did have a new idea that is MUCH easier if it works. Has anyone tried to access the Blueboard through SCBWI's site, even if you aren't a member? If a non-scbwi member goes to their main website, and clicks SCBWI Blueboard from the sidebar, it brings you to a page that says "click here for the Blueboard". Has anyone tried to log in that way? 

Please let us know if this works, people. We are trying VERY hard to find a solution for everyone!

Verla Kay, who has about six hairs left on her head at this point….

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Blueboard is BACK!

Some people are getting onto the new Blueboard now. There's no access yet via SCBWI's site, but people using their favorites or bookmarks and those coming in through my site seem to be getting onto the board without too much trouble.

If you are having login problem, please let me know and I'll do what I can to help you.

Blueboard Update

Images are taking much longer to import than expected. Could be this evening before we are back up and running....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Blueboard is being downloaded now!

The Blueboard is being downloaded right now. So far, everything is going as planned and is on schedule.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Blueboard is Moving - It will be OFF LINE on Oct. 22nd!

The Blueboard (message board) will be off-line for about 24 hours beginning tomorrow morning (October 22, 2013) while it is being moved over to SCBWI's new website. Please do not panic or think there is something wrong with your computer. It will be back up and running again, as good as new, as soon as possible.

Things you will notice that are different after the board has moved:

The colors will be different on the board. It will still be blue, but not exactly the same blue as it was before.

All of your old boards and posts will still be there, but if you are an SCBWI member you will have new, additional boards available just for you.

The old SCBWI message board messages will be archived on the new board so you won't lose any of them. They will still be there, although many of them won't be active boards anymore.

If you are an SCBWI member and also have a profile and are currently registered on the old Blueboard, your email addy's MUST be the same for automatic sign-on to the new message board to work. If you have different emails on the two sites (SCBWI and the Blueboard) please go into your Blueboard profile immediately and change your email to match the one you have currently with SCBWI. You can change both of them later if you wish, but right now, that's the easiest and simplest way to get them both the same.

I will be available all day tomorrow to answer questions. I will post updates here and on my Facebook page as I get them on the progress of the board move.

This is an exciting (and scary!) time for all of us. We hope all will go very, very smoothly and quickly.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Thanksgiving is just behind us, but the thankfulness I feel for what I have in life goes on.

I'm thankful for my husband of 47 1/2 years. Our marriage was anything but calm and peaceful for many, many years, but after 20 years we finally came to a tentative truce in our fights and disagreements. After 30 years we became good friends and lovers. After 40 years? It's a wonderful life and I'm so glad I have spent so much of it with him.

I'm thankful for my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. I can't imagine a life without them! They fill me with joy every minute of every day, whether I'm physically near them or not. I love all of them so very much.

I'm thankful for my husband's family - his mother who is 100 years old and all of his siblings - Judy, Roger, Valerie, and Larry (his half brother). Since all of my family is gone now except for cousins, it's a real blessing for me to have sisters and brothers by marriage, at least. And I couldn't be closer to them if they were my own.

I'm thankful for the health that I do have. No, I'm not thankful for the health problems I endure, but I'm VERY thankful that at least those aren't cancer problems.

I'm thankful for our homes - we own two of them, now, free and clear and can spend summers up in eastern Washington - just two miles from Idaho - where the weather is absolutely perfect and winters down in Arizona, where we are out of the snow and freezing cold.

I'm thankful for all of my writing friends. I have so many! Some I met through SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) and many I met through the internet and my message board.

I'm thankful that after way too many years of my creative writing self being "dried up" and "too busy" and "worn out" I am finally actively writing again. YAY! At this point, I'm in a Creative Writing Class in the RV Park where I live in Arizona and we are meeting once a week. Each week we write a story based on a different topic. This week we picked ten random words out of my Apples to Apples game box and we have to write a story using three of those words. Belly Dancers, Ghosts, an Insane Asylum, a Dark Alley, a Swiss Bank Account, Caffine, Having an Operation, a Divorce, Predictable, and Pathetic are our words to pick from for this week's story. This should be an interesting writing week!

Today we are driving 8 hours to return one of our granddaughters to her house. She came to visit for a few days. It's been a great week!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moving, Cancer, Diet, Termites, Stories, Falling, Big News, and Life

We are getting settled into our lovely mobile home down in Arizona for the winter. It's so nice to be running around in shorts and sleeveless shirts and sandals instead of bundling up for snowy, cold days and nights.  The park's pool heater has been fixed so now the water in the pool is not cold... it's just refreshingly cool again.

The giant basel cell cancer I had removed from my nose a little over a month ago is finally beginning to heal. It's still a lumpy, bumpy scarred, not-quite-healed spot on the side of my nose, but at least it's not pitch black and grossing everyone around me out anymore.

I've been trying very hard to work on my diet, to change it to conform in a way that will help get my diabetes sugars under control - at least part of the time. They've been totally out of control for far too long and my doctor has been "on me" pretty strongly to get my act together. Along with the diet, I'm starting to walk around the park once or twice a day, and some days I even go swimming for a lap or two. Some days I manage to stick to my regime and some days I don't. Some days it works, some days it doesn't. But at least I'm trying!

Our house has now been sprayed not only for termites (it took 40 GALLONS of pesticide to eradicate the infestation under our mobile home!) but also for all other bugs. We should be very "bug-free" now, which suits me just fine. I do NOT like bugs in my house. Actually, I don't much like them outside of the house, either, when they are biting me, buzzing around me, or even slithering, slinking, creeping, or crawling near (and on) me.

My agent has sent out my newest picture book manuscript and I have two more manuscripts ready to be looked at by some of my peers. Once I get the okay from them that these two new stories are ready, then I'll send them to my agent so she can send them out.

This has been a tough week for me. I've been super busy and the other day I tripped over the 2 inch high threshold between the mobile home and our add-on Arizona room. (I've been trying to get my husband to fix it ever since we bought this place. It's a VERY dangerous tripping hazard!) I pitched forward, flopped down the brick steps (three of 'em) and landed on the floor at the bottom, spread-eagled out on my face and stomach. My little finger on my left hand was sprained and has been hurting for several days now. It's finally getting a bit better tonight. I have multiple bruises all over my body. When I go for my checkup at the doctor's office next week, I hope they have faded... otherwise she might be asking me who beat me up. LOL!

On the writing front, BIG things are coming in the near future for me! I have exciting news that I can't quite share... yet. But soon, fairly soon I should be able to spill the beans! What I CAN say right now is this... Never underestimate the value of what you do to help other people, even when you don't get any compensation for it. You never know when it might turn around and pat you on the back and give you a giant hug.

Life has a way of sneaking up on you behind your back. When I look around me at the world right now, I see many people who are so busy "making a living" that they have forgotten to live their lives. It's important to take a few moments to remember what is really important in life and make your life count for something. I have a plaque in my bathroom that I look at every day. It says:

"I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. He gave me life that I might enjoy all things."

Have a wonderful day, Everyone. Life is precious and every moment is special and will never, ever come again. You only have one chance to make your life good. Make it good today.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Major Life Update...

SO much has happened in my life since my last blog post... I'm almost embarrassed to post on this blog!

The highlights of the past few months are the arrival of a new great grandson, Jaidyn, moving back up to Washington state for the next six months, and the summer SCBWI International Conference in Los Angeles, California.

When we got moved into our northern home, we discovered we had left most of our tax papers (needed to do our deferred 2011 income taxes) down in Arizona. So... we drove the 33 hours back down, found them, and drove 33 hours back up with them. Now we are trying to do taxes... and it looks like we might still have left one file down there! We can't find any of our income papers... 7 of them... six of which are 1099s. I can NOT believe it....

And I see I never posted this! Sheesh. It was still sitting in my drafts folder on my computer. Good thing my head is attached or I'd probably forget it, too.

And yes, we did leave that elusive tax folder down in Arizona. Luckily, the manager of our park has a key to our home down there and was gracious enough to get the file and mail it to us. Our taxes are done and we are waiting for our refund to arrive.

We're moving back down to Arizona for the winter in less than a week now. I can't believe how fast this summer went! We spent a lot of time these past few months at Silverwood Amusement Park with our family and close friends. We had purchased Gold Passes last fall, which allowed us to go as often as we liked and to take four people with us (at no charge) all summer long. What a great time we all had! If you are ever in the Coeur d'Alene area of Idaho, do be sure to go to the park. They have all the fun rides, as well as a wonderful water park that makes for a very wonderful time for people of all ages.

Today I'm headed for our local SCBWI conference and I can hardly wait to see everyone again. It's been a long time....

I finally got my "writing head" back on this summer, and wrote a fun and (I hope) terrific new picture book. My agent is shopping it around right now, so I'm waiting to hear what editors will have to say about it.

My new great grandson is now 4 months old, and my oldest great grandson just turned 4 years old. I made each of the boys a quilt this summer... and I'm so pleased with how they both turned out. They are very special quilts for two very special little boys.

A little over a week ago I had a very large basal cell cancer removed from my nose. The cancer is all gone (thank heavens!) but my nose leaves a LOT to be desired as far as looks go. They had to do a skin graft (from behind my ear) to cover the very large hole in the side of my nose. It's now pitch black and looks... well... let's just say it doesn't look very pretty and leave it at that. I HATE going out into public, but I finally found a bandaid yesterday that will stick to my nose, so at least it's covered up and I shouldn't offend anyone anymore who sees it.

And now... I'm off to that wonderful SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) conference! Bandaged nose and all....  :-)