March 2014: The Children Are Tender

Caregiving, teaching little kids to read, and riding in the pickup with Farmer John; I tweet, pin, and blog, from my home in rural Kansas. If you've landed here looking for information about my books, visit my author's page by clicking this link: A. Born. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 25, 2013


An underlying theme in The Children Are Tender is the beauty of the countryside and the wide variety of Kansas weather patterns.  One of my favorite scenes in the book describes Lydia's class playing in the snow, a scene recorded nearly verbatim from my own days of teaching first grade: 
"We donned coats and hats in record time. As I went out the door, I pulled my old black sweater from its hook. I chose four children to hold the sweater taut under the leaden gray sky. “See how many flakes you can catch! You can take a really close look if you’ll hold your breath so you don’t melt them. Find out how many sides they have!” Every few minutes I called a new group to hold the sweater while the rest of the children danced with outspread arms, throwing back their heads to catch flakes on their tongues. As I watched, tears stung my eyes, and the intensity of joy I felt caused all other concerns to recede into the background. Mundane issues such as math assessments or the fact that I was pretty sure I was getting a cold myself no longer seemed so troublesome in light of the magic of watching small children reaching out to catch snowflakes."
This afternoon I sat on my front porch, watching the beginning of a storm that is predicted to add twelve more inches to the snow cover already on the ground by tomorrow morning.  Even though I retired from teaching nearly two years ago, I could hear the echoes of childish voices, and nearly see little faces turned upwards to catch flakes of snow.  I shot this 30 second video of a Kansas snowstorm.  Snow is magical, probably because it is rare.  Enjoy!  

Friday, February 22, 2013

35 (or so) Years Later...

My grandma used to talk about how quickly time passes, and only now am I beginning to understand what she meant.

A misconception we have when we are young is that older people are somehow inherently different from us.  Turns out, not so much.  I'm older, and admittedly I look quite a bit different than I did many years ago, but essentially, I'm still me.  And I'd think that fact would comfort young folks; you aren't going to morph into some old codgerly thing.  You will still be you!  And you really won't feel so differently about yourself than you do now...except maybe you'll become a little more comfortable in your own skin.  Funny how that happens when the skin is definitely beginning to sag...

Farmer John and Lydia are the lead characters in my book, The Children Are Tender, and they are based on my husband and me as we were during our first few years of marriage more than 35 years ago. Now that our nest is empty the real life Farmer John and I have rekindled some of the romance we felt during those early years.  We are having fun driving around the farm in the old red pickup doing chores together each morning and we laugh a lot.  If that doesn't sound romantic to you it must be because you haven't yet learned that having fun together is essential to romance at any age. 

Yesterday our part of Kansas received 12 inches of snow.  Farmer John and I had fun--and no cardiac events--shoveling, throwing snowballs, and I made a snow angel.  I think the the younger version of ourselves as I wrote them in The Children Are Tender would be proud. 
Like my hot pink John Deere gloves? 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Follow Me?

My agent along with the publisher, editor, and even the graphic designer at my publishing company  have all told me that I need a platform, a package, and a plan.  I need to be knowledgeable about social networking, and most of all, I need followers.  

Yes, followers.  

I was hesitant.  In my view there is only one Person who has the credentials and the backing to say, "Follow Me," and I'm not Him.  

But, I've come to understand that in the social networking sense, the request to "follow me" is really a euphemism for "help me out." Following someone is a way of being kind and of accepting an invitation to community.  It can also be a first step in  joining a network of human interaction that can have great power of influence in our world.  

Sally Stuart, who for years published an annual volume entitled "The Christian Writers Market Guide," wants Christian writers to have confidence in the Lord in them.  She says, "...each of you has been given a specific mission in the field of writing. You and I often feel inadequate to the task, but I learned a long time ago that the writing assignments God has given me cannot be written quite as well by anyone else." This perspective helps me to lose my hesitation to ask folks to follow me.  My caregiving book contains information that saved my sanity during my transition into the role of caregiver, and I have an urgency to share this with others suffering the same kinds of challenges.  And my novel about teaching little kids in a rural community during a time of budget cuts to education has important implications for our world today as well as great, clean entertainment value.  

So (she says confidently) please follow me on Twitter or Facebook or  Pinterest.  If you read one of my books and like it please retweet, repin, write a comment at Amazon, or share on Facebook.  "Like" my Amazon listing, or Youtube video, or posts on my books' Facebook pages. If you are able to do even one of those things it will be a great help! In this way the people who need (or will enjoy) the things the Lord's given me to write can gain benefit, and you will have had a hand in this effort.  Thank you, bless you, and I'll be glad to follow your sites...just ask!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Introduction

Here is the Youtube video uploaded today as a book intro to The Children Are Tender! Be sure to adjust the resolution if you want to watch it big...HD loads slowly for many of us but 480p isn't bad.  This particular version has more of sentiment than humor, and the book contains both...hope it does the job needed.  Ambassador International will post the link on their site.