Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Books for Beaumont

Dear Friends,

You know how sometimes a situation presents itself, and you think, "I could help with that!"?

That's what happened to me late last week when a writing buddy posted this notice on Verla Kay's blueboards, a children's book writing and illustrating message board:

"Well, I recently accepted a position as principal/curriculum coordinator at a local charter school here in Texas. We are a PK-8th grade campus with approximately 300 students. Over 90% are at poverty level. Our library is coming along slowly. We are in need of lower level AR books (PK-2nd grade for sure). Our library budget is nonexistent. We could use new or gently used books. If anyone knows of publishers/bookstores/individuals who might be willing to donate some books, I'd greatly appreciate it. We are the Ehrhart School in Beaumont, TX. Thanks so much!


I thought about all those kids needing books for their library with no funding and with school just weeks away. I thought about the complimentary copies of my books just sitting at home in my office not being used.

I contacted Larry and asked if he'd like some of my books. I knew they didn't meet the Accelerated Reader requirement he requested, so I wasn't sure. Larry responded with a big yes. I got the address of the school and boxed up my books.

I happened to mention my exchange with Larry to a writer friend. She wanted to donate some of her books, too. That started the ball rolling.

I contacted Larry, again, and asked if he'd be okay with me posting his message about his school's need for books on my blog. Maybe other authors and publishing folks would donate their books. Maybe they would re-post, re-blog, tweet, and message their friends. Maybe we could send lots and lots of books to Beaumont, not just my five.

Thus, Books for Beaumont was created!

If you'd like to help the kids of The Ehrhart School, please send your books to:

The Ehrhart School
Dr. Larry Haynes
3380 Fannin
Beaumont, Texas 77701

Here's their website:

Feel free to share this post. Let's fill the shelves of the Ehrhart School's library. School starts August 26, so don't delay!

(And don't forget: your donations and postage are tax deductible as business expenses.)

Thanks for helping with Books for Beaumont!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Hey Everybody,

We had a great time in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, this summer. And thanks to some great suggestions from my Blueboarder buddies about fun places to visit and things to do, we found an awesome children's bookstore along the way...
...complete with its own resident rooster! (He was a bit camera-shy.)

They had an iguana, too, who was NOT, I repeat, NOT overweight.

We also had fun
  • at Fort Snelling, a completely-restored 1820s military fort filled with lots of costumed interpreters who know their stuff
  • renting bikes and touring Lake Harriett
  • bowling at Earle Brown's near Brooklyn Center, MN
  • watching "Sweet Revenge," a hilarious melodrama staged by students of the University of Minnesota. It was performed on the Mississippi Centennial Showboat on Harriett Island in St. Paul. It was worth the trip by itself. Well, this and the rooster.
  • fishing at Twin Lakes
I could go on, but I won't. We made lots of great memories. Thanks for being super hosts, Twin Cities!

Friends, drop me a line and let me know what you did this summer for vacation!