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A Troop is a Group of Monkeys December 13, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Writing & Writers.
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Guest Post by Julie Hedlund

First, I want to thank Nancy for hosting me today.  It is an honor to be here, as Nancy was one of my first blog followers and has remained one of my most dedicated.  I love Nancy’s philosophy of “be an artist… live by your own rules,” because that is precisely what I decided to do two years ago when I left my well-paying, stable job to pursue my dream of writing.

Although I write in several genres, I’m here as part of an impromptu blog tour to build awareness of a picture book I wrote, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS, which I have entered in a Children’s Author Challenge with e-Publisher MeeGenius.

One reason I love this story is because it teaches kids some collective nouns for groups of animals. I had so much fun researching this book!

I’d heard of a pack of wolves, a herd of buffalo and a pride of lions.  But a float of crocodiles? An ostentation of peacocks?  Those were entirely new and fun to discover.  I also loved the fact that the group names tended to describe either the animal’s appearance or behavior.  So I decided to write the story as a way to teach both the collective nouns and one fact about each of the animals.

Besides the fun factor, another reason I wrote the book was to promote love and respect for wildlife.  At the end of the story, I call for kids to remember that these animals must live on the same earth we do. You first have to teach children to respect and appreciate nature.  Then you can show them how our actions impact the earth and the creatures who share it with us.

Although I am currently pre-published, I’ve always wanted to use my writing as a springboard for giving back.  If I win this contest and get the book published, I plan to provide an unlimited number of FREE author visits to schools all across my kids’ school district, as well as in my hometown in the state of Michigan.  I know first-hand how much schools are struggling with budgets these days, and bringing an author in for a visit is a luxury many of them cannot afford.  A few author visits may be a drop in the overall bucket, but it IS something in my power to do.

Once again, my deepest thanks to Nancy for having me today and to YOU for reading!

Thanks, Julie!  

Julie Hedlund blogs about the writing life (and regular life) at Julie Hedlund’s Blog.  She writes picture books, travel articles and personal essays and WILL write a novel one day.  When she is not mothering, writing or reading, she enjoys running, hiking, skiing, cooking, yoga, and savoring a great glass of red wine at sunset.  She especially likes to do these things while traveling.

The Friendly Beasts December 13, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor.
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Santas come in all shapes, sizes and colors . . . tall ones, short ones, thin ones, fat ones, jolly ones . . . and even furry ones!

Here are a few of my four-legged Santas.

“I,” said the cow all white and red,
“I gave Him my manger for His bed.”

“I gave Him my hay to pillow His head.”
“I,” said the cow all white and red.

Want more craft and decorating ideas? 

Visit Jeanne’s Texas-Style Open House . . . or the 2011 Virtual Home Tour!