Friday, April 16, 2010

How to Have Fun in Alabama

Here we are, halfway through April, the weather is beautiful and I'm able to relax and enjoy living in Alabama again! For a while there, it felt too much like the scene of a novel I read: The Terror by Dan Simmons, about a hapless bunch of fellows who sailed their ship into the frozen arctic and met with difficulty. And froze.

I prefer to bask in the sun. My whole self is able to relax when the temperature hovers in the 70 to 90 degree range. That's 20 degrees of Heaven, as far as I'm concerned.

And, speaking of Heaven, that's a pretty good description of the setting of my soon-to-be-released book, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge. We're working on the cover and the fine details of page design. Naturally, I have to have my picture on the back cover of the book, so what did I do yesterday?

I had my picture made with a delightful possum, of course! The possum was so charming, and the pictures all turned out so divine, it's hard choosing which one is the one for the book cover.

I've never had so much fun in my life! My friend, Bino, once had some sage advice, which I will not repeat here, about what to do when you're down in the dumps and life just ain't worth living! May not be politically correct, but those of you who know Bino, you may ask him what to do and who to go see if you need your spirits lifted.
But, it appears to me that having one's picture made with a marsupial clinging to various parts of your anatomy is the best pick-me-up ever! Bino, and all you down-in-the-dumpsters, you need to try it!

At one point he was rummaging around on my head with his tail stuck in my ear, and we were both having a delightful time of it.

Here's what I call The Pastoral Possum picture.

Thanks to my daughter, Buffy, for a great photo shoot. And thanks to Winston the Possum for being such a trooper. He was a sweety!

Watch here at The Painted Possum for updates concerning the release date for Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, from Chalet Publishers LLC, coming early in May, 2010.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Library Stories

I’m a librarian at Leeds Jane Culbreth Library in Alabama. We’re just a few miles outside Birmingham, and we’re part of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. Right now we’re working hard to raise money for a new library building.

The building we are in now is on the main street of our small town, and it was a department store when I was a child. We called it “the ten-cent store.” Now it’s the Leeds Library. The roof leaks and every time it rains, we have to place plastic buckets, trays and garbage cans around to catch the water! So, we really need a new building.

The Leeds Public Library began about 1923 in two rooms above a building on Ninth Street. As public interest and financial support grew, the city leased the building at the present location in 1971.
The official name was changed to The Leeds Jane Culbreth Library on April 19, 1998, to honor Jane Culbreth, a champion of city improvement. Her memoir, Hitching My Wagon to a Star, is available at the library.

I was born right across the street from where our library is now, in a building that was a medical clinic, and is now a dental office. While working at the circulation desk, I can look out and see the place where I was born! When I was a small child, there was a blacksmith’s shop right in back, across the alley from the library’s back door.

One of my earliest library memories is the Book Mobile that came to visit our elementary school when I was in the first grade. That was always an exciting day. When it was our turn to go in to visit the book mobile and pick out a book, it was thrilling to step up into the white library-on-wheels and look at all the books inside. The first book I checked out was a picture book called “Pooty”, about a little black and white kitten. I thought that was the funniest name for a cat, but I loved the book!

Now, I’m writing children’s stories, and hope to some day have one of my own picture books in the library for children to check out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Did Somebody Grease My Calendar?

Look, now I've missed April Fool's Day. What fool would miss April Fool's Day? Is time really going faster and faster, or is it just me?

So, the time has come to make an announcement! My book, my long-awaited book, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, is due to come out around the first of May (of this year!) published by Chalet Publishers. It will be available in paperback, Kindle and ebook format! What a perfect time of year for this story!

It's about POSSUMS:

and OWLS:

and the wild shenanigans of a couple of intrepid children in the woods of Dunnavant, Alabama!

So, stay tuned for further information about upcoming booksignings and appearances, and how to find the book on your Kindle, download it as an ebook, or purchase a paperback copy, signed by the author.

Check out Chalet Publishers at