Monthly Archives: November 2013

Elementary School Visit

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This past week I was at Shell Beach Elementary School visiting with two third grade classes and two first grade classes. We talked about writing stories and where story idea originate. The children in both age groups had many interesting and intriguing ideas about how to find story ideas. I mentioned that one of my techniques was to ask myself, “What if?” What if I could fly with butterflies? What if a birthday cake went missing? What if a clownfish was really a clown? They came up with some of their own ideas which I hope will induce them to write their own stories. 

 

I also donated one of my books to each class I visited. They chose the books. Surprisingly, one third grade class and one first grade class chose “Camouflage” and the other two classes chose “Ants on a Log”. I also gave each child a bookmark picturing my Oak Tree Press covers and ordering information. 

 

Each class had an art project. For the first graders, I gave them a coloring page of a butterfly. With the third graders, I made an accordion book form, calling it a butterfly book.  Why the emphasis on butterflies? Because my two latest books are about butterflies, kids like butterflies and because the Monarch butterflies are now wintering over at the Pismo Beach Butterfly grove. Many of the children had been to the grove numerous times and enjoyed talking about these marvelous and beautiful insects.Image

Let’s All Support Small Businesses

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As authors, we are aware that many independent bookstores and other small businesses have had a difficult time during the current economic climate. It is to our advantage to support these businesses as they provide additional sales opportunities for our books. Small Business Day is on November 30, and we have an opportunity to acknowledge the important part they play in promoting and selling our creations.

Many of us have self-published or rely on small publishing houses. This means that the big box stories do not normally carry our books. It is the “mom and pop”, little guy who are often willing to take a chance, especially if they are local stores. Whenever I need a toy for my grandchildren, a birthday gift  or a book for a gift or to read myself, I check out my local, independent store first to see what is available. In a recent newspaper article, one small businessman was quoted as saying that if we increase our purchases by only ten percent, that would allow him to stay afloat. For me, it makes sense to divert this small percentage of my purchases from the big box stores and chains to local, independent shops. 

There is an added advantage; these small stores are often in downtown areas of a town or city. Supporting them keeps our downtown areas viable and enjoyable.  Walking down Main Street and seeing shops closed or going out of business is disturbing when I realize that the local people flock to shopping malls and chains in search of elusive bargains and ignore these smaller businesses.  

So on Small Business Day and in fact, every day, let’s remember to support the little guy. We all win!

Beryl

Opening Day at Butterfly Grove

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The November 2nd opening day at the Pismo Beach Butterfly Grove was a huge success. There were an estimated 1500 people engaged in a variety of activities. I demonstrated how to make a butterfly book and had over 80 children and parents stop by my table to participate. My new children’s book, When Caterpillars Dream, is now available at the grove kiosk. Drop by and see the over 25,000 Monarch butterflies that are wintering over at the grove, located at the end of Grand Ave. along Highway one. The grove will be open until February or early March when the butterflies take to the air and fly north for the summer. Image

Butterfly Books

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There is always something going on at the OTP Blog site, http://www.oaktreebooks.com. This week my Butterfly Book folding at the Pismo Beach Butterfly Sanctuary open house is featured. An assistant, Lynda, and I demonstrated and helped over 90 children and some adults fold their own Butterfly Books to take home and write in. The weather was sunny and warm and there were plenty of butterflies flying around to greet us.

 

Next Saturday on November 9, I’ll be at the Curious Cup Bookstore in Carpinteria at their Grand Opening at their new location, 5295 Carpinteria Ave. from 11 am to 4 pm. Drop by for a visit.

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