These might be some of the best stories I’ve ever written – even if I do say so myself.
Malcom Gladwell has a theory – it takes 10,000 hours to perfect one’s craft. Well, I think, perhaps I’ve hit 50,000, maybe 100,000.
Beyond that – one learns, one grows wiser with age; hopefully, that is what you’ll read in these stories. Wisdom. Empathy. Healing.
Find out how to throw a psychic a surprise party.
Okay, so not bragging, but….. I’ve been hard at work….
The Healer’s Daughter in The Ear
The Healer’s Daughter is a departure for me. It marks a turns in my writing that came about just this year. It’s more mystical. Risky, maybe. A woman’s daughter describes her mother’s gift and discovers she has her very own gift, but will she actually use it?
The Healer’s Daughter will be featured in my summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party. It’s a book of short stories, all of which have a special or surprising twist.
Friends, Lovers, and Liars in Home Renovation
Originally titled Deception, it didn’t find a home. In fact, the topic of lies and cheating offended one editor. I think it may have hit too close to home. It, too, will be released in the summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
How to Throw a Psychic Surprise Party in The Electric Press Magazine
The title story for the book of short stories. Inspired by a show in which I saw a television host throw a “surprise” party for a psychic. It struck me – How do you throw a psychic a surprise party?
This story may answer that question. Maybe not. How much empathy can you muster?
Hunger and other poems as well as some photography in Voices of Eve
Not in the book of short stories. But well worth the read. Hunger is one of my favorite poems.
Also in the book of short stories –
The Crier: In a time when emotions are unheard of, people need a release.
The Mirror People: Ever wondered what’s inside the mirror? You know there’s something, right? Here’s a woman who collects them – she knows.
Bowie and the Basket Case: Anna’s things keep disappearing and reappearing. At first she thinks she’s misplaced them, but then she’s sure she hasn’t!
An extremely good conversation in my literature class about intelligence (Inspired by Ted Chiang’s The Great Silence). We talked about other species that fall under the definition of intelligence, which is “the ability to understand and apply knowledge.” Considering Alex the Parrot and Koko the Gorilla, and other species: crows are problem solvers and remember faces. We discussed dogs, cats, and others. Is love, as an abstract idea, understood and applied by animals? And then – is intelligence found in showing love?
This is what good literature should do. Teach, delight, and create wonder.
“Don’t be afraid of failure. The reality is that most people successes rise out of the ashes of their previous failures.”
From a new documentary on Netflix titled Creativity. The narrator is talking to the creator of Game of Thrones. The creator is talking about how many times he’s failed.
I started this to say – what are you afraid of?
Then I wanted to ask – what if there was no such thing as fear? What would you do? What could you do?
I want you to think about that. What if fear was not in the human range of emotion or thought?
I wanted to start something new and feature other opinions, ideas, and authors on Fridays. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Margie Harding, author of The Paxton Series.
Writing is a passion I’ve been developing for many years. While I blog, have written devotionals for teen girls, a novel about my experience of attending college as a non-traditional student thirty years after high school graduation (receiving an AA degree in Elementary Education), and more; I have been provided yet another challenge that warms my heart.
For years I have said, “It takes a special person to be a special education teacher and it isn’t me!” I have five children and sixteen grandchildren and still a special education interest alluded me! It was never my heart’s desire. God has a sense of humor, I think. After all these years of avoiding special needs and disabilities, I have begun a new children’s book series on this particular subject!
We call the series, “The Paxton Series” with our setting in the Black Hills of South Dakota, using the wild animals of the area as our characters. (Paxton the Prairie Dog shows up in every book, if nothing more than in a cameo appearance!) The books are written for the child with the disability or special need….and for the child that asks, “What is wrong with my friend?” —and there are amazing illustrations, thankfully from someone who is able to acclimate the disability to the particular animal!
When the series started, I had no intention of a “disability series,” yet it morphed into this before I’d realized the need for this kind of material or impact it could make. I attended a church organized disability conference two years ago and for the first time heard the term “disability people group” and learned much about these special people for whom I was writing! The statistics astounded me! I knew this was to be my life’s mission.
I am delighted to say this series is being well received –and will continue indefinitely! (The list is up to 60+). Doors have opened I never imagined as schools, colleges (using them to teach students to be special needs educators) and other groups have found the merit of sharing these books with children, parents, educators, medical staff and others!
Invitations to share about the books from a “special needs” perspective, have also arisen and I am delighted to be an advocate for these children (and adults) who are often neglected in a variety of areas, (even if unintentionally) including written stories they can relate to.
There is very little actual reading material for children who have special needs; and certainly not for those young ones introduced to special needs children, as integration into mainstream classrooms continue. Their peers are often confused by what they see as “different” and perhaps even “wrong” when it can’t be defined by the “normal classroom rules.” My books attempt to bridge that gap, and are a great starting place for teachers. They are written to aid in understanding, inclusion, and acceptance of those behaviors that are different from the traditional “norm.”
There are ten books in the series currently.
Paxton’s World on Fire Introduction
An Early Arrival Preemie
The Great Race Asthma
Ears Like Gramps Hearing
Lillianna Moves to the Country Down’s Syndrome
Micah Mink Goes to the Concert Autism
Mixed Up Words Dyslexia
Special Goalie MD
Opal’s New Dream Arthritis
The Camping Trip ADHD
The Spelling Bee Diabetes (September)
Madison’s Sad Christmas Depression (November)
Bristol Goes To School Cancer (2019)
Harbinger Village Cerebral Palsy (2019)
Fabian’s Smile Cleft Palate (2019)
Our children face an amazing list of challenges. God has placed me in a position to be able to do something fundamentally good. I am humbled to be able to place words on paper that can help children understand what is going on in their bodies, as well as, a resource parents and teachers can use to help other children understand what is happening with their friends who seem different than themselves. If you are interested in any of these books or those to be released in the coming months and years, contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.paxtonseries.com or amazon.com.
**An added note — All 10 books are both in softcover and hardback….and we are just beginning to add a toddler version of the current K-3rd grade books (although the books are used for older students in special education classes, as well), and I am working on a chapter book! The first toddler book, The Big Fire, should be available in just a couple weeks.
Margie – thank you for guesting. I’m grateful I could host your blog and further the word about these important books. NL