Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Reservations" is to the printers

If you are following Aidana's blog, then you've read already that Reservations is off to the printers. You've also read that there will not be any more books in the series published by 4RV. It is a bitter sweet time but the series will continue. There will be more books and it's very likely I already have an artist who will complete the project. Look for State of Heights in July or August and future books every other month or so. Titles up to state #8 will include State of Successes, State of Nature, State of Acceleration, and State of Imagination. As soon as I have covers, I'll post them. Mrs. E :) & the JGDS

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Special Deal - limited time only (correction) (email and blog campaign)

05/22/2010: It has been brought to my attention that ordering is not clear for the special deal, either from this blog posting or from an email campaign I'm running, so I am clarifying how to receive copies of State of Wilderness, State of Quarries and State of Reservatiosn with accompanying study guides on CDs. (Take advantage of receiving a $45 value for only $30 plus shipping and paypal fees (total $35).)

SPECIAL DEAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ORDERING BOOKS: If you are ordering for this special deal either directly from this blog posting or through an email to your homeschool group - this is what you should do:

1. Go to paypal
2. Send funds totalling $35 to
3. Indicate in notes who to make books to (individual child(ren) or to the family - To the Smith Family (ex.) and indicate that this is special deal from blog
4. Make sure address is correct to receive copies of books plus the CDs
5. Send money or complete transaction

If you are ordering from the email campaign sent to homeschool associations or groups, please do not order the books from the website as that price does not include the study guides and does not include State of Reservations. The deal is good for the first three books in the series. Remember that each book is one state and by the fall, hopefully three more books will be available to help you complete your series. It will take upwards of another 11 or so years to get the remaining books published. I can only write so many a year and my publisher can only publish so many a year (right now we are hoping to get 3 or 4 a year out), so please be patient to complete your series.

(Books coming out this year - State of Altitude, State of Secession, and State of Nature with #7, 8 and 9 slated to be published between February and October of 2011. Titles tentatively are State of Acceleration, State of Imagination, and unknown at this point as I haven't put the clues down to see what direction to go with a title). Updates will be posted here as I get them. So please be patient.

05/20/2010 UPDATE: I've decided to expand this out to June 5, 2010, as it looks like State of Reservations will not arrive until after this date - sometime hopefully by the 15th or so of June. With paypal fees and shipping costs, the amount to paypal will be $35 even. Reserve your copies now. This deal is only good until midnight June 5.

In celebration of State of Reservations getting published very soon, I'm going to offer a special on the first three books. Order a copy of State of Wilderness, State of Quarries and State of Reservations by Thursday, May 20, 2010, for only $10 each (this is discounted from the usual price of $11) and receive the accompanying study guide on CD for free (these are normally priced at $3 each for the PDF file to be emailed to you or with the CD PDF version priced at $4).

All orders should be done through Paypal at my email address - - please make sure to indicate who to sign the books to and if you want any special messages. State of Reservations should be available and ready to be mailed between June 3 and June 15.

Place your order today as this is only good until midnight Thursday, May 20, 2010.

See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

National Council for Geographic Education conference

(originally posted 05/12/2010): I have a goal. I would love nothing more than to see my books used in schools to supplement a social studies curriculum across the nation. I found the NCGE website through a local geographic alliance (South Carolina Geographic Alliance) website which will be a vendor at one of the homeschool conferences where I will also be a vendor in June.

After exploring the NCGE site and finding out the conference is in Savannah this year (a drive of about 5 hours from where I live), I thought that being an exhibitor would be an awesome thing for me. That is until I saw the postings for the exhibitor's fees today. As you can see, having a "premium" booth space at the conference is $1000 and the next level is $850 which is just a table top "booth" - you get a table and two chairs and a wastebasket and little else, no signage but do get listed in the program.

So, what, may you ask, is the goal?

My goal is to sell 200 copies of the first four books between now and the end of July in order to pay for the conference (booth space plus hotel and travel). That sounds like a lot but it really isn't. So won't all of you, my faithful readers help me achieve my goal?

State of Wilderness, now available
State of Quarries, now available
State of Reservations, coming May 2010 - I've been told by the end of this month for sure
State of Altitude, coming June 2010 - I've also been told this should be out almost immediately after State of Reservations is released

If you are interested in signed copies, please email me at for instructions on where to send funds. Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Update 05/16/2010: I had an event at the Fairplay Welcome Center yesterday and have made my first sale toward this challenge. Only 799 to go. I have decided that I may just go static table top (not be there physically and save towards next year's conference in Oregon. So, whatever I need to just cover the table top display and have them monitor my info, may work this year since I'll be in Savannah in November and it would be a rather expensive fall for me to make two trips to Savannah that close together. I've also added a freebie for any orders placed between now and the middle of July (all info has to be sent to them by the end of July so allowing myself a couple of weeks to make sure that I have everything together and ready to go). Your choice of a flag pin kit or a basket weaving kit (which is one of the activities that will be in the #5's study guide). For the basket kit, please indicate color - blue, orange (dark or light), yellow, pink, or green. Remember when placing your order to indicate who to make the books out to so I can sign and send them on. Thanks for your support to this endeavor. Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Multi-author book signing - Uwharrie Books

I'll be traveling to Charlotte or just on the other side of Charlotte really to Uwharrie Bookson Saturday, May 22, for a multi-author book signing. If you happen to be in the area, stop by and say hello, purchase a copy of State of Wilderness and/or State of Quarries and have me personalize it for you.

Another author friend of mine is traveling with me for the company but also because I'm going to show her around the area a bit since she will be joining me at the Love to Learn Homeschool Resource and Info conference in August. I'm looking forward to this.

Teachers are welcome to visit and check out the series as possible supplements to their social studies curriculum. I will have a few study guides available for both books, so please, check me out. See you all there - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Are you an inside the four walls markerter?

Come visit me on Dana Donovan's blog today and found out some ideas for thinking outside the box - other places to market your books.

Dana was a guest on my other blog a little over a week ago. He talked about giving away books to help boost sales.

As you can see we have a variety of ideas for marketing. So drop over and leave a comment - looking forward to hearing some of your ideas for thinking outside the box.

Remember I still have a challenge for myself to sell at least 200 copies of each of the first four titles (State of Wilderness, State of Quarries, State of Reservations (which will be going to print hopefully this week), and State of Altitude (which will be going to print in the next couple of weeks or hopefully will be available by the second week of June)) to help me get to the NCGE conference the end of September. I may have to go the static display route (just having stuff on a table being monitored by the NCGE staff this year and hope that next year I can maybe make it to the one in Portland, Oregon, but getting to Oregon is going to take steady sales between now and the next six months of the upcoming four books (State of Successes and State of Nature will be available during those months). So help me get to places that really would be great marketing places. Place your order from my website and receive a free gift - either a make your own flag pin or a weave your own basket kit. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E and the JGDS

Friday, May 14, 2010

National Travel & Tourism week

It's that time of year - travel plans are being made and soon school will be out. This author will be busy for the next six weekends. The travel & tourism departments across the nation are kind enough to offer fun activities and businesses at various Welcome Centers. Elysabeth will be visiting the Fairplay Welcome Center on Saturday, May 15, 2010 from 10 to 12. If you are traveling I-85 from Georgia northward, stop by and speak. Grab a few goodies or try winning a prize.

The Fairplay Welcome Center is located 1 mile inside South Carolina on I-85 Northbound. So come on over and see what local businesses have to offer you. Welcome to South Carolina ya'll.

For a complete list of Elysabeth's whereabouts over the next six weeks, stop by Elysabeth's booktour page and check out her upcoming events.

If you all remember last year's posting, I met up with my husband's Aunt Toni and Uncle Jerry and their daughter Joanna, whom I'd only met once and that was 16 years ago. I don't expect to run into these relatives again this year due to surgery for Aunt Toni, but you never know who will show up. I'll definitely take pictures and post when I can. Looking forward to meeting you all and showing you what I'm about as well as welcome you to South Carolina - safe travels to all - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We've been awarded with a blogger buddy award

For those of you who follow my blog, you will see that I also follow several of the authors from 4RV and usually can be found chatting with them via instant messenger. So today, I got a response in my email on my posting about the NCGE's conference coming up the end of September from Rena Jones saying she had given me this award. I don't know the rules of this award either, so I will just pass it on to to a couple of folks -

Mr. John Hughes and Ms. Carol Baldwin - two blogging buddies that have special places.

Thanks, Rena and I'll see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

"A Single Shard"

Monday, during virtual classroom visit writing time with Mr. Hughes' class while discussing the dialogue lesson from Carol Baldwin's book "Teaching the Story" and reading the examples from literature page, I found this sample very interesting:

Finally, Crane-man poked him. "What demon scratches under your skin tonight?" he asked crossly. "It seems intent on keeping us both from slumber."

Tree-ear sat up, pulled his knees close, and wrapped his arms around them for warmth. "A question demon," he said.

Crane-man sat up too. "Well, let us hear it, then. Perhaps if the question is asked and answered, the demon will leave you in peace -- and I will be able to sleep."

Tree-ear answered slowly. "It is a question about stealing." He paused, started to speak, stopped again. Finally, "Is it stealing to take from another something that cannot be held in your hands?"

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
(Random House, 2001)

The discussion in the class went somewhat like this: Mr. Hughes asking the class, "What do we get from this short piece of dialogue?" Students throwing answers, et cetera. Mr. Hughes: "Can we tell about the people in this book? Who they are? Where they might be from?" Students throwing out answers. Mr. Hughes: "What kind of people do you think have names like 'Tree-ear' and 'Crane-man'? Don't they sound like Native American names, because you know how they usually are named for something of meaning in their community?"

I didn't know anything of the book, did a look up in our public library system (I'm all for checking out books and supporting my local library as per my challenge posted on my other website back in January or February) and found that the branch in our town actually had a copy of the book. Benjamin and I had put several books on hold (we have a system that involves ten counties and we can put a hold request from any of the libraries in those ten counties and they will send them to the branch we indicate to pick them up from) and I got the notices quickly and so while I was in there, I asked about this book. I checked it out and started reading Wednesday night upon retiring to bed. I read about an hour and a half and was surprised to see that I was at about the half way point in the book (Page 72 of 148, the end of Chapter 6 or 7). I wanted to keep reading but knew I had an early day the next morning so turned out the light. Last night I went to bed a little earlier than my normal time and read until i finished the book (again about an hour and a half).

I was totally impressed with the writing and the descriptions throughout the book and although I was learning something of a time and place I'd never known about, the educational aspect of the writing was not overwhelming.

I do recommend this book to anyone who is interested in pottery, history - especially Asian history and just a really well-written book. I can definitely see why this was a Newberry Medal winner.

Product Details
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 160 pages (this may be actual pages, not story - because the story is only 148 pages)
Publisher: Clarion Books; 1St Edition edition (April 23, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0395978270
ISBN-13: 978-0395978276

Check it out if you have a chance - Post a comment here when you've read it to let me know what you think of this book. Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Clickschooling is pretty awesome

I subscribe to Diane Flynn Keith's "clickschooling" newsletter, which is geared toward homeschoolers and focuses on a different part of a curriculum on a daily basis. (The top boasts: Free daily curriculum ideas! -Get free daily web-based curriculum ideas that will save you money. -Enjoy educational websites that will save you time!) Mondays are math days, Tuesdays science, Wednesdays language arts, Thursdays social sciences, Fridays virtual field trips and Saturdays allow you to get foreign languages, arts, music, et cetera in. (The field trips have been pretty intersting too - sometimes it can be a museum visit, other times a factory or a behind the scenes of how something is made (at Easter it was a trip to the Palmer Chocolate factory and she even had a visit to the PEEPS site which was pretty cool.)

I have to admit that I've actually followed some of the suggested links on some days, and today's was no exception. If you would like to "hear" what Beowulf sounded like read out in loud, click here and launch the timeline. At each stage in the timeline, you can click on different things to get more history and to listen to things - the microphone will give you excerpts of different readings (Beowulf, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and several others); the jester in the top right corner will give you insults of that particular time. Listen to stage 8, The Age of the Lexicographer 1600 - 1800 (Early Modern English), insults and get a nice giggle. I loved fopdoodle - now if only I can figure a way to use that in my writings - lol.

I signed up for the daily newsletter hoping to find some ideas for new activities to put in my study guides. I have found some and one in particular, I'm trying to figure out how to actually make this work for book #5. I've emailed the contributors/designers/creators of this website about creating a "case" for a particular item but have never heard anything back from any of them. The contact page on the site doesn't work so I copied all their email addys and sent an actual email (may need to resend it soon, since I'm finishing up book #5 very soon).

I'm loving getting the new ideas and just exploring some fun areas. I encourage anyone who is looking for ways to enhance a homeschool curriculum or who is in need of new things to try out to subscribe to Diane Flynn Keith's "clickschooling" newsletter.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Grits in Utah?

GRITS: corn that is partly crushed (really ground down) before cooking, often eaten for breakfast or as part of a meal in the southern US. Most southerners put lots of butter and salt in their grits or even put cheese in them, but I've known some to put a tad of sugar in them as well.

So how did grits get in Utah? As everyone knows, I'm virtually visiting Mr. Hughes class in Utah and we are using Carol Baldwin's book "Teaching the Story" for writing class. We are working on dialogue now, not how to create dialogue but making it useful in the story. Carol has a page of Tips for Writing Dialogue. While reading the tips, I had to really laugh about this one particular one:

Show your characters doing something as they talk. Is he shoveling grits into his mouth? Is she painting her toenails deep purple? Is the old man wiping his bifocals with an embroidered handkerchief? Does the teenager frown/roll her eyes/tremble/avert her eyes/giggle? Is the lawyer tapping his foot/pencil/briefcase impatiently? Gestures, body language, actions, and small habits can all add to the picture you create in your reader's mind.

Now I'm not saying that isn't a good tip, it's just I don't think Carol realized she placed herself in the South with the grits statement and she may have even dated herself due to the reference of "embroidered handkerchief."

I've even been called on not doing this by my editors, so it is a good tip and one that I've tried to get the students to see during class time with their own writing projects. Funny how we can see things when others don't do them or do them differently but not when we do it. I'm getting better I hope with the dialogue as far as having my characters doing something while they talk, so that's a good thing all around.

And now you know ... the rest of the story (taken from Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" radio tidbits) - Mrs. E :)

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