“Father’s Day Forever”

I credit my loving Dad, Albert, with raising my brother and me to respect everyone no matter their color, race, creed, or religion. My Dad served his country and was a wonderful provider for our family as a house painter contractor.

I also credit my Dad for my love for animals, especially dogs. I remember

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My Dad, Albert.

when he brought two dogs into our home that he had rescued. The first was our first family dog, Poppy. The second one was a fuzzy puppy he brought home in his lunchbox. He had found the little pup abandoned in the house he was painting. I named him Teddy.

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My Mom, Evelyn, holding Teddy who my Dad rescued and we adopted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps what I sense strongly in my heart about my Dad was how he encouraged me to follow my dream of being a writer. Because of his inspiration, my writing career began in Journalism. That led to my internship and job as News Producer at Tucson’s ABC-affiliate, KGUN-TV, in which I did some feature reporting and wrote news copy for the 10PM newscast. He helped shaped that influence, because many of my memories are of him reading the local newspaper while watching the news on TV. I guess my Mom did as well.

Though my Dad took off for Heaven before I discovered my desire and passion of writing for children, I know he’s behind me 100%. He always has been from childhood to adulthood. I know he’d love the fact that many of my picture book manuscripts feature animals. He’d be amused and pleased.

So, I say Happy Father’s Day to my supportive, fun-loving Dad who always had me as the apple of his eye.

Your input: On this Father’s Day, how has your Dad shaped your life?

“Mother’s Day Forever”

My Mom supports my path of writing from journalism to children’s books.

Even though my beautiful, sweet mother resides in God’s Heaven, I’m celebrating with her. All it takes are the happy memories of Mother’s Days of yesterday.

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And suddenly, she’s here again, right next to me, smiling and laughing. She’ll read the card I give her and say, “Oh how pretty.” My Mom, Evelyn, will make a fun expression of anticipation as I hand her the bouquet of roses with a “thank you.” She’ll slowly smell them with delight and say, “Awww! So beautiful.” Not as beautiful as you, I’ll say.

First, well go to church and then out to lunch and dinner. We’ll enjoy conversation and more laughs with family. I’ll admire her quietly throughout the day and realize she’s just as striking as those colorful roses. Much more so.

At day’s end, I’ll hug her close and tell her I love her again. And look forward to seeing her again the next day.

Nothing has changed. I know I’ll see her again.

Happy Mother’s Day, my beautiful, sweet Mom! I love you forever!

Your input: What are your fondest memories of a Mother’s Day past?

“The Promise of Spring”

For the second time in my life, this  spring season is peppered with serious health Desert Poppies_wmkdifficulties and also sprinkled with hope. Being someone who doesn’t like to go into details about my personal problems, especially on social media, I’ll just say I’m full of much optimism, hope, and healing.

My setback has affected my writing life – writing children’s manuscripts that is. I haven’t been able to write since November, and I’m okay with that. It may be another six months before I can again. Yet something tells me it will be much sooner.

But the nice thing about writing and creating is that it’s flexible. You can stop when you need to and pick up where you left off. While it’s nice to write everyday, it’s not always doable or a reality for many, no matter the reason. That’s not to say I’m not thinking about my stories, or reading about the writing craft.

Maybe the better advice is to always have the frame of mind to write everyday. Or to be poised and ready to write as the window of opportunity presents itself if you have unavoidable obstacles. It doesn’t mean you’re not dedicated to your craft of writing – just truthful.

For the second time in my life, I will power through this rough path. IMG_0827

But I’m not alone – I have faith and hope. And isn’t that what this Easter and Spring season is all about? Cross_effectsclose2_wmk

“The darkest hour is just before dawn.” I believe!

Your input: When faced with health difficulties, are you able to write anyway? Or do you take a break and give your body a chance to heal?

“When Christmas Sneaks Up”

Usually, I start shopping for Christmas in October or earlier. I mean – plenty of parkingchristmastree2015_wmk__img_1570 spaces, no lines, it’s warmer. As November hits then it’s time to shop online. Not so bad, as all presents will arrive out of town and state on time.

But this year, I didn’t “wake up” from the Thanksgiving tryptophan until a few weeks ago. I found myself scrambling – I raced to the keyboard with mugs of hot chocolate in hand. Yes, my fingers did the frantic shopping.

Then I discovered one of the best places to shop for everyone – for toddler to the over 30-somethings on my list – online and local bookstores! Who doesn’t love exercising their minds and imagination, or being entertained and discovering new worlds? There’s just something about books (or gift cards to bookstores).

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Now that my shopping is done, Christmas cards sent, and some decorations hung – I’m playing joyful and inspiring Christmas music. I realize I’ve been prepared for Christmas deep inside the whole time because the Person of Christmas is always with me – reminding me how simple and peaceful that first Christmas was.

Merry Christmas!

Your input: When and how do you prepare for Christmas, and are books on your giving or wish list?

“The Relief of Clicking the ‘Send’ Button”

The idea for my most recent picture book came to me in the spring when the air is light. Looking back to the first draft, I have to chuckle. It’s so sparse, choppy, and wrapped around one thought, as cute as it may be. Thank goodness for critiquers and revisions.

It’s a truth that critique partners and revisions are kind task masters. They teach one how to flesh out manuscripts that are much too airy. The balance is to keep a picture book manuscript near or under that golden 500 words count and not lose any of the plot, arc, or theme. Shaping your story into its best form is hard, even stressful work. You ponder, prance, even pulsate around it. It encompasses your days, hours, and thoughts.

Then comes the time to prepare your manuscript for submission. You triple check to make sure it’s error free. The writers you know and trust who have read it or critiqued it say, “It’s ready to send.”

sendbutton2_wmk_img_2064 “Yes, it’s time to press that button!”

You almost panic for a moment. Really? It’s ready? You’ve been so used to having it to revise, change, contemplate, play with, and even talk to it. You’ve grown used to the joy of working on your manuscript.

“Yes, it’s time to press that button!” Okay, it is time.

Though you love the process of writing, when your manuscript is finally at its best and ready to be released out into the inboxes of agents or editors, you realize this is it. It’s time to take several deep breaths and let go, both of the manuscript and yourself. No more excuses or procrastination. Therein is your relief.

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The relief of sharing your manuscript with those outside your circle. There’s even freedom in the sound of clicking the “Send” button.

Click.

Boy, I do feel better!

Your input: Do you stress or find relief in submitting your manuscript?

© Lynn Rogalsky

“Writing Olympics – Not Always for The Medal”

I’ve been training most of my life for the ‘Writing Olympics.” It started with a love for reading as a child. Then I wrote fiction as a teen. In college, I gained a Journalism B.A. and worked in two radio newsrooms, and a TV newsroom for over five years writing news and feature stories. More recently I fell in love with writing for children.

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Whether I’m tumbling with ideas, swimming laps with my characters, or running the track with an amazing plot line, the medal always seems out of reach.

I guess the equivalent to the Olympic medal—whether bronze, silver or gold, in the writing world would be winning an agent, a securing a book deal from an editor, and seeing your book published and on the shelves.

The more I listen to our amazing Olympic athletes on Team USA, the more I get it. They do it for the love of the sport. Sure it’s great to be recognized as the best in the world and win a medal, maybe even time after time.

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Michael Phelps sporting a few of his total 23 gold Olympic medals.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time (28 medals total), said in the 2016 Rio games that he always wants to be the best and shoots to be at the top of the podium with a gold medal, but in the end it’s because he loves swimming. Phelps said, “I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”

Phelps quote can be applied to the writer’s life and goals. I have none of the Writing Olympic medals above to show for all the countless, hours, days, and years of sweet writing sweat. Yet. But I do have countless children’s stories that qualify me to enter the publishing race. I’m tenacious, full of ideas and in this for the long haul. But most of all, I’m in the Writing Olympics for the love of writing. Always keep your eye on the prize and the finish line!

Go Team USA!

Your input:  What propels you to be your best in the “Writing Olympics” or any other passion in life?

“RAIN REIGN” Whimsical Word Book Recommendation

Summertime is normally associated with hot, steamy weather, ice cream, and swimming. But it’s also a great time to keep cool inside to read and write. Here is my first of many picture book (PB) to middle grade (MG) or young adult (YA) novel recommendations. The following is a MG novel.

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, Newberry Honor Author: A heartwarming and insightful look into the mind and life of Rose Howa21531450_212x124_thumbrd a middle-grader with OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms. Rose’s life centers around school and her learning difficulties. Her highest priority is her dog, Rain, who her single father brings home during a rainstorm. But Rose’s life is turned upside down when Rain goes missing in a heart-pounding rain storm. Now Rose can think of nothing else but to find her beloved dog Rain and restore order to her shattered life.

The character of Rose is strong and someone we become intrigued and concerned about immediately.

Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1ixz0z6W4A

I give this book 4 out of 5 “Greats!”