My official bio, from when I was #On the Scene in 20 1 9: Rinda was a second-grade teacher who read and told stories, until she met a bat in Germany. She learned to edit, thanks to SCBWI classes and critique partners. Rinda substitutes to stay connected to the kids she wants to write for. She established Beach Girl Press to publish her first book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
This year I added: Now she has a second one, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME. Visit her blog and book review at www.rindabeach.com And I’m one of the 2020PB Stars
photographed. It’s more natural for me to grit my teeth than smile. but this photo was important. When you open my web site, it’s your introduction to me.
So I googled smiling instructions. My husband took a shot, but we flunked! My web designer asked me to retake them. I roped my daughter into a few shots, and somehow, she got me to relax and smile. It was almost painless for both of us.
A Lake Photo Shoot: Thank goodness my daughter was at the lake. It was perfect timing. She took one look at my hair and knew I was up to something. When I’m at the lake, I put my hair up in a messy bun. It’s easy to do, easy to fix, and it’s not in the picture. This is my new cover shot. We retook it the next day. That’s when I discovered my arms looked like chicken wings in the original. YUCK!
This was another original shot from that first day. I loved my arms and smile, but I couldn’t use it as a cover shot. There’s no book!
But it gave me an idea. I practiced holding the book with my arms looking like human ones. It worked! My daughter got the shot, without the chicken arms.
There’s only one difference that no one will ever know, but us. The originals were taken down at the boat dock. The new cover shot was taken from the deck, but it’s still at the lake.
This is the last shot my daughter took. I wanted one with me reading at the lake. This one’s good, but not great.
Why? I was half-laughing when we took it. That’s good, but I wanted to look up in the shot at you. It’s close, but not quite perfect. I always try for perfection, but this was good enough for one blog post.
I’m sharing it with you because I love to read like this – on my kindle. I pick books and load them onto it. Would you believe that I’m holding 274 books in my hands? Technology is amazing!
This is my first published book. I self-published it last May. Here’s its blurb from Amazon –
Most people know that Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, but very few know how it all started . . . with a dream to build his own wind tunnel.
Read how Neil’s love of planes took him from the Cleveland air races at age two to the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel at age sixteen. Discover how Neil made his wind tunnel dream come true.
Read the back matter to find the facts behind this story. Continue on to build your own wind tunnel and conduct your own experiments so you can study the wind, just like Neil did.
I got the idea for this book when I met a small piece of Neil’s original wind tunnel in his museum in Wapak. My proudest moment – A NASA scientist wrote on the back of my book, and on Amazon too, that this was a book for young people. I hope that’s you!
This is my newest book. It came out last month, in May of 2020. Here’s the blurb I posted on Amazon:
This book is part story – part souvenir. Follow Zoe and her family on their lake vacation on the left side of each page. On the right side, there’s room to record your own lake vacation story. When Mom reveals Lake Hunt Fun, the adventures begin. Maddie, Nick, and Zoe explore the lake while they look for answers to Mom’s questions. The more answers they find, the more points they earn towards winning a prize. Zoe is the youngest in the family, but she’s determined to beat her older sister and brother. Read along as she records her answers on the right side. That’s also where you’ll start your own Lake Hunt Fun. There’s room for you to write, room for you to illustrate your own adventures. You can draw and color them in, or paste in family pictures and postcards. You’ll be my co-author and illustrator. Either way you’ll have two stories in one book. Happy reading, writing, and illustrating!
This book came from my lake, Norris. The cover is the view from our dock. Look inside – can you find my house? Lake Fun is full of all the things my family did at the lake, except – have a treasure hunt. Maybe someday I’ll do that with my granddaughter!
My favorite part of the book – you can write and draw your own adventure at a lake. It doesn’t have to be Norris! If you do, please email! I’d love to hear about your lake adventures!
June felt like summer, but it actually starts today, Saturday, June 20th. Let’s have some fun, but what’s the risk? High, Medium, or Low? Here are 14 summer activities. Test yourself, and risk a guess.
1. A backyard gathering with another family – What’s the risk?
It ranges from low to medium, but how can you keep it as low as possible?
- Give yourself lots of room outside with a small group.
- Pick friends who’ve been social distancing.
- Don’t share food, drinks, or utensils.
- Keep the party outside.
- No alcohol for adults. It makes them forget to social distance.
- Play lawn games like croquet or cornhole.
2. Eating inside at a restaurant – What’s your risk?
It ranges from medium to high. Eating in is one of the riskier things to do, but you can still lower your risk.
- Look for tables that are spaced out, servers who wear masks, and for hand-washing stations.
- Use condiments in packages, like ketchup. Don’t use bottles.
- Don’t use self-serve areas soda fountains or buffet tables.
- Leave when you finish eating. Don’t linger.
- Best tip of all – eat outside whenever possible.
3. Attending an indoor church service – Can you risk it?
It’s high risk because lots of families are gathering together for an extended period of time. But you can lower the risk.
- Look to see if your church is doing services for 25 people or less.
- Sit at least 6 feet apart from another family so you have social distance. Wear your masks.
- Skip singing and sharing hymnals. It keeps germs from spreading.
How about spending the day at the beach or the pool? Is it worth the risk?
Yes! The risk is actually low. Water will dilute any virus, but keep an eye on these risk factors.
- Stay 6 feet away from other families on land and in the water.
- Maintain that distance in busy places like the entrance or in bathrooms.
- Keep an eye on the kids. Try to keep them with friends whose families observed social distancing.
- Go early in the morning or late afternoon when it’s less crowded. Whenever/where ever you go, don’t forget to use social distancing. BTW – it’s easier at the beach!
5. What about attending a wedding, outside, with more than 10 guests?
Events like weddings and graduation parties are medium to high risk.
6. What’s your risk for using a public restroom?
It’s actually low to medium. Modern bathrooms are designed to prevent diseases with hard surfaces that are easy to clean.
- The biggest risk is determined by how clean the bathroom is. You’re at low risk if the restroom’s clean and well stocked with paper towels, soap, and toilet paper.
- Avoid bathrooms that are small, busy, and poorly ventilated like the ones that sit beside gas stations.
- You can keep the risk low by washing your hands. If you touch other surfaces on the way out, use hand sanitizer. I keep a bottle in my purse for times like this. When in doubt, wash or use your sanitizer!
7. Do you put your family at risk by letting a friend inside to use your bathoom?
No, it’s a very small risk. This came up in March, and I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t let them in. Now I would.
- Anything airborn will be sucked out by the ventilation. So, turn on your fan!
- Hard surfaces are easy to clean. If you don’t have time to clean before you use your bathroom, don’t worry. Just wash your hands.
8. What’s my risk if I share a vacation house with another family?
Ready, set, go! It’s actually low! Here’s how to keep it down.
- If both families have been social distancing, you’re in good shape.
- If anyone works in a high covid exposure job, like doctors or nurses, your vacation will automatically become more dangerous.
- Pick a vacation house away from crowds. Ask about the rental company’s cleaning policies. They may be taking covid precautions already. Clean surfaces they missed when you arrive.
- Talk to your co-vacationers about social distancing 2 weeks before vacation, and what you’ll do about it once you’re there. If anyone is sick, they have to stay home.
9. What about a hotel? Will my risk be higher?
A little bit – hotels are low to medium on the risk scale.
- It’s pretty low, especially once you’re in your room. Plus you can wash your hands or use sanitizer as soon as you shut the door.
- Limit time in common areas like the lobby, gym, restaurant, and elevator. More people means more risk, but hand sanitizer will help you lower it.
- Avoid the gym and elevator, if possible.
- Ask about hotel cleaning routines. Many have new covid policies. You may want to remove the bedcover if they’re not cleaned after each guest leaves.
- Bring disinfecting wipes to use on the remote control and other surfaces you’re worried about.
- If you have to use the elevator, use your ring finger to press the buttons, or use your wipes to press the buttons.
- If you’re worried about going out to a restaurant, do room service or take-out.
10. How about getting a haircut? Is it safe?
Your risk is higher . . . it runs from medium to high.
- This is one of the riskiest things on the list because you can’t stay 6 feet away from someone cutting your hair.
- You can lower your risk if you’re both wearing masks. It’s also safer if the covid rate is low in your area.
- Cloth masks don’t work as well in places this close.
- Check to see if your shop has employees wearing protective gear and washing their hands. If they’re protected, so are you.
- Silence is golden. Chatting can put both of you at risk. Getting done as soon as possible is safer.
11. I love to shop. Can I go back to the mall?
The risk varies. It depends on your mall.
- Outdoor malls are better than indoor ones.
- Crowds make a mall riskier. Think about going during off hours, like early morning.
- Less time is better. Plan what to buy so you can get in and out. Even better – shop online, then pick it up at the store.
- Don’t forget to wear your mask, and try to stay six feet away from people outside your family.
- Bring your hand sanitizer along so you’re ready when you touch hand rails and doorknobs.
- If you have a shopping cart, put a disinfecting wipe on the handle. Your hands will stay clean while you shop. Then throw it away when you’re done.
12. Should you go to a concert or dance club?
This is another one of the riskiest activities, but why?
- Most concerts are already cancelled this summer.
- Think crowds like this. Then picture people singing along. That’s dangerous in church, and it’s dangerous here.
- People are also celebrating. It was dangerous at weddings, and it’s dangerous here. People forget about social distancing, especially if they’ve been drinking.
- With dancing, people breathe harder than usual. That means when you exhale, you might shed the virus, and no one wants to share that!
- If you want to dance, invite over a few friends who’ve been socially distancing. You’re safer having fun in your own backyard.
13. How about camping? Is it a good idea?
Go for it! Camping is pretty low risk if you’re outside with your family.
- Remember public restrooms? Use the same precautions in shared bathrooms.
- Clean your picnic table before you eat and after you’re done. Or, keep it simple with a plastic tablecloth.
- Put space between you and the camper next-door. A crowded campground is not a good thing this summer.
- Sleep in family groups. Mixing up families can spread the coronavirus.
14. Can I exercise outside? Are there any no-no’s?
It’s mostly low risk, but some sports are better than others. Think social distancing!
- Cycling, golf, and tennis are great. A few people are playing, and they’re spread apart.
- Running is great if you can keep your distance from everyone else.
- Basketball, football, and soccer are contact sports, and that brings in risk. All that breathing so close together – yikes!
- If you feel too close to others, wear a mask. Be careful with cloth ones – they can’t keep out all those viruses.
My Conclusions from Summer Fun: I think controlling corona risk boils down to:
- Stay away from crowds, whether you’re inside or out.
- Outside is better than inside.
- Wear a mask if it’s too crowded.
- Keep your hands clean.
This is the main character from a story I’ve worked on since 2011. Her name, Poppy Minor. I’ve had lots of great comments about her story, lots of great suggestions. But I’ve never gotten it quite right. Maybe this spring I will.
In mid-April Callie Metler-Smith from Writing Magic started advertising a class, Write Your Own Book Now. It was a little pricey for me, so I asked a few questions before making a decision.
My first question – which story to work on? Callie did a free conference for anyone considering her class. I was torn between two ideas. A new picture book or good old Poppy Minor. Callie suggested Poppy.
The WRITE YOUR BOOK class was scheduled to run for nine weeks, from May 1 through June 29. Callie thought I’d grow more as a writer from working on Poppy.
I can write a picture book in a week or two, but it takes a year to work out the bugs, to make every word count, to make it submission ready.
Callie was right. My chapter book is a better fit for her class. Poppy’s middle grade story is 30 chapters long. When I did the math, I could do 3 chapters a week and still finish on time.
This is Queen Antinet, another character from Poppy Minor’s story. If you’d like a coloring page of my favorite ants, click on this link: http://www.rindabeach.com/for-kids.html
I’m on week 6 for this class. I should be on chapter 18 by the end of the week. I’m working on 13/14, so I’m a little behind, but I’m in the ballpark.
I have learned a lot from this class. The plot is working, so far. When I finish the whole book, I’ll go back and do some character building in the first 5 chapters. Five ants appear repeatedly. They each need to have their own voice, their own unique character. Sounds easy, but it’s hard to do. I’m learning!
I've worked on characterization since chapter 5, and I must be getting better because Callie hasn’t left notes about it for a while.
I plan to finish 13 & 14 tomorrow. My next goal is chapter 18 by Sunday. If I fall short, I won’t worry. It’s OK. My best is all I can do. I’ll just set a new goal to keep me moving toward the final deadline, the first week of July.
PS – I’ll update this post in July to let you know if I finished on time. I’ll also let you know what my next step will be. Poppy has waited a long time to go out on submission again, and I want her in top writing shape.
If you’d like to learn more about Callie, my writing mentor, here’s the link to her website: http://www.calliemetlersmith.com/
This is my newest baby. I got my book proof on May 9th, but it took until June 5th to get my order for books to sell.
Today I made my first attempt to find a lake home for it.
I’m thrilled to announce we’re on the menu at Bella’s Italian Grille! I hope my book is a tasty addition to their restaurant. I hope you stop in for dinner, and a peak at Lake Fun, Grand Lake Style.
This is the chef at Bella's, who took a chance on us. I hope she emails so I can add in her name. The portrait to the right is her mother, the original Bella, when she was young. WOW! What a great portrait! I had to take her picture.
Bella’s is on West Bank Road in Celina, Ohio. It’s one of my favorite places, for a Friday date night with my husband. For a special occasion. The food is great!
Take a look at the picture below to peek inside Bella’s. Originally I took it because it’s the first restaurant I’ve been in since March. I love how they made social distancing look good!
If the weather’s nice, take your meal outside. Their patio faces Grand Lake St. Marys. It’s a beautiful view, and perfect for my book about lake fun. Half the book is my story for you. The other half is room for you to become a writer and illustrator too!
The restaurant’s namesake is also a writer. I wonder if she’ll get one of my books and become my co-writer/co-illustrator. If she does, we definitely need to do lunch so we can share lakes!
I’ve had this on my idea list since April or May, but now it’s time to look back at these incredible people. Time to recognize how they kept you and me safe and healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
1. Lab workers – When I see pictures like those below, I think of the blood work I’ve had done. Someone drew it. Someone tested it to see what my body was doing. Others have given me tests for infections like strep throat. Someone at a lab decided what the test said.
When the coronavirus hit, lab testing slowed down, even stopped. Doctors decided who/what testing could be done, and what could wait. Some labs started focusing on diagnosing the virus.
Others focused on how the virus worked. They looked for ways to stop it. These are the people behind the scenes doing research and testing on Covid. It’s June of 2020, and they’re searching for a vaccine. There’s hope it may be available in 2021. So I say THANK YOU to those people who work in labs doing research and testing.
2. Pharmacy Employees – These are the people we are so glad to see when we’re sick. They didn’t stop working during the pandemic. They kept our prescriptions filled during the worst of the virus. I’m a diabetic, and I was worried about not getting refills on meds I have to have.
Thanks to the Pharmacist and their aides, I never ran out, and I hope you didn’t either. THANK YOU!
3. Security – Security guards keep people and property safe. I see them most when I’m in a parking lot at the mall or a hospital. I always feel a little safer when I see them.
I’m not so happy to see a policeman when I’m driving too fast. That’s because it means a ticket and a fine. It also means I have to find a way to slow down, which is a good thing. Going too fast anywhere usually causes accidents. I’d rather skip those. THANK YOU to all those people who keep us safe, our stuff too.
4. Mass Transit Workers – Think trains, planes, and buses. These are the vehicles and people that keep everyone moving, especially in big cities, like New York or Chicago. During the pandemic they made it possible for other essential workers to get to work.
I live in small-town Ohio. We don’t have mass transit for people, except for school buses. During the pandemic some bus drivers made their runs to deliver food, not kids.
Airplane traffic slowed during the pandemic. People were afraid to get onto planes with that teeny-tiny virus floating around, but people are starting to fly again. I hope someday soon I’ll climb on a plane and visit my Texas family! THANK YOU to all the transit workers who keep us moving, whenever, where ever we’re going.
5. Farmers and Agricultural Workers – Think of the farmers who grow food from fruits to grains to vegetables. Other farmers raise the animals who feed us from cows to chickens to pigs. Someone grew or raised the food you ate during the pandemic. They didn’t shut down.
Add in the people who process our food. They take it from the farm and put it in the packages we buy at the grocery store. And, don’t forget the people who stock the shelves and check you out.
Many restaurants closed down, but some stayed open to make take-out food for you and me. Cooks and cashiers and delivery guys kept working. THANK YOU to all of those people who kept us fed during the pandemic.
6. Energy Workers – Think of the people who generate the electricity and keep it on. Sometimes they’re out in the worst weather. They fix the equipment so we have light and heat, TV’s and computers.
Think of the phone you use. Someone makes those satellite signals work for your phone. When you have trouble, someone else is on the end of the line to help you figure it out.
Have you ridden in a car, truck, or bus? The people in the oil industry made that possible, even during the pandemic. Someone pulled the oil out of the ground and sent it to the refinery. That’s the mass of metal in the photo below.
The people at the refinery change the oil into the gasoline that drives your car. They also make the chemicals that are in everything around you.
Don’t forget the people who manned the gas stations so you could go to the store. So other essential workers could do their jobs. THANK YOU to the energy workers who kept the power on, for all of us.
7. In the funeral business – Did you lose any friends or family during the corona shutdown? If you did, someone in the funeral industry helped you.
At the funeral home they’ll get the body ready for burial. They’ll set up visitations and services to help you say goodbye. They’ll direct you with details, like death certificates. Things you’ve never ever thought about. Someone will dig the grave, set up a tombstone, and care for the graveyard.
Your loved one may be cremated. Their body is returned to ash, and it will be given to you. Some people spread them in a special place. Others pick out a container to keep them close by. During such a difficult time, THANK YOU to all those people who help us say our final earthly goodbye.
8. Manufacturing workers – Look at the products below. If you used any of them, or something similiar, there’s someone to thank.
During the pandemic people needed safety supplies like gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers . They needed cleaning products like soap to wash germs off everything from hands to houses. Doctors, nurses, and dentists still needed medical supplies to do their work, and we all needed someone to continue making all these things.
During the pandemic we still needed medicine. We needed the chemicals that are in everything from medicines to cleaning supplies to so many things in your house. Take a look around. There are chemicals everywhere, and someone at a factory made them.
Don’t forget food! From meat to cheese to cereal, someone processed it. Someone put it in a package.THANK YOU to all the manufacturing plants and their workers for keeping us supplied with the things we needed.
9. National security and the military – The military is easy to understand. These are its branches. They work together to protect our country, its citizens, and our property.
The military is also complicated. You think of the Navy and Coast Guard with only boats, but I think every branch has helicopters and airplanes. The newest one is The Space Force. I picture rockets and spaceships, but one of its biggest jobs will be caring for all of the US satellites orbiting the earth.
When I think of security, I think of cameras and the security officers at the mall. Here’s a list of the top 10 security jobs:
10 Accountants – they work everywhere!
9 Intelligence Officers – like the FBI & CIA
8 Business Analysts – they’re everywhere too!
7 Cyber Security – no one wants to be hacked.
6 Language Expert – parlez-vous francais?
5 Statistician – they collect and analyze data
4 Security Analyst – they advise and report danger
3 Logistics Specialist- they manage transportation of assets
2 Cryptologists – think codes!
1 Security Officer – think government policemen.
Many of these are ordinary jobs, but they may also require security clearances because you might be working with national secrets and government property. You don’t have to be an international spy! THANK YOU to all the security and military people who keep us safe!
10 . Water and wastewater employees – These are the people who make sure we have safe drinking water. Another group of workers takes care of sewage. That’s the stuff you flush down the toilet. I’m so glad they kept on working! Imagine no water to drink or to flush the toilets!THANK YOU to all those people who kept our faucets and toilets working!
To the left - a water treatment plant to clean our drinking water. To the right a sewage treatment plant. It cleans everything that you flush down the toilet.
11 . Vendors– These are the stores and businesses that provide the products and services we need. THANK YOU to all those people who kept the stores stocked,. And another THANK YOU to the people who sold us those things we needed.
12 . Bankers, Call Service Centers, Payroll, and Insurance Workers – None of these people produce products, but we need the services they provide. Bankers help us save or borrow money. If you buy something with a problem, a call center operator can help you straighten it out.
If you have a job, the people in payroll generate your check. They’ll even put it in the bank so you can spend it on your wants and needs. No one can live without insurance. You can buy life, health, home, and car insurance. Each one protects something you value. THANK YOU to the people who provide these essential services for you and me.
13 . The News Media – How do you know what’s going on around you? People deliver the news to us on TV, radio, in newspapers, and online. Without them we wouldn’t have a clue about what’s happening around us. THANK YOU to all the people who keep us informed!
14 . Cleaning Crews, Custodians, and Janitors – I hate cleaning so these are my favorite people! They kept my classroom clean for 33 years. You’ll find these professionals in schools, businesses, stores, factories, and so many other places. After a season of covid, keeping clean equals staying safe. A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP OUR WORLD CLEAN. THANK YOU!
15. The Catch All Category – There are so many people who kept all of us going, and I think this is where they put everybody else. So I’ll end with another THANK YOU to everyone who kept us going! Now it’s time to showcase these essential workers with a picture. Here goes!
If you are one of our essential workers, or know someone who is – I want to end with a final THANK YOU to you, and to them. They are heroes!
Part 1 – This was me at the Mazza Museum on March 1st. It was a lovely day. Crowds enjoyed what this museum had to offer. It was their last open house before the Coronavirus shut everything down.
Mazza isn’t an ordinary museum. It’s extraordinary! It’s a museum just for picture book illustrations. I am not, nor will I ever illustrate them so I was thrilled to be invited to share NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
I brought my wind tunnel along. These kids were kind enough to get their pictures taken. I wish I had one when the wind tunnel was in action. Those kids were so excited to see it work. It was that way with every single kid who stopped to see it in action.
Part 2 – This is my wind tunnel on the dining room table. It’s almost as long as the table is. When kids stopped for a demonstration, I had them look at the red shape first, then peek in the window.
Look in the window below, and you’ll see a model airplane. It has a stick running through it. That’s to hold the model in place. It’s anchored in a cup of sand.
The red shape is a digital scale. When kids came over, I turned it on. The scale always started at 10 units, the weight of the sand/model. Then I reset it to 0, and took the kids to the end of the tunnel.
Not the one with the fan. I took them to the opposite end. It’s open. You can look down the tunnel past the model and into those black tubes. They’re really used in golf bags. You stick your club inside to protect them.
I had them look down the tunnel, then we went back to the scale. I told them to watch its numbers as I turned on the fan.
Every single time I turned on the fan, the number dropped below 0. Sometimes it went down to -2, to -5, even to -10. Then I asked the key question – what happened? How could the plane weigh less after I turned on the fan? The weight of the plane and sand never changed.
Part 3 – The answer in one word – LIFT! Did you figure it out? A first-grader did. He said, “The wind lifted the plane.” He saw it and explained it in simple clear words.
Here’s mine. It’s a little more complicated – when the plane lifted up, it shifted its weight up too, so the scale went down. It was an example of Newton’s law of motion in action – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The plane goes up, and the scale goes down. Simple physics!
I think Neil would have loved seeing another wind tunnel in action. I hope I learned enough from researching Neil and wind tunnels to do a good job answering that first grader in March, and to write about it tonight. Wouldn’t it be lovely if that first grader, or a blog reader, wound up working in the space program? What a lovely dream!
Part 4 – The Mazza set up. I came in and got my station ready first. Then I took a walk around the building to see what the museum was going to offer its guests. There was an amazing range of activities,
I couldn’t leave my station, but I saw so many kids and their parents around me having a wonderful day, thanks to the Mazza volunteers.
This activity came from The University of Findlay College of Sciences. They took up half the room beside me with table after table set up like these two. Whenever I peeked over, I saw families engaged in science experiments. My only regret – I didn’t get to ask or try out their activities. I was curious before the kids got there, and I was still curious after they left.
This is a Rainy Day Craft, thanks to the University of Findlay Japanese Student. It’s so simple and cute. I think I could make it at home. I bet you could too!
This was one of the most popular places to visit, Pawsible Angels Therapy Dogs. Who doesn’t love dogs, and these two were so well trained!
Yum! They had snacks too! Rain drops and ice. And books, of course!
Mazza is a Picture Book Illustration Museum.
And best of all, I’m not an illustrator, but Neil and I were welcome too!
It was a thrilling day!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!