STAGE 1 - I’m not a morning person. I’m a night owl. I love staying up late and sleeping in.
I look at morning people, the ones who bounce out of bed, and I just want to tell them to stop.
I hate mornings. It’s a fight to get up. I just want to close my eyes again and go back to sleep. I hit the snooze button like 10 times before I can get up. I HATE it!
This is what sleep should look like, peaceful, dream-filled. For a couple of weeks, I was submerged in sleep. I slept 10 hours, sometimes more, every night. When I woke up, I napped for another hour or two. It was lovely. I needed it after a stressful summer, after the SCBWI writing conference.
But by the end of the 2nd week, I started to worry. I had too much sleep, and I felt like a zombie trying to get things done.
It ended, finally, the way I thought it would, with the opposite extreme – I’m having trouble going to sleep. I lay there, hoping. I get up, do a little work, and try again. It’s horrible!
So now, I’m on a sleep journey, trying to find a happy medium. I’ll have to learn to set and stick to a bedtime, but I’m committed to this change. I’m tired, all puns intended, of getting either too much sleep, or too little.
My first step, to power down. To shut down all my electronics 15 – 30 minutes before bedtime. That means sometimes I’ll have to finish a post the next day, but at age 60, I’m going to learn to shut things down. Here’s to the journey! I’ll let you know how it goes in a few days.
PS- It’s tonight, the evening after I wrote the post above, and it worked! I finished the post, but I didn’t put it up on social media till now. Best of all – I didn’t feel guilty. YAY!!!
You can’t kill the golden goose, AKA you, AKA me. If you don’t take care of yourself, there is no you to write, to do whatever makes you special. So tonight when it’s midnight, it’ll be a tiny bit easier to stop.
Here’s to my sleep journey, and to yours, whatever it is! I’ll post when I have more to tell, probably when I take sleep journey.
I've been on my journey for 9 days, longer if you count the day or two of pre-journey research. Last winter I joined Noom, and I have a personal trainer/adviser. When I hit a wall with my sleep, I asked Lisa for advice. So here are my Stage 1 results . I went over them with Lisa to plan Stage 2 .
5 of the 7 nights, it worked. I powered down at midnight. By 12:30 I was in bed, and 5 of those nights I went to sleep, just like the girl in the picture. It was lovely!
2 of the 7nights, I couldn’t go to sleep, even though I powered down. 2 of them were in the first couple nights when I was getting used to the new system. Three is a pattern so Stage 1 was a success! Hip Hip Hooray!
The Next Goal:
I saw my speed bump ahead – the earliest wake-up call of all – getting up early to substitute teach. It was coming, but what was the best way to handle it?
This old body loves to sleep 9 hours a night, I can only get 6 when I sub.
I asked Lisa for advice. She didn’t answer. Instead she asked me about my sleep cycle. My answer – I’m a night owl. Lisa thought sub days would force this owl into becoming an early bird. You can’t be something you’re not so I came up with a compromise . . .
My goal is to power down at 10:30. It will take some time to pull that time back an hour. Lisa said to move it in increments of 15 minutes. I want 3 days to get used to the change before making another one.
That works for most days. But when I sub, I’ll have to work with less sleep. I’m OK when I’m with kids. They energize me. At home I’ll take my 20 minute power nap. I’ll drink more water and keep moving. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth a try.
I’ve been on this voyage now for a month, since September 26th. I’m in a much better place than I was. I no longer sleep 10 hours a night or need hour-long naps every day. The last post I wrote was October 5th. Here are my results since then.
I didn’t track numbers this time, but over the last 22 nights I’ve been able to get 9 hours of sleep. I probably had 1-2 early mornings each week. I got up, and I didn’t take naps longer than 20 minutes on those days. I followed my rules.
I managed to power down somewhere between 11 and 11: 15. I wanted to push it back to 10:30, but I decided not to. I’m a late night person, and an 11:00 powerdown time works for me. Sometimes close enough, like 11:15, is good enough.
The next problem I took on was waking up. I can hit the snooze button for an hour. It's a really bad habit! I decided to try something new. I let myself snooze for 15 minutes. Then I wanted to try something positive, something that would make me want to wake up.
My New Game Plan
This is exactly how I feel at this stage of the game. I have basic rules that help me go to bed and wake up, but it’s not perfect. I’m still tired, especially after a day spent subbing. I need to do some tweaking, maybe even break a rule or two when necessary.
Most nights 9 hours of sleep works, but it doesn’t on subbing mornings. Then I feel tired into the next day. I discovered, when I really can’t get up that next morning, I gift myself with an extra hour of sleep. It breaks the rules, but I feel so much better. It’s my plan for tomorrow and for Thursday, my recovery day after subbing.
This week I discovered turning on the light, sitting up in bed, and checking my phone – it works! I can wake up in 15 – 30 minutes, and that’s a new record for me! It changes the rules, but who cares! I don’t, especially if they work better. My goal is to make waking up something I enjoy, not the chore it’s always been.
Lisa, my Noom coach, suggested meditation as a way to help me fall asleep. There are some nights when I’m so excited/upset that my head spins with ideas. I can power down my body, but it’s a lot harder for my head.
I reached out to my Noom social group. I asked for ideas, and I got 3. Someone suggested using a musical playlist of 3 - 4 songs. Another suggested two different kinds of breathing exercises, and the last one had a You Tube video.
I think I’ll start with the breathing. I use a BIPAP sleep machine. It’s for sleep apnea, but it also stops my snoring. I used to be Snoring Thunder. Now I’m Snoring Whisper. The BIPAP machine makes it easy to focus on breathing because it pushes air in and out of my nose every minute of every night. I’ll let you know in a week or two how it worked! I hope the force is with me!
My Final Results:
I started my sleep journey back on September 26th. Today, December 2nd, I’m declaring it finished.
I’ve achieved almost everything I wanted. I nap for 20 – 30 minutes, but only as needed. Most nights I power down around 11:30. I get 9 hours of sleep. Usually I fall asleep within 10 minutes.
My final challenge – to figure out how to shut down my brain when it doesn’t want to. My big discovery – movies like the ones on the Hallmark channel relax me and help me fall asleep. Mission accomplished!
Thanks to Lisa from Noom, I’m back on track. Sleep will never be perfect. There will be nights when I can’t get to sleep, or mornings when I don’t get enough. But, now I have a tool kit to get me back on track again. Here’s to the future! With sleep, anything is possible!
Have you ever wondered how your favorite book cover came to be?
Check out this week’s On the Scene blog post with author Jarm Del Bocchio.
She’ll let you in on her cover story.
Meet Russ Cox, the illustrator of THIS COWGRL AIN’T KIDDN’ ABOUT THE POTTY. When I look at the last picture, I can see how much fun he had bringing it to life. I need this book . . . My grandgirl and her Texas parents,will love it . . . once she’s born!
Scroll on down and enter the Back-to-School Giveaway. You still have 3 days left to enter and win. Good luck!
Check out this interview with Milanka Reardon. She arrived in the US at age 6. Read how art helped her learn English. Then take a peek at how she made this book come alive!
Now featuring Dannie Deeptown and Counting Sheep.
Check out our interview with Dannie Deeptown. He’s the perfect illustrator for COUNTING SHEEP. Danny lives deep in the the British countryside where sheep can be found.
Now featuring Claire Sedovic and Odd Animal ABC's
Check out this interview with Claire Sedovic. She made each piece of artwork speak to you.
And check out our Summer Book Releases:
Three Great Picture Books for you!
Check out this interview with Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Every bird in her illustrations counts!
Check out this interview with Gareth Llewhellin. I love how his illustrations gave this book energy!
Before Gareth, Wendy Leach was On the Scene in her interview about illustrating ice cream.
I love how her illustrations brought this book to life!
Before Wendy, we featured Steve Page in his interview about missing pencils.
Check out his interview. I can’t wait to peek inside the book when it comes out!
And the first interview, with Neil Armstrong's illustrator, Cole Roberts.
Batter up! Here’s that first illustrator interview with Cole Roberts.
Thursday Night - I was so tired I didn’t know what to write. I tried and I failed. Sometimes failure is a good thing . . it leads you to something better.
It did! I realized I had something to write about, the SCBWI conference I’m attending this weekend.
I haven’t been to Northern Ohio for three years, since I started going to Midsouth . That’s where I found my critique partners. I attended regional conferences with them for the last two years. But this year, I needed to go home to my writing roots.
This song started playing in my head as I began to type. I remember it from high school, and it gave me a title for this post. I found the video/theme song from the TV show, WELCOME BACK, KOTTER. It’s how I feel about coming back to Cleveland. Enjoy! Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmm3KTa601s
Here’s the 2019 All Star Faculty with four authors, three author/illustrators, two assistant editors, one art director, and two agents. They are out-of-this-world good!
If you want to grow as a writer or an illustrator, this is the place to be! For two whole days you’re with people who love books, who love finding the right words, the right way to tell a story. It’s like finding your tribe. You fit. You belong.
I signed up for one three hour class, two critiques, and four short classes. Best of all three of my favorite authors will divulge their secrets to writing magic.
Friday- An intensive, two stories, and a surprise
This is Tami Sauer. I took an intensive with her. She was my teacher for 3 hours. That’s a long time to sit in a class, but I’d sit all day with her! She is so full of energy and great ideas that it’s easy to stay tuned in!
Her session had 2 parts. The 1st was on finding inspiration. I left with a few new ideas I’d like to map out. I also have some ideas for stories I’m working on now. It’s fun to imagine and reenergize yourself. I can’t wait to get home and get started!
The second half was even better! Tami gave us her ‘Love Notes.’ These are a list of strategies to run your words through. Your first 50 words have to capture an editor or agent’s attention. I think her love notes will help me do that! I have one manuscript that I’ve worked on, polished for 3 years. It’s close, and I’m hoping Tami’s notes will help me close the deal!
This is Rosemary Wells, one of my favorite authors. I started buying her books early in my career. I loved them, and my kids did too. I sat in the front row and listened to her stories about making writing magic. Here are my two favorites.
The first – she told about being a creative kid, the bane of a teacher’s existence. In 4th grade Rosemary had to draw a map of Brazil showing its products. She thought it was boring. Instead she drew fun products that she’d like to buy. Brazil had 1 river. Rosemary drew 10. Not boring! Can you imagine what her teacher said? I can! Something like go back and do the real map!
Rosemary went on to tell about her life as an author/illustrator. She talked about how she listened and followed her editor’s directions. I had to ask – how did you go from rebel to rule follower? Rosemary said, it was her editor. She stayed with the same one for 22 years. Today she still hears that editor in her head. Only 1 adjective, not 2! Write the story your young readers want. You have to have a character that they can understand. Someone their age. It makes sense – if a story doesn’t appeal to kids, it won’t sell, and it won’t be published.
Here’s the surprise! I couldn’t believe it! I was shopping for books in the SCBWI bookstore, and look who I found – me and Neil! I hope I didn’t squeal!
My friend Aileen took this picture. I’m so happy she captured the joy of that moment. I’worked for 12 years to publish my 1st book. I thought I was selling it myself, and that was good, but seeing it in the bookstore – It’s been a dream – to have a book for sale here ever since the first conference I attended. And now, it’s true!
Saturday- Opening, Midday, and Closing Addresses for the Conference
I AM NOT – a morning person, but Pat Cummings’ Opening Address woke my brain and held its attention. The title - Going from “Who Will Let Me?” to “Who Will Stop Me?” I’m a retired teacher, and I love being in control. Ask my family!
It wasn’t boring, AT ALL! Pat taught with stories. My favorite was how as a 5 year old, living in a military neighborhood in Germany, she hopped on a bus with some older girls and went off on an adventure. She landed at a dance school where she whirled and twirled till it was time to hop on the bus again. Attached to her sweater- a note that read ‘Don’t send her back again.” Pat’s take-away – don’t ask. Do! I’m not as brave as Pat, but I’d like to be.
My other favorite story was how she landed her first book. Her editor asked if Pat had any questions. She said no and then found a published friend to ask. Her take-away, you don’t always have to admit what you don’t know. Use your resources, and try your best! Good things will happen, and you’ll learn from your mistakes!
My take-away, everyone has fear, but people like Pat face them and brave their way through. That’s what I did when I self-published Neil. It worked!
The Midday address was by Tricia Lin, an assistant editor at Simon & Schuster. Her topic – First Chapters, Voice and Good Fit: Things an Acquiring Editor Looks For. I was eating so my attention went in and out, but her talk made me feel good about things I’m working on in my writing.
With a chapter book, that first chapter is key. You need to set the scene and get the plot moving on the first paragraph, that first page. If you don’t, editors and agents like Tricia must stop reading. They have piles of new material, and they’re mining it for texts of gold. They look for voice, the part of your writing that is unique to you. You use that voice to keep them reading. You’ve succeeded if they ask for more chapters.
However Tricia also pointed out that writing is a very subjective industry. You have to do your research to find the right editor, the right agent. For example, if someone’s a cat lover, don’t send them a dog story. If they like fantasy, don’t send them nonfiction. It’s great advice, and it makes me feel like I’m on the right track. Eventualy I’ll find my just-right match.
The closing address was by Tami Sauer, the queen of picture books. Her work is golden! It’s full of heart, and it’s funny! She is my writing hero! Her topic – Tami’s Top PB Secrets – REVEALED! They’re her keys to the writing kingdom. I can’t share them. They’re copyrighted to Tami, but if you read her books, you’ll find them.
They’re the same elements Tricia talked about in chapter books, but you only get 400 – 500 words to tell that story. Your first 50 must shine if you want agents/editors to keep reading. Try Tami’s first words! Then finish the book. Her stories are golden! That’s my writing take-away, to work on those first 50 words in 3 manuscripts. Then – keep going!
Tami is also a great speaker. She’s a former preschool teacher, and her speeches are filled with that kind of energy. She even gets audience participation! How? By giving out prizes and tickets for prizes. You participate because you want to win. My take-away, give your audience content, make it fun, then let them win. It works like magic!
Saturday - My Four Class Choices
After Pat Cummings got my brain moving, I went to my first class, Solving the Mysteries of Research to Strengthen Your Fiction and Nonfiction. The title sounds snore-inducing, but Julie is good. I’ve known her since a Mazza class at the University of Findlay in 2011. Mazza is the most fantastic illustration museum, and it’s in Ohio. PLUS Julie made it fun – she added in Nancy Drew! How? Huh?
Julie wrote a book about the author of the first 26 Nancy Drew books – Millie Benson from Toledo, Ohio! Can you believe Nancy was birthed in Ohio? I don’t remember the whole 50 minutes, but I can’t share it anyway. Remember, copyright?
What I do remember is the detailed research that Julie did. She was able to speak to the family, go to Millie’s college. I peeked inside Julie’s book to see how she handled research, and I wished I’d looked before I started working on Neil. There’s so much I didn’t know then, or now. But if wishes were horses, I might win the Kentucky Derby. Probably not, I’d fall off first!
My take-aways – I bought the book so I can look at her research whenever I’m searching for real details. For those of you who know my ant story that I’ve worked on forever, the first time I had it critiqued in 2011, at Northern Ohio’s fall conference, Bruce Hale told me to fine-tune and publish. He also asked if ants had hearts. I said I don’t know. He said, you’ll find out if you want this published. I did! They do, sort of!
The second take-away – I already do! Yay, me! I looked for mentor books for Neil to see how I wanted to write it. At one point I was debating between a picture book, a chapter book, or a graphic novel. I looked at all three and picked the chapter book format. Julie also gave me some new resources to find facts and mentor books. Yay, Julie!
After Julie’s class I headed to my next session, Promoting from Your Heart with Maria Carluccio. Would you believe I wound up buying her book? It’s SO clever. I decided to make it this week’s pick for My Reads.
The best part about meeting Maria, other than buying a book for my grandgirl-to-be, is that she made me feel good about what I’m doing on social media. Maria puts out one Instagram post per day. I do too, when my internet cooperates. Sometimes I get an error message that it isn’t working, and then I forget to post it later.
I also post to Facebook, my personal and business page, plus Twitter and Instagram. It lets you know when I put something new on my web site. I just checked in with its creator, Lisa, another Northern Ohio friend. She said the site was doing well, and she gave me a few ideas to tweak it. YAY! If you want to be a writer or an illustrator, you have to have a thick skin. I don’t, but I love learning what I can do to grow as a writer.
Maria also gave me a few promotional ideas that I can use for future school visits. They involved products that I think teachers and kids will love, but I can’t reveal what they are! If you want to know, invite me in for a school visit. My price, a substitute teacher’s daily salary, in either dollars or book sales. It’s a good deal for everyone, especially young writers!
After lunch, Megan talked about Nonfiction for Young Readers. She shared some great picture books that were all well researched and written, but they had a hook, something that made you want to open the book and learn something new.
For older readers Megan recommended reading Steve Sheinkin’s books. She shared a few passages from BORN TO FLY, his next book. Steve researched and wrote about women like Amelia Earhart who flew across America in the 1929 Air Derby. He showed how each one learned to fly. The detail was incredible! If Steve couldn’t prove it happened or was said, he had to leave it out. That’s the difference between nonfiction and historical fiction, research determines what’s in the story. I bought this book so I can learn from Steve.
My last class was with Michael Armstrong, Putting Together a Marketing Plan for your New Book. Mike understands marketing; I don’t. He started by talking about WHAT a marketing plan is in the book world. I’m happy to see I’ve done some of those things already.
Mike shared a sample plan to market his debut book in 2020. Everyone got a paper copy. When I look at it, I see things I can do now to promote Neil. I see steps to take as I work on the next book that’s coming out in May of 2020. I’m glad I have Mike’s plan to help me move forward as a writer and as a publisher.
Two critiques and an autograph session
The main reason I attend SCBWI conferences is for the critiques, for the chance to have talented writers look at my work and help me improve it. There are a couple of writers in Northwest Ohio, but no editors, or agents.
I registered for two critiques back in July. One face-to-face, the other written-only. By early August I decided to send one manuscript to Angie, and a different one to Tami. I got my two critiques at the end of the conference. I was exhausted so I took a quick look and headed home. I can’t tell you specifics, but here are the areas Angie and Tami commented on:
Positive aspects Elements require attention and improvement
Character development Plot and Structure
Language and diction Voice
Marketability Next steps
Additional comments Line comments within the manuscript itself
Both manuscripts have been through multiple critiques. I worked on the one for Tami for three years. I spent two years on the one for Angie. I brought them to Cleveland to get fresh professional eyes on them. The advice from Angie and Tami was priceless.
My next step - to go through their comments and work them into the story. Then I’ll polish it and begin the critique process again with my critique groups.
And the finale . . . I was part of the autograph session! Me, autographing books at the SCBWI conference with authors like Rosemary Wells and Tami Sauer! It’s great to enjoy this moment after 12 years of work.
Now, back to life, back to reality! Time to go home to Wapak to edit and prep another book to self-publish. My goal is to have it ready by May of 2020.
It’s also time to edit, polish, and submit the manuscript that Tami critiqued to a traditional publisher. I have two other manuscripts that I’m polishing for traditional publishing too. Finally, it’s time to look for the next book to self-publish a year from now, in September of 2020.
I’m glad Aileen took this picture. Cheers!
First up: A Giveaway
Need a few good books? Here’s a great collection of AUTOGRAPHED children’s books from the On the Scene Team, and I’m so proud that Neil is represented! Just click on the link , follow the directions, and you'll be on your way! GOOD LUCK FROM THE ON THE SCENE TEAM!
Two Great Picture Books
The Pencil Eater hunts for tasty treats but encounters obstacles along the way. Frustrated by his efforts, he visits an elementary school, where a whole new set of problems await.
So cute! Kids and teachers will LOVE this book! We’ll finally discover what happened to all those missing pencils!
In this unique pup story, Lottie makes an unusual discovery while beachcombing one day. She then spends her day wondering, Who will care for this little lost pup? and asking, “Will you care for this little lost pup?” But she finds that it will take a special person to care for this very special pup. Who Will? Will You? keeps readers guessing exactly what kind of pup Lottie has found, as they learn about different pups along the way. Includes fun animal facts for a pup-tastic good time!
Everyone loves a dog story, especially one with a happy ending!
One Chapter Book
Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Most people know that story, but very few know how Neil’s teen-age dream to build a wind tunnel helped him walk into history.
Read how Neil’s love of planes took him from the Cleveland air races to the
Wright Brother’s wind tunnel. Read on to discover how at sixteen he made his first
dreams come true.
If you like STEM activities, check out the back matter and my favorite science site – Instructables.com. PLUS win an autographed copy of my book!
One Middle Grade Chapter Book
Giant scorpions, evil gods, and one intimidating princess—ancient Egypt is nothing like Jagger Jones expected. In order to get his sister, Aria, home safe, Jagger—a thirteen-year-old whiz kid from Chicago’s South Side—must defeat the evil general. Armed only with his knowledge of history and a few modern objects mined from Aria’s sparkly purse, the siblings have exactly one week to solve supernatural riddles and rescue the royal family.
Time travel to ancient Egypt? Count me in, especially with author and PhD Egyptologist Malayna Evans guiding the way!
Don’t forget . . . Just click on the link every day, follow the directions, and maybe the odds will be in your favor!
GOOD LUCK FROM THE ON THE SCENE TEAM!
Next Up: An Interview and a Pair of Podcasts
Journey to Kid Lit
From Unpublished to Self-Published: How to Self-Publish a Book with Rinda Beach
An Interview by Brooke Van Sickle
I am so excited to share my interview with Brooke Van Sickle. Self-publishing is a journey! Here’s the link to our July 9th interview: https://journeytokidlit.com/from-unpublished-to-self-published-with-rinda-beach/?fbclid=IwAR04L3CZDIKRYM8tDfNpQuGsOt3E-qoreCpVXhcPxcxAcm48DA2TOd0EHDo
Writing about Neil Armstrong
A Podcast by Connie B. Dowell
Connie, thank you for the opportunity to talk about my writing journey and publishing NEIL ARMSTRONG'S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
Here’s the link from her July 17 broadcast: http://bookechoes.com/2019/07/17/writing-about-neil-armstrong-with-rinda-beach/?fbclid=IwAR0N1I6sO5lMKdTwxlqfjfjpSuBguGmUtBRKzfNvmD73UXCAI9YmIHKU6_c#comment-18541
Reading with Your Kids . . . Celebrating Young Neil Armstrong
A Podcast by Jed Doherty
Jed wrote . . . Most people know Neil Armstrong as the first human to step foot on the Moon. Rinda Beach is on the podcast to reveal that his journey to the Moon started with a dream to build his own wind tunnel. Most people know Neil Armstrong as the first human to step foot on the Moon. Rinda Beach is on the podcast to reveal that his journey to the Moon started with a dream to build his own wind tunnel. Here’s the link to our August 18th interview: http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/d/2/0d29af574264aca3/Rinda_Beach.mp3?c_id=49042928&cs_id=49042928&expiration=1567996106&hwt=935c7f117e9562f77f70814ce43b63ac
Now Showing: Boomer is on the Scene!
Vanessa wrote an acrostic poem to celebrate her debut book. If you’re not sure what that is, click below and read her poem.
Scroll farther down to enter the Back-to-School Giveaway. Click and enter to win. Good luck!
Here’s my acrostic ode to Neil Armstrong – thanks to Vanessa’s inspiration!
Neil loved airplanes.
Every day he worked to build better ones.
If he failed, he didn’t quit. He
Looked and looked till he built a better plane.
Last, but not least! An Update from 9/6/19
Last month I got an email from Jo in New Zealand. She liked my post about working dogs and asked if I would put her link in it.
I checked her post and loved the article about 6 popular dog sports. I learned something new, and I thought you might too. I was also flattered to get Jo’s email. Here’s her link. I hope you’ll check it out.
Here’s my original link for working dogs, including the new update. http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/working-dogs
PS – I think I’d like to do a post about sporting dogs, and Jo’s link is the perfect place to start!
Come on a Scavenger Hunt with me for NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. We’ll start in Wapak and see what we can find. Let’s go!
First Stop - Riverside Art Center – It’s at 3 West Auglaize Street. Take a peek inside. Their motto is ‘Let Your Creativity Flow.” I did! This is where I started searching for my first illustrator. I don’t see my book yet, but if you are looking for local artists and classes, this is the place to start. I’ve taken painting classes here, and someday I may teach a class, writing and editing of course.
Look at the first picture above! It’s me and Neil. I was taking a walk through town and found myself in Riverside’s window. I’ve seen my shadow before, but I’ve never seen it with a book I published. WOW! Dreams do come true. The other picture is me signing books at Riverside. BTW, if you pop into Riverside to get my book, they’re already autographed for you.
Next Stop – Casa Chic – at 109 West Auglaize Street, down the block from Riverside. It still looks like this outside. Casa’s still celebrating Neil’s 50th anniversary. Find a golf cart, and you can go ‘astronauting around Wapak for a little longer, but fall’s coming and so’s our favorite annual holiday, ‘Wapa-Ween.”
Take a look inside. Casa has three floors of furniture, decorations, jewelry, and clothing. This is the main floor where my book usually is, but I think Neil moved upstairs with the T shirts and other memorabilia.
It doesn’t matter which floor I’m on . . . This is my happy place. I always find treasures. At Saturday’s book signing they were all for my grandgirl. Really!
I also made some new friends. It doesn’t matter whether you buy a book or not, I love chitchatting about Neil and the stories I discovered from my research. The books at Casa aren’t autographed, but my card and a bookmark are inside in case you’d like to message me. I’m glad to answer, to snail mail an autograph too.
Stop #3 – Armstrong Air and Space Museum – at 500 Apollo Drive, next to Interstate 75. Two new statues made their debut this summer. Young Neil sits by the curb with a model airplane. An older Neil stands by the entrance ready to make a test flight. Come to Wapak, and tour the museum.
You’ll find exhibits inside and out. The plane you see below is an F5D Skylancer. It was one of the planes Neil flew during his test pilot days. Go inside and discover what Neil and his fellow astronauts wore in space. Then check out the museum gift shop with its great souvenirs., including my book!
Save the dates! Saturday, September 28th and Sunday, the 29th are the Museum’s Festival of Flight. Come make your own paper airplanes, helicopters, and kites. Look skyward for drones and more kites. Come inside for a tour. I hope you’ll stop in to say hello. I’ll be there signing books and meeting young astronauts and their families!
Stop #4 – Auglaize Embroidery – at 4 N. Wood Street in Wapak. This is Auglaize Embroidery, all spiffed out for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Come inside and meet everyone’s favorite employee, Bo. He’s always there to meet, greet, and get his ears scratched. He is one GREAT DOG!
I never thought Neil would be at Auglaize Embroidery. They don’t sell books, but they sell mine! Here’s how it happened. I’ve known the owner, Judy, since high school. I was thrilled when she decided to buy four books for her grandchildren. I brought them in, signed them, and headed off to the lake. A couple days later Judy called me and left a message that she wanted to sell my books. What? How? Why?
called her back. Remember the four copies I sold her? She had multiple people come in and try to buy them. She decided then and there to sell my book. Judy has stocked Neil ever since. Her copies are autographed and come with a bookmark and my card. Stop into Auglaize Embroidery for all things Neil and Wapakoneta!
Stop #5 – Image Master Print & Copy Center –
It's at 129 East Auglaize, down the street from Riverside and Casa.
I met Mary when she bought a book for her grandson. She surprised me by selling Neil at her shop this summer. Now it’s fall, and Mary still has a copy you can read while you wait. If you like what you see, walk down the street, or go shopping online.
The Final Wapak Stop #6 – Wish Boutique – at 28 East Auglaize. It’s across the street from Riverside. All the other businesses have been around for years, but Wish opened a year ago, and I just discovered it this week when I was running an errand. Jessica manages the shop, and it’s a great place to hunt for gifts. I found five for my grandgirl, and I wasn’t even looking. Jessica made another dream come true – she decided to sell my book in her store
Do you see my book on the top shelf? I’m thrilled to be there! Right below Neil are Jean Reagan board books too. If you know a preschooler, they’re the perfect gift!
Here are just a few treasures you can find at Wish Boutique. I have a feeling this will become my new place to shop, and it offers new customers for my book. A two-fer!
BTW – I picked up some grandgirl gifts. None of them are in the pictures, just in case my Texas kids are reading this post.
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!