This is me with Merrill Rainey at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference last May. I asked Merrill in 2018 about finding an illustrator for my debut book NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. He loved the idea, gave me great advice, but couldn’t do the illustrations himself. His story – his agent would have had a fit! I believe it . . . I can’t afford Merrill’s prices!
But at the conference I got this illustration of me . . . FOR FREE! On Saturday night, the conference set up a carnival midway with games, and prizes, and charicatures. Guess who did mine!
I still have it. I just gave it a frame, and a home at my lake house.
I found the perfect frame. It’s a dark hunter green. I put Merrill’s caricature inside and closed it up.
Now it’s easier to read the words, ‘It’s THE POOP DECK!’ There’s a story behind them. While Merrill was busy drawing me, I was telling him about the darn ducks at the lake. They think the boat dock is their personal poop deck.
NOT! It’s THE boat dock. I’d love those ducks if they would just stay in the lake. They don’t, and when they land on the dock – they POOP! Someone has to clean it up, and sometimes it’s me.YUCK!
So that’s why Merrill added in the caption, but I edited his words because it’s NOT the poop deck!
Here’s the display I promised you in the title. I took the first photo a few months ago when I added Merrill’s caricature. The ducks and the giant wine bottle were already there.
I got the idea when those darn ducks decided my dock was their poop deck. I added Merrill’s caricature third. I never see possibilities right away, but as soon as I did, I framed his work. It belongs at the lake with those ducks!
Last week I had another great idea. I thought about the hidden compartment and how fun it would be to put something inside. I looked around our lake house and found these two characters. One is a doll made with buttons from my favorite antique shop. The owl came from a critique partner’s store. He’s so cute he didn’t even have to give a hoot to come home with me!
There’s room in the bottom for two wine glasses. I thought about putting them in, but glass breaks so I didn’t. Also I have a new granddaughter. I’d rather put in things that she can play with. How fun would it be for her to open the bottle and find treasures inside, just for her!
These are images from an interview I did with Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez on December 19, 2019. Her article focused on how I wrote and self-published my debut book. She finished up with a very nice book review for NEIL ARMSTRONG'S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
Click on this link, and you can read our December interview:
I was thrilled to be part of READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC’S 2nd birthday. It’s June McCrary Jacob’s website. She picked her top 5 posts from last year, and I was honored to be NUMBER 4!
June asked me two questions: 1.) What lessons did I learn from writing and publishing my debut book? 2.) What is my next project? My answer included the first illustration from my new book coming out in May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.
Click on the link below and scroll down to NUMBER 4 for my interview. https://authorjunemccraryjacobs.blogspot.com/2020/02/mmgm-2nd-blog-birthdaycelebration.html? fbclid=IwAR0_TFw9MTH2f4C_q8HEEVFta3_BZyEBh6eAzzQtljzUrALYTj3OLweVZnY
Thanks to my critique friend Karen O’Leary, you can listen to the first chapter of my book for free. She recorded it on her website, Time Out With Bear. The price - 7 minutes and 21 seconds to listen to the recording.
Two confessions - first I finally listened to Karen’s recording tonight, and I loved it! It came out around Thanksgiving, and I’m sad to say I didn’t make time to listen back then. Karen even added in sound effects! My favorite . . . my words made her giggle, and she didn’t mean to. Making someone laugh is a great thing!
My second confession – I like hearing Karen read my words better than hearing myself do it. I don’t know why. I listened to the computer read them millions of times before I finally published them. My best guess is the writer in me is listening for mistakes on the first page or two. After that I can relax and enjoy reading aloud to kids. When I hear Karen read, I just feel the joy of listening to my words read back to me. It’s lovely!
Here’s Karen’s link. I hope you also take a little time to check out her other read alouds. Karen has some GREAT titles!
I started to share my cover story last night, but I didn’t like how the images fit together on my web site so I’ll try, try again tonight.
This is my final product from the Twelve Days class. It was supposed to be a book cover for the writing I did during class, but I’d rather have it as a poster because it’s my 2020 road map for where I want to go as a writer this year.
My title for the last three years has been ‘Use Your Word Power, Rinda Beach.’ We constantly tell young children to use their words, but it’s exactly what I do every day as a writer. You probably use yours daily in whatever job you do. Words ARE important!
KEEP US GOING
These are the things that I’ve been doing for a year or more successfully. I want to keep them going.
REVISE AND SUBMIT US
These stories are sitting in my computer, waiting. Waiting for me to polish them till I believe they’re submission ready.
WRITE SOMETHING NEW
The first one is as new as my grandgirl, but the others have been around for a while. The last one was my first story. It’s time to re-imagine it.
Try Something New
These ideas are all new. I don’t know if they’ll work, but if they don’t, I’ll learn from the experience.
Thank You to Julie Hedlund and the 12 Days of Christmas for Writers
Besides America, what country is home to the most McDonald’s restaurants?
China Japan Canada France
The US is #1 for McDonald's with 14,146 locations. We love our Golden Arches! Did you figure out who's in second place?
t’s not even close, but Japan claims the honor with 2,975 restaurants in the country. You can still get Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, Happy Meals, and McFlurries, but in Japan you can also order Mega Macs, Bacon Lettuce Burgers, Ebi Filet-O, and McPork. Warning – you’ll have to give up your supersize drinks and free refills. They’re not on the menu.
Click on this link to find Mcdonald's ten happiest countries.
Question source: https://www.traveltrivia.com/answer-besides-america-what-country-is-home-to-the-most-mcdonalds-restaurants/.”
Map Source: By Connormah - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Source for menu (with pictures): https://delishably.com/dining-out/JapanMcDonalds
Take a look at that world map again. Which country has the only ski-through McDonald’s?
Canada France Russia Sweden
It’s Sweden. Want to visit? Take a trip to the Lindvallen ski resort. It’s 200 miles north of Stockholm. The ski-through opened in 2014, and it’s still going strong.
You can go inside. There’s room for 140 people. But if you’re in a hurry, you’ll ski up to the window, place your order, and pick it up. No need to mess with coats and gloves. You’re back on the slopes – and you’re loving it!
Click on the first source if you’d like to look at the Swedish ski-through.
Delish | Date Updated: December 18, 2019
My map source: By Rob984 - Derived from File:Germany on the globe (Germany centered).svg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70142703
What food is named in the words of this old commercial?
The words . . . 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese , pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.
The answer: The McDonald’s Big Mac
Would you believe I missed it by one word? I had ‘and’ instead of ‘on a sesame seed bun.’ The commercial originally aired December of 1974. That was 46 years ago. I was a high school sophomore. Not bad! I didn’t catch my error until I looked at the YouTube link. Not bad for my 60-year-old memory!
That’s great in the world of memory retention! To get my last teacher’s license, I took a brain class about six years ago. My teacher said jingles were a great way to remember something. Do you remember ‘Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is.’ That’s the old Alka-Seltzer jingle, written in 1953. I was born in 1959.
It worked on my second graders! I used it to teach them animals (mammal, insect, etc.) and for landforms (plateaus, plains, etc.) I thought my kids did better later on those tricky tests too. My brain teacher said her students would lip-sinc those songs during tests. Too True! Some of my second graders did too!
PS – Want to add another layer to help your memory along? Try adding motions. I did it with landforms. (Example – arm held straight out was a plain – flat land.)
Click the link to hear this ad from 1974. Watch for Gordon Jump. (He was the station manager for the old TV show, WKRP in Cincinnati.
This link was from 1975. My brain teacher would say ‘repeat to remember. Remember to repeat.’ That’s what this commercial had us doing back in 1974/75. Oh, the good old days. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK2qBbDn5W0
Enjoy! I hope you’re loving it! (No LOL – that's another McDonald’s commercial.)
Screenshot #1 - Do you want to read about Veterans for Veterans Day? I have two posts, but how can you find them? Go to my Pinterest boards at https://www.pinterest.com/rindabeach/ This is what you’ll see , two boards with soldiers. Bingo! You could check the Economics board, but the Government one is better. I peeked!
Screenshot #2 - If you clicked on Government, then you’d come to this page. You’re still looking for veterans so I’d go straight to the pins for Serving your country.
If you need Citizenship, International rules, or state government, you can look them up later. If you’re interested in the DACA kids who are in the news, I have a post about them too.
Screenshot #3 – Here’s the screen you’ll see for Serving your country.
The first post is titled Stories Matter, and they’re all about the life of President George H. W. Bush. I was inspired by all the stories I heard during the week leading up to his funeral.
The first one tells how George joined the Navy the day after he turned 18. A year later he was the youngest Navy fighter pilot, and he almost didn’t live to tell. You’ll have to read to discover the details.
Screenshot #4 - The middle post is titled There’s More to Soldier, More to a Veteran.
I interviewed a Facebook friend who has since become my son-in-law. He went to West Point, became a Captain in the Army. I wanted to know what inspired him to join, and why he’s still inspired with his mission.
Today and every day I thank Jesse and his fellow soldiers for their service, for giving their time and talents to serve our country. They could have taken an easier route, but they didn’t. They’re out there every day making a difference for us. Thank you!
Screenshot #5 – The Final Post is Semper Fi! The 14 Marine Corp Leadership Traits. They’re the same traits I taught my second graders back in the day.
I found this story because my friend Mark emailed me about Jesse and his service. Mark wanted me to know that our servicemen don’t do their jobs for appreciation. They do them for love of country, because they want to serve.
Then he told me about the character traits that changed his life. I was so impressed that I saved his email so I could write this post.
I want these posts to live, to be rediscovered and reread. That’s why I decided to use screenshots for my illustrations. I want you to be able to find them and use them again and again.
Part 2 - Finding Great Books on rindabeach.com
Here’s how to find a good book from my 2 Pinterest boards for Classroom Reads. One’s for Chapter books, and the other’s for Picture books. I have Veterans Day books from each board. Look at the next screen shot, and see how to find them.
I have Chapter Books divided into 7 sections with 41 pins (41 books). This section is for realistic fiction.
This is the book I picked last year to honor our veterans. Daisy is a rescue dog, but no one will take a chance on her, not even a Veteran with PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disease). Daisy’s story is incredible! It’s one of my favorite books!
I have Picture Books divided into 16 sections with 77 pins (77 books). This is the book I picked 2 years ago to honor our veterans.
Sheepdogs explains in story form what our police and military do for us day in, day out. They look scary, but when the wolves/bad guys come around, you need a good sheepdog. If you know someone who serves in the military or law enforcement, this is the perfect gift. It will help their children understand the difficult job they do. It’s another one of my favorites!
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.
Here it is! Times three!
A week ago I was offered the Liebster Award by one of my On the Scene Partners, Jarm Del Boccio. Jarm writes in a way that changes hearts. Her debut book is also titled THE HEART CHANGER. Here’s the link to her blog: https://www.jarmdelboccio.com/blog. Thanks, Jarm!
I blog across a week, and I’m ready to start a new one. I was looking for something that inspired me. The Leibster is a perfect fit! Jarm wrote that the award has been around for a while, evolving as it’s passed from writer to writer. If you’d like to read how it started, please click on wordingwell.com. I used three of Jarm’s images and found two more.
So, why is there an award? To share blogs and bloggers you admire. Jarm said “Liebe” is the German word for love. So like Jarm, I want to share my love of words and blogs by introducing you to a few new ones.
Here are the rules that Jarm gave me. BTW, the rules change the same way words change when you play telephone. By the time the message gets to the end of the line, it’s morphed into something new, something fun.
Here’s the Leibster Award rules, as of tonight:
Here are my fellow nominees. Jarm went with a heart theme, and I’m honored to be in this company!
Vivian Kirkfield — for her giving heart. She always seeks to encourage others on her blog or in person.
Edie Melson — for her helping heart — offering a variety of tips for writers. I look forward to her posts every day.
Betsy de Cruz — who has a heart for God’s Word. You will be mightily encouraged by her newsletters and latest book.
Rinda Beach — a new author friend to has a love for life and enthusiasm to spare! (Wow! That’s me! Thanks Jarm!
Rachel Dodge — who has a heart for Jane Austen as I do, but knows much more about her since she’s done copious research on her life and novels.
Here are Jarm’s questions, and my answers . . .
1. Give us a link to your favorite post of all time (on your blog, of course).
I picked this one. It’s about the grandmother I’m named after. She died when my mother was two, way before I was born.
2. Which book do YOU wish you had written?
I loved this book and gave it a great review. I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s. My favorite line is “Dads get it. They just get it.” My dad did, and I’m grateful!
Link : http://www.rindabeach.com/my-reads/review-of-dad-and-the-dinosaur
3. If you could jump into any novel, and become a character, which one would it be?
I’d leap into any Harry Potter book. J.K. Rowling is brilliant! I’d be happy to be either Harry or Hermione, but I’m probably more like Hermione with all her book knowledge and rule-following. It’s probably the teacher/principal’s daughter in me.
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why? (This counts as one question 😊)
I’m lucky . . . we bought a house in my favorite place, Norris Lake. This is the picture from my window – the lake and the mountains. It’s gorgeous. I love to travel, but coming home is even better.
5. If you were on a stranded island, which food could you not live without?
CHOCOLATE! I love chocolate! It’s good for your endorphins, at least that’s what they say, and I’m happy to believe them!
6. If you were driven from your home, and had five minutes to pack, what would you take? (This is a question I asked at my book signing, since it relates to a scene at the beginning of my novel).
I’d grab my kindle and my purse. That’s all I need. With my kindle I have hundreds of books at my fingertips. With my purse I can buy anything else I need. I’m ready for adventure!
I hope you enjoyed reading my post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Now it’s time to share the Liebster and pay it forward. I’d like to nominate the following bloggers — if you feel overwhelmed and not able to contribute, no problem. Let me know in the comments below, and share a link to one of your favorite blogs:
Donna L. Martin
https://storycatcherpublishing.com/ She puts out 5 different blogs a week, and I love to read each one.
Jamie Sumner -- https://mailchi.mp/c536e9e86c58/readlaughlisten-gives-a-special-needs-shout-out?e=d96357bd8a Everyone needs to read, laugh, and listen!
June McCrary Jacobs -- https://authorjunemccraryjacobs.blogspot.com/ I’m a big fan of her Middle Grade Mondays and Friday Fiction Features.
Ladies, here are your questions:
1. Share the link to your favorite post from your blog.
2. What is your favorite color, and why?
3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go, and why?
4. Who is your favorite author, and why?
5. Where would you like to be in 5 years?
6. Which fictional character are you most like? How are you similar? Different?
BTW Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream has 5 reviews so far on Amazon. Could you help me get into double digits? If you’ve read Neil’s story and can give me an honest review on Amazon (most important), Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble , I’d appreciate it. You can copy and paste the same review to each site. Easy-peasy!
Look what came in the mail! My first box of paperback books. The writing and publishing end are finished. Now it’s time for sales!
Before ordering, I checked with my friends at Casa Chic, Riverside Arts, and the Armstrong Museum for numbers. Then I guessed what I needed for upcoming events. I got my total and placed my order.
I opened my box. I was so excited I found 2 different ways to count to 44! Two groups of 22, or four groups of 10 with 4 left-over.
I separated them for distribution. The first 3 piles are for Riverside, the museum, and Casa Chic. 4 go to a friend, and another 4 to Purdue. The rest are for those upcoming events.
could choose, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d write Neil’s story!
This is me, still at Riverside. Della asked me to sign the books, and she got the great idea to take a picture of that moment. Of course we embellished it a little. The 4 ladies in the picture didn’t buy my book, but they were good sports and posed for the photo. Thanks, ladies!
What surprised me the most is how I started shaking when I started writing. Who knew happy nerves could make you shake!
Della took pity on me. She wrote an inscription about dreams in each book. Best of all she put a different one in each book, then I signed it. Thanks, Della for the help, and the idea!
I wanted a picture of me dropping off books at Casa Chic, and this is it! We had a great background, all things Wapakoneta. I’ve shopped at Casa for years. When I want something interesting or unique, it’s my go-to place. Landa is one of the owners, and she’s been a church friend for years. She followed my writing dream from the start, and she always believed in it. I’m thrilled to sell Neil’s story at Casa Chic!
Landa didn’t hand me a check. She does her business differently than Riverside. She waits for the entire shipment to sell, then she pays for the whole order. Different strokes for different folks! I’m grateful to Riverside and Casa Chic for offering Neil to their customers.
If you need Neil or Wapakoneta souvenirs, go to Riverside or Casa Chic. They have treasures for sale, things that you’ll want to buy and take home! Happy treasure hunting!
I started a business that produces a new product to sell, what am I?
A Manager Bureaucrat Entrepreneur Salesman Inventor
Tomorrow . . . The paperbacks are here!
What five-finger exercise is a piece of music written for the purpose of practicing on what instrument?
Sax Trombone Violin Piano
The Answer: The Piano
I didn’t know Chopin’s etudes are also designed to train the fingers. Etude opus 10 is his best set of exercises, according to my source. They also suggested that Fur Elise by Beethoven may have been written to promote piano dexterity. I played it, loved it, but never guessed it was about fingering, not Elise. Would you believe science has studied piano exercises? George A. Kochevitsky wrote a book about it, and it even includes his thoughts about Chopin and his etudes.
I started lessons in 3rd grade with Mrs. Cliffwell. I took lessons for 2 years until she retired. I don’t remember my 2nd teacher. I think it’s because I developed some bad habits like the girl in the picture. Her hands are flat, and her arms are slumped down.
Mrs. Frazier whipped me back into shape. She taught me to hold my fingers like claws, using my hand and arm like 1 long lever to control those fingers. You can’t play fast or complicated pieces with slumping hands. I blossomed under her teaching. I did district solo contests where judges rated my performances. I always got 1’s or 2’s. I also accompanied the middle school choir. That led to playing for a few vocal contest soloists. I loved Mrs. Frazier! Then she retired too!
Did you guess which 2 instruments I played in concert and in marching band? I played the clarinet and the alto saxophone. They’re the 2 instruments to the left of the trombone.
I started playing the clarinet in 4th grade, a year after I started piano lessons. A lot of kids struggled to learn their instrument and the notes. I had it easy. I only had to learn the clarinet.
It made clarinet easy and helped me to win 1st chair when we started competing for seats. I still remember my band teacher from elementary school. Mr. Trunk directed our first concert with all the instruments put together. It was a horrible version of something like MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB.
In middle school my band teacher was Miss Souder. She scared the bejesus out of me till the candy run-in. You fund band by doing things like selling candy bars. My dad wouldn’t let me sell so I had to go in and tell Miss Souder. OH MY! She was furious, and I burst into tears. She reined in her temper, and she soon became one of my all-time favorite teachers.
Miss Souder gave private lessons, and she was strict, but she always pushed you to do your best. She pushed me to go to district solo contests. I was first-chair through middle school because of piano training, my drive, and Miss Souder’s lessons. She pushed me to do an all-district band. I wasn’t first chair, but I was still in the first section.
Each spring Miss Souder gave away scholarships for Ball State’s music summer camp to one 8th grader, one 9th. I won in 9th grade, and it gave me a musical peek outside Northwest Ohio. I discovered I was good, but everyone else was better. I wasn’t 1st chair or even 1st section. I was third. It was a humbling experience, but I learned a lot, and I was determined to get better.
This is me in marching band. I picked up the alto saxophone because clarinets weren’t brass instruments. Mr. Trunk from elementary school was my band teacher again, and he wanted an all brass band like the Ohio State Marching Band. I played saxophone during marching season, from June till November. Then I switched back to clarinet for concert band.
In high school I found my last piano teacher, Mrs. Skinner, but I called her Anita. She played violin and piano. She was younger than all my other teachers. She had two little kids, and I wanted to be like her.
I kept doing contest with piano and clarinet, but never with saxophone, and I continued to do well with 1’s and 2’s, till my senior year. That’s when I met a boy.
Everything changed after that, I spent less time with my music and more time with the boy. That year I went to a piano solo contest. For the first time I wasn’t ready. I had to memorize the piece, and I didn’t spend enough time on it. I fell apart and forgot where I was. Somehow, I managed to finish.
The judge was a music professor from Bowling Green University. He gave me a 3, my worst score ever, but he gave me the kindest comment. He told me I had potential, but I needed to invest the time, 1-2 hours per instrument, per day.
I thought about what he said, and I left music behind. I didn’t want to invest the time to become a musician or a music teacher. After high school I quit the piano and clarinet, but I never stopped loving music. It’s the gift that keeps giving whenever I turn on the radio.
I became an elementary teacher and taught 2nd grade. One of the gifts I gave my students was the gift of music. I never played for them, but I was known for occasionally singing and dancing around the room, with whatever song crossed my mind. Tonight, in the words of Kiki Dee, I still have the music in me. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLQRW7J_D0U
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!