The reason I wanted E-books and my cousin AJ

July 20th, 2015

After over a year of headaches, frustration and multiple people’s hard work, my books finally became available in e-book format a couple of weeks ago. The whole process was a complete nightmare! I’d like to share with you the reason I pushed through to get them as e-books.

edgar

This cutie, Edgar, communicates nonverbally using an Ipad. He is learning to use his head to select different phrases and options on the iPad. Like many of my fans, Edgar’s hands cannot turn the pages of a paper book. Having Wendy on Wheels on his iPad allows him to read Wendy’s adventures or have them read to him. This brings Wendy’s adventures to a whole group of children who may not have had access to them before.

When I see this picture of Edgar, I am reminded of my cousin, AJ, who passed away about 10 years ago. AJ had a severe form of cerebral palsy. Edgar looks so much like AJ it’s scary.

AJ

My favorite memory of AJ is this one. My dog, Cleo, loved (and still does) to lick people’s faces. She would put her paws up on his wheelchair and lick him all over his face and mouth. AJ would laugh with delight and open his mouth more.

AJ at his prom

AJ at his prom

I will have big news regarding “Wendy on Wheels Moves On” at the end of the week!!!

The trip that inspired Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Beach

May 31st, 2015

This morning, Facebook sent me a notification saying I had memories. Six years ago today, I was with my family in Clearwater Beach, Florida on the vacation that would later inspire my first book, Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Beach.

Mandy used a beach wheelchair to go around Discovery Cove. We went snorkeling, swam with stingrays and dolphins. I loved it!!

Mandy feeding birds at Discovery Cove

Mandy feeding birds at Discovery Cove

The beach was walking distance from where we stayed. Here’s a picture of Mandy and my dad at the beach.

This picture later was used Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Beach.

This picture later was used Wendy on Wheels Goes to the beach.

The "cartoon" version

The “cartoon” version

This was such a fun trip! I loved spending time with my family. I had no idea at the time that trip inspire a children’s book, which would lead to more books.

In other news, I will have an updated image of Wendy for book #5 in the next couple weeks as well as a cover. I can’t wait to share it with you!!!

 

 

Sisters raising awareness continues

October 27th, 2014

The month of October has been busy for Wendy on Wheels!  October 7th, my sister and I visited Kellison Elementary in Fenton, Missouri.  We presented in an all school assembly for their Ability Awareness Day.  What a wonderful group of students! Mandy and I talked about what it was like growing up.  Then, we opened it up to questions and answers.  There were a lot of good questions for Mandy.  They were really imagining Mandy when she was in elementary school.  They asked questions like, “What is your favorite color?” And “What is your biggest struggle in life?”  It was awesome!!!  Now, they can say they’ve met someone who uses a wheelchair.

This morning, we went to the two and three year old room at St. Micheal and St. George School.  We read Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Beach. Afterwards, each child was allowed to touch Mandy’s wheelchair.  Their teacher, Lisa has been teaching them about differences.  They’ve been learning about difference in skin color and hair color.  Today, the focus was differences in abilities.

st.michael1 st.michael

School visits are my passion!!!!  I love raising awareness especially with my sister!!!!

Chicago Abilities Expo

July 6th, 2012

Last weekend, I had a blast at the Abilities Expo in Chicago!  Auti, from the Sundance Channel’s new show the Push Girls, had a dance workshop every day.  People of all ages joined the dance circle to show off their favorite moves.  It was so great to see.  Auti is so nice!! 

This little girl, Anna came by my booth.  What a cutie!

Saturday was my workshop where I introduced Wendy on Wheels and read Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand.  I started off talking about my inspiration for Wendy on Wheels.  There’s my sister, Amanda, up on the screen.  After I read Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand, I asked the discussion questions.  The little ones in the audience were shy about answering my questions.

Here I am talking about pages eighteen and nineteen.  One the left (page 18) Wendy is frustrated and angry about the events of the day.  She sits on her bed with her arms folded.  She asks herself, “What else could I have done?”  Page nineteen, Wendy’s mindset shifts.  She puts her idea to paper.  Now, she can make a positive impact.

A lot of times in our lives, things bother us and make us mad.  We feel like something must be done.  When we feel furious and upset, we are closed off from anything good that may happen.  In order to make change, we have to shift our mindset.  This is why I created Wendy on Wheels in the first place.

I’ve been following Cure for Chloe on facebook for a couple years now.  I remember when Chloe was a cowgirl on a horse for Halloween and got her new wheelchair.  At the expo, I finally got to meet her.  It made my whole weekend!!  I was so excited!!!

I enjoyed meeting everyone in Chicago.  What a wonderful expo!  This was my last expo of this year.  I am currently booking school visits for National Disabilities Month in October.  Please contact me if you are interested.