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!!!

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!!!!

Our visit to MDA Camp

June 20th, 2013

Today, my sister, Mandy and I took a little road trip to share Wendy on Wheels with children at the MDA Camp in Fredericktown, MO

Mandy reading Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo

Mandy reading Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo

At first, I wasn’t sure how the kids felt about my books because they were absolutely silent the whole time we read.  At the end, they asked a bunch of questions about how and why I wrote the books.  Afterwards, we hung out at a pavilion by the lake.  For the last couple days, the kids worked on building boats out of cardboard, duct tape and plastic wrap.

Here's one boat.

Here’s one boat.

It was time to test the boats on the waters.  The counselors got in the boats and floated around the lake.  It was quite a sight.

My sister and I with Adam and the Mermaid Princess

My sister and I with Adam and the Mermaid Princess

I met a little girl who was a mermaid.  She played tag but she could never be it because she was the mermaid princess.  “Just look at my tail!”  She gestured at her legs.

I’m so glad we had the opportunity to meet such a fun group!!!!  We had a blast!!

Hagedorn Little Village School

May 29th, 2012

While in New York last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Hagedorn Little Village School.  I love Hagedorn Little Village!  I got to meet a huge fan of Wendy on Wheels, Dina.  She was kind of shy, but seemed to enjoy meeting me.  I read to a lot of classes in the 2 hours I was there.

One little girl got to choose the book for her class.  She chose Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo, then signed “please.”  After I finished she signed “more.”  Luckily, we had time to read, Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day.  She signed “more” after that one too.

One little boy clapped very loudly and yelled out, “THAT WAS AWESOME!!  You are the best reader ever!!!”

My favorite schools to visit are special schools.  Children with different abilities are the reason I created Wendy on Wheels in the first place.  Hopefully, I will get some pictures soon to post.

By the way, I will at the Abilities Expo in Chicago at the end of the month.  My workshop is at 3:45 on Saturday.  Come see me!!!

 

 

St. Catherine Laboure’s Ability Awareness Day

March 17th, 2012

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting Wendy on Wheels to the kindergarteners and first graders at St. Catherine Laboure School.

 The first group of kindergarteners had already heard Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo, my favorite book for Ability Awareness Days.  One kid yelled out, “I know what’s going to happen,” before I even started.  During the story, some were saying parts of the story with me.  It was awesome!!

Then I read Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand.  Since it is new, no one had heard it yet.  They loved it!  The students chanted along, “NO BULLY NO!!”  They loved the signs.

Speaking of signs, they had decorated the halls with signs for Abilities Awareness Days.

     A possibilist.  I like that!

This one is my favorite.

 The signs were great!

While I was reading to the second kindergarten group, one little boy said the boy next to him, “We’re not talking about Star Wars!”  That made me laugh.

In one of the first grade groups, I started out talking about my sister and how I was inspired to write Wendy on Wheels.  One boy raised his hand and said, “Are you going to read the books?”  Ha.  I guess he didn’t care what I had to say.  He just wanted to hear Wendy on Wheels.  That’s good.  I prefer it that way.  It was a great day!  What a wonderful group of children!

 I present at the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles in two weeks.  I can’t wait!!

Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day has officially been launched!!!

April 5th, 2011

Sunday afternoon, I had my launch party for Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day at All Along Press.  It was such a wonderful event.  Thank you to everyone who came.  I appreciate your support and love for Wendy on Wheels.  Excellent food from Cherokee Street Catering.  Everyone loved the barbequed chicken pizza!

    I made a new friend, Josie.  Here’s a picture of Josie, Elizabeth and me.  She loved Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Beach!  Now she has the whole trilogy.  Josie is so cute and sweet!

The reading went well.  I said thank you to my cousin, Dana for taking Elizabeth and me around Cardinal Glennon to see what the inside of a children’s hospital looks like.  Dana is cartoonized on page 21 of Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day.   

Things have been going well for Wendy on Wheels.  I have some Ability Awareness Days lined up for April at some local schools.  I’m working on setting up some schools visits in Peoria, IL and Chicago the third week in April. 

I’m working on getting t-shirts made.  They might be available to the general public if people are interested.

I was not chosen as a finalist in the Energizer Competition.  I’m still excited I was nominated as a semifinalist.  Thank you to everyone who voted for me!!!

I will have the cover for Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand in a week or so.  🙂

I saw The Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday.  Marlee did a outstanding job as project manager!  Go Marlee!!  Meat Loaf had a meltdown on Gary Busey.  I couldn’t believe that.  YIKES!!!  

HERE SHE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY!!!

March 2nd, 2011

Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day features two characters that were inspired by a mother, Amy, and her son, Eli.  Amy has commented on my blog and is a facebook friend.  On my first blog, she gave a suggestion about having a little boy who is nonverbal in future books.  I started reading her blog.  I saw some pictures of when Eli was in the hospital.  The love they shared was radiating out of the photos.   His smile was amazing!     

When I was writing Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day, I made sure to include Eli and Amy.  I just read Amy’s latest blog about the book.  WOW!!  It feels wonderful to touch someone I’ve never actually met, in a different part of the country.  Here’s a picture Amy sent me.  Eli fell asleep while his dad was reading it to him.   

Self publishing makes all this possible.  It’s wonderful!  I control the whole look of every page in the book.  So, why not make the image resemble the people who inspired it?   

I celebrated Dr. Suess’s birthday with the World Premiere Author Reading of Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day at Southview Special Education School.  Wendy on Wheels was a hit at Southview!  Since it was the first time I’ve read this book out loud, my delivery was a little choppy.  The audience still enjoyed it.   

Well, Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day was released last week.  It came out of couple weeks earlier than expected.  I’m so excited about it.  The Friday before last when I got the proof copy, I was so happy I was almost crying.  This is the book I wanted to write for the last year.  It looks better than I imagined! 

Books are available on Amazon.  If you’d like to order autographed copies, please email me.  I can ship them out to you.

Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo has been rolled out!!!

December 1st, 2010

My official launch party for Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo was Sunday, November 21st at Foam Coffee and Beer in St. Louis.  I go to Foam to work on the books a lot, so I figured it would be a good place to have my release event.

I was so excited to meet Brandon O’Harver, who won the contest to name Wendy’s companion in the book.  He was so sweet!  It was so cool that he agreed to sign books! 

Brandon, Illustrator Elizabeth Gearhart, my sister Amanda, (who inspired the Wendy character) and I signed books.

The release party was wonderful!!  Thank you to Cherokee Street Catering for providing delicious snacks for the event.  I loved the Rueben triangles the best!! 

I had a special gift for Brandon.  Brandon received a beautiful, watercolor painting of Wendy and Brandon by Wendy on Wheels’s illustrator, Elizabeth Gearhart.   Here is Elizabeth, Brandon and me. 

At 3:30, I read my brand new book to the crowd.  Foam was standing room only.  🙂

I’m so grateful that I had a successful launch for Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo.  It was a fantastic event!  I felt blessed to see so many people who support Wendy on Wheels!!!  Thank you to everyone who came!!!

In honor of Brandon, a portion of the book sales of Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo will be donated to the Muscular Dystropy Association.  If you haven’t already, please order a copy of Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo.