Friday, December 28, 2007

Achieve Your Dreams - Judi Moreo's Virtual Book Tour '08

Repeat this passage: "Every step I take brings me closer to the realization of my dreams” until you understand its powerful message. (from Judi Moreo's You Are More Than Enough Achievement Journal)

Writing this Achieve Your Dreams post for Judi Moreo's Virtual Book Tour '08 seems to fall right in line with previous posts on my blogs the past week or so:

* Writing & Blogging Goals for 2008, here on Potpourri of Writing for The Blog Writing Project: 78 Blogging Goals for 2008, at Daily Blog Tips.

*Goals for my children's writing, Specific Children's Book Writing Goals for 2008, published on Tales of a Children's Author.

* I've also posted something on my Home Biz Notes blog,suggesting you Enjoy the Journey as you pursue your dreams.

So what are my dreams for the coming year?

*I still want my castle where I can write in the tower and have secret rooms to discover with the grandchildren.
*I want to do more speaking to Alzheimer's caregivers.
*Teaching workshops and sharing my stories with children comes in there, too.

How do we go about achieving our dreams?

*Doing instead of simply dreaming
*Believing (Repeating: "Every step I take brings me closer to the realization of my dreams.")
*Setting a plan of action
*Get input whenever we feel we're going off track.

Then: GO FOR IT!

Judi's Tour Page:

(c)2007 Mary Emma Allen

Thursday, December 27, 2007


As Holly Fretwell makes her virtual tour around the blogosphere this month for her book, The Sky's NOT Falling, Why It's OK to Chill About Global Warming, she's stopping at Potpourri of Writing.

Holly concern about global warming and the environment puts her in league with other writers and speakers in today's world. However, Holly has a "different" view from many who are getting their names in the news and making a "big splash" in the sea of world media. She uses a common sense, well researched approach in her book for youngsters (but of interest to adults, too), The Sky's NOT Falling.

Yes, there are environmental situations to be concerned about, but Holly encourages optimism about the future of our planet and the solutions we can find with human innovation and creativity, along with individual choice, not political agendas. She shows kids 8-12 (and adults, too) that "It's human ingenuity and adaptability...not mindless fear of change...that is most likely to guanantee the Earth a healthy future."

Holly doesn't just spout her facts and reasons without valid background. She's a professor of natural resources policy at Montana State University and mother of two, who has a well researched view about global warming and the hype...a view with which other scientists now are beginning to concur.

For additional information about Holly's book and the topic of global warming, Controversy Sells for Holly Fretwell, Author of The Sky's NOT Falling at Book Marketing Buzz.

For a review of Holly's book, read: Book Review- A Different View on Global Warming.

(Published by World Ahead Media, Los Angeles, CA.; ISBN #9780976726944. The book includes fun facts and reading for ages 8 and above.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I teach a variety of writing workshops and author presentations for youngsters and adults.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: I adapt my programs to the age group and requests of the teachers. These range from reading and discussing my stories, illustrating stories, conducting writing workshops, and helping teachers develop lessons.

I also share the research and writing process of my works in progress:

Papa Goes To War, inspired by my ancestors during the Civil War

Uncle "Buffalo Bill" Mathewson - a picture book about my great great Uncle William Mathewson who operated trading posts on the Santa Fe Trail

Danger In The Mountains - a mystery set in the West

Sarah Jane's Daring Deed, a picture book about a pioneer girl.

(These often tie in with Social Studies classes)

Journalism and/or Writing on the Internet draw upon my experience as a professional journalist/newspaper columnist and blogger for a network

Poetry workshops also are popular.

AUDIENCE LEVELS - Pre-K, Elementary, Middle School. High School and Adult Education

TRAVEL - Yes - anywhere in the United States, with client paying travel costs and accommodations, unless I'm in that area for other business.


Tales of Adventure & Discovery, a children's anthology which I also illustrated (An accompanying coloring book is also available.)

The Magic of Patchwork, a book about quiltmaking and its history with projects for young people and beginners

When We Become the Parent to Our Parents, the story of my mother's journey through Alzheimer'

More than 200 stories in children's magazines

Writing in Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont, a resource book for writers (out of print)

FEES: $100/1 HR; $200/1/2 day; $300/day, plus mileage beyond 50 miles from Plymouth, NH and accommodations if an overnight stay is involved.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Specific Writing Goals for 2008

Maybe if I write them down in my blog, I'll be more accountable.

I have one friend who is always asking me, "Have you finished your Uncle Buffalo Bill book yet? What about the children's picture book?"

I continually tell her, with a sheepish grin, "I'm working on them."


1. Finish the book about my Uncle Buffalo Bill Mathewson, the original Buffalo Bill in the West.

2. Finish my Sarah Jane's Daring Deed picture book.

3. Finish the rough draft to Papa Goes to War, a Civil War era middle reader book based on my ancestors.

4. Develop the activities for these books and place them on my web sites.

5. Draft some of my other writing projects, but concentrate on them minimally until I have the above finished.

Writing & Blogging Goals for 2008

As we approach 2008, many of us will think about goals, but how many will seriously write them down and then follow through with a strategy to make them work.

The Group Writing Project: 2008 Blogging Goals at Daily Blog Tips has me energized.

1. Develop this blog (Mary Emma's Potpourri of Writing) into a popular one with at least 40,000 readers per month.

2. Host at least one author on tour here per month.

3. Post at least 6 times per week. (It's been hit and miss for the most part.)

4. Develop here and on my other writing blogs strategies for letting people know about my writing workshops, online classes, and talks for groups.

5. Find a way to earn a monthly income from this blog. (So far that hasn't been part of my strategy as I've written here at Potpourri for fun, but not for profit.)

6. Teach 6 classes on blog writing this year, starting with writers' conferences and publicists' workshops.

7. Reach an average of 10 comments per post.

8. Join and become active on one online community

9. Learn about RSS

10. Become knowledgeable about the "techie" stuff that creates ratings. (Can you believe I've been blogging but don't know much about these?!)

(My blogs at b5media you may find of interest: Quilting and Patchwork, Home Biz Notes, and Alzheimer's Notes.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


With all the scary information out there about global warming, it's refreshing to read a book by a natural resources policy expert that presents a different view, one complete with common sense and factual information.

The Sky's NOT Falling (Why It's OK to Chill About Global Warming) is an alternative for young people and adults to the fear-inducing books published today. Author Holly Fretwell, a mother of two and professor of natural resources policy, provides a balanced look at environmental issues and global warming scare tactics. She presents these in an easy to read and understand format for ages 8 and above.

Yes, there are environmental situations to be concerned about, but Ms. Fretwell encourages optimism about the future of our planet and the solutions we can find with human innovation and creativity, along with individual choice, not political agendas.

Ms. Fretwell debunks some of the "facts" running rampant about the environment and global warming in today's world. For instance, you've probably seen the picture of the polar bear and cub, supposedly adrift on a piece of ice because of global warming. Actually the picture was taken as a general interest one a scientific expedition. The photographer called attention to it as a polar bear and her cub on an ice sculpture. Nothing was noted about global warming nor the bears being stranded. Yet the photo was taken out of context and used for propaganda purposes.

You'll certainly want to take a look at the facts in this book about global warming and see what's really going on in a world beset by global warming scare. Check out the truth before deciding "the sky is falling."

(Published by World Ahead Media, Los Angeles, CA.; ISBN #9780976726944. The book includes fun facts and reading for ages 8 and above.)

Saturday, December 08, 2007


When you're writing, do you hope your stories will make a difference?

*Brighten someone's day
*Give them encouragement
*Let them know someone else has faced a particular challenge
*Make them laugh
*Entertained them
*Made them think about themselves and their lives
*Made them reminisce
*Help solve a problem
*Help change the world

Why do you write? These are some things to consider.

I hope my writing will make a difference, for the better in someone's life...somewhere.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Bedtime stories have been a tradition for at least three generations in my family. I recall my mom reading to my sister, brothers and me...Heidi, Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses poetry, and Robinson Crusoe come to mind.

My husband and I took turns reading to our daughter. He often didn't at bedtime, but while I was preparing supper. "Daddy, you skipped that part!" I'd hear her exclaim when Jim tried to get through a book more quickly.

My daughter and son-in-law, both avid readers, started reading to their children while they were infants. Reading and children go hand in hand in our household...we all still bury ourselves in a book whenever we can in spite of today's electronic world.

Stories in the Kitchen

Although most of the bedtime story reading of my youth occurred in the evening in one of our bedrooms (there were four of us children) as we sprawled on the bed. However, on cold winter evenings, Mother gathered us in front of the wood burning cookstove in the kitchen (a favorite family congregating place) and read stories. While she read, we might munch on cookies and milk or cocoa.

Reading evolves into cooking, as children learn to ponder over recipes and mix up family meals. I recall making my first cake before I fully learned to read. Mother was ill and I decided, with the help of my younger siblings, I would make a cake for supper, along with fried potatoes and eggs.

At six years old, I couldn't decipher everything in the recipe book, so decided to dispense with it and put together the ingredients I'd seen Mother use. I recall my sister and brothers around me as we stirred the batter together, then poured it into layer cake pans.

Since the wood stove oven was the only one we had, it was only natural to bake the cake there. We must have stoked the stove and read the gauge on the front of the oven door adequately. At any rate, the cake turned out fine....except it was fairly flat.

Mother, when she saw it at supper, praised our efforts, as did Father and the hired man. It was only in later years that Mother told me she concluded I'd left out the baking powder.

(c)2007 Mary Emma Allen

(I enjoy researching and writing about holiday and family memories along with teaching workshops in Family History Writing. I conduct these online as well as in person at workshops.)