Gracie’s Special Reading List…“Pond People” by Cathy Cade


“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers who have something valuable to contribute even though not traditionally published.

“Pond People” is exactly the kind of book I would have wanted to read as a fourth grade student. And look at that! There is my fourth grade dictionary, a Thorndike-Barnhart Junior Dictionary!

And if I had been reading this book when I was in the fourth grade, I would have pulled out my dictionary, and turned to this page to find out what the word “mirling” means and maybe even find a picture of one. And you know what? It wouldn’t have been in there. No definition. No picture. See? Nothing there! “Mirling” belongs between “mire” and “mirror,” but it’s not there.

But even though I would not have been able to find “mirling” in my elementary school dictionary, you would never have been able to convince me that there is no such thing as a mirling. Reading this book would have let me know without any doubt that mirlings exist, and I would certainly find one, maybe more than one, the next time I visited Brittles Mill Pond, the only pond close to our house.

One of the things that I like most about this book is that it does not feel a need to take readers to a far-off distant place or another world “somewhere out there.” It encourages readers to use their imaginations right here and now, right where they are, and whether they are exploring around a pond or collecting bits of nature right in their own backyard.

This book is so well-written that it is easy to get lost in its watery and mysterious world with Molly and Flash. (My chickens love Molly and Flash. They have definitely divided themselves into two groups. Some are “Molly Fans.” Others are “Flash Fans.”) The books author, Cathy Cade, has done a beautiful job of filling its pages with all of the imaginative wonderment that makes childhood special. Cathy posts here on WordPress, and if you’d like to preview some of her writing and excerpts from this book, please visit her site. 

I do have a special affection for this book because Cathy gave me the opportunity to do the artwork for her cover as a gift of appreciation for her writing. She also helps other writers within the Whittlesey Wordsmiths group and provides numerous posts to guide other indie writers and self-publishing authors around the world.

Hopefully the cover illustration for “Pond People” gives a feeling of mystery and beauty that matches the truly excellent story found inside. A cover can draw a reader in, but it’s the written words inside that will keep the reader turning the pages. Cathy does that exceedingly well. Seriously, how suspenseful is this?!?

As Molly launched, a paw descended, dark as death. She found herself hurtling into a swipe that would scoop both fish and mirling out of the water.

“A paw” refers to a cat’s paw, and all my chickens were on the edge of their perch when I read this part to them. They couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next! (Cats and chickens are rarely best friends.)

Why not visit Cathy’s website titled Writing Wrinkles? I’m sure she would appreciate it if you said “Hi!” And don’t forget to consider purchasing her book on Amazon! My chickens and I would really appreciate your support of Cathy and her work.

And I’ll bet you too will be likely to try and spy a mirling or two the next time you pass by a pond!

One more thing…I’m still looking for at least one more indie author to help with a free book cover. Maybe that’s you?  

A Good Normal Writer

“You have been just like Bessie gets sometimes,” said Gracie.

Everyone had just finished their evening treats that had been spread around their run area.

“What do you mean?” I asked. Earlier I had shared with them how I had removed the link for people to sign up as email subscribers with Mailchimp. It just wasn’t working right. Every author is supposed to have an email subscriber list, or it’s what everyone recommends anyway.

“Did you see how Bessie was acting just now?” she asked. “She was here, there, and everywhere, trying to get a taste of everything but without really getting a taste of anything.”

She was right, of course, but gave me a few moments to think this over before summarizing for me.

“You are everywhere and nowhere, all at the same time.”

I was suddenly more appreciative than ever to have a friend like Gracie who knows me so well.

“I really should have gotten your advice about it sooner.”

”Maybe there is something you overlooked. After all, Pearl was worried about being a good normal chicken, but she learned to put that behind her. Maybe you should not be so worried about being a good normal writer. Maybe there is no such thing as a good normal writer.”

I laughed. And then I laughed some more. And then Gracie started laughing too. We both knew just as there is no such thing as a good normal chicken, there’s no such thing as a good normal writer.

You know, you really can learn a lot from a chicken!

Maybe there is no such thing as a good normal writer. – Gracie

Another thing I had overlooked is our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page. We have a good number of subscribers there who aren’t a part of the WordPress community. Because WordPress is set up to automatically post to the Facebook page, it’s really been sort of “out of sight, out of mind.”

But our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page really can do almost everything an email subscriber list can do. Keep in touch with our fans, even those who have left WordPress for one reason or another. Provide information about special offers, discounts, and free items that we want to give. Even spread a little “chicken wisdom”!

So Gracie and I put our heads together and decided to set up a special “Thank You” free online preview of the first half of “The Bottle Cap Lady.” You can get to it through our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view this page!

We are going to try to be more conscientious and always have something special pinned to the top of our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page just for all of our fans!

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” by Charlie Lee Austin

Gracie’s Special Reading List

“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers with something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one by Charlie Lee Austin is the first non-fiction eBook. This is a change for my chickens and I, but it is a good change because this book is filled with inexpensive ideas for celebrating Christmas.

You might think of this book as a collection of shiny Christmas ornaments all in a big box which someone has collected over the years. You can examine them and choose the ones which seem right and best for you depending on your particular needs. Keep in mind, the eBook is 892 pages long, and so it would be nearly impossible to do everything! But there are sparkling ideas to try.

One of our favorite ideas, a giving kind of idea, came at the end of the book. My chickens and I enjoyed this because we live in the Tidewater area of Virginia which is home to many of our active and retired service members from all branches. (Our home city of Portsmouth is designated as an “Official Coast Guard City” and is also home of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.)

“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” is free if you have Kindle Unlimited (which I don’t), but it is also available as a purchased eBook or paperback through Amazon.

Charlie blogs at Simply Chronically Ill and provides inspirational posts for a large number of readers affected by a wide variety of conditions. Charlie’s posts are always positive and encouraging.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write!