A Pumpkin Can Be More Than A Pumpkin

This week’s issue of The Gracie Press Newsletter was sent out yesterday morning. if yours did not arrive in your email “inbox,” you may want to check your “junk” or “spam” folders.

The drawing above is this week’s cover image. In the first half of The Biggest Scary Thing, Gracie will successfully overcome the challenges of The Big Scary Thing and The Bigger Scary Thing. Life will seem to be as good as it can possibly get. But then things in their garden home will begin to change. Original hatch-mates will leave. New hatchlings will arrive. And in this week’s story excerpt, Bessie will lay her first egg.

This was enjoyable to write, and like the story about the record player, it’s also building up to what will happen later in the story when Gracie decides to overcome the challenge of The Biggest Scary Thing. To do that, she will need to look at things in a different way and to be inventive.

Being inventive is very important for the second half of The Biggest Scary Thing. Inventive thinking is also very important for children. Do you remember imagining simple things like blocks or boxes were more than what they really were? Inventive play is like vitamins for your brain!

This week’s story is about Bessie and how all of the chickens begin to learn that a pumpkin can be more than a pumpkin and a chicken can be more than a chicken. In next week’s continuation, they will learn that a chicken can also be an inventor!

Not to give too much away, but Gracie’s invention in the second half of the book will help to take care of her own Biggest Scary Thing.

To subscribe, just go to newsletter.GraciePress.com and provide your email address. You will receive an email to confirm your subscription. While you are there, you can read this week’s issue. (Just as a reminder, May 25th is the last day to subscribe so that you will be included in the drawing for our book giveaway. Delivery will be through Amazon to anywhere Amazon delivers and to you or someone you choose.)

Just so you know…Even though our WordPress Personal Plan $48.00 per year website does not expire until June 15, 2021, it now contains advertisements. One of the features of the WordPress Personal Plan in the removal of advertisements.

I have to say, this really does bother me…a lot.

We should have until June 15, 2021 to not worry about disturbing advertisements for Taco Bell Chicken Quesadillas on a website about a small flock of amazing chickens. (That did happen for a different WordPress site that I had a few years ago, but fortunately it was not about chickens. But it could happen to this one.)

Anyway, I transferred the domain name MyLifeWithGracie.com to my account at iwantmyname.com for only $10.00 and set up a simple page through my account at carrd.co so it can still be found by anyone looking for that website. There is a link at the top of the page for GraciePress.com and a link at the bottom for our newsletter. It was all very easy and much less expensive.

I don’t want this to sound like a disgruntled rant. I just want people to know there are alternatives if you ever decided to move away from WordPress and are concerned about annoying advertisements.

MyLifeWithGracie.wordpress.com is the default domain name for this website now, and it will take you to all of the original “My Life With Gracie” posts.

MyLifeWithGracie.com will now take you to a new, simpler page.

One of our readers recently wrote to me about how much they enjoyed the newsletter and added: “Blogging is okay but a blog is just a blog, whereas your work is ‘literature’ and deserves the more literary form of newsletter, in keeping with your books.”

That meant a great deal to me.

I really do want to just focus on the stories and the illustrations and to hug Gracie and all my other chickens while I still can.

“The Waltz Of The Dandelion Seeds”

This week’s issue of The Gracie Press Newsletter was sent out yesterday morning. if yours did not arrive in your email “inbox,” you may want to check your “junk” or “spam” folders.

The drawing above is this week’s cover image. The story excerpt is based off of only three sentences from A Most Wondrous Place:

“So they dance. I take my old record player out into the backyard and put on their favorite classical albums from the thrift store. And they dance.”

I am enjoying the added freedom of working on a much longer book with black and white illustrations. Although color illustrations add a great deal to a story, they also contribute considerably to the printing cost. So hopefully the extra paragraphs of action, description, and dialogue will help to make up for the missing colors.

For example, in this week’s excerpt, I hope you get an idea of what it is like to sit with a group of young chickens. They truly are endlessly and delightfully curious. You will also find that chickens expect words to mean exactly what they say, and that doesn’t always happen with the English language!

To subscribe, just go to newsletter.GraciePress.com and provide your email address. You will receive an email to confirm your subscription. While you are there, you can read this week’s issue. (Just as a reminder, May 25th is the last day to subscribe so that you will be included in the drawing for our book giveaway. Delivery will be through Amazon to anywhere Amazon delivers and to you or someone you choose.)

The Living Library

“The Living Library”

This week’s issue of The Gracie Press Newsletter was sent out yesterday morning. if yours did not arrive in your email “inbox,” you may want to check your “junk” or “spam” folders.

The drawing above is this week’s cover image, The story excerpt centers around songbirds. My day begins with listening to the songbirds in the early dawn while I am making a breakfast salad for my chickens. It ends with listening to the songbirds in the evening while I sit under the camellias and enjoy time with my chickens. Songbirds play an important role in our stories, and you can read more about their secret lives in “The Living Library”! Hopefully it will spark your imagination. To subscribe, just go to newsletter.GraciePress.com and provide your email address.

I have tried to keep “My Life With Gracie” as true to actual events as I can, but maybe hindsight really is better that foresight. “My Life With Gracie” started as a kind of journal with cartoon illustrations. I’ve included photos of all the chickens in “My Life With Gracie” so people would know they are real chickens, not fictional chickens. I included Blanche’s death in several posts here. Her death was even the mid-point of How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.

But maybe what I share with “Gracie Press” doesn’t have to be limited by time or real events. (Doesn’t that sound odd coming from someone whose books are categorized as fiction?!) With “Gracie Press,” my six little girls, including Blanche, can continue to have adventures for as long as I am able to draw them and write about them.

I like that, and this week, the newsletter was signed differently. I signed it:

Thanks so much for reading!

John, Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Emily, and Amelia

It felt very good to include Blanche.

And so maybe “Gracie Press” is sort of a fresh start in a completely different way. The six little hens who I love so much will always be together. They will always dance and explore and spark the imaginations of new generations of readers. At least that is my hope now.

How does that sound to you?