Book signing announcement

Hi everyone,

A book signing is set for Saturday, December 9 to raise money for Writers Hall of Fame scholarship fund. Here’s the information for anyone who is close by and would like to attend.

November 25, 2014
Writers Hall of Fame NEWS RELEASE
From Jeanne Duffey,
For more information, contact Nancy Brown Dornan at 417.869.1513 or

A Holiday Book Signing Party, featuring ten authors who’ve published books on a variety of subjects, will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at Maschino’s, 1715 S. Campbell Ave.
The free event will benefit the Writers Hall of Fame, a local group of volunteers who promote writers and writing and present college scholarships to area high school seniors. The group will also wrap book purchases at the event, and cider and cookies will be served.

Authors scheduled to appear at the event include:
• Alan E. Bailey—Delores: The Alexander Saga, the third and final in a series based on a true story about a family adjusting to a new post-World War II order, set in Springfield, Texas and California.
• Mary Elizabeth Bradley: A Doctor’s Daughter: Growing Up at a State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, a memoir by a Branson resident and music instructor at College of the Ozarks.
Sherry J. Cook and Terri Johnson—the Quirkles: Exploring Phonics through Science, 26 books and a digital series to help children develop a love and appreciation of science and literacy created by Missouri State University professors.

Anne Cox: I Am A Yogi: My First Book of Yoga for children under eight years old by an accomplished artist and illustrator who is passionate about the positive benefits of yoga.
Jeanne Christakos Duffey: Cook Like a Greek! Traditional Family Recipes Made Modern for the Greek in All of Us from a second-generation Greek-American.
Gayle Harper: Roadtrip with a Raindrop: 90 Days Along the Mississippi River, nearly 200 full-color photographs and stories about her travels from the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
David Harrison: nationally acclaimed author of 80 children’s and educational books that have sold more than 15 million copies, including bugs, Pirates and When Cows Come Home.
• Todd Parnell: a former banker and college president writes about his family in The Buffalo, Ben and Me, Postcards From Branson and Mom At War.
Dr. Nancy O’Reilly: Leading Women: 20 Successful Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life by a clinical psychologist, philanthropist and founder of
Anita Roberts: Branson. Originally home to the Osage, this town, known in 1939 as the Paradise of the Ozarks and now as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World.

A reminder about personal safety

Hi everyone,

From time to time someone publishes a list of reminders for women about how to be vigilant and guard against attack. This one isn’t new; I just ran across it in my files and thought, considering the current international conversation about crimes against women, it might bear posting.

I know that you’ve probably seen this one and/or numerous others along the same lines. But I don’t think it hurts to be reminded. Those airline attendants who stand in the aisle before every flight to remind us how to fasten our seat belts and know what to do if an oxygen mask drops from the ceiling may wonder at times if anyone is paying attention. But you never know when a timely reminder might make a difference.

THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES” (PLS TAKE TIME TO READ THIS. it may save a life.) Through a rapist’s eyes. A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interview…ed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas,or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.


1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.


1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side,put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS , LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side , peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. ( DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB) .

b. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. Women are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

Word of the Month poems?

Hi everyone,

I was just checking on the status of Word of the Month for November. We got off to a great start but it has now been ten days since the last poem was posted. Remember, the word this month is SPREE. Correction. The word is BREW!!! So . . .

Hoot ‘n’holler,
Cackle with glee,
We need our poets
To go on a spree!

Students, students,
Where can you be?
We need you poets
To go on a spree!

Newbies, oldies,
Listen to me,
We need you all
To go on a spree!

Hoot ‘n’holler,
Giggle and goo,
We need poets!
This means you!

Students, students,
You can too!
Show us all
What you can do.

Newbies, oldies,
We need a slew
Of fun poems
Inspired by BREW!

A waylaid panelist shares his mentor texts

BULLETIN: Linda Baie tried to leave a comment on the IRA site and said it’s not working. Each time you type in the code, it’s rejected. I just tried twice and had the same results. I sent a note to the editor and hopefully the problem will be cleared up soon. I’ll let you know when it is. Thanks for your patience.

Hi everyone,

Remember when I got shut out of the Google Hangout with Ruth Culham, Kate Messner, Lisa Yee, and Varian Johnson? The link I was provided would not work that evening even though it had worked the night before when we rehearsed. I gave up trying when there were only 15 minutes left in the program. Next day I was invited to post my own list of suggested mentor texts on the IRA blog, so I did. And now it’s posted. If you’re interested, here’s the link.

What a difference a day makes

David giving brief remarks

Hi everyone,

Yesterday afternoon I spent a wonderful hour visiting with Mrs. Hill’s communication arts class at my alma mater, Jarrett Middle School, in Springfield, Missouri. What fun to return after so many years to meet some students and answer questions. I had the honor of being interviewed by the class. The kids will now write articles about the experience and a winner will be chosen to be published in the school paper. You can imagine how flattered I felt to be selected as an alum to write about. Thanks to all!

I’m happy to report that the missing muse showed up yesterday and that first elusive poem fairly jumped onto the page early on. I tweaked it later (after coming home) and am pleased with it. Now I’m set to get this book going.

Busy day today. At 10:00 I’ll do a story hour and sign books as part of a fund raiser for Springfield’s Civic Symphony. This will be another nostalgic event for me. Back in the day I played principal trombone in the Symphony and have a picture on my wall of the orchestra in 1957. I sure had more hair then!

After that I’ll attend the Springfield’s Writers’ Guild to share lunch while listening to Kim Piddington talk about agents. When she’s done, it will be my turn at 1:00 to speak. My title is, “In It for the Long Haul, from Then to Now, a Writer’s Fifty-Five Year Journey.”

So yesterday and today will make a nice closing to the week, and I even got a poem out of it.