Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Foam vs. fiberglass insulation (discussion link)

"The cost of foam is much higher that that of regular fiberglass insulation. I'm wondering if the cost difference is worth it."

Link: Cost of Foam vs. Fiberglass - Topic Powered by eve community  (

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Paulie is a recent short story of mine in the December issue of Art and Prose.  It's an offbeat story with a hint of SF at the beginning, but it's about a man needing to find redemption.

Art and Prose includes lots of art, stories, articles, poetry, interviews, tutorials, and a review of Brian W. Aldiss' Harm by non-fiction writer (among other things), I. E. Lester.  (It's great sharing zine space with you, Ed!)

Link: Art&Prose Magazine

Friday, December 14, 2007

New review of Why Won't Anyone Play with Me?

5.0 out of 5 stars A handful of colorful cutouts of the main characters round out this simple story, December 3, 2007
By  Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

Why Won't Anyone Play With Me? is a delightful, flat-spined children's picturebook with a relevant moral for young readers. Kallie, a curious and exuberant kitten, wants to play. But the creatures Kevin Kroaker, Tazi Treefrog, and Topper Turtle don't want to play with her! Why not? "A muffled voice, Topper Turtle's, said, 'You won't let us. We can't play the rough games you play; we're too little.'" Kallie learns to play gentle games such as hopscotch, leapfrog, and tag with her new friends. A handful of colorful cutouts of the main characters round out this simple story for teaching older children about getting along with younger children.

Link to review: MBR: Children's Bookwatch, December 2007  (The review is over half way down the page.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Plumbing cross connections (link)

I'm aware of hot water and cold water faucets being reversed.  (You really have to be careful in the tub.)  But this problem sounds a lot more complicated to fix.  I have read, btw, that you have to be very careful with plumbing and elecrical runs to kitchen islands.

(from Ask Ed: Whenever my island sink faucet sits for a while and I turn on the cold water, hot water will come out of the cold faucet side....

Link: Ed Del Grande: Ask Ed -- Kitchen Island in Hot Water

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quirky Claus

Quirky Claus is an imaginative, fun story for kids and grownups: Sebastian White - Quirky Claus
Description: Quirky Claus is the alternative tale of a mischievous Santa who lives deep in the snowy depths of the south pole.
Review excerpt: ... the art is colorful and imaginative. I especially loved the gnomes, the annoyed reindeer, the agitated armadillo, and [the] wombat! [and] Claus, the penguins, sharks, fish, and other critters; the color is beautiful; and the last page with the toboggan with its buttons & lever & ejector seat was a wonderful idea!

Subtropical Storm Olga

Olga formed over the Virgin Islands Monday, which was 10 days after the Atlantic hurricane season ended.  This doesn't happen often, but I don't believe it's a first.

Update: Olga remnants sent us some tropical moisture, which we needed.  That and this current cold front should help us.

Update: It looks like Subtropical Storm Pablo didn't develop.

Link: Tropical Storm OLGA    (Thanks, Lloyd)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Critters collage

Abby, who read Why Won't Anyone Play with Me? and made a collage of the critter cutouts in the back of the book, had a friend send me photos of her and the collage.  And her mother gave me permission to use the collage photo.  Thank you all!


I wish you could see the cute video where Abby has the frog wave his little foot!  Thank you again, Abby!

You can find the book at: Why Won't Anyone Play with Me?: Books: Joy V. Smith

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Publication news

My advice to writers is included, along with the advice of a lot of other children's writers, in a brand new ebook,  I Wish Someone Had Told Me That! 
64 Successful Children's Authors Give You The Advice They Wish Someone Had Given Them

Link: I Wish Someone Had Told Me That!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas decorating tips

Be consistent with color and theme.  Two colors means sophistication (well, that's what the newspaper article said); for instance, use traditional green and ivory.  And stars make a beautiful recurring them.
Mix fresh and faux greenery, including silver leaves and pinecones.
Think sparkle!  This includes mirrors, glass, metal, beads, and candlelight [I think you can cut back on the candles; it's dangerous and is getting so trite]
Personalize stockings, ornaments, and napkin holders.
Decorate your doorway with a wreath [I love a friend's red wreath on her dark door] and flanking trees or poinsettias.  [I love variegated poinsettias--Jingle Bells, Monet, Strawberries and Cream, ...]
Add Christmas touches to things that are hard to move, also pillows, antlers to the dog, etc.  [Well, you can skip the antlers, but I have to confess that even I think they're sort of cute.]