Talula’s Barefoot Books Blog

A running commentary on life as an online bookstore owner after 25 years in Early Childhood Education.

Post #2 of “My Confession” to become a published children’s writer

Posted by Talula on April 27, 2009

My Desert Inspiritation

My Desert Inspiritation


Part #2 of my plan to become a published writer in the children’s genre.  Part #1 was finally admitting in print that it was my dream to be a writer. (See  march 15, 2009 post on ‘ a little confession’  or ‘following a dream’ in the tags)

Still reading, organizing, and sorting in my office/studio. I don’t really know if anybody is listening (or reading as the case may be); to catch my venture on the road to becoming a children’s book author.  But just in case someone is; here is my second post on my progress.

I have joined a writers group in an online ‘clubhouse’ which is a new site from Write4Kids. I am searching out all my notebooks with half-formed stories, and trying to collect all of them in one place. I am sure that many will be different angles of the same theme; and once I have had a chance to sort them – I will probably have at least 50 ‘starts’ to begin a few really good ones from.  So a lack of material is not an issue, finding it and polishing it is!

At this point; I have to paint a picture of what I have to do while accomplishing that ‘collection’ of story starts! To be brutally honest; I have been beginning stories, or at least writing down the main ideas of stories since I was about 9 or ten years old. Before that I would tell outlandish ‘fairytales’ made up by me; to the very thin air – sitting in a swing or in my favorite perch – the limb of a young chinaberry tree in my yard. My brother & uncle would tease me un-mercifully much of the time – so that was my escape from reality. Funny; now that I am thinking back – I also sang songs in made up languages to my dolls or to imagined babies, as I swung in my seat in the wooden swing with my arms wrapped around the chains and looking down at the ground. I sang them quietly, as one might sing to a baby, and often in a lullabye kind of sing-song.  Perhaps in  a modern psychological viewpoint – I was singing to my inner little girl; or perhaps in a spiritual viewpoint – I was singing in a language from a previous life to a baby from another time & place. Well it is time to move from imagining to action.

Back to the present for now. In order for me to find all those half-written stories, I had to begin the herculean task of cleaning out my office. Moving furniture has always been my first step to spring-cleaning, sort of a ‘biggest task first’ thing I guess.  So to that end – I am completely rearranging the whole 20′ x 20′ room; to make it much more functional for researching, planning & working on several different  projects at once. 

Here is the PLAN!  A little more than half the space available is to be my office space (about 200 sq ft).  About 1/4  is for my sewing & craft area.  And the last fourth is for the twin bed & a nitestand with a rocker/recliner for reading which is to be my grandchildren’s guest bed area.  They LOVE being in the middle of Granny’s craft materials, digging around in there even when I would rather they not sometimes – because then I can’t get them out to take a nap, a bath or eat their dinner, until they have finished searching for treasure! :()  So I decided to include them in the planned space, then maybe I can take back some control in how & when they use it.

It is a great sized big room for separating into functional spaces. I have a LOT of furniture in there – but now it will all serve new purposes for at least one of those new functional areas, with some pieces serving two purposes.  A large dresser with a tri-mirror will house all my craft supplies and some sewing items. The mirror will help to reflect light onto the table & chair area right in front of the dresser  for sewing or crafting.  An upright 5-drawer chest is now the main sewing items repository.  They flank a wide but shallow closet where I have stashed my Barefoot Books business equip & materials, plus my camping gear.

The office section is going to really be expanded from what it was previously (was about a third). I am going to bring the main desk into almost the center of the room to take advantage of the great light from the wide east window,  with the north window becoming the backdrop for my file cabinets and two tall towers with a light bridge surrounding the file cabinets. That used to be with a queen-size headboard (which I have now re-purposed to be a side bar behind the twin bed for books and a nightlight for the babies), it has a great pull-down for a little table height space for their snacks and drawing on. Then of course my computer desks (I have two) will set on the east wall  beside the window ( big computer desk – to block the glare from the main window ) and small one in the NE corner respectively. The small one will probably be changed to be a printers space, once I have dumped some stuff from my old compter to the new one. then of course I have one tall bookcase ( today I emptied, moved it into the new spot  and re-filled it with more appropriate child development, business, and writing parapheniela [sp?] volumes).  This should make a very large l-shaped production area for the business of writing, with the best use of  natural light in the room.  I have a couple of more pieces which will serve for office supplies and more files. Then I have a large tall entertainment center, which I haven’t decided what to use it for – at least for now – since I took the tv to my bedroom when we hooked up another dish antenna for movies.  I think I’ll just let it simmer for now.

As soon as everything is in place — then I will tackle 2 more phases.

1) Re-painting the room for the display of all my Native American collection of art pieces.

2) Sorting & organizing all the papers (30 years of teaching materials, cookbooks, craft books and collecting stuff from my now-grown children’s lives)

Will report later — major storm is crackling all around me!

I’m BACK! Last night’s storm was loud and messy; caused several electrical & cable outages – none of which lasted very long.  The lightning show went on for about 5  hours. So I didn’t try to bring the computer back up till this morning, although more thunder storms are forecast for later today and it is very overcast right now.  Just saying cause I might have to jump of the air again. Methinks lightening and computers don’t mix very well –   how about you?

Back to the plan! PHASE 2 – Painting the room – will be done to surround me with soothing colors to accent my collection of Native American art pieces.  My native pieces are my creative inspiration and I have never really displayed more than a piece or two at a time. It is going to give me great pleasure glance around my office and see the beauty of my ancestors for dancing with my muse. And since i have such a strong spiritual connection to both my Native American and Irish ancestry ~ I expect they (all of them) will feel totally welcome to visit, and of course give me advice; as usual.    I haven’t totally settled on a color yet – but I will be letting that simmer, also as I finish setting up the room.  My color pallet wiil have to include the existing carpet (a burnt orange/desert sand mix) the furniture is a cream white-wash finish.  Before i started on the room – I had thought to use a pale nature’s misty green – but now I am leaning to a pale turqoise or the same color as the furniture (to just let the furniture secede into the background) and let the art work speak more clearly. Many of the pieces have a strong balance of turquoise in them, some just a touch of it.  

PHASE 3 ~ sorting, organizing, and dispensing of my papers. This is no week-ends work! I could probably fill a dump truck with all the papers I have in there. Left overs from classrooms I have taught in, conferences I have attended, workshops I ran for teachers, research for parents on their child’s issues, games I have created for classrooms, craft books for classrooms and many I still use for my grandchildren,   half-finished sewing projects & materials, drawings my children did, report cards from their school days, photos of children in my classes & of my children and grandchildren (I will be hanging many of those)…but I think you now can picture it quite well!!!! My plan is to sort last, since I can do a small box at a time while watching a movie, etc. ,  once it is down to what I cant just throw out.

OK – I guess that is enough stalling for today – I’d better go make some of the above happen!

Funny little note here; I was clicking categories to tag this post and I saw “Teacher’s Gifts” – and I thought about what all I have stored in those papers & books — It really is a “‘Teacher’s Gift”  that is in all those papers — my gift of knowledge to thousands of children over the years! That makes me smile, although it may make it harder to part with some of it. Alas; it must be done to move into the next part of my life – becoming a writer!

Watch for the next report soon; as i will have to take a break from all the dust & sneezing! Ta – Ta from Talula.


11 Responses to “Post #2 of “My Confession” to become a published children’s writer”

  1. dovelove said

    Hi Talula 🙂

    I scanned your post with the fairy cakes — how could ya’ not love somethin’ called “fairy cake”? lol 😉 On the other hand, I’m a healthfood freak with blood sugar “issues,” no sugar for me, so I tend to run and hide when I see food that looks more like art than nutrition for my precious bod 🙂

    I have a high regard for this gift that is my vehicle in this world — and compassion for what it’s endured thus far. I see a direct correlation between how we care for our bodies and how much we love ourselves. As I grow in that all-important self-love thing, I see my body as a precious child — would we deny a child proper nourishment, exercise, rest…? Treats, of course, but those that are real food, that are not harmful to “her” at all. I very much enjoy my food without sugar or the other “white stuff,” but admittedly it was a long road overcoming the addiction to it.

    Yeah, I definitely believe this life was meant to be enjoyed, but what many of us call “enjoying life,” is really a subconscious desire to destroy it — and we are doing that in so many different ways. Refined sugar is not a real food, it’s poison to the body, and most of us are addicted to it. Truly. And it is in the nature of an addict to deny his/her addiction. Our taste buds are very adaptable 🙂 It’s not easy, but overcoming the sugar addiction is one of the easier ones — there are good real-food substitutes.

    Okay, hopping off my soapbox, ha 😉 Sorry, but I feel very strongly and protective of our bods — again, our care of them represents self-love. It’s so important for so many reasons… A biggee is that how we care for the body is directly related to how we care for our world. Our body and Mother Earth are mirrors of each other. And the trashing of our world is a mirror of our trashing our bods and vice versa. Nothing changes until we change. I just felt compelled to share all that.

    Anyway 🙂 Yep, the Desert Sand ripples, sounds good. Would it be too complicated or too “busy” to do multiple graduating shades of turquoise? Or maybe just three?

    Hey, the way a lot of people do the email is with spaces, so no bots or whatever can pick ’em up. Like talulas.wagon @ gmail com or something like that. Later Talula!


    • Talula said

      Ha to You! I just took a break from baking the last of the fairy cakes for the little ones and saw this. Your post was certainly sent in a love-the-spirit mode (eleventh post at 11:07 am my time), and I really do apprecite your ability to live the more natural lifestyle; however I am not there yet. Unfortunately; I currently don’t have control over what comes into this house. However when I did live alone & when I was growing up – I usually ate mostly veggies & fruit. But in defense of ‘Fairy Cakes’ – there are many all natural recipes for carrot cake, apple cake etc using honey and other natural foods, which would work perfectly well as tiny treasures. In fact I used a carrot cake recipe for half the ones I used – although not with the ‘pure natural’ type ingredients that you might use. so search out some simple vegan recipes for baking and get crackin’ ~ I’m putting some into the freezer for later enjoyment when I’m reading or playing on the creative side!

      Now back to my colors – I suspect we are now thinking along the same lines on the style of the walls. I am going to try to get to the nearby paint stores again today, now that i have narrowed down the main color. I just heard on a Lowes advertisement on TV that they will give 8oz sample tins of your choice for free – may try that. I’m thinking I cant get too complicated because most of the furniture is tall as the windows and doesn’t leave a lot of full span of walls showing – except over the 1/4 guest bed area – there the furniture is relatively low on the wall. I could also look for something over the windows to add to the effect. Like ripple-ly silk shawls or something to be draped with a light touch. Ok – gotta go ice the last of the fairy cakes and deliver them to the birhday girl. I saved some back for the combined birthday in a couple of weeks for the other half of the dynamic duo. My Adult identical twin daughters had these two first cousins within 4 1/2 weeks of each other. The original due dates for them was a week apart – it was a lot of fun together for them. And it’s been a barrel of monkeys since! Ta-Ta Talula

  2. Talula said

    Like you; I forgot to answer to the Virgo/Libra Libra/Virgo connection. Seems we might be spirit twins ~ ‘mirror’ twins! “Mirror Twins” = identical with opposite yet ‘mirroring’ tendencies, like (A) right-handedness to (B)left-handedness in the physical twin). (at least in the spiritual sense) I always told my grandmother that I would only be married once, so it had be a good one (it wasn’t!). Bet we have other things in common, too. It will be interesting to see those clues unfold as we visit here. On the art pieces – I forgot to mention I have two collectible dolls about a foot and a half tall each, and a gorgeous wooden & vividly painted sculpture piece of the “White Buffalo Dancer” Kachina Doll! (Hopi) about 14 inches tall. I also have a sculpture fired clay mask – but it was stepped on by assistant teacher when taking down a Native American display I had at the U of H. It was shattered; but I think I may re-work it on a new mask base & leave it’s shards separately glued, but in place; as if it is just another dimension of the original spirit message. Can you tell yet that I absolutely love finding good Native Art — I am a frequent visitor to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo every year to simply browse, shop & eat. hardly ever go see the performers or rodeo anymore. Ok; guess that’s it for tonite. My joints are hurting from the moving furniture bit and I have to get up at 5 am tomorrow to care for two recuperating-from-strep-throat little grandsons, who had to go to doctor today to verify they didn’t have the Swine flu! My daughter’s been home since Monday afternoon with them and absolutely has to show up for work. See all the fun we have with little ones underfoot??. Then I will jump back to the project room! enjoy your thursday, Talula.

  3. dovelove said

    Oh, I almost forgot — okay, I did forget, lol 🙂 The Libra/Virgo thing. I’m a Libra with Virgo tendencies 🙂 How fun is that?! ha! 😉

  4. dovelove said

    No-no Ta-Ta-Talula,lol 😉 I’m not wishy-washy, nor have I ever been, when it comes to the no-children-for-me thing. I’ve known since I was a child I would never have any — even used to tell my mom that I would never marry or have children… I knew even as I joked about the naming thing all those years ago, but I’m glad you think that would be a cool name 🙂 Maybe I’ll have a pet crow someday, and name it “Turquoise” lol Hey, the turquoise and black would be an awesome contrast 😉

    That is soooo cool that turquoise is Sophia’s color! I love that, she must have been telling me, ha 🙂

    Okay, now get this. I’m so glad I came upon your comment this morning in my email, because it reminded me of what came to me earlier today, while I was getting ready for work. I was thinking along the same lines — that one pale shad of turquoise might be kinda bland. What came to me was that it would be awesome to have multiple shades of that one color, maybe any lines soft and muted…so it’s not too “busy” if you know what I mean 🙂 What I kept getting was that it would be watercolor-like. And there would be your shadowing, the deeper shades of turquoise. I’m sort of seeing this horizontal design, an image of horizontal curvy “lines,” but abstract?… or “undulating,” I wanna say. Maybe you can take that as a seed for your own visions of multi-layered-turquoise 🙂 I think the dark and light shades of turquoise would be gorgeous.

    I think I’ve seen that pic of the wolf — sounds wonderful. Perhaps you already know that the wolf is the teacher, and I’m sure that’s one of your totems. I tend to draw “the teachers” 🙂 Oh, I just thought about a couple of wolf visits I had way back at “the beginning”… So many stories, so little time 😉 Ha, you can tell we’re writers, so difficult for us to write short posts, lol


    • Talula said

      Hey Dove; You got that right about us not being able to write short posts, If I can write a chapter where a paragraph would do — that’s me for sure! Even what you see is usually edited with lots of deleting of “way too much information” before I actually hit ‘post’ button. Those ‘waves’ of horizontal turquoise sounds very interesting – sort of like the ocean waves – which is really cool for me because I do my best thinking, ‘sensing’ and re-juvenating when I’m by natural moving water; like the ocean or a fast moving creek. I’ll have to play a little to see what I can come up with when I ready for the paint stage. I’ve got most of the furniture in place – had to make a few in-progress-adjustments to my computer desks and files placement – they didn’t fit the way I had it on the pre-drawn plan. Maybe I can get to the paint choices by the weekend. That probably sounds a little backwards (furn. in place first, but I had to ‘see’ it for the flow of the room for function). thank goodness for those ‘slider disks’ sold on tv for moving heavy stuff! I can just move it out a piece at a time when I’m ready to paint behind it. Good note on the watercolor idea – I have had the privilige to watch a master watercolorist (her work is even in the White House) while she taught children a workshop. Hmmmm! I’ll try to remember her technique. Thanks for all the ideas! Love to hear your earlier wolf stories sometime. Ta-Ta Talula

      • dovelove said

        Oops, I didn’t mean to put “horizontal,” that was supposed to be vertical. What I saw in my mind’s eye was vertical, abstract, linear swirlies 😉 or kinda curvy lines.

      • dovelove said

        …and not really lines, because that sounds too defined, and it’s not “defined” … again, watercolor-like 🙂

      • Talula said

        More like one of your computer art pieces, right? Like the ripples in Desert Sand? that is sort of what I have as the canyon walls now with the orange/pottery clay base with the cream/sand overlay. I used a wacky looking roller with a sort of sea-sponge texture, to get the overlay and I swirled it everywhich way while doing it. (had fun at the time — but the next week I was totally swollen up with an allergic reaction to the coating paint/ couln’t hardly breathe, hives. NEVER had a reaction like that to paint before! ) Sooo – don’t think I’ll use that stuff again. But once I test it with the lighter shade I may get that texture behind it and then can do some more watercolor-style depth with a darker, but same tone. I’m hoping it will come out like the Aegean Sea – isn’t it supposed to be turquoise. I will have to look at some photos to try to come up with the right second shade. Did you get a chance to see the fairy cakes on the Beltane post? Really yummy – you gotta try em! I’ll make some tomorrow for my little ones – if I don’t eat’em all myself! One cake recipe makes about 3 doz in tiny muffin pans so plenty to share. Talula

  5. dovelove said

    Okay, this is cool. Haven’t much time, but was quickly reading your blog here, and when I got to the mention of your Native American items, I thought to myself maybe a sandy or “taupe” color for your walls. But then I immediately started hearing “aqua” … “aqua, aqua, aqua” 🙂 I continued reading while hearing that, came to the “misty green” and thought yeah, she’s thinkin’ in the green family. And then I got to “turquoise” and it was like, “bingo!” ha! 😉

    I adore turquoise (or “aqua”). I’ve never wanted children, but funnily enough, one day long (long) ago I mentioned to a co-worker that if I ever had a child I might call her “Turquoise” (or Burgundy, heh) LOL! She said, oh-please, don’t do that do a child, lol!

    Hey, I thought you already were a children’s books author, so you had me convinced 😉 Go for it, Ta-Ta-Talula!


    • Talula said

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, Dove. The color issue is an interesting one for me. The room was my bedroom for the 2 years my daughter and grandaughter lived here. since they moved out – i have moved back into the room they had. While the new office was my bedroom, I had painted it a deep clay color (any orange is my favorite color) similar to the carpet design (Armstrong Desert Sand) and then rolled on a textured cream overlay – it gave it the feel of a desert canyon. I loved it but for the writing office – I need a change to nurture and inspire my inner muse and outer ‘spirit’ messages. Funny that you zinged in on the aqua/turquoise as quick as i did. That is the color of Sophia! 🙂 Surprise! I am not a person who normally likes blue, but the turquoise is a great option to still give me the greenish tint that I tend to want around me (I AM a Virgo with Libra tendencies — gotta have my Earthy connections!). But I was just thinking it might make the art pieces stand out more if I did it all in the whitewash cream like the furniture (so they sort of disappeared and my creations and the art was the focus). I have a large Navajo painting of shawled women sitting in a circle admiring some pottery pieces, by a very famous artist. I have a large photograph of a wolve half-hidden behind a tree (in Black/white), another black & white buffalo ‘scrating’ I think it is called; and several 8×12 inch statues of white buffalos, some ironwood animals ( a buffalo calf, a turtle & a bear), plus numerous small pieces. then I also have two prints that I had enlarged at Kinkos frpm an Art Book on native art designs depicting a hopi kiva ceremony and an eagle dancer in fancy dress ceremonial costume. (it pays to be a teacher – you can copy normally copyrighted materials to use in classes, I used these to teach children about Native American ceremonies at the University of Houston). Then if I needed more to use; I could dig into my Native jewelry to use in some way. I have some very beautiful pieces. So back to color ~ Do you think a very pale turqouise paint would accent the pieces well enough? Or should it be deeper tone? I think if I use the pale one (I have a color sample that may work for it) I plan to leave the textured sand color to show through and add depth and some slight shadowing? As to the child’s name ~ how is that any different than naming one Ruby or Pearl?? It is a beautiful color & who knows – you might just have a chance yet to name that little treasured jewel! Talula

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