Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thought for Today

Wise words from my favorite little ol’ bear, Winnie the Pooh:
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”
“Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”
“When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish.”      (I have a lot of these… but chocolate seems to help!)
"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.  "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."

[[A.A. Milne]]                                          

Traveling Wilburys - Handle With Care

Friday, September 24, 2010

Front Street Festival

Special festival pricing: $20.00 including tax for a personally signed copy of Moon Dance ~ a novel by Susan K. Earl. Also, 40% of my festival book sales will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Our students at Berry Elementary School in Arlington, TX are completing the
St. Jude Math-a-Thon between Oct. 11th and Nov. 11th. The 40% donations from my festival book sales will be added to our total Math-a-Thon donations.  Our school's goal this year is $3500. Berry students have raised over $33,000. for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the past 11 years! Go Berry Bears!!
If you can't make it to the festival, and you'd like to purchase a book at the "festival" special price directly from me, send me a message, and I will still donate 40% of these sales to St. Jude. 
Donations to our Berry Elem. Math-a-Thon can also be made online, go to and select donate now, select schools, select Berry Elementary School in Arlington, TX. 
Many thanks to all who attend the Front Street Festival, and to those of you who support my number one charity!                                                                  
Blessings, Susan

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Traveling Mommy: About this Blog

 I wanted to share this new blog with y'all. I know you'll enjoy it!
The Traveling Mommy: About this Blog: "Traveling is so much fun! I never did it much as a kid. My first plane ride was an NJROTC trip in high school. Did I mention I joined NJR..."

Monday, September 20, 2010


What is a purpose driven life? Do we seek our purpose in our own lives and in our own time, or is our purpose chosen for us? This “deep thought” crossed my mind as I watched a movie on the Lifetime Channel tonight. When we are young we are constantly seeking to find ourselves, to free ourselves from the conventions of our parents, and to become that person we know in our hearts we are meant to be.
Did we begin our search for purpose from the time we were born? Did we understand the value of truth, of life, of God?
I think back to when my daughter was a baby, a young child, a teenager, and now as the adult she has become. She has always had a goal in mind, a desire to forge into the fire and get exactly what she wants. Even as a toddler she had to do things her way. My husband always told her she should have become an attorney because she can debate any issue and win. We are fortunate that all our children grew up with parents who taught them the difference between right and wrong, who said no probably more often than we needed to, but we have been blessed that our children have “found” their purpose in life, at least for today.
My search for my purpose in life has led me down many roads, through many mistakes, but it has always led me back to the light that steadily guides me through each day.
In my work as a teacher, I influence many young lives every day. I wonder if this is my purpose in life. Am I here at this moment in time to teach, to speak, to show one particular child their way, their purpose in life? I don’t know, so I persevere and try to teach my students to be the best that they can be, to follow the “rules”, to express themselves, to just be kind one to another. Some students have been so battered by life itself that they are unsure as to their purpose in even being at school. To these the only purpose the school serves is as a refuge, a place of safety, of the security of the sameness of the every days. They know at school they will find food, shelter, and someone who will hear their cry. As a teacher, I can only guide them through my words and actions as I teach them the curriculum they have to know. I can enforce rules by not being harsh, but consistent in my discipline, and by letting the students know that they are safe within the environment of my classroom. In my classroom there will be order, their will politeness, there will be caring one for another. I try to instill in each student the understanding of the strong need for them to be responsible for their own words and actions. At times, I feel my purpose is fruitless, and some folks tell me I should just let the students play more and try to earn their trust by trying to be their best friend. Yet, I am a role model of their future. If I show them that the world wants only clowns, then we would have far too many clowns in the world. I want to reach each student and draw out what they most desire to become, even if they don’t know it yet.
My search for purpose has led me in the direction of writing as well. When I was a child, I wrote secretly to express feelings and desires I had no other way of sharing. As I grew older, my purpose for writing changed as well. The purpose of my novel Moon Dance grew from a desire to learn more about my aunt and her life as a cattle rancher. As this research progressed, my purpose changed once again as well as the very style of my writing. Rather than strictly historical research, my novel bloomed into a story of a young woman and a young man’s struggle to overcome obstacles in their life through their faith in God and their strong family ties. As I continued my writing, it suddenly took on a life of its own and became a passionate story of deep and abiding love.
My purpose now as an author is to continue writing, as I always have; ever waiting to be inspired by a thought, a desire, or even a cloud in the sky. And yet even now, I ask myself “What is my purpose? What is a purpose driven life? Do we seek our purpose in our own lives and in our own time, or is our purpose chosen for us? “
Our children are grown, our grandchildren are growing up as well, and many of my former students have graduated and began on their own journey to find their own purpose in life. I just carry on one day at a time; teaching, writing, or speaking about writing as I seek to find where my “purpose” will lead me next.
Blessings,                                                                                                                                             Susan

purchase your own copy of Moon Dance 

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." ~George Bernard Shaw

"We all possess the thunder of pure fury and the calm breeze of tranquility.  If it wasn't for tomorrow, how much would we get done today?  Whatever your purpose... embrace it completely.  Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God's wonder. " ~Paul Vitale

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thought for the Day

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.
~Emily Dickinson

Recent review of Moon Dance ~ a novel by Susan K. Earl

A romance, but much more! Susan K. Earl's characters in Moon Dance were so vividly described that I found myself wanting to go back a page or two to see a picture of a previous scene, but that scene was only in my mind! It was almost like watching a movie of these two poor families who were brought together by their children's love for each other. Both families lived their faith in God and shared that faith with others. The time setting of the Great Depression allowed us to learn how the families coped during hard times and how they relied on neighborly love and God. The lessons taught in this beautifully written romance can and should be lessons we are teaching today in our families. -- Linda Duff Niemeir, Co-Author,Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family's Struggle Through the Great Depression

Friday, September 17, 2010

Please visit my author page and "like" it. :) I truly appreciate all of you who've already joined my page. It makes my heart swell to know I have so many wonderful friends who support me! Grazie mille! Mèrcie! Tapadh leibh! Diolch yn fawr! Muchas gracias! Thank you!

The Beatles -Let It Be

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Pet "Family"

Remember The Time ...30 Days of Memories...Mayby More - Day 12




 Our Pet "Family"
As I drove to work this morning, I happened to notice one of my neighbors sweeping off her driveway, which is not an unusual activity. Although what first caught my interest was the sight of her tiny puppy running back and forth after the broom, yipping loudly and trying valiantly to “catch” the broom without being swept away with each stroke.
This brought a smile to my face and conjured up images of the various ways our own pet “family” has been welcomed into our family. Over the years we’ve had several special pets, but the three we have now have somehow “taken control” of our home. The first little rascal that scampered into our hearts was a tiny six week old puppy that weighed only two and a half pounds. My daughter Amber had decided she really needed a dog, so she spent hours researching online to find exactly the right breed. She came across a web site on a Japanese breed called Shiba Inu. We’d never heard of the breed, but found it had been introduced into the U.S. about ten years before. We searched pet stores and shelters trying to find this breed, and after we’d almost given up, we found a breeder almost right down the street from us. So Micah came into our family. He was so tiny we were afraid to let him outside by himself for fear an owl or hawk would swoop down and devour him. The girls had such fun taking pictures of him sitting in different containers that would show off just how tiny he was. One of my favorites is this pic of him in an IBC root beer carton!
Micah was, and still is at age five, a spitfire of energy. He races around the living room as if it is an obstacle course. He is extremely fast, intelligent, and quite this mischief maker. Shortly after his third birthday, in which Amber made us take him to a doggie diner for doggie cake and ice cream, we met our next addition to the family.
In early July, three years ago, my husband Alex and I were preparing for a trip to Italy. We had planned to stop by Amber’s house the afternoon before we left, but were inadvertently delayed when we walked out in the front yard and found this little puppy nibbling on toadstools under the pine trees in our front yard. My heart just flooded with pity for this little pup, so we invited her in for some food and water. She was a matted, dusty mess, but she seemed so happy to be in a safe environment. I called Amber and she and Micah rushed over to inspect this new little vagabond. We decided our first move should be to clean her up. She had no identification, no collar, and she looked quite atrocious, but after her bath we all noticed how similar she looked to Micah. I couldn’t believe another Shiba had just wandered into our yard.
Amber’s first thought was that we needed a name that would go with Micah’s, so she began her internet search for baby names and came across “Maxie”. We thought it suited her well. Next she looked up the Shiba Inu site and read about the different types of Shiba’s. Micah is registered with papers and is a beautiful ,reddish brown with a white chest. Maxie on the other hand is mostly all white with only a little reddish brown on her back and up to her ears. Amber’s research found that the reddish shiba’s and the red and black shiba’s are considered the most valuable for show dogs (not our intention at all), but the white ones are considered rejects. She also has an underbite which gives the appearance of a cute, crooked smile.
We had a strange feeling that our new little girl had been “put out” by the breeder and left to fend for herself or die. Yet, even with her hard start in life, Maxie has a very sweet, loving personality and immediately ingratiated herself with the family.
As I said earlier, this happened the day before Alex and I left for Italy, so Amber took Maxie home with her. One early morning, as we were headed for Venice, Amber called to let us know of her recent adventure with the two dogs. She always took Micah to Petsmart and let him ride in the basket and “pick out” his treats, so she decided to take both dogs. She arrived at Petsmart, put Micah in the basket, and then put Maxie in the front, small section of the basket next to her. She had almost reached the door when Maxie decided to go on a short adventure of her own. She jumped out of the basket and ran into the Sam’s Club next door to Petsmart. Amber panicked and told Micah to stay. She left Micah and her purse outside of Sam’s Club and ran all through the store trying to catch Maxie. Outside Micah stayed in the cart, howling at the top of his lungs, and gathering quite a crowd around him. Finally, Maxie tired out, sat down, and waited patiently for Amber to pick her up and carry her back out to the basket. Needless to say, Petsmart was cancelled. Alex and I had a good time laughing over the picture this created, but Amber didn’t find it the least bit funny. Now we had two dogs that were very adept at running obstacle courses through the house at top speed, and Maxie found that if she jumped up on the couch and ran along the back of it, she could jump in front of Micah and beat him around the room. We did take Maxie to the vet as soon as we returned from Italy, and our vet said it appeared she’d been on the streets for several months, and was approximately 4 months old.
The next summer, Alex and I traveled to Michigan to visit our daughter Joanne and grandson Jake. We spent two wonderful weeks with them, and then returned to find a stray cat family had taken up residence in our backyard. There was a mother cat and four young kittens sprawled out under the trees, resting or playing with each other. This lasted until Amber came over and brought the dogs. As soon as they went out in the backyard the cat family vanished under the fence. About a week later, Alex came home from his walk and told me to hurry and get a towel because there was a little kitten right in the middle of the road. I was a little apprehensive about a feral kitten, but we quietly approached it and it didn’t move at all. I gently picked it up with the towel, and we took it inside, placed her in a small basket and gave her a little watered down milk. She didn’t move out of the basket for several days, but she would sneak over to her food and water when she thought we weren’t looking. The vet said she was a very healthy seven or eight week old kitten.
Once again Amber wanted to pick an “M” name for this new addition to our family as well. We decided on Maisy, but more often than not I just call her KitKat. It took many months to get her to be a “lap” cat. I had to force her to sit with me, but after a bit, she would climb up in my lap on her own and purr loudly. Amber says we have trained her to think she is a dog now because she acts just like the two dogs, she sits up like a little prairie dog and begs for what she wants. Often times when we get in from work, our animal “family” all want to sit with us on the couch, but I have a sneaking suspicion Maxie would like us to just move off and let her have the couch all to herself.
Animals can add a special touch to your day. I know when I come after a hard days labor, Micah and Maxie will be waiting with their toys in their mouths, bodies wiggling, ready to greet me with unconditional love. The cat on the other hand waits for me to come to her and then demands that I give her at least five to ten minutes of my time before I can even think about relaxing for a bit myself.
I’ve told Alex that it seems a little dangerous to plan big vacations anymore because we never know what might be waiting on our doorstep for us the next time we travel!
We’re content with our three pets. They are often very demanding because we spoil them a lot, but they have given us a lot of stress relief and love in return.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend… it is Friday tomorrow!!

Order a copy of Moon Dance today

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Thought for the Day

Ever consider what pets must think of us?  I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow.  They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!  ~Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vampire Mania Amazes Masses Once Again

I've spent a lot of time in bookstores over the past few months. As I've perused the shelves before and after my book signings, I've noticed that the major theme seems to be Vampires. I've even had folks come up and ask me if I was the Twilight author because of my novel's title "Moon Dance". I'm sorry to say I've had to disappoint quite a few when I denied this honor. I've thought of saying "Of Course" because there are scenes that take place at "twilight " within the pages of my book, but I honestly couldn't do it.
I've realized that in any industry there is only so much that can be written about or designed in any given era. And in this era the pattern appears to have fallen back to the late 1960's/early 1970's with "Dark Shadows" revisited, peasant apparel, and hip hugger/tattered jeans. When I was a teen everyone was crazy about vampires - Dracula was resurrected, Dark Shadows held everyone in it's clutches, and Michael Landon came off as a pretty sexy werewolf. This was not the first round of vampire mania. The legend has held young audiences spellbound for centuries.
I remember one of my girlfriends who literally broke down and cried if she missed an episode of the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows. There wasn't any way to record episodes back then, so if you missed the show, there was no going back. Everyone was so infatuated with the mysterious Barnabas Collins. I hate to admit it, but I just followed along because my friends all watched the show. I had a dreadful fear that a real vampire might enter my bedroom and drain my body of all it's blood as I slept.
Nowadays there exist that same infatuation for the boys in the twilight series. I haven't read the books yet, but once again all my friends and family have. I think somewhere in the back of my mind lurks that vampire from Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula", and I'm still somewhat afraid I'm going to wake up and hear, "I want to drink your blood."
There must be something really wrong with me because I just can't find romance in the living dead.Go figure!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Around My Mama's Knees

Moon Dance ~ a novel - More than a Romance

I agree with everything said about this wonderfully written love story set in the Great Depression. The characters jumped off the page and made me feel that I was there among the families and their troubles. And yes, I didn't want the story to end. But the thing that stirred my heart the most was the revelation that came to me as I read the story and realized how Maggie and Joe showed their love for each other at such a tender and innocent age! It made me ashamed that I had let the fire of that "loving feeling" become just a flicker as my husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary. We still love each other, but had become complacent in showing that love on a daily basis. Believe me, when I started renewing that fire with just little things that I said and did during the day, it was returned to me many times over. As parents and grandparents we should be teaching our children and grandchildren how to love each other in those special tender ways because the physical passion may not always last but we can enjoy each other's love in many ways. That is how God intended it. Linda Niemeir, Co-Author of Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family's Struggle Through the Great Depression