Monday, April 30, 2012

My beautiful gift

Here is a picture of the apron given to me at Liberty Elementary School.  What a thoughtful and appropriate gift! Thank you, Mrs. Spears!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back in Oklahoma

After I returned to Oklahoma, I was exhausted! It took a few days to get back into a normal routine.  I returned on Saturday evening, then on Wednesday, I visited the Orange Leaf in Yukon, OK for a private event.  The Yukon Parks and Recreation Department brought a group of 3-5 year olds to the Orange Leaf to see how yogurt is made and also to hear my story. They seemed to enjoy it as did I. There is something special about the little ones. Perhaps because my book is geared for ages 4-8! This was the second time I've been to an event and met a little girl named Annabelle. That always makes me smile! (The main character in my book is named Annabelle.)

Junction City Elementary

After visiting Walnut Hill Elementary on Thursday, I went on to Junction City Elementary.  I got to read my story to the pre school class and they were just precious! Afterwards, I had 2 groups that went all the way to 5th grade. I showed some slides of Oklahoma and read my story.  There was a time for questions and the one that I remember came from a little boy, "Are Ferraris street legal in Oklahoma?" Now, how do I answer such a question? I don't know anyone who has a Ferrari, so when I got home, I asked my husband (as if he knows everything) and he said, "Yes, they are street legal." Oh yes, another boy asked me if I am Leah's grandma. Well, I hope I look a little younger than that! I am actually her great aunt.

One really cool thing, JCE has a daily news report. It's on I thought that was the neatest thing! I had no idea that kids could even do that. It has the pledge of allegiance, perfect attendance report, joke of the day, weather, etc.  They even interviewed me for their daily report. You can check it out by going to the website: school and searching for Junction City Elementary and the date April 20th.

Since I was traveling alone that day, I have no photos of JCE...sorry.  It was an awesome school!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Magic Pen

This is the winning story from Gabby Johnson, Walnut Hill Elementary 5th Grade Class.

The Magic Pen

Long ago, there was a pen. Not just any pen. No! It was the "magic pen". You're probably thinking, "There is no such thing as a magic pen!" Well, there is such a thing, and if you only knew half of the wonders that this pen could create in your life you wouldn't laugh so much. This pen could play a huge part in your life. Of course, that is, if it should choose you! That's right, I said, "Choose you..."

In your head you might be thinking, "What in the world is she talking about?" Well, I'm talking about the magic pen choosing you. See, this pen is very important. If it chooses to come to you, that only means that you have the privilege to write with it.  And not just school work writing either. That is where the magic comes in! With this pen, you could write down any wish that your heart desires, and it instantly becomes true in your life! You could even write down some ridiculous question or wish, and it would still come true. Now, you see how this pen is truly magical!

You might just be wondering about several different things right now. For example, "that can't possibly be true," or "maybe she is telling the truth." Whether  you believe this or not, you still need to be award. The reason being is if the pen comes to you, you should be aware that there are rules to the pen. This pen can be fun, but the rules that it does contain are not very fun...or for most of the kids, they aren't. I am going to name a few of the rules that this pen contains, so keep listening...or reading.

Like I said before, I am going to name the rules of the magic pen. Don't worry though, there are only a few! The first rule is, if you mistreat the pen, it will instantly disappear. The second rule is, if you try giving it to someone, it will immediately shock you and the other person. That is no fun for anyone. And the third is the one that most people argue and complain about. Rule number three is, you have to be able to keep up with it, at whatever time, wherever you are at. That just sucks. 

Now, you have a clue about this spectacular pen. So just remember, the pen might just pop out of nowhere. And if it does, just know that you are lucky to have this wonderful pen. And also, the pen could disappear was well. Remember the three rules, because they are very important. The pen...the pen, it could be anywhere...

Story Writing Contest

On Thursday, I went back to Walnut Hill to visit with the 5th graders and announce the winner of their story writing contest. WOW! It was extremely difficult to choose a winner, but finally after reading the stories multiple times, a winner was chosen. I was amazed at the unique entries showcasing great imaginations. Some stories were funny and others thought provoking. After the winner was announced, the class asked me to read the story and so of course, I obliged. Then I was able to read a few more of the stories that were very good. And the icing on the cake, so to speak, the 5th grade teacher asked me to return next year for the incoming 5th graders and do a contest. Needless to say, I was thrilled about that!

And the winning story is:  The Magic Pen by Gabby Johnson. 

Gabby gave me permission to put her entire story on my blog.  That's coming up next!

Gabby Johnson...will we see that name on a book in the future?

Kids Team

What an awesome lady.  Karen, I mean...not me!
It was such a fun experience visiting Kids Team in Liberty. There were about 32 little ones ages 3-5.  I love visiting this age group! They are so sweet and always seem to enjoy when I read my book.  They are  easily entertained (like being fascinated with my cupcake earrings)! And to make it even more special, the school made sure that each child received a personalized copy of my book.  How awesome is that? Also,  it was a pleasure to meet a little girl named Annabelle.  For those who don't know, Annabelle is the main character in my book.  All in all, a wonderful visit!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Liberty photos

This is the old Liberty gym.  I have a lot of memories from this place.  There are so many others that feel the same way.  I think it was the high school gym many years ago.

My husband's old home place
The kiddos at Liberty Elementary

Liberty Elementary

This is the most awesome thing ever! The people in the picture were researched and their names are included on the mural. This is  a work in progress and being done by a local lady. As I understand, she's been working for a couple of years on it. There are liberty bells hidden through out the mural. I could not believe how beautiful!
My next stop was Liberty Elementary.  This school has be around forever!  My husband actually attended this school and lived across the street.  They have added onto the building, but what I saw had not changed too much.  The gym was used as a central location for all the county elementary schools basketball games.  Believe it or not, I was a cheerleader for Garrett Elementary and my husband was a basketball player for Liberty Elementary. It was a known fact that every other school despised Liberty! My first encounter with my husband was at a basketball game where he acted on a dare and came down the court and knocked me on my behind! Good thing I didn't know who he was or things might have turned out differently! Ok, so I got off track here going down memory lane.  Now back to business.

Me with Mrs. Spears
 Mrs. Tammy Spears in the library was instrumental in setting up the school visits county wide. I cannot thank her enough! She really went out of her way to make it all come together and run smoothly! I felt bad with my constant emails, but when we were 700 miles apart, email is a wonderful thing to have.  Liberty Elementary kids were awesome.  I got to see some of my relatives. My niece, Kylee and a second cousin, David, that I had never met, but one look and I instantly knew who he was.  There were some great questions asked by the students. I even had some adults that came for the presentation.  How nice is that? So 33 years later, I can say I don't hate Liberty Elementary's actually a pretty cool place!

Jones Park Elementary

A year ago, I could never have imagined this happening!
I visited Jones Park Elementary last Monday afternoon.  Whoo wee! What a busy day since I had visited Walnut Hill in the morning. This was my first ever visit to this school and it is a beautiful place as was Walnut Hill.  Growing up in Casey County, we had 6-8 elementary schools, and now it's consolidated to only 3 large elementaries.  I ran into many familiar faces and they actually seemed happy I was there! Of course, the kids were great.  Everyone was so kind and gracious and I would be happy to visit there again...maybe when I get another book published! Thank you Mrs. Luttrell, the teachers and staff for helping pull this off!


I am on Facebook.  Feel free to take a look at my page and "like" it. The address is:

More from Walnut Hill Elementary. Next stop...Jones Park

Lots of children.  I had 2 groups at WHE
This is the blanket I received at the school. Isn't this beautiful?

School Visits

The sign says:  Thank you Author Sandra Byrd Lawson 
The first school I visited was Walnut Hill Elementary. Wow! I don't know how many children, but I can safely say, it was a lot! Everyone was super nice!  The children seemed to enjoy my visit, but I guess anything that gets you out of class is high on their priority list.  The fifth graders did a story writing contest. I will cover that in a later post.  When I drove out of the parking lot, I noticed they had my name on the sign out front.  Talk about feeling special!  Thank you, Mrs. Pennington, the office staff and everyone at the school.  Oh yes, thank you for the embroidered blanket (it had a cupcake on it...very appropriate for The Best Baker in the World.)  I am grateful and will treasure that gift!

My visit to Kentucky

Our library. What a wonderful investment Casey County made here.  I can remember when this was built!
Jan Banks and my mother

Monday, April 16, 2012

Update on Geese!

I got the word yesterday that Edna and Edgar's eggs have hatched and we now have 5 baby geese.  This is an annual thing at our house and we are very excited "grandparents".  I'm sorry I have missed it all since I've been out doing book promotions.  I will post photos and more details next week.  My internet is very limited here.  I will also have lots of photos from the schools I've been visiting. The kiddos and staff have been absolutely amazing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oklahoma life...

Last night was the perfect evening...great temperature, no wind, no rain, etc. We enjoyed time on our patio just visiting and listening to the beautiful songs of the birds in our backyard.  We have a mocking bird that is our all time favorite.  We have to smile when we listen to the clever things he come up with.  And then the other sounds...the neighbor has three or four roosters that were evidently in a crowing contest. It was one after the other, each rooster trying to drown out the other.  It was quite comical to listen. The longer we listened the funnier it was. And then, there's Edgar the goose. That goose is always looking for us.  I suppose he associates us with food because we are always feeding him.  He's going to get so fat, he won't be able to get airborne! Hopefully, Edna's eggs will hatch soon and we'll have another group of geese to fuss over for a little while.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Moving on...slowly!

So my book has been released, I've done a lot of book signings and promotional things, but then the hard question.  How do I get bookstores to carry my book? I have several online sources, but not much in the actual bookstores.  I will start making some contacts next week to independent bookstores, but my contract prohibits me from marketing to the big chains.  I am at my wits end! A marketing guy I met this weekend at a conference, advised me to have everyone I know (who is willing!) to call the bookstores and make a request for the book.  Ok, so everyone who is willing, please call Barnes and Noble, Hastings, Books a Million, etc.     The online resources that I am aware of now carrying my book are: Tate Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and