Blog/Radio talk on Pollinators

Listen to Mary Ellen Ryall’s  talk about pollinators and more with Annie Lindstrom on Blog/Radio at Talkupy at http://tobtr.com/s/4437119

Fat Bumble DSCF4599 5x7 copyright Cindy Dyer

Fat Bumble DSCF4599 5×7 copyright Cindy Dyer

Photo of wild bergamot and western sunflower with beloved bumblebee copyright Cindy Dyer

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Give a hand and help children read books in Fiji

Dear friends,

Even a dollar can go a long way when combined with another dollar that someone else contributed to help ship books to impoverished Viwa Islands, Fiji. Michele Darmanin has taken the cause up in 2012 and has already had one successful shipment to school children om Viwa Island, Fiji.

It turns out that other impovershed schools on Fiji islands want books for non existing school libraries also. Michele has received books from around the world. This is one piece of the puzzle. The other part is the books need to be shipped and it costs thousands of dollars to do so. Michele estimated shipping at $2,000. The ship leaves in March and she needs to raise necessary funds to ship then.

Can you please give her a hand. Michele is not asking for the moon only a small donation that would brighten the lives of children who will never otherwise see the world as a place of beauty and joy. If they don’t read books that educate, how will they be productive citizens in the future?

We can do our part. I shipped two different books over the past year. I made a small financial donation of $5.00. I know it is nothing, but if you all contribute $5 or more, then it will grow and take wing, just like the butterfly.

Let’s make Michelle smile today. She is under a lot of pressure to get thousands of books shipped on pallets. Let’s give her a hand at

Click on this link:
gogetfunding.com/project/please-help-us- ship-books-to-15-…
Please support this genuine cause and share with your friends.
For more information, please contact Shelly at:
heart2heartsydney@yahoo.com.au
or
Mobile: 0405 326 080 (anytime)
www.facebook.com/DonateABookToTheSchoolC hildrenOfFiji?ref=hl
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items are from between 29 Jan 2013 & 03 Feb 2013.

Veterans Writing Project

Today I attended a Veterans Day Ceremony at O’Neill Hall, Fitchburg Armory, Fitchburg, MA. Last evening I listened to Colon Powell speak about post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, at the Nation’s Capitol Veterans Day Honoring Ceremony. I am a Vietnam War Veteran’s widow. My husband died in 2010 of cancer. He was never treated for Agent Orange. I felt powerless to help him. I wish I could have. He never talked about symptoms. I knew that something was wrong. I took many steps in trying to get him help that he denied he needed.

While there, I networked with a veteran from the Gulf War years. I met the Honorable Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg. I congratulated her for her vision and appreciation and approving a multi-cultural art exhibit on Main Street. It is a positive step in promoting and celebrating  urbanization, art and the citizens and youth in Fitchburg.

I learned about the Veterans Writing Project today on NPR. Then I looked up the site on the Internet. I just joined the group. I am a published author and have a publishing company and active blogs for writers. I am going to explore if I can raise some interest in a Veterans Writing Group in Fitchburg. First I have to learn from the Veterans Writing Project and hope to work through them.

Tomorrow I am going to visit the Veterans Office in Fitchburg and start to explore the posible opportunity with them. I know I could help in this area seeing as I have published two children’s books. I am presently writing a Field Guide for Butterflies.

If you are a Veteran, please let me know if you would like to participate by telling your story through training with the Veterans Writing Group. I have a Blog so your work could reach out to the public. If there were enough veterans, perhaps in time this could lead to a book of your stories. People could better understand their role with veterans if they only knew your story. I never heard my husband’s story, outside of the eight friends that were blown up with him when they were walking down a path or road in Vietnam. My husband Willard H. DeJong was the only survivor. He would never talk about this or any other aspect of his war experience. I knew that he was holding it all inside and I simply couldn’t reach this depth.

I hope I can make a difference with another veteran or veterans. I would consider it a healing experience to be blessed in this way.

Post from Massachusetts

Greetings Butterfly Woman Publishing friends,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

I am in MA, USA this summer with family. Too many health related issues to write about on my publishing Blog. I will post here when I have the physical strength and time to do so. Today a little girl named Emma came to swim in my sister’s pool. She is extremely shy. Sue Larkin, her grandmother, bought My Name is Butterfly and has read the book to Emma on several occasions as well as her other grandchildren. I did walk out to where Emma was getting her shoes on to walk home through the woods and said, “Hello Emma. We are butterfly friends.” I gave her a post card of the next book the Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. Sue will order the book for her on Amazon. I knew Emma was too shy to speak on a personal level but we connected through the transforming monarch butterfly and all is well. Opening lines of communication with the next generation is imperative to my work seeing as they will inherit the Earth.

You can follow more current butterfly and environmental posts at http://www.insectamonarca.wordpress.com until I am able to contribute more to the publishing side of my work on this Blog.

Be well Butterfly Woman friends where ever you are.

Mary Ellen

 

Family festival brings out butterfly enthusiasts

I am all excited because the Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book was published and is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Mary%20Ellen%20Ryall&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

Dan Gunderson gets bird houses ready to paint for children

Dan Gunderson gets bird houses ready to paint for children

This is not a sales pitch but rather a test market to see how kids respond to the book. Happy Tonics exhibited with Fresh Start, at Family Festival in Spooner, WI, on June 2. Dan Gunderson, Fresh Start, made copies of the coloring book pages and children stopped by to color.

Father and child coloring pages from "Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book" copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Father and child coloring pages from “Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book” copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

I got a kick out of seeing a father coloring for his baby, so sweet.

Gideon Fegman coloring a page from "Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book" copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Gideon Fegman, came by to talk and color. He was excited. Gideon told me, “I’m a naturologist.” I was impressed by his intelligence and told him, “You might grow up to be a scientist. He loves everything  ologist. Well, that means it could be anything from entomologist to biologist or beyond. Caption: Gideon Fegman coloring a page from Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Hundreds of families, grandparents, and children came. I even saw a few of my friends, on their walkers, from Terraceview Living Center, a nursing home in Shell Lake. One reminded me to bring over a few butterfly plants for the outdoor garden. They want to have a butterfly garden. What a grand occasion it was for community and the butterflies.

Stacie Theis interviews published author Mary Ellen Ryall

Meet Mary Ellen Ryall, Author of My Name is Butterfly

What inspired you to become a children’s author?

I became a children’s author quite accidently, perhaps by serendipity. I have a passion and great love for the natural world in which I live. An Ojibwe elder, Margaret Lynk (Soaring Woman) once told me, “Let nature teach you.” I never forgot that lesson.

I am an environmental educator and executive director of Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) environmental education organization and public charity. Children need to learn from nature. Hopefully they will feel a passion for the natural world throughout their lives. One day, in the not so distant future, children will inherit the Earth from us. Hopefully some will become future stewards of the land. Nature can exist without the human species, but humans cannot survive without nature. Robert Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, addresses this critical fact in his book. He believes children and many adults have nature deficit disorder.

Each of us is given gifts. I was given a great love for nature. I want to share my life’s work and expertise with the younger generation. I want to teach children about the beautiful natural world on this planet, which we call home. 

How did you come up with the idea for your first book, My Name is Butterfly?

Back in 2003, I witnessed a monarch caterpillar in my garden. Each day, I would go to the garden to check on the monarch’s life cycle. I was in the garden when the adult monarch butterfly emerged. I spent the first three hours, of the monarch’s life, taking notes and photographing the experience. I even wrote, “What is this butterfly trying to teach me?” In 2006, I wrote the story of a young girl in her garden who learns about monarch biology from a butterfly. One can read the story behind the book. Frank Zufall, reporter, Spooner Advocate, wrote an article, “This county story begins under a plant,” at www.spooneradvocate.com.

How long did it take to get My Name is Butterfly published?
In the summer of 2008, I hired several youth through a grant from Concentrated Employment Program. It just so happened that I had unwittingly hired a publisher’s granddaughter. I told India Casey that I had written a children’s story about the monarch butterfly. Happy Tonics had implemented a native restored remnant tallgrass prairie, which is a Monarch Butterfly Habitat, on city land in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. India told her grandmother about the story. A few days later Lindy Casey, owner of Salt of the Earth Press, came to the office. She read the story and said, “This is important. I am going to publish it.” It took from 2008 until 2011 to get the book published. The reason it took so long was that the publishing house burned down. The publisher had to resurrect the business from the ashes.

What was your favorite book as a child?
I don’t know the title, and I wish I did. It was a story about an elder, a grandmother- type person. The grandmother had a house that was on the way to school. The grandmother made chocolate candy. The young child, in the book, would stop at the elder’s house on her way home from school. She would open the white picket fence gate. Hollyhock flowers grew along the fence row. The child would walk up to the house. The immaculate white house felt secure and safe to the child. She would visit the grandmother and have a piece of candy before she walked the rest of the way home.

I think it is important to know why a certain children’s book is special to a writer. Children’s books often help youngsters cope with difficult situations. Many children grow up in dysfunctional homes.  In the story, a child needed to feel safe. How wonderful that a child could feel love, in the tidy white house, where a grandmother lived.

What do you hope children will learn from your book?
I hope that children will become curious about nature and want to learn more about butterflies. The book teaches about one pollinator and what the insect needs to survive. Without native host and nectar plants, there would be no butterflies or other pollinating insects, diverse crops, or plant pollination.  Environmental education needs to be taught, in grade school, in the United States. Published author, Eva Apelqvist, originally for Sweden, informed me that Europe taught environmental education starting in the lower grades. No wonder many American youth of today have Native Deficit Disorder.

Children’s authors don’t always get to choose who illustrates their books. Are you happy with how your illustrations turned out? Are the characters as you imagined them?
The characters in the book are based on reality. I chose Tanya and her daughter Cassandra (Cassie) Thompson to model for the story. Cassie attends Northwood School in Minong, Wisconsin. Cassie has been a monarch butterfly advocate since she was a youngster. The publisher requested that I have models act out parts in the story. I photographed the story while Tanya and Cassie acted out the parts. Photographs of a monarch butterfly life cycle, and photographs of the story models were sent to the publisher. Then illustrator and artist, Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza, Las Vegas, Nevada, was commissioned to do the illustrations. Stevie Marie did a fantastic job. At the time she was pregnant with her first child. By the time Stevie Marie finished illustrating the book, her baby daughter was sleeping in her own room. The illustrator told me that the butterfly would always be with her and Olive, her child. The monarch butterfly teaches us about transformation.

Are you currently working on any more books?
Yes. Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book is about ready to be published. I am waiting for the graphic designer’s cover. Cindy Dyer, of Alexandria, Virginia, is the owner of Dyer Design at http://cindydyer.wordpress.com. I chose an artist, Mora McCusker, of Gordon, Wisconsin, to illustrate the book. Mora used my photographs to illustrate the coloring book. The project is a teaching book. Cindy Dyer is responsible for the art, page layout, and cover. We are jointly publishing the book on CreateSpace, a book publishing company, owned by Amazon.

At present, I am writing a Field Guide for the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Shell Lake, Wisconsin. The guide will illustrate the symbiotic relationship between pollinators, native host, and nectar plants. Invasive species as host plants cannot support pollinators. The goal of the book is to teach that native plants are necessary for pollinating insects. The finished book will be published by Butterfly Woman Publishing.

Hopefully writers and visitors to your Website at www.beachboundbooks.com will enjoy staying in touch via our Blogs and Social Network Sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. I believe writers and anyone connected to the publishing world will have more success when we work together. It is in working together that we can show our work to the world. Bless each and every one of us. It is all about seeing beyond ourselves.

You can read a sample of  My Name is Butterfly at www.amazon.com.

Find out more about Mary Ellen Ryall and her books at:
www.happtonics.wordpress.com
www.insectamonarca.wordpress.com
www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com

You can also find her on Twitter (@happytonics) and on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Butterfly-Woman-Publishing/186481664768990

Kristi’s Book Nook reviews my book about butterfly

Dear publishing friends,

Cassie, the model in book.

Cassie, the model in book.

I am honored that Kristi Benard did a review of my book, “My Name is Butterfly.” If you are a published author and want a children’s book reviewed, contact Kristi at Kristi’s Book Nook at http://kristisbooknook.blogspot.com/

I am noting the review below:

Read in April, 2012
format Paperback (edit)
review 5.0 out of 5 stars Kristi’s Book Nook, April 7, 2012
By
Kristi Bernard (Overland Park, KS) – See all my reviews
This review is from: My Name is Butterfly (Paperback)
Children love learning about the insects that share our world. And now that Spring is here somewhat early, the insects are busier than ever. If you have a garden full of beautiful flowers, you will soon see butterflies everywhere. Butterflies love flowers. This wonderful story will introduce young readers to the life of a monarch butterfly. Everything you would want to know is right here on these pages.Sarah Reynolds and her mom have a beautiful garden. It is free of pesticides that would be harmful to the plants and butterflies. Sarah’s garden has a very special plant called a milkweed. Sarah learns from her mother that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed so that baby caterpillars will have food once they hatch from eggs. The babies eat the milkweed leaves. Sarah learns a lot from her mom about the monarch butterfly. Did you know that another name for a caterpillar is larva? Did you know that a butterfly pupa has a protective shell called a chrysalis? There is lots more for young readers to learn about this amazing insect.Ryall has done an excellent job of sharing her passion for butterflies. She has woven interesting facts about the monarch in an easy to read, colorfully illustrated book. Young readers, parents and teachers will have fun learning about the monarch. Young readers will be anxious to visit their own back yards on a search for the monarch butterfly.

About the author:
Mary Ellen Ryall grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York. In pursuit of butterflies, she worked and traveled in south America in the 1970s. In the 1980s Ryall completed the Master Gardeners Program, University of the District of Columbia, and became involved with community gardens. Living in Southern Maryland in the 1990s, she wrote about the environment and founded Happy Tonics. In 2006 Ryall relocated the organization to Shell Lake, Wisconsin where she spearheaded the implementation of a Monarch Butterfly Habitat.