Reverie Way out back is a tire swing, hanging low from a pepper tree Swaying wild with the winds of memory A Coker Classic whitewall from a beat-up '57 Chevy Gamboling in time with my reverie An old turquoise truck, ambling down a long, dirt lane Windshield wipers on repeated refrain A four speed transmission, and a transfer case Deep-etched lines carved into a seasoned man's face A cracked vinyl bench seat, and windows rolled down Gravel dust and Autumn leaves on the back roads to town Grandpa taught me what mattered long before time took hold Showed me asparagus grows wild in ditches, alongside the road Told me home wasn't a place where a person should carry their load Tomatoes were best heated by summer, eaten fresh off the vine Never answer someone's greeting with a simple "Hi" or "I'm fine." A Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Thermos brimming with iced-tea Packs of cheese and crackers, but only Pepsi for me Ruffled hair from rough and calloused, working-man's hands Wet whistles and hums from the weathered mouth of a strong man And, chain-smoked Pall Mall's snuffed out in a Planter's Peanut can Grandpa taught me what mattered long before time took hold Showed me asparagus grows wild in ditches, alongside the road Pay your dues, never take more than you're owed Every day doesn’t have to be something big and grand Get down off your truck, and lend a helping hand No one knew what that old tire meant to me Where my own kids swung out back, wild and free Grandpa was there rooted as firmly as a pepper tree Tethered in time, on a Coker Classic whitewall off a '57 Chevy Grandpa taught me what mattered long before time took hold Showed me asparagus grows deep and wild, alongside the road And there was “No sense in talkin' once your temper's been blowed” When you're with your kind of people, you’re never bored And there “Ain’t no harm in praisin’ the Lord.” No one knew what that old tire meant to me Way out back where our kids swung wild and free That old man was tethered in time, and always there with me Hanging low from an old pepper tree, swaying wild in the winds of memory A Coker Classic whitewall from a rusted out ‘57 Chevy It was a Turquois truck, ambling down a long, dirt lane Grandpa honkin’ his horn, whenever he came A cracked vinyl seat, windows rolled down Back roads, and bygones left behind us on the way into town No one knew what that old tire meant, but me. TA GOULD 5/19/2020
Is it possible to be reminded of something like home, when you are already there, knelt beside your table that once was a door from an old place on the prairie?
I am Not a Morning Person, but I’ve come to appreciate this time alone with my thoughts coming alive with every sip of coffee. In my solitude, I sit on my knees at my beloved barn wood coffee table and think. Today, it’s the coffee table itself that consumes my thoughts. Mine is comprised of hickory perhaps, but aged barn wood, nevertheless, that used to be an old door complete with a keyhole that long ago lost its metal and key. But the keyhole will never be lost; it will be there until the end of time. For the record, the missing key isn’t hiding in the depths of that hole. I know, because I looked. Only time lives in that hole.
The substantial wood door tabletop is perched upon heavy, cast iron legs that have stubbed more than a few errant toes through the years…if only I had a dollar for every swear word that table conjured. The table is solid and immovable by me without four hands; I sadly only possess two, which makes positioning the table from errant toes especially difficult. But the table, otherwise, is positioned precisely where it’s supposed to be.
The door was once properly fitted by a young farmer on his cabin from a long ago place and time on a prairie, or so I imagine. A picture of Charles Ingalls comes to mind, and I know in my heart, that old door really belonged to someone like him. But, that old toe stubber of a table is mine for a time, or until one hundred years from now when someone else calls my table, which used to be an old door on the prairie, theirs.
My paperweight is a rusty railroad tie given to me by a dear friend from a past birthday. Someone drove that stake into some railroad where trains and people traversed, long ago.
Likely it was from a place in which I’ve never visited. Or maybe I’ve been there after all; I do like that storyline better. If only I knew where the nearest crossing was from which or from where it was extracted, I might dare to go there and drive that stake into its old place again. The aged has a way of losing its place in time, like that old rusty railroad tie, and that is sad to me. But, alas, I could never part with my paperweight, after all it was a special gift from a dear friend for my birthday; it has meaning and it’s mine. But, I hope whomever calls it theirs next imagines its old place at a railroad crossing where people once traversed, and they do not imagine merely me, a woman who called that rusty railroad tie, her paperweight. I hope they imagine my rusty railroad tie properly sitting in its place on top of an old door that once belonged on someone’s prairie cabin from long ago.
The familiar scent of coffee seeps from my favorite mug, another gift, but this time from a former client, molded by hand, and fired in a kiln in the South Bay on a Saturday, some twenty-five years ago. He could have given that mug to anyone, but he gave it to me. I’ve never kept anything quite so silly, and fragile, for quite so long. I break things. I don’t mean to, but I’m a klutz and I’m not designed to keep things like this for long. But, this silly, fragile mug has managed to survive me. And, that my friends, is why it has that grateful look look on its face.
I wonder if someone will ever want to make my favorite mug their own one day, long after I’m gone, if in the end it manages to survive me? Will my children one day read this and fight over my silly, fragile mug? And will the winner of that lottery get angry, or maybe even cry, when one of their guests accidentally knocks it onto the floor where it finally shatters into a thousand shards of ceramic? Will they say, tearfully, “That was my mother’s favorite silly, fragile mug! It’s all I had left of her!” And, will they remember it was given to me by one of my clients who molded its face by hand and fired it in a kiln on a Saturday somewhere in the South Bay? Will they remember it could’ve been given to anyone else but me? Or, will that mug wind up eventually shattered, anyway, in a bin at a garage sale was lost on everyone but me?
On that old table, that once was a door from an old house on the prairie, is also a classic book revisited, Pride and Prejudice, which I’ve promised myself I would finally reread. But rereading it may make me finally move it from its place on that old door that is now a table.
Suddenly, people I’ve come to know other than Jane Austen, break the silence from the room adjacent to me, along with the sound of a door (that is actually a door and not a table) opening, a toilet flushing, and water cascading from an outdoor fountain nearby. It all reminds me of home.
But I am home. Those people, breaking the silence and my reverie, are my family, just the same as is the old barn wood table, that once was a door, the rusty railroad tie that lost its place, the smell of coffee wafting from my eventual shattered mug, and the treasured novel that remains unread, still, and yet again.
Is it possible to be reminded of something like home, when you are already there, knelt beside your table that once was a door from an old place on the prairie?
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By children’s author, Tonia Allen Gould, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the story of a small land and sea fiddler crab (complete with a fiddle and a bow) that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave if he wants to stay.
Sam’s story is art directed by Mr.Lawrence; an original Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants and mostly illustrated by Marc Ceccarelli, another Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants. Michelle Fandrey at Skies America Publishing also contributed. The colorful book explores several important themes for young readers, including: – The concept of building a home – Hard work and self-reliance – Daring to dream of a better life – Overcoming adversity – Dealing with bullies and naysayers I want this story to help parents start a conversation about hard work, dedication, and independence. Sam does everything himself in this book, and he doesn’t ask for help. I want children to understand that life isn t always peaches and cream, but if you re willing to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore bullies and naysayers, in the end, everything usually works out okay.
Sam is also available on iTunes as a narrated and animated picture book app with an original musical score.
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CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR VISITS LOCAL K-8 SCHOOL
Published Author, Tonia Allen Gould, Spends Day with Students at Ascension Lutheran School
THOUSAND OAKS, CA – December 16, 2013 – On January 31, 2014, Tonia Allen Gould, author of children’s book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, will pay a visit to a local private K-8, Ascension Lutheran School to empower, encourage, and enthuse the student body.
In the musical picture book app currently available on iTunes, which will soon be available in print, Gould tells the story of a tenacious land and sea fiddler crab that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently – and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave – if he wants to stay. Sam marches forward with his mission, even though he is met with adversary while onlookers and naysayers mock him in disbelief.
This book ties in the foundational themes of perseverance and motivation, around which Gould will be centering her day at the school. Dividing her day into short, 45-minute sessions amongst different grade levels, Gould will focus her energy on different themes, experiences, and workshops that she and the teachers feel will best pertain to the different age levels. “Ascension Lutheran School students and staff have been focusing heavily on the writing process, especially as it relates to applications cross curricular and preparing engaged writers in each aspect of their lives,” says Kindergarten Teacher and Curriculum Coach, Deanne Phillips. “Our goal is to leave the students with a lasting impression from an author who mirrors our agenda.”
“I want to level the playing field, in a sense,” says Gould. “Kids are always told that they need to work hard to make their dreams come true. That becomes a broken record. I want them to actually believe in the possibility of their dreams so they will make the choice to work hard at an early age. Stories have a way of driving important messages home.” At the end of the day, it will be most important to Gould that she was able to ignite a fire of creativity within the students. With that in mind, she will be working with the students on channeling their imaginations to create illustrations and short stories.
Tonia Allen Gould is a wife, mother, author, marketing expert, and sought after speaker. She is the founder of Tagsource, an award-winning consumer promotions and marketing agency, and BRANDHUDDLE, a new marketing startup that caters to clients, suppliers, and distributors of promotional branding products.
In Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore (Skies America Publishing, July 2013), Gould explores the concepts of perseverance, hard work, bullying, and finding a place to call home for young readers. Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore is available through the iTunes store for $4.99.
For more information about the author, visit:
For the event, I have prearranged special soft-cover books for sale and will remain on campus to sign your child’s preordered book. The book is available for $9.99. 10% of net proceeds from the book will go back to Ascension Lutheran to help fund more programs like this one. An additional 10% of all net proceeds, after expenses will go to Tonia’s “Finding Corte Magore” campaign. Her goal is to help increase literacy rates in third-world countries through social entrepreneurialism, starting with Nicaragua, a country that has a fifth grade drop-out rate. Book orders are due at day of event and the order form can be handed to the author who will sign them after school. The general public will be able to order online shortly.
Why App Developers Need to Be Looking Long and Hard at the Children’s Book Market
Wikipedia reports according “to an IDC study from March 2011, sales for all e-book readers worldwide rose to 12.8 million in 2010; 48% of them were Kindle models, followed by Barnes & Noble Nook devices, Pandigital, Hanvon and Sony Readers (about 800,000 units for 2010).” In 2012, the study shows that e-book sales slumped with a “26% decline worldwide from a maximum of 23.2 million in 2011. The reason given for this alarmingly precipitous decline is the rise of more general purpose tablets that provide e-books along with other apps in a similar form factor.”
Enter 2013: General purpose tablets, like the iPad, continue to offer more engaging and interactive experiences for the reader. As parents continue to streamline their own book purchases onto these types of devices—it’s no surprise that their children will expect to access their books similarly. App developers need to stop and take notice that there is an existing and increasingly popular book app market for parents looking to educate and entertain their children in much more visually engaging ways.
Before a developer can begin to tap into this market, they should understand four important things first:
• Understand that the market already exists: Legions of unpublished children’s book authors are looking to get their literary works published conventionally or digitally. It’s a crowded marketplace, coupled with significant barriers breaking into conventional print. If developers can figure out how to publish, distribute and market books so these unique “voices” can be heard, they’ll be onto something big. You can find these unpublished authors on Twitter in droves searching through hashtags like #picturebooks #kidlit #childrensbooks #author, etc.
• Understand the need for creative people to help successfully deploy a book app: Developers will need quality authors, illustrators, copyrighters, animators, stock music houses and voiceovers, not to mention a creative director with graphic designers at her fingertips who can pull all of those contributions together seamlessly. If you bypass any one of these things, your app may come up short. Remember, parents expect a professionally published book, just as they expect the same when they pick up a book for their children at Barnes & Noble. The only difference is that they expect an “experience” with a book app.
• Understand that the market is evolving and changing: Be prepared to keep on your toes. Already some book apps have cropped up that look something more like a Disney/Pixar movie production. Constantly improve and nurture your network of contributors and stay nimble with the changing publishing market. Make sure you understand that a few years ago, kids were snuggling up next to their parents to have a book read to them when their parents were ready to take the time to sit down with them. Today’s kids are getting their books on demand and being read to by professional narrators, when mom’s lap isn’t available, and they are reading right from the comfort of their own electronic devices.
• Understand the conventionally printed book isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Real books belong on shelves in libraries and in homes, and kids will always need them and should have access to them. It will be a sad day if electronics replace them altogether. Book apps are a vertical market to the conventionally printed book. Lines don’t need to be drawn in the sand about which is better.
Tonia Allen Gould is the producer and author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, published by Skies America (July, 2013) an electronically published book app, available in the App Store on iTunes, and is also available by audio on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, and other outlets. Gould creatively directed and hand-picked the celebrity talent to make this eBook/app an engaging experience for children ages four to eight-years-old, leading up to the animation where Skies America Publishing Company picked up the project and launched it on iTunes. The app was art directed by “Mr. Lawrence,” the voice of Plankton and an original storyboard director of SpongeBob SquarePants, and illustrated by Marc Ceccareli, another SpongeBob storyboard director. It was narrated by two-time Marconi Award nominee, and a top radio personality and broadcaster in the country, Mr. Steve McCoy. The original musical score was produced by country artist, Robby Armstrong. Gould is available for consulting projects and can be reached via http://www.toniaallengould.com, or at email@example.com.
And, on the first day, the Book World was created. The Great American Writers flocked to the new world and endlessly wrote to express themselves. The Prolific Readers soon came in droves to read and decipher what the Great American Writers had to say, and before long, the Gatekeeper’s Agents arrived too and sold the Great American Writers’ profound works to the Prodigious Publishers, and they in turn, sold the works, en masse, to The Prolific Readers. In due course, everyone in this strange new world flourished.
Then on the second day, the Aspiring Writer honed his craft and sought to be accepted in the new world too, so that his own literary work would be read and treasured by all the Prolific Readers. And so it was written, legions of new Aspiring Writers were turned away and were left standing, rejected, at the walls of the Book World, with their egos wounded, and their written word discarded in a pile of slush, and denounced by the Gatekeeper’s Agents.
By the third day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median income for The Great American Writer in the Book World was $55,420 per year or $26.64 per hour. When the Aspiring Writer read this report, he fell to his knees and cried, because he had dreamt of fame and fortune, and the hopes of staking a claim in this strange, new world where so many early adopters were striking it rich. But still, the Aspiring Writer continued to write because it had become his life’s aspiration to be accepted into the Book World. For after all, writing was all he ever wanted to do, even if it meant he would be scantily paid once he got beyond the walls and into the glorious realm of the Book World.
By the fourth day, the Aspiring Writers’ rolled up their sleeves and searched high and low for a Gatekeeper’s Agent to represent his work to the Prodigious Publisher Lords that controlled the Book World, and found none. Back at the entrance gate, the Gatekeeper’s Agents who weren’t accepting queries, stopped them from entering again, and the Aspiring Writers’ fell to their knees again and cried in hopelessness and desperation. Everything became meaningless outside of the Book World. The land outside was dark, and bleak, without form and meaning.
On the fifth day, the Aspiring Writers revolted and decided to publish their own books, while the notable Great American Writers with their Gatekeeper Agents and Prodigious Publishers called the Aspriring Writers by a new name: Self-Published.
But, by the sixth day the Prolific Readers began to find what the Aspiring Writers wrote, and the Gatekeeper Agents, together with the Prodigious Publishers, fell to their knees and cried.
And on the seventh day, the God of Books, a great force in all the Earth, called Amazon, spoke to the Aspiring Writers and said, “Take Control with Independent Publishing. With my independent publishing services you can reach millions of readers worldwide and keep control of your own work. It’s fast and easy to publish your print book with CreateSpace, your digital book with Kindle Direct Publishing and create an audiobook with ACX. “
And, with that, the Self Published flourished, and it was a whole new world.