Pat McCarthy is the author of a dozen nonfiction books for children and young adults. She has published numerous stories, articles, puzzles and quizzes in magazines for children and adults. She teaches for the Institute of Children's Literature. She has also written encyclopedia articles and school curriculum. Pat is a retired elementary school teacher who subs to remain in touch with kids. Her hobbies are photography, travel, birding and scrapbooking.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Migrating Sharp-Shinned Hawk Pt. Pelee

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Cooper's Hawk to be Banded Holiday Beach

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Banded Thrush Holiday Beach

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Group Picture at Pt. Pelee

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Birding at the Point Pt. Pelee

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Wild Turkey Pt. Pelee

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Caspian Tern Lake Erie Metro Park

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Sabine's Gull St. Mary's, OH

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Canada Trip, Rare Gull, and Prairie Days

The pioneer book is coming closer to reality. The committee reviewed my proposal and wanted me to flesh out the outline a bit, showing more of the historical content. They also wanted to be sure I showed all the hardships of the pioneers. And they weren't crazy about the Laura Ingalls Wilder tie-in in each chapter, so there will probably just be one small section about her. The editor called me with their suggestions. I send him the revised outline yesterday and haven't heard anything yet. If I do it, it will be due June 1, which gives me 8 months to write a 40,000 word book. Should be plenty of time, and give me time for any smaller rush assignments I can pick up, plus subbing and teaching my correspondence courses.

Last weekend I went to Canada with other members of the Darke County Birders. We hit Lake Erie MetroPark on the way up, then went to Point Pelee and Holiday Beach for hawk migration. There were hundreds of sharp-shinned hawks migrating, along with probably thousands of blue jays. We saw 70-some species of birds in three days and had a good time. Will post some pictures.

Today my friend Marge and I drove to St. Mary's, Ohio (about 35 miles) to see a rare (in this area) Sabine's gull. Two other birders came while we were there, and one located the gull and pointed it out to us. I got a couple of pictures which aren't the best, but show the large amount of black on the wings. I'll post one.

I'm getting ready for the Darke County Parks' Prairie Days this weekend. I work at the desk tomorrow morning, and they want me to rearrange the gift shop for the weekend. Then all weekend I'll be selling in the gift shop. It's a long haul, but it's easier if one person takes care of all the money. I'll at least get out to get a Farmer Brown sandwich and some ice cream!

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Friday, September 14, 2007

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The Week in Review

I've decided not to do the Summer Article Challenge, because too many of the articles I posted on are ending up on questionable blogs. One person changed the title to make the photography article sound like it was an article on photographing nudes. Another is on a gay/lesbian site and another on a site with all kinds of porno-sounding ads. I can't figure out how to get them off, so I guess I'll just write articles to sell when I know where they will be published.

I'm going to get back into magazine writing. Suzanne Lieurance's Writers on Call is doing a four-part series of tele-classes on writing for the better-paying markets. I know I won't ever make a lot by writing for children's magazines, but sometimes I enjoy doing it. I'd like to do more travel stuff. Suzanne suggested I do more articles on photography. Those are the ones that have gotten the most views on EzineArticles. I also would like to do some on birding and scrapbooking. If I'm going to have these expensive hobbies, maybe I can make them pay for themselves, at least in part.

It rained all night Saturday, so only two of us showed up for the Birders trip to Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. It rained all the way there, but stopped just as we approached the park. Our friend, Don Gorney, led the walk. On the way home, Steve and I ate at Joe's Crab Shack. That was good.

Monday I babysat for Carson and Madison while Heather took her mom, Tina, to Dayton for a consultation with a specialist about her stomach problem. The kids were good. I'm posting a couple of pictures.

I subbed in sixth grade for language arts on Tuesday. Thankfully it was a nice cool day and the room is on the first floor. I had three double-period classes and they went well. I enjoyed the kids. That evening I went to Adam's ballgame. When he got there, he found out he had been changed from one team to another. So last week he was on the red team and now he's on the black team. They're high school kids, so at 5 feet and 70 pounds, he's the smallest. He played second base and walked twice and batted in a run when he grounded out to first. His fielding is always good.

Wednesday I took Carson to the preschool program at the Nature Center. It was about bees and he had fun. He kept talking about going to "school." Mandy tagged and released a newly-hatched monarch butterfly, but first she gave the kids a chance to hold it on their fingers. Carson didn't want to. He said he was scared. So the kid who is always out in front, leading the pack when Mandy takes them for a walk is scared to hold a butterfly! I had Photo Club Board meeting Wednesday night. Adam went with me because he was staying all night at my house. We had a LONG discussion about the new website and the idea of a Chat Room got turned down. I still don't see that it would be a problem, since it would be for members only.

Thursday I took Adam to the bus. I had a chiropractor appointment. I'm still having trouble sleeping because of my leg aching in bed. I slept all night and my leg didn't hurt! Kristi must have done something right yesterday morning. This morning I worked at the Nature Center. I signed up to be a volunteer to help with school field trips. Sometimes they have a lot of kids and would like to divide up into smaller groups, so that's what they're going to train us for. I would enjoy that, with my teaching background.

Just got an e-mail from the editor at Chicago Review Press where I sent my proposal for the Pioneer book. He said it's on the schedule for next Tuesday's proposal meeting! So that means he liked it enough that he didn't have changes he wanted me to make. He had said I could send in a rough proposal and he'd help me get it in shape. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the people on the committee will like the idea and I can write the book.

Well, I'm off to the Dragon Buffet for dinner with a group 0f friends.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

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Isn't New Year's in September?

Maybe it's because I was a teacher for so long, but September always seems to me like the beginning of a new year. Summer is over and it's back to school and work.

I'm subbing again this year, but my first day will be Tuesday. I'm subbing for one of my favorite sixth-grade teachers in Language Arts. It will be very interesting subbing this year, because the schools have been completely rearranged. Two elementary schools were closed and parents are having fits. Kindergarten, first and second grade are in one building, called Greenville Primary, third and fourth in another, called Greenville Intermediate, and fifth and sixth are in a building now called Greenville Middle School. This means a large percentage of the teachers and students have changed schools, so I'm anxious to see who's where and how it's all working out. The busing problems have been horrendous, and one child didn't get home till 7:00 on the first day of school.

This week I've been recuperating from my company and trying to break a non-sleeping cycle. I HATE that, but about every five or six months, I'll go four days or more without being able to get to sleep at night. That results in little sleep if I have to get up in the morning for any reason. This time it lasted a whole week. Last night I slept okay, so I'm hoping it's over for awhile. By yesterday, I was starting to feel a little lightheaded from lack of sleep. Part of the problem is that my degenerative disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve, and every time I lie down, my whole left leg aches. I went to the chiropractor yesterday, so I'm hoping that will help.

I managed to thoroughly enjoy my photo club meeting Thursday, though. Thelma drove, so I didn't have to worry about that. My 14-year-old nephew, Adam, joined last month and this was his first time to enter pictures in competition. I was disappointed that he didn't get any ribbons, but was pleased with the good scores his photos got. There were just too many great photos. We had 85 people at the meeting. I did well. I got first place in B&W Theme (theme was weather) with a picture of a tree in the snow, third in Color Theme with one of sun rays through the fog at the Smokies, and HM with one of a thistle covered with snow. It was from a slide, so I can't post it. The one from the Smokies is already on here, with the Smokies posts from early May. So I'll just put on the one that got first place.

I did finish the book proposal I was working on for a pioneer book and sent it in a week ago. I haven't heard anything yet, but really hope I'll get to do this book. I think it will be very interesting.

Tomorrow we have a Birders trip to a state park in Indiana, so I have to be up at 5:00. Guess I'll go to bed!

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