reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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shayne. the trilogy. [d.r. thursday]

square shayne for melange 21

my sweet momma’s birthday is today.  she would have been 97.  she died shortly before her 94th birthday but remains a force in the world.  her kindness and her zealous belief in kindness continue to ripple outward.  i heard beaky firsthand when My Girl was talking about the world and its issues and said, “the best thing i can do is to be kind to people.”  i’ve seen beaky firsthand when My Boy has stood firm in raising pride awareness.

now, i know this story has been told before, but i risk being called redundant to tell it again.  back when my momma was 93 and facing down stage four breast cancer having had a double mastectomy a few months prior, she told us she felt like she had accomplished little in her life.  there could be little farther from the truth.  but she insisted she had no title (“engineer”, “architect” etc) to put after her name.  we knew she had, however, three manuscripts she had written decades prior – stories about the family dachshund named shayne – stories she had tried to have published with no success back in the day.  stories told from shayne’s point of view and simply wholesome and delightful, we searched for – and found – the manuscripts.  and immediately got to work.

my amazing husband david illustrated the first of the trilogy, named SHAYNE.  i laid out the text and the graphics of the book itself,  designed merchandise like an “author” shirt, banners and a shayne iphone case for momma, built a website, contacted newspapers and we hastened to put together a release party with a reading and press and a celebration with brownies and asti spumanti at her assisted living facility in florida.  when we told her – on MY birthday in march (for what could be a better thank-you-for-my-birthday than this?) what was happening on april 11th, she squealed like a school girl and started practicing signing her name with a sharpie.  it was BY FAR one of the pinnacle moments of my life to see my mom – the AUTHOR- hold her book, read aloud to the dozens of people who attended and sign “BEAKY” on her books as her fans lined up to purchase the earliest copies.   eighteen days later, my sweet momma was no longer on this earth.

david has since illustrated both the second and third books.  the second, SHAYNE AND THE YELLOW DRAGON, was released a couple years ago and today, on her birthday, i am so excited to tell you that the third SHAYNE AND THE NEW BABY will be released shortly.  the trilogy will be complete!   my sweet momma, beatrice h. arnson “beaky” the AUTHOR would be pretty jazzed to sign each of these, but i know her blessing is on them as she reaches through the invisible line between heaven and earth.

we will keep you posted on the release.  i have this sweet vision of so-so-many-many-books being sold (to individuals, to schools, to libraries, to dachshund owners, to families with small children, to families with dogs, to dog lovers, to teachers, to scholastic press or to some entity that sees how important it is to have dreams come true – at ANY age) that we might start a beaky-beaky foundation and help – in some well-thought-out way – in momma’s name.  if you have any ideas, let us know.  we want to keep beaky’s ripples going.

my sweet momma’s website:  www.beakysbooks.com/

SHAYNE on www.amazon.com

frontcoverscreenshot

momma effusive at shayne

read DAVID’S thoughts on this D.R.THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY)

D.R. THURSDAY – ON OUR SITE

SHAYNE, SHAYNE & THE YELLOW DRAGON ©️ 2015 kerri sherwood & david robinson, beatrice h. arnson

 

 

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granny gps. [flawed cartoon wednesday]

granny gps jpegBIG copy

now, my sweet momma was pretty directive at times.  she knew what she wanted and was pretty specific about it.  even from the seat in her wheelchair in later days she would direct traffic or let you know exactly where she wanted to go and if you were doing it right.  then there was the electric wheelchair.  she got to be in charge.

it took scaling a mountain and zooming off into outer space and back to make all the arrangements that would eventually deliver an electric wheelchair to her assisted living facility.  but all of that fades in the memory of her phone call.  she had been practicing and practicing, trying to grasp how to make the chair go forward or turn or go backward without running into things or people.  we kept telling her, “you got this!” her confidence was thin and i know she felt like she would never really be able to master that chair.  until that day.

she called to say that she had gone down to breakfast.  in her chair.  alone.  and when she got there, a woman at her table told her about how there had been an author there, sharing her newly published book, reading, autographing; it had all been quite exciting, she told my momma.  my sweet momma looked at her, i’m sure smiling broadly and sitting up as straight as she could in her electric wheelchair and said, “that was me!”

never underestimate a granny gps.  there’s so much possibility.

so much possibility CANVAS copy

so much possibility product box BOX copy

click here (or on the product bar above) for SO MUCH POSSIBILITY & GRANNY GPS products

FLAWED CARTOON WEDNESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this FLAWED CARTOON WEDNESDAY

granny gps & so much possibility ©️ 2016 & 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood


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flawed cartoon wednesday #1

wienerdogsledcorrectspellingJPG copywednesday nights in the trinity choir room are pretty funny.  is that because it’s wednesday?  is that because it’s easy to have fun singing or strumming the ukulele with a wholebunchapeople or playing handbells while talking about everythingunderthesun?  maybe it’s a little of everything.  wednesdays are like that.  we need the fun, the laughs, the rolling-of-eyes to get through the rest of the week.

FLAWED cartoon is also like that.  you may laugh.  you may groan.  you may roll your eyes.  but any way you look at them, they are good wednesday fare.

FLAWED cartoon was another run at syndication (which, by the way, is compared to winning the lottery, according to a friend of ours whose fun strip THE BRILLIANT MIND OF EDISON LEE runs daily and who said he felt like he had won the lottery.)  david and our dear friend 20 created this cartoon and i have handled all the technical blahblah of it.  we cackle every time we jot down a new idea.  ohmygosh, isn’t “cackle” a great word?!?

the wiener dog sled makes me laugh aloud.  we are pretty devoted life-below-zero fans and have great respect for andy and jessie on that show, both of whom run dogsleds.  john and michele next door have three wiener dogs and i just can’t imagine them pulling ANY sled.  and, although i don’t remember her well, i spent my babyhood years with a dachshund named shayne, who tells stories through my momma’s books of the same name.  wiener dogs rock, but as sled dogs?

and so, our melange of studio-created-stuff continues and FLAWED cartoon wednesday will hopefully bring a grin to your wednesday-can’t-wait-till-friday-face.

WIENER DOG SLED

FLAWED cartoon wednesday

www.kerrianddavid.com/the-melange

wiener dog sled ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood


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wear the crystals

today is my sweet momma’s birthday. she would be 94 today if she were still on this earth. i suppose she is 94 anyway, only this time i can’t celebrate with her in a traditional way. i know that i have been writing a lot about her these days. i am filled with memories, surprised in a moment by tears, and i can hear her voice in my head. i’ve been so lucky. i had the privilege of her on this good earth for 56 years. but i truly miss her. jen wrote, “that relationship with our mom is so grounding and when it’s gone or changed, life feels so different.” yes.

yellowdragonss2 copyon april 11 the first of momma’s books was released, the first of The Shayne Trilogy. her joy at that reading and signing was a pinnacle moment for us – watching her, at almost-94, surrounded by people, sharing her writing. today, at would-be-94, we announce the release of the second in the trilogy. we thought it would be finished a bit sooner, but we kind of fell off the pony for a bit, so to speak. all of a sudden last week though, we felt infused with energy to get back to work on it. it is one of my greatest honors in life to make these children’s books happen. despite everything amazing she was in this world, i cannot think of something more important than to have given momma something she valued after-the-comma-after-her-name. someday, after a millionzillion of The Shayne Trilogy have sold to children and schools far and wide, i would love to set up a beakybeaky foundation to help other women, later in life, late in life, do exactly this-find what’s after-the-comma-after-their-name, the thing that they have wished for, the thing that they value for themselves and have put off, delayed for reasons that are valid and important and what women do. but for now, i wish i could see her face the first time she held Shayne & The Yellow Dragon, the first time she read through it.

today i am wearing a crystal necklace of hers. when i put it on this morning, i wondered, in my crabmeadowbeach kind of way, if it were too fancy. i decided to wear it regardless of its appropriateness. it’s her birthday and so, it’s perfect.

“live life,” she said. i keep remembering that. i can hear her saying it. i know she could see i used one of her favorite big stainless steel bowls for a huge salad for guests yesterday. she could see us slow-dancing on the patio early in the day. she was there at the fabulous fireworks last night, which she adored. she was there this morning when ptom told everyone to “slow down.” my sister said, “i kind of thought that for once mom could actually see me riding my bike today.” yes, my beeg seester. i’m quite sure she was riding along.

wear the crystals.  photo

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood


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in the pause with momma

photo-1sixteen days ago we celebrated with momma the release of her first published book. she is beautiful and fiercely independent at almost-94 and she was full of joy as she practiced ahead of time with a sharpie and then signed copies of books for all sorts of people who showed up at the signing of ‘shayne’ – the first in a trilogy of children’s books. at the end of this enormous day, we sipped martini & rossi asti spumante (momma and poppo’s favorite from days gone by) and we ate chocolate-covered strawberries in exultant glee.

fourteen days ago my almost-94 momma sent me a text message with her iphone that said she had mastered powering her electric wheelchair all the way downstairs to breakfast and again to dinner. she was amazed she did it and i know she was beautiful and fiercely independent as she made her way through the halls of her assisted living facility.

thirteen days ago my almost-94 momma was not having a good morning, but she was elated to see the diary notebook we brought her – we had searched for it and found it in a random bin in her garage. she gently stroked the notebook titled ‘europe 1971’ and i knew she would sit and read all the details, study all the maps, look at all the brochures and hold my dad’s hand and these cherished memories in her mind’s eye for hours and hours. she would envision her beautiful self and my handsome poppo in 1971 and their fierce independence to tour around europe for six weeks in the new vw bug they had purchased there.

nine days ago my almost-94 momma called to tell me that kelly had introduced her to new potential residents as “our newly published author” and momma was humbled and oh-so-excited to report this. i am positive she rose up in her wheelchair, beautiful and fiercely independent.

four days ago my almost-94 momma was found on the floor of her assisted living facility apartment and was rushed to the hospital. i am quite sure she was beautiful to the caring people who rushed to her aid, but maybe not so fiercely independent.

yesterday my almost-94 momma was just conscious enough in her hospital bed to look through my niece’s iphone to see me. tears were coursing down her cheeks and my sister wiped them away. she looked beautiful to me. her fiercely independent spirit is fighting seriously devastating infections. she is in a precarious place. i know she reaches in her mind to my dad in another plane of existence and yet, for now, she clings to this life here.

photo-2one day ago my almost-25 daughter was briefly in chicago and i had a wonderful opportunity to see her for a precious bit of time. she is beautiful and fiercely independent; she celebrates life on mountaintops and snowboard slopes and on hiking trails. yesterday i celebrated her life with her, a couple margaritas and a gluten-free pizza. life marches on. beauty and fierce independence are passed to the next and the next.

today my almost-94 momma continues to fight.   she is tired and her fierce independence is challenged. but i do know that inside of this beautiful woman is a person who will make the decisions that she wants to make. joan wrote, “…one of those times when there is no way around. only through….a transition each makes alone in the end.”

as tears ran down my face this morning after another difficult call with my sister about my momma and her prognosis, david read to me a paragraph written by pema chodron called ‘the power of the pause’ – “a momentary contrast between being completely self-absorbed and being awake and present.” he read another quote as well…this one by martha beck, “real power is usually unspectacular, a simple setting aside of fear that allows the free flow of love. but it changes everything.”

and so i hold in this pause my beautiful and fiercely independent momma.   i listen for her voice, i hold her in my arms and wait to feel her arms around me. i am awake and present and hyper-sensitive in my vigil with her. i do not know what the outcome of this huge physical trial will be. i try not to have fear. i am holding on and letting go. what i do know? before the pause, in the pause and after the pause i will always love her. her beautiful-ness and fierce independence. my sweet momma.photo