A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Comprehending Barbara

Can you learn anything about Barbara by “reading” a few snaps from her life?


She has a big house?

Barbara has a big house?

No!  This is Queen Elizabeth II’s house in London.

She loves old things?

Barbara loves old things?

Yes!  Barbara loves history.

She's not from Kansas?

She’s not from Kansas?

No.  She’s not from the Netherlands either, but she and her husband love to travel together.

Alex2 She loves dogs?

Yes!  This is Alex, King of Canines.

942882_10152899223940013_1657754679_n She likes to carry around heavy bags?

No.  But she is a perpetual student who carries books when she travels.

a3  She’s spent some time in Georgia?

Yes!  She has lived in multiple states and multiple countries, but she will always consider Georgia “home.”

She likes hamburgers?  She likes hamburgers?

Yes!  But she loves, loves, loves room service.  Her father was in the Army, so she’s always traveled.  When she was a little girl, Barbara’s grandmother would often order food to be delivered to the hotel rooms in which they were staying.  This little luxury always makes Barbara think of her grandmother and a very happy childhood.


Yes. Her son made this breakfast for Mother's Day one year.

She likes waffles?

Of course!  She was surprised with this breakfast extravaganza one Mother’s Day.  Room service may be nice, but having a caring family is even better.


Yes! She wrote The Monster Boring for him.

She has a handsome son?

Barbara would say he is very handsome, but once upon a time, he didn’t like to read!  The Monster Boring is dedicated to him.

Not especially, but both Barbara and her son LOVE The Great Gatsby.

Her son likes werewolves?

Not necessarily but both Barbara and her son love the great American classic, The Great Gatsby.

Barbara writes on an old fashioned typewriter?

Barbara writes on an old fashioned typewriter?

No, but Barbara used to write stories and bad poems on an old typewriter like this one in her grandfather’s office whenever she visited her grandparents for holidays.  This particular typewriter pictured belonged to Ernest Hemingway.  Barbara traveled to Cuba as a student in 2013 to learn more about this canonical author.   This is one of the rooms in which Hemingway sometimes worked.


Absolutely!  Especially art like this, which is important to American history.

She likes art?

Absolutely!  Especially iconic art like this, which is important to the history of the United States.   (She also likes exploring anywhere new with her family.  This art museum is in Arkansas.)

She likes to dress up like an elf on Halloween?

She likes to dress up like an elf on Halloween?

Good guess, but this is Barbara dressed up as an elf to go to the premier of The Hobbit.  Though she rarely writes fantasy of any sort, J.R.R. Tolkien has long been at the top of her list of favorite writers.  She thinks every kid should read the Lord of the Rings books before going to see the movies based on them.

Paper  Barbara likes working with kids?

Yes!  Whilst she’s taught high school, she always loves talking to younger students about the importance of their ideas and why writing is worth doing.  She presented The Monster Boring and The Book Garden in schools from Georgia to California and states in between!

When did Barbara start to have work published?

Barbara started having some success with writing when she was in college?

Yes.  School is a wonderful place to explore different forms of writing, and Barbara had several plays produced when she was a student at Georgia Southern University.

Writers always get one answer when they submit their work?

Writers always get one answer when they submit their work to magazines?

No!  Sometimes a writer has work accepted because it fits an editor’s needs.   Sometimes a writer has work rejected, even when editors liked that work, as in the rejection pictured above.

Additionally, sometimes a writer is paid.  Sometimes a writer knows she (or he) won’t make any money for hours of effort, but she still tries to place a piece in a particular journal for different rewards.

The real bottom line is that a writer must believe enough in what she is doing to keep writing… regardless of what happens with what she submits for publication.

Does this mean Barbara is a graffiti artist?

Does this mean Barbara is a graffiti artist?

NO!!!  But this particular bit of splashed paint is just good advice.  No matter what you are doing–writing, reading, teaching, learning, raising goats, or whatever else–make sure you “Live a Great Story.”

In other words… no matter how you spend your limited time on this planet, have a great life.

Perhaps this starts with doing what you love.