The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not

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Chatham Experience a win-win

I had a great time participating in the Chatham Experience presentation for the Chatham Arts Council’s JumpstART award recipients, held on Sunday, November 7.

With my literary grant award, I donated copies of Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen to four elementary school libraries and three public libraries; and copies of Mine By Design to three public libraries. All right here in Chatham County.

Special thanks to the Chatham Arts Council, naming sponsors MOSAIC and Chatham Park, along with Main Street Pittsboro and the Pittsboro Business Association, who let the event piggyback onto the culmination of Chatham County’s 250th yearlong celebration.

*This photo from the Chatham Arts Council.

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JumpstART Artists at the Chatham Experience

I was honored to be one of the recipients of a 2021 Chatham Arts Council JumpstART grant for my literary project, which donated copies of Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen to four elementary schools and three libraries, and copies of Mine By Design to three libraries in the county. Now, the county is celebrating the recipient artists at the Chatham Experience on November 7, 2021.

I’ll be doing a reading from Peggy Noodle, and signing copies of this fun, pocket-size book. I may even have some hula hoops for sale. If you’re a supporter of the arts, I’m especially thankful for your efforts to continue making the world a more artful place during the pandemic.

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Sharing the spotlight with my favorite son

I have the great honor of sharing the spotlight with my favorite (and only) son Peyton today as we’re highlighted through the Chatham Arts Council’s Meet the Artist series. I thought Rachel Flanagan did a great job; the whole process was enjoyable. The arts have been hit hard during this coronavirus quarantining, so shout out to all arts patrons who have helped keep the lights on with arts orgs, and who’ve helped artists pay the bills. I’ve been around the block, but my young, emerging artist is just starting out and his steady work during this period has a hopeful vibe for this proud mother, artist, and arts patron. Seek out local artists and arts organizations and see how you might help support them — not all support has to be financial, either. Boost the signal of their work, send kind words of support, share their contact information with potential patrons and clients. The arts are incredibly important, and through organizations like the Chatham Arts Council, and Hobbs Architects in downtown Pittsboro (who sponsor the Meet the Artist series), there continues to be an audience.

I’m always happy for folks to check out my kid lit stuff and my romance stuff, but I really hope you’ll check out the links for Peyton. He’s an amazing photographer, and a true emerging artist. And if you happen to need portraits, event coverage, a photojournalist, or film development, hit him up.

Peyton Sickles

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Putting it all together

The continuing education creative writing adjunct instructors at Central Carolina Community College were asked to provide bios and headshots, and images of their book covers for the upcoming Carolina Women’s Show. My mom loves stuff like this, so we’ll most likely swing through. It’s kind of cool to see all of seven of my book covers put together. It reminds me that my TBI is nothing but a blip in my career, a five-year hiatus seasoning my imagination so my forthcoming books will be even more exciting. Onward and upward!


The 39 Clues for Another Happy Year

I thought that since life is an everyday occurrence, I would just update my birthday list from last year and keep a running tally of goals.

  1. Keep up the morning exercise regimen. It’s good for the heart (and chips away at the mommy hips). (DONE! But I’m keeping it on the list because it’s a good goal.)
  2. Write, write, write.
  3. Learn to be more patient.
  4. Find a literary agent.
  5. Make it to PRO status with the Romance Writers of America.
  6. Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
  7. Get Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen into 50 independent bookstores across the nation. Feel free to help me out on this one. 🙂
  8. Kick ass in the co-ed adult soccer league the mister signed us up for. And don’t get too bruised that I’ll be embarrassed to hoop on stage on my Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen book tour.
  9. Send a handwritten letter to a different person every week. Some duplication of recipients is okay.
  10. Find five new cocktails to add to my repertoire.
  11. Find a really good recipe for chocolate pound cake.
  12. Get back in the habit of reading with my son every night. He’s not too old, and neither am I.
  13. Decide if it’s time to color the gray, or let it go a little longer.
  14. Attend at least one HCRW monthly meeting.
  15. Take Maggie May on a lengthy walk everyday. I seem to be the only bi-ped in the house capable of this, so I need to step up to the challenge.
  16. Brush up on my practical Spanish so I won’t have to be content with three- or four-word sentences anymore.
  17. Find a company to fence in the back yard so Magnolia May can run until her heart’s content.
  18. Run a 5K with the boys.
  19. Get back to golfing.
  20. Take the kayaks out on Sunday afternoons this spring and summer … and try new bodies of water.
  21. Help clean out the garage, and make sure it stays clean once and for all.
  22. Streamline the attic crap-ola.
  23. Plant a Victory Garden.
  24. Be nice to everyone. Even when they get on my nerves.
  25. Take a trip. A real one, that’s farther than the Atlantic Ocean.
  26. Learn a new knitting pattern so I can graduate beyond scarves.
  27. Help the mister and the Mini Wonder expand the deck, so as to enjoy our new backyard gardens.
  28. Clean out underbrush and ground cover in back gardens.
  29. Try to submit one book a month. Saturation can’t hurt.
  30. Catch up on all of my annual checkups that were bowled over with life changes in the fall.
  31. Take my mom to visit our family in Virginia.
  32. Convince my mom to take the train to see her friends in Tampa, FL.
  33. Schedule four HOOPLA!s for Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen.
  34. Write the second installment for Peggy Noodle.
  35. Finish my short story for the J. Taylor Publishing Make Believe anthology.
  36. Stop sneering at my jackass neighbors with the Children of the Corn and their POS Honda Civic blocking my car every time I want to back out.
  37. Stop referring to my jackass neighbors as mules. Those poor beasts don’t deserve the insult.
  38. Finish plotting and complete the first installment of my Higher Education series.
  39. Paint and draw more.

Accomplished last year:

  • Laugh more.
  • Curse less.
  • Suck it up and let my hair grow longer
  • Teach our son to cook by including him one night a week in the kitchen.
  • Enter my almond brandy pound cake into the baking competition at the NC State Fair.
  • Take piano lessons.
  • Find a superb Chinese chicken and broccoli recipe.
  • Plant a new dogwood in the front garden, next to the sculpture of Penelope Buttercup.
  • Keep the bird feeders full so as to avoid those roving bands of aggressive winged bastards.
  • Pick out five new entries from the Kama Sutra to throw at the mister. (Hello, I do write romance. Why not do a little “product testing” at home?)
  • Sketch out a diagram for the back yard so the mister can get his carpenter on.
  • Keep up the morning exercise regimen. It’s good for the heart (and chips away at the mommy hips).


No on the 39 Radar:

  • Ride a 30K with the boys, most likely the AIDSWALK+RIDE. This may require me getting a road bike … so there may be a slight delay on this one.
  • Remember to make a Medusa costume for Halloween. I really want to scare the kids.

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Please ‘Like’ Me …

… or, rather, please LIKE Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen on Facebook if you get a chance.

That would be just swell!

And go ahead and mark
your calendars for the
Peggy Noodle
book launch celebration and HOOPLA!, with special guest judge
Ira David Wood III. 🙂

Saturday, February 11, 2012
Halle Cultural Arts Center
Downtown Apex
2 – 4 pm

Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen now available for pre-orders.
Just follow this link. Thanks!