Work in Progress

I’ve begun work in a new genre, for me anyway. It is a YA historical fiction novel. I’ll tell you more about this later, but I can say that I am getting into some interesting research, especially on the topic of hobos, early 1900s Chicago and Wausau, and steam locomotives. The working title is The Hobo Code.

During a wild and wacky November, I managed to “win” by writing 50,000 words in a month during Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month. That writing time gave me the draft of a novel of Magical Realism and a bit of Sci-fi in the form of time travel. The working title was Crystal Memories and has been changed, per my editor’s suggestion, to The Crystal Key.

The first five Charlie books are written. My illustrator, the wonderful Elizabeth Engel, is doing an awesome job. The first three volumes in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series, New Beginnings and School Days, and Summertime are in print and eBook formats. All eBooks are in color.

Volume 4, Holiday Celebrations, and Volume5, Community Helpers, are written and awaiting illustration.

The first chapter in Community Helpers is about a trip to the dentist. Charlie does well but Frankie is wary. In this chapter, my dentist suggested part of the content. For his contribution, he chose the type of creature who would play the dentist in the story. He chose a panda bear, so Dr. Panda is the dentist in this story.


Charlie and his pet fish Frankie discovered they must move away from Old Town.

(From the first in the series, New Beginnings.)

These multicultural stories are written for second and third grade students, as well as advanced first graders, to read independently. Children ages three through nine will enjoy the antics of the characters in the Charlie books.

Reading these books helps children develop empathy and cultivate insight into their lives. The stories cover situations children typically encounter like getting lost, moving, starting a new school, making friends, family vacations, working in a team, and dealing with bullies (using a positive method.)

The animal characters have human characteristics.

Charlie Chameleon takes Frankie, his very bossy fish, wherever he goes. Frankie wants everything, and he wants it right now. He strongly believes that he is fish-tastic.

26 meatball

Each chapter ends with one or more activities for children and parents or teachers to do together, related to the actions in the stories.

I love it when I hear adults laughing when they read these stories aloud. We all need a good laugh!