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Posted on April 10, 2020 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (2276)
April 9, 2020
Linda M. Penn
            Several people have asked when I was going to write some more positive words in view of our current time, so here goes:
            I have been watching virtual interviews on Kelly and Ryan’s TV show every weekday morning.  In their interviews, someone always mentions “thankfulness” in this time of the Coronavirus.
            Aren’t we supposed to be thankful looking for the joy in all things according to Bible verses?  So…
1)    What am I gaining from this Coronavirus experience each day? 
2)    Am I learning anything from this time? 
3)    Can I really say I am thankful for this Coronavirus?  (Now that is a really tough question, right?) 
These are questions I have each day and I admit some days are easier than others. 
I saw and heard the anxiousness in Kelly’s face and voice the other day as she discussed her kids not wanting to hug her and her wanting to hug her parents.  Yes, we really are all in this thing together! 
Often, I hear the “experts” discuss what times might be like when we get out from this isolation.  I can only hope and pray that indeed people will keep up the looking for the joy each day and be thankful somehow for the experiences during this time.
Oh, I see it is almost 5:00 p.m.  I have to go watch Governor Andy give his daily update on TV.  Yes, something for which to be thankful!  His encouragement each day of “we will get through this together” is so uplifting.
Keep smiling.  Praise the Lord, He is alive!
On Mar 31, 2020, at 1:42 PM, Linda Penn <[email protected]> wrote:
March 31, 2020


Posted on March 21, 2020 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (72)
March 21, 2020   OPPORTUNITIES By Linda M. Penn               As I was sitting at my desk wondering how I was going to survive with no live sports on TV until, well, who knows when, I noticed a cardinal outside my window.  Next thing I saw, a blue jay.  Wow!  Such beauty!  (OPPORTUNITY # 1 Notice the birds)   As the birds were merrily scurrying around the yard, a Bible verse came to mind about how God takes care of the birds, so He will take care of us.  I found the verse in Matthew 6:26.  Check it out before you go scurrying around to the stores in search of toilet paper!  (OPPORTUNITY # 2 Read the Bible)   I looked out the back window and there was our Eagles Landing Condos’ usual family of geese squawking like crazy.  I say “our usual family of geese” because every Spring, these is a goose who sits on a nest of eggs under the same sycamore tree by the pond.  Another faithful goose (presumably the male) stands guard.  We always know when another “family of geese” tries to invade because of the loud shrieks.  Wow!  Amazing nature!  (OPPORTUNITY # 3 Listen to nature at work)   The local library is closed, so I located a book I had ordered online several months ago that I was intending to read.  After the first couple of pages, I was hooked and am enjoying relaxing time with a book.  Plus, this book contains a lot of history about the Native Americans in Oklahoma.   (OPPORTUNITY #4 Read and learn)   Most of the residents where I live are considered in the “elderly” category (although we certainly do not think of ourselves as such) and we are not supposed to go out of our homes now.  Really – this is hard for us!  We, the “seniors,” have been told previously we need companionship, we need to be out and about volunteering, congregating for exercise, meeting for coffee, and NOT sitting at home.  Guess what?  I got a call from a friend, and another call from a deacon at church, and have gotten several emails from my exercise class instructor.  Okay, next thing on my agenda, is to call or email some family and friends.  (OPPORTUNITY # 5 Reconnect with people)   Anyone who knows me well, understands how I like to remain positive in taxing situations, and I admit this virus pandemic has made me search for the positives.  I believe, however, if we look for the positives and opportunities right in front of us, we can maintain some sense of well-being.  Satan is not going to fill us with anxiety if we continually kick that fear out of our minds each day.  I am clinging to this verse from 2 Corinthians 5:7 – WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT!  (OPPORTUNITY # 6  Pray and rely on God)   Keep smiling, Linda


Posted on March 27, 2019 at 3:16 PM Comments comments (89)
March 25, 2019
Linda M. Penn
            “So, you are retired and write books?  It must be nice to relax at home and just write.”
            “Tell me, does an author just sit around all day and write?”
            “Wow, that’s great!  You write for kids and adults?  Are you laughing all the way to the bank?”
            These are comments I have heard from well-meaning people since I retired and began writing children’s books and now a book for Baby Boomers.  Any of you out there who are authors?  I would guess you don’t spend your time writing all day and unless you are in the realm of authors such as J. K. Rowling, John Grisham, or Stephen King, you are not laughing your way to the bank.
            Let’s recall – after about a year of researching on line, checking out and reading library books, personal interviews, and weekly planning meetings with co-writer, Frank J. Feger,we actually began writing the new book .  I think back to one day at our favorite Panera Bread when we had books, maps, and brochures about Mobile and other places along the Intracoastal Waterway to Destin.  Another customer asked if we were planning a trip?  We jokingly replied we were going to write a book! After the revising of the writing, we had numerous communications with our illustrator, Melissa Quinio, and our editor and layout designer, Misty Baker.  Guess what just arrived in a UPS shipment about a week ago!  Our latest children’s chapter book and fifth in the Clayton River Adventure series, entitled: “Clayton’s River Adventure Mobile to Destin.”  
            So, now we can relax and the books just start selling themselves?  NO!  It doesn’t work that way.  For Frank and I, the real work now begins and we try to recover some of our monetary investment in the book.   Marketing now begins.  Frank and I really enjoy meeting potential customers at Book Signings and we have gotten great ideas for future books.  We spend lots of time emailing and calling potential customers also.  We order  promotional materials like posters and book marks too in order to gain sales.
            It may sound like I am griping.  Not really, I enjoy this hobby of being an author. However, the next time someone says, “ Must be nice to just sit around writing all day!” I might be tempted to go into a rant. Can’t do that, though, they might buy a book!



Posted on December 20, 2018 at 11:07 PM Comments comments (119)
December 20, 2018

Linda M. Penn

Are you giving your kids new tablets, computers, or phones? Lucky them! Well…maybe, maybe not.


Is the device something the child needs or something wanted because it is the latest version?

Will the device enable the child to have access to accurate research for school projects?

Will the device be a means to communicate with you in case of an emergency or maybe a friendly hello call to Grandma or Grandpa?

Will the device be used to talk by text with friends or use on social outlets? Will the comments be positive or a form of bullying?

I will stop the list of questions – I am sure you get the point. Will the device be used positively or negatively?

I recently read an article about the number of kids who turn to their devices as their preferred social outlet versus actual person-to-person contact. The article also gave statistics about rising rates of depression in youth. I am not trying to make the argument that technology is the underlying reason for youth depression, but it probably shows it is time to seriously consider the value of more personal contact and less screen time.

Let’s all question ourselves: When was the last time we used the phone to actually make a real phone call to Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, or a friend instead of an impersonal comment on a social outlet?

Come on, let’s all give a special present this Christmas! OURSELVES – in the form of real conversation with family and friends!



Posted on September 22, 2018 at 4:27 PM Comments comments (65)
September 22, 2018
Linda M. Penn
            I heard recently about a young man, a 5 grader, who was punished at school for saying “yes, Ma’am,” to his teacher.  This incident has been turning over and over in my mind for several weeks now and I just had to voice my ideas.  I decided to research about the history of the words, “Ma’am” and “Sir.”  “Ma’am” goes back to the 1300’s when it was the word, “Madame,” meaning a respectful way to address a woman.  “Sir” dates from the 1200’s when the word,”Sire” was used, meaning a respectful way of addressing a man, especially one in authority.
            So…if the words began as forms of courtesy to others, how did we get to the point of having a student punished for using the word, “Ma’am?”
            Not knowing the reasoning or history of the teacher involved, it is difficult for me to speculate on how this incident should affect teachers and students going forward.  Do teachers, parents, and any authority figures expect to be treated with respect or is it old-school to expect courtesy from our young people?  Do students have a conflicting view of how to treat adults, not knowing if they will respond positively or negatively to the youngsters’ eagerness to say kind things?  Do others have differing views of  “Ma’am?”
            Yes, I know you might be thinking, “the lady writing this Blog must be a narrow-minded, old lady.”  Go ahead, think that if you want, but I really appreciated it when a student said to me, “yes, Ma’am,” during my 25+ years of public school teaching.
            The above incident is to me, just another example, of how common courtesy is slipping away from our society as a whole.  Have we not figured out that kids need respectful adults after which to model behaviors?  I cannot help but wonder what the young man thinks about trying to use common courtesy as he grows up.  Will he keep following his parents leading and try to use respectful words to authority figures or will he be hardened to never use them again?
            As adults, it seems obvious to me that we need to do a better job modeling courtesy to our young people if we want a society that holds each other up, rather than tears each other down. 
            Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  ( The Bible says in Luke 6:31, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat


Posted on May 3, 2018 at 8:53 PM Comments comments (66)
May 3, 2018 
Linda M. Penn 
Raise your hand if you use the self-checkout kiosks at the grocery store and avoid the person-to-person contact when checking out?   
So… how much more quickly did the kiosk person finish shopping before me since I chose a real live person to scan the purchases and bag them?  Three to four minutes time saved – WOW, THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT, RIGHT?  Yes, she gets to sit in the car rider pickup line at school and she is five cars in front of me!  Oh, no! 
On the other hand, I was able to talk to one of my favorite checkers, Catherine, and found out she sold a painting – “Congratulations!” I told her.  I could tell she was really excited over the prospect of selling another piece of art. 
What about that ATM machine located just outside the front door to my bank?  Oh, that ATM transaction will take a lot less time than if you go inside, you say?  Well, I waited in the car while my husband chose person-to-person contact and went inside.  At the same time, I saw another gentleman walk up to the ATM machine.  He left to go to his car about three or four minutes before my husband returned.  WOW, THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT, RIGHT?  Yes, he gets in the local restaurant and is waiting to be seated when my husband and I walk in.  Oh, no!  He’ll get his table and food before us! 
On the other hand, when my husband got in the car at the bank, he shared the news that one of our favorite bank tellers, Carol, has her house up for sale and intends to move in a condo down our street.  He shared what he told her, “That’s cool, you’ll love the neighborhood.” 
Ok, just one more kiosk story!  Have you tried the kiosk where you can place your food order instead of ordering using that perceived old-fashioned person-to-person contact at the counter?  My local favorite fast food restaurant recently closed for several months for renovation.  Upon my first visit back, I saw the newly installed ordering kiosks, but instead of choosing that perceived time-saving kiosk, I chose person-to-person contact with my favorite clerk, George.  “Hi, glad to see you are back at work now,” I told him and he grinned ear to ear.  “Oh, yes!” he enthusiastically answered.  Well, what do you think happened?  The kiosk user and I received our orders at the SAME TIME!  
Contrast these experiences with a news report I saw recently about the high percentage of adults, particularly young adults, who admitted to feeling lonely more than 50% of the time.  Just wondering, are those kiosk users complaining of being lonely?  
 WOW!  Not me!  I love that person-to-person contact!  TRY IT!  YOU’LL LOVE IT!   


Posted on February 20, 2018 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (66)
February 20, 2018



Linda M. Penn

SAD NEWS - Our local bookstore in Lagrange, KAREN’S BOOK BARN, has closed. So sorry to hear about another bookstore closing its doors. These stores are so important to communities and leave a lot of people searching for a place to connect with local authors.

If you visit an independent bookstore that is still operating, please try to support it and give the owners some words of encouragement. Want to thank all those customers who supported Frank and me and Karen’s Book Barn over the last several years. Our books are still available at CARMICHAEL'S, Frankfort Avenue and Bardstown Road, in LOUISVILLE, as well as online at Amazon.

Check out the latest Clayton River Adventure chapter book for ages 7-11, Clayton’s River Adventure Louisville to Paducah, at the website:



Posted on November 15, 2017 at 3:36 PM Comments comments (2760)

November 15, 2017
Linda M. Penn
            Nothing quite like a new baby – for my co-writer, Frank, and I, there’s nothing quite like a new BOOK!
            The shipment of our fourth Clayton River Adventure series book, “Clayton’sRiver Adventure Louisville to Paducah,” just got delivered!  Now, all those tedious writing sessions while “camping out” one morning a week at Panera Bread Louisville Oxmoor seem well worth it!  Hard to explain just how exciting it is to see our ideas actually out there in print.  This book was prompted by the requests of teachers that Frank and I met from the western KY area at the KY Teachers of English and Language Arts Conference two years ago.
            Special thanks to the other team members – Melissa Quinio, illustrator, and Marie Billings, editor and layout designer, and the other people who helped us along the way.  Be sure and see the Acknowledgements page in the front matter when you read the book.  As usual, the back matter of the book contains references, nautical language, and ideas for teachers and parents to use with the book.
            So…just be prepared!  Frank or I will be out there on the Book Signing trail soon. 
You can get precise dates and times and other details at website:
The book cover and summary are also on the website.  Book is available on Amazon and through IngramSpark.
            Many thanks to family, friends, and supporters, particularly, the independent book stores, libraries, and schools that we have made connections with in the last several years.
God Bless and Happy Reading,


Posted on August 30, 2017 at 11:58 AM Comments comments (52)
September 1, 2016
Linda M. Penn
            All good things come to an end…at least an end to things as we know them now!  I hope reading my Blogs has been a good thing for you, however, I am suspending writing my monthly Blog as of this date.
            I began a Blog in June, 2012 to give a helping hand to teachers and parents, providing reading and writing ideas to use with their kids.  Here we are 60+ Blogs later and just not sure what else I can suggest to you!  Thanks for your comments along the way.  Please continue to email me with any questions or concerns.
            The other writing projects will continue.  I am currently involved in two projects – another Clayton’s River Adventure children’s chapter book with my cousin, Frank J. Feger, and my first attempt at writing a book targeted to adults with my friend, Sara.  Also, other projects are rumbling around in my head, including a “BOMB,” a Book of My Blogs.
            Signing off for now with the Blogs but will continue to email a monthly Newsletter, my attempt to keep followers advised of what is happening in my life as an author!  If you are not on my monthly email Newsletter list and would like to be, please let me know at:  [email protected]
            You can also keep up with my activities at website:
 God Bless and Happy Reading,


Posted on July 31, 2017 at 11:01 AM Comments comments (82)
Linda M. Penn
            Weren’t we just talking about what to do on summer break?  How did the summer go by so quickly?  Yes, time flies!
            Sparking success for a school year actually depends on everyone in our communities.  Give that encouraging word to kids when they come through your checkout line with all those new school supplies, when they come to your library, when they try on clothes at the dressing room of your store, and of course, when they try on those new shoes in your shoe department.  And don’t forget smiles and kind words for the parents, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, kitchen staffs, office staffs, custodial workers, and anyone else involved in the start of school.
            I don’t normally repeat a Blog but I received several positive comments about my August 1, 2016 Blog about courage and fear in the new school year.  So, here goes:
Provide your kiddos with courage and confidence to take away the anxiety and fear of a new school year. 
1)    Arm them with the appropriate tools – supplies, clothes, shoes.
2)    Tour the school.
3)    Meet teachers, principals, counselors, office staff.
4)    If possible, purchase a T-shirt with the school logo.
5)    Discuss morning, after-school, and nighttime expectations with them.
6)    Begin the bedtime routine at least a week ahead of time.
7)    Discuss lunchtime options – buy or bring?  If bring, compromise on nutritional food choices.
8)    Address any concern of your children in a POSITIVE manner.
9)    Model a GOOD ATTITUDE.  Show your excitement but calmness about the upcoming year.
10) Reinforce to them how proud you are of them.
Please see Bible verse Phillipians 4:6.  “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in all your prayers, ask God for what you need, always with a thankful heart.”
See you back here the first week of September.  New Blog:  “MOVING ON!”
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved Linda M. Penn