74th Arkansas Writer’s Conference

Carol Conference 1

I love going to the Arkansas Writer’s Conference. I meet other authors who share so much information about writing and marketing. Some of us set up tables of our books. Its fun to see the covers and artwork on everyone’s newest offerings. I been to a couple years in a row and its becoming liken unto a family reunion, seeing old friends and catching up. Ideas of what we are each doing to share our stories are fascinating and very helpful. I always learn something fresh and leave with new energy.

This year I was one of the presenters. I shared about my first story “Military Mommy” about my daughter who entered the United States Army. The update was she had been gone to Iraq for the past 10 months and we were awaiting her soon return to America. They were ready to board the plane to come home weeks before but a sudden scary illness had them in quarantine at the time of the conference. I am happy to say even though it was a nasty stomach bug, the soldiers returned safely this week. We had a fun family get together this past weekend and she got to see her children. As a mother, I am relieved and thankful beyond words that she is home. God bless America.

Book Covers & CDs 009

A simple poetic story about military families.  “Military Mommy” about my daughter Melissa Dabney. The little book has photographs of the military base at bootcamp in Jacksonville, South Carolina and her first duty station in the Hawaiian island.

That story led to a biography of my father who was a Navyman during WWII. It was to be a short essay but turned into his whole life’s journey. A military love story  “Dance Me Home” took three years and became a 70,000 word book.  I shared a song I wrote for my dad called “Soldier”

Dance Me Home

Dance Me Home 2012 is a military love story biography written by Carol Dabney

My writing turned a corner after dad’s book and I started writing children’s books. I started working as a music teacher at St. Mark’s Day School in Little Rock. I love children. Raised five of my own. They are grown now and having children of their own.

I wrote a whimsical Christmas story about a mouse. “Twas The Mouse before Christmas” I spent a year learning how to illustrate. That was harder then it sounds.

 

harold-1-cover

 

After that, I was asked to illustrate some animals parables for another author. Attorney Everett Martindale. Presently we have 12 storybooks. At the writer’s conference I shared about how my music students help me in the development of songs to go with the stories.  I featured “Wisdom, the Elephant Used by God”

IMG_1188

My sister-in-law Cindy Reyes translates the animal books into Spanish.  I discovered a talented musician in Rod Ragsdale and we found a recording studio and started producing audiobooks of these wonderful stories. Rod is the voice of many of the stories. We add background sounds and have a lot of fun. I recommend Blue Chair Recording Studio in Austin, Arkansas. The engineer Darian Stribling is fabulous.

 

 

I think at the end of my writer’s conference I share a song I recorded when I was just 17. I had been awarded a recording contract with Paradise Records in Nashville, Tenn after winning the national talent award as “Miss Arkansas Teen” The song “Arkansas” really describes my young life being raised on a 40 acre farm in the Ozarks. Southern roots.

Now I live and work in Little Rock and its been an amazing journey. Thank you to all at the conference for so much encouragement. I’m also thankful for the support in buying my storybooks online at Amazon and local bookstores and festival.

Oh and I am happy to announce that Rod and I will be married at the end of summer 2018.

 

Carol and Rod Patriotic

Rod and I will be reading and singing at the Hillary Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center Saturday July 28th at 10am. Hope to see you there.

https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Dabney/e/B0056B1AFW

 

Thank you Arkansas Writer’s Conference for letting me share my personal journey.

 

 

Advertisements

Veteran’s Day Programs – music and story

America. The flag. Soldiers. We are thankful to all our service men and women who have served this great nation that is our home. We salute the military who are serving now at home and across the sea. This week Rod Ragsdale and myself are singing at several Veteran’s Day programs for schools. We were asked to do more programs, but unfortunately, did not have time for all.

God and country is our musical passion. We also sing at nursing homes and always thank the good folks of that generation for all they have done. Rod’s father was shot during the WWII and his brother was injured in the service of our country as well. Rod served in the navy on a submarine for 6 years, where he learned to play the guitar and harmonica during the quieter moments. My father was in the navy in WWII and was on an air craft carrier. My sister is retired recently, but was a nurse and served as a Lt Col. in the Air Force over in Iraq, Turkey and Germany. and my daughter is a captain in the army serving now.

This year I was honored to sing the national anthem for the annual Alzheimer’s Walk in Little Rock.

This week every year we get to share some things about veteran’s and our personal stories and we sing patriotic songs. Here are some pictures of some of our programs honoring American soldiers. Plus some photos of my books: a children’s book called “Military Mommy” and my father’s biography called, “Dance Me Home.” These books are available on amazon.com

veterans

 

For children to read: fun and poetic

https://www.amazon.com/Military-Mommy-Army-Lieutenant-second-ebook/dp/B00H50JZO0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478808753&sr=8-1&keywords=carol+dabney

For adults to read: a military love story. Inspiring.

https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Me-Home-American-biography/dp/1499287828/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478808898&sr=8-1&keywords=carol+dabney+Dance+Me+Home

 

God Bless America

Summer fun at the Library

I salute our wonderful libraries. The local libraries are always creating new ways to interest kids in reading. Reading can take you places real and imagined. Reading can ignite and inspire.

library event 1 035

Rod and I enjoyed singing and reading our stories at the libraries this summer and taking part in getting children excited about music and showing them some golf adventures.

Reading can change the way you think about your life. When I was young I lived on a goat farm and my sister read Heidi to me. You know the one about a little girl living with goats on a mountainside. What a wonderful story.

The libraries have a theme every summer. A couple years ago the theme was Pause to Read and they had a poster of a puppy reading through a stack of books. Too cute. I enjoyed reading my animal series I had been working on at the time. Well since its a series I guess you could say I am still working on this with my co-author Everett Martindale. I told him The Animals Used By God series would never be finished. There were so many bible stories and animals that I supposed we could just write from now on. That year I traveled to read at the Amador County Library in Pioneer California.

I read my Military mommy book when I read to Sgt Yano Library program at Schofield Army barracks when my daughter was stationed in Oahu. The children and I marched and saluted as I read the pages.

I always like to sing a few songs too. In fact I get asked to sing at the libraries as much as read these days. Libraries are just fun places to go to anytime of the year, but they really work overtime during the summer.

 

 

This year the theme was based all about Sports. Perfect to read Rod’s adventures on golf books. Rod brought his golf club, golf balls, and let the kids try it out first hand. He read his story and sang a couple song with his guitar and the kids loved it. we went to the Children’s Library downtown Little Rock. Maumelle Library. and Nixon Library in  Jacksonville so far this month.

 

rod golf books 9

Its fun to do a Hawaiian program for the kids. Show a bit of hula and tell them about whale watching, and sea turtles. I let them play my ukulele, rain stick and bamboo sticks,  and of course they want to see pictures of the volcano.

 

Hawaii 2014 515

I use to take my children to the library all the time when they were little. They would sit on the floor and look at pictures. They would read some and took great care in each picking out books to bring home. And they were Free books too, what a plus. How can you beat that?  My kids read a lot of books and they all did well in school. I think it really helped to have joined in on fun programs and reading challenges at the library. I just love the library. A great way to spend the summer. So just wanted to say Thank you.

my books can also be found on Amazon …

http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Dabney/e/B0056B1AFW

 

Tee Time

Aliyah's first golf day 023

It’s summer time, the kids are out of school. What to do? Let play some golf and start them young says Rod Ragsdale, author of “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course”… its a great outdoor sport for the whole family.

 

 

March artwork 076

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Andrew-Golf-Course-Adventure/dp/1514820870/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466683804&sr=1-2&keywords=Rod+Ragsdale

A fun short story for young children to inspire them to get out there and learn the game of golf. In this series of golf stories Rod tells about how there is a lot more going on on the golf course then you’d think. There are amazing trees and flowers, lots of small animals, insects and wonderful birds.

golf pictures 037

There is nature all around for families to discover. In his first book he tells the true story about how Andrew saves a little duck, and how golf brings out a person’s character.

Its a tender Go-Ask-Dad story line in each book as Andrew learns how to be a better golfer and about being a better person all around.  golf pictures 027

Golf is a game you can challenge yourself or your friends.

It’s summertime. Let play a game of golf!

March artwork 077

Rod Ragsdale has been in the golf industry for 40 years. Now he is retired and plays golf every morning for fun.

 

Reading and singing at schools

 

I have enjoyed reading and singing for schools. Military Mommy was my first book. This is a wonderful true story about a military family. We salute the American soldier and their families.

http://www.amazon.com/Military-Mommy-Carol-Dabney/dp/1456800329/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

The second storybook was The Happy Pumpkin, Patch. I have read this fun holiday book at the the Good Earth Garden Center Pooches and Pumpkins Festival for 3 years now. They have my books displayed.

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Pumpkin-Patch-childrens-Thanksgiving/dp/1480236675/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

We had lots of fun with Twas The Mouse Before Christmas. Reading at the Arkansas State Capital annual Christmas Tree Lighting and for Holiday House in Little Rock, as well as many schools. We are scheduled to read again in 2016.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Twas-Mouse-Before-Christmas-Tail/dp/1477608370/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

I now have audio books with songs for my stories with the help of Cindy Reyes and Rod Ragsdale. We make a great team and love the work we do teaching children.

http://www.amazon.com/Mouse-Before-Christmas-Carol-Dabney/dp/B0182XWYNM/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1463789102&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Carol+Dabney+music

 

 

Singing at Nursing Homes, a great generation part 2, Jan-April 2016

Singing at nursing homes and for assisted living residents is so rewarding. They seem to appreciate the music we share from the oldies, country, patriotic, gospel, soft rock, Disney, Hawaiian, and folk. We take pictures of where we have been but do not take pictures of the their faces, however it is their faces that touch my heart when we sing a song and I see them go from sitting half asleep in their wheel chairs to their eyes lighting up and begin to clap and sing along. There is something wonderful in those faces when they start to remember through a song. It makes me wonder what kind of life did they have? What war, what work, what love, what families they had? My father had Alzheimer’s and forgot so much, but when I sang a song he remembered he could sing every word. Those songs would lite up in his eyes and he would say, “You made my day” so I found music reaches a part of our heart, music goes to the soul like nothing else can. It’s amazing and God has blessed me with the passion of music. I teach music to children at school during the mornings and the afternoons I sing at nursing homes. It is my gift, so I sing.

Rod Ragsdale and Carol Dabney

Rod Ragsdale and Carol Dabney play music for the very young and the very old.

January at Elmcroft in Maumelle Arkansas with our one small speaker and one microphone we shared.

Jan 2016 085 Jan 2016 088

snow and nursing home humor

Jan 2016 132

Early January 024

in a bigger room at Elmcroft a few weeks later with a bigger speaker and two microphones.

Jan 2016 123

 

Jan 2016 130

Elmcroft asked if we would twice a month. Rod likes to tell a joke or two …sometimes he is funny!

Jan 2016 171

in February we went to Lakewood Nursing Homer in North Little Rock  for their Valentines Program

Jan 2016 144  Jan 2016 145

Mardi Gras program at Pleasant Valley Nursing Home

Jan 2016 253  Jan 2016 248

we sang Oh When the Saints Go Marching In, Mardi Gras Time, and Proud Mary

Jan 2016 242 Jan 2016 243

oh below is my son Josh… he plays the ukulele too. I lived in Hawaii for 15 years and all my children are musical and we would often play music as a family at the nursing homes on the Islands. This is Joshua’s senior photo. He attends UCA now.

Feb 2016 111

March and the St Patrick’s program at Lakewood… I love that they have the same white tree up for Christmas, then change to hearts for Valentines and then add the green hats for St Patrick’s celebration.

March artwork 020

Emcroft

March artwork 059 March artwork 050

In March and April we also went to Valley Ranch, Stonehaven, Brairwood and Andovere nursing homes in Little Rock.

March artwork 147 March art 2016 048

Got hula… got Hawaiian luau music

April Art 075 April Art 069

Love to sing patriotic programs… Rod and my dad were in the Navy…my sister is a retired Air Force Lt Col. and my daughter is a Army captain.

April Art 238

in April there was more Hawaiian fun. Looking forward to more. We are working on recording a album of our own music for a summer time release 2016 Nothing Better Than You… of songs we have composed.

other music available at Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Just-My-Imagination-Carol-Dabney/dp/B00004RI81/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461411794&sr=8-1&keywords=Carol+Dabney+music+Just+My+Imagination

 

Radio Show -call host 516-387-1637 March 7 interview

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kinia_colbert/2015/03/08/story-teller-carol-dabney-visits-through-the-looking-glass-with-kinia-colbert

People have asked where to call during radio interview this Saturday night March 7… Through the Looking Glass radio show with Kinia is out of Atlanta and is a family program. I will be interviewed about my books and music. Call in at 7pm Eastern Time (6pm Arkansas Time) to talk to host Kinia Colbert to comment or ask questions during interview 516-387-1637 Thanks for your support.

author, illustrator and composer Carol Dabney

author, illustrator and composer Carol Dabney

author - illustartor  - composer Carol Dabney library reading and music programs

author – illustartor – composer Carol Dabney library reading and music programs

http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Dabney/e/B0056B1AFW