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”

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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.

 

 

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Summer Programs of 2017

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Michelle and Carol Dabney and Rod Ragsdale. We had a lot of fun the summer of 2017 playing music for senior centers and for children programs in central Arkansas. Here we are at the Hilary Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center for story hour doing a Hawaiian program on July 18, 2017.

Michelle danced a lovely hula. She was born in the Hawaiian islands. She is a health coach in the Little Rock area.

Rod gave an indoor golfing demonstration and we sold his “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course” book series.

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Andrew-Golf-Course-Adventure/dp/1514820870/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509239591&sr=1-1&keywords=Rod+Ragsdale

We also did a Hawaiian program for the Kids Zone at Fitness 10 gym in Little Rock July 14, 2017. Telling the kids all about Hawaii.

We sang Hawaiian songs and danced the hula.

We also shared our Hawaiian program for the Whole Foods Kids Club September 1, 2017.

The kids enjoyed doing some hula with Michelle. I read the story of “Military Mommy” about my daughter in the army when she was stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks. She is serving in Iraq now.

https://www.amazon.com/Military-Mommy-Second/dp/1480038989/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509240150&sr=1-2&keywords=Carol+Dabney+Military+Mommy

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Rod and sang for a Hawaiian luau at The Manor Nursing Home in Little Rock, on my birthday in September and I was presented with a cake. We are regulars there and they have become like family to us the past two years.

Rod and I went into the recording studio and made a really awesome new audiobook for children. “Mia, the Mouse Used by God” with an original song “Where You Go” about a mouse who becomes a match -maker for Ruth and Boaz from the bible story out of the book of Ruth. We recorded at Blue Chair Recording Studio in Austin, Arkansas July 27, 2017.

https://www.amazon.com/Mouse-Used-Ragsdale-Carol-Dabney/dp/B074R45NM6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509240541&sr=8-1&keywords=Carol+Dabney+Music

https://www.amazon.com/Mia-Mouse-Used-God-Animals/dp/1537353802/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509240485&sr=1-1&keywords=Carol+Dabney+Mia+the+Mouse

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We had a lot of fun singing this past summer. Hope you will check out all my books available on Amazon. Thank you for supporting local artists and authors.

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

 

Thanks for stopping in. -Carol Dabney

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

The weather is changing, the leaves are falling and it has that holiday feeling in the air. It just all happens so fast. In October Halloween was fun and our school has Miss Pickle Witch who serves pickles with stories in the library. I am reading my  Happy Pumpkin Patch at various schools and selling my little books at fall festivals.

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Pumpkins are everywhere and they are beautiful.

In November Mr. Rod comes to share stories for Veteran’s Day at our school and we also went to Whole Food Kid’s Club this year and a few others schools. He talks about his submarine while he served in the navy. We sing patriotic songs and wave flags. We love singing patriotic songs. We are blessed to be American.

That means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. My Happy Pumpkin, Patch is still being read to welcome in this wonderful holiday. It is about how to plant pumpkins and take care of them, how to make a jack-o-lantern and make healthy treats.

The book  is about having faith, and patience. It’s about a pilgrim named Jack, and how he protects his one pumpkin so when it has grown big he can share the many seeds with all his nieghbors so years to come all others will be able to have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day.

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How the pilgrims and Indians celebrated harvest time and Thanksgiving. This book for very young children is good for reading as a family before eating your Thanksgiving meal. It’s in poetic form the whole family will enjoy. I illustrated with very simple watercolor artwork. Get the book, bring it out and read it every year from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Thank you for your support.

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

Yes, I love reading my stories at schools, classrooms or assemblies. I read at festivals and libraries and churches and would love to come to your program. Let me know.

Be the pumpkin.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Make a Jack-O-Lantern smile, share and eat the seeds and pumpkin pie, Be thankful and be a blessing. -Carol

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

June and July 2016 Carol and Rod Music

June 2016 we found ourselves singing at a country western show at Fox Ridge in North Little Rock. I loved the themed parties y’all. YeeHaw this was fun! Rod and I put on our cowboy hats and sang all our country and folk songs.

I went down south to Ft. Polk, Louisiana and read and sang to my grand daughter Aliyah’s school on the Army base while awaiting the arrival on a new grandchild. Aliyah has helped me present this story several times now from Hawaii to Virginia about her military mommy, the title of the book is of course, “Military Mommy.”

When I got back to Little Rock, we sang at Elmcroft for their Birthday party.

Happy 4th of July at Elmcroft in Maumelle and Brookdale in Little Rock.

Hawaiian summer reading program with stories, songs, and hula at the Maumelle Public Library was lots of fun. We will be presenting a Christmas program December 10, 2016 at 11:30am.

Golfing in the library maybe a first at the Clinton’s Children’s library and learning center Summer reading program. Rod shows children how to putt and reads his first golfing story called “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course.” I’ll tell you, they were very interested and had alot of fun.

Then of course we had to do a bit of hula because we always do during the summer programs and its expected and all the kids get out there and have lots of fun. Some of our Arkansas kids have never seen the ocean, so I enjoy telling them all about my beloved Hawaii, where I lived for 15 years.

All our Hawaiian, military and golf stories are found on Amazon.  “Military Mommy” by Carol Dabney and “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course” by Rod Ragsdale. Please check out all our storybooks for Children and consider them for Christmas gifts. Thank you for your support. We have two new Christmas books this year: “The Adventures of Andrew on the Golf Course -Book Four -Golfing with Santa.” and “Santa’s North Pole Princess”

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

 

Rod and I will be singing: at Holiday House Santa event at the Arkansas State Convention Center downtown Little Rock Saturday November 12 from 9-noon; at the Arkansas State Capital annual Christmas tree lighting with Santa Saturday December 3 from 6-8pm; at the Maumelle Library Saturday Dec 10 at 11:30am, and Clinton Children’s Library Monday December 19 at 11am.

 

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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