Friday, March 23, 2012

Learning Disabilities

I grew up in LD classes. (learning disabilities) which was like special ed but a step above. No one knew what was wrong with me... including me. All i knew is i couldn't spell, and had a hard time reading and understanding what i read. I found out later that i had A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) and dyslexia. Some have asked me what is it like to have A.D.D. or Dyslexia? First off i don't see things backwards. i see things normal. but when i try to get the idea from my head to my fingers it comes out all mixed up. lets say i want to type 123 but for some reason i type 2 then 3 then remember i forgot the 1 (231) weird huh. and the a.d.d. is like listening to 20 radio stations at once my mind keeps wandering.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

more Q and A on illustrations

Q)  How do you do your illustrations?

A) I do my illustrations in many ways. Today I will be talking about livescribe smart pen. This pen can be used by students and artist. This pen can record teachers and professors while you take notes and the notes and the voices can be uploaded to your computer. Also it has a cool play back feature that you can tap on your notes and hear what was said when you where writing those notes. But I also use this for doodles. You can doodle on the paper and then upload it to your computer. Then i use photoshop to paint the doodles. If your interested you can save 15% on this pen by clicking here 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Author and illustration presentation day

Reading is a door into imagination! I Spent the day at Summersville Middle School in West Virginia. After a 2 hour drive through the snow covered mountains, the highway finally cleared just as the sun was rising. The yellowish pink winter sunrise welcomed me to a start of a new day. I arrived early in Summersville around 7:30am I had to be there at 8:30 so I had plenty of time for breakfast at  McDonalds. The people in Summersville where so polite and kind, with a hello, a smile, and a how do you do. Southern hospitality. It was a good start to a great day. When I arrived  everyone at the school was also so nice.They escorted  me to the right room. As i followed a nice young boy through the maze like halls enjoying the paper dolls and other works  of art that where taped to the walls. The boy was telling me about this teacher here is so and so, and thats so and so, she is a good teacher i like her. And then i met Barbra and her class. Everything was great. after we whent to the hall and we had our presentations. Anna Egan Smucker was there reading and talking about her books and how she writes them. I learned alot from her and i'm sure the kids did too. Then it was my turn and the kids listen very well and asked such great questions. i signed a lot of books and hope to return to see my new friends some day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Uncle Dave's Q and A

Recently I have been asked a lot of questions about how to write children's book. So I will be answering these questions and if you have any you can post them in the comments  or email me

Q)     How do you come up with the ideas for your books?

A)     Sometimes they just come to me. Inspiration strikes! But the majority of my ideas are always close to home. You write what you know I always say. The things I write about are inspired by my family, my pets, or just my experiences in life. If you are a writer you should always write what you know. I know this sounds simple but don't write about the civil war if your not a history major! Also keep your mind open and a pen and paper handy at ALL TIMES! These things have a way of waking you up at night.

Q)    How do you make your illustrations?

A)    Sometimes I use color pencils and scan them into Photoshop and I use a WACOM BAMBOO pen tool. This pen is actually a mouse that knows your pen pressure. I LOVE IT!! and no I do not get paid to say that.... I wish I did. I use Photoshop smudge and burn and dodge tools to push around the colors like watercolor and finger painting... I am a big kid after all.

Q)    What schools did you go to?

A)    I have an AS degree in visual communications from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and I went to California University of Pennsylvania for my art ed degree but did not get it.

More questions and answers to COME!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Dogs

Christmas time is here and many of you might be considering buying a dog for your child. There are a few things you should know before you head off to buy a designer dog from a breeder or store.  Many breeders over breed there dogs.   Many of the dogs have multiple litters using the same dogs. This can cause health issues in the puppies. Also there is a less expensive alternative. Your local humane societies are over flowing with many lovable furry friends. You can even find pure bred dogs there. Due to the down turn in the economy, people are getting laid off and the pets are the first to suffer because the owners just can't afford to care for them. You can adopt a pet there for a fraction of the price of a breeder and really help a dog in need.

I picked out my dog Lady from "Lady's Day To Play" from the humane society.  She is a Jack Russell, Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, Maltese mutt mix. 
She is my little teddy bear she is all fluff and loves to sleep in the bed or on my lap. She is my own "designer dog".

Before you pick that perfect pet make sure your child is ready for the responsibility of owning a dog. They will need to go to the vet once a year for vaccinations. Also if you pick a long haired dog you need to get them groomed at least twice a year if not three times. You will have to walk them daily and feed them at least twice a day. Change their water too, even if the bowl is empty you should empty it and rinse the bowl. You don't like stale water neither do they. The dog will need to be bathed and brushed. You should get them spayed or neutered, not only will this save you from taking care of unwanted pups but the dog will live longer. The dogs will also need love of course to keep them healthy and happy.    

I hope you have a very merry and furry Christmas

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Greenbrier trip.

Nothing like riding through the winding highways of West Virginia. As i snaked threw the ridges of the mountains the sun started to rise making pastel pink and purple clouds. The mountains silhouetted against the sky. As i descended down the mountain a cloud or fog was stuck on the top and the highway dipped right under it. I could see the top and the bottom of the cloud. The highways snaked along the ridges and the valleys and through thick forest. After i got of the highway the roads twisted through small towns that most of them had just a church some had post offices or volunteer fire departments. Very few of these towns had stores or gas stations. As i drove for what seemed an eternity i finally arrived at my destination the Greenbrier.  It was the biggest resort i have ever seen.