Yesterday (Saturday, June 25, 2016) was AMAZING!

First off, my parents, my 3 yr old, and myself were all up, ready, in the car, and able to pull out of the driveway at 8:30 am straight up…the time we had set to leave! Many of you won’t understand the significance of this; I assure you that it is a huge accomplishment (especially more my daughter and I!).

So, we were all up early on a Saturday, we stopped for donuts, and Dad drove us two hours to a Kansas zoo…but not just ANY zoo, NOPE! We went to Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard Kansas, where mom and I had a book launch/signing for Leonard the Lemur.

Exactly one year to the day after Matt Fouts (the amazing director of the park) gave us his go ahead to include Tanganyika in our children’s picture book, we were there signing copies, scoping out animals, and having an absolutely wonderful time!

Lucas (Media Ma Extraordinaire) hung out during the signing and took pictures, talked, asked questions…basically just made us feel like a part of the Tanganyika family!

So a BIG THANK YOU is in order to Matt, Lucas, Lauren, and all the rest of the staff (and animals) at that amazing place. Below are just a spare few of the pictures I took during this fun day. You can find Leonard the Lemur on Amazon and Createspace (check out amazon.com/author/eliabethtyree for all of my published works).

For MORE on the real life Leonard, his friends, and his home check out the park at twpark.com

Leonard June 25 2016

Leonard the Lemur! (Who just took over his bachelor group. Way to go Leonard, We’re Proud of you!) Taken by Lucas at TWPARK.com

Artistic Tuesday Featuring Turtleberry

Hello everyone and thank you for joining us o the first ever Artistic Tuesday! This week I am featuring an #STQWRITERSCHAT twitter friend, The ever talented and vivacious “Turtleberry!” Let’s get started and see what she has to say.

1) What made you decide to pick up a camera and begin taking pictures?

I honestly can’t even remember. I have been taking pictures since fourth or fifth grade. I went to a summer program that taught us techniques and how to develop film.

2) What is your favorite type of subject?

I love taking pictures of nature. I also like taking photos of people when they aren’t posing for pictures. Posing seems cheesy to me. I went through a period of being obsessed with taking pictures of the sky.


3) What kind of camera/gear do you use…and could you explain a little about it for us please?

I use a Nikon D5100. I honestly don’t know a lot about my camera except it is a DSLR. I also like to take pictures with my cell phone.

I don’t know how you do what you do with a cell phone…I can’t make pictures like that on my little digital camera, much less the phone! (Not for lack of trying though, honestly.)

4) When you travel, what equipment do you take with you?

I take my camera and two lenses with me.

5) Is there a piece of your gear that you wish you hadn’t purchased, or that you just never really use?

Nope. I don’t have much. Stuff is expensive. I have to pine for it for a while before I invest.

6) Among your works, which is your favorite, and why?

Oh. Well. I have a picture of a snow-covered tree that I absolutely love for reasons I can only explain as it is very pretty. I also loved working on the More Than Words Project (www.facebook.com/MoreThanWordsProject). Taking fun pictures of my friends was awesome.

7) Whose work has most influenced your own?

I love photography. I haven’t really studied other photographer’s work much. I love Gordon Parks and Annie Lebowitz. Most times I pay more attention to the image rather than who took it.

8) What advice would you give to budding photographers?

Keep snapping pictures. Also, try out different editing software. Practice is key. I sometimes take three hundred pictures to get ten that I love. Other times I get it right on the first shot.

it seems as though the same basic advice can span over pretty much any profession or hobby. You want to do it? get started and keep going. You want to learn? Practice…Great advice we often forget while searching for the ‘magic’ key to everything clicking into place. 

9) You are also an author, among several other things. Would you care to give us a little insight into that portion of your world and how it interacts with your photography?

It is all about creativity and having creative outlets. I see pictures as stories. I see stories as a series of pictures. Both forms are extensions of who my creative being is.
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10) Finally: Where can we find your work? 

Twitter: @turtleberry @TurtleberryPRS
SnapChat: msturtleberry
Thank you Ms. Turtleberry, for taking time out of your creatively busy schedule to answer these questions for us! You photographs are gorgeous and I love that you don’t weigh yourself down with things the most ‘on trend’ equipment or staying inside your own ‘box’ (lane? Whatever!)
If you enjoyed this, leave a little love for Turtleberry in the comment section! Don’t forget to go check her other pages, photographs, and projects out. She’s everywhere..
If you think you might like your own feature on Artistic Tuesdays, drop me a comment and let me know what it is you do! We’ll probably be able to find somewhere to put your interview…like maybe even featured on a Tuesday! (imagine that..hmmm,)
 Keep that head up, you don’t often find inspiration while staring at your toes. Until next time, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Leonard the Lemur

A few years ago I wrote an early elementary book about a little lemur. The lemur’s name was Leonard and he LOVED lighthouses. Now Leonard was raised by a sweet lady who read to him and taught him about all sorts of things, and when he was old enough to move to the zoo she still came to visit him often. I have always loved this book and intended to edit, illustrate, and include lemur and lighthouse facts. However, by the time I finished Stone Dragon 1 and 2 and thought to take a break for Leonard, the old computer had lost most of his story again.

I felt dejected and upset at myself, so I went back to my dragons and tried to remember what I had lost with the lemur. Fast forward 2 years. I am sitting at my desk observing while a classroom full of 22 students takes state tests. Suddenly, a little lemur begins to dance across my mind again. Not to give me the story I had already written, but to show me how it began. So I wrote a new book. A picture book prequel. Leonard the Lemur Who Loves Lighthouses. 

A few days later came the realization that I would have had to re-write the 1st (now 2nd) book anyway, even if it hadn’t been lost, because it is actually TWO books! So Now my illustrator (Mom) is really going to have a load of work to so this summer because there are 3 early literacy (hopefully leveled) readers to get done. Leonard the Lemur Who Loves Lighthouses, Leonard the Lemur Takes a Trip, and Leonard the Lemur Finds His Home.

Each one will come complete with a small section of facts about lemurs, lighthouses, and other animals/areas he encounters during his adventures.

I am SO EXCITED to get this project back up and running again.

I always look forward to hearing what you think. Leave a note and let me know!

May your inspiration lift you up from the mundane and let you dance in the clouds today!

A Writer’s Day Off – OR – Camel Kisses

I have a very creative toddler who loves animals more than just about anything (except for her grandparents…I WISH she would beg for a zebra as much as she asks where her Papa is!) This morning she informed me she wanted to pet a zebra, so we did just that.

After spending most of the week cooped up in the house, I decided to take my daughter to play. There is a sweet little place a few miles outside of town, run by old school mates of mine (as most places in small towns seem to be) and we were feeling adventurous so we headed out there with thoughts of stripes dancing in her head.

OH! What fun was had! There have been several baby goats, and one cute little sheep, birthed in the past few weeks and not only were we allowed to pet them…we got to hold one! My little ‘Monkey’ kissed a Zebra, got kissed by Zebras, Llamas, and a Camel, AND got to climb up and slide down a hay slide. Did I mention the small pen she got to play in with the baby pot-bellied pigs? (Or the rabbits, ducks, chickens, etc.) For myself, I got to take a selfie with the camel…I feel COOL!

I had to move quickly and missed getting her face in the picture 😦 But the Zebras were both nuzzling her at the same time! 😀


Me and Dylan just chillin’


However, I often laugh at myself because of my ‘writerly’ tendencies and today was no different. On the way out to the Menagerie I found myself mentally writing a blog post about driving with toddlers (I should write that sometime!). As we pulled in and parked I looked around the well-kept grounds and saw our first glimpses of the penned animals and began to tell Monkey little pieces of ideas for children’s books with those animals as characters (A potbellied piglet named Pauline who likes to sing anybody??). After we got into the area and began walking around, I caught myself mentally converting what I was seeing into words and then taking those words and building descriptive sentences.

I tried to stop, I really did. I mean honestly, I am pouring my heart into The Stone Dragon Saga and the only animal they have in common with the petting zoo is Passiona’s pet goat (although she did have babies recently…hmm.) Do I have the time between writing book 4 (Dragons in the Deep) while utilizing Camp NaNoWriMo, writing articles for Yahoo! Contributor’s Network, blogging, and playing with Monkey to start working on something else, even something as short as Children’s Picture Book stories? The short answer: No. The answer I’m giving…mmmmaaaayyyybbbeee. I mean, I write a short story once a week for the blog anyway, right? *Insert crazy grin here*. We shall see what happens.

In any case, whether or not I ever get around to writing those stories, I got kissed by a camel, a goat, a zebu, and a donkey AND I hand fed an Emu..that’s right, AN EMU. (And I didn’t scream when that beak came down, snaps for Beth.)

As I watch my daughter grow and change, these small moments when I pushed the characters aside and focused on fun with her will be ever more important. I may definitely be a writer for life, but for an hour or two today, I was a mommy living life…and it felt good.





Pirate Ships


The Stone Dragon Saga Book 4: Dragons in the Deep will include some pirates and ships within the main crux of the story. (And probably require me to re-watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies a few times…how sad Gort vs Pirates: What's better Pirates Of The Caribbean or Serenity  )


Since I’ve been informed that reading up on salvaging and then watching Johnny Depp sashay around the screen for hours on end does not, in fact, constitute real research, I’ve been poking around the internet today and discovered something that I had somehow forgotten in all of the commercialization of the ‘classic pirate’…pirate ships were COOL!

The beauty and eerie of the shipwrecks, the sleek lines of the replicas and scale models, and even the gorgeous strokes of the pen and ink or pencil drawings; they all show me a world full of possibilities. Sure, a lot of those possibilities wound up being crueler than Barbosa, uglier than One Eyed Willy’s skeleton, and full of the pox or scurvy…but the BOATS…the boats were gorgeous. Below are some links to other blogs or sites that I have found to contain great information or, more than likely, pretty pictures! I hope that you enjoy them and have a Blessed day!

“Take what you can, Give Nothing  Back!”








Snow Days

Photo Photo(the view from my front door…I didn’t walk out with the dogs this time!)

The past few days have been cold here. In fact, cold is an understatement. With the snow and winds we have been advised to stay outside for ten minutes or less, and only that if it is absolutely necessary, for fear of frostbite. I have taken these warning seriously and have not left the house! The biggest problem with that, however, is the fact that weather has been playing havoc with the internet connections around town, and I have not been able to post a blog in three days.

I have used that time ‘wisely’:

 I learned a new pattern and can now crochet these mittens with a ‘flip top’ option to turn them into fingerless gloves.

Photo (Aren’t they SUPER CUTE?!?!?! Found the pattern at http://suesfreepatterns.blogspot.ca/2013/08/crocheted-mittens-fingerless-gloves.html)

I finished watching season 6 of The Big Bang Theory

BigBangTheoryTitleCard.png (LOVE THIS SHOW!)

I played A LOT of “random dancing” to kids songs and chase the baby games with my toddler.

and I read Barbara Hay’s The Bulldoggers Club:The Tale of the Ill-Gotten Catfish and wrote an Accelerated Reader test over it. I also wrote a review, which was supposed to post Tuesday and will be posted later today.

Product Details

I still don’t like the cold and snow, but being without internet for a couple of days was almost interesting. I hope that you all stay warm (or cool, depending on what your weather is like!) and have some FUN today!

Don’t forget that Tyree Tomes is having a give away week RIGHT NOW. You can find our free e-downloads at: