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Tax Day 2017

horse“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” I asked one of my kids what that means and he said, “If everyone got what they wanted, even the poorest wouldn’t have any problems.”

His answer made me wonder Am I poor and is that why I wish? More importantly, is my country poor, are we all beggars, and is that why we beggars don’t ride?

Cause sometimes I feel like a beggar, or that small child in Oliver Twist bravely asking, “Please sir (and I do sadly mean sir and not happily mean Ma am), could we have some more?”

And I know that some of us are poor, but I am not, and my country isn’t either. But as April 15 (April 18), our tax deadline day approaches, it seems some of our so-called leaders are poor and not just in money, but in respect, logic, and imagination.

So, if I am a beggar, here’s what I wish:

That the National Endowment for the Arts was as important as our so-called president’s 13 golfing trips to his resort in Florida.

That the men chosen to work at our Environmental Protection Agency would actually protect our environment rather than justify why a government agency should “deregulate” mines and allow owners of these companies to dump wastewater into our rivers.

That the men chosen to head our Environmental Protection Agency, would fund systems to stop climate change: a national recycling, solar, and wind power agency; connect to the Department of Transportation to create national, state, and local electric public transportation that’s convenient, inexpensive, and reliable; connect to the Department of Agriculture to educate our citizens about the benefits of eating grains, legumes, beans over meat.

That our Department of Education, could actually educate all our kids, use its power to teach our youth in all the of the ways we already know work: free and inexpensive college tuition, retraining programs in vocational schools, high expectations, interesting literary discussions, hands on learning, field trips, internships. Imagine what our country could be.

That our national defense agency could try, how ’bout for one year, to actually be a defense agency, rather than the national offense agency that it’s become. We could charge our brigades to wage peace.

National Tax Day is April 15 (April 18). It’s that one-day each year when all Americans have to do the same thing — well, all but the top one percent and our so-called president — pay taxes. And yet, like a beggar, my wishes are not horses and so I won’t get to ride. Instead, my money and the money of 300 million or so Americans will fall into a big piechart and get used to pay for golf trips, wastewater polluters, educational mayhem, and military posturing and fights.

If wishes were horses beggars would ride, and wishing I had a say, I realized I do. Wanna join me and include in your tax payment envelope next Saturday a message that says, “This money is for my country to fund an art-filled and musically inspired citizenry, a healthy environment, and an educated and peaceful nation.”

That message might stave me for another week while I muster the effort to climb back onto the letter-writing, sign-making/marching, phone-calling resistance wagon. Wanna join me?

 

 

 

Slow Down: Front Yard Wild Animal

While out watering and picking strawberries (not many) front yard wild animal scampered onto the edge of my garden cage. At first I thought the — bear with me — small, narrow, brown, bumpy, being was a grasshopper. I don’t like grasshoppers. They remind me of cockroaches, which I also detest, so seeing the tiny tail, two tiny front, and two tiny rear legs and less than two-inch body wiz across the wooden boarder was a relief and almost got an out loud audible “Awwwww,” and urge to scurry in and gather my family to rush out to see the baby reptile.

Instead I ran for my camera. Of course the battery was dead, it always is, but the lizard did not leave while I was away.

Settled atop the frame, it pumped its front and hind legs, the way they do. Me, I carried on a silent and sometimes quiet out loud conversation with it,. “Hey there little guy. Yup, picking fruit today. Think I’ll boost this dirt around the neck of the plant. Just lifting this wood a bit here. Not to worry.”

The lizard remained.

Still intent on clicking the camera, I circled the garden plot to find the best angle and also avoid the sun and shadows pressing from above.

Then I settled into my work. It’s good to appreciate life in the (not so) wild front yard.

Any wild life you appreciate lately?

Slow own for front yard wild animal

Baby Wild Animal

 

 

The Kid’s Novel You’ve Been Waiting For!

I am thrilled to announce release of children’s author Alina Sayre’s third novel, The Iluminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend on June 10. To celebrate, Alina begins today a book tour with the first stop at jenncastro.com   Along the tour Alina will provide reviews, interviews, guest posts, and commentary on other notable authors. There’s also a radio interview! At the end of the tour there will be e-book giveaways of The Illuminator Rising Book 3 (See Rules at Bottom).

Come join Alina and her author circle. You won’t want to miss a single day!

Book 3 ebook cover, BN, smallest

Advance praise for The Illuminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend:  “…a thrilling read…[Sayre] has a flair for being able to capture the interest of a reader and hold onto it.”

-Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review

Synopsis:  Driven from their home island of Rhynlyr, Ellie and her friends must solve a riddle to find the survivors of the Vestigia Roi. But instead of a safe haven, they discover a hopeless band of refugees paralyzed by fear. Strengthened by new allies and new gifts, the crew of the Legend faces dangers like never before. Can they escape being shot out of the sky, falling over the Edge of the world, or being engulfed by urken armies long enough to rally the Vestigia Roi? And can they rekindle a fire from the ashes of the One Kingdom before Draaken takes over the world?

IMG_0189Author bio:  Alina Sayre began her literary career chewing on board books and has been in love with words ever since. Now she gets to work with them every day as an author, educator, editor, and speaker. Her first novel,

The Illuminator’s Gift, won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, and all three books in The Voyages of the Legend series have received 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. When she’s not writing, Alina enjoys hiking, crazy socks, and reading under blankets. She does not enjoy algebra or wasabi. When she grows up, she would like to live in a castle with a large library.

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

June 8: Jenn Castro (jenncastro.com)- Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover, e-book giveaway

June 9: Margaret Bloom (webloomhere.blogspot.com)-Book 1 review, Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover, giveaway

June 10: Publication day!!! Announcement on alinasayre.com

June 11: Angela Wallace (angelawallace.wordpress.com)-guest post

June 12: W.R. Gingell (wrgingell.com)-guest post

June 13: Rabia Gale (rabiagale.com/blog)-Book 1 review, Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover

June 14: A.R. Silverberry (arsilverberry.com/blog)-guest post

June 15: D.M. Stoddard (kingdomoftorrence.com/my-blog) – guest post and giveaway– requested e-book give away

June 16: Intisar Khanani (booksbyintisar.com/blog)-interview

June 18: Caleb Fong (geekosupremo.wordpress.com)-radio interview

RULES for e-book giveaway: 1) Subscribe to the jenncastro.com webpage (including email) and 2) add the following on the jenncastro.com website: your name and a comment on a post on the jenncastro.com website.  If you have read one of Alina’s books, a comment about that book at alinasayre.com would be appreciated. The winner will be randomly selected and checked against the jenncastro.com subscribers list. Good luck.

Toddlers Act Out (Airplanes)

At 2016 Children’s Book Week, toddlers and moms join me in acting out MOM ME movements during a MOM ME book reading at Village House of Books, Los Gatos, CA. Shown here moms and children stretch their arms to perform, “Sometimes my mommy can be an airplane!” I chose to act out the second half of the book because I didn’t think parents would appreciate their kids miming, “My Mommy is not a tissue!” village