TROOP in the wild!

TROOP in the wild!

Wow! Talk about a week of extreme highs and extreme lows.

It began with an awesome trip to Denver to take part in this month’s 12 x 12 featured author Peter Brown’s book tour for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. The trip included connecting with several 12 x 12 friends. We had so much fun! It’s always a treat to get-together with fellow kidlit creators.

Then the rains came. And came and came and came. They stopped briefly, then came again. Still coming. The rains have been called “biblical” by the media.

I have never in my life seen anything (first-hand) like the level of destruction this flooding has caused in Boulder and adjacent areas. Terrifying and devastating. But as always at times like this, people reach out to one another and work together to ease the suffering of those directly affected. Many have put themselves at the front lines of danger to evacuate people AND their pets!

Peter and the 12 x 12 crew - proudly sporting buttons!

Peter and the 12 x 12 crew – proudly sporting buttons!

Still more are providing food and shelter, and donating time, talent and resources to the stabilization (and soon recovery) efforts. Times like this serve to remind us that on the whole, humans are resilient and good. It’s also more important than ever to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for.

During one of the short-lived partings in the clouds, Stacey Williams-Ng at Little Bahalia sent me a photo of the print version of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS in a bookstore!! In the grand-scheme of the universe, this event doesn’t even register. But in personal terms, it’s cardinal. The first time you see your first book in a bookstore – well there are no words that quite cover the s

urge of emotion. So I’ll leave it at that. Plus, it was great balm to my soul after a rough few days.

In all, this week has been a good reminder that, whether in times of great joy or in times of great sorrow, it is always, always possible to find reasons to be grateful.

Quotes on Gratitude

“‘Thank you power’ is writing down the moments that are good in your life so that you can go back and reflect on them – so you’ve got this sort of repository of good stuff in your past.” — Deborah Norville

“None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” — Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

“We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being.” — Iyanla Vanzant

Gratitude list for the week ending September 14

  1. The most important thing – my family and friends are all safe as the flooding continues. The rain is supposed to end tomorrow. (fingers crossed!)
  2. The print version of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS has landed on U.S. shores! Some of them at least, with many more to come! One of them even found its way into an indie bookstore!! Such a thrill!
  3. A friend was nice enough to take me in on short notice Thursday, AND made me an amazing dinner, when I no longer felt safe in my house alone.
  4. So many friends and family checked in with me online and by phone to make sure we were safe. It’s always helpful to know there are people out there who care.
  5. Got to hang out with Peter Brown in Denver as part of his book tour, get a signed copy of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, and give my kids a chance to meet him.
  6. Also got to hang out with some awesome 12 x 12 friends, including Vivian Kirkfield. She and I had never met, and this was our last chance before she moves to NH in the coming weeks. Such a treat! We all (including Peter) wore our 12 x 12 buttons with pride!
  7. My daughter got a great role in her next musical – Mulan – which includes a singing solo.
  8. My son knocked his second grade presentation out of the park!
  9. Sharing a dinner of grilled pork tenderloin last night (rain be damned!) with a friend I hadn’t seen all summer.
  10. My house, so far, is intact. No shifting, no leaking, no flooding. I’ve never been so grateful to have a solid roof over my head.

What are you grateful for this week?

P.S. Because this is International Dot Day, here is the one I made as a representation of my week (and this post).

For International Dot Day

For International Dot Day

Categories: 12 x 12, 12 x 12 Featured Author, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Apps, Authors, College Football, Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Picture Books, Publishing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Glad you are okay, Julie. And congratulations on all these wonderful accomplishments… so much to be grateful for.

  2. Getting to me you was awesome, Julie! Who knows when our paths will cross again…maybe at some SCBWI conference somewhere. 🙂
    I love your gratitude Sunday posts…and I’ll be praying that these crazy monsoon-like storms will soon pass. It is actually thundering and raining like crazy here in the Springs! Hope my roof doesn’t start leaking again. 🙂

  3. So glad to hear you and yours are safe and about your home! Same for me up here – lucky to be above any flooding, but man do I wish the rain would stop! Already can’t get the doors to close properly! A speck in relation to what we can see online. Amazing to see places we know well…just gone. Glad you do this every Sunday – especially this one!

    • I can’t get my doors to shut properly either – or to lock! But I’m so glad the roof isn’t leaking so I’m not complaining! Glad you appreciated the post today.

  4. Thank goodness you’re safe and sound and leak/flood free. I’m grateful to have been able to take my dog back to “work” at the Veteran’s home. It’s our first therapy team visit since before my knee surgery.

  5. Great post Julie…I love reading your Gratitude Sunday!

  6. What a lovely post and I love you Dot! I’m glad that many bloggers have posted dots. I’m also grateful that you and your family are safe.

    Can not figure it out, but every time I leave a comment on your site, I receive everyone’s comments in my WP reader. And you receive a lot of comments. It doesn’t happen with anyone else. I never click “notify me.” That’s a major reason you don’t see post a lot — because of all the comments I receive from your site. Any suggestions? It didn’t use to happen.

  7. So important to keep this gratitude going even in challenging times like this horrendous flooding. I too am grateful for your and other friends’ safety in CO.

    YIPPEE for TROOP hitting bookstores!

  8. Way to go, being thankful amid the storms of life! Glad you’re safe and got to see your book in print!

  9. Wow you have had one busy time of it all! Glad you and the kids are safe. Hope the weather gets better for you. You always have such a positive outlook no matter the situation, a real treasure to know. Take care and love your dot!

  10. I found out about the Boulder floods via some of the blogs I read (including a video blog by a science guy who lives there and rushed out to film some of it).. It looks like a real ordeal for those who have to live through it. But as you say, in such moments we discover the true goodness of humanity; and that, I think, is the ray of hope shining through in trying times. Stay safe and I hope all settles soon.

  11. I’m glad you are safe, Julie. I’ve been sending lots of prayers to all my Colorado peeps.

  12. That dot perfectly sums up your week, Julie. So glad you were rescued by a friend who can cook! Enjoy the feeling of your book being in the shop and Mulan sounds fab!

  13. Glad you are safe and I hope Boulder and the adjoining areas dry out soon, so recovery can begin. Meeting you all at Peter Brown’s signing was a highpoint for me too. I love my 12x button and wore it proudly this week … Congrats on the book being available in hard copy and in stores!

  14. I’m grateful that you’re okay. As soon as I heard about the flooding, I instantly thought of you. I’m grateful that I have a job, and that I get to work 40 hours this week. I’m grateful that I got an office key. I’m grateful that I found a way to make the files not fall all over the place by simply lifting up the rubber runners and switching their directions. It’s the little things that give me thrills. P.S. Congrats on you book!!!!!!!!!!!

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