Monthly Archives: January 2013

MEET the AUTHOR: Mary Laudien

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photoFrenchie X2 Author PhotoMary's visit

After reading the article entitled Meet the Agent- Barbara Lowenstein in Writer’s Digest (Feb., 2013), it occurred to me it might be helpful for my blog readers to know more about Mary Laudien, the Middle Grade Author. I decided to follow Kara Gebhart’s simplified format to provide this info to my blog followers (All 3 of you, but I know there are many more of you who were just waiting for an invite to subscribe!). If you seek more detailed information, you can always go to my website: http://www.twocandobooks.com

Who is Mary Laudien? 

  • a retired innovative educator  (Known for successfully transforming the public schools she was principal of into International Baccalaureate World Schools)
  • a newly appointed International Baccalaureate Recognition Ambassador  (The IB program provides a world class education with its best educational practices.)
  • an author with two books in her Frenchie Series published and a third written and ready for publication

Why Does She Write?

  • to share her love of Kidlit and promote strong reading and writing skills in schools (her passion)
  • to have a blast writing humorous, entertaining Middle Grade books for “tweens” (that even reluctant readers will want to pick up and read)
  • to share her novels with kids in schools and libraries as a way to inspire experimentation with powerful blog writing
  • to use her knowledge of “tweens” and create contemporary novels that acknowledge this age group (ages 9-13) as fun, interesting, dynamic and developing.  It gives kids, parents and grandparents  a chance to laugh at themselves and not take family change and themselves quite so seriously (single families, extended families, career moms, latchkey kids, new pets, responsibilities, technology issues, etc.).

Books Published

book front coverFrenchie X2 Cover

Why Write Blog Posts?

  • modeling blog writing for Middle Grade Readers. The Frenchie Series have blogs written nightly by Ethan (the 13 year old main character) to all of his Frenchie followers-Frenchie’s Best Friend
  • using life experiences and interests and writing entertaining, powerful blogs for others to critique
  • helping middle grade readers, educators, parents, librarians and pet lovers to find me
  • seeking readers who can enjoy the humor in contemporary life and adore their pets
  • helping other writers (students included) in their journey to publication

     Seeking

  • readers
  • followers
  • reviewers
  • other writers
  • publishers
  • agents

Hobbies

  • creating “shabby chic” furniture pieces
  • voracious reader
  • decorating and fashion
  • volunteer work: International Baccalaureate Recognition Ambassador
  • Zumba dancing and fitness
  • hiking
  • sailing
  • speaking French
  • dog sitting my sons’ French Bulldogs – Bert and Cecile
  • traveling
  • entertaining friends and family

Favorites

  • living author: Jodi Picoult (provocative examination of social issues that make you think from all perspectives)
  • dead authors: Maeve Binchy (humor and strong character voices) and Roald Dahl (humor and imagination)
  • city:  Paris, France
  • TV Shows: The Good Wife, Gray’s Anatomy, Parenthood, HBO’s NewsRoom
  • Foods: citric (lime) salad dressings, seafood, Lindt chocolate, nuts, avocados

Fun Facts

  • hosted a children’s radio show in Lahr, Germany for the children of the Canadian Armed Forces (CFN)
  • seconded to the University of Regina to teach in a model demonstration school on campus
  • opened the smallest German import store in a Freight Elevator in Regina, Saskatchewan (wooden toys, X’mas decorations and nutcrackers)
  • re-opened 2 primary schools in West Vancouver (Eagle Harbor and Cypress Park)
  • led West Bay Elementary’s (West Van, B.C.) transformation  as principal of the first public school in Western Canada to become an authorized IB World School
  • have grand dogs:  French Bulldogs (Bert and Cecile) named after Mary’s sons’ French grandparents (Her inspiration for writing the Frenchie series!)

Pet Peeves

  • keeping up technologically with an author platform. One learns so much (which is awesome), but there is always more that can be done.  It’s important to make educated choices about what the most effective ways are to reach one’s readers.

If you thought this was interesting or helpful, please don’t hesitate to pass it on to others, leave a comment, subscribe to my blog posts…whatever.  I love to write and share some of the wonderful things that I am learning through other books, blogs, tweets, webinars, authors and conferences. Your feedback is valuable to me.

A Five Star Amazon Review for Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars “A Great Story” Jan 20 2013

By NancyofUtah – Published on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

This second book of the Frenchie Series written by Mary Laudien is another fun-packed story. One can only imagine the chaos in the home when two puppies take up residence. From puppy surprises to training classes and other events involving Ethan and his mom, this is another hilarious read. It’s not only a humorous story of family and dogs, it’s all about kids growing up, learning about responsibility, and learning about charity. This story is packed with values for parents and young adults. I enjoyed this well-written story.

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Pudsey YouTube Video Hilarious!

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Authors find inspiration for their writing from all sorts of places.  It just so happens, as I finish revising my third Middle Grade novel of the humorous Frenchie Series, that watching the Ashleigh and Pudsey YouTube video from Britain’s Got Talent, helped me create the best ending ever.  Each time I re-read those final three chapters, I end up laughing hysterically.  This amuses my husband to hear the belly laughs coming from my office upstairs. I don’t want to give anything away, yet, but give yourself a treat and watch this humorous video.  It will make your day.  Share it with others who would enjoy some pet humor and love.

If you enjoy Ashleigh and Pudsey, why not leave me comment?  And if this appeals to you, you might want to check out my Frenchie series, as well.

Apparently, you will have to go to the link on YouTube, it will not allow you open it from my website.  One more step, unfortunately! Go to http://www.youtube.com and search for Ashleigh and Pudsey HD-Britain’s Got Talent (auditions) Sorry about the inconvenience.

‘Fur Kids’ New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s that time of year when everyone has made their New Year’s Resolutions and some are already struggling with them. It got me thinking about our ‘fur kids’ and how they must also make resolutions after over-indulgences throughout the holiday season.

‘Fur kids’ were referred to in an article in The Globe and Mail (14/12/12) by Peter Scowen.  He was  discussing just how “gaga” society is over their ‘pet kids’:

  • They eat nothing but the priciest, organic foods.
  • If their ‘pet parents’ work- they attend high-end day cares with check-up webcams.
  • They travel everywhere with their family (often First Class) and receive routine spa treatments to keep them looking their best.
  • Costuming is big (In the USA, 350 million dollars were spent on Halloween costumes in 2012). Who knows what those holiday outfits, Santa suits, and raincoats added up to over the holiday season!
  • Photo shoots for family portraits and X’mas Cards are a must.
  • And ‘pet parents” receive commissioned portraits of their ‘fur kids’ as wedding and anniversary gifts.
  • You can even receive invitations to ‘fur kids” birthday parties and weddings (I’m serious!)

The truth is, as a dog-sitting grandma of my sons’ Frenchies; I’m no different than anyone else. And let’s face it, the inspiration of my Frenchie Series came about as an amusing spoof on this “gaga” phenomenon for our ‘fur kids’!

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Which brings me back to my question about whether ‘fur kids’ make New Year’s Resolutions. Honestly, it didn’t surprise me when I perused Amazon’s holiday deals, that pet treadmills were advertised for your canine friends who over-indulged on their gourmet holiday fare and need to shed a couple of pounds.  Feel free ‘pet parents’ to click on the link below to order your gym/treadmill equipment for your out-of-shape ‘fur kid’. After all, ‘pet kids’ are expected to keep their New Year’s Resolutions just like their ‘pet parents’, right?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B001M7U92Y/ref=nosim?tag=twbo-20

Deer “Doo-Doo”

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I’m a professional career woman. (And yes, I’m retired.) I keep wondering if this is my “just deserts” for being an elementary school principal in my other life… I mean, seriously readers, who would believe that an educated, career-minded woman would end up strategizing time in her day to pick up deer pellets scattered throughout her less than pristine yard! It has become such a joke, that I have taken to introducing myself at Frenchie author visits in this way, “Hello everyone, my name is Mary Laudien. I live in Nanoose Bay with the deer and occasionally, my DEAR (husband Ryan). Days in Nanoose are spent scooping up Bambi pellets and replanting the appetizing shrubs dined upon nightly by my horned friends. But most significantly as a designer-clad, dog-sitting grandma expert, I have a blast writing novels of puppy chaos and love.”

And what has actually occurred is that this author has become an expert as the in-house “deer ‘doo-doo’ picker-upper”. It’s sadly true; no one in the neighborhood has a system like mine.  There is technique to the “dirty deed“, so read carefully:

1. Mandatory Equipment– surgical gloves (the “doo-doo” must never touch one’s skin), a sturdy bio-degradable shopping bag lined with not one, but two paper grocery bags, a small hand shovel, a garbage can with a lid, and of course, rubber boots

2. Time your disgusting pick-up job when it is coldest and driest (firm pellets are desirable). It’s no fun picking up mush!

3. Know the paths the deer take and be cautious as you walk (“doo-doo” presents itself in several formats):

  • the buck’s pellets resemble giant logs,
  • the constipated doe’s pellets are similar to a small dog’s offering,
  • a pile of individual droppings remind one of a gigantic handful of chocolate covered peanuts,
  • a gooey mass of loose droppings has the consistency of diarrhea,
  • and most commonly found are the rambling “doo-doo” streams (that one is bound to step in while walking through the grass).

Just take a look for yourself.  Does this look like a professional woman doing something important for mankind?

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