Intro to Author's Blog: On Being a Pilgrim
Most of this site is for children. I would like for them to know they are valuable persons, and I'd love for them to have opportunities to enjoy life and have good times reading and learning. This page, however, is also for parents, teachers, and other friends of children who might want to know more about me.
I'm an old woman trying to be an indie writer. That sounds cool, but I'm not. I'm impatient and ornery, something like a mule. Mule-headed, bull-headed, whatever. At my age, it's hard to be anything else because my old body is changing faster than it did in junior high and not for the better. I hardly can recognize myself from day to day. But I don't let my dark side break out and scare innocent bystanders. For example: I recently attended a wedding reception. As I stood at the dessert buffet, a plate full of miniature cheesecakes spoke to me. They said, "Eat all of us. Come on. You can do it!" Believe me, I wanted to do just that, but I knew the sight of a weird old woman slobbering and gobbling up all the tiny cheesecakes would infuriate the bride. And I would scare the little children half to death. So, I controlled myself. Even though I felt very impatient and ornery after waiting on my rickety old legs in that reception line long enough to meet the Great High Booglechomp of Alpha Centauri, I took only one scrumptious little cheesecake. You see, I can be nice and sort of likeable (at times). . . for a crotchety old woman.
In my retirement, I've written a little middle-grade novel, Jenny Maybelle and the Cocker Spaniel Who Needed a Perm, and I think you might like it. I think most kids about eight to ten or eleven years old will like the book, and that's who I wrote it for. I like all kids, but this group is special for me. They are on the brink of finding out how the world we have created really works, but they still have the innocence and courage to comment on it with absolute honesty. Their insights at times are like a prism that turns our upside-down world upright.
In my book, eight-year-old Stanley shouts at Jenny Maybelle, "Don't mess up everything for us. We're Pilgrims!" I didn't plan to have Stanley say that. He just said it, and he is so right. We're Pilgrims whether we want to be or not. Pilgrims are people who journey to a sacred place. That place may be geographical, but it must first and above all be a place in the heart. It is the place we were born to find our way to. If we don't search for it, our life is lost.
In her story, Jenny Maybelle bumbles about and has all kinds of real and fantastic problems with one big goal in mind. When that goal is within her grasp, she discovers it's the wrong objective. With the perspective of a ten-year-old, she clearly sees what she should do, and she goes for it with the certainty and strength that only a child can muster. She goes to a place in her heart that many of us find only after a lifetime of struggle. Some of us seem to never find it. Jenny Maybelle does. She becomes a complete Pilgrim.
I've been reading about how to blog. Some people say I should blog frequently, and others say not to do it very often. Some even say once a month is enough, or I'll bore people to death. There probably is a good chance that I could bore someone to death, and I don't want to spend my final years in prison for murder. I don't even like to go to hospitals where they hook me up to IV's and catheters so I'm as good as locked up. Gross. So, to ensure my freedom from jail and other uncomfortable places, I'm probably not going to blog very often.
You can click in the right column for my other blogs (when I write them). Thank you for visiting this page. gwlupo
Gloria Williams Lupo grew up in Bogalusa, Louisiana, a small town about sixty miles north of New Orleans. The fictional town of Bustlebout is inspired by that hometown and some of the incidents that happened there. The picture of the city hall and some of the other images on this site are actual places in Bogalusa.
When Gloria was in grammar school, her mom gave her a home perm that made her hair stick out like Jenny Maybelle's hair, and she felt just as humiliated as Jenny Maybelle. Those home perms didn't work very well.
In 1954 when Gloria was in third grade, a new boy in her class convinced her that his puppies were cocker spaniels whose hair would get curly and whose ears would grow to be long and floppy. Gloria took one of the puppies and named him Champ. His hair never got curly, and his ears never got long and floppy. He was a mutt, but he was a good dog. He grew to be about three times the size of a cocker spaniel and lived to an old age. He and another of Gloria's dogs, Miss Sweet Potato, are the inspiration for the dog Champ in Jenny Maybelle and the Cocker Spaniel Who Needed a Perm.
Another thing that Gloria had in common with Jenny Maybelle was her dad's long period of disability. Her family had a very tight budget during those years and some hard times. Several other incidents in Jenny Maybelle actually happened. Needless to say, Gloria never tumbled through the air.
Gloria completed her B.A. degree at Southeastern Louisiana University and also studied at the University of New Orleans. She did graduate work at the University of Oregon, Eugene, and Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Among other subjects, she studied mass communications, speech, theater, literature, creative writing, and education. She has worked in television news, small-town newspaper reporting and editing, education, and government social services, including crisis intervention, Medicaid, and financial assistance. She is a certified nursing home activities director and has enjoyed working in that capacity also. She served as volunteer director of a children's choir and found that to be one of the most fun and challenging endeavors a person can attempt.
Jenny Maybelle and the Cocker Spaniel Who Needed a Perm is Gloria's first middle-grade novel. She hopes it will bring fun and encouragement into the lives of many children and let them know they are quite marvelous and lovable even when they feel weird and totally unlikeable.