Why Alabaster Caverns?

The Alabaster Caverns near Freedom, OK are one of two places in the world where you can find black alabaster. Not far from the Santa Fe Trail, it is important in The Black Alabaster Box. 3 min. read. Kid Friendly.

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What Do You Know About the Santa Fe Trail?

The Santa Fe Trail recently celebrated its 200th Anniversary. Who were the people who used the trail? Author, Frances Schoonmaker, discusses a fictional family making the trip west and offers resources for discovering more about the Santa Fe Trail. 6 minute read. Kid Friendly.

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The Diverse History of the Trails West

The diverse history of the Great Westward Migration is illustrated in the life of James Pierson Beckwourth. Born in 1798 to slavery, Beckwourth was of mixed race. His larger-than-life story reached from the Crow Nation in Wyoming to the town named for him in California.

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Start a Storytelling Tradition

Story telling during the holidays is a great way introduce family to its traditions and to bring family closer together. An example of a family story illustrates how you can introduce story telling and build a tradition. But you don’t have to wait for the holidays.

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Circumstance and Plot

I can’t remember how my fascination with trains began. My brothers and I used to watch for smoke from the steam engine that pulled train cars along tracks that made their way just beyond the hills to the southeast of our farm. On a clear day, you could hear the train chugging its way between

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THE LAST CRYSTAL: Behind the Scenes

The Last Crystal Trilogy is complete at last. In the next few posts, I will be reflecting on the process of writing the Trilogy, beginning with The Last Crystal because I wrote it first. I had no idea I was going to write a trilogy. It started with an idea that swam around in my head for years before

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Writing as Conversation

I have been really fortunate to have some wonderful experiences with people who are interested in The Last Crystal Trilogy. Meeting people is rewarding–especially the kids. People who’ve read my books have been encouraging. I’ve had some great reviews, too–not all of them from family, either! At the same time, I am keenly aware that The

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The Making of an Egyptologist?

My granddaughter wants to be an Egyptologist. At fourteen, she has been teaching herself to read hieroglyphics, using the classic, Hieroglyphics for Beginners, by E. A. Wallis Budge. This all began in third grade when a teacher introduced her to myths from various cultures. She was intrigued by Egyptian mythology. Intrigue turned to the desire

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