Posted by: julie gonzalez | February 28, 2014

HURRICANE BOY . . . new book by Laura Roach Dragon

hurricane boy

Check out Laura Roach Dragon’s debut young adult novel HURRICANE BOY. This Louisiana author uses fiction to address the difficulties faced by displaced children following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Laura’s personal experience as a therapist working with New Orleans children makes her uniquely qualified to tell this story. It’s a compelling read with believable characters struggling to reunite their family following the storm. On another level, the characters, particularly Hollis Williams, the twelve year old protagonist, must confront their inner conflicts.

To view Laura’s trailer for the story, click here:

The book is available on Amazon in hard copy or eBook version.

For more about Laura, visit her blog.


Posted in book reviews, Publishing, Uncategorized

Posted by: julie gonzalez | November 29, 2011

Nevermore Contest

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

For his ninth grade English class, my husband Eric was assigned to read Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem “The Raven.” Eric wasn’t the sort of student to actually do his homework. (He was probably out trail riding or participating in some equally important activity instead.) The following day, the teacher gave a pop quiz with only one question.

“What did the Raven say?”

Eric wrote what he thought was the obvious answer. “Caw, caw.” Needless to say, the teacher was not pleased.

I grew up knowing what the Raven said because one of my sisters memorized that poem for a poetry contest at school. (I’m pretty sure she won—she’s an awesome public speaker.) But for those of you who, like Eric, think “Caw, caw” is a good answer to that question, the Raven  actually said, “Nevermore.”

Now, to the contest . . . (drumroll) . . . posted are photographs of a giant raven. The first person to post the location (city and state) where this statue can be found wins an autographed copy on my book WINGS.

Posted by: julie gonzalez | November 18, 2011

Kyle’s Poem

This poem was written by my still unpublished character, Kyle, from a story called ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN.  Some of his other poems are featured earlier in this blog (Aug. 6, 2010 and May 16, 2010).


Graze my flesh

Slice it so it spills crimson

On sand

Slips into the sea

With a last gasp

And a smile

Posted by: julie gonzalez | November 17, 2011


Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) is one of my favorite poets. His sparse, carefully chosen words conjure powerful images and emotions. The lines below, presented in both an English translation and the original Spanish, are hauntingly beautiful.  (No. I didn’t do the translation—my high school Spanish skills are extremely limited!)


A thousand butterfly skeletons

sleep within my walls.


Los esqueletos de mil mariposas

duermen en mi recinto.


***Please post your reaction to these words. I’d love to hear feedback and opinions.

Posted by: julie gonzalez | March 3, 2011

English 101

This was forwarded to me via my brother-in-law. (Thanks Rawleigh.)  It’s a clever commentary on the English language. I can’t credit the author because I don’t know his/her identity.

English 101


You think English is easy??? Read to the end ... a new twist

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on..

English was invented by people not computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why when the stars are out they are visible but when the lights are out they are invisible.

PS. – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick?

Posted by: julie gonzalez | January 15, 2011

Theo Jansen, Kinetc Sculptor

Yikes!!!! I’ve been away for a long time. A happy and prosperous 2011 to all. 

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist. He specializes in large kinetic sculptures. The motion of his creations is captivating and amazing. Powered by the wind, they are beautifully graceful.  Enjoy.

Posted by: julie gonzalez | October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Posted by: julie gonzalez | October 27, 2010

Henriette Delille: Rebellious Saint



 I was privileged to meet authors Colette Stelly and Elsie Martinez at a writers retreat in Louisiana last year, when they were polishing their fictionalized biography of Henriette Delille (published by Pelican Publishing  and released this month).

Henriette Delille, a free woman of color in New Orleans, founded the Catholic order of the Sisters of the Holy Family and is currently in the process of being named a saint by the Vatican. Rather than follow the tradition of her mother and grandmother by entering into a common-law marriage (placage) with a white man, Henriette turned to a religious life, where she nursed the poor, neglected people (primarily slaves no longer valuable to their masters because they were unable to work) of the French Quarter. 

 This book is an insightful glimpse into the life of Henriette, but also a journey into pre and post Civil War New Orleans with its unique cultural and social history. The book’s cover image, pictured above, is taken from a stained glass window honoring Henriette at St. Louis Cathedral located on Jackson Square in the New Orleans French Quarter.

Congratulations Colette and Elsie!

New Orleans authors Colette Stelly and Elsie Martinez

Posted by: julie gonzalez | October 24, 2010

Steampunk Tractor

On the roadside outside of Mammoth Springs, Arkansas is the most beautiful steam-driven antique tractor. The artistry and details in this incredible machine captivated me. Please enjoy these photos of true steam-powered machinery. Click photos to enlarge.

Side view of tractor.

Cast iron firebox. The door was opened, coal was shoveled in and burned to produce steam power. Must have been a hot ride in the summer sun.

Two barrels–one for water, the other for coal.

Gauges, gears, hoses, and valves.

The nose.

Amazing craftsmanship. An eye and respect for both beauty and function.

I wish modern manufacturers cared as much about the esthetic values of craftsmanship and beauty as Advance Thresher Company, the makers of this beautiful piece of farm equipment did.

What old things to you like?

Posted by: julie gonzalez | October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

 Click pictures to enlarge.

Cary with Pumpkins

Anyone can buy a pumpkin at a grocery store, but I was fortunate enough to pick my own pumpkins in the field at Holland Farms in Santa Rosa County, Florida. This adventure included a hayride, delicious fresh boiled peanuts, and a field of sunflowers just coming into bloom.

Notice the sand that passes for soil here in Florida!

All the rows of sunflowers was like dreaming in Van Gogh! I thought of my friend Rosario, whose parents farm sunflowers, wheat, and cotton in Spain.

Pumpkin blossoms.

Immature pumpkins.


Acres of pumpkins!

Small apple trees. There is a bird’s nest in the closest one. We saw a large number of nests on the hayride.

Peanut fields.  Peanuts are unique because they flower above ground, then the flowers burrow underground to produce the peanut. Peanuts are uprooted and left to dry, then shaken from the plants with machinery.

My cousin Cary on the hayride.

Peanut haystack. After the peanuts are removed, remaining plant matter is rolled into haystacks. peanut hay makes great animal feed because it’s very high in protein. It is good fertilizer for the same reason.

Our hayride driver and tour guide. Awesome tractor–yes?

Cary feeding straw to a kid goat.

Juvenile goat. Cute little thing, isn’t it? This was one of a pair.

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