Friday, December 23, 2016

Cool New Picture of Frizzy (But All for Naught)


So Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you) showed us this new picture by Shayne, Our Illustrator. It was done for a special new project Deedy has been working on ALL YEAR, only to find that it was not acceptable by the distributing company (which starts with A).  We LOVE how Shayne put in the Mouse Hole, after Frizzy went to all that trouble to decorate its door for Christmas!

Of course, we are all SAD now because this project isn't going anywhere soon, but at least we know Deedy was TRYING to do something nice for us Izzies! We do feel her pain. Sigh.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

'Tis the Season, and are we JOLLY!




Another BIG Sale!

Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you) says that Kobo is selling her Other Kind of Book (not ours) from now until January 5 for only $3.99. Here's the link!

This is all part of a Boxing Week Sale by Kobo.

We Izzy Elves have only two questions.

1. What is Boxing Week?

2. Who is Kobo?

That's all for now. We're too busy to write much these days.






Much Love From:

Dizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy






Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tomorrow is the last day of the big sale on Deedy's book, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE!

Deedy's publisher is offering a huge discount until December 15 on her new historical novel for young A Buss from Lafayette. Instead of the regular price, $16.95, the sale price will be $9.95! If you have a middle school student on your holiday shopping list, this would make an excellent entertaining (and educational) gift!

Here's the link:
https://bqbpublishing.com/product/a-buss-from-lafayette/

NOTE: The default payment method on this online store is PayPal, but on the checkout page, there is a link that allows you to pay by credit card. Click on that link and you'll be taken to the credit card option.
readers,

Big News that Rhymes with Circus!

Deedy (that's Dorothea Jensen to you) told us that Kirkus Reviews Magazine has selected its review of A Buss from Lafayette to feature in the Indie section of its December issue. Apparently less than 10% of Indie Reviews are selected for this, so it is a big honor.

(We would like to point out that Kirkus also wrote a  great review of one of our stories, Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf. Yes, that was a while ago. But we are posting it below in a marked manner, anyhow.

Appealing Energy and Colorful Verbal Imagery

A little elf’s clandestine adventure as a stowaway on Santa’s sleigh takes an unexpected turn in an engaging contemporary spin on the classic 19th-century poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”…appealing energy and colorful verbal imagery…The author propels her present-day take on the classic Christmas poem with gentle humor and suspense, smoothly incorporating lines from the original poem into her lively tale about a stowaway elf. –Kirkus Reviews

Our only quibble with this review is that Deedy seems to get all the credit for writing it. We Izzies actually LIVE these adventures: Deedy just writes 'em  all down.

(Dizzy adds his observation that riding in the back of that sleigh was NOT actually that much fun, so he did the hard part.)

Oops, we seem to have used up all the post space talking about the Izzy Elf Kirkus Review. Can you imagine that?

We'll let Deedy tell you about the Kirkus review of A Buss from Lafayette in our very next post.

We promise.

Love,

Add caption

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Countdown Rhyme 12/13!

We Izzies are starting to reach panic mode
We try not to worry, but find our work load'
A bit overwhelming at this time of year:
We just can't believe Christmas Eve is so NEAR!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Counting Down Verse for Previous Post. . .

Deedy says she's so busy she hasn't had time
To work every day on a counting down rhyme.
She hopes to make up with a verse for today
That shows how she boarded a Dizzy-type sleigh.
(We Izzies are proud she decided to fix
Her counting down gap with some Izzy-type pix.)

 And here they are, along with a quote from Dizzy's story:

At first, Dizzy felt quite as high as a kite
As the sleigh soared aloft in the star-spangled night.
But then, as the air became more and more chilly,
The elf’s Big Adventure felt less and less thrilly.
For when Dizzy finally gathered his nerves                           
(Not easy to do with the swoops and the swerves)
And looked at the lights twinkling far down below
He felt—well—quite dizzy, with vile vertigo.
            - Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf © 2014 by Dorothea Jensen







Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Deedy finally put her elf hat back on! (It's about time.)


We Izzy Elves (especially Dizzy) were delighted to find out that Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you) has finally remembered to talk about us online. It's been a LONG time!

This is the kind of post we are HAPPY to share with you.

Love,
Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy


 Here is Deedy's post:

 * * *



OK, I couldn't resist doing this! Yesterday I read my illustrated Christmas poem, Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf,  to children at Hopkinton Town Library. It was great fun, all organized by my Trusted Sidekick, Sienna Larson.  First the kids all made elf hats, did an elf hunt for the Izzy Elves, and paraded through the library, and then I read the story. (For sale here, by the way.)

Meanwhile I spotted this sleigh on exhibit. It reminded me so much of the sleigh that Dizzy stowed away on that I felt COMPELLED to take a seat.

After the librarian gave me special permission to do so, (despite the DO NOT CLIMB ON THIS EXHIBIT sign) I climbed aboard and brought Frizzy along for the ride.

Luckily, neither Frizzy nor I felt any "vile vertigo" like that naughty Dizzy did!



Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Countdown Couplet #2!





 December 2


Deedy conferred with our boss late last night.
To rev up her brain so she's ready to write.
(Of course, we elves help her to know what to say
In our "counting down" verses until Christmas day.)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Flash! We've muscled our way back into our own blog.

Christmas Countdown #1


December 1

We Izzies are in an advanced state of shock
The calendar tells us (and so does the clock)
That Christmas is coming: we'd better get busy
To do all the tasks S. C. asks of Elves Izzy.


Much love,

Bizzy
Blizzy
Dizzy
Fizzy
Frizzy
Quzzy
Tizzy
Whizzy

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yet another book from Deedy that is NOT about us!!!

Yup. Deedy's done it again! She's published a new book that is 100% Izzy Elf free. (On the other hand, she has promised to help us write this year's Izzy Elf Advent Calendar-type posts (in verse) starting on December 1. 

She also keeps hinting that there is a BIG SURPRISE coming soon that is definitely about one of us, although she is not sure she can figure out the technology to do whatever it is. We're all buzzing about it. 

So, meanwhile, here is what Deedy has to say about her new NON-Elf book!

 * * *

I am so very happy to announce a brand new book!

Along with my colleague, Sienna Larson, I have written a guide to make it super easy for teachers to use my new historical novel for young readers, A Buss from Lafayette, as a cross-curricular enrichment resource in the classroom!

This guide provides bulletin board ideas, vocabulary exercises, varied handouts, puzzles and games, reading comprehension quizzes, discussion questions, individual and class project suggestions, cross-curricular activities (language arts/reading, social studies, mathematics, heath/safety, art, music, dance, drama, food/recipes) and suggestions for real and virtual "field trips."Topics covered include the American Revolution, Lafayette's role in our fight for independence, Lafayette's Farewell Tour in 1824-5, and everyday life and customs in rural America in the 1820s. A complete answer key is included.



This guide is now available as both a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.com.

Here is the link to the Amazon listing:

Classroom and Reading Guide: A Buss from Lafayette

Now I must admit, a few of the things (mostly musical recordings) promised inside this book are not quite yet available as promised at abussfromlafayette.com.

However, we will be making all these recordings very soon.

In case anyone out there is wondering how to print the handouts/exercises from the Kindle edition, we recommendation making a screen shot of the page and printing from that. We found this to be even easier than copying from the paperback edition.

This Kindle edition was created using the Kindle Textbook Creator, so it appears to have some interesting features (such as the capacity to create note cards or flashcards) that we haven't figured out ourselves at this point. (Please let us know if you are able to do any of this and if it is useful by e-mailing me at jensendorothea@gmail.com.)





Monday, November 28, 2016

Bunch of Lafayette Historical Stuff from Deedy

As you all must know by now, Dorothea Jensen (we call her Deedy), the author who writes about us Izzy Elves, also does Another Kind of Writing, which apparently is called historical fiction. (We think she should stick to stories about us, but oh, well.) Anyway she asked us to post this for her. (We would like to remind her that Christmas is coming soon and it's about time she paid some attention to US!)

Love,

Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy

* * *

Whenever I write historical fiction stories, I present what really happened in the past as accurately as I can. Sometimes, however, it is tricky to keep track of where I found every single bit of information I use in my stories.

In A Buss from Lafayette, I had lost track of the source of two small incidents I used to illustrate Lafayette's marvelous sense of humor. Along with his enduring commitment to the cause of Liberty, his personal bravery in battle,  his financial support of the war,  his go-between efforts to make the French Alliance work and secure even more aid, I have always believed Lafayette's humor was a major contribution to our struggle for independence. His humor and charm were wonderful antidotes when things looked very bleak for our cause. In some ways, I think he was the Morale-Booster-in-Chief!

Here is a case in point: imagine how Washington felt after the Battle of Brandywine, on September 11, 1777. He was desperately trying to prevent the British from capturing Philadelphia, a sort of Capital Pro Tempore for the 13 colonies because the Continental Congress met there.  Not only had he been hoodwinked by Tory locals about the existence of upstream fords on Brandywine Creek where the British crossed to outflank his troops, but his men lacked the training to deal with such a maneuver.

Here's what Washington wrote about the battle to Congress:

At Midnight, Chester [Pennsylvania], September 11, 1777.

Sir: I am sorry to inform you, that in this day's engagement, we have been obliged to leave the enemy masters of the field. Unfortunately the intelligence received of the enemy's advancing up the Brandywine, and crossing at a ford about six miles above us, was uncertain and contradictory, notwithstanding all my pains to get the best. This prevented my making a disposition, adequate to the force with which the Enemy attacked us on the right; in consequence of which the troops first engaged, were obliged to retire before they could be reinforced. . .Notwithstanding the misfortune of the day, I am happy to find the troops in good spirits; and I hope another time we shall compensate for the losses now sustained.. ."

One of those whose good spirits Washington found cheering was Lafayette, who had been wounded in the leg in the battle.

Here is what I wrote about that:

Another in the crowd of attentive listeners told how Lafayette had been laid upon a dining-room table to have his wounded leg bandaged. When Washington and his aides had arrived, the young Frenchman had joked that they looked awfully hungry and he hoped no one would mistake him for dinner. - A Buss from Lafayette, © 2016 by Dorothea Jensen

After A Buss from Lafayette was published, I started writing posts on Bublish.com about where my story ideas came from and I could not remember where I had found this one. Then out of the blue, Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette, talked about this incident in a speech he made to the group. I immediately assailed him to find out his source.  He said that it came from a rare interview Lafayette did with Google Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser when he was on his Farewell Tour, and directed me here: http://www.ushistory.org/march/other/lafwound.htm

Here is the article.

"Lafayette returned to America in 1824 for a triumphal tour. The French hero was greeted enthusiastically in many cities. And perhaps no city loved him more than Philadelphia, the place where the 19-year Frenchman initially met General Washington in 1777 shortly before the Battle of Brandywine.

On February 25, 1825, Lafayette granted "Poulson's Advertiser," one of Philadelphia's leading newspapers, an interview. In the piece, Lafayette recalled receiving his wound at Brandywine:

The ball went through and through; I was on foot when I received my wound; a part of our line had given way but a part still held its ground. To these I repaired. To encourage my comrades, and to show them I had no better chance of flight than they, I ordered my horse to the rear. The news of my being hurt was conveyed to the commander-in-chief, with the usual exaggerations in such cases. The good General Washington freely expressed his grief that one so young, and a volunteer in the holy cause of freedom, should so early have fallen; but he was soon relieved by an assurance that my wound would stop short of life, when he sent me his love an gratulation that matters were no worse. On the field of battle the surgeon prepared his dressings, but the shot fell so thick around us, that in a very little time, if we had remained, we should both have been past all surgery. Being mounted on my horse I left the field, and repaired to the bridge near Chester, where I halted and placed a guard, to stop fugitive soldiers, and direct them to join their respective regiments. I could do no more; becoming faint, I was carried into a house in Chester and laid on a table, when my wound received its first dressing. The general officers soon arrived, when I saluted them by begging that they would not eat me up, as they appeared to be very hungry, and I was the only dish upon the table in the house. The good general-in-chief was much gratified on finding me in such spirits, and caused a litter to be made, on which I was conveyed to the Indian Queen [a tavern/hotel] in Philadelphia, and was there waited upon by the members of Congress, who were all booted and spurred and on the wing for a place of greater safety to hold their sessions. The enemy continuing to advance, I was removed to Bristol, and thence in the coach of President Laurens (and coaches were rare in those days) to Reading [here Lafayette's memory fails him — he was actually moved to Bethlehem], where I remained until so much recovered as to be able to repair to head-quarters."
***

Whew! Now I can sleep nights. (I'll write about the other incident later. This post is getting too long!)


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Only 4K to go! Help honor "America's Fighting Frenchman!"

THIS IS JUST AN UPDATE ON THE UPDATE BELOW.


$31,000 of the $35,000 needed has been raised!


Please contribute today!

 

OK, this is just an update on the post below.

$23,250 of the necessary $35,000 has now been received or pledged!  

 (Every dollar helps - please contribute and make a little history yourself.) 

In historic Yorktown, Virginia, site of the final major battle of the Revolution, there is a duet of statues honoring General George Washington, commander of the combined American and French forces, and French Admiral Fran├žois De Grasse, commander of the French fleet that "bottled up" the British troops under General Cornwallis at Yorktown. These life-sized figures were created by Virginia sculptor Cyd Player.

Installed in 2005 and enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors annually, the statues commemorate two important meetings that took place on board De Grasse’s flagship the Ville de Paris to plan the 1781 Yorktown campaign and to explore plans for further operations.

The problem? It was supposed to be a quartet of sculptures. There are two important figures missing! Also present for at least one of these meetings were General Rochambeau, who led the French troops, and General Lafayette, who had kept Cornwallis trapped at Yorktown until the combined American and French troops had arrived. (He also served as an interpreter at the meeting with Washington, Rochambeau, and De Grasse.)

The reason that Lafayette and Rochambeau are not represented here? There was not enough funding to create all four statues at the same time.

Now the national organization dedicated to honoring the young Frenchman who did so much to help us gain our independence, the American Friends of Lafayette, is teaming up with the Celebrate Yorktown Committee of the Yorktown Foundation, and other interested organizations and people, in order to commission a statue of Lafayette. The new statue will accurately portray this important historical event and provide an opportunity for visitors of all ages to discover and recognize the role Lafayette played in shaping America’s history.

The goal is to get the statue finished in time to be dedicated on in October,  2017, at the annual celebration of the American victory at Yorktown.

To date, over $20,000 of the necessary $35,000 has been pledged.

Please consider contributing to this exciting endeavor and helping to construct history!

To help make the Lafayette Statue a reality, click here to donate via PayPal or mail a check (made out to American Friends of Lafayette) to:

American Friends of Lafayette
c/o Chuck Schwam
302 Hart Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

The AFL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and contributions are eligible to be tax-deductible.

P.S.  Finally, you might want to become a member of the American Friends of Lafayette.
The cost to join is minimal, and it is great fun to get together every year to learn more about General Lafayette and other figures and events of the American Revolution. There is also a great publication, "The AFL Gazette", with information about Lafayette sent out to all members several times a year.

Huge Discount until December 15!




Deedy's publisher is offering a huge discount until December 15 on her new historical novel for young readers, A Buss from Lafayette. Instead of the regular price, $16.95, the sale price will be $9.95! If you have a middle grade student on your holiday shopping list, this would make an excellent entertaining (and educational) gift! (Of course, we Izzy Elves would prefer that you buy OUR stories!)

Here's the link:
https://bqbpublishing.com/product/a-buss-from-lafayette/

NOTE: The default payment method on this online store is PayPal, but on the checkout page, there is a link that allows you to pay by credit card. Click on that link and you'll be taken to the credit card option.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Amazon as Deedy's Muse!

We almost hate posting this from Deedy because it is all about her Other Kind of Writing, but oh well.  Love, Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy

* * *

This is the final installment of my "salute" to Amazon during the time Amazon is saluting Indy authors.

I've already posted about how finding out about Createspace and KDP liberated my creative inclinations so I could write and publish all the Izzy Elves stories as paperbacks, downloadable audio books, audio book CDs, and (soon) Illustrated Audio Books via Amazon Video Direct.

Today I'd like to add a different kind of salute, to Amazon as "muse." (I keep trying to make a pun-type thingy of A-muse-zon but that doesn't work too well so I won't.)  If I did, I would use this horrible pun to refer to the fact that even when I don't actually publish something myself using the Amazon platforms, just knowing that they are available in case I need them has served as a powerful inspiration to me as a writer.

Case in point: A Buss from Lafayette.

This is a story for which I conceived the main idea almost twenty years ago. I did a lot of reading about Lafayette during those years, but I couldn't make myself actually finish writing this book. As there was no guarantee that I could find a publisher for it, it just seemed rather pointless to complete this project.

Then I heard about Createspace and KDP.  Once I knew that I could publish A Buss from Lafayette myself if I had to, my whole mindset changed and I started working on it in earnest. It took about three years to do the necessary research and create the fictional bits.

In the end, I did find a publisher (thank you, BQB Publishing) which did a beautiful job of helping me polish Buss up for publication.

It was knowing that I had Amazon as a Back Up Plan that made it possible for me to write this story with confidence it would be published, no matter what.

The result? A Buss from Lafayette has received numerous wonderful reviews from Amazon readers as well as from "editorial" sources. Take a look at what's on its Amazon listing page :

 Finally, A Buss from Lafayette was just named a quarter finalist in the Booklife Prize in Fiction!

None of this would have happened without "A-muse-zon"!

Regards,
Dorothea Jensen



Saturday, October 22, 2016

We wondered where she was all week.

 Another post from Deedy (Dorothea Jensen). Do you suppose there will ever be statues of US anywhere? Love, the Izzies.

* * *

Here I am in Yorktown, Virginia recently, visiting the statues of Washington and de Grasse, commander of the French fleet that bottled up the Brits at Yorktown. (I was there for the celebration of the Brisith surrender on October 19, 1781.)

I am standing in the exact spot where the new statue of Lafayette will be placed, exactly one year from now. (His pose will be a little different, as I doubt he'll be holding Washington's hand, etc.)

Here is more information about Lafayette's statue and how you can help make this a reality!

* * *
In historic Yorktown, Virginia, site of the final major battle of the Revolution, there is a duet of statues honoring General George Washington, commander of the combined American and French forces, and French Admiral Fran├žois De Grasse, commander of the French fleet that "bottled up" the British troops under General Cornwallis at Yorktown. These life-sized figures were created by Virginia sculptor Cyd Player.

Installed in 2005 and enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors annually, the statues commemorate two important meetings that took place on board De Grasse’s flagship the Ville de Paris to plan the 1781 Yorktown campaign and to explore plans for further operations.

The problem? It was supposed to be a quartet of sculptures. There are two important figures missing! Also present for at least one of these meetings were General Rochambeau, who led the French troops, and General Lafayette, who had kept Cornwallis trapped at Yorktown until the combined American and French troops had arrived. (He also served as an interpreter at the meeting with Washington, Rochambeau, and De Grasse.)

The reason that Lafayette and Rochambeau are not represented here? There was not enough funding to create all four statues at the same time.

Now the national organization dedicated to honoring the young Frenchman who did so much to help us gain our independence, the American Friends of Lafayette, is teaming up with the Celebrate Yorktown Committee of the Yorktown Foundation, and other interested organizations and people, in order to commission a statue of Lafayette. The new statue will accurately portray this important historical event and provide an opportunity for visitors of all ages to discover and recognize the role Lafayette played in shaping America’s history.

The goal is to get the statue finished in time to be dedicated on in October,  2017, at the annual celebration of the American victory at Yorktown.

Please consider contributing to this exciting endeavor and helping to construct history!

To help make the Lafayette Statue a reality, click here to donate via PayPal or mail a check (made out to American Friends of Lafayette) to:

American Friends of Lafayette
c/o Chuck Schwam
302 Hart Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

The AFL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and contributions are eligible to be tax-deductible.

P.S.  Finally, you might want to become a member of the American Friends of Lafayette.
The cost to join is minimal, and it is great fun to get together every year to learn more about General Lafayette and other figures and events of the American Revolution. There is also a great publication, "The AFL Gazette", with information about Lafayette sent out to all members several times a year. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

An Actual Salute to Amazon in One of our Stories!


So as we mentioned in previous posts, if it weren't for Amazon, we'd all just be a gleam in Deedy's eye! (That would be the eye of Dorothea Jensen, FYI.) Once she found out that she could publish books on Amazon via CreateSpace and KDP, she started scribbling down our stories like CRAZY,  and every single one of them has won honors/awards!

We also wrote a post about the time we freaked out because our books were shown as OUT OF STOCK at Amazon just a week or two before CHRISTMAS. As you might recall, we e-mailed Jeff Bezos about this and threatened to rat him out to Santa, personally. Jeff fixed that problem ASAP. (Even Jeff Bezos doesn't want coal in his Christmas stocking, apparently.)

In order to pay tribute to Amazon's role in our stories coming into being, we consulted with Deedy and decided she could put something in the latest one (Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf) that had a direct reference (slightly disguised) to Amazon's wishlists. Here's what she wrote for us:

For S.C. has learned there are wishlists galore
Where children can add the new toys they adore,
With multiple websites where each kid can post
A list of the gifts he or she wants the most.   
Now Santa is eager to try this e-tool
To know in advance just what items are cool,
To help him make certain, upon Christmas Eve,
He has the right toys when he’s ready to leave.
So he wants to e-show off all toys that are new
And find out who adds them to which wishing queue.
He does still read letters that make their way here,
But wishlists are added to all through the year.
They’ll give The Big Picture to guide Elf Construction
And help Santa Claus to plan out toy production.

              - Bizzy, the S.A.D. Elf  © 2014 by Dorothea Jensen

So there you have it, our Izzy Elf Salute to Amazon.

Thanks again for letting Deedy share our stories with the world!

Much love from,

Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy.


Tizzy Honors and Reviews
Blizzy Honors and Reviews




Dizzy Honors and Reviews
http://www.dorotheajensen.com/_p_style__text_align__center___dizzy__the_stowaway_elf__santa_s_izzy_elves__3__p_118749.htm
Frizzy Honors and Reviews

Thursday, October 13, 2016

We can't believe she called us CHEEKY!




Here's what Deedy wrote a couple of weeks ago here on our blog (and we quote):

"In my next blog post, I'll tell you the story of how the cheeky little Izzy Elves wrote to Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon, and got an immediate response!"

We weren't sure what she meant by "cheeky". When we asked her in a most forthright manner to explain herself, she replied that that was exactly what cheeky meant. Anyway, Deedy said we could tell you about what happened with Jeff B. ourselves. So here we go.

A few years ago, we discovered a couple of weeks before Christmas that all our stories (see below) were "out of stock" at Amazon.com. Since most of our books only SELL at Christmas time, we were quite upset. Somehow people think they are Christmas stories only: we elves know that what we do for Santa not to mention what we do to solve each other's problems takes ALL YEAR. (One reviewer actually said "By coming up with a creative and engaging story, Jensen has succeeded at crafting a memorable Christmas story for children that is so good it’s possible it will be enjoyed year round. " - Red City Review)

So there.

But we digress.

Anyway, we were all quite upset to see that our books were "out of stock" in DECEMBER.

So we took direct action: we Izzies e-mailed Jeff B.  (It was Bizzy, mostly.)

We explained the situation and then told him point blank that if our books weren't re-stocked ASAP, we were going to rat him out (personally) to Santa Claus.

Less than 24 hours later, Deedy's phone rang. It was the Amazon guy in charge of publishing our stories. He promised that he would see that our stories would be available to Christmas shoppers.

Deedy was mystified: how had he heard about this problem? And why had he called?

We told her what we had done.

She laughed and called us cheeky.

If that's CHEEKINESS, we are proud of it!

Love,
The  CHEEKY Izzy Elves.

Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy.


Tizzy Honors and Reviews
Blizzy Honors and Reviews




Dizzy Honors and Reviews
http://www.dorotheajensen.com/_p_style__text_align__center___dizzy__the_stowaway_elf__santa_s_izzy_elves__3__p_118749.htm
Frizzy Honors and Reviews



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Now Deedy is Comparing Lafayette to the Beatles. What can we say??



A Bigger Draw than the BEATLES!!!


When I was writing the Afterword for A Buss from Lafayette, I compared the huge crowds that greeted Lafayette everywhere he went on his 1824-5 Farewell Tour to the welcome the Beatles received when they toured America in the 1960s. To my astonishment, the editor took this comparison out, saying that young readers today wouldn't know anything about the Beatles or their U.S. tours.

However, Ron Howard might have fixed this situation, through his new movie, "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years” (2016). Funnily enough, we went to see it on the recommendation of our friend, Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette.

We loved it.

As I watched, however, I kept being struck by the parallels between how the Beatles and Lafayette were received.

First of all, I learned something new about the Beatles: they refused to play at the Gator Bowl if the audience was segregated. They carried the day, and apparently their performance was the first event attended by an integrated crowd there.

In a similar way, Lafayette, who was an abolitionist, made a point of greeting African-Americans during his Farewell Tour.

Secondly, I was struck by the size of the crowd at the Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert, on August 15,1965, which can clearly be seen in this short video:

https://youtu.be/M6DfG7sml-Q  (The editors of this video muted most of the screaming, by the way. It was MUCH louder than what can be heard on this.)
A Screen Shot from the Video: this only shows part of the crowd.
There were 55,600 people in the stadium that day.  Of course, there were other acts on that concert, but it appears that the Beatles were the main draw.

Now try to picture a crowd nearly twice as large: 100,000. That’s how many were in attendance when Lafayette dedicated the cornerstone of the monument at Bunker Hill on June 17, 1825.

Yes, there was another act that day – the famous orator Daniel Webster. But he was a “local boy”. The people there would have had many other opportunities to hear him speak. No, the big attraction that day was General Lafayette

Keep in mind that there was no P.A. system. Only a very few people there would have been able to hear Lafayette’s voice. The crowd was gathered there simply for the chance to catch a glimpse of the hero of the American Revolution who was a living link to our history. 

At least he didn't have to try to be heard over the screams of teenaged girls. (As far as I know, anyway.)

We Izzies are happy that SHE's happy!


Deedy is all a-twitter today because she got a great review for her OTHER KIND OF WRITING. She said she has something BIG in store for us, so once again we have yielded to her blandishments and let her put something here on OUR blog. (See below.) Love, the Izzy Elves.

***




A Buss From Lafayette is a historical fiction novel that takes the reader through a week in the life of 14-year old Clara. The year is 1825 and Clara lives in the small town of Hopkinton, New Hampshire with her father, stepmother, and brother. The story centers on the town’s excitement surrounding the upcoming visit from General Lafayette, a hero and famous French aristocrat from the Revolutionary War.
The book is written from quick-witted Clara’s perspective, and each new day’s adventures are prefaced by an entry from her diary, which provides a clever preview of the events to come. Clara feels life is unfair because of her family life, her lack of traditional schooling, and her red hair, which she is plotting to try to change to “a beautiful shade of black.” Weaved through her story are the events leading up to General Lafayette’s visit, who is known for delivering to his many admirers a “buss”, which, at the time, was the word used for a playful kiss on the cheek.
The vivid descriptions of clothing, family relationships, period-specific customs, and daily routines create a charming picture of life in 1825, and these elements inform the senses while reminding readers that the scene is from a different era.
“How I loved the smells: cloves and nutmeg from the Spice Islands, cinnamon from Ceylon, ginger and pepper from South America, and coffee from the West Indies. It seemed to me that the general store smelt strongly of worldly adventure.”
As a historical piece, the book dives into rich detail on Revolutionary War tales. The characters retell stories of General Lafayette, General Washington, and others, providing readers with a thorough backdrop of history to accompany the book’s main story line about Clara. Ms. Jensen also weaves throughout the story many words and objects that are common to the era, but are likely unfamiliar to the modern reader. A glossary included in the book provides a useful way for the reader to look up historical words, thus not having to rely upon context alone to interpret.
Recommended for teen readers that have an interest in history, this book is an enjoyable introduction to the post-Revolutionary War period in America, and provides a lovely story about family, determination, and how perspective can change everything." -The Children's Book Review

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Salute to Amazon!

Another post from Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you). At least she's mostly talking about us. For a change.
Love,
The Izzy Elves

***

Amazon is doing a special month-long salute featuring independent authors, and I would like to salute Amazon in return, for inspiring me to write again after a long "fallow" period.

Until I discovered CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and ACX, my last published work had been The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, released by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich in 1989. Although it won a number of awards and great reviews (and has stayed in print ever since), I felt paralyzed at the thought of finding a publisher for anything else I wrote.

So I stopped writing. For more than twenty years.

Then my dad decided to write his memoirs, and I found out that he had paid some sleazy "agent" something like $20,000 to "shop" his book. Needless to say, no publisher was found. It was then that I found out that there were ways to self-publish that did not cost anything. That led me to CreateSpace and KDP. Once I learned that I could get my work into print without finding a traditional publisher willing to do it, I was off and running!

Tizzy Honors and Reviews
Blizzy Honors and Reviews
Since then, I have written four illustrated modern Christmas stories in verse (for kids 4 and up) about some very techy 21st century elves who work at the North Pole. Called the Santa's Izzy Elves series, all four  books have received honors of one sort or another.  I released these through CreateSpace (as paperbacks), Kindle Direct Publishing (as e-books) and ACX (as audio books).  I am also about to start releasing them in yet another guise - illustrated audio books - through the new Video Direct program on Amazon.


Dizzy Honors and Reviews
http://www.dorotheajensen.com/_p_style__text_align__center___dizzy__the_stowaway_elf__santa_s_izzy_elves__3__p_118749.htm
Frizzy Honors and Reviews
I plan to write four more of these, one for each of the remaining Izzy Elves, Bizzy,  Quizzy, Whizzy, and Fizzy.

In my next blog post, I'll tell you the story of how the cheeky little Izzy Elves wrote to Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon, and got an immediate response!


Cheers!

Dorothea





Saturday, September 24, 2016

And Now for Something COMPLETELY Different: A New Way to Record History!

Another message from Deedy. But at least it's not about her OTHER KIND OF WRITING for a change. Love, the Izzy Elves


* * *

As some of you might know, I usually write posts about historical events, historical fiction, and the like about the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Today I am writing about an exciting new form of recording history in the 21st century to be done by Smock Media Holdings, a film production company based in Venice Beach, CA. This is a company created and run by my sons, Hawk and Nate Jensen.

Hawk is an experienced, award-winning documentary film-maker. He has come up with a groundbreaking idea for recording historical occurrences using VR360 (for an explanation, read the text below).

 To put this into practice, Hawk and his Managing Producer bro, Nate, need some help.

Please click on the following link to watch a video explaining what Hawk and Nate want to accomplish, and to connect to the crowdfunding campaign to make this happen. 
Support this 21st Century History Project!

Thanks!

Dorothea Jensen (Proud Mother)

P.S. Even  a dollar helps!


 

The award-winning documentary filmmakers at Smock Media in Venice Beach, CA are raising $57,500 for a virtual reality project called PRIME OBSERVER®.  Our goal is to build Camerasuits® for our team of zany photojournalist / documentarian / adventurers to capture full 360 degree footage of spectacular cultural and historical moments that place you INSIDE
these events as we experience them.
 
Ever wanted to go back to relive Burning Man or Coachella? Wanted to know what it's really like to be in the middle of a floor fight at a political convention? Wanted to stand between rival protest marches and form your own opinion of what happened? Wanted to surround yourself by all the glitz, glamour and glitterati at Fashion Week but couldn't get on the red carpet?  Prime Observers® Hawk, Ramblin' Tom, Kalia, Ben, Dakota, Nathaniel, Andylee and Abba Austin will put you there.     
 
Virtual reality is a whole new medium to record history.  With over 150 years of combined documentary production experience we know where to place the camera to capture "the moment" but now we ourselves will become that camera inside that moment.  Filmmaking will never be the same.  Come step into the scene with us!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Going to School, 1820s-30s Style

When we were visiting Monadnock History and Culture Center in Peterborough, NH, last weekend, we checked out the one-room schoolhouse, made of brick. Posed in front are re-enactors Lorraine Walker and Brigham Boice, in the roles of Mrs. Prescott and her son, Augustus Prescott.




Just for contrast, here's a one-room school house in Davisville, very close to Hopkinton, NH, where A Buss from Lafayette  is set. Note the separate entrances for boys and girls. By the way, my 8th grade teacher (the one who met Geronimo as a little girl) started her teaching career at one room school houses very much like this one.




Meanwhile, back at Peterborough, at the Monadnock Center for Culture and History, here are exterior bricks on the outside of the school.  Notice the grafitti, possibly carved by misbehaving students who were sent outside for punishment!


 Here is "Mrs. Prescott" showing us the interior of the school. She told us that the shorter benches in the front were for the youngest kids. Sher added that sometimes students who occupied the back row of benches went directly from there to being teachers, as no formal training was required.
 Here is "Augustus Prescott" modeling a dunce cap for us. This was one of the punishments common in 19th century schools. (At least the dunce cap didn't hurt as much physically as the reticule, featured in A Buss from Lafayette, that was used by teachers to hit unruly children on the hand.)


Here is "Augustus Prescott" showing us a slate board, used by pupils to write classroom exercises.

Here's what Clara says about slate tablets like this one:

"I liked everything about school, right down to the
sound of the pencils scritching on our slate tablets."
- A Buss from Lafayette © 2016 by Dorothea Jensen

 The re-enactors at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture said that in the winter, children would bring a potato from home to bake in the stove that heated the classroom. Each potato would be marked with the child's name.