Wednesday, July 4, 2012


David and I had such a great time at the launch party last weekend.  We appreciate everyone who came out and we heard so many wonderful things about our stories, that we decided we wanted to share the books with as many people as possible.  So, to celebrate the July 4th holiday, today through July 8, download your Kindle version FREE from of BOTH How David Met Sarah AND When David was Surprised.  

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app.

Please download your copies and help us spread the word.  Then tell us what you think by leaving a review on Amazon, liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter @anniekelleher.  Thank you so much.... Annie and David.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thought for today (and maybe May)

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing." - Henry Miller.

For some reason, this sentence spoke to my soul this morning.  What speaks to yours, Gentle Reader? 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Theme for April

Gentle readers familiar with this blog may remember that at the beginning of this calendar year, I decided to give each month a focus or a theme.  January was food, February was fitness, March was mayhem.  It might seem a bit like cheating to announce the theme for April in retrospect but since it was such a topsy-turvy month, for a while it felt like March's mayhem had just continued.  

But when I look back at how I spent my time this past month, I realize that my focus was on nurturing.  This month I took some significant steps to nurture not just my grandchildren and my puppies, I also focused a fair amount of my time and energy on myself and my writing. 

I spent two hours a week every week at physical therapy for my perennially painful neck.  I continued my yoga practice and even expanded it.  I eliminated gluten from my diet completely and have decided to give up alcohol until the summer solstice.  I've also taken stock of what resources I have to devote to publicity for my writing, in order to create more energy to devote to the actual writing.  I've cleaned and organized my writing area and made plans to freshen it up once my babysitting duties are mostly done.  I say mostly, because I'll continue to take care of Jake and Grace one day a week.  

It's hard to believe that almost four weeks have gone so quickly, and that a new month - and a new focus - are just around the corner.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What I've seen

I read an article in The New York Times this morning that made me a little sad - it talked about how the friendships between young adults can become strained when the young adults become parents.  The article mentioned all sorts of theories of parenting as the battle lines along which friendships are fought, but never mentioned the parents of the young adults at all.  The article seemed to assume that if the young adults had learned anything at all from the previous generation, it was what not to do.

I think that's sad but I think I understand why that's so.  I don't the previous generation is that awful...given that I number myself among them.  If you can get a kid from zero to 18 alive, given today's conditions, I think you can consider yourself a Gold Star parent.

I think most young parents are clueless because most young parents don't remember their parents parenting a young baby.  Now that the prevailing fashion is to wait to have children, everyone has their kids in clumps.  I considered myself extremely fortunate that I had siblings 11 and 16 years younger than myself when I had my first baby.  I'd had such direct hands-on experience of taking care of  infants, mine wasn't that mysterious to me.  Sure, I consulted the "authorities" of the day and my pediatrician if the situation seemed to warrant it, but mostly I relied on my mother and my own intuition to read what the baby was trying to tell me, because of all the diapering and feeding and care-giving I'd done.

I thought it was such a useful model of parenting that I replicated it, to the extent that I could, with my own children:  spaced across thirteen years, my older children helped care for their younger siblings, and now that my oldest has kids, it's the youngest's turn to help out.  I know this model is most likely not feasible for most people, but I wonder if there were some way to perhaps at least give this idea some thought  when it's time to consider spacing.  As I said to my daughter, when she asked me what I thought about when she "should" have a second child, "The older one should be old enough to help."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Encountering Bear

I got home last night around seven to find a bear... a big black bear.... romping on the patch of grass between the house and the two small out-buildings.  When I pulled up, she scampered off only as far as the art house, then stopped and looked at me.  We sat gazing at each other for what felt like quite a long time - until I got the message She wasn't going anywhere.

According to both Native American and Celtic traditions, Bear brings powerful Medicine.  For me, I associate Bear with, among other things, my great-grandmother for whom I was named.  She gave me the first toy I remember loving... a teddy bear with blue ears and button eyes that was easier for me to handle than the enormous pink bear who was his friend in my crib and on my bed for years.

She died when I was barely 18 months old and I have one worn memory of her that's more emotional than sensory.  We are having a tea party in the middle bedroom of my great-grandfather's house.  I don't even reach the top of the bed, the pattern of the bedspread is enormous beside me.  Both bears are sitting propped up on the floor next to the bed.  My great-grandmother leans down from a chair I still possess, holding out something in her hand.  I remember looking up, into her eyes, into her wise kind face that had seen so much more of life than I could even yet imagine.  Her death had a powerful impact on my life: without her ameliorating presence, the relationship between my mother and my grandmother devolved into what I remember as the Great War.

Today, Jake goes off to spend a day with his Poppy, and all I have to do is tend to Baby Grace, my  namesake, and my great-grandmother's great-great-great-granddaughter.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Adventures in Nana-land

So far, I've survived eight days of full-time babysitting.  My stamina seems to be improving and my level of anxiety seems to be lessening as I become more accustomed to the children and their schedules.  Life is devolving into a pleasant routine: in my experience, children, like puppies, do best when their days have a flexible predictability based around their general energetic needs.

I have noticed, for example, that Grace needs to sleep every three or four hours.  Given that her favorite activity is walking on her wobbly little legs, I can see how she gets so tired out.  Jake, on the other hand, is a bundle of energy in the morning, with a fairly predictable dip in the mid-afternoon that I can usually coax into coinciding quite nicely with one of Grace's naps.  By four, however, Jake is ready for another burst of play - just when the little girl next door is finished with her homework, leaving me free to fold laundry and Grace to toddle around the family room at will, or climb on my lap for a cuddle.  

Jake and I have butted heads occasionally, but he is such a reasonable little boy, he can be mostly reasoned with.  The second day I was there, for example, he came home from preschool and announced that he wasn't going to eat the hamburgers his mother had told me to make for lunch.  It wasn't what he wanted.

"Oh, Jake," I said, getting down on his level.  "We can have what you want today for lunch tomorrow if you like.  However, Nana is not a restaurant and Nana has already cooked the food your mommy told me to cook.  How old are you, Jake?"

This took him completely aback.  "I'm four," he said with an expression that told me he thought I knew that.

"Then here's the deal," I said, "You eat four bites of everything on your plate and you don't have to eat any more."

"Really?" he said.

"Yes," I said.  "Four bites... I'll help you count.  After that, you can stop eating anything you don't like.  How does that sound?"

"Okay," said Jake.  He ended up eating half his burger and all of his rice and quinoa, and all of his strawberries.  Grace,on the other hand, ate everything on her plate, cramming the food into her mouth with both hands as fast as she could shovel it in.  And all the time she watched Jake with an expression that seemed to me to say, "I don't know why you don't like this stuff."

Friday, April 6, 2012

A year ago this evening 7:20 EST my father breathed his last.

I was blessed to share that last great moment and for that I will be forever grateful.  Rest in peace forever, Daddy... I love and miss you every day.

Michael J. Kelleher.... March 1, 1936 - April 6, 2011
"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."

A discussion of the Passive Voice

And now for a lurch back to the other half of my brain.  I happened to catch a suggestion on a writing group on Facebook for a well-meaning exercise that attempts to make the writer more cognizant of the "passive voice" by eliminating as many variants of the verb "to be" as possible.  In other words, the person who made this suggestion has confused the Voice of the verb with the Tense.

Anyone who has suffered through as much Latin as I have can tell you the difference, but hardly anyone is made to suffer through as much Latin as I was.

The Passive Voice is not a tense.  It has nothing to do with when in time the action occurred, nor does it express a state of being.  The Passive Voice is a statement about ACTION and it tells you that the subject of the sentence was the object acted upon.  The opposite of the Passive Voice is the Active Voice, and the Active Voice tells you that the subject of the sentence is the one doing the action.

For example, these sentences are all ACTIVE voice:

I put the book on the table.
I am driving the car.
Jill followed Jack.

These sentences are all PASSIVE:

The book was put on the table by me.
The car is driven by me.
Jack was followed by Jill.

In each sentence, its not the compound verb structure that tips you off to the fact its passive voice; its the clause "by me" or "by Jill" that tells you who the actor of the sentence is.   All of the above sentences are in the PAST tense.

Here are a few more examples in ACTIVE Voice... but different tense:

The dog bit the cat. (Past tense, Active Voice)
The cat will bite the rat. (Future tense, Active Voice)
The rat has been looking for the cheese.  (Past Perfect Tense, Active Voice)

And again in PASSIVE voice, keeping the same tenses.

The cat was bitten by the dog.  (Past Tense/Passive Voice.)
The rat will be bitten by the cat. (Future Tense/Passive Voice.)
The cheese has been looked for by the rat.  (Past Perfect/Passive Voice.)

Now you try it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The things we do for love

It's Day Two of Full-time Grandmothering and I have to say I'm hanging in there.  The children are delightful, of course, as only the children of one's children can be, and the weather has mostly cooperated - except for some morning rain yesterday and a spring chill in the air, it's been sunny enough to spend long amounts of time outside.

But I'm, am I tired.  There are good reasons we are biologically primed to have children in our twenties, and vigor is chief among them.  Are you sure you want to do this, asked my husband, slightly incredulous.  Whatever possessed you, asked the children's other grandmother, last weekend at the birthday party for me and Baby Grace.

Two things, I thought.

For one, when I was first a grandmother, another older, wiser grandmother gave me the best advice any grandmother has ever given me.  "Always say yes," she said.  "Because you won't believe how fast they grow...if you think your children grew fast, wait til you see how fast your grandchildren grow up.  So always say yes, if you possibly can, because even the hours you spend with them will go by all too quickly in retrospect."

The other is that a long time ago I read an article in the New York Times that reported on a study that showed that children born in sub-Saharan Africa who had a maternal grandmother in their lives were more likely to live.  When my daughter became a mother, I understood why that could be true.  I am willing to care for her children because she is my child.  Caring for my grandchildren is as much an act of caring for my daughter as it is an act of caring for them.  No matter how many grandchildren I have, my children are forever my children.  The flesh of my daughter's flesh feels like the bone of my bone.

And everyone knows a mother's work is never done.  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

April flowers

The crazy weather has magnolias and rhododendrons blooming long before their time, and me making offers to take care of my grandchildren for the next five weeks.  Yes, you read that right.... in the middle of March madness, I heard myself say the fateful words:  "Darling, why not let me watch the babies for you?"

I don't consider myself a remarkable grandmother.  I like babies.  I like to cuddle them and hug them and take care of them but once they turn into children, my interest tends to wane.  I don't like to play games, I'm bored by most children's book and TV shows.  Jake, in fact, once admonished me, "Nana, you're not reading the book right," as I was dutifully reciting the short text at the bottom of each page.

"How am I supposed to read it?" I asked, more curious than anything else.

"Talk about the pictures," said Jake.

"Oh," I replied, feeling as if a Truth that had eluded me all my life had somehow finally been revealed in the words of the two year old on my lap.

But I love my daughter and my concern for her is boundless and when I heard the stress in her voice, I knew I had to step in.  "Are you sure, Mom?" she asked.

"It's not forever and it's not for always," I said.  "But for five weeks, I can do anything."

So this month, I'm putting aside writing as my main preoccupation, along with just about everything else, and diving head first into Grandmotherdom.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What the Hartford Book Examiner had to say about How David Met Sarah!

As the book’s subtitle (a very special love story) suggests, it’s a romantic predicament that demands much of the story’s focus. Indeed, David becomes infatuated with the new girl in town. (If only he could meet her!) Her name is Sarah, and she attends his church, occasionally eats at his favorite restaurant, and even considers joining his recreation group. Sarah is also Autistic.

The fact that Sarah doesn’t speak, at least not in the traditional sense (she communicates through sign), and seldom makes eye contact does little to dissuade David from believing that she is the girl of his dreams. Rather, he is convinced that they are meant to be together, and his attempts to make that happen are both heart-warming and humorous. This romantic angst will resonate with readers of all ages who have experienced the pains and pleasures of falling in love.

While David’s affections for Sarah may be the crux of the story, Kelleher offers several sub-plots of equal importance. She explores complex issues - impropriety in the workplace, bullying, familial discord, stereotyping, etc. – in deceptively simple prose. (I am reminded of a writer acquaintance who once said, “Easy reading makes for damn hard writing.”) Each is dealt with delicately but provides the opportunity for a teachable moment; they also illuminate the struggles faced by individuals and their caretakers.

How David Met Sarah is an important book on multiple levels. First, and perhaps foremost, it gives developmentally disabled readers an accessible, age and content-appropriate story to enjoy and a relatable protagonist to root for. Second, it provides parents, educators and caretakers a rare resource that not only entertains but also exposes the realities of what it’s like to live with a disability. If knowledge is power, then sharing that knowledge is empowerment - both for the messenger and the recipient.

Ultimately, though, How David Met Sarah’s greatest achievement may be something far simpler (and yet equally profound): It reminds us that, no matter our background, we all desire the same things in life – and that a sense of love and belonging is chief among them. It’s a true testament to Anne Kelleher’s skill as a writer (and passion as an advocate) that she manages to accomplish so much in such a slender volume. While "ground-breaking" is not a term to be used lightly, How David Met Sarah is deserving of such praise, and so much more

Continue reading on Book Review: 'How David Met Sarah' by Anne Kelleher - Hartford Books |

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March is for mayhem

There's always room for a little mayhem in every creative life...or there should be.  In keeping with my "themes" of the month, I decided it would be fitting for March to be about mayhem - in all its many forms.  There's the mayhem of the mess on my desk.  There's hte mayhem of the piles of more or less neatly sorted clothes all over Libby's old bedroom in the back of the house.  There's the mayhem of Libby's new room and the few things I need to do to put the finishing touches on it.  There's the mayhem...well, Gentle Reader, you get my drift.

As for February's theme, which was fitness, I ended the month five and a half pounds less than I started it, with a fitness routine in place and opportunities for exercise, yoga and stretching at several points throughout a normal day.

I want to try to be better about posting here with my progress.  Time- how I spend it, how I waste it -  is another kind of mayhem I want to address as well.  What kind of mayhem is in your life this month, Gentle Reader?  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Where will I be next?

At The Holistic Garden in Unionville, CT....stop in and say hello!  I'll have books to sign and buy, as well: 

Tarot Reading with Annie Kelleher (Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:00-3:00)

Experience a reading with published author and intuitive medium Annie Kelleher as she accesses inner wisdom and divine guidance to bring forth messages of hope and healing. Using Tarot cards, Angelic energies and other modalities. Annie's readings are typically insightful, direct and empowering. $45.00 1/2 hour and $70.00 for one hour. Please call 860-309-2256 to book an appointment. Registration is required.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why this blog's been quiet...

I finally finished the last revisions of When David was Surprised. The manuscript turned out to be a little longer than it was originally, and I had a chance to give it another going-over, tweaking and fine-tuning the language. I sent it to my editor at precisely 6:01 PM - coincidentally the time Baby Grace was born - so I'm hoping that is a very good omen! And in other writing news, I'm thrilled to say that an agent has asked my husband for a look at his memoir. Please keep your fingers crossed for both of us!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sharing the love...

How David Met Sarah is now on sale on Amazon Kindle for the seriously low price of just ninety-nine cents!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fitting up for February

I stopped at Target on the way to the after-school program and treated myself to a couple of new pairs of yoga pants.  Maybe it's something left over from my childhood, when the weeks before the first day of school were always filled with frenzied shopping, but for me starting something new always requires some ritual "new" thing.  Food is easy...the "new" thing is always the fresh food that I purchase.  Re-commiting to a fitness regimen requires something just as tangible, and not as fungible. 

In the last couple days I've been considering ways to add activity to my daily routine.  My husband gave me 12 sessions with a personal trainer as a Christmas gift, but I feel like too much of a slug to even begin to work with her again.  And I like going to the gym when it's quiet, so that means tinkering with the schedule I've fallen into.  But I also want to recommit to other things.  Today I'm going to watch that Rodney Yee AM/PM yoga tape I bought myself as a Survived-the-Winter-Holiday-Madness reward and clean my yoga mat that's been languishing in a corner of my writing room.  And something else I've decided to do is to see how many times I can run up and down the steps each time I make myself a cup of coffee or tea, or heat one up.  So far, it seems I can do about five.  I'm consideirng a tai chi class, but that may require additional tinkering with my schedule, and I don't want to take on more than I can manage. 

Thus, my intentions for February is to recommit to my fitness by working toward ten times up and down the steps by the end of the month for every cup of coffee or tea I make; at least one AM or PM yoga session every day; and a gym workout four times a week.  And every day the weather is nice... like today... at least one walk without the dogs up and down the hill.    

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Checking in

It's been a very busy month.  Not only did I complete When David was Surprised, I began work on another story that belched itself out of my brain quite unexpectedly a couple weeks ago.  The characters are a little sketchy, but the plot is clear.  I have nearly twenty thousand words completed and lots of notes to incorporate into a second draft. 

At the after-school program in Meriden where I've been working as a literary consultant twice a week, the kids are getting into the nitty-gritty of their stories.  It's so much fun to work with all of them, even the ones who aren't particularly in writing or in telling stories themselves. 

This month, my focus has been on what I eat.  After the power outage last fall, I think my body went into starvation mode and I woke up one morning amazed to find I'd managed to pack on not just the five pounds I lost during the nine-day ordeal, but an extra five more.  Not good at all, given how sedentary writing can be.  One thing I've learned about myself is that I simply can't do it all at once, including getting my act together.  So this past I've focused on food and I'm happy to say I've adopted these healthier habits:

1.  I decided one cup of 1% milk in my many cups of coffee was acceptable.  Every morning, I pour a  measruing cup of milk and add it to my coffee.  When the milk's gone, I'm finished drinking coffee for the day.  It's helped me limit both the amount of milk I'm using, and the amount of coffee I drink. 

2. I eat salad (at least) twice a day.  I find I'm craving dark leafy greens of all kinds, and it's been challenging to explore the produce aisle for different greens.  I've been buying two or three different varieties every week, and mixing them together in one big salad that lasts three or four days.  I also toss in shredded carrots and purple cabbage.  To this, I add other veggies, fruits and sometimes nuts. I'd like to start making my own vinegarettes, but that will wait for a few months while I focus on other aspects of my life.

3.  I've cut the amount of meat I eat by two-thirds.  I've been eating one serving of Greek yogurt every day... my favorite brand has introduced some new flavors like apple cinnamon and blood orange I love.  I add cinnamon to a lot of other things besides yogurt, including coffee and tea. 

4.  Friday afternoons and Sundays are my "indulgence" days when I eat pretty much anything I feel like eating. 

5. With the exception of the pomegranite vinegarette I've been putting on my salads, I've been sticking as much as I can to non-processed foods.  And when I do eat processed foods... like yesterday, when I had some crackers, I've been choosing the ones made with the whole wheat, the soybean oil and the sea salt over the ones made with a list of chemicals. 

This coming month I plan to focus on fitness.  I've been considering what small changes I can committ to making that in the long run will make a difference. 
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Can you help?

Have you read and enjoyed How David Met Sarah? Would you like a free copy of the next book in the series, When David was Surprised? Please consider helping spread the word.

Here are a few things you can do:

1. Help us social network. Follow me on Twitter (@anniekelleher) and reTweet my tweets. "Like" the book's page on Facebook, and invite your friends to "like" it, too. Share the page's content - I'll be updating it soon, I promise! "Follow" this blog and comment... comments are wonderfully appreciated! The top reTweeter, Facebook Friend (in terms of sharing and referring friends) and Blog Follower (in terms of commenting and sharing) will win a copy of the new book.

2. We are happy to donate copies of How David Met Sarah to libraries. Just email me ( the name of your local librarian in charge of acquisitions, and the address of the library. I'm also available to speak and sign at local libraries as well. Help me make the contact; your community wins and so do you.

3. Go to your local Barnes & Noble bookstore and ask for it. Copies can be ordered, and if enough people ask for the books, the stores will start to stock them. Email me the name and information of the store manager or the person who arranges signings and win the next book.

4. Tell your friends. Signed bookplates are available...the person who requests the most bookplates for friends who bought copies will receive the new book, too.

People who've read the story tell me how much they love it... thank you so much from the bottom of my chest (as my brother would say) if you can help us reach others who might enjoy it, too. When David was Surprised will be available in both eformat and hard copy on my birthday, March 31.

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