From the Author
Since I also love to write books at the middle school level and higher, and my novels are fantasy novels that interest several kids in any class I am teaching, this has given me a lot of feedback and stimulated new story lines to develop.
Once school ended on June 16th, I was able to pull my nearly completed, second novel out of the ignored folder it slept in, and bring it to a conclusion. Then I got the proof copy to hold in my hands and evaluate.
I set it next to the book I published last year, and smiled. I only hope they both bring other people some of the joy that they have already given to me.
I became a special Ed teacher, after being raised with a younger brother, who has down's syndrome. I also had been bullied a lot as a student myself and the experiences I have had as a teacher and family member of a special needs kid, and as a victim of bullies, are both a large part of the framework of these novels. But my Duffy, a boy who has Cerebral Palsy, and is bullied, is not handicapped or willing to be a victim. He won't accept the word, "No."
One of the most pleasurable parts of writing, Duffy Barkley: Seek Well has been the chance to review my journal and photographs and memories from a trip that my boys, my brother, my Mom and I took to Guatemala.
When you read this story, you will see a lot of the things that I loved about this poor, war-torn but lovely area around Lake Atitlan.
You will also get to meet a character, who was first suggested to me as a challenge, while trying to write the first 50,000 words of this novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. I love Fred, he loves baths, and he thinks he's a small, pop-eyed micro monkey. Duffy thinks he's a Dragon, but neither one is right.
So, my dream was to be a Writer. Like Duffy, I refused to accept the many times I was told "No." I'm glad that I did. The bullies lose if we refuse to be victims, and instead insist on our right to be who we dream.
From the Back Cover
Nine year old Duffy Barkley had been offered that chance, and in Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog, he took it - but like every choice, once made, there were consequences to be lived with. For Duffy, going back to an earlier time un-did the damage of serious choices and left him with a stronger instinct for compassion and courage. But it left him without the memories of the life that he had lived and the lessons he had learned. It came with no guarantees that he wouldn't make exactly the same mistakes or new ones again. It left him without the new friends whom he had made but it allowed him a chance to make a friend out of an old enemy - and that was the one chance, which ultimately saved them all, the first time he went to Uhrlin.
The thing about do-overs is that there is no chance to sit back and rest on a mountain of your blue ribbons - instead you have to get up before you have ever caught your breath and save yourself all over again. Just because Duffy had managed to erase one tragedy didn't make him immune the next time trouble came looking for him and his friends.
Now he's eleven and everyone thinks that one of the most trusted people he knew is a traitor. But he doesn't even remember that he knew her. To find her he must Seek Well.
I hope you enjoy this sequel to Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog.