A Reading of The Jobo Tree – My Short Story in Highlights Magazine

Eleven years ago my short story “The Jobo Tree” (pronounced Hobo Tree) was published in the September 2006 issue of Highlights for Children magazine.

Soon after it was published, I received an award in the mail for “Author of the Month.” I didn’t know Highlights gave out such an award, but it’s pretty cool, an engraved eight-inch pewter plate. I framed it  so I could hang it on the wall.

At the time the story was published, I didn’t have any grandchildren and would have to wait a good four years for the first grandchild to be born.

Twinkle Eyes (my nickname for her) will be eight in February. There are four more grand darlings: Grasshopper – age six, Sweet Pea – age four, Ninja Doll – age four (they’re cousins, not twins), and Chatty Girl the youngest is two.

Twinkle Eyes, Grasshopper, Sweet Pea, Ninja Doll, and Chatty Girl

The eight- and six-year-olds know how to read now, and the younger ones enjoy books and stories, so it got me thinking I should record myself reading my short stories and some chapters from my novels, especially since Grasshopper and Ninja Doll moved across the country and I don’t get to see them very often.

Now they can enjoy Grammy’s stories on YouTube anytime they’re allowed to watch them. They can also share them with their friends. What’s really cool about making videos of my stories is that it makes them accessible to millions of children. Yahoo!

“The Jobo Tree” is a sweet story. Grownups enjoy it, too, because — well, I’m not going to give away the twist, but it’s  a feel good, happy tale.

Here’s a video about the Author-of-the-Month award:

I also got some press coverage. The Daily News (High Desert in California) published an article:

So, here we are heading full speed into the holidays. I’m never ready for them.

This coming week my husband George and I will find out the results of the testing he had done last week (whole body PET scan and MRI of the brain). I’m expecting no change from two months ago, which means, yes, there’s still a trace of cancer in his brain, but it’s not spreading. I’m kind of holding my breath waiting for the good news.

George is doing quite well, enjoying riding his bike and doing a bit of gardening, but he will be scheduled for maintenance chemo next week. We’re hoping he tolerates it much better than the last time, which was the end of May.

If George gets a good report on the PET scan and MRI, our lives will be that much closer to our old normal and I’ll focus more on writing again and maybe even get my health coaching business launched, and George will be relieved knowing there will be many future opportunities to spend precious time with family.

I’m supposed to be writing blog posts about this journey we’ve been on in dealing with his cancer, but it’s challenging me to relive the memories. I promise I’ll have a decent post updating you before the end of the month.

My husband George with his beloved bike. He says it’s as much fun now as it was when he was a kid. Go, George!

In the meantime, I view each day as a miracle. It gives life a whole new perspective. I’ve also been reflecting on where we’ve been, where we’re at now, and where we’re going. Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’m in denial, but I remain ever hopeful and thankful that George is active and making the most of each day. He’s pretty incredible and quite inspiring!

What are you up to? Getting ready for the holidays? Do you enjoy children’s stories? Do you have children or grandkids who bring joy and laughter to your life? I’d love to hear what’s happening in your neck of the woods. 


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6 Responses to A Reading of The Jobo Tree – My Short Story in Highlights Magazine

  1. Susie Lindau says:

    Love your story and your good news! I’ll keep praying for George. It’s like coming out of a storm, even if like is a new kind of normal.

    There is a lot I couldn’t write about at the time. My advice? Don’t feel obligated. I recently spoke to someone about my idea for a humorous book about death and she was adamant that I never write it. “Readers are interested in your inspiring work. Stick to those.”
    Okydoke. Ha!

  2. Lynn Kelley says:

    Thank you, Susie. Yes, like coming out of a storm. It was one storm after another for a while there, so we’ve enjoyed the past few months of no chemo and George gaining some of his strength back.

    Thanks you for your advice. I appreciate it. Cancer and death are touchy subjects and some people just can’t deal with it, so I understand why your friend told you it’s better to stick to your inspiring work. However, sometimes you have to write what’s nagging at you, and those who are interested will read it, and those who can’t handle it won’t read it. As I write about our journey, I’m hoping to keep it light and add humor whenever possible. Thank you for your prayers, Susie! Take care.

  3. That’s so cool about your Highlights award! Thanks for sharing with us.

    So glad to see George is doing well! And here’s hoping that continues through the next round of testing and after.

    Not much going on with me. Just getting back into the writing groove after a very busy summer. Maybe someday I’ll get back to blogging. Keep us updated!

  4. Thank you, Jennette. Yes, sounds like you’ve had an extremely busy summer. Good for you getting back into the writing groove. I’m looking forward to your blog post about the fire in the house flip. Hope you guys didn’t take a loss on that. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love the idea of you recording your stories on UTUBE for your grandchildren. Just make sure they are ones you have already published or don’t plan to publish because of someone taking your stories and writing them as their own.

    Hope George’s tests went well.

    Thinking of you both.

    • Thank you, Sharon. Point well taken. So far, these are stories that have already been published. Isn’t it a shame we have to worry about someone stealing our work? Sheesh!

      Thanks for stopping by, and especially thank you for the well wishes for George.

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