No, Ewe didn't!

Why do people count sheep when they can't sleep? On my farm, if Farmer couldn't sleep, he'd be done counting us in like 10 seconds, and that's only if he counted slowly. It's me, my mom, and my dad, so he'd just count to three and be done. And I can't imagine that would make him tired. I mean, how does math make ANYbody tired? My mom agrees. Mom's like me, meaning Ewe, and dad's Ram. Mom is always making me graze and the meadow but not dad. He just eats and eats and eats. When not eating, he likes to bang his head on things. He's so weird! Does your dad bang his head on things, too? Does your mom make you eat grass all day long?

Heart Blog Tour

When Enisca Jones asked if I (Mike Demers, the writer ofEwe) wanted to join the “Heart Blog Tour,” I was intrigued. But I was also very busy. “Who has time for a tour?” I wondered. I really doubted I could do it. But when I learned that Enisca, Cat Michaels, and Rhonda Paglia were already on the tour, as well as the creators of Lorenzo the Bear and Dani P. Mystery, the Heart Blog Tour sounded too cool to resist. Like the elevator Charlie takes out of Willy Wonka’s candy factory. Who WOULDN'T get on? Driven by wonder and curiosity, Ewe and I hopped on! And so this is Me writing about Ewe, blogging from the heart.

1.  What Are You Working On?

FOOLING EWE is the first in a “ewe ‘nique” new series about Ewe (pronounced ‘you’), about a young sheep who’s bored grazing and now wants to play. It’s almost a fact that when Cyndi Lauper sang “Girls just wanna have fun,” she may have been talking about Ewe. Ewe would rather play than work, like most of us. In the sequel, however, titled WHAT WILL EWE DO?, it’s less about playing and more about dreaming. It’s about all the things Ewe wants to do when she grows up. I won’t tell you what she wants to do, but it’s a lot, and the art will involve outer space, under the sea, and, of course, earth. Illustrator Todd Finklestone is SUPER excited for this one, as am I and Ewe! We’ve got more books about Ewe after that, too, but one day at a time. That’s not what Ewe said, but it’s how it has to be when you’re a single dad with a full plate. Writing is an occupation but Life is a preoccupation that sometimes gets in the way.

2. How Does Your Work Differ From Others In Its Genre?

Seriously? It’s all about Ewe! Writing a story, and creating a character and series based on wordplay, which makes the reader think “You” when reading “Ewe,” is both challenging and exciting. I’ve long believed words are toys. Move them around in a sentence and watch how the meaning changes, I tell the kids in schools. Words aren’t words, I say; words are toys. Revise and play!

3.  Why Do You Write?

I have a theory as to why I write. I was the youngest of three brothers and they never let me talk. This is true. They put charcoal in my Christmas stocking, told me I was left by the Indians, but never let me talk. Perhaps because of this I had things to say, and so I started telling stories at a young age. Some people have imaginary friends. Mine was a chicken. “My chicken lays golden eggs,” I told everybody and everybody replied in exactly the same way. “Oh.”

And when somebody asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them “an ice cream truck.” No disrespect to ice cream or the driver, but I wanted to be the truck!

I think I’ve always been a writer. It’s fun creating and growing a fictional world from a seed of inspiration, and giving birth to characters that may inspire and entertain future generations and, maybe, motivate them to have fun playing with words, too.

4.  How Does Your Writing Process Work?

Inspiration comes from many places, but it invariably comes from living with your eyes and ears open. You hear things that make you think, see things that make you wonder, and from wonder comes an idea, and from an idea grows characters and worlds and conflicts and resolutions. And that’s something we can relate to. “A Master in the art of living draws no distinction between work and play,” they say, and I believe that’s true. If you do what you love, you’ll love what you do. It’s Literary Symbiosis. As for FOOLING EWE, my first book, it came from a word: Ewe. I heard the word and couldn’t get it out of my head because I couldn’t help thinking that it was trying to fool me into thinking ‘You. ’Some ideas you chew on and they fall apart. Others you chew on and it leads to amazing bubbles. Ewe bubbled for me. It started with word, which lead to wordplay, which lead to illustrator Todd Finklestone giving her a face, and then the character was born. Happy birthday to Ewe, and the rest is history in the making.

That’s what Ewe said. To read what others said on the Heart Blog Tour, follow the links below. 

Enisca Jones, who writes about a very unusual sea turtle named Mookie.

Rhonda Paglia, teacher-turned-tale teller, who writes about Three Little Gnomes.

Cat Michaels, author of the Sweet T Tales.

Carmela Dutra, author of the sometimes philosophical and always fun Lorenzo the Bear.

K. Lamb, author of the Dani P. Mystery series (no relation to Ewe, fyi).

Karen Emma, creator of Kid Literature

Not everybody can give rise to turtles, bears, and mystery, so you should definitely check them out. As for Ewe and Me, thanks for visiting us on the Heart Blog Tour. There are chocolate chip cookies by the door. Please take one. Stop by and say “Ba-a” sometime and, remember, be different, be Ewe!

When to Plant?

Ba-a! I need help! I want to grow a chocolate chip cookie tree but should I plant the cookies in the fall or in the spring? When I ask Farmer, he just says "Ba-a-a," like he's a sheep, and scratches my head. Why won't he answer? I tried reading his book, the Farmer's Almanac, but it makes no sense. I don't know how he even wrote it. The pictures are fun, though.

I've already soaked the cookies in milk, so they are ready. If I don't get the information I need, and if Farmer won't answer me, I'll probably eat them. I can't waste them, right? I'm not crazy, you know.

Oh, I hope somebody answers me and tells me what to do! I'll share my future cookies if you do!

Ewe jokes

Sometimes, I don't want to graze. So I think of funny jokes. Then, I'm having fun even when doing something un-fun,
like grazing. Do you know any good jokes? I do!

1. What do you call a ewe who knows math?

2. What did Owl say when Ewe knocked on the door?

3. What did Luke Skywalker say to Ewe?

4. If Ewe was Ebenezer Scrooge, what would Ewe say?

                                                   (Answers: 1. Matthew! 2. Ewe hoo? 3. May the Force be with Ewe! 4. Ba-a humbug!)

Ba-a Humbug?

Did you know "humbug" means to "deceive" or "hoax? It's true. And that's why "ba-a humbug" means Ewe is having fun. So go ahead, go humbugging this Christmas. Share FOOLING EWE with a friend. And then share hot cocoa. Read, sip, and ba-a humbug if you want to!

Sheep Thoughts: Wed or When?

I'm thinking about Wednesday. I think we should rename it "Whensday" because it's "when" you begin to think about the weekend. It's not like anybody pronounces it right anyway. That 'D' is as memorable as the third astronaut who flew to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. So "When can I eat that cookie?" you might say. "Whensday!" Ba-a?

Sheep Thoughts: Learning Right from Wrong

There once was a farmer named Stew. And Stew was a farmer of Ewe. It's true! As a young man in Scotland, Stew's job was birthing sheep. In fact, Stew was the first face that many of my friends saw when they entered the world. That's what he told my writer, Mike, who replied with "WHAT?!" And so Stew explained. When one mother sheep had a lot of babies and another had only a few, Stew would take from the lot and add to the few so that each mother ended up even, and so that each baby would get enough milk and attention. Makes sense but the problem, he explained, was that one mother wouldn't always accept the other mother's baby. Not all sheep are alike, you know, and mothers can smell the truth, so Stew would coat the newborn in the other mother's fluids, covering up right with wrong. That worked. The baby was then allowed to nurse from the mother who was not her own and, twenty minutes later, was walking around the meadow meeting all of ewes. We sheep are fast learners, see. And smart, too. The next day, according to Stew, the babies always figured out the truth and found their right mothers. So whoever said being born yesterday was a bad thing doesn't know Ewe!

don't always know right from wrong but, with a little time and patience, we figure it out.

Sheep Thoughts: What's in a word?

Did you know "Ba-a" can mean anything? It can mean "Thank you" or "Um, no." It can mean "Yippee!" or "Drat." It can even mean "Mmm." "Ba-a" is a more useful word than "Cheers" and "Fine" and "Y'all" all put together. "Ba-a" is the only word you'll ever need because it's not what you say in life, it's how you say it! If you were in a deserted island meadow and could only take one word, you should seriously consider taking "ba-a."

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