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Fly To The Moon – Salem Times Register Article on The Rotary Club of Salem Presentation

Fly To The Moon – Salem Times Article on The Rotary Club of Salem Presentation


As I began my talk with the members and guests of The Rotary Club of Salem, I looked out among the crowd and saw many great friends and expressed what an honor and privilege it was to once again stand on the podium and address this wonderful group of community leaders.  I was invited to share with the group the story behind the story of publishing my first children’s book; Fly To The Moon On A Witch’s Broom.


The theme of my presentation was ‘The Power of Encouragement’ because this book would have never flown off the shelf if not for the encouragement and support of so many people.  Sure it has my name on it, but there were many hands involved in making it happen.  At the top of this list is the book’s artist and illustrator Jackie Frackelton (her name is on it too!).  Jackie’s artwork and creative design brought Kate The Great to life.  The illustrations are amazing and looked awesome on the big screen!  It was only fitting that our first presentation took place in the Community Room of the Salem Civic Center, because that is where David Frackelton (Jackie’s husband) and I met and became friends. Soon thereafter Jackie asked if I would like to write a children’s book and the rest is, well history in the making.

David handled all the set up and has been an invaluable support throughout this process.  Further, the idea for the story came from David’s sister Katherine Boyet, when her daughter Kate used to run and play on the beaches of Boca Grande, FL, and dreamed of Flying To The Moon.  How would she get there?  Well on a Witch’s Broom of course!  Katherine shared the idea with Jackie who would later ask me to write it.  Thank you Jackie and David!  Thank you Katherine!  And a special thanks to Kate for Dreaming Big and for being Great!

Also in attendance was my good friend Chad Corbett.  Chad is a marketing guru and responsible for setting up my blog site, photography and all things online.   But more so it was Chad that persuaded me to self publish.  Fly To The Moon sat on my desk for years as I grew frustrated with the traditional publishing route.  He convinced me that in the 21st century I did not need a big publishing firm.  There are many great options to self publish and with the internet, social media etc, there are no limits.  Guess the former chainsaw mechanic was right.  Thanks Chad!

Jordyn Rotary Bday

My date for the event was my daughter Jordyn.  Yes I checked her out of school to join me for the Thursday luncheon. She turned 10 that day and the crowd of Rotarians gave her a special treat by singing Happy Birthday.  “Best Birthday ever Daddy!”  she said.  I wanted her to come because she also played a big role in the book being published.  Both she and my youngest daughter Jayde have asked me to read FTTM hundreds of times over the past few years and they could not be more excited, especially since their artwork, along with Lauren and Maddie (Jackie’s daughters) is featured in the book.

Jordyn reading FTTM

Jordyn played a bigger role though.  About a year ago Jordyn asked, for the umpteenth time, if I have gotten my book published yet.  Frustrated, I could only say no.  I wanted to be mad at her for asking, but realized that I was really upset with myself.  So I said to Jordyn, ‘no I have not, but I’m working on it and I want you to keep asking me’.  She smiled and said OK daddy!  Living up to her word she asked about once a week in the months leading up to my conversation with Chad.  It all came together and after much work, collaboration and the efforts of many, a dream came true.  Thank you Jordyn for not letting me forget!

Special thanks to Meg Hibbert, award winning feature writer and editor for the Salem Times Register for the wonderful coverage and great story.  She will be following us around at future events so look for more great content from Meg.  Click the link and read the full story below.

Rotary Mark reading FTTM 1

Many thanks to Lenora Downing and all the members of The Rotary Club of Salem for inviting us to share our story.  As a bonus it was quite a treat hearing my good friend and Rotarian Mark Henrickson read FTTM to the group while the story unfolded across the big screen.  As always it was a warm welcome, or roasting, as Mark introduced me.  Afterwards, the encouragement and support continued with well wishes, handshakes and hugs from the group.  Perhaps the biggest highlight was sitting behind the table signing books for Rotarians lined up with money in hand.  In true Rotary fashion several members purchased extra books and asked that they be donated to kids.  That promise was delivered upon today as a set went to the book drive at Cave Spring Elementary School and a set will be delivered next Monday to the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital, part of the Children’s Miracle Network.    Thank you Rotary!

Dream Big!!!

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