Spotlight on Sue the Mingo goes to Mardi Gras

This is the second book in W.J. Smith, Jr’s series for children. The first book, "Sue The 'Mingo" was released in July of 2014. Sue is a flamingo with a colorful imagination!

These children's books, locally produced and written by Livingston Parish resident W.J Smith, Jr., target a pre-school to early elementary school aged audience. These large format paperbacks feature colorful art (by Kev Allen also a Louisiana native) and rhyming stories that are fun to read out loud, again and again!

A little history about how Sue the Mingo series came about:

When 2-year-old Kristian Smith visited the zoo with her family a few years ago she became enchanted with the pink flamingos and insisted on calling a flamingo a 'mingo. Her parents thought it was cute, and although the new word became part of the family's vocabulary, it didn't cross her dad's mind then that it would be the inspiration for a children's book he would author.

W.J. "Bill" Smith, Jr., of Watson, Louisiana, explained, "I always had the idea that I wanted to write a book, and when my father passed away three years ago, it made me think about my own mortality. I told my wife that I didn't want to wind up at the end of my life with a list of things I didn't do." His wife Cessely "Cissy" Smith asked what he wanted to do, and when he replied, "Write a book," she simply stated, "Then do it!"

“I thought, well, why not?” he said, “and then, ‘Why not now?’ I decided I wasn’t going to put it off anymore. Win lose draw, I would give it a shot.”

And so he set about writing, with the encouragement of Cissy, Kristian, who he says is now “8-years-oldgoing- on-20,” and son Patrick, 15. Recalling Kristian’s ‘mingo misnomer, Smith decided to write a children’s book about a flamingo named Sue who would have the same “sassy” personality as his daughter. “Choosing to write a book for children just felt right to me. I created Sue the ’Mingo because I wanted the book to have some relevance to my family. If Kristian was an animal she would want to be a flamingo!” he laughed.

Smith proceeded to write the book and learned a lot about the process of publishing. He estimates it took about 11 months from developing the concept for the book to having it printed.

“Sue the ‘Mingo” is about a color-obsessed pink flamingo who contemplates what it would be like to be a different color. It’s entertaining with its catchy rhythmic rhymes and colorful illustrations and along the way also teaches colors.

Once it was written, he passed it around to family and friends, and everyone encouraged him to get it published. He eventually decided to self-publish through local printers after discussing it with other authors. “I really wanted to go ahead and get it published without the delay of submitting it.

My Review

Sue the Mingo goes to Mardi Gras is a cute rhyming picture book for children. Sue, the pink flamingo, is color obsessed and dreams of what it would be like to be other colors.

Kids will get a kick out of this book and learn what colors are prominent in New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras.

The illustrations could be bigger with more vivid detail but all in all, they are enjoyable.

Most children, and adults for that matter, are fascinated with pink flamingos. Therefore, I have no doubt they will love going on an adventure with Sue the Mingo!

Both books are available at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, Louisiana; at The Idea Station in Watson, Louisiana; Oak Point Supermarket in Watson and Central, and at our Website

Facebook Hoax

Happy 2016! I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season. But now I'm depressed. I hate when it's all over. Sure it's a bit stressful and crazy during the holidays but I love the feeling inside that I get during that time of the year. I love that it's something different and exciting. Then when it's all over, it's just back to normal and it's so hum drum to me! But it is what it is.

As I was wondering what to write about this morning, I got an instant message through Facebook from my sister. I thought this was very odd since I've never gotten one from her before. We just email each other all the time. So I didn't answer her, instead I sent her an email asking her if she'd sent me one.

Now, why should I have to do that? Why should I be skeptical? The answer is because Facebook is getting to be a huge hoax for the rotten people in this world. Don't get me wrong, Facebook is a fantastic means to stay in touch with old friends, family, writing connection
s and all kinds of good reasons. But it has gotten out of hand.

In the last six months or so, I've been getting all excited because I get a message every morning telling me I have 1 new like and 4 new views. Huh? Everyday? How can that be? It's because someone out there is viewing our pages and trying to steal our accounts.

Also in the last six months, I've received a bunch of friend requests from people I'm already friends with, however it's always someone I'm not quite sure of. And instead of double checking to see if I'm already friends, I just accept. Then I instantly get a message from them saying "Hello, how are you?" When I got the first one, I thought How odd. But I answered back. One person said this, "I've been busy trying to win the lottery." I thought why do I care that this person I've never really talked to is playing the lottery and why are they telling me this?

So I wondered if this was some kind of hoax. So although I never really spoke to this person, they owned an ezine that I sent a story into so I asked them how the ezine was going. Then they said fine but spelled the name of their magazine wrong. I immediately knew something was up. Especially when they asked ME how long they'd been in business!! So I immediately deleted them.

Anyway, I've received several of these but have learned to never accept another friend request without checking to see if we're already friends.

I wanted to pass this on to anyone out there that may not know about this hoax. Never accept a friend request without checking first. One sure sign is if it's someone you think you may already be friends with and they only have a couple of friends themselves. It's a sure sign.

I don't know why these people are doing this or what their trying to accomplish but my guess is they are trying to get people's personal info or trying to get them to send money.

What I don't understand is why Facebook can't do something about this? They take it upon themselves to decide what posts we might want to see and from whom, but they can't stop these types of hoax's from happening? It's so irritating that I'm friends with all these people, but facebook only lets me see certain peoples posts because they want to control that!

If I didn't need facebook to help market my books, I'd be off it. It would make me sad because I do love when things go right and I can stay in touch with people I wouldn't ordinarily have a chance to communicate with, but it's really getting more of a hassle than it's worth.

How do you feel about it?