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Postal Customer


PAID Allen, TX Permit 178


May 2012

Vol. 22, Issue 5

cover story 58 Parris Afton Bonds: Bringing the hero’s journey to life


At about the same time as the romance genre really took off, Parris Afton Bonds was starting her writing career as well. Trends in reading formats and habits have changed dramatically since she published her first novel in the early 1970s, but she continues writing new novels for the next generation of readers. by Peggy Helmick-Richardson

feature 22 Finding their passion

Amateur bodybuilders Monica & Greg Steiner discovered a wonderful community and a virtual ‘Fountain of Youth’ with their new sport. by Nicole Bywater


special sections 26 kids korner

Summer Camp by Deborah Dove

38 pet page


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44 calendar 66 people seen

contents departments civic forum 8

Summer Sounds Concerts by Jeff Mues



Inaugural Allen City Blues Festival by Jeff Mues


Relay for Life


Allen Texas by Heather Newman



Film Series during May

Plano Ducks Unlimited banquet

Allen Image publisher/editor Barbara Peavy

office administrator Carrie McCormick

advertising sales Jill Edelman Joy Dickschat

contributing writers Nicole Bywater Deborah Dove


Tom Keener


Modern Mexican Painting

Jeff Mues

by Tom Keener

Heather Newman

The 1940 Census

Dawn Bluemel Oldfield

by Tom Keener

Peggy Helmick-Richardson

Jazz/Blues Festival

Mark Robinson

19 20

by Tom Keener

Marjorie Vaneskahian

education 24

Polysomnography by Mark Robinson




They look like…you and me Marjorie Vaneskahian

gardening 34

Doing your part, drop by drop by Dawn Bluemel Oldfiend


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beauty/fashion 40

Larry Fleming

Talking to kids about money

helping hands 30

cover photo

Protecting yourself this summer by Nicole Bywater

Allen Image © 2012 by Moonlight Graphics. All rights reserved. Allen Image is published by Moonlight Graphics and individually mailed free of charge to the residents of the Allen area. Subscriptions are available to residents outside the delivery area at a rate of $2.50 per issue—$30 per year. Subscription and editorial correspondence should be sent to: Allen Image, P.O. Box 132, Allen, TX 75013, 972.727.4569, fax 972.396.0807 or visit our website at www.allenimage. com.

civic forum

Summer Sounds Concerts by Jeff Mues


What could be better after a long Monday than spending the evening with family over a picnic on the lush, fresh grass of the Joe Farmer Recreation Center Amphitheatre, enjoying live music? How about being able to do that every Monday for six weeks? The 15th Annual Summer Sounds Concert Series kicks off on Monday, May 21, and continues every Monday with a different nightly concert through June 25. The music will range from Cajun rock to Beatles’ classic tunes to contemporary pop hits and more. Thanks to the City of Allen and the Parks and Recreation Department, all Summer Sounds concerts are free and begin at 7 p.m. each Monday night. Light concessions are available for purchase. Ground blanket seating is preferred so that concertgoers of all ages can enjoy the best line of sight. Local favorite, the Zydeco Stingrays, will set the stage as they open the concert series on May 21. Their Creole R&B accordion grooves mix with a fusion of zydeco, rock and blues. Expect to be transported to New Orleans, with all the flavor and spice of an authentic Cajun jamboree. The Allen Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Chorus returns for its wonderful Memorial Day concert and tribute on May 28. You will delight in traditional Patriotic Pops music, and there will be activities designed to

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honor our veterans and servicemen and women. The event will conclude with a patriotic fireworks show! On June 4, the series puts on its dancing shoes with High Definition. This band’s versatile style and high energy has made them a popular choice for special events, wedding receptions, private parties and local nightclubs. With this group you will know every song and won’t want to stop dancing and singing along! Ready to Twist and Shout? We’ve got your “ticket to ride” with Me & My Monkey, the ultimate Beatles tribute band on June 11. Comprised of founding members George Jara (George Harrison) and Rod Bollinger (John Lennon), with Michael Daniel (Ringo Starr) and Paul Sacco (Paul McCartney) completing the line-up, the band looks and sounds just like the Fab Four. Their name, of course, is taken from the song on The Beatles White Album, but the band’s repertoire covers all aspects of The Beatles songbook. They have made numer­­­ous television appearances, were pre­ viously named Fort Worth Weekly’s “Best Cover Band” and have played to thousands at the annual Beatle Week celebration in Liverpool. On June 18, Live ‘80s will flash you back to a time when Rubik’s cubes, big hair and leg warmers were all the rage. Live ‘80s will have you working

for the weekend and wearing your sunglasses at night. It’s going to be a party for sure with the band playing your favorite ‘80s hits from new wave to pop to dance to hair metal and everything in between. The final concert in the series, June 25, features Cuvee, pronounced KooVay, a French term for the finest blend. Known for pumping out energizing renditions of classic R&B, Motown, rock and disco dance hits, they do indeed offer a fine blend of top 40 hits. They have an electrifying stage presence with male and female vocalists backed by some of the Metroplex’s finest musicians. One of North Texas’ most in demand bands, they have played parties for such luminaries as Paula McClure, former host of ABC’s Good Morning Texas; Don Carty, CEO of American Airlines; and actors Gary Busey and Dennis Hopper. Certainly, this is one of the most impressive and diverse lineups of entertainment ever offered by the Summer Sounds Concert Series, which has been a mainstay of the Allen Parks and Recreation Department for well over a decade. For more information on the free concert series, visit www. allenparks.org. v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks & Recreation Department.

Inaugural Allen City Blues Festival by Jeff Mues

In 1912, the sheet music industry published “Dallas Blues”—the first ever published twelve bar blues song. On the 100th anniversary of that occasion, the blues will move a few miles north of Big D, as Allen Event Center welcomes the inaugural Allen City Blues Festival Sunday, May 27. Tickets are on sale now, and trust us, you want to secure your seats for this one. Dig the blues? You could visit all the legendary clubs of Beale Street to the blues haunts of the Mississippi Delta, and you’d still come up short of the incredible lineup assembling together this Memorial Day Sunday. The Robert Cray Band, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, the original Ian Moore Band and Tyler Bryant & the

Shakedown are all set to take the stage during the first true festival event held at the arena. “We wanted to bring in some of the biggest blues legends as well as some younger soon-to-belegends to share the stage for an event that stands to become an annual tradition for Allen,” said Tom Alexander, Booking Manager at Allen Event

award winning, multi-platinum albums, received 15 Grammy nominations, and with the Robert Cray Band, has performed thousands of sold-out shows worldwide. He has performed alongside blues titans Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. He has also worked with Tina Turner, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Willie Dixon to name a few; and his songs have been covered by many including B.B. King, Clapton and Tony Bennett. One of the truly great guitar players, Cray has his own line of Fender Signature Guitars. Hailed as “the most talented bluesman of his generation,” by the London Times, Cray is known for delving into a variety of musical traditions including Delta blues, rock, rhythm & blues and Caribbean soul.

Ian Moore Band

Center. “We’ve gotten so much positive feedback on the festival…anticipation is really building for what we believe can become a signature event that the North Texas blues community circles on their calendars each year.”

Robert Cray Robert Cray

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At the very top of the bill, Robert Cray is a five-time Grammy Award winner and a 2011 selectee to the Blues Hall of Fame. Along with his Grammy wins, Robert Cray has released 20

Legendary guitar virtuoso, Ian Moore, is reuniting his original Austin band for the Allen City Blues Festival. Moore is known for such soulful Billboard-topping songs as “Blue Sky”, “Satisfied”, “How Does it Feel” and many more. Milestones include playing “Like a Rolling Stone” on the road with Bob Dylan, trading guitar riffs with Keith Richards on tour with the Rolling Stones, performing “Whiskey River” with Willie Nelson, singing a duet with Emmylou Harris and collaborating with artists as divergent as Roky Erikson and Jason Mraz. Moore’s skilled musicianship, incredible guitar playing and soulful voice continue to earn the praise of the blues community and his legions of fans.

Jimmie Vaughan Jimmie Vaughan, the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, was born in Dallas, and has been a fixture on the Texas blues scene for nearly 40 years. In 1969, at 18 years of age, Vaughan’s band opened for The Jimi Hendrix Experience in Fort Worth. In the mid‘70s, he founded The Fabulous Thunderbirds, a band considered one of the most important blues bands of all time. Since then, Vaughan’s repu­ tation as a formidable guitarist has grown exponentially. His technique and talent have earned praise from Eric Clapton, BB King and Bonnie Raitt.

performed in March at South by Southwest in Austin.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band One of Rolling Stone’s “100 greatest guitarists of all time,” Robert Randolph’s over-the-top gospel-infused pedal steel playing burns with desire, frequently veering into Jimi Hendrix territory. That passion and musicianship has earned Robert Randolph and the Family Band wide praise, including that of the The New York Times, which applauds Randolph’s “rip-roaring virtuosity and his gift for making his instrument sing without a word.” Robert Randolph has collaborated with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Albert Lee, The Allman Brothers Band, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Leon Russell and Doyle Bramhall II among many others. Doors will open at 3 p.m. on May 27 with live music all afternoon and into the night. Get your tickets at

Robert Randolph ticketmaster.com or at the Allen Event Center Box Office and witness history as 100 years later, we rewrite that first 12 bar blues tune. “Allen Blues” just sounds that much sweeter. v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks & Recreation Department.

Jimmie Vaughn

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown

Tyler Bryant is a 20-year-old guitar prodigy from Honey Grove, Texas, who has shared the stage with Aerosmith, Jeff Beck, Heart, REO Speedwagon, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Pat Benatar, The Arc Angels, Vince Gill and many others. At age 15, Tyler won the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation’s New Generation Award, which recognized him as one of the most promising new artists on the music scene. He has also per­formed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago, and Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown recently Allen Image x May 2012


Relay for Life

For the 10th consecutive year, Allen residents and businesspeople are planning an American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. This year it will be held Friday, May 18 at the Allen High School track starting at 6 p.m. The walk kicks off with a special Survivors’ Lap—a moving experience honoring those who have defeated cancer. Any Allen area cancer survivors may join the group to take the relay’s opening lap—unified in victory and hope—while the rest of the participants

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surround the track to cheer them on. Next, teams take to the track. The overnight walking event—team members take turns walking or running around the track for 12 straight hours— ends at 6 a.m. on Saturday. Since cancer never sleeps, for one night a year, neither do volunteers, survivors and caregivers. Relay For Life brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, churches—in other words, people from all walks of life. Every year since 2003, dozens of

Allen constituents gather for months to plan and execute the large cancer awareness-raising, fundraising event. Relays are held all over the nation in communities like Allen. The 12-hour event gives people the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer; remember those who lost; and fight back against the disease by raising funds and public awareness. During the relay, the American Cancer Society will hold a luminaria ceremony to honor, remember and celebrate lives that have been touched by cancer. Luminarias will be lit at 9 p.m. to represent these individuals. Cris Adams, luminaria chair, states, “It’s an emotional time when the luminaria are lit. Since each one represents someone who has battled cancer, this becomes a very personal occasion. Many have fought cancer and won, but others have lost the fight. Seeing the hundreds of luminaria in the darkened stadium seats reminds us why we are there and what it means on a person-to-person basis.” Anyone may make a luminaria donation by visiting http://www. RelayForLife.org/Allentx. Each luminaria candle is $10. This touching ceremony highlights the importance of defeating this disease and striving toward a world with less cancer and more birthdays. You can join a local team by visiting the website http://www. RelayForLife.org/Allentx. Or, you can form your own team of neighbors, coworkers, church friends, scouting troops or similar groups to raise funds and awareness for battling cancer. An additional way to support the event is to help sponsor a team or individuals with a financial donation. Use the Allen Relay For Life website to find teams to sponsor. v


by Heather Newman

Living and working here, you already know that Allen has a lot to offer. Even though we can’t claim the Mall of America or Disneyland-type attractions, Allen does bring a fresh and varied experience to the regional tourist. Allen first landed on the map as a shopping destination with the opening of Allen Premium Outlets over a decade ago. It didn’t take long for it to become the second most popular outlet shopping destination in Texas, which included attracting international travelers and groups coming from the DFW metroplex. Crafting Allen as a destination continued with strategic development and the addition of more retail, dining

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and entertainment opportunities. After the outlets, Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm was developed offering a distinctive urban park setting and al fresco dining options. The Village at Allen/Fairview soon followed and brought with it a unique public/private partnership resulting in the state-of-the-art Allen Event Center. Other major retailers quickly became part of Allen’s success resulting in the openings of Cabela’s, TopGolf and Hydrous Wakepark. Part of this strategic development also included the creation of the Allen Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in late 2009. Funded by the local Hotel Occupancy Tax, Allen CVB plays a key

role in marketing the city as a new destination for events, conventions and general tourism. Attracting events and visitors to Allen plays a role in our local economy. Active tourism creates employment opportunities in hotel, retail, restaurant and attraction des­tinations. There are 3,925 people in Allen em­ployed in industries directly impacted by tourism. Building a strong tourism base helps existing business be successful and it makes Allen an attractive location for potential new businesses. “Many people ask how we did it,” said Karen Cromwell, Allen CVB Tourism Manager. “It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened. Once we had the destination assets in place, like Allen Event Center, the hotels and all of our amazing shopping and dining options, it made sense to add CVB operations. Since we started, the Allen CVB has worked with numerous groups to attract events as well as to develop a tourism brand.” The process of creating a brand to market Allen as that key destination in the DFW metroplex began a little over a year ago. Allen’s brand voice invites visitors with messages like “you’re going to love this place” and “why not make a weekend of it?” Allen’s tourism brand includes its own signature logo, a new CVB website and visitor ’s guide.

“Our new tourism brand allows us to represent Allen as a warm, inviting persona that welcomes others to experience all of our great assets and really captures the spirit of our community,” continued Cromwell. “Allen as a destination is what we’ve been able to build and accomplish collectively by following the longrange vision of the City Council.” While use of the tourism brand has begun for select advertising, the official community launch for the brand begins in May as part of National Tourism Month. Brand roll-out will begin with a special event for Allen’s destination partners followed by a variety of presentations to local civic organizations and groups. In addition, the brand will be represented at upcoming events like Summer Sounds and Allen USA. Cromwell said, “As part of the community launch for the tourism brand, we plan to offer ways for residents to get involved with photo and video types of contests that we can use to populate the social media sites. It’s important to have local involvement because our best leads and referrals come from individuals

that live and work here in Allen. For example, we were able to host the Texas State Purchasing Association Conference because of a referral by the city’s purchasing department.” CVB efforts are targeted to promote the city as a destination for sporting tournaments, meetings and con­ ventions. In addition to connecting with event planners and organizers, the CVB supports auxiliary types of marketing to attract general leisure travel like individuals coming in to shop, dine or enjoy some type of entertainment or recreation. One of the most notable events recently held in Allen was the Lone Star Conference (LSC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship. The tournament took place February 29 through March 4 of this year at Allen Event Center and brought 16 teams from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. In addition to the competing players, the LSC brought an estimated 6,000+ media, school officials, game officials, pep bands, cheerleaders, fans and family-members over the course of the five-day tournament. While the actual economic impact numbers are still being tallied, the estimated

economic boost to the community for this type of an event is $1.5 million. This summer, Allen ISD will host the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) Summer Conference. “We wanted to host the TASBO Summer Conference to showcase all the great things that AISD and the City of Allen have to offer visitors,” said Mark J. Tarpley, Asst. Superintendent of Finance & Operations for AISD. “Over the three days, approximately 1,000 school finance personnel will be able to train in the state-of-the-art educational facilities and experience great family entertainment in the evening.” “We hope the local community will help us spread the word. The tourism brand represents all of the great little nuggets and assets that make us Allen, but more importantly it represents the hospitality and friendly nature of our community.” said Cromwell. To find out more about CVB, go to www.VisitAllenTexas.com or contact the CVB directly at 214.509.4671. v Heather Newman is the CVB Specialist for the City of Allen. Photos: Mike Mezeul Allen Image x May 2012


Snippets Film Series during May May 1—The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), starring John Wayne, John Agar and Adele Mara. A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima. May 8—Twelve O’Clock High (1949), winner of two Oscars, starring Gregory Peck, High Marlowe and Gary Merrill. A hardas-nails general takes over a bomber pilot unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape. May 15—The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), winner of 7 Oscars, starring William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins. A British colonel co-operates to oversee his men’s construction of a railway bridge for their Japanese captors, while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. May 17 (Special presentation)—The Yellow Rose of Texas (1944), a legendary western classic starring Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Trigger and Brown Jug Reynolds. This film contains the excitement of a western and entertainment of a musical. May 22—The Guns of Navarone (1961), starring David Niven, Anthony Quinn and Gregory Peck. A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel. May 29—The Great Escape (1963), starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Charles Bronson. Allied POWs plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. All films begin at 7 p.m. and are free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214.509.4905 for information. v

Plano Ducks Unlimited banquet The Plano Chapter of Ducks Unlimited (DU) is having their 1st Annual Fundraising Banquet on Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. at Love and War in Plano, 601 East Plano Parkway. All proceeds go to Ducks Unlimited to be used for wetland conservation and restoration. Due to the great support throughout the metroplex we have decided to have a chapter and banquet in Plano. Traditionally North Texas has been a huge supporter of Ducks Unlimited with Dallas, McKinney and Allen Chapters among the top. Please join us to make Plano one of the best as well. There will be great food, libations and fellowship along with various raffles and games, and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $50 per person, $80 per couple and youth (17 and under) $25. Tickets may be purchased at the door. If you would like to support wetland conservation and help Plano DU by attending the banquet and/or becoming an event sponsor by donating funds, goods or services, contact Dustin Paine 903.372.6089 or Shannon Cagle 940.230.6054. You may also call to learn more about the Plano Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, find out how to become an active member or purchase tickets. v

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Modern Mexican Painting by Tom Keener

This summer, visitors to the Meadows Museum in Dallas will have the opportunity to experience one of the greatest collections of modern Mexican art in the world. Mexican Modern Painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection will feature a selection of eighty paintings from this esteemed set. Meadows Museum outreach docent Aleta McGhee will discuss the exhibit and provide a slide presentation at 7:30 pm, Thursday, May 10, at the Allen Public Library. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free. The Mexican Moderns, aware of the theories and formal elements of avant-garde European art, took great pride in their indigenous Mexican history. They honored the astonishing achievements and folkloric creation myths of the Aztec Empire and other contingents of pre-Hispanic Mexico. The giants such as Diego Rivera,

Fernando Castillo. The Black Cat, c. 1929. Oil on canvas. Collection of Andrés Blaisten. Reproduced with the kind permission of Fundación Andrés Blaisten

José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros are all represented in the exhibition. A major theme that connects the works of the exhibition is that of

mexicanidad—literally translated as Mexicanness. The con­cept of mexicanidad became, in the grand sum of the works of the Mexican Moderns, not a question, but an assertion. The Allen Public Library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. For more information about the presentation at the library, call 214.509.4911. The Meadows Museum is located at 5900 Bishop Blvd., Dallas. Hours are: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays until 9 p.m. For additional information about the Meadows Museum, go to www.smu.edu/meadowsmuseum/ v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

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The 1940 Census by Tom Keener

For anyone researching demo­ graphics on ancestors or wanting to establish country of origin of early family members, census records tell a valuable story. Thus, both hobbyist and professional gene­alogists have reason to celebrate the recent release of the 1940 U.S. Census. After being sealed for 72 years as required by law, the 1940 Census was made public on April 2 of this year. Meg Hacker, Director of Operations for the Southwest Region of National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), will give a thorough background on the 1940 Census as well as how it differs from other census years at 2 p.m., Thursday, May 17, at the Allen Public Library. Sponsored by Bach to Books and the Allen Seniors Genealogy Club, this program is free. Allen resident and Allen Senior Genealogy Club member, Richard Henry notes, “The 1940 U.S. Census will be the top tool for genealogists introduced in the last 10 years. Our club members are anxiously awaiting its release. To have someone like Meg Hacker introduce this data is

wonderful. Without her insight on the information available with this census, some would ignore the additional facts available and just look at the head of household, spouse and c h i l d re n listed.” Born in Florida and raised in West Texas, Meg has been with the National

Archives at Fort Worth since 1985. She received her B.A. in American History from Austin College and her M.A. in American History from Texas Christian University. Texas Western Press published her thesis, “Cynthia Ann Parker: The Life and The Legend”. She has presented to numerous historical and genealogical societies, archives and library associations, teacher in-services and classrooms on a wide assortment of topics. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Please call 214.509.4911 for additional information. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

Allen Image x May 2012


Jazz/Blues Festival by Tom Keener

Louis Armstrong, one of America’s greatest jazz trumpeters of all times, may have said it best. “Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.”Get a better understanding of what Armstrong meant when the Allen Public Library presents the 2012 Jazz/Blues Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6. Sponsored by Bach to Books and the Texas Commission on the Arts, this program is free and no reservations are required.

May 5, 7 p.m.

Combining retro flair with outstanding musicians, the sensational six-member band, The Brehms, offers audiences jazz adventure. The group was founded by guitarist David and vocalist Stephanie Brehm, finalists in the USA Songwriting Competition for their jazz hit “Red Dress.” Today, The Brehms band grooves with award-winning musicians including Steve Barnes on drums, Gavin Kelso on upright bass, Bryan Meggison on saxophone and Tony Palos on the keys. The Brehms deliver an electrifying musical experience guaranteed to send you home with love in your heart and catchy tunes in your head!

May 5, 8:30 p.m.

In the mood for a group that lays down slick licks? The Inner City All Stars presents New Orleans jazz. Comprised of musicians well schooled in the hybrid of jazz, soul and funk, Inner City All Stars appeared on the nationally televised Performance Showtime at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City. Composer and arranger Calvin Sexton, on the trombone, will be joined by Scot Sheldon on saxophone, David Seip on tuba, guitarist Teriver Chueng, Brad Mezei on trumpet and Hiroki Uehira on drums. The Inner City gang lends a strikingly improvisational flair to everything they undertake musically, and this spontaneity comes through loud and clear on their debut CD, Gotta Move On.

May 6, 4:15 p.m.

Like a glowing fireplace on a cold night, the Texas Slim Trio heats up a room with red-hot blues. Participating in the Calgary International Blues Festival and Denton Blues Festival, this band will be a headliner at the International Jazz and Blues Festival in Rapperswil, Switzerland, in June. Opening for Etta James, Savoy Brown and Johnny Winter, Texas Slim has been featured in a commercial for Dave’s BBQ sauce. With Kenny Stern on drums and Bill Cornish on bass, prepare to shake off your blues. Call 214.509.4911 for more information.

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Finding their passion Amateur bodybuilders Monica & Greg Steiner discovered a wonderful community and a virtual ‘Fountain of Youth’ with their new sport by Nicole Bywater Like just about every woman who saw Linda Hamilton’s sleek, muscular arms in the movie Terminator 2, Monica Steiner envied those arms. “Even years ago, before I started all this, I wanted those arms,” says Monica, who is now an award-winning amateur bodybuilder along with her husband, Greg. “Amazingly, Greg looked at me about a year ago, and said ‘You know what? I think you’ve got those arms or better.’”

It was a huge compliment for Monica, who started bodybuilding just two years ago and is a 46-year-old mother of four. Greg, 54, is a local chiropractor and martial arts enthusiast who began competing in bodybuilding last year. They compete separately and as a pair, mainly in competitions sponsored by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association. Last year, they qualified to be part of Team USA at the Natural Olympia, which was held in Reno, Nevada, and is the association’s pinnacle event. For Monica and Greg, this new passion for bodybuilding is just another chapter in an exciting life together.

Exploring the world The couple met in Austin in 1985, where Greg was studying at the University of Texas and taught a martial arts class in which Monica was a student. Two years later, they married and Greg began chiropractic school. Monica is fluent in Spanish and English and grew up in New York and Argentina. She started her career as a radio newscaster, talk show host and translator. Then, the couple began planning the next phase of their life, a dream that became known simply as “the trip.” “We had always dreamed of going around the world, so we saved and planned for five years,” Monica says. The dream came true and she and Greg spent 22 months exploring the world. Along the way they collected photographs and video footage that they hope to make into a documentary. At the end of their travels, the couple settled in Northern Ireland, where they lived for four years, and daughters Stefanie and Megan were born. They then lived in Scotland for eight years and son Alexander and daughter Tessa were born. In 2005, the couple returned to the U.S., choosing Allen as the city where they would continue raising their children and set up Greg’s chiropractic office. It was here that Monica rediscovered her love of fitness. She had always been active in swimming, Latin ballroom dancing and martial arts and shared a love of healthy living with Greg. But after their children were born, Monica says she wasn’t able to devote much time to fitness activities. Then, a small dog wandered onto the doorstep of their

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Twin Creeks home. After determining that he had no owner, the family named the dog “Indie” for Indiana Jones because he was such an adventurer and Monica began taking him for morning walks.

Returning to fitness With their youngest child now in kindergarten, Monica saw an opportunity to get in better shape. She tried a gym that had recently opened in Allen and says she was immediately “hooked” on the high-intensity workouts. “I did that for a year and a half and competed— doing pretty well, especially considering that I was competing against 20-year-olds,” she says. “I liked it a lot, but I remember thinking that I’d better wait and do this when I’m 50 because then I can be in the senior category and really kick butt.” Monica trained, then competed in her first bodybuilding event in June 2010. Having just turned 45, she was in the Master’s division and very nervous about walking on stage for the first time. “I just wanted to fit in and to look like I belonged on that stage—that was it,” she remembers. “I think my trainer was just as surprised as I was when I ended up getting first place.” With encouragement from family and her trainers, Monica continued working out and has since competed in eight competitions, taking medals in figure, physique and bodybuilding categories. “It’s a wonderful feeling and as you see your body changing, you get a feeling of empowerment,” she says. “You’re doing something with yourself and your life that you can be proud of. And for me, this was a new stage in life.” After her first season, Greg joined his wife in the sport and it’s something that’s made him feel younger and “springier.” “Being strong is good and being flexible is good, but for that ‘fountain of youth’ feeling, it’s definitely about being light on your feet,” he says. The appeal for both is the drug-free approach to bodybuilding and the chance to promote a healthy lifestyle. “My kids are looking at me and so are my patients,” Greg says. “I hope to plant a seed with my kids so that they know that as you age, you don’t have to become this old guy with a gut who sits around and talks about what a great athlete he used to be.”

Living a healthy life At the gym, Monica says she is very appreciative of the people who have told her that she’s been an inspiration to them. “I’ve had a wide range approach me—from older ladies to teenage students,” she explains. “Some ask for advice, while some just express appreciation, respect and acknowledge the dedication and hard work and talk about their resolutions for getting healthier, fitter, better in shape. The feeling I get from hearing something like that is totally indescribable—it’s fantastic!”

In the future, Monica says she’s excited to continue competing and promoting a natural, healthy lifestyle. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been,” she says. “Even if you haven’t been to the gym in ten years. With me, it all started with walking the dog. Find what you enjoy and take that to the next level, whatever that may be.” Greg is currently recovering from major knee surgery and plans to get back into competing as soon as his body allows. In addition to helping them both to be in better shape, bodybuilding has become an activity that Monica and Greg enjoy together. “This is another adventure that we can share,” he says. “We did the traveling and we built a business in Scotland and all those things together. This is just another thing that we can do together and it’s actually turned into a pretty big project—probably harder in some ways than starting the business—but incredibly rewarding.” v Nicole Bywater is a freelance writer from Allen. Photos: Jeff Ewing. Allen Image x May 2012



Polysomnography by Mark Robinson


s researchers and physi­ cians are learning, sleep is important, and most people are not getting enough of it. Collin College is not putting this issue to bed. Instead, it is unveiling its polysomnographic tech­ nology pro­gram, which will start in the fall 2012. Polysomnographic technologists run sleep studies—where a patient’s sleep, heart activity, breathing and muscle movement is monitored in a sleep lab or hotel. The patient wakes the next morning well rested. The technologist goes home and sleeps. Afterwards, the technologist will present the patient’s physician with the sleep study’s data and the notes. The sleep study can diagnose anything from

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insomnia and sleep apnea to sleep­ walking and other sleep disorders. However, polysomnography is more of a preventative science. With research advancing and sleep medicine becoming more of a norm in the medical community, sleep studies are relatively normal for a general practitioner to prescribe in order to potentially diagnose heart disease and other ailments that correlate with certain sleep disorders. “The field is growing,” said Amber Allen, coordinator of the polysom­ nographic technology program. “As more physicians realize how important sleep is to other bodily functions, they are sending more people for testing. As testing increases, the need for more techs increases.” Allen said there are already several

sleep labs in Dallas-Fort Worth that are interested in serving as clinical sites for the program. “There are a lot of sleep labs. If people notice that there’s a difference in their sleep or they are not getting eight hours of sleep, it is best to have a sleep study done. It’s easier to get a CPAP mask (the instrument used to treat sleep apnea) than it is getting your chest cut open for heart surgery,” Allen said.

Changing Lives Collin College’s polysomno­ graphic technology program has two components. The associate of applied science degree totals 67 credit hours and spans 22 months. It will prepare students for an allied health career in the clinical care and management of sleep disorders and the administration

of sleep studies. The program will be one of only two associate-level programs in Texas and the first program in north Texas. Secondly, the program will offer a certificate track for board-registered respiratory therapists, nurses, electro­ encephalographers or physician assistants, who wish to pick up additional certification. This track is also open to board-registered poly­ somnographic technologists who were trained on the job and wish to pursue a formal education in polysom­ nographic technology. In the past, polysomnographic technologists were not required to have formal educations. As the field has grown and matured in the medical community, standards have ramped up. Over the past 60 years, the study of sleep also has taken off. It started in earnest in the 1950s and 1960s. “Initially, scientists thought the brain shut down during sleep,” said Allen, formerly of the Cleveland Clinic, where she was a polysomnographic technologist. “But after medical researchers started studying sleep, they learned that the brain was very active. There are a lot of processes that happen during sleep.” Sleep cannot only make you feel better, but it can make you look, work,

grow, study, concentrate and remember better. It’s been shown that many memories and facts are filed during REM sleep. A student with a big test is better off studying and going to bed rather than cramming all night. The body also processes calories, reproduces cells and produces growth hormones during sleep. Also, sleep or not enough of it has also been linked to depression. “In this field, I can change somebody’s life in one night,” Allen

said. “People have come up to me after I fixed their sleep apnea and said they had the best night of sleep in 30 years. It’s a field that you can have that type of outcome and a noticeable difference in one night.” Visit www.collin.edu/sleep for more information about the polysom­ nographic technology program. v Mark Robinson is the public relations associate at Collin College. Photos: Nick Young, Collin College.

Allen Image x May 2012


kids korner

Summer Camp By Deborah Dove Summer camp means swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, exploring the outdoors, learning new skills and making friendships that will last a lifetime. Following is a guide to sleep away camps, as well as local day camps, because summer will be here before you know it!

Sleep-Away Camps

Local/Day Camps

YMCA Camp Grady Spruce—www.campgradyspruce.com or 877.656.2267

City of Allen Camps

This camp on Possum Kingdom Lake (about 120 miles west of Dallas) is a great first sleep away camp for kids ages 7-12 and teens. Sessions are one week and campers are divided into three separate camps: boys 7-12, girls 7-12 and a co-ed teen camp. All camps offer similar activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, riflery, swimming, archery and horseback riding. Camp counselors are typically college students, with an emphasis on Christian values. Because the camp’s goal is to allow every child the opportunity to go to camp regardless of their financial ability, there are three price options; parents choose which price they can pay. Camp prices range from $650-$950, depending on which price option and which session you choose.

Sky Ranch—www.skyranch.org or 877.215.7725 Any kid 6-16 has the opportunity to spend a full week (or more) at camp in Van, Texas, experiencing a wide range of activities under the supervision of trained, college-aged counselors. Camps are divided by age (6-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-16) and sessions are one week, with a two-week session offered for all but the youngest. Sky Ranch offers camp activities such as archery, crafts and swimming and unique extras such as water slides, blobbing (jumping onto an air-filled cushion in the lake), zip lines, a party barge and wave runners. Paintball and horseback riding are also available for an additional fee. Most sessions cost $949. For younger campers 5-11 who want a taste of summer camp, Sky Ranch offers Launch Camps, week-long day camps at various locations around the Metroplex, including Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Allen, Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano and Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco. Program cost is $249.

Camp Champion—www.campchampions.com or 830.598.2571 Originally founded by several legendary sports figures (including Darrell Royal) as a sports camp, this sleep away camp in the Hill Country offers more activities than a kid could ever dream. Located on 100 acres of lakefront property on Lake LBJ, it focuses on the four “R”s—responsibility, respect, taking reasonable risks (such as getting up on water skis or scaling the climbing wall), and reaching out to others. There are activities galore—a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool with two 165-foot water slides, water skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, a ropes course (with the highest swing in Texas), fine arts (drama, dance, music and ceramics), cooking classes, a petting zoo and sports. The camp is also big on traditions, such as Olympic style Trojan-Spartan games each Sunday and a torchlight ceremony each evening. In its 45th year, Camp Champion offers one-, two- or threeweek sessions for kids ages 6-18. Cost of camp is $1395 for one week, $2725 for two and $3550 for three.

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Whether you’re looking for all day camps for elementary aged kids, half day camps for preschoolers, sports camps for your athlete or anything in between, the City of Allen has got you covered. The options are too numerous to name them all, but some of the highlights include art camps, Bobby Moffat soccer camp, horseback riding camp, Missoula Children’s Theater camp, tennis and swim camp, LEGO camps, fitness, sports, music and more. The city also offers the popular award winning Camp S.T.A.R., a weekly camp held from 7:30-5:30 each day (perfect for working parents) with a different adventure each week. View the program guide online at www.cityofallen.org.

Collin County Adventure Camp—www. collincountyadventurecamp.org or 214.667.5600 Located in nearby Anna, this YMCA-owned camp is perfect for kids who want to experience summer camp but don’t want to sleep away for a week. The day camp offers ten one-week sessions beginning June 4, and is open to kids ages 5-12. Camp activities include archery, BB guns, climbing wall, boating, fishing, miniature golf, swimming and more. Like Camp Grady Spruce, pricing is tiered and runs $185-$240 per week and includes daily lunch and snacks. On even camp weeks, kids eight and older have the option to sleep over on Thursday night to get a taste of a sleep away camp.

Allen ISD camps Allen ISD offers a variety of week-long summer camps from 9-2 at either Reed or Cheatham Elementary for kids ages 3 through seventh grade. Camp themes run the gamut from Dr. Seuss, dinosaurs, Fancy Nancy and kitchen science for younger kids to Survivor, digital cameras, American Girl and Harry Potter for older kids. Each Friday, kids enjoy a pizza party with popsicles and Capri Sun. The cost for each camp is $104. Register online at www.allenisd.org.

Frisco RoughRider Baseball Academy—972.334.1947 If you have a kid who lives and breathes baseball, this week-long summer camp will score a home run. Fundamental skills such as hitting, throwing, fielding and base running are taught by Frisco RoughRider players and coaches on the field at the Dr Pepper Ballpark. Parents are invited to an awards ceremony the last day of camp. The camp is June 9-12 from 9-12 for ages 9-12. Cost is $115. $175-$195.

Other Camps to Check Out The HEARD Natural Science Museum—Offers a variety of nature camps on the 289-acre sanctuary, including working with the exhibit animals. Heritage Hill Equestrian Center and Woodhaven Stables—Both offer weeklong horseback riding camps.


Talking to kids about money Across America, families are going back to the basics—they’re working on reducing debt, reestablishing emergency funds and paying attention, once again, to their savings and retirement accounts. Polls have shown the influence of parents on the money habits of kids. One poll asked teens to choose who had the biggest influence on how they saved or spent money. Seven out of 10 kids aged 17 and younger said “parents” swayed their actions the most, outpacing “friends” (16%), “TV, magazines, books, radio or celebrities” (14%) and “teachers” (1%). Experts say one of the best ways parents can help their children, younger or older, to understand money is to talk about it and demon­ strate good habits. But, no pun intended, this is easier said than done. Some parents don’t feel comfortable talking about money. Here are a few suggested everyday experiences that parents can use to start these conversations (of course without preaching or lecturing). • When watching TV or listening to the car radio with younger children, play devil’s advocate to the ads that bombard them—help them be more discriminating of what they see.

• When shopping, talk about why you choose one product over another, while also explaining the steps you take to economize, trade-off and make choices. • Make bill paying a learning experience by showing the link between the bill to running water, lights, TVs and computers. • Demonstrate the impact of large, unexpected expenses on the household budget. • Show your kids the effects of deductions on your paycheck, helping them understand that no one gets to bring home all the money they make. • Talk about the role of taxes in supporting the community—its schools, roads and services. Each stage in your child’s life presents new challenges and opportunities for helping them learn to make good financial decisions. Like measuring growth in inches, start setting goals for your child and track their financial progress. The preschool years are a good

time to introduce the piggy bank and simple money concept. Ages seven to 13 might be a good time to introduce an allowance and the principles of earning and saving. High school is when to increase financial responsi­ bilities, explain protection against risk and talk about safe debt levels. As they go off to college, address the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards, explain good and bad debt and encourage the idea of “pay yourself first.” v This article was prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Loren Hsiao,CLU. Hsiao is a managing director with the Northwestern Mutual Financial network based in Allen, Texas, for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. *The poll referred to in this article was conducted by Themint.org, Northwestern Mutual’s financial literacy website.

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helping hands

They look like… you and me by Marjorie Vaneskahian

People ask if they can bring their children to volunteer to help the “poor” so their kids can see and appreciate what they have at home. These volunteers have a vision, like many of us, of what poor people should look like—they live in broken down houses or trailers, with trash and junk cars in their yards and their children are dirty and looked starved. There are “poor” people in our area. They are out of work and can’t pay their bills. Their homes and cars may even need repairs. Their children are hungry. However these people don’t look like the stereotypical “poor.” They look like you and me. They are our neighbors, friends or family members. We go to church with them and our children attend school together. While many statistics cite Collin County as one of the most affluent counties, statistics also show that we follow close behind Dallas in the number of families in need of human services such as housing assistance, employment and food. You need only to look at the ACO Food Pantry numbers for 2011 to see that the need here jumped by 43% in one year. Among the families that we fed last year, several had been volunteers

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and donors to ACO before they faced financial crisis. They felt shame and embarrassment at having to come for services to the agency they had once supported with their time and donations. When her children were young, “Tonya” spent several years as a Meals-On-Wheels volunteer and she would take her kids on a delivery route during the summer. As her kids got older they volunteered through their schools for ACO—helping with food drives or clothing drives and, as a family, they participated in ACO’s holiday programs. Tonya even had monthly donations to ACO taken directly from her paycheck. Tonya’s husband was laid off for eight months and their savings had been depleted when the worst happened—her company closed its doors. It would be weeks before they could qualify for assistance from the

state and the only place she knew to turn was ACO. Her family was now the “poor” people she had always wanted to help. It was difficult at first facing the ACO staff, but she realized the most difficult thing was facing her situation and the familiar faces of the staff actually made it easier for her to accept assistance. Tonya left that day with funds to help pay her mortgage and electric bill for the month, several bags of groceries and household items she needed but had not been able to afford, and a plan to help her and her husband get back on their feet. Tonya’s perception of “poor” people in Allen has changed. Our kids need to know that you can’t recognize poverty or hunger just by looking at someone. In the communities where we reside, unfortunate things like losing a job can happen and it causes problems. Hunger is one of them. Money for extra things like clothes and new school supplies can be a hardship. ACO has programs

to provide these things to families, but we need help in doing so. Residents, young and old, can volunteer for these programs and help families in crisis. Kids can volunteer when they are at the grocery store by selecting items to donate to the ACO Food Pantry. My seven-year-old learns about volun­

donations of clothing and household items. The store not only sells items to the public at bargain prices to fund programs, it offers free clothing and other items to many families who need them. What a great way to get a kid to clean out their closet and teach them about giving at the same time!

Our kids need to know that you can’t recognize poverty or hunger just by looking at someone. teering and donating by choosing something every time we grocery shop. He knows there are kids just like him that don’t have enough food to eat, so he picks out something he thinks they would like. When we have a sack full of items I let him bring them to the pantry himself. Also, the ACO Resale Shop is dependent on the community for

Each August ACO “Fills The Bus” with its annual school supplies drive that provides hundreds of students with new supplies. This is also one opportunity when we let younger kids (under 12) volunteer with their parents to help sort and pack supplies. Contact us in July for more info about this. Several thousand students in Allen ISD are on the Free and Reduced Lunch

Allen Image x May 2012


will provide bags of fun kids’ favorite foods so they can easily fix their own breakfasts and lunches. Donations are now being accepted and a complete list of food items needed is available on the ACO website. This is another project in which kids of all ages can help. We’ll work on this the first week of June. Contact us in May for details. There are many families in need of help. More than 43,000 children in Collin County are considered “food insecure.” Many of them live in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. ACO is here to help those families, but we cannot do it without your donations of time, household items, clothing, food and dollars. For more information go to www.acocares.org, or call 972.727.9131. ACO is located at 801 E. Main Street in Allen, 75002. Contact me, Marjorie Vaneskahian, at marjorie@acocares.org. v program. As summer approaches their parents will face a hardship when the

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children start eating breakfast and lunch at home. For the third year, ACO

Marjorie Vaneskahian is the Director of Volunteer Services for ACO.

For MarketPlace Your Health

Allen Image x May 2012



“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” Thomas Fuller

Doing your part, drop by drop by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield 3 4 w w w. a l l e n i m a g e . c o m

There is a saying that “spring showers bring May flowers.” Lovely as that sentiment is, the real beauty of those welcome little drops is the drought relief they brought to Collin County this spring. You could almost hear landscapes and area lakes sighing as they drank in the much needed moisture. While North Texas may no longer fall under the technical definition of a drought, our water worries are hardly over. As Collin County’s population increases, so does the strain on our water supply. Even with Lake Lavon currently at normal levels, water quality and quantity continue to be an issue. Residents and businesses need to be vigilant about preserving our water resources. Lake Lavon is the primary water source for our area. We rely on it for all our H2O needs. At the height of the drought in 2011, Lake Lavon was at its lowest point in two years. Waves that usually glistened across the horizon were replaced by a desolate landscape of sand and tree stumps. It looked more like a desert than a lake. According to David Spadoni, Water Conservation Chairman with the Collin County Master Gardeners Association, also missing from Lake Lavon was water from neighboring Grayson County. “Twenty-eight percent of our water used to be piped from Lake Texoma into Lake Lavon to help meet our county’s growing consumption needs. In 2009 that pipeline was shut down due to the discovery of the invasive zebra mussel. The decrease in water supply prompted the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) to enact water restrictions in Collin County. Currently Allen is at Stage 3 restrictions. The Stage 3 goal is to reduce water consumption by at least 10%. The NTMWD Board will meet around June 1 to determine if it is necessary to enact Stage 4 restrictions.” David shares, “It is easy to implement an on-going water conservation plan indoors and out. There are many conservation measures gardeners and yardeners can adopt that will protect our precious water resource without watching their landscape perish or paying a fortune in water bills. The first step is to select plants that are well adapted to our area; the second is to have an updated irrigation system that operates correctly for a water-efficient landscape. Keep it set on manual and water only when needed.” The truth is overwatering is the biggest mistake gardeners make, not realizing they are wasting gallons of water daily. More plants die from too much water than from lack of it. Overwatering shortens a plant’s life and increases susceptibility to disease. Watering lawns and plants deeply, but less frequently, makes for healthier plants, encouraging deep root growth and drought tolerance. More water is wasted on lawns than any other area of the

landscape. Yet grass needs only one inch of water per week during the summer. Cut that amount to one inch every two to three weeks in spring, fall and winter. You’ll not only have healthier grass, you’ll be adding money to your wallet by cutting your utility bill. Don’t panic if your lawn turns brown when we hit triple digit temperatures during summer months. It’s only gone dormant, aka “survival mode”, to protect itself. It’ll green right back up with rainfall. A dormant lawn only needs to be watered every few weeks or less if it rains. Avoid watering when it is windy, and don’t water during the heat of the day. Not only is it prohibited by Stage 3 water restrictions, a lot of water is lost through evaporation. And, when the sun hits wet grass, plants and flowers during the hottest part of the day it can actually burn them. Irrigation should be considered a supplement to natural rainfall—not a

daily ritual. Plants and lawns don’t need to be watered on a set schedule. Your plants will tell you when they are thirsty. Instead of having sprinklers set on a timer, check for soil moisture two to three inches below the surface before watering. Replace outdated or broken sprinklers in landscape beds with drip irrigation. Although sprinklers are still probably the best way to water a lawn, drip irrigation provides a wonderful option for the rest of the garden since

it waters the roots of plants instead of spraying water into the air. Small emitters apply even distribution of water slowly to individual plants, using 20-70 percent less water than traditional systems. Evaporation is negligible and run-off practically eliminated. They are easy to install and economical, too. Did you know about 32,000 gallons of water run off the roof of an average home each year? Installing a rain barrel results in automatic water savings and

Allen Image x May 2012


is an easy way to collect and store water that would otherwise be runoff. The collected water can be used to water during our driest months— saving approximately 1,300 gallons of water during our hot summer days. If you are planning to add new plants to your landscape, be waterwise and consider Texas natives— adapted and drought tolerant plants.

Contrary to popular belief these waterefficient and low maintenance plants come in all colors, shapes and sizes, adding beautiful lushness to your garden. They need regular water until they are established—for about the first two to three weeks. After that most need to be watered only once or twice a week to thrive. Consider Turks cap, coneflower,

blackfoot daisy, Columbine, coreopsis, daylily, lantana, moss rose, portulaca, phlox, mealy blue sage, pink skullcap, verbena, yarrow and salvia. These are a few in a long list of lovely blooming beauties to add to your landscape. If you’re looking for trees or shrubs, you can’t go wrong with lacebark elm, hollies, Shantung maple, oaks, pecan, Mexican plum, redbud, crape myrtle and Texas sage to name a few. Good ground covers—ajuga, artemesia, lambs ears, liriope, sedum and thrift. Looking for a lively climber? Carolina jessamine, crossvine, coral honeysuckle, passion and trumpet vines fit the water-wise bill. Mulch is your friend. It is inex­ pensive, easy to apply and effective. A 3-inch layer of mulch reduces fluctuations in soil temperature and moisture evaporation. And, as a bonus, mulch also reduces weeds and improves soil structure. Mulching with 2-4 inches of organic material twice a year is recommended for best results. Whether we are in drought conditions or not, people need to make it a habit to follow water conservation measures year-round, every year. Water is a finite resource and as stewards of this planet it is our responsibility to preserve and protect it. We can live with brown lawns and dirty cars, but we cannot live without water to drink. Education is the only way to preserve water for future generations. Make water conservation a fun, family activity. Encourage children to think of ways to save water and be part of the solution, creating good habits that will last a lifetime. Consult a trusted nursery pro­ fessional or the Collin County AgriLife Extension office, www.ccmgatx.org, for information about plants best suited to our area and tips on water conservation. For more about the specific details of water restrictions, and drought and water emergency plans visit www.cityofallen.org. v Dawn Bluemel Oldfield is a freelance writer.

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For MarketPlace Your Health

Allen Image x May 2012


pet page

“Buddy” Buddy is a chow-collie mix. He is a 45-pound, 5-year-old gentle doggie who is looking for a family to love him. He has spent most of his life outside or tied up, so he is enjoying the freedom to play in the backyard and use a doggy door to come and go as he pleases. He was brought to a local shelter after animal control confiscated him from his previous home due to cruelty charges. Dodging euthanasia by a few hours, he is now in foster care awaiting a forever home! Buddy is a sweet boy and gets along well with dogs, cats and kids of all shapes and sizes. Even though he has a little white in his whiskers, he is very active, energetic and likes to guard the back gate or the front door. He is smart and can “sit” or “shake” on command! He loves playing tug-of-war with the resident pug and plays until the pug is worn out.

If you’re interested in adopting Buddy, complete an online application today at http://www. collincountyhumanesociety.org/Forms.htm. 3 8 w w w. a l l e n i m a g e . c o m


Protecting yourself this summer In summer, the living may be easy, but special precautions need to be taken to protect against sun damage to skin and eyes. by Nicole Bywater


Rising temperatures call for extra precautions. By wearing sunscreen, undergoing special facial treatments and always wearing sunglasses, you can protect yourself as you spend more time enjoying the outdoors this summer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with an estimated two million people diagnosed annually, according to the American Cancer Society. The best way to lower your risk is to avoid intense sunlight (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and practice sun safety. The steps include: seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and sunglasses and, of course, wearing sunscreen.

The importance of sunscreen Everyone over six months old—no matter their skin color or type—needs to wear sunscreen, says Roni Amos, an Aesthetician at Image Nation Salons & Med Spa. “It’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from UV damage,” Roni explains. “A lot of the signs that we see as we get older, like the fine lines around your eyes and collagen loss, actually come from the sunburns we got as children.” By wearing sunscreen every day, even when it’s cloudy or you’re just out running errands, you protect against two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, which damage skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day, cites the Skin Cancer

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Foundation. This misperception often leads to the most serious sunburns, because people spend all day outdoors with no protection from the sun. UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering and sagging skin. “What you want to look for is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays,” Roni recommends. “I grew up in a time where we laid out with baby oil and iodine, trying to get that perfect tan. I wish I had known then about the damage I was doing. I can see just by looking at my daughter ’s skin, which is so much healthier than mine was at her age because she’s worn sunscreen since she was a baby.” Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher will protect you—however, in general, the lower the SPF, the more often you will need to reapply. Roni recommends using just sunscreen, rather than facial products such as moisturizer or foundation that includes sunscreen. “I try to steer clear of those because that product is going to evaporate or wear off after a few hours,” she says. “Also, the sunscreen in them is usually a very tiny amount.”

Facial treatments In addition to protecting the skin from sun damage, there are various facial treatments that are popular during the summer. These include microdermabrasion, vitamin C

firming/calming facials and deeppore cleansing. Microdermabrasion helps exfoliate dead skin cells, which may have built up during the dry winter months, and allows the skin to better absorb beneficial products. Deep-pore cleansing is often needed in the summer because hot, humid temperatures can cause your facial pores to open more. “When it’s hot outside, just like when you take a hot shower, your pores are wide open,” Roni says. “So they’re willing to take on anything and everything that’s floating in the air—all the toxins in the environment—pollen, or anything else that’s going to clog up those pores.” For reformed sun worshippers, a brightening facial treatment can improve the uneven appearance of photo-damaged skin by targeting the hyper pigmentation within the skin. “This also accelerates cell renewal and is great for evening out the sun damage

people may have received in the past,” Roni adds.

Protect those eyes While the skin can renew itself over time, one organ that won’t ever recover from the harmful effects of solar radiation is the eye. “Eye damage is cumulative, so the amount of time you spend in the sun stays with you throughout your entire lifetime,” says Kim Slaughter-Miller, practice

administrator at Modern Family Vision in Allen. The best thing we can do to protect ourselves from the cumulative effects of UV exposure on the eyes is to buy properly fitting, comfortable, quality sunglasses—and then wear them as much as possible. Kim recommends quality frames that fit closely and wrap around the contour of your face, along with lenses that have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Allen Image x May 2012


The color of your sunglasses is more a matter of preference than protection and there are special tints, lenses and films for a variety of needs. “A lot of people think that the darker the lens, the better you’re protected, but that’s not necessarily the case,” Kim states. “Generally, your lighter brown or amber lens is better at

protecting your eyes because they have blue-light protection, which guards against a different type of radiation. Your cornea will naturally filter out some UV rays, but it doesn’t filter out any of the blue-light, which is why it’s particularly dangerous.” People who are sensitive to light may prefer darker lenses, while others

opt for gradient lenses. Clip-on and prescription sunglasses are a popular choice for people who wear corrective lenses. Talking to an eyecare pro­ fessional is the best way to find the best sunglasses for your individual needs. “When you buy better quality sunglasses, you know that a lot of research went into making sure they’re blocking the maximum amount of energy,” Kim emphasizes. “Some sunglasses are just plastic molded tinted lenses that block light, but not UV rays. Better sunglasses contain special filters against this radiation.” Insufficiently protected eyes can cause a person to develop photo­ keratitis, a painful condition—similar to a sunburn on the cornea, which is not usually noticed until several hours after exposure. Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has also been linked to eye damage, including cataracts and macular degeneration. While the risk for UV radiation exists year-round, in summertime the sun’s closer proximity increases these risks. In addition, other factors such as the time of day, latitude and ozone thickness can affect the level of radiation reaching the earth’s surface. And some people are more sensitive to UV rays, including those who take certain medications such as tetra­ cycline, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, tranquilizers and diuretics. It’s also important that children wear sunglasses—particularly given the amount of time they spend playing and participating in sports outdoors. “Most of us think, ‘Well, I didn’t wear sunglasses as a kid,’ but the atmosphere today is different than it was even 20 years ago,” Kim says. “Most people wouldn’t think of letting their kids outside without sunscreen and the same needs to be thought for sun­ glasses. The thinning of the ozone layer means so much more of these damaging UV rays are penetrating our atmo­ sphere, and this is damage that kids will have for the rest of their lives.” v Nicole Bywater is a freelance writer from Allen.

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For MarketPlace Your Health

Allen Image x May 2012


calendar MAY


Cottonwood Art Festival, thru the 6th. 10 am-8 pm, Sat., 10 am-6 pm, Sun., Cottonwood Park, 1321 W. Belt Line Rd., Richardson. Cottonwood Art Festival is a bi-annual event which features works from the nation’s top visual artists. The festival also features local bands who perform the best in rock, country, jazz, blues, swing and folk. Free admission. For further details visit www. cottonwoodartfestival.com.


4th Annual Watters Creek Fine Arts Festival, thru the 13th. Fri., 4 pm-dark, Sat., 10 am-dark, Sun., 10 am-6 pm, Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, 970 Garden Park Drive, Allen. Juried selection of outstanding fine arts and crafts along with children’s interactive art activities, face painting and live entertainment. Free and open to the public. Free parking. Call 972.747.8000 or visit www.watterscreek.com for more information.


Summer Sounds Concert: Zydeco Stingrays, 7 pm, Joe Farmer Rec Center Amphitheatre. A local favorite, their Creole R&B accordion grooves mix with a fusion of zydeco, rock and blues. For more information call 972.912.1097 or visit www. AllenParks.org.


Bike the Bricks 2012, 4:30-11 pm, Downtown McKinney. Closed course “crit” bike race. The event will include interval races, activities, food and drink. The climax of the event will draw in racers from across the state and beyond as these cyclists square off and chase a purse worth over $20,000. A portion of the proceeds raised from this event will be donated to the McKinney Education Foundation. For details contact McKinney Main Street at 972.547.2660 or visit www.downtownmckinney.com.


Allen City Blues Festival, 3 pm, Allen Event Center. Dig the blues? The Robert Cray Band, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, the original Ian Moore Band and Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown all will entertain all afternoon and into the night. For more information visit www. alleneventcenter.com.


Summer Sounds Concert: Allen Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Chorus, 7 pm, Joe Farmer Rec Center Amphitheatre. Not only will you delight in traditional Patriotic Pops music, but there will be activities designed to honor our veterans and servicemen and women. The event concludes with a patriotic fireworks show! Contact 972.912.1097 or www.allenparks.org for information.


K-12 Scholastic Chess Tournament, check in by 4:30 pm, McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. 3-round chess tournament. Trophies for individuals and teams. US Chess Federation membership required at http://www. uschess.org. For information or pre-registration, www. mckinneyperformingartscenter.org.


2012 American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Allen, 6 pm, Allen High School Track. The funds raised support the American Cancer Society’s goal of helping people stay well and get well, finding cures and fighting back. Please call 972.757.5995 or visit www.RelayForLife.org/Allentx for information on how to form a team, sponsor or volunteer for the event.

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Collin College Summer Registration, all month. Register for Summer I, II or III classes. Returning students can go to http://cougarweb.collin.edu. For more info: www.collin.edu/ gettingstarted/register/.

11 Collin College Commencement, 7 pm, Allen Event Center. 14 NJCAA National Men’s Tennis Tournament, thru the 18th. Collin College Spring Creek Campus, 2800 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano. National tennis tournament for Division I and III, some of the best college talent in the nation. Div. I and III champions will be crowned. 18 2012 Taste Addison, 6 pmmidnight, Fri.; noon-midnight, Sat.; & noon-5 pm, Sun., Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive. 3day festival, 60 Addison restaurants with samplings of their menus, musical entertainment, celebrity chef demonstrations, wine tastings, carnival rides, midway games, children’s entertainment, and more. For more info: http://www. addisontexas.net/events/TasteAddison.

CITY OF ALLEN Allen Event Center Tickets on sale now through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com), charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or at the Allen Event Center Box Office. For more information, visit www.alleneventcenter.com. 4

Bret Michaels in concert. Poison frontman will take the stage in Allen for the first time.


Allen Wranglers vs. New Mexico Stars

19 Allen Wranglers vs. Everett Raptors 26 Allen Wranglers vs. Wichita Wild 27 Allen City Blues Festival. Dig the blues? The Robert Cray Band, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, the original Ian Moore Band and Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown all will take the Allen Event Center stage.

Parks and Recreation Events


Youth Fishing Derby. Prizes will be given for the largest fish caught per age group and the largest fish caught overall.

Arts & Crafts Fair, Joe Farmer Rec Center. Everyone can get into the giving spirit with creative crafts and a festive atmosphere.

Interested vendors should contact Steve Nagy at 214.509.4754. 11 SNAP Dance for Adults with Disabilities (Fiesta Theme), Recreation Hall, 7-10 pm. Live music, a fun and creative theme, snacks and a commemorative photo mailed to each participant’s home. For complete information or to get on the email distribution list, email tharben@cityofallen.org or call 214.509.4707. 12,26Saturday Night Rec & Roll, Joe Farmer Rec Center. Fun, safe social program for students grades 3-6. Gym games and dancing, music provided by a DJ, dodge ball, pool, table tennis, theme nights and contests with prizes. Supervision provided; concessions available. Party Packs $12— includes a $5 concession credit for $4. ID card (1-time $5 fee) required to participate—must be purchased at JFRC anytime before 5:30 p.m. on the day of the event. Walk up admission ($10 or $14 party pack).

For more info: 972-912-1097 or www. AllenParks.org.

Adult Athletic Leagues Tennis and Soccer—Registration is open for Summer Tennis and Soccer camps.

Allen Image x May 2012


Kickball—Tournament: June 2, registration through May 27. CoRec Church League: Season Begins June 11. Registration through May 21. Late registration: ends May 27. Allen Academy of Skating—Learn to Skate classes for all levels ages 3adult. Registration begins May 7. Cost: $80 for 8 weeks. June 5– Aug. 4. Softball—Early reg. Through May 21. Late registration May 22-27. Cost: $325/$340 per team. Format: 8 games. Play begins June 11. Flag Football—Early reg. April 16-May 21. Cost: $350 per team. Late reg. $365. Format: 7 games + play-offs. Play begins June 12. Men’s Basketball—Early reg. April 9May 14. Cost: $425 per team. Late reg. $440 through May 20.. Format: 8 Games + single-elimination tournament. Play begins June 5. Ultimate Frisbee League—Reg. through May 27. Cost: $265 per team. Format: 14 games + playoffs. Play begins: June 14. Volleyball—Early reg. through May 14. Cost: $235 per team. Late reg. $250 through May 20. Format: 8 Games + single-elimination tournament. Play begins June 4.

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Open Volleyball Play at JFRC—Wed. 7:30-10 pm, Sat., 11am-1 pm. Must be a current DRN or JFRC member. Jr. Americans Youth Hockey League— Allen Community Ice Rink, Jr. Americans Youth Hockey League (JAYHL), designed for Mite, Squirt and Pee Wee age players with minimal ice hockey experience who want to develop hockey skills and improve team play. Cost: $279 Mite, $299 Squirt/Pee Wee. April 25-Jul 15. Wed., Fri. or Sun. ice sessions. Allen Adult Hockey Instructional League—Allen Community Ice Rink Allen Adult Hockey Instructional League (AAHL I) designed for individuals with minimal ice hockey experience who want to develop hockey skills and improve team play. Men & women,18 or older. Cost: $239. May 3-Aug. 2. Thur., 8:45 or 10 pm. For more information, log on to www. allenparks.org or call the Athletic Information Hotline: 214-509-4810.


BeTween the Lines, 4-5 pm. Grades 4-6. Book: Chasing Vermeer. Please read the book before the meeting. The first 12 kids who register can pick up a copy from the Children’s Desk (we’ll let you know). Registration is required.


Crafternoon, 2-4 pm. Recommended for ages 3+. Caregivers must stay with children under age 9. Make as many masterpieces as you like at this come-and-go program.

15 Globetrotters, 4-5 pm. Theme: All Booked Up. For grades K-1. Reg. required. 17 Simple Songs, 10:15-10:45 am. Ages 0-4. Reg. required.

Adults 1

Noontime Pageturners, noon, upstairs program room. Room by Emma Donoghue. Bring lunch & a friend.

12 Crossing Over Book Club, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, 3:30 pm, 2nd Floor Adult Program room. Register online or call 214509-4900. Crossing Over is an adult/teen book club that will

explore books with appeal to both adults and teens 16+. 17 Readable History Book Club, 7 pm, conference room. The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America by Burton W. Folsom. 29 Armchair Travelers Visit Greenland with Jim McCrain, 7 pm., 2nd floor adult program room, registration required. Explore the world without ever leaving Texas! Jim McCrain will share stories, pictures and anecdotes from his voyage to Greenland. Refreshments from Greenland-inspired recipes will be served. For more info: 214-509-4905.

Watters Creek 5

Concert by the Creek, 508 Park, 7-10 pm.

12 Mother’s Day art project, 2-4 pm.

Concert by the Creek, E-Flat Porch Band, 7-10 pm.

19 Concert by the Creek, Maylee Thomas Band, 7-10 pm. 20 Morning maniac car show, 1-5 pm. 26 Movie Night, You’ve Got Mail, 9 pm. For more info: www.watterscreek.com.

Connemara Conservancy

Connemara Meadow Preserve 5

Bird Walk at the Connemara Meadow Preserve, 8 am- 11 am, Allen. Bring your binoculars and field guides if you have them, and learn what to watch for in habits, characteristics and calls from Gailon and Rodney, both with Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society. All ages are welcome. We recommend wearing long pants, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent..

12 Habitat Walk, 9 am, Connemara Meadow Preserve. 27 Open House, 12-5 pm, Connemara Meadow Preserve, join us to wander (and wonder) at the Meadow by hiking the trails, watching the flora and fauna. Enter at Wooded Gate on East side of Alma, south of Bethany.

Astronomy Walk, 9-11 pm, Connemara Meadow Preserve, Join Clyde Camp for an Astronomy walk. Meet at the Suncreek Park circular parking lot at 9 pm sharp and walk to the Meadow the back way. For more info: www. connemaraconservancy.org. Allen Image x May 2012


CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS City of Allen offers a variety of affordable recreational classes and programs. Register at Joe Farmer Rec Center, 214-509-4750 or Rodenbaugh Natatorium, 214-5094770. For more info: www.allenparks.org. Kids Helping Kids, bring new or gently used toys to Kids Pediatric Dentistry, donate to children in the area. Receive chance to win prize. For more info: 972-727-0011 or www. kidspediatricdentistry.com. Baylor Health Care System offers support groups, medical information and events. For more info: www.BaylorHealth. com.

Every Monday

Ericsson Village Toastmasters Club, 12-1 pm, Ericsson, 6300 Legacy, Plano. Guests welcome For more info: Per Treven, 972-5838273 or per.treven@ericsson.com.

Allen Toastmasters’ Club, 6:30 pm, Keller Williams office at 1002 Raintree Circle #100, Allen.Guests welcome. For more info: Joe Nave at 214-5663100.

Allen Symphony Chorus rehearsals, 7-9 pm, choir room at First UMC. For more info: Henry@ WealthManagementGroupLLC.com

Fit and Funky Fit Club, 7:30 pm, Unlimited Success Martial Arts, 604 W. Bethany, Ste. 208, Allen. Work out to p90x, Insanity, etc. Free. For more info: fitandfunky@att.net.

Texas Health Presbyterian, a variety of events. For more info: www.texashealth.org. Plano Bicycle Association, club rides, social activities, monthly meetings, newsletters. For more info: Chris Mathews, 972964-2869 or www.planobicycle.org. Heart Link Women’s Networking group. Industry specific, women only business networking. Monthly meetings—days and locations vary. For more info: http://75002. TheHeartLinkNetwork.com. Urban Explorers, laid back, fun, diverse social group with meetups throughout Dallas area. Something for everyone! For more info: www.meetup.com/ getoutandabout. Divorce Care, 13-week courses— biblical teaching for recovering from divorce. For more info: Kim Tedford: 214-5448050 ext. 109, ktedford@ creekwoodumc.org or www. creekwoodumc.org. American Cancer Society, Road to Recovery needs volunteers to drive cancer patients to appointments. If you have a car and can spare time 9-5, you can help. For more info: Debbie Moen, 972-7125711. MOMS Club McKinney Central, support group for stay-at-home moms. Play groups, daytime activities, Mom’s Night Out, holiday parties, babysitting co-op, etc. Monthly bus. meeting. For more info: MckinneyMoms@yahoo. com.

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Preston Persuaders Toastmasters, 7:15 pm, Custer Road United Methodist Church, Rm B2, 6601 Custer Road, Plano. For more info: Ed Meissner, 469-3230538 or Todd Richardson, 214-4974495 or www.prestonpersuaders.org. Every Monday, Thursday & Saturday Allen AA meets, 601 S. Greenville. For more info: 972-359-7383. Second Monday

American Association of University Women-Plano/Collin County Branch, 6:45 pm, 2nd Floor Conservatory, Senior Living Center, 6401 Ohio Dr., Plano. Open to anyone with bachelors or assoc. degree interested in helping women. For more info: Carol, 972-862-3460 or www.aauwplanocollin.org.

McKinney Childcare Association, non-profit org. of state-listed, reg. and lic. home childcare providers McKinney area, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: Alice Lang, 972-3462280 or www. mckinneyareadaycareassociation.org.

Heard Museum Collin County Hobby Beekeepers, 7 pm, Heard Craig Center, McKinney. For more info: 972-562-5566 or www. northtexasbeekeepers.org.

Collin County Early Childhood PTA, 9:45 am, Parkway Hills Baptist Church, 2700 Dallas Pkwy., Plano. Nursery res. required. For more info: Suzanne Judkins, 972712-3634.

Sons of Confederate Veterans, William H. L. Wells Camp, No. 1588, 7 pm, Tino’s Too Restaurant, 2205 Ave. K, Plano. Speakers, school programs, etc. Open to anyone interested. For more info: Lloyd Campbell, 972442-5982.

McKinney Ladies Association (SRLA), 7 pm, location varies. See website for outreach project of the month. For more info: www.mckinneyladies. org Third Monday

Allen Retired Educators, 10:45 am, Patrizio’s Restaurant, 101 Fairview Station Pkwy, Village of Fairview, Stacy Rd. and Hwy. 75. Anyone with a heart for education is welcome. For more info: Jerri Caldronia, at jlcaldronia@suddenlink.net. Plano Amateur Radio Klub, 7 pm, all welcome. For more info: www.K5PRK.net. Collin County Aggie Moms, 7 pm, Texas A&M Ext. Center, Coit between Bush Tollway & Campbell. For more info: 972-382-3124 or www. collincountymoms.aggienetwork.com

Breast Cancer Support Group for patients, family & friends, noon, N. Central Medical Center, 4500 Medical Center Dr., McKinney. For more info: Kelly Finley Brown, 972-540-4984. Fourth Monday Texas Democratic Women of Collin County meets at 6:45 pm, Collin College, Frisco campus, Rm F148. For more info: www.tdwcc.org or Barb Walters, 214-477-5183.

Allen Seniors Genealogy Club, 1 pm, Allen Seniors Center. Must be a member of ASRC. For more info: www.asgconline.com or Richard Henry, 972-390-7402.

Plano Photography Club, 7 pm, Grace Presbyterian Church, 4300 W. Park Blvd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www. planophotographyclub.com.

Legacy 4-H Club (Allen and Lucas), 7 pm, Lovejoy High School, Lucas. For more info: kathrin_esposito@asus. com or 214-616-2460.

Every Tuesday

Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Tuesday Morning Live networking breakfast, 7:30 am, 5th Street Pizza, 111 Central Expwy., #102, (Inside Stacy Furniture). $1 member/$7 non-mem. 1st visit free. For more info: 972-727-5585.

Allen Serenity Al-Anon Family Group, 7 pm, First United Methodist Church, Wesley House, 601 S. Greenville. Offers strength and hope to friends & family of alcoholics. For more info: 214-363-0461 or www. al-anon.alateen.org. Toastmasters Creative Expressions, 11:15 am-12:30 pm. Raytheon, McKinney. Guests welcome.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly, 6:15-8 pm, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 750 W. Lucas Road, Lucas. For more info: 1-800-YEA-TOPS or www.tops.org.

2ChangeU Toastmasters, 7-8:45 pm, Custer Rd United Methodist Church, Rm B5, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.2changeu.org.

Allen Image x May 2012


Every Tuesday & Thursday Volunteer Master Gardeners offer landscaping & gardening advice, 9 am-4 pm. Texas A&M’s Co-op Extension, 825 N. McDonald #150, McKinney. For more info: 972-548-4232 or 972424-1460. First Tuesday Heard Museum Native Plant Society meeting, 7:30 pm, One Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972-562-5566. First and Third Tuesday Common Threads of Allen, 7pm, Starbucks, 904 McDermott, share needlework projects, learn new techniques and make new friends. For more info: contact Debi Maige at 214-704-0994 or debik@verizon.net. Allen Lions Club, 7 pm, Twin Creeks Golf Club, 501 Twin Creeks Drive. For more info: kevin_carlson@sbcglobal. net. Second Tuesday Allen Senior Citizens Luncheon, 11:30 am, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville. For more info: 214-509-4820.

Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, 7 to 9 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.bptmn.org or email info@bptmn.org. Collin County Archaeology Society, 7 pm, Texas Star Bank, McKinney. For more info: archaeology@netzero. net.

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Allen Democrats, 6:30 pm, Reel Thing Catfish Cafe, 600 E. Main St., Allen. For more info: Deborah Angell Smith 214-893-3643. Plano Pacers run at Schimelpfenig Library parking lot, 5024 Custer, in Plano, 7 pm. For more info: www.planopacers.org. Collin County ADD/LD Parent Support Group of Collin County, 7-9 pm, parlor, First United Methodist Church, 601 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. For more info: Shirli Salter, sscaroline@aol.com. McKinney Area Newcomers’ Club, Welcomes new residents, 9:30 am, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. Speakers, prizes and refreshments each month. For more info: www. mckinneynewcomers.com. Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano, 9:30 am refreshments, 10 am meeting, 5228 Tennyson Pkwy, Plano. Guests welcome! For more info: www.newcomerfriends. org.

Fourth Tuesday

Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon and speaker, 11:30 am-1 pm. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www.allenchamber. com.

Heard Museum Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society meets at 7 pm, One Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972-562-5566.

Porcelain Art Guild of North Texas, meets at 9:30 am, Carriage House, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Open to anyone, beginner to expert, interested in china painting and porcelain art. For more info: Gayle Harry 214-5090787.

Every Wednesday

Toastmasters SpeakUp Allen, 7 pm, Braums, 1222 W. McDermott, Allen. For more info: Dan Dodd, 972-5717527.

Allen Sunrise Rotary Club, 7 am, Twin Creeks Hospital, 1001 Raintree Circle. For more info: 972-673-8221 or www. asrotary.org.

Allen Rotary Club, Noon, Courtyard by Marriot, 210 East Stacy Rd. For more info: www.allenrotary.org.

McKinney Chess on the Square, 4-7pm, Downtown McKinney Performing Arts Center. Open play & lessons. Chess promotes creativity, imagination and strategic thinking. For more info, 214-620-0527 or mckinneychess.org.

Third Tuesday

Allen-Frisco-Plano Autism Spectrum Parents Group provides support & resources for parents of children with autism & related developmental disabilities. Join online group at http://health. groups.yahoo.com/group/ autismparentsupport. Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR, The General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter meets Aug.-May. For more info:txshawm@sbcglobal.net.

First Wednesday

Collin County Master Gardeners Assoc. guided tour of Myers Park, 10 am, 7117 County Rd. 166, McKinney. Res. requested. For more info: 972-548-4232 or go to mgcollin@ag.tamu.edu.

Allen Heritage Guild, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St, 6:30 pm. For more info: 972-740-8017 or www. allenheritageguild.org.

Art History Brown Bag Series, 12:30-1:30 pm, Heard-Craig Carriage Hosue, 205 W. Hunt St., McKinney. Lectures presented by Annie Royer. Bring lunch and enjoy. For more info: 972-569-6909 or www. headcraig.org.

First and Third Wednesday

Mothers of Preschoolers, 9:1511:30 am, First Baptist Church, 1300 E. 15th, Plano. For more info: Debbie Parker, 972424-8551.

Second Wednesday

Collin County Genealogical Society, 7 pm, Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Rd, Plano. Sept.-June. For more info: ccgs.programs@gmail. com.

VFW Post 2195, 7:30 pm, Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, 1015 Hwy. 121, Allen. For more info: Larry Nordgaard, 972727-9956 or www.vfw2195.org.

Every Thursday

Allen Kiwanis Club, Noon, Twin Creeks Clubhouse, 501 Twin Creeks Blvd. Visitors welcome. For more info: Sandy McNair, 214548-5483 or www.allenkiwanis.org.

Sweet Adelines, NoteAbly North Texas Chorus, 7 pm, Grace Evangelical Free Church, 2005 Estates Pkwy, Allen. Women of Allen & surrounding area invited. For more info: nntsing4fun@yahoo. com.

Speak Up! Frisco Toastmasters Club, 7-7:30 pm social, 7:30-8:30 meeting. U of D-Frisco campus, Frisco Chamber, 6843 W. Main St. For more info: http://speakupfrisco. freetoasthost.ws.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collin County), Recovery support group for adults living with mental illness. Led by trained individuals. Free, 6:30-8:30 pm, Custer Road UMC, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. For more info: 214-509-0085 or www. namicco.org. Allen Image x May 2012


Allen Classic Cars, 7-10 pm, 103111 N. Central, parking lot of Chipotle and Stacy Furniture. Community Bible Study (September 8, 2011 to May 10, 2012), 9:30-11:30 am, Community North Baptist Church, 2500 Community Avenue, McKinney. Bible study for women and children. Studying Daniel and Hebrews. Reg. required. For more info: bbrakebill@tx.rr.com or mckinneyallen.cbsclass.org.

Second and Fourth Thursday Allen High Noon Lions Club, 5th Street Pizza (inside Stacy Furniture), 111 Central Expwy. S. For more info: Tony Pritchard, 214293-1598.

Allen Area Patriots, 7-8:45 pm, New Heritage Church, 8 Prestige Circle, Allen. Local Tea Party presents speakers, enlightening and motivating citizens to participate in the political process. For more info: www.AllenAreaPatriots. com.

Allen Senior Rec Center Dances, 1-3 pm. Ages 50+. Members free/ Non-member Allen resident $3. Non-Allen residents $24/annually. Allen resident annual membership/$5. For more info: 214-509-4820.

McKinney Chess Club meets 2-5 pm, Senior Center, 1400 South College Street , McKinney.Adults 50+(Free). For more info: 972-547-7491.

First Thursday

Allen Garden Club, meets 7 pm, monthly gardening talks by area experts, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main Street. For more info: Denise Webre, 972390-8536 or www.allengardenclub. org. W.I.S.E. (Women in Support of Enterprise), 11:30 am. Location varies. Networking & discussion of women’s issues. Fun & informative meeting for women in Allen & surrounding areas. $20 member/$25 guest. Payment expected unless reservation cancelled 48 hrs. in advance. For more info: www.allenchamber.com North Dallas Newcomers, meets Sept.-June, 11 am, Brookhaven Country Club, 3333 Golfing Green Drive, Farmers Branch. A fabulous musical presentation from our own Mary Notes will be the program. Guests are welcome. For more info: www. northdallasnewcomers.net.

Third Thursday

McKinney Area Republican CoEd Club, 7 pm, Collin County GOP Headquarters, 8416 Stacey Rd., #100, McKinney. Location sometimes varies. For more info: collincountyconservativerepublicans. com. Legal Aid Clinic, 6 pm, First United Methodist Church. For more info: www.lanwt.org or 1888-529-5277. Osteoporosis Support Group, 6:30 pm, Presbyterian Hospital of Allen, Community Education RmMedical Office Bldg. 2. For more info: 972-747-6036.

First and Third Thursday

Allen’s Community Theatre hosts Improv, 102 S. Allen Dr. For more info: allenscommunitytheatre@ gmail.com.

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Men of Business, networking and discussion of men’s issues for men of the Allen Fairview Chamber. Call for location. $20 member/$25 guest. RSVP required. For more info: www.allenchamber. com. Allen/McKinney Area Mothers of Multiples, new & expectant moms’ forum, 7 pm, First Christian Church, 1800 W. Hunt, McKinney. For more info: www.amamom.org or 972-260-9330.

Collin County Republican Men’s Club, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: www.ccrmc.org.

Allen Quilters’ Guild, 6:30 pm, First Presbyterian Church, 605 S. Greenville. For more info: www.allenquilters.org.

Knights of Columbus, 7:30 pm, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville, Allen. For more info: Steve Nagy, 469-5693357 or www.stjudekofc.org.

Second Thursday

Every Other Thursday

Cancer Support Ministry, 7 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E101. Our goal is simple—to support you any way we can. For more info: James Craver, 972727-8241.

Breast Cancer Support Group, 6:30 pm, Presbyterian Hospital of Allen, 1105 Central Expwy. N., Community Education Room-Med. Office Bldg. 2. For more info: 972-747-6036.

Every Friday

Every Other Friday

Voyagers Social Club of McKinney, 10 am, Heard-Craig Hall Gallery, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Social club open to women in McKinney and surrounding areas. Meet new people and enjoy social activities. For more info: voyagersofmckinney@ gmail.com.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), non-denominational support group for moms with kids birth to 5 years, 9:30-11:45 am, First Baptist Church in Allen. Childcare provided. For more info: 972-727-8241.

First & Third Friday

Classic 55+ Game Night, 6:30 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E104. Enjoy snacks, fellowship and games (dominoes, Skip Bo and other table games). Event is open to the entire community, no reservations are required. For more info: 972-727-8241 or Eddie Huckabee at huckgolf@hotmail.com.

Second Friday

Allen Early Childhood PTA, monthly meeting, 9:30-11 am, at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 821 S. Greenville. Activities include play groups, field trips and educational opportunities, baby sitting co-op and more. Nursery reservations are available for children 6 mo.5 yrs. For more info: www.aecpta.com. or information@aecpta.com.

Every Saturday

Fourth Thursday

North Texas Referral Group, 11:45 am, Friday’s (121 & Preston by the mall). Beginning April 1. For more info: www.ntrg.info.

McKinney Chess Club meets 10:30 am-1:30 pm, McKinney Public Library, 101 E Hunt St. Any age. Free. For more info: 972-547-7491.

Second Saturday

Heard Museum Nature Photography Club meeting. 1:30 pm, Heard Museum, One Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972-562-5566.

Department 56 Village Collectors Club meets in the Plano/North Dallas area to share ideas. For more info: www.bigd56ers.com.

Vrooman’s Regiment, Children of the American Revolution, service organization to teach children to serve their local community. For more info: 972-396-8010.

Third Saturday

Allen Folk Music Society, 7-10 pm, The Blue House, 102 S. Allen Drive, Allen. Musicians aged 15100. Bring snacks to share. For more info: www.twiceasfar.com.

Fourth Saturday

The North Texas Unit of the Herb Society of America, 10:30 am, North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd, Dallas. Garden talks and programs by local experts are open to the public. For more info: Beth DiGioia, 972658-6852 or www.northtexashsa.org.

American Sewing Guild, 10 amnoon, Christ United Methodist Church, 3101 Coit Rd (at Parker), in Plano For more info: Jane Johnson, 972-8416854 or www.planoasg.org.

Last Saturday

Plano Pacers run at Bob Woodruff Park on San Gabriel Rd., Plano, 8 am. For more info: Bob Wilmot, 972-6782244, or www.planopacers.org.

Every Sunday

Fit and Funky Fit Club, 7:30 pm, Unlimited Success Martial Arts, 604 W. Bethany #208, Allen. Work out live to p90x, Insanity, etc. Free. For more info: fitandfunky@att.net.

First Sunday

Scleroderma Support Group, 3 pm, Allen Presbyterian Hospital, Conference Room 1. For more info: Cindi Brannum, 972954-7185.

Please keep us informed of any local activities or events of general interest to our readers by fax to the Allen Image at 972.396.0807 or email to contact@allenimage.com.

Allen Image x May 2012


For Your Health

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For Your Health

Allen Image x May 2012


For Your Health

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For Your Health

Allen Image x May 2012


cover story

Allen Image x May 2012


Parris with sons, Jason, Brandon and David.

Throughout Parris Afton Bonds’ Dancing with Wild Woman, the heroine Janet Lomayestewa battles demons,

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many related to the struggles from growing up on the Hopi reservation in Arizona. The first monster she takes

on is her alcoholism. Following this con­ frontation, Janet heeds the direction of The Voice and heads to Hopiland. The Voice leads Janet back to her homeland and on a hunt for a serial killer. For the author, it is The Voice that drives her to create compelling tales of adventure and romance to share with her myriad of fans— even when, like her heroines, obstacles must be overcome. Dancing With Wild Woman, Parris’ 37th novel, was released as an e-book in February. In March, Run To Me, originally published in 1987 by Silhouette Romance, was re-released as a Kindle Edition through Amazon. Trends in reading formats and habits have changed dramatically since Parris published her first novel in the early 1970s. Noting that the numbers are pointing to e-publishing as the most financially astute means of attracting readers, she asserts, “The publishing industry has changed— hugely! ” Her goal now is to not only continue writing new novels but to rerelease her earlier ones in e-formats for the next generation of readers. Born in Tampa, Florida, and growing up in the Oak Cliff neighbor­ hood of Dallas, Parris demonstrated a gift for creating stories once she was old enough to string words together. She typed her first tale, Blackhawk Woman Rides Again, when she was only five—showing even then what would become a lifelong love for romantic adventure and fascination with Native American issues. Writers who sparked her early love for reading and writing include such notables as Frank Yerby, Rafael Sabatini, Dale Van Every and Edna Ferber.

But despite her passion for writing, Parris kept her talents and creations to herself. She and her husband, along with their two sons, David and Kirk, moved from Dallas to just north of Mexico City, in late 1971. Here, two more sons, Brandon and Jason, were born. It was during the three years in Mexico that Parris gained the confidence to explore a career in writing. “I started writing articles and short stories,” she recalls. “The first one was for Modern Secretary and one was for 4-Wheeler. One of my first short stories was for the Australian subsidiary of Adam magazine and I got paid in British pounds.” In 1974, the Bonds family moved back to the United States, to a small ranch in Copper Canyon, northwest of Lewisville. Back in Texas, Parris’ youngest son, Ted, was born. It was after this move that Parris took a leap of faith and wrote her first novel, Savage Enchantment. “I thought no one is going to know if I fail except my postman, so I sent it off. Then, following the advice that seasoned writers often offer aspiring novelists, she went straight to work on her next book. Parris laughs, “Six months had gone by when I got the call—it was Valentine’s Day. I thought she was selling subscriptions and almost hung up on her!” Kate Duffy, then a new editor with Popular Library, wanted to publish Parris’ novel. “She ended up buying both my books because I had just finished the second one, Sweet Golden Sun,” Parris recalls. “But the second one ended up getting published first.” Duffy later became a founding editor of Silhouette Books and then editorial director of Kensington Publishing Group. According to the New York Times, Duffy made a name for herself in the world of romance publishing by promoting “a new kind of romance novel featuring strong, capable women, contemporary settings…unfettered by Victorian euphemism.” Over the years, Duffy edited a number of Parris’ novels.

“I was really lucky that when I first started writing was when the romance genre really started to take off. I was one of the first,” Parris points out. “I really didn’t think my first manuscript was that good but they bought it and sold it. And for 20 years I was able to write full time.” It was also during those early writing years that her husband was frequently required to travel on out-ofcountry work assignments for weeks and even months at a time. Parris, and

occasionally the boys, would some­ times accompany him on trips, getting intimate glimpses of exotic places like Spain and Japan. Other times she chose to stay in Copper Canyon and take advantage of those long, uninterrupted stretches to work on her books. While attending a writing conference in Houston in 1980, Parris met in an informal gathering of 36 other leading romance writers. As a result, Romance Writers of America was established, with Parris selected

Allen Image x May 2012


Parris at book signings

to serve as the first vice-president and her still-close friend, Rita Clay Estrada, as president. This respected group has now grown to over 10,000 members. When her husband decided to switch careers and go into the oil business, the Bonds family moved to Hobbs, New Mexico. Both an in-demand writer and a busy mother by this time, Parris also enrolled in New Mexico Junior College. Eight years later, she earned her associate degree in fine arts.

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Parris shares that when the family first moved to New Mexico, permanent residences were difficult to procure. “Until we could find a house to buy we lived in a trailer on an abandoned runway,” she grimaces. “It was a two bedroom with five boys in one bedroom.” Despite the cramped conditions, she managed to eke out space to write by sitting on the bed and placing her typewriter on an adjacent desk. “One of my best stories

came out of when I sat on that bed writing,” she reminisces. A group of local romance writers in New Mexico invited Parris to attend one of their meetings to address how to start their own Romance Writers of America chapters. This meeting led to the creation of the Southwest Writers Workshop, an organization that now serves writers of multiple genres. Over the years, the group has honored successful writers who give their time and skills to help up-and-coming writers by presenting them with the aptly named Parris Award. Notable recipients include the late Tony Hillerman and Norman Zollinger. Professionally, Parris’ growing fan base lead to her being recognized as one of the most respected and popular romance writers of the time. But at home, the author was facing a story with a sad ending. The Bonds divorced and Parris moved to Houston. The split took a financial and emotional toll, and Parris had to put her writing career on hold and take other jobs to support herself and the boys. When her youngest son headed off to college, Parris sold her Houston home and moved to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, north of Albuquerque. “I lived in New Mexico for two years,” Parris recalls. “My spirit called me there but my heart called me to be back with my family here. So I moved back to Texas in 2000 and then to Allen in 2001.” Today this family includes her five sons and their wives and her five grandchildren. A regional manager for

Alpha Energy, Parris’ oldest son, David, and wife Dana, live in Frisco. Their son Branson, 19, is a student at Collin College. Kirk, an independent insurance agent, lives in Saginaw, Texas. Brandon, a doctor of chiro­ practic, lives in Rowlett with wife Jenifer, and daughters Amanda, 12, and Brooke, 9. A captain with The Colony Fire Department, Jason lives in McKinney with wife Adrienne, and sons Caden, 12, and Cameron, 9. Her youngest son, Ted, is currently on a brief hiatus from nursing school, and lives in Montgomery, Texas, with his wife, Natalie. In 2002, a publisher convinced Parris to release her then latest novel, When the Heart is Right, in what was, at that time, the new and innovative ebook format. She learned too late that most of her fans had not yet made the switch to e-books, and even though sales were good, they were not as high as she expected. “Writing has always been my passion,” Parris emphasizes. “When I’m without my passion, the fire goes out.” With less time to devote to her writing career, the flames of that passion gradually ebbed—but refused to die. Parris continued to research future novels and write when she could. And like Janet, the heroine of Dancing With Wild Woman, The Voice told Parris it was time to go home—to return to that heart space where her passion dwelled, rekindle the flame, and renew the career that most fulfilled her. So now Parris is back, committing herself once again to writing. With her latest book out on Amazon, she is currently seeking a publisher for her recently completed novel, Indian Affairs. “It takes place in the 1920s when the Taos Indians challenged the Bureau of Indian Affairs, trying to regain their sacred land that had been taken from them,” she explains. In addition, Parris is hard at work on the first draft and tying up the loose research ends for her next novel Kingdom Come. A historical saga, this story tells of a fictional ranch in Texas

and how its massive expansion affected nearby families and communities. There are also other stories tugging at her for attention. Last year, Parris traveled to Peru to climb Huayna Picchu—the sacred mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu, the “lost city of the Incas,” for research on another book. Parris shakes her head when asked to define the kind of novels she has written. In addition to writing category and historical romance she has also published glitz and glamour, westerns, mysteries and international espionage novels. “But there is a romance element in almost all of them,” she adds. When pressed to name a favorite among her published books, Parris takes a moment to reflect. “The one I really had fun writing was Blue Moon; it was about Pershing’s expedition into Mexico,” she concludes, then notes that her Deep Purple, had distinction of making number 3 on the New York Times Bestsellers Fiction List. “Until

Garfield the cat came and knocked me off,” she adds with a grin. The least favorite of the genres she has written is glitz and glamour. “When Jackie Collins was popular, my publishing house asked me to do a glitz and glamour, so I wrote Snow and Ice. A lot of my following who knew me as a romance writer were disappointed.” Another aspect of her writing career that fans the flames of her passion is in encouraging other writers. Through the years, Parris has given a great deal of time helping others develop their writing skills, from hopeful members of writing organizations, to sixth graders in Hobbs, to women inmates at the Dallas County Jail. Almost half of Parris’ published books incorporate Native American themes. Proudly noting that two of her great-grandmothers were full-blood Cherokee, Parris names the novel, Ramona, as early and significant influence on both her writing and

Allen Image x May 2012


Parris at a book club meeting

fascination with Native American history, culture and spirituality. This classic was written by activist Helen Hunt Jackson and published in 1884. Parris’ newest book, Dancing with Wild Woman, takes place on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. The heroine uses her tracking skills gained from her experience working as a U.S. Customs tracker on the Arizona/Mexico border to hunt down a serial killer/monster on the reservation. “There are Shadow Wolves, all-Indian units, who track for the U.S. Customs,” Parris notes. “Weather, heat—a lot of dogs and humans have a hard time surviving in this desert, but these Indians can.” Parris points out that Dancing With Wild Woman also addresses ancient Hopi prophecies foretelling of possible cataclysmic changes and the belief that dancing keeps the world in balance. Another of her Native Americanthemed novels is Dust Devil. It spans three generations from the historical Long Walk removing the Navajo from their traditional homeland to the Navajo Code Talkers used by the United States during World War II. “I research for a good four to six months before I actually sit down to write,” the Allen author points out. For Dancing With Wild Woman she traveled to Hopiland twice and spent time with U.S. Customs Tracker Jeff Kanamu to gain a better understanding of what his profession demands. Once the writing phase begins, Parris sets a goal of five pages a day, Monday through Friday. She admits

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that in her earlier years she often worked on weekends. “I’ve mellowed somewhat,” she emphasizes. “I would like to be on top again, but I want to be with my family and friends more.” In her personal environment, Parris cloaks herself in a space designed to spark the creative. Her fascination with Native American culture, spirituality and art is evident throughout her home. Even the walls of her writing space are painted a rich turquoise. Her back door serves duty as a portal to a fairy garden. “I’m a child at heart,” she smiles as she walks down the dainty stone path outlined in an assortment of colorful flowers and adorned with fairies and trolls, mermaids, Quan Yins, and even a frog in a meditative pose. “This is where I come when I am stymied,” she continues. “And my grandchildren love to come out here and play.” And after a long day at the computer, Parris will often don rollerblades and skate around her neighborhood. In addition, she has taken yoga for a number of years and attends an hour-and-a-half session at least once a week. “Sitting at a desk will give me cramps and this gets me stretching,” she notes. When asked what she finds most challenging about being a writer, Parris readily replies, “Facing that blank page every day.” She also emphasizes, “It’s a job, not a pastime. One year I had five books that I had to write. When there is a contract and they say they need a book from me, I have to produce.”

She also emphasizes that since a writer’s income is based on output and sales, it may vary wildly from year to year. For this reason, she advises new writers, “Don’t give up your day job!” Parris also recommends new writers participate in national writers conferences, if for no other reason than they provide access to editors from a number of major publishing houses. Two books on Parris’ recom­ mended reading list for anyone considering a career in writing are Dwight Swain’s The Techniques of the Selling Writer and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. An admirer of the late esteemed mythologist, Joseph Campbell, (widely recognized for his admonishment to “follow your bliss”), Parris values his recognition and teaching of the hero’s journey. In turn, she draws on this philosophy in her novels. “When you go through the supreme ordeal, or the belly of the beast, or the dark night of the soul, or whatever you want to call it, you have to bring back a reward,” she explains. “And you not only survive the death and rebirth, but you bring that reward back for your tribe.” For more information on Parris, you may go to her website www. parrisaftonbonds.com. In addition, Parris will present a program on her novels and career as an author for Bach to Books at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21. v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer.


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Community Magazine

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Community Magazine