Texas is an interesting place. The weather can range from freezing to broiling in less than 24 hours, and even if you live in the cities, you don't have to go anywhere to get up close and personal with wildlife. You can travel from sun-up to sundown and still be in the state. Now and again, you'll run into interesting characters who think Texas is still its own country.
I've lived in Texas for years.
I'm one of those odd creatures who has an education from rival universities. My degree in Wildlife Ecology came from Texas A&M University. Then, a few years later, I went through teacher certification at the University of Texas at Austin.
For about 9 months a year, I spend most of my time educating the minds of 3- and 4-footers. That's height, not leg-count. It keeps me busy, but I still find time now and again to work on my writing and crafts while I whistle tunes back and forth with the silliest Timneh African Grey.
My writing is influenced by the experiences in my life, the people I've met, and the God I worship.
Where to find Cindy Koepp online
Crunchy Word Problems and Other Brain Challenges
As the state and federal testing gets increasingly harder, students are required to solve tougher math problems. This book contains over 400 word problems and questions for mathematical concepts. All the problems and questions have been used in 4th and 5th grade math classes. The problems vary in complexity and include information for modifying them upward or downward to meet a variety of needs.
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Smashwords book reviews by Cindy Koepp
on Aug. 03, 2011
Some lessons are harder than others. That’s what Gizile learns when her terse instructor takes her to a small pool of frigid water on a rocky coast. Story after story plays by, teaching her truths that are sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden, and often not what she wants to hear.
Aquasynthesis is a collection of short stories by all the authors of Splashdown Books. The individual stories range the whole gamut of the speculative fiction arena. Each gives insight human nature, and not always the pretty side. Greatness is squashed for the sake of convenience. Crazy alien kids go on a field trip. Victory is achieved through sacrifice. Some people prefer to live in their ignorance.
The stories are well-written and intensely fascinating. There’s a great deal of humor mixed in with the lessons Gizile is learning including one-liners, puns, and wild circumstances.
The stories are bound together by the narrative of Gizile and her teacher, Tok. As that particular story continues throughout the book, we see further into Gizile’s life and find out what Tok wants her to overcome. The lesson is an important one for us all.
So look into the water and learn.
- Tales of the Dim Knight
on Aug. 04, 2011
Keeping It Balanced
Being a superhero is tough. Saving the world while raising a family is tougher. That’s what Dave Johnson finds out when he encounters an alien symbiote in an FBI warehouse. Now he has to balance his real job as a janitor, his new life as a superhero, his kids, and his wife while battling gang lords, supervillains, mad scientists, terrorists, and – worst of all – a divorce lawyer.
Tales of a Dim Knight is a witty adventure with plenty of amusing references to comic books. Interspersed with the laughs is a story about finding out what really matters in life.
I enjoyed the story from cover to cover. The characters had believable personalities, and even the Bad Guy had a character arc. Although Powerhouse had a heavy list of superpowers, he couldn’t just walk over the enemies he faced. The plot moved along at a good speed.
Dave faces his greatest dreams and his worst nightmares and comes out a better man in the end.
- I Am Ocilla
on March 13, 2012
I Am Ocilla is a complex adventure mostly told from the perspective of an amnesiac trying to make sense of fairies, intelligent critters, and nightmares that are clearly more than dreams. Full of wit and wisdom, the tale unfolds for the reader as Ocilla gradually gets a grip on who she is, who she's been, and who she's meant to be.
Although I'm not a fan of stories that switch from first person perspective to third person, this only occurred a couple times when something important to the plot occurred and Ocilla could not be present to relay it to the reader.
The characters are interesting and distinct from each other. Each has unique quirks, strengths, and foibles. Even the common fantasy sorts of creatures like fairies and dragons are not just copied from old legends and stories. They have characteristics that make them recognizable but still different from the usual expectations.
The plot is full of fascinating twists and turns, complicated because Ocilla's amnesia includes curiosity bordering on recklessness. The story moves along at a good pace without bogging down anywhere. The endgame scenario did seem a little rushed because it focused on Ocilla's conflict with the antagonist rather than on the general melee of good vs. evil creatures. Still, the story resolves in a reasonable and satisfying way. There was no sense of something left undone.
Check it out!