Hello campbellsworld visitors, and welcome to another WordPress Wednesday.

Though Halloween has passed, the wonderful stories of family celebrations keep trickling in.

Today we’ve author Jo E. Pinto with a truly terrific tale.

Here she is to tell you all about hers and her daughter’s pumpkin experience.

My sixth grader has just carved her signature kitty cat pumpkin, which she does every year. We’re running a little late. She usually carves it a day or two before Halloween. But she was too busy enjoying her day off from school yesterday, making snow angels and having snowball fights with the neighborhood kids. So her dad drew a simple pattern on the pumpkin this morning before he went to work, and her grandpa cut the top off when he stopped by to pick up some outgoing mail for me this afternoon.


My daughter asked me to dig out the innards of the pumpkin when she got home from school. She’s always been squeamish about slimy, smelly punpkin guts. I didn’t do the entire job for her. But since we were in a bit of a time crunch and I wanted to try roasting the seeds this year, I got the process started. Once I’d taken the stringy seeds and pulp out of the shell with my hands, she scraped down the walls and floor of the pumpkin with a spoon.


I roasted the pumpkin seeds at 325 degrees for twenty minutes on a jellyroll pan, coated with a little vegetable oil, salt, and garlic powder. I knew the seeds were done when they were crispy and easy to chew. The first one I ate tasted strange to me, but the flavor grew on me right away. I can’t stop eating the addictive snack. That might be a good thing, considering that the candy haul will soon roll in. Roasted pumpkin seeds are high in potassium, among other nutrients. Chocolate may be good for the soul, but I haven’t seen any research claiming its vitamin or mineral benefits.


Anyway,my daughter altered the simple jack-o’-lantern face her dad had drawn on her pumpkin to include ears and whiskers. She looked for the pumpkin carving tool. I told her right where it was, but she couldn’t find it, so she started using a big bread knife. I found the pumpkin carving tool, which has a short handle that fits between the fingers and a serrated blade. The tool was right where I expected it to be, in the hindmost recesses of the silverware drawer with the extra birthday candles and the stray salt packets from bygone fast food orders.


“Mom, the eyes in the back of your head work better than everybody else’s front ones,” my little girl said gratefully. She laid aside the bread knife, which I was just as glad to have her discard in favor of the safer pumpkin-carving tool. She was very proud of the first pumpkin she’d ever created all by herself. Well, sort of almost all by herself.


It really does take a village to raise a child.










“So Sarah?” the teacher asked, in a question I had rehearsed with her, “what’s it like to have a blind mom?”

“Well,” my little girl said, in an unrehearsed answer, “it’s like a regular mom, except Daddy won’t let her drive his car.”

With that nonchalant reply in front of her second grade class, Sarah summed up the  way my blindness has fit into the fabric of our family. It isn’t a problem; it isn’t even a novelty; it’s just part of how we roll. My blindness has changed a few practical logistics. But in the end, kids are kids and moms are moms, and the dents and delights of parenthood are universal. As I told my daughter when she was very small, putting an only slightly different spin on the words my mom had said to me thirty years before, “The eyes in my face are broken, but the ones in the back of my head work just fine.”

Daddy won't let mom drive the car cover art (small for email)



The title, “Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car” appears at the top, and “True Tales of Parenting in the Dark” and the author and illustrator names “Jo Elizabeth Pinto” and “N. Page” are written in the cement squares of the driveway. The family car is backing out of the driveway. Dad is standing by, looking half amused and half distressed. A cat is on the other side of the car, with an arched back and a puffy tail. Under one tire, some daisies are squashed and others are flying. The license plate says, “Blind101” and a bumper sticker says, “Mom Power.”




J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame

for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.


Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works

as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.


The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational

Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place

for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.”




What is a family? Rick Myers is a despondent seventeen-year-old who just lost his parents in a car wreck. His family is now the four teenage buddies he’s

grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, “the crew” is all he has.

At least he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable

intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.

But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future.

Fortunately, his life is changed by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes

all the difference to Rick and eventually to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges.

“The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.


To buy her books please visit:  http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

For interviews and more visit her Author Website:  http://www.brightsideauthor.com.

Latest release on Audible:  https://www.audible.com/pd/Daddy-Wont-Let-Mom-Drive-the-Car-Audiobook/B07YC7VGHJ?qid=1569614767&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=D2JG674E061PXT292MEH&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1


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4 Responses to WORDPRESS WEDNESDAY-AUTHOR’S CORNER: It Takes a Village by Jo E. Pinto

  1. Thanks for posting this, Patty. I loved the roasted pumkin seeds. I’m definitely going to snack on thise again!


    • Patty says:

      Hi Jo.

      Yes, they’re good. I’ve made them for years. Lots of great things you can do with Pumpkin.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Always glad to hear from you.


  2. Hi Jo, You and I and of course Patty and your daughter are definitely soul sisters of the village! Yes, yes, yes!!! I hope that Jennie (our wonderful school teacher who reads to her little ones actually gets to read your book! What a fabulous way to describe blindness to children in a way that they can understand and won’t end up in any kind of bullying. You are a natural born writer, and a most wonderful one at that. And the Pumpkin Cat was a true delight, and I think I will have to make one for sure next Halloween for sure or perhaps still if I can find a pumpkin big enough still. It isn’t like the old days now when pumpkins could still be bought (and they were too) up until Christmas.

    Many years ago, I was a senior volunteer (have I been a senior for most of my life???) for illiterate adults, and one of the things I realized after awhile was that none of them had ever read or been read to with children’s books. So when I would read one to them, they would sit intently and amazingly listening as if it was the best thing they had ever heard, and if I had not known better, I would have thought they were giant children – well, ok, not giant, but bigger than most kinders. And another thing was that they had never had anyone help them carve a pumpkin, never had a costume, and never went trick or treating. I could not even begin to imagine, so one of my ladies who was a particular challenging case, having been in a coma for six months from having been beaten near senseless by a man she was having to live with (one after the other) just to not have to live on the streets. I had a huge job ahead of me.

    Well, that year was a year when Miami Vice was a hot program on the TV, so for some crazy reason, I got this idea for us to go as Miami Mice! Well, we never had so much fun in our lives! First we had leg tights and I think they were black, but over them we had men’s Fruit of the Loom underwear with the fruit of the loom label turned outside. Then of course we had pastel short-sleeved t-shirts, and to complete our costumes, we had giant earrings made out of big bunches of grapes and bananas (lightweight so we didn’t end up with 10-foot long earlobes. And big ugly fly and bug masks. To complete our costumes we had dime-store machine guns. We went to a couple of restaurants where they were having Halloween costume parties, and one exercise gym too. We won 2nd prize for our costumes there and I thought she was going to fair. Her eyeballs were as big as baseballs I believe, and her smile went from ear to ear, something I did not know that smiles could do.

    Well, we had a wonderful time of our tutoring, and I showed her how to make visioning boards, another thing a lot of children have never done. Say you are five years young and you want to be a cowgirl (since we are girls). So you would get an art board from the local dime store or I would get one for you, and we would have a stack of magazines, some scissors, and some glue sticks, and our favorite treats like hot chocolate to keep us energized while we work away. And of course you have to have some happy and encouraging music to go with. Then you cut out photos of things you like that you are going to make your story of what you want to do. You may discover that you are actually going to become a ballet dancer or an airline pilot, or perhaps a famous chef, but the thing is that you glue on all your pictures you cut out to make a beautiful piece of art that now you will keep in your special place in the bedroom and every day you look at when you get up to go to your school, and suddenly, just like magic, one day you wake up and go to work, and you realize you turned into something really special! And what you became might not have even been one of the pictures on there. I think it is like the pumpkin carving. If you think you can carve a pumpkin cat, you CAN do it, and the same with magic vision boards. Somehow they open some special doors, and suddenly you know just how wonderful you really are, and how you can become any or even ALL of those things if you want to. And you put on your big girl shoes, brush your hair 100 times like we used to do when I was a young girl, and you put on your best smile and go out into the world, a beautiful brand new person! That is just about as good as learning how to make a pumpkin cat! Happy Thanksgiving, and remember that after your pumpkin cat, it is “fruitcake weather” and there is a wonderful special pumpkin fruitcake recipe on my blog, http://www.allinadaysbreath.wordpress.com. And you can be as creative as you want to! Whoo hooo. So maybe your fruitcake will be pumpkin with chocolate or bananas or whatever you want it to be! Happy best of the year in your happy village! We’ll be there to share some hot chocolate and maybe some marshmallows with cat faces!!!


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