About Pamela Veth

PamI’ve always enjoyed writing, reading and word games and want to share word play and reading with my grandchildren. I attended my first formal writing workshop prior to their birth and rediscovered writing as an outlet of expression. I hope to grow up writing for them and with them. I look forward to the future and opportunities to imagine and create stories together.

I remember the joy of reading Dr. Seuss to my own daughter; we still recite lines from some of our favorites. Habits and rhymes learned early in life tend to stick – I was surprised at the many nursery rhymes that came back quickly with cadence and visual cues.

As a Grandmother, who wants to teach good habits, I recognized being a poor role model in this task. I’m an adult who rushes through the brushing process and have observed enough other adults to realize that I’m not alone in my hurriedness. I’ve also observed those who “brush the right way”

Presenting this lesson in a fun way through a book is my way of combining a desire to write with a desire to teach (and learn) I have slowed down my own brushing process and smile at the thought of those cavity bugs falling off ledges.

Bio

I was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania , moved to Jacksonville, Florida when I was five and grew up here as the “baby” in a family of three girls. The nickname “PJ” came easily for a girl named Pamela Jo and later came to mean “puzzles and jokes” when I proudly announced that I earned a spot on my elementary school newspaper staff as a contributor to that section of the text. I have to admit that the puzzle page of the newspaper still has special appeal to me when I seek out the daily crossword and other word games/puzzles.

My affection for word games reached a high point in 1999 when I appeared on Wheel of Fortune and was the big winner for the night although sadly missing MOTORBIKE as the solution to the bonus round. You can’t know how much easier it is to solve puzzles from the comfort of your living room!

At the time of my Wheel of Fortune fame (my 15 minutes) I lived in Duck Town, Tennessee and practiced massage therapy, a short respite from my real career as an insurance underwriter which began in the early 80’s. Underwriting is really just another forum for solving puzzles.

I remarried in 2008 to Steve and our combined family includes my daughter, his two daughters and son. Life changed dramatically in the fall of 2012 when we were blessed with three granddaughters in a nine month period. I chose G’mama as my new name which has since been shortened to simply “G”!

Before having my own, my grandparent “fix” was confined to the children and grandchildren of my friend’s neighbors and colleagues. I keep a prize drawer in my office that the kids choose from when they come to visit. My craft closet at home is more extensive and dedicated to offering a creative outlet for visiting little ones.

The insurance applications that I peruse and underwriting pen that I wield during the workday now are replaced with story books and crayons after hours. I’m still an avid reader, but reading materials lately have changed from Sandford to Seuss and Grisham to Good Night Moon.

I enjoy being outdoors whether it’s gardening (which I refer to as “playing in the dirt”) kayaking, bicycle riding , playing tennis, or walking on the beach collecting sharks teeth and am fortunate to live in Florida where these activities are plentiful. My more adventurous side comes out on a cruise ship, hiking trail, parasailing or a zip-line/obstacle course. I obtained scuba certification but find more comfort above the water line!

I’ll admit to being hooked on Candy Crush, Words With Friends and Scrabble. Backgammon and jigsaw puzzles are more manageable but equally enjoyable.

In quieter times, I may be found bird watching, musing about being the spider web or captive prey instead of the spider, squishing play doh or enjoying a good movie,(with popcorn, of course) and recently re-discovered the joy of sewing.

Community service is important to being a good citizen and I volunteer whenever I can. I taught Sunday School for a few years and look forward to sharing those lessons and my faith with my babies. No one can truly prepare you for the joy of having grandchildren; you simply have to experience it for yourself! I find myself seeing the world through their eyes and wanting to show it to them from my own.

Author Q & A

Why did you write Tooth Brushing Time?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, reading and word games and want to share word play and reading with my grandchildren. I attended my first formal writing workshop prior to their birth and rediscovered writing as an outlet of expression. I hope to grow up writing for them and with them. I look forward to the future and opportunities to imagine and create stories together.

I remember the joy of reading Dr. Seuss to my own daughter; we still recite lines from some of our favorites. Habits and rhymes learned early in life tend to stick – I was surprised at the many nursery rhymes that came back quickly with cadence and visual cues.

As a Grandmother, who wants to teach good habits, I recognized being a poor role model in this task. I’m an adult who rushes through the brushing process and have observed enough other adults to realize that I’m not alone in my hurriedness. I’ve also observed those who “brush the right way”

Presenting this lesson in a fun way through a book is my way of combining a desire to write with a desire to teach (and learn) I have slowed down my own brushing process and smile at the thought of those cavity bugs falling off ledges.

What do kids need to work on when Brushing? How are they missing the tough spots where plaque likes to hide?

Learning to brush not only the front of the teeth but also behind, on an angle, the biting/chewing surfaces and the tongue. Thinking about the cavity bugs lurking in these places will encourage them to concentrate on all the crevices and hiding places.

What are some practical ways that parents/grandparents can help children brush their teeth better?

Lead by example. Make sure they see you brush or better yet brush together, making it a reverse race (who can brush the longest?) Read the book to them while they brush and pretend that they’re spitting out cavity bugs when they rinse. Make brushing fun and engaging by naming the bugs – there goes Peanut Butter Paul, Oreo Olivia, Pizza Pete, Apple Annie, etc.

What do you think is the key message for parents/grandparents to walk away with?

We use books to help our kids form bedtime routines, practice good manners, learn the alphabet and many other valuable lessons. This book is a tool to encourage good dental hygiene by turning brushing into a playful, fun experience that can be shared by the whole family.

 Pam, you have an active imagination. What helps you write?

Sometimes I just get a bug in my brain that won’t go away until I create something – could be an art project or words. I’ve always liked to read and words and word play come easily to me; writing seems like a natural product of those components. Inspiration can spark from being quiet with nature, observing daily routines, looking at things from a new perspective or just a comment or pondering – “why do children’s toy telephones have a dial and handset” ?

While conducting research for your book, I understand that you had a Dentist give you advice about the best way for Children to brush their teeth.What did you take away from this experience?

Steve’s cousin’s wife, Jan, is a dental hygienist and our dentist feels like part of the family. Jan and her colleagues read the initial poem and provided technical feedback. Dental professionals observe the long term affects of our oral care and are passionate about brushing and flossing habits.

What is your favorite aspect of being a grandparent?

I love observing life from the eyes of my grandchildren while sharing my experiences with them. Being a grandparent is my license to be free and silly, sit on the floor, giggle and play as hard as I work!