Mill Park Publishing of Eagle, Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.
The company facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
and organizes writer's retreats.

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Elaine's Blog

  • Elaine Ambrose Mill Park Publishing Closes Final Chapter
    Written by Elaine Ambrose
     

    Mill Park Publishing Closes Final Chapter

    Released May 2, 2018 by Mill Park Publishing, Eagle, Idaho

    Mill Park Publishing of Eagle will sponsor the reception for the Idaho Writers Guild Conference on Friday, May 4. The event will be the final official event for the business. After 10 years, 16 books, 15 writing retreats, multiple national and local awards, and thousands of dollars donated to local charities, owner Elaine Ambrose says she’s ready for another chapter in her life.

    Ambrose created the publishing company as a way to survive the winter when she lived in the mountain town of McCall. She named the company after Mill Park, a community park in front of her home on the lake. She moved the company to Eagle in 2008.

    The Books

    A list of books issued by Mill Park Publishing and can be found online and on Ambrose’s author page. For information about books by other authors published by the company, click on the links. Gretchen AndersonAnne BardsleyPatti Murphy, and Judith McConnell Steele.

    Anthony Doerr and Alan Heathcock speak at the Write by the River retreat.

     

    Write by the River Retreats

    In 2008, Ambrose offered the first writing retreat at her cabin in Garden Valley. New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Basye Sander spoke about the publishing world. Subsequent retreats included speakers Anthony Doerr, Whiting Award winner Alan HeathcockNew York Times bestselling author AK Turner, and acclaimed writer and filmmaker Ken Rodgers. Other speakers included social media expert Christy Hovey, wellness coach Emily Nielsen, and international marketing executive Stephanie Worrell.

    Ruth Knox and Christy Hovey discuss writing goals.   
    Emily Nielsen and Elaine Ambrose created the Wellness and Writing Retreats.
     
    Donna Beckman Tagliaferri and Anne Bardsley enjoy serious discussions before the writing retreat.
     

    Support for Local Authors and Artists

    Alan Heathcock and Elaine Ambrose were named two of the Top Ten Authors in Idaho.
     

    Mill Park Publishing maintains a strong advocate for local writers. Ambrose is a founding member of the Idaho Writers Guild and is an annual sponsor of the conference. She hosted Alan Heathcock in her home for the official release of his award-winning book VOLT, and hosted Ken and Betty Rodgers when they premiered their documentary, Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor.

    Ambrose also produced and funded a musical CD for student Andrew Coba and hired him to perform at several events at her home.

    Mill Park Publishing created a fun writing experience with cowboy poet and performer Ernie Sites. The company produced four live comedy shows titled “Life Sucks Laugh Hard” and included funny women AK TurnerJen Mann, Laurie Notaro, and Stacy Dymalski.

     

    Mill Park Publishing donated proceeds from book sales to various local charities and civic organizations, including $2,000 to the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights so 200 area school students would see the documentary He Named Me Malala.

     

    Other donations were awarded to the Women’s & Children’s Alliance, the Cabin’s Writers in the School Program, and Dress for Success. Last New Year’s Eve, Mill Park Publishing created a writing challenge and gave cash awards for students in conjunction with the Idaho Potato Drop.

    Ambrose has been a keynote speaker at several national conferences and often shares her publishing knowledge. At the prestigious Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, she spoke about how writers can turn their blogs into books.

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    Though Mill Park Publishing is closing, Ambrose will continue to sell the remaining books through online and local sources. For future plans, Ambrose will focus on her new charity, Cycling Without Age, develop the Ambrose Storytelling Endowment at the University of Idaho, and prepare promotional events for her memoir, Frozen Dinners, to be released in the fall by Brown Books Publishing. She can be found playing with her delightful grandkids, traveling on creative adventures, and romping with her sweetheart Studley.

    Written on Wednesday, 02 May 2018 18:56 in Elaine's Blog Read 2993 times
  • Elaine Ambrose Winners announced for the Idaho® Potato Drop Children’s Writing Challenge
    Written by Elaine Ambrose

     

     

    idaho potato drop logo  

    Mill Park Publishing of Eagle sponsored the Children’s Writing Challenge in conjunction with the 5th Annual Idaho® Potato Drop on December 31, 2017. The judges chose the top ten winners after reading more than 100 clever and creative entries from local children. The original essays included robot potatoes, spuds with glitter and unicorns, fighting bakers that shoot French fries from their eyes, and tubers from outer space.

    First Place - Megan B., age 10, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "Potato Invasion" - Reads at 3:45 pm

    Second Place - Belle T., age 11, Crimson Point Elementary, Kuna, for "A Potato Named Jeff" - (Can't attend)

    Third Place - Alexis W., age 8, Riverside Elementary, Boise, for "The Magic Flying Potato" - Reads at 3:00 pm

    Fourth Place - Noah C., age 9, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "Cat and Bunny in the Potato Patch" - Reads at1:46 pm

    Fifth Place - Noah W., age 9, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "Jerry and Barry" 

    Sixth Place - Josie R., age 10, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "The Potato Story"

    Seventh Place - Evelyn A., age 9, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "The Invasion of Potatoes"

    Eighth Place - Adelie C., age 9, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "Runaway Potatoes"

    Ninth Place - Jeremiah P., age 9, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "Me the Potato"

    Tenth Place - Paia C., age 9, Seven Oaks Elementary, Boise, for "The Long Journey"

     

    The top 10 entries each will receive a certificate, $25 from Mill Park Publishing, and a copy of the award-winning book Gators & Taters: A Week of Bedtime Stories and The Magic Potato – La Papa Mágica. The top 10 winners will be introduced during a special program on the Main Stage at on December 31.

     

    Magic  Potato front cover

     

     

    The top four winners will read their winning entries at a special ceremony on the Main Stage in front of the Capitol on December 31.

    The Idaho® Potato Drop is a free and charitable community event that supports local arts, business, and charities. Activities feature a fireworks show, a Family Tent, Rail Jam, and live music at the state capitol for New Year's Eve. The "drop" of the gigantic, lighted potato at midnight is now a worldwide attraction.

    Mill  Park Publishing is an official vendor for the event. The company was created by bestselling author Elaine Ambrose to promote and publish books for all ages, create motivating writing retreats, and sponsor writing challenges.

    best gators  taters audio cover

     

    Written on Friday, 15 December 2017 14:46 in Elaine's Blog Read 5966 times
  • Elaine Ambrose 5 Years, 14 Books, 16 Awards
    Written by Elaine Ambrose
    Written on Sunday, 26 November 2017 00:55 in Elaine's Blog Read 2915 times Read more...
  • Elaine Ambrose One Potato, Two Potato - Two New Children's Books!
    Written by Elaine Ambrose
    Written on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 05:11 in Elaine's Blog Read 2704 times
  • Elaine Ambrose One Potato, Two Potato - Two New Children's Books!
    Written by Elaine Ambrose
    One Potato, Two Potato - Two New Children's Books!

     

     

    Bestselling author Elaine Ambrose offers two new children’s books featuring Idaho potatoes, creative stories, and vibrant illustrations.

     

     

    Gators & Taters is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook as read by the author. The week of bedtime stories features seven original stories with four in prose and three in metered rhyming poetry. The book is one of 50 children’s books selected for Bowker’s National Recommended Reading list.

    The Magic Potato is available in paperback and eBook. The book is a creative, educational, bilingual story book that was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education for the statewide curriculum. The read-out-loud story describes in English and Spanish the adventures of children who ride around Idaho on a magic flying potato.

    Purchase online, from local book stores, or from the author.

    Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 22:14 in Elaine's Blog Read 2794 times
Thursday, 11 August 2011 15:12

Beyond Captain Underpants: Music as Muse

In my collection of vintage books, I have a copy of a children’s book from 1886 titled

Please Tell Me A Tale. One story, Under the Maypole, has the following lines:

“This Mayday morning they will plant the Maypole on the green,

And hang it round with cowslip wreaths and blue bells set between;

With starry thorn, with knotted fern, with chestnut blossoms tall,

And Phil, the bailiff’s son, will bring red roses from the Hall.”

Can’t you just imagine little Phil proudly bringing the roses? The book doesn’t have any illustrations, and there are no batteries required or toys included, but children still love to listen to the lyrical stories.

I use this example in my writing class for local fourth grade students. Then I follow with an excerpt from a current bestselling children’s book, Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. In this particular version, the children rearrange letters on a sign to read: “Please Don’t Fart in a Diaper.” Laughter ensues, but it causes me to doubt the evolution of children’s literature over the last 125 years.

To inspire the students to write, I play a variety of musical selections. We begin with “No Blue Thing” by Ray Lunch. I instruct the children to close their eyes, listen to the music, and then write anything that the music inspires. The responses always are delightful.

“I’m running through the tall grass through a cloud of butterflies,” is a typical comment.

Then I play “Circle of Life” from the Lion King Soundtrack. Their expressions change as their imaginations play with the music. We then discuss how the music prompted images and thoughts. They are instructed to write what they envision.

For the remainder of the class, I play a variety of other songs, but I always end with the same two selections. “Adagio for Strings” by Samual Barber typically elicits strong emotions, even among the teachers. Once at Garfield Elementary, after the song a shy, little boy in the back of the room timidly raised his hand. “I see blue tears flowing down my wall,” he said. “Write about that,” was my response. He seemed pleased.

I end the session with “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. Often, most of the students will sit taller and smile wider as they listen with their eyes closed. The song prompts comments such as, “I fought the dragon, and I won!”

My classes lasts an hour, and I enjoy volunteering my time with the students. It’s my goal that they will use quality music (with an emphasis on quality), to inspire the muse within them. I want to challenge young people to temporarily laugh about Professor Poopypants but to wonder and write about characters as rich and provocative as Phil, the bailiff’s son. No batteries required.

Published in Elaine's Blog

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