A River of Dust – Cover Reveal

Hello everyone! I'm so excited to reveal the cover of my debut picture book, A River of Dust: The Life-Giving Link Between North Africa and the Amazon on VIvian Kirkfield's blog!!! In the flat screen image, you won't be able to see the foil that illuminates the dust. You'll have to hold it in your … Continue reading A River of Dust – Cover Reveal

Image credit: 123RF_Wrangel

The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review

Thirteen-year-old Zoey and her mom and three younger siblings live with a man named Lenny. He owns a nice trailer. He's bought her mom a new set of teeth. And he's bent on undermining any self-confidence that Zoey's mother ever had. From the first few pages, the reader is pulled into Zoey's world, an impoverished … Continue reading The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review

Summer Life Saving

I hadn't planned on going to my niece's wedding. She was getting married in Orlando last week and had planned a large party/reception for friends and family in Illinois in early July. In honor of her grandparents (my parents) who had been married 65 years, she had decided to get married on their wedding anniversary, … Continue reading Summer Life Saving

Black Diamond Wisdom – Writers Take Note

Yesterday, at 10:59am PST, I despaired. Piles of research lay scattered about my desk, in my backpack, across the kitchen table. Papers I'd been shuttling around since last fall. I was trying to finish a revision of a nonfiction picture book I've been writing since last September, but I felt scattered. And I couldn't figure … Continue reading Black Diamond Wisdom – Writers Take Note

Poems for the Weak of Heart

Boredom Vice and Poverty arrived in my mailbox yesterday. And I mean that literally. It's the title (taken from Voltaire's Candide) of Michael Odom's most recent chapbook. Here's a stunning image from his poem titled "Boredom Poem #9:" "...in the chasm between life and life, philosophies breed and cannot help but swarm like bees with the queen on … Continue reading Poems for the Weak of Heart

Better Than a Grammy

ver·sa·tile (versa-tea-lay) adjective   able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities. "a versatile sewing machine" synonyms: adaptable, flexible, all-around, multifaceted, multitalented, resourceful;More archaic changeable; inconstant. So here I am, the swiss army knife of sewing machines (aka word knitting machines). Laurel Leigh has kindly nominated me for the Versa-tea-lay Blogger Award. And as I said in … Continue reading Better Than a Grammy

Dreaming Big at DreamForce

This week, San Francisco's population increased by about 15% with estimates running into the 130,000+ range. And they're all buzzing around with bright blue conference badges circling their necks. Dreamers here to dream---at DreamForce. But a portion of those folks are not just your everyday profit-based conference attendees.They're "Dreamers" who dare to dream big, representing nonprofits … Continue reading Dreaming Big at DreamForce

Writing, Executive Function, and Deep Breathing

I've written about my son, the reluctant writer, in a few other posts:  Writing as Calculus, Open Mic Fright, Celebrate Illustrators!  And now that he's in 4th grade, the pressure is on to produce even more. So when he came home with an assignment to write a newspaper article, using the "Who, What, Where, When, Why, and … Continue reading Writing, Executive Function, and Deep Breathing

Rainbow Dreams

After Tweeting, I decided that the form was too ephemeral for the hope, the desire, the wish, the dream that this will last forever. So I make it a post that will live on into the ether: The sun shines across our nation today, turning domestic prisons into Rainbow prisms. May it last forever and … Continue reading Rainbow Dreams

Squaw Valley Writers Workshop or Bust!

This just in---the magic 8 ball says: YES!!! I will be attending the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop in Fiction Anybody else out there going, too??? Conference History The Community of Writers was established in 1969 by novelists Blair Fuller and Oakley Hall, who were both residents of the valley. It was originally staffed by a … Continue reading Squaw Valley Writers Workshop or Bust!