The Best Valentine’s Day Party Ever – Contest Entry

Contest Rules: A character must be hopeful 214 words max, title not included Appropriate for ages 12 and under No illustration notes See other stories at Susanna Hill's Valentiny post. Now, for my story in exactly 213 words.   The Best Valentine's Day Party Ever by Jilanne Hoffmann Sal’s a maker. Cal’s a baker. Val’s … Continue reading The Best Valentine’s Day Party Ever – Contest Entry

If You Were the Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday

If you were the moon, what would you do? Would you just lollygag up there in the sky, lazily rotating about your axis once every 27 days, never showing your dark side to your mama? "Helloooooo up there, moon! I'm sooooo tired. I wish I could do exactly nothing, just like you."   "But I … Continue reading If You Were the Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Where Are the Words – Perfect Picture Book Friday

As a fan of writing, including punctuation and puns, I got the biggest kick out of: When we first encounter our hero, Period, that little piece of punctuation is inspired: Period asks Paper and Pencil for a little help, but then realizes: Enter Question Mark, who decides to—what do you think Question Mark does? I'll … Continue reading Where Are the Words – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Fleecetown’s Turnaround – Holiday Contest Story

Well, well, well. Somehow we've made it to the end of yet another year. And once again we have Susanna Hill's 7th Annual Holiday Contest. RULES: 250 words or fewer, written for children ages 12 and under, and must contain a holiday surprise of some kind. Mine is 248 words. Here goes.....   Fleecetown’s Turnaround … Continue reading Fleecetown’s Turnaround – Holiday Contest Story

Goblin’s New Blood – Halloweensie Competition

And now, another entry into Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie story competition. The Rules: must be 100 words or fewer; must contain any form of the words monster, candy corn, and shadow; and must be appropriate for kids through age 12. So here goes! Oh, and I used only 88 words if we're counting candy corn … Continue reading Goblin’s New Blood – Halloweensie Competition

Whoops! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

It was the cover that called to me from the bookshelf: Who wouldn't be drawn in by those eyes. Everyone on this cover looks GUILTY!!! But what is their crime? Well, it turns out that these three are not the perps. They're the victims!!! They have lost their voices. The cat can't meow, the dog … Continue reading Whoops! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

After the Fall – Perfect Picture Book Friday

STOP THE PRESSES!!! Announcing the first picture book to win both the Caldecott and the Newbery!!!!  Well, if the judging were up to me, that is. Seriously, folks. This book gobsmacked me. Dan Santat has created a touching, funny book about overcoming your fears, and in the process transforming your life. "My name is Humpty … Continue reading After the Fall – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Are You a Writer? – NaNoWriMo

Grant Faulkner, Founder and Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month, recently spoke at a fundraiser for one of my writing groups, the Write On Mamas. Correct that. He didn't "speak" so much as inspire us to challenge our personal narratives. Faulkner drew a series of concentric circles and described the center as someone who … Continue reading Are You a Writer? – NaNoWriMo

Serendipity Strikes (AKR Moment)

Have you ever had an Amy Krouse Rosenthal (AKR) moment? Yesterday, I casually bought Terry Tempest Williams' book, "When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice." I read the title and decided to buy it. I didn't look inside. It just seemed like something I needed to read. When I opened it this morning, I … Continue reading Serendipity Strikes (AKR Moment)


I've just spent some time reliving the first ten years of my childhood with the help of Deborah Wiles and the first two books of her stellar (and I mean STELLAR) 1960s trilogy. Although they feature middle grade age protagonists, I'd also say that these books would be instructive and interesting for high school and … Continue reading Countdown