Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

There's an ongoing discussion in the kid lit world about why boys don't want to read "girl books," meaning books that star female protagonists or feature fairies or princesses on the cover or in the title. Is this "preference" intrinsic, or are they steered away from such interests, starting at a very young age? Shannon … Continue reading Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

In a nation overtaken by arguments about immigration and the building of walls, Shanthi Sekaran's new novel underscores the complexity of the situation. But immigration issues are more than a decorative backdrop in Sekaran's novel. They provide the disturbing context for its premise: two women fighting for the right to raise one child, one of … Continue reading Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors – Perfect Picture Book Friday

As we prepare to do battle in the name of science on Earth Day tomorrow, I thought I'd put the spotlight on the legendary battles being played across the country, the ones happening in school yards, classrooms, and perhaps during dinner when children are challenged to eat their vegetables, no matter how odious.   Picture … Continue reading The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Salamander-ish Sully Competition

Despite the fact that "salamander" reminds me of slander, and that the definition of "sully" falls in line with slander, I am entering the Sully Competition because I—well, who can resist entering a competition where one of the prizes is an official Sully certificate from the fabulous Mike Allegra, children's book author, playwright, freelance writer … Continue reading The Salamander-ish Sully Competition

The Power of the Pen

I wrote this post in May of 2012 after reading an article in the New York Times. Seems fitting since the Times was just barred from a White House press conference. Chilling…

Jilanne Hoffmann

I love the quote mentioned in today’s New York Times (5/14/2012), regarding a march instigated by a group of Russian writers just wanting to take a protest stroll (against Putin’s crackdown on dissent) through central Moscow without being harassed, beaten, arrested, etc. :

“Russian history is full of confrontations between leaders and writers, whom Stalin once described as ‘engineers of the soul.'”

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The 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest FINALISTS!!!

Woohooo! I’m a finalist! Check out the stories and vote for the one you like best! Woohoo!

Susanna Leonard Hill

Okay.  So this is the part where we pretend it’s Monday morning instead of Monday fashionably late evening 🙂

(Don’t look at the clock!  You’re only imaging that it’s nearly midnight and basically Tuesday for all intents and purposes!)

You have only yourselves to blame!

There we were. . .

Three innocent judges minding our own business, confident in our ability to choose a group of finalists for this contest, happily gobbling heart-shaped chocolates whilst sipping delicious coffee from writerly-themed mugs, glasses perched, pens in hand, ready to make informed decisions, and . . .

. . . WHAM!!!

We were blind-sided by such a landslide of unrivaled entries that we quickly found ourselves overwhelmed by awesomeness to the point where we had to drag in an extra judge to help settle disputes that threatened to become physically violent!

A certain amount of knock-down-drag-out-fighting confusion ensued over what, exactly

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Cupid’s Heart Finds a Home

Thought I'd come back to life for a moment and enter Susanna Leonard Hill's Valentiny story competition. Rules: 1) story must contain a character who is confused, 2) be no more than 214 words, and 3) be written for kids to enjoy. Well, maybe I'm entertaining and distracting myself, too, in these troubling times. So … Continue reading Cupid’s Heart Finds a Home

Spring Night (After Wang Wei via Robert Okaji)

Well, it seems I've been inspired by one of my favorite poets, Robert Okaji. Spring Night (after Wang Wei via Robert Okaji)   Dogwood petals sigh in spirals, blessing my recline. Spring darkness rests on hollow muted hills while moonlight strikes the owls awake, their hoots slipstreaming through ravines.   Unlike Robert, I named the … Continue reading Spring Night (After Wang Wei via Robert Okaji)

Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco

When my son was three, he was fascinated by all things siren-related. One night in the Mission District of San Francisco, an ambulance was parked outside the restaurant where we were eating. No emergency, just hungry paramedics waiting for their "TO GO" order.  When we left the restaurant, my son ran to the ambulance and … Continue reading Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco

Listen to Your Mother – San Francisco

It's official! I'll be performing at the Listen to Your Mother show in San Francisco on May 6th! I had submitted a humorous essay last year but was too ill to audition for the show after the piece was selected. Not content to submit the same piece this year, I wrote a new 800-word essay … Continue reading Listen to Your Mother – San Francisco