God, I love the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Spending a week with 150 other people who are as connected to writing as emphysema patients are to their oxygen tanks is nothing short of nirvana. When I attended Squaw, I focused solely on fiction writing. No big surprise given my MFA. But during the … Continue reading Nonfiction vs. Fiction – Seeking Truth in Squaw Valley
At 9:30pm last night, as I was sitting down to write my Perfect Picture Book Friday post, the movers arrived—with furniture from my husband's office. His company is going virtual, so what to do with all that stuff? Well, some was sold, some was given away to employees, and some was supposed to come to … Continue reading Twists & Turns – A Writing Life
And now it's time for Susanna Hill's Valentiny contest! The rules this year: write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels guilty! My entry is 210 words. Only the Best for You, Mom! By Jilanne Hoffmann Mom, why are you giving me the stink eye? One … Continue reading Only the Best for You, Mom! – Valentiny Contest
Some kids are drawn to build, some to dance, some to sing or write or draw or do math or reach for the stars....so many paths and possibilities. And then we come to a child in Cameroon. Tantoh, a young boy in Cameroon, is drawn to the earth. He is fascinated by how plants … Continue reading I Am Farmer – Perfect Picture Book Friday
What comes to mind when you read this title? If you're a child, well, it's obvious, right? Ew! But if you're a poet like Michael Odom, it's secret code, a play on words, for ekphrastic. Odom explains that ekphrastic is "a very big, very cool word that will impress a teacher and probably … Continue reading Ick! Fran’s Tick!
Frankenstein was not a "must read" for those of us becoming engineers in the early 1980s. I'd heard of the monster, but had no idea of the story behind it. Now, it appears to be required reading for those capable of creating any sort of biological or technological monster, intentional or otherwise. Many consider this … Continue reading She Made a Monster – Perfect Picture Book Friday
Time for a most huggable picture book! "When Mia moved in, Mom and Dad had a room ready for her. 'All yours,' they said.'" "Mia liked it, but it needed something. 'Perfect,' said Mia. 'And all mine.'" There you have it. This is a book that features an adopted child without the word "adoption" being … Continue reading Mia Moves Out – Perfect Picture Book Friday
Hello everyone! Time for my entry to Susanna Hill's annual Halloweensie Contest. Rules: 100 words or fewer, must contain some form of the following three words: cauldron, shiver, howl. I consider my entry a motivational picture book in 86 words, LOL. S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) Scarecrows flip-flop through the meadow. Goblins plunk a … Continue reading S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) – Halloweensie Contest
Litquake San Francisco, an annual literary festival comprising 850+ authors and hundreds of events in the span of 10 days, can be exhausting and daunting, but it can also be exhilarating and inspirational. I'm a co-producer of Kidquake, an event that draws 1,000 elementary school kids, their teachers, and chaperones to four assemblies and 10 … Continue reading Kidquake – Dream Big!
Looking for a funny twist on the "new baby in the house" picture book? Look no further. Deborah Underwood has it covered with a mash-up of space aliens and dinosaurs in comic book technicolor: Arnold, aka Super Saurus, is busy happily battling Zottlebots— when his parents interrupt to show him their egg. Arnold's nonchalant response? … Continue reading Super Saurus and the Egg – Perfect Picture Book Friday