Great News!

I’m thrilled to announce that Tilbury House has acquired my picture book, MY BUSY GREEN GARDEN. Woohoooo! This rollicking cumulative rhyming story has a tentative publication date of Spring 2017.  I’m so excited to have the chance to plant the seeds of reading in young people’s minds with this story.

Former Student Finds Success!

This morning, I was thrilled to learn that former student Julie Dillemuth has sold her first manuscript! Julie worked on her manuscript with a cognitive-spatial focus in my course, Introduction to Writing Easy Readers. After some declines, Julie revised the story into a picture book format and the story sold! Now, that’s what I call having brains and talent!

Congratulations, Julie! I can’t wait for 2015, when I can hold a copy in my own hands.

And while we’re on the subject, there are still spots available in the upcoming course, Introduction to Writing Easy Readers. Click here for info.

Happy writing!


"First Story" in Ladybug Magazine February 2011 Issue

Some things just take time. Aged cheese, fine wine, glacially-carved valleys…and my first story in Ladybug Magazine. No, not my first story to be published, nor do I mean my first story in Ladybug (although this is my first one). I’m referring to the first children’s story I ever wrote. Twelve years ago.

I wrote “The Desert Snow” when I first got that spark of an idea that I should try writing for children. The story idea came to me when it had snowed in the California high desert, where I live. I worked on it as a picture book concept for a few weeks then eagerly submitted it for a critique at the upcoming SCBWI National Conference. All fifteen pages of it. Yep, I’d written a 15-page picture book manuscript that had more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco (!). BUT, I was fortunate enough to have had Lisa Rojany Buccieri as my critiquer. She kindly told me that while my writing had real potential (okay, she used the term “great” :-}, I had to learn the basics of writing a picture book. My story was way too long and lacked focus and structure, but if I could learn how to do those things, it had publishing potential. That was all the encouragement I needed. Thank goodness for good editors!

I kept at this story off and on for years, and after many, many revisions, it was picked up by Ladybug Magazine in 2006. Four years later, I’m proud to say that the story will finally be published, featured in the February 2011 issue of Ladybug Magazine. Not only do I feel the pride in seeing a project through and getting to see it in print, but I have the joy of seeing it illustrated by Siri Weber Feeney, a talented writer-illustrator and good friend of mine (which Ladybug independently hired to do the art work–talk about serendipity!).

Despite having other works published, this story represents a real personal victory for me, as it validates that first inkling I had so many years ago, and the payoff of being a determined writer.

Ladybug has made the entire issue about the desert. Lots of fun games, songs, stories and poems all centered around this theme. If you click here you can also find a desert snow game, amongst other things. So look for the February issue in bookstores soon!

My New Advisor!!!

Yes, it’s been forever since I’ve posted as I’ve allowed my wrist and thumb to heal, but I just found out who my next advisor will be for my 3rd semester at Vermont College. Drum roll, please…….. Julie Larios! Okay, I’ll admit it, when I saw my name in her group I let out a whoop. Julie is a fabulous poet, brilliant and just plain delightful. I AM THRILLED!


National Wildlife Federation Reading List

I’m delighted to announce that Blackberry Banquet has been named on the National Wildlife Federation’s Grab Bag list of recommended books.

I’ve always respected the NWF as a sensible animal conservation organization so I’m very proud to see my book included on their list. AND if you order a book through their website, NWF received a portion of the payment to help their efforts in conserving wildlife. How cool is that???

So please, hop on over and check out their Grab Bag list and learn more about their fabulous organization while you’re there.


GOOD NEWS: Blackberry Banquet

Blackberry Banquet has been named to the 2010 California Collections. The book list is compiled by the California Readers (click here for full list). Listed books must display “excellence in literature” and be written or illustrated by a California author or illustrator.

I’m proud to be a part of the California Collections once again (Tae Kwon Do! made the 2007 list).
Doing the Snoopy Dance now…

A New Path

Beginning in July, I’ll begin a journey down a new path in my life, as a part of the Vermont College of Fine Arts Master’s in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program. I’m very excited about this! I’ve dreamed of enrolling in this program since I first heard about it, many years ago. Now, with my son out of college, it’s finally my turn!

Am I thrilled? Yes! Excited? Oh yeah! A little nervous? Absolutely! Terrified at times? You betcha! (but just once in a while and that’s when Mary Ann and Dianne talk me down :-).

But it was time. Time for me to move on to something different–something that could take me to places I’ve never been before with my writing. New levels, new commitments, a whole new world.

And for anyone interested, my hope is to focus my blog on my VC experiences (which would entail the next two years). I have a feeling I won’t have a lot of time for posting, maybe once a week or so, but for anyone who is interested in the program, maybe it will give you some insight.

So, there’s my big news… Next week I’ll give a little more details about what’s happened up to this point. So please, stay tuned!


Good News!

Yesterday I received two nice bits of news from the publicist at Sylvan Dell. First, I’m the featured author this month at Stories for Children online magazine. Click HERE to read the interview (and surf their website–they have tons of great things, all kidlit related).

And, Blackberry Banquet has been listed live on the USA Book News website!