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Book Signing!

Looking for a great holiday gift for a little one in your life? Join me on Saturday, December 8 at Red Rock Books in Ridgecrest, CA.

From 1:00-3:00, I’ll be reading and signing copies of my latest book, MOTHER EARTH’S LULLABY: A SONG FOR ENDANGERED ANIMALS (illustrated by the fabulous Carol Heyer–whom I owe an apology to for adding a Santa Hat to her adorable wolf pup on the cover). A fun time is guaranteed!

And books! Did I mention ALL the books? Terrific gifts for kids of all ages! I hope to see you there! But if you can’t make it, you can always order books from www.indiebound.org. (isn’t that what we all do?)

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The Holidays Are Approaching…

…and what better gift to give than a book. Books shape minds, give people an escape, give us something to talk about and who doesn’t have a book in their heart that has stayed with them long after childhood?

This is why I’m so excited to see Mother Earth’s Lullaby listed on Word Spelunking’s Holiday Gift Guide. The list is populated with some outstanding children’s books and authors (J. Patrick Lewis, Jane Yolen, Robert Sabuda, to name a few). Check it out for some great gift ideas!

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How Much Money Does a Writer Make? [2017]

Non-writers who are thinking about writing often ask me if children’s writers make much money. Once again, Laura Purdie Salas shares her own personal experience with this. Enjoy!

Mentors for Rent

Howdy, writers! First, my annual disclaimer:

If you think it’s impolite to talk about finances, skip this article!

Dollar_SignSo, one question aspiring writers often ask is, “Can I make a living at this?” It’s not a matter of greed, but of necessity. So many of dream of making a living doing what we love. But there’s little reliable information out there about what writers make. That’s partly because writer incomes vary so greatly, and partly because writers tend to be private about their incomes. Those doing very well probably don’t want to brag. Those making very little might feel embarrassed. Those of us in the middle might just be adhering to societal norms of not speaking about money. Luckily, I don’t care about societal norms:>)

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‘Tis the Season…

…for holiday gifts! For those of you still looking for great books for babies and young children, please check out my SCBWI Bookstop pages. (this is the last post I’ll make about them, I promise!)

For babies, toddlers and moms, a board book that expresses a mother’s love for her child that’s as grand as nature itself, MAMA LOVES YOU SO.

For preschoolers and K-1 kids who love nature science, visit this beautiful garden, MY BUSY GREEN GARDEN.

Happy Holidays!

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The Power of Story

Being a children’s author, I’ve always known about the power a story can have on a child. Whether it be a picture book story putting a child on the path of lifelong reading or a young adult novel that reassures a teen he’s not alone in his personal struggles, children’s stories are powerful and empowering. But until I “met” Maria, a student in one of my online writing courses, I hadn’t realized just how extensive this power can be.

Maria lives with her family in Damascus, Syria. Rocket explosions and the violence of war are part of her everyday life, as is the struggle for things we in U.S. often take for granted– food, clean water, electricity, and the internet. But amidst all the uncertainty, Maria finds comfort in stories. More specifically, she uses stories to provide her young son with an escape from his daily reality.

Like Scheherazade of storytelling lore, every night Maria tells her son a new story. “In darkness, we spoon every night on the same pillow and I start whispering the story words inside his ear, and that’s when the magic starts. My son’s soul and mind leave his body secure in my arms and travel to the story world like a hypnotized schizophrenic and never comes back until he hears ‘happily ever after.’” Amazingly, she makes up her stories each night, sometimes continuing them over to the next. But every night, there is a story. A story that her young son relies upon, as much as the food or water he requires for nourishment.

Story empowers Maria’s son, showing him a safer, brighter, happier life. It transforms him to a place where he can escape the harsh reality of life in Syria, giving him hope for his own “happily ever after.”