Saturday, December 21, 2019

Adventures with Christmas Presents

Right now I live in a very small house, so it's difficult to find a spot to secretly wrap Christmas presents. (or presents for any event)
But our old house on the east coast was much larger, so around Christmas time we designated one particular room as the 'wrapping' room. I put all sorts of wrapping supplies in there and the family took turns bringing their goodies to the room, wrapping them and putting them under the tree.
Well, that was when the kids were older and could resist those delicious looking packages.
When they were young, we hid the wrapped presents, only bringing them out and putting them under the tree after they were asleep. (Don't ask about how many hidden presents weren't found until months later.)

This system worked fine except for the one time when they woke up on Christmas day before us, went downstairs, and opened everything.
Usually I would sit there with a pad and pen recording what gifts they received from relatives, but that year we had NO IDEA because, of course, the kids had shoved all the wrappings aside in their hurry to open Their presents.  The poor relatives received very generic 'thank you for the present' letters that year.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Happy Holidays

Things to remember ----- (from a Facebook Friend)

Xmas myth busting
1. Xmas is not "crossing" out Christ. It's an ancient way of abbreviating Christmas. The X stands for Christ. Go look it up. My mama taught me that decades ago. Every year I'm gobsmacked that so many people don't know this.
2. Happy Holidays has been around a lot longer than the PC flap that started the "War on Christmas." The origin of "holiday" means Holy Day. So don't get bent out of shape if someone wishes you happy holidays. Besides -- there's more than one of them this time of year. Just be nice to people, and be thankful if they also say something nice to you. Season's Greetings is perfectly fine as well.
3. The Twelve Days of Christmas STARTS on Christmas Day -- and runs through January 5th. January 6th is Epiphany or the observance of the Wisemen's visit. Go look it up.
4. Things like Advent and Epiphany are observed by other Christian sects besides Catholics -- including several Protestant denominations and Orthodox Christians.
5. You do NOT need to use an apostrophe when you address Christmas cards unless you are sending something to the Haversham's cat instead of just the Havershams.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Memories of the 1960s

It's strange how pieces of my life float into my mind.  
In 1960, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges walked into William Frantz School as the first black child to attend a public, all-white elementary school in the South. You'll have to look up the data to realize what a shock this was to many people. Desegregation was happening all over the country.  
A neighbor of ours, learning that I was going off to college soon, asked me, "What would you do if they put a hulking black boy in your dorm room?"  
I told her that I'd complain.  
She nodded.
I said, "I'd complain to the administration that they'd made a mistake putting a boy in the Girl's dorm. He'd complain, too."  
Somehow I had completely missed her horror at blacks sharing rooms with whites and had instead been shocked that she'd even suggest they'd put a Boy in the girl's dorm.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Conquering the Paper monster

Filing at least 4 or more pieces of paper a day is reducing my paper monster piles little by little. (maybe caught up by Christmas?) 
One thing holding me up now is that I need to create folders of things I can't find folders for, knowing full well that the very next day I might find the original folders perhaps stored in a different filing cabinet. 
(I have 3)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Is the earth closer to the sun during our hot summers?

While I was writing my Groundhog Day book, I had a discussion with my editor about whether or not  the northern hemisphere where we live was furthest from the sun during wintertime.  Winters are cold, so it seemed logical.

So I contacted a NASA flight controller friend of mine, whose books for children are more scientific than mine about this.  She did a little research and discovered that the northern hemisphere is actually the furthest from the sun during earth's elliptical orbit during our summers. It's the poor southern hemisphere that is closer to the sun during their summertime.  (our winters)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Whole Foods - a dangerous place to shop

It's dangerous to walk into Whole Foods. One of the routes I walk to get my mile a day is to walk around a shopping center, going in and out of some of the stores to 'window shop.' I actually had a small list for Whole Foods. Small. What I was searching for was some sage to burn in my house.
Passed the veggies. No, won't get any tomatoes today because I'll be getting them at the Farmer's market this weekend. Couldn't even see what was being offered at the serve your own lunch/dinner aisles because of the crowds. I was good about saying 'no' to everything, until I saw that they had dark chocolate covered orange slices. I love covered orange rinds, so yes, I had to try these. 
I finally did find the sage and only had four other things in my cart.  
I suppose being tempted by only 4 things is a success story.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The First Amendment of our Constitution Protects --

If you read the First Amendment it does five things..
.It protects your religion 
and it protects you from religion 
and allows you to think. 
It protects your right to speak about the things you thought about. 
It protects the freedom of the press, which gives you access to others thoughts. 
It protects your right to assemble and discuss with others those thoughts. 
And it protects your right to petition the government for a redress of grievances those thoughts give rise to. 
Many of our problems today come from not thinking!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The growing of a Reader

I was a reader at an early age.
In first grade, while everyone else was taking turns reading a page from Dick and Jane, I read ahead and finished the book. Unfortunately, the teacher would call on me to read a page right when I was much further on and, not having paid attention to what the last person had read, I couldn't find what i should read. Which made the teacher think I couldn't read at all.
When we finally completed that book (and maybe another Dick and Jane book) the teacher told us we could take home ANY book in her glass front bookcase to read at home. So I choose Black Beauty! She tried to talk me out of it, but I persisted (it had a horse on the cover) and managed to read it. It took a few months and I kept asking my parents what this or that word was, but I read it.    
I'm stubborn like that.  
In second grade, I kept checking the Wizard of Oz series out from the public library. It was a small room staffed by volunteers. One of them refused to let me check any more OZ copies out of the library -- because they were Fourth grade books and I was depriving some fourth grader of being able to read those books.  
I was furious.
So I became a children's librarian for over 40 years and never, ever told a child they couldn't take out certain books.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thoughts on a beach walk

Walking on the beach at Fletchers Cove. Low tide. Saw what looked like pebbles at the water’s edge. Going closer discovered they were thousands and thousands of tiny clams.
 On my right are 200 foot cliffs with houses and apartments at the top. Passing one part of the cliff that has collapsed, spewing onto the beach. 
Wondering how it would be to live there, not knowing just when the house/ apartment will be undercut and slide down the cliff.

Friday, September 13, 2019

A writer's alphabet, by Rick Walton

Rick Walton is a multi-published writer of humorous books - mostly picture books.  Some time ago, before he died, he sent me this alphabet he had created about the publishing world.
copywrite - Rick Walton

Whenever I spend a great deal of time involved in something, my mind starts rebelling, and twisting it out of shape. I just spent a week at a writing workshop, a very good one, but it was enough to twist my mind, which spit out the following:

A Publishing Industry Glossary

Author--the costume a writer puts on when he goes to a cocktail party.

Auction--a contest where two or more editors race to see who can show the most irrational exuberance.

Advance--the best proof that your project is moving forward.

ARC-- a vessel you send out into the ocean of reviewers, hoping it floats instead of sinks.

Backlist--books still in print, but which the publisher hides behind his back so they are hard to see.

Book--a rectangular device for immortalizing the person whose name is inscribed on it. Not to be confused with "headstone".

Contract--a document which, if held to the same standards as its subject, would require serious editing.

Cover letter--a letter designed to cover the weaknesses in your manuscript.

Critique--hopefully advice to help you turn your pony into a racehorse, but too often the suggestion that you turn your pony into an alligator.

Designer--a person who proves that people do indeed judge a book by its cover.

Dialogue--what people might say in real life if it were edited for clarity, conciseness, and for necessity to the plot. In other words, nothing at all like what people say in real life.

Draft--a manuscript with still enough holes in it to let the wind blow through.

E-book--E stands for everyone, as in everyone now will think they can write a book.

Editor--a young woman with just slightly more power than God.

Editorial Board--a plank that your book is forced to walk by the captain of the publishing ship. Sometimes the book is allowed to come back and join the crew. But most of the time the book is pushed into the ocean.

Endpapers--a great place to write notes when you're out of notepaper, which is why they should be plain white.

Fiction--what a writer tells himself to make him believe he can write something people will pay money for.

Graphic novel--a comic book that went to college.

Hardcover--the best kind of book to use as a murder weapon.

Imprint--one of the personalities exhibited in a publisher's multiple personality disorder.

ISBN--Intercontinental Satellite-Based Nuke. What an author wishes they had access to when they get a bad review.

Jacket--an outer covering designed to make a cool book hot.

Line editing--editing that does not require you to wrap your mind around the whole plot, as substantive editing does, but which allows you to work while standing in the grocery store line, the bank line, the DMV line,...

Mass-market--a type of book that most of the time the masses, with great enthusiasm, ignore.

Option clause--a contract clause that gives you the option to either say, "No thank you, take it out." Or, "Are you out of your mind? Take it out!"

Print on demand--polite people say "print on request".

Publication date--a blind date set up between your book and the reader. You hope for a long-term relationship, but too often it results in your book being stood up.

Publisher--a company that is looking for something new and fresh as long as it has been done before.

Quill--if it was good enough for Shakespeare, it is good enough for you.

Reader--a very smart person who likes your book, or one who is not so smart who doesn't.

Rejection--a necessary evil, unless it involves my manuscript, then it is a totally unnecessary wrong.

Remainder--also known as "reminder". A step in the publishing process designed to remind you that you aren't as hot as you were starting to think you are.

Royalty--a British term for when publishers send the author lots of small pieces of paper with pictures of royalty on them in exchange for publishing their books. American publishers kept the term, in spite of the fact that our small pieces of paper do not have pictures of royalty on them, because they are afraid that if it was called "president", we would hear it as "precedent" and start expecting them to send us those little pieces of paper more often.

Typewriter--the best writing device ever to use as a murder weapon.

Unsolicited submission--a twisted form of attempted adoption where you give your dear child away to someone who doesn't want it.

Vanity press--a variation of "van o' depressed". So-called because you end up depressed with a van full of books.

Young adult--the average age of editors today.

copywrite - Rick Walton

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Picture book biographies

Here's a list of very fine, new picture book biographies as chosen by librarian extraordinar  - Elizabeth Bird.  On her blog, Fuse #8 production.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mall adventures

I think I've been tapped by a credit card stealer. I was walking in a mall and this woman approached me, told me my outfit looked Parisian. Naturally I was flattered. So I showed her to watch my hand. I actually was showing her that the skirt had POCKETS, but something about her expression made me think that she looked scared. Hmmmm.  
Then we walked down the mall, talking of this and that, and later I remembered that her purse was awfully close to my purse. When I headed up the escalator to the food court, she left, saying she just remembered that she was going to the Apple store.
A few hours later I thought back about the episode and remembered that thieves can steal your credit card number simply by being close to your purse - bumping into it if possible.
Am I worried? No. Because my credit cards are in a RDIF protected carrier to prevent theft. And I decided that the reason she originally looked scared when I put my hand into my pocket was because she may have thought I was reaching for a badge.
(she may have gotten the barcode of my library cards, but since there were three of them piled on top of each other, I can't imagine that she'd be able to make any sense of the jumble of numbers.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Are you shy? So am I

I'm a really shy person.
How shy?
Well, for example:  at a recent writer's convention a group of us who had graduated from a grad writing program decided to get together for dinner.

We set up a place in the hotel to meet.
When I arrived there, another group waiting there asked me to take their picture beside the flower cart bicycle.  Which I did.  Then I sat down to wait.
The other group chatted together for a while.
Finally I texted the group I was supposed to meet --
and the chatting group turned to me --
they were the group I was supposed to have dinner with.
I had been to shy to ask them if they were waiting for someone.
Since they were from different graduating classes, they didn't know me by sight and I didn't know them.
If only I were brave enough to simply join a group and talk to them.
But I'm not.
I'm shy.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Old computer files

What do you do about old computer files?
 My husband said - in the 1990s - why do you print everything out? It's on your computer so save it on your computer. 
Well, now I've lost a lot of stuff that I 'saved' on the computer because digitalization keeps changing format. Recipes are gone. (unreadable files) Manuscripts that I didn't print out are gone. 
I'm now going through my (new) computer and testing each file and deleting things that I no longer can open. I did print out everything from college, so now I'm trying to find that stuff on the computer and delete it. (also so much college email I need to delete, because I did print out the important stuff. 
When I moved from the east coast to the west coast, I looked at all the 5 inch and 3 inch floppy computer disks that I had saved, shook my head, and tossed them.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Slight Accident at Storytime

In a discussion on Facebook about Eric Kimmel's books, I offered this story:
 I used Hershel in a story time at my library, and bought myself a menorah to light as the candles were mentioned. Unfortunately  having little money, I bought a little one that used birthday candles. 
So, I'm holding the book, telling the story, occasionally lighting the candles when all of a sudden a mom yells, "It's on FIRE!" I thought - okay. yes. the candles are on fire. She kept yelling and pointing so I looked down and -- one of the candles had tipped out of the menorah and was lying on the rug, still burning. 
I quickly put it back in it's proper place and continued with the story. 
You can bet that the next year I paid the money for a larger menorah that used larger candles in larger holes.  😀

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Just a reminder

GOOGLE will give you thousands of results --
most of them wrong.
A trained librarian will give you the one right information that you need.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Early bills from magazines

Just got a bill from Time Magazine saying my subscription payment was overdue.
 Which is strange because the mailing label on the current magazine says that my subscription doesn't expire until June 2020.  

So - are they so desperate for money that they are harassing readers a year in advance?

I do think that they are the premier news magazine and will continue my subscription, but I'm a bit insulted that they are being so pushy. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

How to grow an artist

An Artist’s life (as seen from her older sister’s point of view-me)

            It’s not easy being the youngest of four children.
(It’s not easy being the oldest of those same four children either, but I digress.)
            Nor is it easy being the child of parents who move every 2 – 3 years. Which meant that those children had to say good-bye to old friends (and enemies). And suddenly were faced with the chore of exploring a new neighborhood (fun) and finding new friends (not so much fun.)
            But this was the life that my baby sister,Marion, was born into.
            Now, you might have noticed that her name was not spelled right.  Girls are called Marian, and boys are called Marion. Boys!  But there was nothing she could do about her name. It wasn’t hers in the first place.  It had been her Grandmother’s name.  (In the hopes that she would inherit something from her grandmother – which she eventually did. But not until after many years and after having enjoyed the company of her grandmother and the stories she told.  
Oh, the stories she told. But again, I digress.)
            All of the other children loved this new addition to the family.  Who couldn’t love her?  She had her mother’s blue eyes.  She had blond, curly hair. (who knows where that came from – some German aunt from her mother’s side, or maybe the Jewish side of the family) And a smile that could melt the hardest frozen heart.
            There were always books in the house. And, with so many people in the family, there was always someone around who would read these books to her.
            There also was always pencils, paper, crayons, and even sometimes – paint. Since there were several famous artists in the family, every child was encouraged to make crafts or draw and paint.  Television had recently been invented.  The family owned one of the first of these new machines – because Dad worked for Sylvania.  However, it only worked in the evenings.  During the day, Sylvania’s broadcasting company only sent out a Test Pattern.
            Because there were famous musicians in the family, musical instruments also traveled along with the family moves, carefully packed. Usually Violins (a great uncle had been a child prodigy) and rhythm instruments. And, if the parents thought the family was going to stay in one place for a while, they’d get a piano. Each child was encouraged to learn an instrument.  
            Her older sister, Sandy, became quite a good violinist.  But dropped the violin when the family moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia in favor of learning to paint. (She eventually decided she couldn’t do people’s faces, so every person in her portraits had their back to the viewer.)
            Her oldest sister, Wendie, gave up the piano for the bassoon and singing in the choir.  All of them, including Dad, would pound on the piano – especially around Christmas Time – singing Carols. 
            Her brother Don, collected snakes.  Played drums until his parent’s couldn’t stand the noise any longer and convinced him to pay trumpet (badly).

(Marion replied)
I remember living in Glen Ellyn, IL. Falling out of the window in the house in Pottstown, PA, is a family myth to me, although I have no doubt Don pushed me...  (me= I actually saw her fall, being in the room right below the children's bedroom.  I rushed out and found her in the bed of ivy. She missed the sidewalk by about a foot. After a night in the hospital, the doctors declared her fully recovered )

 (Marion says)
My art aspirations began in Vienna when Mom sent me to Dorothy Decker for painting lessons. In junior high I decided that being a portrait sketch artist on the boardwalk had to be the most glamorous job in the world. I started practicing drawing famous people in the 8th grade. I never did get that job though. As an adult I did work an art fair as a sketch artist & discovered I just wasn't fast enough. I was distracted by my friends too much.
 I discovered I had a talent for painting dogs in 2001 quite by accident. I was working on a painting of Jamie & one of our dogs & noticed that it quickly became "Dog with Girl" instead of "Girl with Dog".

I don't remember much about our dachshund , Dachel (sp?), except being very sad when Dad gave him away to our milkman after the rotten Kelly boys teased him so much he bit one of them. 
(me= the Kelly boys lived next door, and they were really rotten.)

My husband Rob is a cat person. Since college I've always had both dogs & cats. Currently we have 2 cats & one dog. For well over 10 years we had two cats & two 40 lb Portuguese Water Dogs (like president Obama). We had them way before he did though.
             Just a taste of our family memories. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Weeding filing cabinet and finding treasures

I'm weeding my filing cabinet. It's just as difficult to weed my home filing cabinet as it was to weed my workplace ones. Mainly, I want a drawer to file new projects in. Which means something has to go.
I have two drawers full of stuff from my earning a MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine arts a few years ago. Surely I can toss most of those papers and put the papers I want to save into a plastic tub in the garage,
Meanwhile, I began searching for a certain story I had submitted for a workshop.
The core story.
The picture book story that the faculty advisor told me was Not a picture book, but perhaps it was the outline of a novel.
The Picture book story that morphed into the novel that became my creative thesis during my last semester there and is now completed and circulating out into the publishing world.

I found it. !!!
It now has been transferred from the grad school file to the file where all my versions of this story reside.
This makes me happy.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Summer is a coming

Summer is supposed to come next week. Not this week. 
This week it will still be cloudy and in the 60s. (cold to me)
 But next week - when July starts - it's supposed to be in the 70s. Yay! I can then get out the skirts and short sleeves. 
The interesting thing about San Diego weather is that summer lasts into October. 
But I'm looking forward to the beginning of summer next week.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day memory

Memories of my children's father on this Father's Day

We often drove to Florida to visit my mother. On one trip, my husband was in computer withdrawal. (laptops hadn't been invented, yet.) He did, however, bring pads of paper and pens and pencils.
Partway through our visit, he took these supplies out and sat there staring at them. He looked up at me and with a straight face, asked how he could enter information. Trying not to giggle, I pointed out both ends of the pencil. "You ENTER with the point. And you DELETE with the eraser.    
(He had a dry sense of humor which we bounced off each other.)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Flag Day

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14
It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

the writer who also works at a day job

The curse of being a writer who also has a full time job to support the family.

Every time I left work for a week of writing, or a week of research trips, or a week of speaking to a series of schools and libraries, the staff at work would say, "have a nice vacation."
I'd reply, "No.  I'm just going to my second job."

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

My favorite flowers

It's May.
Time for my bleeding hearts to be blooming at my old house in Maryland.  
I haven't tried growing them here on the west coast, but I don't think I'd even be able to find old-fashioned bleeding hearts here.

Monday, May 20, 2019

And more Inspiration

“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.” Norman Vincent Peale

“The only path by which another person can upset you is through your own thought. Just keep your conscious mind busy with expectation of the best.” Joseph Murphy

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Dr. Seuss

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”Emily Dickinson

The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”    Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Here are more quotes

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Wayne Dyer

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”   Guatama Buddha 

“Discontent, blaming, complaining, self-pity cannot serve as a foundation for a good future, no matter how much effort you make.” Eckhart Tolle 

“I can’t say this strongly enough, but our feelings about ourselves are actually the most important barometer for determining the condition of our lives!” Anita Moorjani

“You can turn your life into paradise, but the only way you can do it is to make the inside of you a paradise. There is no other way.”Rhonda Byrne

“Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt 

“There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.”    Ralph Marston  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Even more inspirational quotes

 “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou 

 “The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.”   Eckhart Tolle 

“No one can depress you.
No one can make you anxious.
 No one can hurt your feelings.
No one can make you anything
other than what you allow inside.”      Dr. Wayne Dyer 

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”  Aristotle 

“Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life.”   Omar Khayyam

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”   Epictetus

Monday, May 13, 2019

Inspirational quotes

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” Aristotle Onassis

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”  Bertrand Russell

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”   Mahatma Gandhi

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”   Aristotle

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller 

Friday, May 10, 2019

even more Inspirational quotes

We cannot focus upon the weaknesses of one another and evoke strengths. You cannot focus upon the things that you think they are doing wrong, and evoke things that will make you feel better.
What holds bad things in your life is always your attention to those bad things, always.
If you intend to be of assistance, your eye is not upon the trouble but upon the assistance, and that is quite different. When you are looking for a solution, you are feeling positive emotion— but when you are looking at a problem, you are feeling negative emotion.
The greatest gift that you could give to anyone you love is the gift of positive expectation. 
Appreciation and self-love are the most important tools that you could ever nurture. Appreciation of others, and the appreciation of yourself is the closest vibrational match to your Source Energy of anything that we’ve ever witnessed anywhere in the Universe.
Your happiness is the most significant contribution that you could make. In your reaching for happiness, you are opening a vortex which makes you an avenue for the Well-being to flow through you. And anything that is your object of attention under those conditions, benefits by the infusion of your Well-being.
Every time you praise something, every time you appreciate something, every time you feel good about something, you are telling the Universe, “More of this, please. More of this, please.”
If you can let anger subside, and let fear be replaced with more hopefulness, you will easily tap into a momentum of Well-being. It will seem so easy, you will wonder why you don’t do that more often
No matter what the issue is, don’t try to justify why you don’t feel good. And don’t try to justify why you should feel differently. Don’t try to blame whatever it is you think the reason is that’s keeping you from feeling good. All of that is wasted effort. Just try to feel better right now.
Let your alignment (with Well-Being) be first and foremost, and let everything else be secondary-- your dominant intent is to be joyful.
Get out into the sunlight — out where everything is — with a vibration that is so dominant that those who annoy you; those who don’t agree with you; those who make your life feel uncomfortable don’t come into your experience, because your vibration — through your practice — has become so clear, so pure, so clean, so in keeping with what you want, that the world that revolves around you just feels like that.
When you reach for the thought that feels better, the Universe is now responding differently to you because of that effort. And so, the things that follow you get better and better, too. So it gets easier to reach for the thought that feels better, because you are on ever-increasing, improving platforms that feel better.
If you will let your dominant intention be to revise and improve the content of the story you tell every day of your life, it is our absolute promise to you that your life will become that ever-improving story. For by the powerful Law of Attraction—the essence of that which is like unto itself is drawn—it must be!  Abraham -Hicks

Thursday, May 9, 2019

More inspirational quotes

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”  William James

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”   Marcus Aurelius

“Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you. It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in.” Louise L. Hay

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?”   Mary Manin Morrissey 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A few Inspiring Quotes

Sent to me from a Children's Book Guild of Washington, DC member:

      " I happened upon a website that had some wonderfully inspirational quotes, and I wanted to share them with you. I have linked the website below, and even though I normally check my sources with the original records I didn’t do that this time — I have just taken the quotes from the website as they were, chosen my favorite ones, and gathered them to cut and paste here, so I hope the references are correct. But frankly, even if it was Kermit the Frog who said all this stuff, I’d still find it uplifting and instructive!"

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” John Wooden

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Oprah Winfrey 

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” Paulo Coelho
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

It's Easter time

Just a few eggs.
 (the hard boiled ones are in my refrigerator getting ready to become deviled eggs.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Are you Lively?
Or Lyrical?
Melissa Stewart discusses writing styles on her blog, Celebrate Science.
She talks about writing tips from Newbery Medal Winner, Linda Sue Park.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Writing Day

Mary Bowman-Kruhm and I did a writing day yesterday. She had come to visit her daughter in Los Angeles and I drove up to write with her.  
We completely revised our picture book, again. Then went out to dinner at a restaurant on the beach - The Chart House. Wonderful day.