April Slips Into May

Good bye, April, thanks for all the fun!  

Your raindrops made great puddles.
Perfect for cooling off, running through, and splashing in. 

Even though your rain made for a bad-feather day, I liked it just the same. 

Once you take the plunge, wet is best from head to toe.

Perhaps my swinging life was put on hold,

But inside a book I soared to places new to explore.

Truly, your April showers will bring many May flowers,

And soon I’ll trade my rain umbrella for one in the sun.

Where Students Shine and Learning is Fun!

      On Friday, March 25, 2022, it was my privilege to visit an elementary school for March Is Reading Month. It was a day for me to share the joy of reading and writing books. It was also a chance to share the wonder and power of books to take us on adventures. 

     Using my books Grandma’s Sock Drawer and A Home For Evert as examples, the classes and I explored the steps of the writing process together.

Learning is Fun!

     Students from kindergarten through the fifth grade were the shining stars of each presentation, sharing with me their attentiveness, energy, and enthusiasm. 

     We embarked on the adventure of writing beginning with the hunt for an idea, looking far and near to discover ideas that are all around us and within. 

Time to put on the Idea Hat!

     Once we found our Best, Most Exciting, Fabulous Idea in the World we were ready to write it down and then share it with friends and teachers. It was after this sharing that we discovered that our Most Fabulous, Best Idea in the World needed some work. 
     “Should we throw our story away?” I asked when we found out it wasn’t perfect. 

     “NO!” agreed every class.

     So, we put on our working hardhat and erased and changed our stories until they were the best they could be. 

Time to figure things out with our Working Hardhat.

     “How many times do we fix our story?” I’d ask. “Once? Twice?”
     “Until it’s right!” the children encouraged me.

     We talked about the differences between Fiction and Nonfiction. We discovered that a writer could use facts, even in their fiction story, just like I did with my shrew, Evert.

Talking about writing fiction and nonfiction.

     After reading scenes from my published book Grandma’s Sock Drawer and A Home for Evert, my newest story in the process of revision, we celebrated with applause for the wonders of words and their ability to whisk us away to new and exciting worlds. 

      My elementary friends and I parted with renewed interest in books and the writing process that creates them. 

     We all agreed that learning can be fun.

Reading Grandma’s Sock Drawer to the students.

February Blew By!

I raced through February on my annual Picture Book Marathon. 
Ran past the groundhog’s forecast of spring. 
Jogged through tales of historic Black Americans.
Lingered long in expressions of love. 
Cheered and clapped as teams blocked and blazed their way to touchdowns.
Skated, skied, twisted and twirled, with U.S. Olympians in Beijing.
Shoveled snow, enjoyed unexpected puddles before they crystalized to ice.
Then with a nod to past presidents’ birthdays I skid to a halt.
Teetering on the edge of February 2022, I pause.

What wonders will March bring?

Batches of paczki?
Emerging crocuses defying the snow?
Shall I trade snowflakes for shamrocks; drifts of snow for bundles of green?
Will lion-like winds lift kites wildly on high?
New life emerges all around.
New possibilities to explore.
Clutching my newest story in hand I wonder…

Good-bye, Fantastic February. 
It’s time to meet Marvelous March!

Welcome 2022

Welcome 2022
Wow! 
Celebrating the holidays mid-January with my family was so delightful but now
January is bowling into February with a striking crash!

Before we plow into the cascading snows or Valentine hearts of the coming month I’d like to recognize, one more time, the season of gift-giving.

It never is the brilliantly wrapped packages, the size or expense, that cheers my heart to trumpeting heights. Like many, it isn’t even the gifts that make the season so special. For as the years march on, it becomes more evident that things in packages are not the items at the top of my wish list.

So as the months of 2022 unfold, I resolve to continue the season of gift giving. Focusing on the most valuable and intangible gifts:

Time, available, unmeasured, unhurried.
A listening ear.
A helping hand.
An understanding smile.
A kind word.
Eyes that seek for good.
A heart eager to forget offenses.
Love, selfless and unrestrained.
Hugs in times of joy or through sorrow’s shadows.
Cheers for attempts.
Thanksgiving for success.
Songs of beauty for the minute and mammoth.

Beneficiaries:
Family, friends, the many we pass each day on streets, in stores, in travels, or neighborhood.

So, may gift-giving abound, to all and in each day of the year!

A Big Thank You To My Loyal Supporters

To all loyal supporters of Grandma’s Sock Drawer:

THANK YOU!

                      THANK YOU!          

                                           THANK YOU!

Thank you for your attention, efforts, and support in voting for 

Grandma’s Sock Drawer over the past seven months.

Your faithful voting put this book into the top ten for the Author Elite Award.

I have felt you cheering my book to the finish line throughout these months and it has thrilled and encouraged me.

Once again, thank you for your expression of love and well wishes for my book’s success.

From one who is used to a slower pace of life,

thank you for joining me on this thrilling adventure.

I look forward to sharing more of Sukey’s adventures with you in the near future!

A Poem for Autumn: Nature’s Ticker-Tape

Fall greetings to all!
This change of season may come with whipping winds and stormy skies.
But take courage in fall’s passing beauty, for with it also comes hope and a bountiful harvest,  
Keep walking.
Brighter days are just ahead. 

NATURE’S TICKER-TAPE

Day has begun, but no sun.
Begin the day’s journey unseeing the way
Shoulders robed with heavy mist of dawn
Sidewalk stretches endlessly
Countless squares of concrete gray.
One unnoticed step in front of the other
Padded rhythm marches out the seconds
Till the red-orange sun peeks above the horizon’s purple mountain cloud
And stretches its white tentacles to the brightening sky
Birds begin the melody and criss-cross before with invisible streamers
They swoop and rise with cheers to treetops
Joining the escalating breeze to shake nature’s confetti from the trees.
Golden, floating, lightly landing on shoulders, face and path, saying well done,
well done
Sun reveals the truth:  not just gray ahead, but golden patches checkering the way
Crunchy carpet, piles of crackly brilliance, in the path and along the wayside
Nature cheers in silent earnest to walk with strong step beneath the
whitecap clouds on the inverted sea
Inhaling the sweet breath of evergreen perfume whispering their applause
Success, success, success, is yours, just walk
You have become part of Nature’s ticker-tape

If you enjoyed reading this poem, you might also like The Dandelion Prayer: Celebrating National Poetry Month.

The 2021 SCBWI BookStop features Grandma’s Sock Drawer

I am excited to announce that my debut YA novel, Grandma’s Sock Drawer, is now being featured in the SCBWI, Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators, BookStop in the YA category. My book is available both in print and as an eBook. Check out my BookStop page here:

The 2021 BookStop opened up on October 18 and offers visitors the chance to browse over 1,000 new picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels written and/or illustrated by SCBWI members. Buying a book not only supports book creators, but indie bookstores as well. The BookStop store will be until November 30.

As a member of SCBWI, I have found the organization to be very helpful in my writing and publishing process. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is the only professional organization specifically for individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults. Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world.

This is the second year that I have shared it in the SCBWI BookStop. It feels wonderful to have reached another milestone on my journey as an author and I am very grateful for everyone who has supported me along the way.

#SCBWIBookStop 2021 is officially open. Start browsing all books here:

#BookBuzz #ChildrensBooks #KidLit #MichLit #MichiganAuthor #WritersLife #SCBWI #NewBooks #WritingGoals #Grateful

Author Elite Awards Update: Round 2 for Grandma’s Sock Drawer

Thank you to all who have supported Grandma’s Sock Drawer during these past months of competition!

It appears that your votes have carried Grandma’s Sock Drawer successfully through the first cut!

Now, Grandma’s Sock Drawer is a finalist under the Young Adult Fiction 2021 category on the Author Elite website.

You can find and vote for Grandma’s Sock Drawer on the first page of the Author Elite website. Here, voters are allowed to vote for their favorite book multiple times per day, every day, as often as you wish. All you have to do is exit the Author Elite site and your browser, re-enter and vote again.

This final round of voting closes on October 21, 2021.

Thanks for voting Grandma’s Sock Drawer into this final round of competition.

I hope you will continue to see Grandma’s Sock Drawer to a brilliant finish.

My continued gratitude for your votes.

Amazing Bubbles

Here are some fanciful thoughts about bubbles that I wrote during the Picture Book Marathon month this past February. I hope it brings a smile to your face!

Bubbles are amazing!

          They come in every size. 

               Teeny bubbles in a jar,

                    Bubbles big as grapes swirl within the kitchen sink.

                         From giant wand, even bubble elephants take flight. 

Bubbles are like butterflies they come, but do not stay. 

            They float and drift upon the breeze, 

                        and then they disappear.

Bubbles are so friendly.

            They’re always up and never down.

                        They stay to work or play, alone or in a crowd.

Through my straw, 

            they scramble, 

                        climb, and burst within my glass of milk.

                                    I take a breath to laugh, then send them climbing up again.

I like bubbles and they like me. 

     They shake my hand and tickle my toes when I am in the tub. 

           They help me make a beard that grows and grows.

                        Complete with mustache under my nose.

Bubbles are amazing!

            All throughout the day,

                        They sparkle their wide smile at me,

                                    And chase the blues away.

Please Vote: Grandma’s Sock Drawer Nominated for the Author Elite Awards

I am excited to announce that Grandma’s Sock Drawer has been nominated for the 2021 Author Elite Awards and I would love for you to cast a vote for my book!

Please visit https://authoreliteawards.com and click on the red button that says “Vote Now” – it will take you to the voting page – once here, you will be on the 1st page for the Young Adult category (1/12), just scroll down, and click on my book cover to choose Grandma’s Sock Drawer.

You may vote daily. I greatly appreciate your support! The Author Elite Awards is sponsored by Igniting Souls in connection with the Author Elite Academy.