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, go to the 12th page for the Young Adult category (12/12) and 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.

The Dandelion Prayer: Celebrating National Poetry Month

Spring is in the air! 


Even through Michigan snowflakes the daylight is longer and the buds are bursting forth.


April is National Poetry month and I’d like to share one of mine with you.

The Dandelion Prayer

Dear Lord, let me be as a dandelion in your service:

Redeemed by your blood from weedy origins,

Small, yet bright, face always to the Son,

            Despised  by the world, yet, bouquet of choice to child and pocket-poor.

Not requiring notice of royal tables,

Blooming without invitation, spreading without borders.

Eager, quick, the first to herald winter’s defeat and promises of the comfort of spring.

Always dependent on your living water, wilting instantly without  its constant flow.

Steadfast, straight, tall, unwavering in your Truth.

Grabbing ground with fragile root in slightest cracks of unbelief.

Stubbornly refusing that one should miss the freedom of your grace.

Enduring reproach, resistant to attack,

Humbly opening and closing, daily showing forth your golden goodness
     until with one last unfolding of splendid sphere of white,

Your final wind scatters the seeds of your love through my life.

Then silence, moments of breathless calm,

Awake to life anew and strong.

                                                                                              

2020 Novel Writing Month Completed

What an exciting month of writing November held for me. I chose to work on the prequel to Grandma’s Sock Drawer.

As expected, the writing journey had its moments when ideas seemed stale, action stalled out, characters became boring.

I’d say to myself, “You’re the one writing this thing! If you don’t like what’s happening, change it!”

I’d remind myself that writing Nano is more exploring, than settling down.
At the end of the month, if I like the story, I can work to make it the best. Nothing has to be permanent in the first draft. Everything can be improved. Thinking like this keeps me hopeful and excited about the story.

Even so, there were times I had to keep slogging along.
Then something clicked and things started to pick up momentum.
The story flew from my fingers through the last two weeks of November.

Characters asserted themselves on the page. (One day, for instance, my main character sat down and sobbed her heart out! I was so surprised!)

I found myself visiting familiar places with new twists.
Farms in need of planting,

meadows thick with wild, purple lupine flowers,

and spiraling tunnels in dark, echoing caves.

I crossed the Nano finish line of 50,000 words, plus, on the 27th.
But the story wasn’t finished, yet.

On December 2nd, the first draft was finally completed.
The thrill of accomplishing the Nano goal was surpassed by the excitement that I have for the beginnings of my prequel for Grandma’s Sock Drawer.

Yes, I have crossed the Nano finish line.

But only to start again.
A new goal.
A new energy.
A new commitment.
Polish this new story until it will shine in the hearts of readers.

I can’t wait to get started!

Meet me at the 2020 Virtual Author Fair!

I’m excited to be a part of the Rochester Hills Public Library 2020 Virtual Author Fair which is being presented in partnership with Rochester Writers. This is the first time I have done something like this and it’s been a fun adventure. I recently did an interview on Zoom and then this recording will be aired on the weekend after Thanksgiving in honor of Shop Small Saturday. This will take place on Saturday, November 28, 2020 and Sunday, November 29, 2020 beginning at 11:00 a.m. both days. I hope you get a chance to tune in and listen to all of the fascinating interviews with all of the participating authors. Check it out here!

Here is the description from the Rochester Hills Public Library:


Join us online for the second annual Author Fair with RHPL and Rochester Writers. Nearly thirty local authors will be featured in recorded interviews that will debut on RHPL’s YouTube channel on Small Business Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29. 

Beginning Monday, November 30, the library will release each interview independently on its social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. The interviews will feature a Q/A with the selected authors, as well as links to their social media channels and websites. Authors may read from their books or offer a creative interpretation of their published materials. 

These authors cover a variety of genres and are both traditionally and self-published. PLEASE NOTE: The YouTube links will not be live until Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29. 


I love that we are supporting local authors with this event and sharing stories, wisdom, and insight with our communities. Normally it would be an in-person event; the virtual event this year is providing unexpectedly delightful benefits. It’s going to be a great weekend and I hope to see you at the fair!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2020

Write a novel in a month?

Crazy, right?

The challenge is to write your story in 50,000 words, in just one month. 

1,667 words per day for 30 days.

It’s up to you what you want to write about.

Besides the total word count, NaNoWriMo writing has one basic rule: No Editing!

November is the time: To Write.

If you like your story at the end of November, then you can edit. 

But for November, just enjoy writing. 

Always move forward. 

Don’t look back.

It’s exciting, frustrating, tiring, invigorating, revealing, requires discipline, and perseverance.

It’s crazy!

And I can’t wait to start!

Grandma’s Sock Drawer featured in SCBWI BookStop

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.

The 2020 BookStop opened up on October 6 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. Check out my page here:

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.

My first goal was to publish my debut novel, Grandma’s Sock Drawer, and then it was important for me to share 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 2020 is officially open. Start browsing all books here:

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

Crossing the Picture Book Finish Line!

February 2020 comes to a close, with an extra day to finish the Picture Book Marathon. Once again, creating 26 picture books in a month was a rewarding exercise. More than half of my books were fiction, three were versions of ABC books, four played with numbers or counting, three were nonfiction embedded in fiction, and the others played with repetitive phrasing or putting a new twist to an old nursery rhyme.

Are they all prize winners? Of course not! But there might be a seed for a successful rewrite.

Was it easy?

Absolutely not! Some days I spent hours researching animals that I wanted to incorporate into my story. That’s one of the things I love about writing, I am continually learning and then try to pass that on to children in a fun and imaginative way.

Some of my favorite stories this month are those that are ridiculously fun. The impossible happens, the ridiculous runs to extremes, and by the end laughter has lifted child and adult reader beyond this ordinary world.

Another favorite of mine, was a counting to ten book I imagined my 18 month old granddaughter might compose. It was filled with all her favorites, such as ten wild blueberries on her purple plate, which she couldn’t resist eating, and replacing, again and again. When it came to her five favorite colors, they started out all different, but let’s be honest, her favorite color is orange. So she substituted orange for four of the five colors, allowing only yellow to remain in the group.

So you see, the Picture Book Marathon for me was a month to stretch my creativity within a set deadline while underlining my belief, that all learning can and should be fun.

You’re always a winner when you try.

The Year I Went Off Course

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I have run the Picture Book Marathon since 2010. But after 9 years of successfully completing the race, in 2018 I went off course for a very exciting reason.

November 2017, I had participated in my ninth Nannowrimo, (National Novel Writing Month). The fantasy middle grade novel that I wrote that month was one I knew I wanted to spend time and effort to revise and rewrite in the coming year.

The holiday season was a time to put aside the novel and enjoy family and friends. In January an opportunity arose to test the level of interest my novel would gather. Hurriedly, I rewrote and prepared the first six chapters to apply for the opportunity to appear on Kindle Scout for one month. 

Four days into February 2018, with 4 picture books completed, I learned that Kindle Scout accepted my submission. Starting February 5, 2018, the first six chapters of my book were available for people to read. 

 I was overjoyed! 

For the rest of February, people were reading my book! It was even called  “hot and trending” several days. There’s not a better feeling to a writer than to have his work read and enjoyed.

The rest of February was spent sharing this event with friends and family. That’s how I went off course in Picture Book Marathon of February 2018.

The positive feedback from that month supplied the energy to work on the novel to its completion. That’s the year I went off course from the Picture Book Marathon.

And that’s the year a whole new adventure began.

The Halfway Mark

Day thirteen of February is halfway to completing the 26 picture books in the Picture Book Marathon.

Hooray!

Thursday, February 13, is the official halfway point in the Picture Book Marathon. It’s always good to celebrate your accomplishments. If you actually ran thirteen miles, you would celebrate! So, too, writing thirteen picture books, or creating thirteen ideas for stories, is reason for celebration.

Celebrate your accomplishments!

You need thirteen more ideas to finish the Picture Book Marathon. Allow me to offer a few suggestions to help you finish the race.

Ideas are all around.

A photo, a saying or phrase, a memory from childhood, pets, fears, joys, foods, disappointments, overheard conversations, new twists on nursery rhymes, or fairy tales, ridiculous impossibilities, nature, friends, family, failures, successes, concept books, such as ABC’s, counting, opposites, or shapes.

The best advice I can give is to relax. Have fun. Try writing things you’ve never written before, like a new version of Hickory, Dickory, Dock. Make it wild. Make it touching. Try nonfiction, fantasy, or rhyming.

Make this Picture Book Marathon a race of exploration and fun. Remember, this is just the beginning of your creative projects that could turn into a wonderful picture book!

See you at the finish line!

Keep writing!