Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Blessings


Happy Easter! Wishing you all a blessed holiday as you celebrate the true meaning of Easter with friends and family.  Alleluia, Alleluia!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Go Vote!

Congratulations to all of the finalists on the short list for the Crystal Kite Awards!

Round 2 voting has begun and will close on April 30 at 5pm PDT.

Check out the finalists in your division at www.scbwi.org. Once you are on your Member Home page, go to the left navigation bar, scroll to the bottom, and click on Vote in the Crystal Kite Awards to cast your vote.

I was pleased and excited to see my top choice is still in the running.  Good luck to all!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Picture Books of the Heart

Some books don't just tug at the heart strings, they yank at them good and hard. Recently, I have found myself purchasing several which made me feel that tug when I read the reviews.  Then I got them to read, and wham...pure on emotion! My picture book library seems to be ever expanding, the shelves starting to cave under the pressure...or so my husband says:)  Some of my recent favorites which foster hope and insight include THE REMEMBER BALLOONS, A GIRL NAMED OCTOBER, IMAGINE, AND MY HEART.

THE REMEMBER BALLOONS, written by Jessie Oliveros and illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte, is a truly amazing book. It serves as a wonderful way to help children try to understand and cope with a loved one suffering from dementia and brings hope in the face of struggle and pain. The art spoke to my heart as much as the text. Simply perfect!


A GIRL NAMED OCTOBER, written by Zakieh A. Mohammed and illustrated by Andrea Tripke, has such a profound and insightful message on the view of life it will impact children and adults alike.


IMAGINE, written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Lauren Castillo, made me think and feel as a child again...oh the possibilities!


MY HEART, written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken, celebrates the importance of letting one's heart be the guide and the ability to decide where it will lead.

All of the above books spoke to my heart in numerous ways, big and small. I highly recommend all if you haven't had the opportunity to read them yet. 

I would also love to hear what books have spoken to you recently as I am always looking to add to my collection...and maybe bend the shelves a bit more!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Failure is Not the End


It has been some time since I've picked up my copy of SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD, but I read several chapters last night and was reminded why I enjoyed it so much previously.  I highly recommend this book by Vinita Hampton Wright regardless of which part of your life you may need some suggestions for getting unstuck.

In the section entitled Acts of Daring, Wright quotes Gregg Levoy in CALLINGS as saying,

"I was once told that if I am not failing regularly, I'm living so far below my potential that I'm failing anyway."

This really spoke to me. I suppose it seems a bit harsh to consider the possibility that one is failing if not "failing," but I think the idea involves taking some risks in life. If one doesn't try, and inevitably fail some, one cannot achieve his/her potential as it is only in putting oneself out there and being vulnerable, and sometimes failing miserably, that one can reach greatness.

I recall often hearing my mom say, "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again." It wasn't, "If at first you don't succeed, give up."

Much in our lives, both personally and professionally, is learned the hard way with great effort and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears, so why should writing be any different?

Whether in the comments received from critique partners or the rejections received from agents or publishers (even those nice champagne rejections), authors must have a thick skin and press on.  Perhaps we need to adjust how we perceive those "failures" and consider them fuel for the proverbial fire within rather than a reason to give up on something. I am a firm believer in persistence pays and perseverance is as, if not more, important than anything else. It has certainly been the case for me anyway in many aspects of my life.

So, my friends, if at first you don't succeed, continue to work hard and press on regardless of the struggles encountered. I will be doing the same. For any road worth traveling has a few bumps along the way.


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Celebrate Read Across America Day


Today, March 2, is widely celebrated as Read Across America Day. This day serves as motivation and awareness in calling every child to celebrate reading in honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  Who better to celebrate than Dr. Seuss who made reading and enjoying books so much fun for kids, and who continues to enchant and entertain children and adults today.

Motivating children to read, which, in turn, improves student achievement and performance in school, is so very important.  As a children's author, my goal is to write books that make kids (and the parents reading to their kids) want to read them time and time again.  I want to instill a love of reading and books in kids and make them want to pick up a book and read. 

Losing oneself in the pages of a book and the life created therein is what made me want to be an author in the first place.  To do this for children is the greatest honor and privilege, and I salute Dr. Seuss for helping the world see the fun words and stories can be for children.

So, today, grab your favorite book, Dr. Seuss or otherwise, and settle in to read. I know I will be doing the same.

Should you feel so inclined, please share your favorite Dr. Seuss book below.  It is hard to beat THE CAT IN THE HAT, but OH! THE PLACES YOU'LL GO is one of my favs! How about you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Made in Oklahoma Event


If you are in or near Oklahoma City on Sunday, March 3, stop by the Made in Oklahoma event from 11 AM-5 PM and visit the 4RV Publishing booth on the 2nd floor of the Public Farmers Market Building. I cannot be there; however, BEDTIME KISSES will be as will some staff members and authors of many terrific books published by 4RV Publishing.




Thank you, Vivian Zabel, President of 4RV Publishing, for your dedication to 4RV and your authors. I wish I could be there in person. Thank you, too, to those authors and staff members able to participate in this great event. Much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Reading for Research Month


I am excited to be participating in ReFoReMo again this year.  What a wonderful month of inspiration and information.  Join in the fun and dive into the reading-writing connection with wonderful posts and mentor texts.  Registration is accepted through Monday, March 4.

Learn more at http://www.reforemo.com.