Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016

Happy Earth Day! 

It is so important to celebrate the gifts of nature and recognize the fight for a clean environment.  Earth Day celebrations originated in 1970 and are celebrated on April 22 each year.  I recall the Earth Day celebration being a big event in college at the University of Notre Dame but haven't typically "celebrated" much in the years since. 

This year, as I looked ahead to Earth Day and started thinking of the protection of our environment and the need to be ever vigilant, I realized how important it is to impress upon our youth the importance of celebrating and protecting our environment and realized children's books are a great way to do so. 

I never really thought of Little Bug as a nature or environmentally based book, but he certainly does explore the environment and encourage the reader to appreciate all around us like leaves, hills, puddles, butterflies, wiggly worms, flowers to smell and trees to climb.  If I (or Little Bug) can inspire an appreciation of nature in kids and encourage them to explore the world around them, I am grateful. 

If interested, you can find more info at: or

Happy exploring and celebrating!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Water Water Everywhere

The newest issue of Guardian Angel Kids eZine is ready for your reading pleasure.  Visit the website to read all of the terrific stories and articles at .  Here is a taste of what you will find:

April Guardian Angel Kids Announcement

April 2016 Water Water Everywhere

FEATURE Olive and the Great Flood
POEM Crash! by Tracy Helixon
Turning Shoes into Water by Nancy Sheldon
Pan or Panda by Pamela Love
Water is Everywhere! by Irene S. Roth
Water Facts 101 by Christine Collier
River Horses Don’t Swim by Shari L Klase
Man Swims Across Atlantic Ocean by Trisha Faye

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Crystal Kite Awards

The final day to vote in the first round is here! For any of you SCBWI members out there in the West division, please consider voting if you have not.  There are five pages of great books in our division.

Cast your vote at  Guidelines are at  if needed.

Don't miss your chance!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Get Ready for Earth Day

Get ready for your Earth Day celebrations with great books and activities.  Visit Deb Toor's blog for more info and a lot of awesome books to celebrate Earth Day at  Explore nature and celebrate this great Earth on which we live.  You can find additional resources and info at if you are a Pinterest follower. 

Enjoy your explorations!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Back to the Basics

I have had the privilege of presenting at a couple schools over the course of the last month, and these author visits have left me re-energized for writing and creating stories.  You know the old saying...out of the mouths' of babes? One never can predict what kids will ask at any given moment (and I certainly had a few fun and silly questions), but one that continued to pop up time and again was, "What made you want to start writing?"

I found myself giving my standard responses of, "I've wanted to write for as long as I can remember...I've been writing for as long as I love of books and reading made me want to write stories kids would love and want to read over and over"....and so on and so forth.  And all of this is true! However, the wonderful questions, attentive and focused kids (and teachers) and genuine little faces that really cared about my response truly made me think about what really was at the root of it all...and that is a plain old love for books and stories and writing.  I love to read.  I love to lose myself in a good story.  I REALLY do want to motivate kids to want to read. And I LOVE to do so with my own writing.

Lately, however, I seem to be floundering in managing my time well enough to write as often as I should or want.  I know...same story, different day!  It is difficult to balance it all.  We all know that.  The challenge is to prioritize and stick to it. 

I really started thinking about this a few months ago when I completed Picture Book Idea Month.  I was generating ideas for picture books each day, some of which I've actually fully developed into manuscripts in various stages of completion.  It really lit a fire within me to get back to the basics of sitting down, butt-in-chair (or butt-in-bed, butt-on-sofa, you get the idea), and just writing.  Stay away from the computer, don't stress about marketing and promoting and such, but just write or edit a WIP.  So, that is my goal in the next few months.  I hope to finish and submit the three PBs I have in the various stages of the editing process and then work on something new from my stack of PiBoWriMo ideas.

How about you? Do you ever want to just go back to the writing and leave the rest behind for a bit? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

For now, happy writing!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Author Visit

Thank you to Kris Carmody and Hanson School for inviting me to speak to your 3rd and 4th grade students yesterday.  I had a blast! What a great group of kids! Follow your dreams and keep reading:)