• Ideas,  Inspiration,  Writing Journey

    Writing and rain

      I opened up the front door earlier this evening to check for packages on my doorstep, and while I was not blessed with a bundle of goodies, I did get to take in a deep breath of damp, cool air with a slight musty smell that only comes with new rain. Though it is hours later now, I can still close my eyes and re-create the serenity that washed over me during that moment. I carried my daughter outside to show her the wonder of evening rain. She delighted in it so much, she ran inside telling her Dad “it’s raining.” Later, when putting her to bed for the…

  • Book Reviews,  Children's Books

    First Year Favorite Books

    My daughter and I have shared many great reads this past year, but some certainly stand out. Here’s some of our favorites! 1. Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth When my daughter was very young, she loved staring at the bright colors, and as she grew more aware she loved rubbing her tiny fingers over the ladybug shapes and into each of the holes in the pages. This book is still one of her favorites. 2. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean Not exactly the typical baby book, this one my daughter loves due to the repetition, and sing-songy tone used when reading it aloud. It…

  • Inspiration,  Writing Journey

    I’m back!

    So … I’m back! Where did I go? I ventured into the land of new-mommydom! And my daughter is almost a year old now. Oops! That was quite a long hiatus! To make a long story short, the last year or so has been quite a transition for me, but I am finally finding my blogging/writing feet! And while I am moving at a turtle’s pace, I am making progress in all areas of my life. I think if ever I could compare myself to a children’s book character it would be now. I am the tortoise in “The Tortoise and the Hare.” I can see the finish line, but…

  • Inspiration

    Three baby puppies

    I love English Bull Terriers! I have a post that’s been in the works about how much they touch the lives of their owners, but it’s not ready yet. In the meantime, I wanted to post pictures of these cuties. My mom breeds English Bull Terriers, and she recently had a litter of three baby boy puppies. They are the cutest pups ever (well that I’ve seen in a long time … I may be slightly biased.) Two of my published children’s stories feature bull terriers. They are true characters! I think these little guys just may show up in a new manuscript soon!

  • Children's Literature

    How to make Grandparent’s Day Special through children’s books

    Grandparent’s day is coming up on Sept. 8th. National Grandparent’s Day originated with Marian McQuade and was decreed a National holiday by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. Grandparents play such an important in family life. They are our heritage, and they have so much to share and to teach. Even when they pass away, they are not forgotten. They are still alive in the hearts of those that live on. I have lost two grandparents in the past year, and yet, myself and family members still feel their love, and include them in many aspects of our lives. I wanted to share a several of my favorite and recommended children’s…

  • Inspiration,  Writing Journey

    Stitch Fix Review #1- For a Hopeless Matchy-matchy Writer

    When I stumbled upon Stitch Fix, I was instantly intrigued. I’ve wanted to try a personal stylist for years, but never gotten around to doing it. Now, with Stitch Fix I get the benefits of a personal stylist from the comfort of my own home! You may be wondering why I’m doing a review of clothing on my writing blog. Well, here’s the thing. I’ve had this dream of becoming a successful, carefree, AND eclectically styled writer. I could really use some help as I’m practically hopeless when it comes to creating outfits. So here’s another chapter in my writing journey, where I revise … my wardrobe. Here’s what a…

  • Children's Books,  Picture Book

    Back to School Picture Book Reads

    Back to school time is here! I like to start off the school year with a healthy mixture of themed picture books. “Starting school” is the obvious choice, and I always include a few books on the topic in the bunch. I also like to share picture books with other important themes such as friendship, self-esteem, manners, and also books that are just pure fun. Here are five of my favorites. I love sharing Clifford the Big Red Dog with children, especially when he is a not-so-big puppy, just like them. Jane Yolen’s ‘How Do Dinosaurs’ books are always delightful reads that deal with relevant concepts for 3-6 year old…

  • Children's Books,  Inspiration,  Library Days,  Picture Book,  Reading

    Library Days: Rancho Santa Margarita Library

    My latest library visit led my to Rancho Santa Margarita Library in you guessed it — Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. This visit happened shortly after the LA13SCBWI Summer Conference, so I was really in need of a decompression day. I started my day with a manicure at the Luxe Organic Nail & Spa and had my nails painted with my latest color obsession — mint! I love that they use organic products and natural cleaning products. Not all of their polish is organic but they do have some options that are. Then I headed for a sushi lunch at Sake Sushi. Can you see the steam rising from my lightly…

  • Inspiration,  Writer's Conferences

    SCBWI 2013 Summer Conference Recap

    Every year I have the intention to write a recap shortly after attending the LA SCBWI Summer Conference so I can share about my wonderful, life-changing experiences, and never seem to find the time to do so. I always leave feeling so ready to write that I think that’s what gets me. I go out and write, and write, and write — and neglect my blog in the process. I’m still writing up a storm in the aftermath this year — journal entries, revising current works, reworking a current picture book into something quirky and new, and dabbling in a historical piece. But this year is different in one way…