New Growth

New Growth

While a new tree is not visible yet from the stump of the beautiful cherry/birch tree I wrote about many months ago, I found another example of a combination tree in the neighborhood. Here a pine tree is benefiting from another tree. During my walk I thought about how often we believe we are the only one dealing, facing and encountering a problem or situation. Whether it is personal, political or public, if we can time to reflect and recall we are not alone, everything might not feel so overwhelming. It amazes me how many different types of people exist in this world. If I can think of something, it is almost guaranteed that someone else has thought of it as well. I like being part of a community.

As I begin the research for a pb on Elizabeth Buffman Chace, I see how people can work together in different ways for a common goal. If it is out lobbying, giving speeches, forming relationships or writing articles, each action is necessary and part of a larger whole.

May the trees continue to help each other and maybe we, humans, can imitate them.

Read More

Thank you to everyone who helps us talk with children

Between work and family, I have born witness to some events lately. While they make me think and explore my feelings, I wonder how a child would react and process these occurrences. I am amazed when I search for picture books, I find these topics addressed and discussed. Books which tackle these and other large, weighty themes with sensitive, humor and an eye for how a child might struggle. I am thrilled to see such creativity and awareness on the part of fellow authors to address them, to agents who work the authors to find the correct publishing house and editors who are willing to published them.

My five-year-old niece has leukemia. I sent her books on losing her hair and how other kids felt. I hope it is reassuring to her not to be alone and not only the other kids in the hospital which she identifies with as sick.

A client’s elementary school child identifies as non-binary. In my children’s high school many, many students are gender fluid. I love how mine look at me like it is so odd that I think about this, question it and at times find it confusing. When I stumbled upon one picture book about gender, identity and stereotypes, I realized that there is a growing body of books that allow children to realize they are not alone or provide a window for other children how to accept their friends.

We live in an exciting time where windows continue to be opened. I hope this continues and expands. How special is it that we, authors, can write a story to assist someone else.

Living Together

On a street near my house, there was a cherry tree. Although I have no idea on its age, it clearly had been there for quite a while. Every spring, it joined with the other cherry trees flowering and creating a beautiful canopy to walk under. 

One day I glanced up. I must have tilted my head differently because I realized that there in crock of the branches grew a birch tree. The crock was about five feet off the ground so the birch did not reach the ground. This was not a sapling or young birch. It, too, had been growing for quite a while. The two trees seemed so happy together. 

The cherry would flower and change to leaves. The birch would fill in the spaces with its leaves. For many years they grew together. Then a storm came with very strong winds and overnight everything changed. 

Now all that remains is the stump. I am eager to see if a shot comes out of the stump. And if it does, will it be a cherry or a birch tree? 

The Dreaded Rejection

A lesson that writing continues to teach me is that rejection happens and that is okay. After a few days of thinking about a painful one, I enjoy watching myself bounce back. Generally, the process starts in my morning walk. I think of a different spin on the story and then I am moving forward. Rejection happens in some many areas of life that I am lucky that writing allows me the space to explore my feelings. On to the next story!

Hello!

Welcome to my first blog post. I am excited about this wonderful new webpage that Gaia Cornwall designed for me.

I write picture books to answer questions I ponder, like how was a potato discovered? what does it take to come back from a mistake? what would happen if you floated out a skylight one night? how to knit a perfect scarf and how to conquer dyslexia. Come visit my webpage and learn more about me. 

I'll be posting here, every month or so, about my writing process and whatever is inspiring me.