Thursday, June 28, 2012

Four Wishes

If you had four wishes,
for what
would you

world peace?
fortune and glory?
a book deal?
a nap?
Our wishes arrived
via surprise winged delivery
from the talented Margaret Bloom,
creator of wish baby.

"Whee! Wee wishies!
Pink twins...a blue...a yellow -
that's for each of us!" 

Squeals ensued!
They are SMITTEN!

The genie behind the wish baby magic is
Margaret Bloom - a mother, writer and artist.
Her blog, We Bloom Here is one of my creative haunts. 
From picture book-inspired projects,
to lanterns, fairy gardens, kid play and poetry,
Margaret's original cleverness shines through every post.
M. Bloom is currently knee-deep in a blog-hosted puppet swap, where participants create and exchange sets of homemade puppets based on children's books. 
She is a great candidate for such a swap, with 16 years of puppet building and performance experience under her belt. Wowzie! All that, and a Masters in Counseling Psychology, too!

Thank you, M. Bloom, for our wee wishies!
Sugar Snack keeps cracking up over them.

We have been tucking our new friends into life corners
 to see where they feel at home...
Petal faerie enjoyed my tea...
... and Blue is snug amongst the books.

Houses of popsicle sticks and yarn are pretty cushy

 and Blue and Buttercup revel in a glorious bouquet from my friend Anna's garden...
All in all, it has been a week of happy surprises:

Fresh flowers,
four wee wishes,
and four kids summer-struck
making a wild rumpus...
I guess there's not much else to wish for.

Books with tiny inspiration:

Tom Thumb- Richard Jesse Watson
Thumbeline - Hans Christian Anderson, ill. by Lisbeth Zwerger
The Rainbabies - Laura Kraus Melmed, ill. by Jim LaMarche
The Hinky Pink - Megan McDonald, ill. by Brian Floca
George Shrinks - William Joyce
The Tub People - Pam Conrad, ill. by Richard Egielski
The Borrowers - Mary Norton, ill. by Michael Hague
Secrets from the Dollhouse - Ann Turner, ill. by Paul Colon


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rain or Shine

On Monday it rained a little bit,
but we said "happy summer" anyway,

doled out umbrella pencils to our friends

and flower bookmarks to our teacher

 with blooming "school's out" smiles.

We shuffled out next morning in pajamas and slippers,
no school bell,

content with our pancakes.

Not to fret!
In all the summer revelry, I didn't forget our
DEVINE INTERVENTION book giveaway contest!
Congratulations, Dawn Simon!
You won! I'll zip you a message soon.
Thank you, Martha Brockenbrough, for writing and gifting us with this excellent book!

More excitement this week: speaking to the
Port Townsend Library Teen Writers' group.
Thank you, PT Library for the opportunity!
Look at those smiley faces.
Thanks, guys. 

And thanks to those of you who let me take pictures of your shoes

and for humoring me
with all the talk about books and words 
and what to do with the voices in our heads,
about showing up to write 
every day, rain or shine.
It was a delight to hang out with you.

I'll share more of my notes on our talk later this month.
In the meantime, happy writing,
and happy summer, rain or shine!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Books and Vultures


The kids are home!
They're reading like vultures
(Do vultures read?)
and I want to join them.
Here's the hitch: I just devoured two great novels
and now I have nothing to read.
If I was a book vulture, I'd be in a dry riverbed
of bookless hurt.

I'm casting about for good fantasy,
clever magic, and delicious mysteries...
and I need your help!

What are your recommendations for my summer book binge?

And while you think about your favorite reads,
let me tell you about my latest:

"Devine Intervention" by Martha Brockenbrough.
"Devine Intervention" is hard to explain in a simple sentence. On the surface, it's a witty YA modern fantasy novel about an inept guardian angel and the girl he messes up on, but it's so much more than that. It's this incredibly surprising story of humor and earthiness, humility and teen hormones, acceptance and second chances. I finished it two weeks ago, but it's still echoing. 
I'm not at all surprised that it's earned rave reviews in Kirkus and the L.A. Times, or that the movie rights have already been snatched up.

I've already dished about your chance to win a free copy. That contest is up Sunday, so you still have time to enter. 

Pre-Order Dragonswood on Amazon
The second book I want to gush over is "Dragonswood"
by Janet Lee Carey.
I absolutely loved "Dragon's Keep," 
 the first book in the Wilde Island Chronicles.
The second book, "Dragonswood," is just as captivating.
It's about Tess, a blacksmith's fiery daughter who trespasses in the forbidden Dragonswood, is tried for witchcraft, and must escape and right her world.  Dragonswood is addicting and dark, with themes layered and deep. Kirkus called it "a fairy tale for those who have given up on believing them, but still yearn for happily ever after."
I highly recommend it!

Happy reads
to you
until we meet again....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cardboard, a Contest, and a Second Chance Castle

Where would we be without second chances?

No do-overs.
No recycling.
No erasers, delete key.
No breathing room.

It makes my lips numb just thinking about it.

I live off second chances
- art, words, and everything else!
What if there was a colossal rule
that you could only write One Draft?
No revisions allowed?

Aside from those sainted few who write a flawless novel to publication in three weeks,
where would we be?

Mummified, probably.

For my writer friends, I'm curious:

How many drafts do you average before your manuscript's submission worthy?

And author friends:

How many drafts do you endure before you have a finished book?

I think I stopped counting after Draft Two.

Hooray for working drafts, for do-overs, for sorries and second chances!

Remember Wish baby?
A gift from my friend Margaret Bloom
of the lovely blog We Bloom Here,
Wish baby was lonely for a new house.
Oatmeal box needed a second life.
Hello, scraps and glitter!

So far, it's been castle, tower, tunnel,

car wash, observatory, teddy bear, hat... 
Second chances!
or third, or fourth, or whatever it takes...

And speaking of second chances,
do you know about the DEVINE INTERVENTION Book Giveaway?

I just started Martha Brockenbrough's YA novel
Brilliant! I'm hooked!
As I mentioned here, I can't wait for you to read it!

Martha has graciously offered a free signed copy of DEVINE INTERVENTION to one lucky blog reader. Yippee!
Check out the contest here.

I'm extending the deadline to give as many of you as possible a chance to win an excellent book!
You have until noon (pst) on Sunday, June 17 to enter.
Please do, and good luck!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

A DEVINE Giveaway

Great news!
Martha Brockenbrough's debut YA novel
And you have a chance to win your very own 
signed copy!

DEVINE INTERVENTION, in a nutshell, is about the world's most inept guardian angel and the girl whose life he accidentally ruins.

Martha Brockenbrough, author of
"Things That Make Us [Sic]" and "It Could Happen To You"
is a veritable pillar in the Western Washington writing community.
She is whip-smart, generous, and approachable.
Actually, the more I think about it,
Martha is practically perfect in every way,
much like Mary Poppins,
but with a wicked sense of humor
and better hair.

And did I mention that she's a phenom writer?
Well, she is.

So, all odes aside,
I can't wait to read this book, and I can't wait for you to read it!

Which is why I'm so excited to tell you about
Enter for a chance to win a signed hardback copy of
DEVINE INTERVENTION plus some extra swag !
Woohoo! Thank you, Martha Brockenbrough!

1. Hop over to Martha's and have a look-see.
2. Then come on back here and say howdy in the comments.
3. To double your chances, link to this post on your blog,
or you can "like" Martha's page on facebook.

The contest closes at noon (PST) on Tuesday, June 12.
I'll pick via random hat trick and announce winner Wednesday, June 13.


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