Wednesday, July 31, 2019


We've had a bit of excitement this week.
First of all, the twins and Birdy are all having birthdays.
We are aswirl in cupcakes and magic.
And Birdy has mastered her solo glue gun skills, 
which means she is all set to conquer the world.
Having said that...
Chess pieces! 
But the sweet week is just getting started. 
See what arrived in the mail? 
Meet ONCE UPON A TIMELY, by Lynn Parrish Sutton, 
illustrated by...Faith Pray (!!!),
published by Kane Miller books. 

 What a magical feeling to see all of the art together in a book!

 It feels like an extra-special birthday gift - for all of us.

Especially because my very first illustrated book 
is dedicated to the wildebeests. 

I'm so grateful to them for putting up with my long work hours
and messy house and shoddy meals 
so that I can pursue this dream. 

To Lynn Parrish Sutton, 
Kira Lynn and the team at Kane Miller books,
and to Molly O'Neill and Root Literary,
thank you, 
with all of the adverbs I can muster. 

(The wildebeests made me this sign. Sweeties. I think we're all a bit excited.)  

is being sold here:

Friday, May 31, 2019

Illustrating June, and an interview!

Hello from the ducks.
We live below a wetland and we have ducks that waddle through every Spring, perch on the roof, and nap in our spongy backyard.
When I found out I was to be the featured illustrator for Puddle Jump Collective's June calendar, it had to be ducks.
At first, I thought I'd go back to my early 90's days and draw a punk girl.

But then I drew this braid girl,
and she seemed to want to be in this picture as much or more than the other girl.
So I put it to a vote on instagram, and braid girl won the polls
and ended up in the final illustration.
Puddle Jump also hosted me for an interview  and a mini studio tour. I hope you like it.

Friday, March 29, 2019

How To Spot a Stroke

Today is six years since I had a stroke.
Because I struggled to find my writing words after the stroke, I turned to art, hoping to find a way to be a writer again.

What do you call that?

A moment that diverts your course and sends you in a completely different direction?
A turning point? A boomerang?

At the time, it just felt scary, and discouraging.

Like when you go through a labyrinth, and you think you're getting close to the center, but instead, you find you have to go in the absolute opposite direction before you end up where you think you want to be.

But see?

How beautiful is it that hard things can become soil for new gardens?
Thanks to the stroke, I am here.
Making books!

Who knew?

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say how thankful I am.
To be alive today.
Thankful for the way my community lifted me up during that time.
Thankful that this extra hard thing contained ingredients that helped me become an author and illustrator today.

Friends, for every hard thing you face,
I wish you courageous hope.

For every detour, I wish you creativity
that grows and blooms and heals.

And because I'm especially thankful for the people in my life, I made a little thing for you. Knowing the signs of stroke can save your life. 
Please feel free to read and share with your loved ones.
#strokeawareness #strokesurvivor #strokeinfographic

Saturday, January 19, 2019

On perfection

Advice from my incredibly insightful agent Molly O'Neill. 

So, this is how we dance with perfectionism and fear - 
jump in and do the best we can do - 
Because we can only ever be as good 
as we can be in this moment. 
And that is enough.
I'm off for a few weeks to finish my deadline, 
blinders on, hopefully, 
nose to the grindstone, 
remembering not to stick my paintbrush in my coffee cup.

If I can, I'll check in briefly 
about this thrilling picture book process. 
Fingers crossed, etc! : )

Here’s to the best you make today, lovies! 

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Yesterday my magical agent Molly O'Neill sensed I needed this poem by Mary Oliver. 

These words brought so much light and life and breath at a most needed moment - 
and now the day after I only just discovered her writing, she passed away. 

It’s almost as if I received a bit of her before she gathered up her wings and headed home.  

Even more amazing is to think of how words can live far beyond our short flight here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Book Club for Two

I love my small one.
She sparkles. 
She is bursting with ideas.

When she wants something, she tries to make it for herself:
Cell phone. Laptop. Stilts.

This girl is going places.
And she loves to read!

But she's been struggling in math.
Her teachers decided the best way to help
is to pull her out of Book Club for extra math help.

I know she needs it.
I know it's a good thing, but, oh, the sting!

Friends, have you ever been there?  

Here's our silver lining.

Over the winter break, Birdy picked up her sisters' Wells and Wong book by Robin Stevens
and started reading.

She didn't put it down! She kept telling me,
"Mama, I really like this book." 
"Mama, I love this book!"
So I had an idea.
We're making our own Mom-Daughter Mystery Book Club.
Just us.
And siblings, if they want to.

I bought a stack of Wells and Wong books.

I stocked her with a notebook and sticky notes and question prompts.

Now we can infer and predict and monitor for meaning,

or we can just cuddle up in our pajamas
and read.

Here's to making our own silver linings.

Have you ever done a Parent-Kid Book Club? 

I'd love suggestions!

Our first BOOK CLUB list:

{by Robin Stevens, American editions, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddely}
Murder is Bad Manners
Poison is Not Polite
First Class Murder
Jolly Foul Play
Mistletoe and Murder

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Writers, illustrators, creatives, this is for you: 

Here's to a new year, 
a new page,
a new chapter. 

May you be blessed with bright and deep,
thoughtful and melodic,
magical and compelling.

Here's to all the stories you hold within you,
to all the books you're just about to write, 
the music you're just about to make,
the beauty you are meant to create.

May you have a year of years. 

A cornucopia of creating.

Also, no pressure. 


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