Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Book birthday


Welcome to the world, little book. 

Outside it is rainy and dark, which feels like the right day for this book to arrive. 

So many thanks to the people who helped this story become a book : 

To Molly O'Neill for helping me find the one story my heart most needed to tell. 

To my editor Maria Modugno, for seeing possibilities in me 14 years ago when I was trying to write novels. 

To my art director Sarah Hokanson for the beautiful book design. 

To Root Literary for all the magic you do for your writers and illustrators. 

And thank you friends, for sticking with me on my picturebooking journey. 

And my family. Thank you for supporting my dreams. 

I am so grateful to all of you. 
And now! 

Off to deliver some stars to our world. 

I hope you find some extra light today. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Starkeeper, a starry countdown

First it was two years. 

And then one year. 

And then

1 month. 
3 weeks. 

(Apparently that one tasted yummy.)

Two weeks.  

And then I made a starry countdown on instagram!

And then it was the day I'd been dreaming about since maybe I was born. 

Book of my heart. 

Ready to meet the world.  


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Starstruck, or Quarantine Chic?

I guess you could say we're a little bit star struck over here. 
It might be because my author-illustrator debut THE STARKEEPER 
is almost out into the world, 
and everything is upside down, 
and everybody's stuck at home. 
Or maybe it's just because I love creating and celebrating. 
So, we made star pillows! 
Up-cycled out of what we already had, a velvety shirt, a funky velour,  60s chenille.  
They might look a little bit like starfish, but shh! We won't tell them that. 
They are very proud to be here and keep the books and kitties company. 

We also painted shoes...
with stars, of course!
Viva quarantine creativity! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

3 weeks!

3 weeks until The Starkeeper arrives!
Luna tried to help me make an announcement 
but she got more excited about eating the paper stars. 

A virtual book launch party is in the works, 
so stay tuned! 

Also, if you’ve been hankering to pre-order, hooray and thank you! 

Pre-orders are available through your local indie bookshops, 
or through bookshop.com.
And - even fancier! - you can pre-order signed copies through Liberty Bay Books 
Add a note at check out that you'd like it signed, add specifics if you'd like it personalized.     

Saturday, May 9, 2020

1 Month to Pub Day!

Almost here! 

As much as it is a tricky thing 
to have a book born in the middle of a pandemic 
when we are all stretched thin and gatherings and book conventions are off, 
it also feels very much that THE STARKEEPER is meant to be born in this dark time.

My wish for this book is that it will bring light and hope
and spark more of the same in the readers who meet it. 

June 9, friends! 

Also available for preorder at your local indie booksellers- 

Guess what we did to celebrate?

That's right. 
When your book birthday is a month away, 
it's a great time to paint some shoes
with stars!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Stroke-versary : Lights in the Darkness

 Seven years ago I had a stroke.

I struggled to find myself as a writer again.
I couldn't string my words together the way I used to.
Couldn't focus.
Afraid of what might be coming next.
Worried it would happen again.

It's okay to acknowledge that darkness is scary.

To look fear in the face,
and then, look for light.

Because even in darkness, there is still light to be found,
maybe not blazing the way out, but still.
Look around!
We are surrounded by lights!

Health care workers and restaurant owners,
grocery clerks and custodians,
cleaning and feeding
and risking their lives to serve and heal and care for all of us.
Teachers and school staff setting up homework and food drop-offs,
authors sharing virtual story times,
museums, symphonies, theaters giving their art,
fashion designers sewing masks.

In a way, my book THE STARKEEPER was born out of my post-stroke darkness.
THE STARKEEPER is about a girl who wants to change the dark world around her,
and a lost star who needs the girl to help it shine.
And the way to shine it?
It's this.

Even in the darkest times, friends,
we still have one light to give.

And that light is whatever brave gifts that come out of each one of us.

Whatever your gifts are,
thank you for giving them,
thank you for lighting up the darkness.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Creative Learning, Part 2: Family Story Journal

Friends with kids at home, I thought I’d share our latest creative learning project. 

It’s a Found Story Journal for the whole family. 

The rules are: 

  • The journal gets left on the table along with pens and story aids. (More on those in a minute.) 
  • The writing has to be done in secret. 
  • We have to be sneaky! We can only write in it when no one else is watching. 
  • Only 1 celebrity /pop star cameo per story. 
  • Each entry continues from the previous one.     
  • Each entry keeps to one page or less.

Our story aids:

These help if anyone gets stuck and needs an idea boost. 

*STORY CARDS: They’re made by Eeboo, & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, (author-illustrator of LITTLE FOX IN THE FOREST and FERN AND OTTO (publishing later this year).

*STORY CUBES are a fun and tactile way to provoke ideas. They're called Rory's Story Cubes.  

If you don’t have something like the cards or the dice, not to worry! 

*STORY IDEA JARS are a longtime favorite.

The WORD JAR keeps scraps of paper with random words on them. 
The STORY SPARKS JAR holds phrases like “locked in a cage,” “a door to nowhere,” “the boat with a hole in the bottom,” “a mermaid with wings.” 
It took like five minutes to write a list, cut it up and stick in jars.

Times are rough, kids have homework, but creativity and writing can always bring some joy.

Wish us luck! 
My entire life is about sneaking in art and stories into all the rest of life. 
If I could illustrate my taxes, I SO would. 

Anyway, I hope this idea will be a fun one for my family - and for yours! 

If you try it, will you share how it went with me? 

Tag me in your photos so I can share, too.  

Peace, friends! 
Here’s to all the good stories that await! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Fresh Page

If there’s one thing I know about creating, it’s that each fresh page has hope in it. 

I like to think that each day on this planet is a fresh page, 
and every day we get to make our own mark on it. 

The more bright, beautiful marks we make, 
the more we inspire others to do the same.

Yes, times are scary. 
Those of us with small incomes, small makers, small businesses, 
(anxiously awaiting the publication of our first books, etc), 
these times will affect us in big ways.
But here we are. 
And today is waiting. 
A fresh page. 
With hope in it.  
Waiting to see what we’re going to do with it. 
Let’s do it, friends. 
Let’s paint up every single page we get 
with our best, most unique, most generous work. 

I can’t promise it won’t be hard or scary. 
But we can hold on to Light and Love 
and everything that’s good. 
And send our own expressions of it into the world. 


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