Oh the Fun!

Hi All!

Oh the fun I had last Saturday!

I was part of a great anniversary celebration at Open Books in Chicago.  If you're not aware of this store, they do great work promoting, celebrating and advocating for literacy and reading.  If you are in the Chicago area, it is so worth a Field Trip to check it out.  It is on Lake Street in the West Loop area.

Open Books does a wonderful job with Story Time twice a week.  One on Thursday, and one on Saturday.... so this last week was the two year anniversary of this fun event... and I was invited to read my books... and generally have fun, sing, play and enjoy all that goes on with being around young children.  Actually the parents were pretty fun too!

Watching kids engage with, and enjoy books is just the best!  I loved the chance to watch their reactions, and their parents, as I read my stories.  The best part is when you see them laugh, respond, and engage with all the parts you had hoped they would while you were writing it!

Someone asked me what was my primary goal in writing for kids, and I said "To have a child smile, and tell me they love my story!"  That.. is the good stuff!

In writing this blog, I started talking about how to try and do right by your kids, be an example, help them become the people they are meant to be... well, that is what I got to do last week.  Follow my dreams, and take the risk to embrace them.  I keep telling my kids to do that... so I need to do that too!

Heres' a great quote from Oprah Winfrey:

"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams."

What are your dreams?

I'm having such a blast playing mine out... and I know that even though my kids are all grown up, they're still watching!


Until next time,



On trying...

Hi All!

"There is no try.  There is only do."  John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I had the chance this afternoon to talk with two bight, smart people about topics I know little to very little about.

In this author journey, I keep finding out about new stuff and how to use it.  It's tons of fun and exhilarating to learn new stuff... especially technology and social media stuff... cause that is not my innate wheel house.

I watch my little bitty grandkids know exactly how to manipulate I Phones and I Pads and marvel at the fact that that's their language.  They have seen these devices since they could see, actually honestly before they could see... cause I am pretty sure there were lots and lots of photos snapped right from the first moment they were born!  I actually know this to be true, cause I was one of the people sticking that device right in their face... :)

I figure that you can always learn a new language... it just takes time and persistence (and a little bit of help from people who know a lot more) to figure it out.

The age old adage of "KEEP TRYING" is definitely a universal truth.  No-one gets very far without trying... ok, some people seem to take less time and get there quicker, but truly, the more you try and the harder your work the sooner you succeed.

That's a good lesson and good behavior to model to your kids.... no matter what age you are, or what age they are.

Kids... and our children are always are kids, learn what they live and what they see modeled for them.... the good, the bad and even the ugly.

So, I am trying to learn new behaviors, new skills, and new ways of adapting to how the world works now, and how people get their information.

Wish me luck! 

I'm trying!

Until next time,



Places I've been... and Places to go...

Hi Everyone!

It's been a fun and crazy summer, and I can't believe it's Fall.

Since I last wrote anything here, our youngest daughter got engaged... and we survived Hurricane Irma... the first is fabulous and the second, well I am truly beyond grateful!

In between those two major events, I've had the fun chance to do some fun things book...

I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival... got invited to speak at a local Community College... read to local Preschoolers, and have more fun on the Horizon!

In some of my earlier posts, I wrote about helping not just your kids, but also ourselves as parents, find our way, and what motivates us.

This book journey is proving to be so fun... and yet daunting at times cause I am putting myself out there... and for me, that's not nearly as easy, or comfortable as being in front of a room of cute little kids.

Through this journey, I am getting to try on new roles, and new hats!  Marketing assistant, public speaker, seller of goods, and promoter of... well, ME and my books.

It's truly easy to give advice, at least it is for me, as I fashion myself sometimes as a nonprofessional counselor of life... when I looked at those early career predictors... you know the ones that analyze all your qualities... my top two were.... Educator, or Counselor...

Well... I knew that if I was a counselor, I would not be able to leave my work at the office, so I went for Educator... which in a way, is also a defacto counselor... without the office.

So, in the process of trying to put my money where my mouth is, I have found myself on this amazing journey as an author!

I have so say, when people refer me to as that, (not just myself or my family) it is such a rush!

Over this past year, and these past few months, I feel the momentum accelerating... I have some options now that I truly need to consider... and although a bit daunting... it sure is fun and exiting!

Next up my books will be at two events in Arizona... thanks to Story Monsters LLC ... then an event at Open Books in Chicago, where my fabulous husband dons a giant green Story Monster costume to entice readers to come check out Story Time... then it's off to Miami - to the Miami Book Fair... which is brand new to me!

Thank you to everyone who takes a minute to read this... and then...

Go out and try something new on yourself... the worst that can happen is you don't like it, or it doesn't like you, and you try something else!

I'll be back soon with stories along the way...


Until next time,




Where or where have I been?

Hi all!

In the past few weeks, I have been Book Festivaling!

Is that a word?  I am not sure, but I like it... it sounds more fun than just saying I have attended two different book festivals in two states far from each other.

I got the chance to partner with a great group called Story Monsters LLC in Payson Arizona.  What a fun venue to be part of.  I met some great authors, got some inspiration, shared stories and found a new group to partner with!  I am grateful for all of that.

This new partnership led to my husband being a great big 6 foot 6 green monster with 4 eyes this past Saturday in Oberlin Ohio.  You know you have a great partner when he offers to wear Story Monster to help invite people to know more about your books, and more about #caughtreading!

That's the fun of this great new adventure I am on... meeting new people, having fun, and getting the chance to be in new places.  

We all want our kids to try new things, and take the risk to discover new opportunities... what better teachers and mentors throughout life can they have then a Dad who is willing to dress up as a Giant Green Story Monster to support his partner ?

Great lesson... and Great fun!

Until next time,


Book Fun!

Have you ever wondered what to do with all those summer days your kids are home?

Why not take a Field Trip to some fun new bookstores and check out their weekly Story Times?

I had great fun these past few weeks, getting the chance to read my books, Max and Bear and Josie the Great to a bunch of lovely kids in various Chicago neighborhoods.  

It's such fun to see children's reactions to books and stories.  I love watching their expressions and always enjoy the lively commentary at the end of a reading.  There are inevitably some funny comments that make me laugh!  

One little person was talking about his new baby, Josie the Great talks about welcoming a new baby and trying to figure that all out ... his feelings were less than happy, and he said "Well... she just cries a lot. It gives me a headache!"  Priceless!

So, why not explore some new places and fun book experiences with your kids this summer?  

Reading is so important, and this could be a great way to incorporate it into your weekly summer activities!

Fun... AND learning!

What's not to like?

Until next time,




The Benefit of an Imaginary Friend...


I just read a fun piece about a Mom who wrote a letter to her child's imaginary friend... 

I thought how sweet, how fun, how wise of this Mom.

Growing up, our youngest daughter had an Imaginary Friend... her name was Lucy.  Lucy and Megan went on lots of adventures and solved lots of problems together.  

Every night at bedtime, sometimes in the bath tub, sometimes driving in the car, sometimes just hanging out on the couch, Lucy would come up, and her story would begin!

I got to be the author sometimes, and Megan was the author sometimes. 

Lucy was special, and unique to just Megan. Neither her brother or sister had Lucy as part of their life... she was Megan's special friend, and companion.  Now both of the other kids knew about her, but they did not create part of the stories as they were unfolding... BUT of course, both of them were part of the plot many times!

I found that allowing and affirming Megan's Lucy, she became a safe and wonderful place for Megan to be... a place to try things out, vent anger, create lovely adventures, and share herself.

Imaginary friends are a great assist for kids!

I bet grownups could benefit too... sigh... but would probably be labeled crazy... so not fair!


Until next time,




Playing.... Hi

Hi All!


I am sitting here today thinking about playing.

We all get caught up in being busy, but sometimes you need to just STOP... and play!

Play is good for the soul.  It helps you reboot... energize and relax.

I think adults need to engage in good fun play as often as we can... and probably more often than we do.

Today... I am playing... finished my work, it's a beautiful day... that's it!



Until next time,


On learning...

Hello All!

I have had the most wonderful opportunities this past month...

February was all about learning... for me!

During this past month I had the chance to go to California, Tampa, and Chicago... all in the effort to engage in and be part of book events!

In California, I got to meet the great people who run The Sun Gallery in Hayward California... a wonderful place that brings art and learning to their local and surrounding communities. I met authors and illustrators who were working to bring their craft to a larger following, and lent their works to the gallery for educational purposes... a chance to have kids interact with art and illustrations.

Next up was Tampa, Florida... I met 3 other local authors, a great store (Book Swap of Carrollwood)  that works on partnering and supporting local authors... and a wonderful young man who was the son of an author at the event.  It is magical to spend a day with people you have never met before, but have shared dreams and aspirations.  You learn, you share... you grow!

After that ... onto Chicago!  I spent the morning of February 22nd reading to young children at the renowned 57th Street Books... an iconic bookstore right in the heart of the University of Chicago.  What a blast it was reading Josie the Great to them... watching their response to the story was so affirming and empowering... at the the end of the story a little girl exclaimed that she "Loved that book!  I want my Mom to buy me one.."... now as an author of Children's Books... what could be better than that?

I finished  my month back in the beautiful Florida Keys... an event was held to help support the effort of the Local Bird Sanctuary... again it was a night that supported artists and authors of all kinds and their works benefitted to The Wild Bird Sanctuary... thanks Banyan tree for inviting me!

I find myself constantly trying to grow, learn and evolve... not just for myself but as an example to my adult kids...

Life... it's to be lived!

Until next time,



p.s.  here's info on all the wonderful places I have been.... if you'd like to support or check them out!





Oh the places you go!

Hello All!

We always told our kids to follow their dreams and pursue what they love... gotta put my money where my mouth is, and practice what I preach!  So, I took a leap and went from teacher to author, which led to this...

Last week my husband and I got the chance to take a California road trip... 

We went to a  reception for a children's book illustrator's art show... Josie the Great, my second Children's Picture Book,  was selected to be part of the exhibit!  It was in this fun little community art center in Hayward California, which is about 20 minutes or so outside of San Francisco.

The people were great and it was such fun to meet other authors and writers... I thank the Sun Gallery for a great show, and their kind welcome.  What a wonderful opportunity, and I am grateful.

And along the way... we got a chance to explore...

Bill tagged on a bit of business too, and because of that, we were in the Santa Ynez valley... what a magnificent part of the country!  We never would have been there if not for the opportunity to be part of this show!

After we left Santa Ynez... which reminded me of Tuscany, which makes sense, because along with the horses, and the local farmers, the region is known for it's wine!  That was a plus for me given that I consider myself a very fine wine-o :)   We discovered some lovely new wines, and now I have ideas to add to my personal favorites!

From there we took the drive from Santa Ynez up to Oakland along the Pacific Coast Highway. We saw the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean, the majesty of the adjacent mountains, the quaintness of towns along the way, and at the end ELEPHANT SEALS!!!  

The seals were the highlight... I love love oceans, but these animals are something to see!  It would be unkind of me to share what I thought of their appearance... BUT they are quite a sight... large, round, almost bulbous animals, that move with their whole body in and out of the water to the sand... AMAZING CREATURES!

I never would have had the chance to see these Elephant Seals if I had not decided to follow my dream and write kids picture books... or if I hadn't taken the chance to enter this show... or if Anne, my daughter, hadn't had the time to be my illustrator...

So, GRAB LIFE ... Oh the places you'll go!

Until next time,