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,





Hi All!

It's that time of year when we decide to clean up our acts and be better people.

I have not done that yet... I've been thinking about it.

Last night as I was laying in bed, I thought about resolutions and wondered if it could be a great family activity.

Let's say you all started talking at dinner, and took the time to say that everyone could take a few minutes and talk about how they wanted to be different in this New Year.

You don't have to say the word "better" cause actually  who knows what better is?? It's quite a relative and subjective term...(at least I think so)  so concentrate instead on what each person would like to do or how they would like to be different.

For little kids, make it concrete.  For example, " I will try hard not to hit my sister"... this is one that my grandson Max could work on... :)  Don't put ideas in their heads.. but through the conversations led them to a self conclusion...if it's not done with their input, it won't work.

For older kids, you could have the conversation about the state of the country, or their local community or their school...etc. and let them think about ways to engage in a new and different way that could make a difference.  

I would say that Parents need to set the example and share what they are thinking of doing differently or how they are thinking they can be different first, and lead the way.

I think 2 per person is quite enough... otherwise it may get too exhausting to actually try and make these resolutions actionable... everyone looses steam if the ante is too high!

It can be a fun thing to try... and a great practice to help kids, of all ages, and parents work together in a concrete and meaningful way toward self improvement.

I think my resolution this year will be quite simple:

            BE KIND 

Happy Resolution making!


Sanity at the Holidays.... IT IS POSSIBLE

Hello All!

Sanity at the Holidays??? 

It is possible... even with weird relatives, (everyone has them) over indulgence, rushing, shopping, trying to find the right gift, trying to get EVERYTHING done...

Bill and I are leaving tomorrow for New York.  All of our kids live there now, and so that's where we are off to.  I've been organizing, purchasing, shipping and sending gifts... NOW most of that is done, and we get to the good stuff...

Time... time with the ones you love most.

When it comes right down to it... no one cares about all the "stuff"... it's all fun, and yes, it is great to open presents, but truly, if I could have one more day with the people I love most that have passed on before me, I would take that gift over any.

So... relax, hug someone you love, don't worry if everything isn't done, and appreciate the gift of the people, and family in your life.

That's all that matters anyway!

Have a great Holiday,


Thanksgiving and family..

Hi All!

Last time I wrote that family can be your first critics... in all things, but I was talking about taking on the new adventure of writing... 

Now... I am changing the tone, and talking about family as the best part of life.

Nope, not one family is perfect, yet where would we be without them?

They bring, joy, love and understanding, and yes, sometimes frustration, anger, and upset... But... without them, I would suggest that many of our lives would be far emptier.

So, I hope that on the is day after the Holiday, you're smiling and remembering some fun and lovely and things that you got to do and share with your family.

I wonder...  did anyone else get kicked out of a Theatre???

We did.... More to follow on that! Stay tuned for THAT story!

Until next time,



Family... your first critics...

Hi All!

I am thinking about family as your first critics...

I have the opportunity to work with a great young woman who is helping me with  JOISE THE GREAT, and one of the topics she asked me about was working with family... getting their feedback and response when you're doing something creative.

First, it's hard to put yourself out there.  Just saying, it takes a certain amount of guts and risk to write something and ask others to read it... I liken it to standing in a room butt naked... you're completely exposed...

You know, though, family is a great first critic... they  love you, so if what you are doing sucks... they tend to be gentle in their feedback.

My first couple of attempts at book ideas were met with ... "Hmm... some of that is good.. BUT..." they were kind...

I kept trying... and when I came up with MAX AND BEAR.... everyone was in!  YAY!!!

After I did that... JOSIE was harder... I had a couple of drafts... and got some very specific feedback that was truly useful in how she turned out... it was hard at first, because the feedback was pretty tough... but, and thankfully, it was useful and honest and helpful.

You truly can count on family... they will be honest with you, even if you don't like it... 

And.... they do have your back...

Until next time,