I wanted to acknowledge everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my midgrade historical novel manuscript, EXILE. Their insights have been crucial to the development of this story.  A special thank you goes to Oscar A. del Junco for his thorough review and Spanish language corrections.  I’ve been blessed with several readers in the Pedro Pan, Cuban and middle grade communities and within my circle of family and friends.  I appreciate all the new friends I’ve made through this experience and look forward to many more interactions in the future!

SCBWI-MI fall conference October 8-10, 2010

True to the organizers’ word, it was a magical weekend.  Despite Marquette being eight hours north of everything, the drive is always worth it the moment I arrive.  The speakers, critiques, friends new and old, plus a little time to think only of writing and children’s books, all contribute to a successful weekend.  Plus, it isn’t every day a person wins a magic wand contest (and $50 towards any SCBWI related expense)!  If you want to know more about SCBWI national or the Michigan chapter, go to “contacts” above. 

School Visits

Just firmed up a visit schedule with the 4th grade classes at Superior Hills Elementary School in Marquette, MI.  Hello Mrs. S. Anderson’s class, Mrs. J. Anderson’s class, and Mrs. Menhennick’s class! I’ll see you the last week in October.  Since we are heading into our chilly seasons, we’ll talk about writing and my story of how animals adapt for the cold weather.   See you soon!

Good News!


Hurry out to your local bookstore and grab the Sept/Oct issue of Michigan History Magazine.  On page 49, you’ll find my article, When Cuba Came to Marquette, about the role of the Holy Family Orphans’ Home in Operation Pedro Pan.  Thank you, Dr. Tony Madrigal, Carlos Naumann, Luis Piedra, and Richard Ryan, for sharing your stories with me and readers everywhere.


don’t try this at home

fyi, if you see lkots of typos in my work 4 the nxt two months, please frgive me.  new, SHARP cutco knives + stubborn avocado pit = a cut throuhg my lrft hand, surgery to repair   sensory nerves and one-hnded typig for a lng time.  grrr.  

SCBWI National Conference. Wow.

I was lucky to be able to attend the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) http://www.scbwi.org/ national conference this past Friday – Monday in Los Angeles and I’m still smiling about it.  It was an amazing experience to be in the same orbit as the “A List” of authors, editors, and agents in the children’s book world.  My master class with Linda Sue Park http://www.lindasuepark.com/ was a life-changer.  Her thoughts about middle grade novel writing were concrete and inspiring.  Plus she’s just so approachable and giving with her craft. I highly recommend any opportunity for a class with her at the podium.  My advice?  Start saving your pennies now for the SCBWI national conference in August 2011.  But don’t wait till next August for a conference! The SCBWI-Michigan conference will be held this October 8-10.  Check out the lineup and register at http://kidsbooklink.org/.  See you there! 

Check this out!

Just wanted to pass along information about two new children’s books featuring characters who lived through the beginning of Castro’s revolution:  The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Random House/Knopf) and My Havana:  Memories of a Cuban Boyhood by Rosemary Wells and Secundino Fernandez illustrated by Peter Ferguson (Candlewick).

Reviews of both books are glowing.  Check ’em out — and ask your local librarian to add them to their collections.