Caution: Horn Tooting

When Laura Backes, publisher of Children’s Book Insider (CBI) Newsletter, co-founder of the popular CBI Clubhouse website, former editor at several houses including Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and current freelance editor asked if I’d be interested in doing an interview for an article spotlighting CBI members with debut picture books, I calmly typed, “Sure. I think I could… Read more »

Puppy Breath #2: Can you say “sassy?”

How can a 59 day old, 5 pound creature rule the world? (Or at least our household.) Mix one part Tasmanian devil, one part Olympic pace sprinter, and one part manic chewing machine with razor sharp teeth and you get KONA – a minilabradoodle force to reckon with. Be afraid. 

Puppy Breath #1

If I’m never heard of again in the writing world, it is because Santa brought a puppy to our house on Christmas morning. What was Santa thinking?

Butt-in-Chair is Occupational Hazard, But These Inventions Can Help

My earlier post warned of the health dangers of sitting for prolonged periods.  Now you can write that manuscript while moving! Check out the Kickstand Desk at and a treadmill desk at

Butt-In-Chair is an Occupational Hazard

Only writers know how many hours we spend on our kiesters doing that thing we love/hate/have to do:  WRITE. The manuscript won’t get done unless we sit down and write it.  Turns out, sitting is bad for us. In addition to weight gain, sciatica, and tennis elbow, now we need to be concerned about cancer. According to THE WEEK magazine (Nov…. Read more »

Nothing Like a Road Trip

I love a good road trip. Family togetherness, lots of peanut butter and honey sandwiches at roadside parks, sampling gas station restrooms across the country…3,784 miles later (from northern Michigan to northern Montana and back) and we’ve all grown – and I don’t mean just larger kiesters from sitting. We heard hoary marmots whistle in Glacier National Park,… Read more »

Wait! What happened to the month of June and half of July?

Life. That’s what happened. Travel soccer, family visits, trip planning, ongoing negotiations with teenaged daughters over curfew and car use…just life. BUT, early every morning before all the summer mayhem begins, I’ve been writing. Danny, Emilio, Rafael, Father Timothy, Cookie…they are all living larger in my brain and on the pages and I’m excited to… Read more »

Many thanks to Bill Herrera

Bill Herrera (Pedro Pane) and I just completed a great morning of back-to-back talks to the American History classes at Marquette Senior High School on the topic of “When Cuba Came to Marquette.” Each of the four groups of students brought their own energy — and great questions for Bill like: How long did it take to… Read more »

What happened to the month of April?

Can’t believe it was early March the last time I posted.  Where have I been? What have I been doing to further my writing? These are questions I’ve asked myself, and happily, I have answers:1. Revising a new picture book manuscript and cover letter.2. Researching potential publishing houses and editors for it.3. Sending it out.4. Patiently waiting for responses.5. Taking an online… Read more »

Rejections. Bleck.

You’d be proud of me.  I didn’t stomp on my husband’s toes when he read my most recent rejection letter and said, “Your rejections are getting better and better.”  It is nice when an editor, especially one at the top of her game, takes the time to point out the positives in a manuscript. And the… Read more »