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WOW! Writer’s Digest Review of The Denim Jungle

1 Dec

Writers Digest Self Published Book Awards

I am absolutely floored by this review of The Denim Jungle I just received from the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Awards.

And it couldn’t come at a better time. Last week was the one-year anniversary of finally having my book (MY book!) in my hands, and tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of losing Sue, who inspired me to make it. To say it’s a bittersweet time of year would be a profound understatement.

I miss you, Sue. Thank you for being you. Thank you for motivating me (and so many others) to imagine and commit and create. Thank you for giving me this connection to you. But most of all, thank you for helping me be the kind of mom who can show her kids that dreams can be made reality with hard work and heart.

24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: The Denim Jungle
Category: Children’s Picture books

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.”

  • Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
  • Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
  • Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
  • Plot and Story Appeal: 5
  • Character Appeal and Development: 5
  • Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary

Visually stunning and engaging, designed for multiple reads that will reveal new details each time. Author has put a lot of excellent thought and work into designing this book with multimedia elements, creating visually pleasing pages to delight the young reader and older reader alike. Author scores with a terrific premise Continue reading

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Missing Somebody Today?

30 Mar

Home QuoteOh, how I love encountering quotes scribbled on coffee shop walls. Call it coincidence, fate, morphic resonance, or pure egotistical naiveté, but they always seem to be speaking directly to me.

Case in point, this quote:
Continue reading

Five Years

2 Dec

Leaves FrameFive years ago today, I said goodbye to my mother-in-law. I made her many promises that day, not the least of which was fulfilling her dream for The Denim JungleContinue reading

Falling Forward

22 Sep

Green Lake Autumn Walk Shadows

Hey, remember me? It’s been awhile. Things have been a little crazy town over here. Book progress is moving full steam ahead (for release this November!) while I juggle client jobs to fund it. Plus, summer has morphed into autumn, my youngest is in preschool, and my eldest has officially entered the wild world of kindergarten.

And yet, even as I find myself falling forward into new routines, challenges, and goals, Continue reading

Birthday Wishes for My Son

28 Apr

Cuddle Arms Spring BowtieToday I take a break from the book stuff to honor one of the reasons behind it:

My son.

Sweet little Von never had the chance to meet two of the most incredible women I’ve ever known—the women who inspired this journey and would have been his adoring grandmothers. (Emphasis on adoring.)

Despite the deep sorrow that brings, it also brings me hope. Life goes on, and so do the life lessons we take with us from the exceptional people who cross our paths, past or present.

When my son blows out that one little candle tonight (or rather we do it for him), I’ll be making the following wishes on his behalf.

Continue reading

My Gift to You

22 Dec

This is one of my family’s favorite Christmas presents, and this year Von got to enjoy it with us, too.

I know some of you out there who’ll enjoy it as much as we do. So, may I present my gift to you…

Sue’s voice, grandbabies, and spirit, all in one hilariously adorable little video… complete with, well, nose picking.

Happy holidays, friends.

Continue reading

Knowing When to Give Up

27 Oct

Halloween Costume Parenting Pony Twilight Sparkle

I may be reserved and nice, but I’m also surprisingly stubborn. As in, so stubborn that my husband once joked I could have a C-section without anesthetics, if I got it in my head to do so.

Stubborn plus parenting doesn’t always mix, let me tell ya.

It’s been a bumpy road, but I’m slowing learning the art of knowing when to give up—and that it’s not always a bad thing.

Case in point…

For those of you who’ve been following my escapades for a while now (if so—thank you!), you know that my daughter’s Halloween costumes have been kind of a big deal.

It started when Szaba was a mere four months old. My mother-in-law, Sue, was coming to visit. Her cancer had taken a turn for the worse, and I wanted something to cheer us both up. So I asked Sue to come up with Szaba’s costume.

I only had one rule: something aspirational, no princess girly nonsense.

Sue came through in spades with an incredible Amelia Earhart costume.

There was only one problem. Continue reading