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December Duality

2 Dec

December can be an magical time. It can also be incredibly gut-wrenching.

The fact that those two realities can exist together never fails to dumbfound me. Some years it’s easier. Some years it’s not. Some years it barrels through and knocks me down at the door. Some years it sneaks up behind me, whispering, bittersweet.

When I was younger, I’d hear people who had experienced a loss say that the holidays were hard. To be honest, I figured they just hadn’t gotten over it yet, as if grieving were a disease to be cured. Now I know that’s not the case.  Continue reading


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

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

Book Writing Postpartum

29 Oct
Book Writing Postpartum

© Stephen Nakatani, Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been almost five years since The Denim Jungle germinated inside me. It began as a promise and grew to be guide, challenger, and teacher.

At times, it was downright maddening and frustrating. I would’ve given anything to just be done with it. But throwing in the towel was never an option. It was a mysterious inevitability inside me, pushing me toward the finish line.

Never once did I think I’d be anything but elated to cross that finish line. Yet for the past few weeks, I’ve had the blues about it. Continue 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