Saturday, December 31, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

As the last day of 2011 draws to a close, the words of the familiar Auld Lang Syne came to mind. [Auld lang syne comes to us from Scotland meaning "old long ago." ]

Here is the text from a poem by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796).

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.

Another poem by Sir Robert Ayton (1570 - 1638)
 appears more romantically inclined. 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never thought upon,
The flames of love extinguished,
And freely past and gone?
Is thy kind heart now grown so cold
In that loving breast of thine,
That thou canst never once reflect
On old-long-syne.

Whatever the version, remembrance is key; A nod to the old and ahead to the new.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Peter's Perfect Picture - 1st round voting closed

... and now we wait. Peter's Perfect Picture garnered over 200 votes in the online picture book contest. On January 31, 2012, MeeGenius will announce the stories to be fully illustrated and advanced to the finals round.

Whatever the outcome, please accept many, many thanks for your votes and encouragement in this project.
Happy holidays,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Free ebook

Get a free ebook from the MeeGenius site until Dec. 18th. While there, read my picture book contest entry and vote.
I'd appreciate your comments on the story too. 
Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reader Input

Peter's Perfect Picture continues to gain votes in the 2011 MeeGenius author challenge. (1st round voting open until Dec. 18, 2011) To vote or comment on the story, click HERE.
I love hearing from you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Voting is awesome!

Currently Peter's Perfect Picture is in the top 10% of over 400 entries in the MeeGenius 2011 Author Challenge. The first round of voting is open until December 18, 2011. 
MeeGenius editors are also allowed to choose their favorite stories to move on to the next voting round (in addition to the top reader picks). (They haven't said how many books will move on to the next round.) 

Thanks for all your kind words and asking friends, family, parents, grandparents, and co-workers with Facebook accounts to vote. I greatly appreciate it. This author challenge has given me a window into how George Bailey must have felt when everyone in town helped out at the end of It's A Wonderful Life. Truly humbling.

A thousand thanks! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Peter's Perfect Picture - Voting has begun

I'm pulling for Pulaski Heights Elementary to win an ebook library from MeeGenius. Vote for Peter's Perfect Picture and help out!

Here is the link:

Many thanks,


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jim Brickman's music

I've listened to Jim Brickman's piano music for many years. It has been in the background for many of life's highs and lows. A week ago, I attended a live performance and it was charming! Brickman makes the audience feel like family and has a boyish way of glancing out that seems to say, "Isn't this fun?" It was the perfect kickoff to the holiday season.
Catch a Brickman concert if you get the chance. 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Artistic Cross-training

Have you ever thought of all the ways people are creative? I attended a museum art sale today and the myriad of media, colors, and creative interpretations were inspiring. I wonder if any of those artists write? I often take a short break from a picture book manuscript to draw or paint (watercolors). I like to think of it as artistic cross-training. Try it and let me know what you think?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Read, Read, Read

I just ran across the American Reading @ Home website. Their idea of matching a child with the right book at the right level made all the difference when my children were learning to read. From simple board books, Dr. Seuss, and Captain Underpants, to the Jedi Apprentice and Harry Potter series, my children went from literary toddlers to avid swashbuckling, light saber wielding readers. The key was to meet them at their reading level and allow days/weeks/months for them to gain confidence. They always knew when they were ready for the next adventure. I had as much fun as they did discovering a new series and applauding their developmental leaps.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vote for Peter's Perfect Picture

Last week, I submitted Peter's Perfect Picture to the MeeGenius 2011 Author Challenge picture book contest.

On November 28, 2011, the first round of reader voting will begin. Over 400 entries were submitted, so competition will be awesome. VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

After the initial voting round, the top stories will be professionally illustrated and reader voting will open again. I'm really excited because the winner also gets a year of ebooks for an elementary school of their choice! Cool! So fingers crossed!

Wildly excited,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What Was That?

Another great poem in the I Am the Book collection.

What Was That? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

What was that
that made me blink?

Made me wonder,
made me think?

Turned me inside
upside down;
under, over
all around?

What was that
that I just heard?
A treasured tale,
a magic word?

A breathless thought
inside my head--
what was that
that I just read?

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Am the Book

I just discovered a picture book of selected poems at my local library called I Am the Book by Lee Bennett Hopkins.  Check it out and find your favorite. Here is one of my mine.

Wonder Through the Pages by Karla Kuskin

So I picked out a book
on my own
from the shelf
and I started to read
on my own to myself.

And nonsense and knowledge
came tumbling out
whispering mysteries,
history's shout,
the wisdom of wizards,

the songs of the ages,
all wonders of wandering
wonderful pages.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Australia is Cool!

Several years ago, I got the chance to visit Melborne and southern Australia for 2 weeks. I saw so many cool things and even learned new words, like "chockers" which means completely full. The trolley was often chockers.

One of my favorite books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. Alexander is sure bad days never happen in Australia.

I just read Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under by Florida author Marianne Berkes. This rhyming, fun, and fact-filled picture book is great for everyone, but especially teachers. It's part of a series that includes books on the Arctic, Jungle, and Ocean. Check it out!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

Hey! I finally did it! I got my blog off the ground. See it zipping across the Internet? I imagine it as a paper airplane with a cargo of stories riding publishing zephyrs to new heights.

I hear my first grade teacher calling my name... again. An adventure in the hallway? Okay... I'm going... 

Psst! Come back soon... I've got more paper...