Saturday, August 26, 2017


When we moved this dead log in the yard, we heard a shrieking noise. A toad stuck his head out to see what we were up to, so that snag will be staying in the same spot for quite a while. A dead tree in the forest can be a good thing...and a home.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Monarch Madness

We spotted the monarch caterpillar under a leaf, and when we checked an hour later, it was already a chrysalis. Can't wait til this butterfly flutters through our yard.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Forest's Ferny Floor

Excerpt from The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

"Is there anybody there?" said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
Of the forest's ferny floor;

Saturday, August 19, 2017


“Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bright lights, Big city

So many actions come to mind...
rising, glistening, glowing, 
rippling, walking, growing,
traveling, crossing, flowing

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

No milkweed, no monarchs

Weeds are in the eye of the beholder. I encourage these "weeds"in my yard because they are the host plants for monarch butterflies.

Music Everywhere

Loving these bike racks in Nashville.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mama Turtle

This mama turtle was caught in the act of laying her eggs. The tire tracks in the dirt road don't bode well for the future of these little ones. Hopefully she had a second stash in a more secluded spot.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Luna Tune

I saw this breath-taking green luna moth in the Adirondacks. It was a chilly morning so perhaps it was sunning itself before getting busy for the day.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

On Being Creative-Part 4 1,000 Books

I mentioned early that I read close to 1,000 picture books last year. I chose books that I knew I'd love, they were in amazing rhyme, had sweet emotional messages and were beautifully illustrated. But I also chose some that weren't necessarily anything I could picture myself writing. They were edgy, humorous and often boldly and graphically illustrated... and kids love them. Broadening my reading horizons made me much more creative and more willing to try writing in a style I might have steered away from in the past. Thanks to the group who challenged me to do all that reading!!

And here is a TED talk about creativity with a similar lesson Ann Morgan- My Year Reading a Book from Every Country

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On Being Creative- Part 3 TED Talks

Here are the links to two other TED talks that were great resources on creativity.
The first is Steve Johnson- Where Great Ideas Come From and Elizabeth Gilbert- Your Elusive Creative Genius

And a review of TED talks isn't complete without one of my favorites of all time:
Mac Barnett- Why a Good Book is a Secret Door

Saturday, February 11, 2017

On Being Creative- Part 2 TED Talk

I have learned something about how my own personal creativity works....some through practice, some from a critique group buddy who took a webinar on the creative process, and finally from some TED talks. Here is the first by Julie Burstein- 4 Lesson in Creativity

Thursday, February 9, 2017

On Being Creative- Part 1

After a month of Storystorm trying to create a new picture book idea each day, I made a few realizations about myself.
1. Sitting and focusing on creativity is the worst possible way to be even remotely creative!
2. The first few ideas come the easiest. They have so much potential. I start writing, revising, loving all these new little babies, but...
3. Ideas 28, 29 and 30 are often so much better. They are more original, more random, more far-reaching. It affirmed for me that trying to be creative over a longer period of time, then flushing out all the ideas, was a much more effective way to arrive at some really creative options. Hooray!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

1,000 Books

So, last year I read close to 1,000 picture books as part of a group challenge. I tried to read the newest books I could lay my hands on. I recently read some blog posts by David McMullin in which he shared loads of data from the 1,000 books he'd read. I realized that I had some useful information to share from all my labors. Of my books I had:

182 in rhyme-yes they do get published (almost 20%)!!
3 in a how-to format
14 circular/cumulative ie The House that Jack Built- this could be because I like this format
12 metafiction
10 holiday
21 about a tender topic such as divorce, the death of a friend, being a foster child
and 132 that I considered my favorites.

Complete Storystorm-Check!


I Can't Wait!!