Monday, September 21, 2020

Honorable Mention!

 Well, what a nice surprise that my Marjory Stoneman Douglas revision, the 400 word version called MARJORY STOOD, received an honorable mention in the Rate Your Story writing contest! I need these little moments of positivity, especially during this time of rising pandemic deaths, death in my own family, and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not to mention the two rejections earlier this month.   Tomorrow, the book on Marjory by Sandra Neil Wallace comes out. Fortunately, mine and hers are quite different. Hers is over 50 pages long and includes details from Marjory's early life, where mine is short and more concerned with her activism once she arrived in Florida. I sent it to a publisher which has two activist stories coming out this year, so it feels like a good fit. I'll keep trying. The only way to guarantee failure is to quit! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Congratulations, Nancy Bo Flood, on I WILL DANCE!

I'm so happy for my friend Nancy and her beautiful new book. Here she is in her own words:
I Will Dance celebrates the joy of dancing, the importance of belonging, and the determination of Eva, a child who could barely move but dreamed of dancing … not imagine, not pretend, and not alone. Please “dance” with me as Eva’s story is honored in this picture book.

What joy I saw and felt each time I watched a class or performance of the Young Dance Company in Minnesota. Giggles. Smiles. Laughter. Hugs.  Dancers of all abilities moved across the practice room or across the stage, some in wheelchairs, some with walkers, and some with independent mobility, each dancer in harmony with the others, each one a part of the whole.  At performances, when I looked around at the audience, again what I saw was not pity or sadness, but joy.  Tearful joy.
            I felt hope as I witnessed the children and adults sharing a passion, sharing friendship, sharing failures and successes.

             All of this is what Eva, the real girl who inspired this book, taught me.  Eva was born prematurely, hardly able to breathe or move.  But like every child, Eva was born with dreams.  Let me try.  With longings. Let me belong. And with the desire to be, and to become, herself.  Eva.  A dancer.

Today the book that I imagined and finally was able to write, has become real and so alive with the images created by the illustrator, Julianna Swaney, My hope is that Eva’s story will inspire readers of “all ages and all abilities” to believe in themselves and their dreams of what we dare to do and who we dare to be.

 No one is only their disability or ability.

 "A gorgeous, immersive celebration of dancing and the grace within all bodies."  Kirkus starred review

Thank you for sharing this celebration of Young Dance and I Will Dance.  Please help me spread the word  –

Post a brief review on the online bookstore of your choice or on Goodreads.
Request a copy from your library.
I am happy to email you a pdf of the book – send me a note,
Let me know about an organization or individual ( special needs teacher, dance instructor, etc.) who would be interested in learning about I Will Dance.

Thank you!  Nancy 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Soapy Springtime Surprise (120 words)
It was a lovely spring morning, and the preschoolers flew outdoors like racing robins. One of the school’s volunteers, Miss Nora, joined them in the play yard.
“What did you bring today, Miss Nora?”
“Such fun! I brought…soapy water!”
The children frowned.
“Do we have to wash something?” asked Olivia.
“Did you bring anything else, Miss Nora?” asked Carlos.
“Yes! I brought two sticks, a string and a bead, too!”
“Doesn’t sound like much fun,” said Dylan.
The children started to walk away. But then, Miss Nora dipped the bead and strings down into the soapy water, and then raised the sticks high, and…
“Hurray! Giant bubbles!” The children squealed.
“This is how I celebrate Spring,” said Miss Nora. “Surprise!”

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Madness Poetry!

 I didn't make it in last year, so I was so excited to be chosen to compet this year. At one point, I was ever so slightly ahead, but as the voting closed, I lost--48.7 to 51.3. Oh, well--now I can follow the rest of the tournament and cheer on the "authletes." A nice break from all the coronavirus news.

Friday, February 21, 2020


Sigh--a picture book about Marjory Stoneman Douglas by a wonderful author is coming out in September. Oh, well, since it takes years to produce a picture book, I may still submit mine. And, I've written another bio, this one lyrical. Moving on.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

happy New Year, dear universe

  OK, universe--putting it out there that I would like to see my biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas published, and I imagine myself doing book signings at bookstores in Florida near the Everglades. I see myself donating proceeds from book sales to the MSD High School fight for tougher gun laws, and to the Friends of the Everglades. I see my book in the Everglades National Park bookstore.
   How am I going about getting the book ready? I've hired a presenter from the Highlights non-fiction workshop to help me shape it up, and I've been fortunate to get input from women in my Caldecoots group for older women writers. I joined RYS and I'm going to submit an edited version of my story every month until I get a 1, or at least a 2. I'm looking up agents on MSWL and I've risked sending a version off to a couple agents already. I've written to Pineapple Press to see if they would let me submit my story to them, since they have an MSD bio for older readers but not for young, PB readers. I'm checking out dozens of PB bios and studying how they are structured.
   My story is about a women who is not well-known, and who was an early environmentalist, which gives it a STEM interest. I feel these are both selling points for my book. And I am willing to revise again and again. I even wrote one draft as the story of the opossum she once rescued. I have the current version down to about 750 words, and about 400 words in back matter.
   OK, universe, do your best!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Ouch! In Dec. 2019, my story got a 7 on Rate Your Story

  A comment that really got me was, "Reads more like a book report than a narrative." A 7 means it's a subject worthy of merit, but needs a lot of revision. Sigh. Some good concrete suggestions, though, and the reviewer had some good things to say about the lyrical writing. I'll shape it up and submit in January. Maybe I'll move up to a 6!