Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Writing Fun, April 1

As promised, here is my pupperfly!
And here is what I wrote about him:

Pupperfly was small for a dog with wings.
He was smaller than an orange.
He was smaller than a plum.
He was even smaller than an apricot.
He was actually only about the size of a walnut.

Pupperfly loved being small.
He loved flying in and out of bird nests
and between the stems of flowers.
He loved flying above houses
and churches
and stores.
And he loved flying just underneath the clouds.

He loved most everything about his life.
Until the day he was captured....

Maybe some of you want to complete the story for me!
Otherwise, you'll have to wait to discover who captured him...and why.

But, on to other things.

This week's writing challenge is inspired by Dav Pilkey, who mixed up a policeman with a dog to get DogMan.  Your challenge this week is to write about a dog with a job. Maybe it is a doctor dog. Maybe a hound teacher. Who knows what you might think of!!

I can't wait to hear about your amazing ideas.



Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March Writing 1: School in the Time of Coronavirus

Times are strange right now.

But even in strange times, it is good to do some writing and make some art. One of my favorite series right now is NARWHAL AND JELLY and the amazing author, Ben Clanton, is doing something really cool. If you click on the link: you can see that he is doing animal mix-ups. Like something that is part Jelly, part Wizard (this is one of my favorites). Also, he's got a Narwhal + T-Rex drawing that is very awesome.

So, I thought it might be cool if some of my young readers did something similar.

Step 1:  Think of an animal (any animal)

Step 2:  Think of another

Step 3: Mix them together!!

You can do three or four animals if you like!

And then, if you are really feeling like it, you can make up a story about it!

I think I am going to mash up a dog and a butterfly. I would call it a Pupperfly!  It would be tiny and look like a dog, but with wings like a butterfly's. And it would get into all sorts of TROUBLE, haha.

So your task is to make your creature (or you can illustrate mine) and write your own story.

I'll share mine soon.

Love to you all,


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Let's See If I Remember How to Do This

It's been a long time since I've clicked on the "new post" button on my blog.

I wish I could tell you why.

Maybe it was that it felt like there was so much noise in the world that I probably didn't have anything worthy to add to it.

Maybe it felt like if I did add something and it was kind of frivolous, it would seem like I didn't care about big things.

Maybe there was just a lot of things going on behind the scenes of my life and there were no words I could even give to the blog. Maybe I needed every word I had left inside of me to say to someone who needed it or to write something that needed to be written, lest I lose my mind.

I am not even sure myself, but I am fairly certain it was a potent mix of all three.  And for some reason that I don't even understand myself, I clicked "new post" just to see if it still worked.  And it did.

So here I am. Here we are.

And I find that actually, I have a lot to say. And I am trying to be less afraid of things in every aspect of my life. I am trying to be brave about sharing pieces of myself again. Because that's all we can do sometimes, isn't it?  Attempt to make connections with other humans so we won't be alone. So we can somehow stay together and weather the storms to come.

See you on the open seas, my friends.



Thursday, August 2, 2018

Coming Soon (Sort of)

Image result for from tree to sea

This is the gorgeous cover of a new book!  It won't be available until February 2019, but I just didn't want to keep all of the loveliness to myself until then.

Sometimes, we write books from inspiration of one sort or another, never realizing until later how much our own true heart really needed this book. It's as if Past-Shelley wrote it as a pep talk for Future-Shelley. And who knew, when I first wrote this poem years ago, how much children might also need to read these words and let the gentle lessons of our home planet take root, flourish, and blossom.
Anyway, the words would be so much less without the amazing illustrations. 
 Christopher Silas Neal's work fills me with joy.
I am so proud of this book.

Can't wait to share it with you!


Monday, April 2, 2018

Best Laid Plans

I keep meaning to post something, but somehow I just haven't.

I've been cutting myself a little slack because I have needed to. Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes you just need to be kind to everyone on your journey, including yourself. And the truth is that I am not certain how much more slack I will need in the next bit. But I have been writing still, filling journals and word docs, and that is a good thing.

I have a couple of picture books coming out in the future, probably 2019 and 2020, which sound SO FAR AWAY and yet I have seen some art work for both already--AMAZING--and I have been visiting some schools (So. Much. Fun.) Basically, just still plodding along in this teacher/author/storyteller existence in which I find myself.

So, in case you are wondering about what I am working on, here we go:

1. Editing a middle grade novel. This book is perhaps the best thing I have written. But it is not yet as good as it could be. Hopefully I can get it to where it needs to go this spring.

2. Writing a new middle grade. I would love to crank out a finished draft in the next few months so it can sit and await some revision this summer. I have been working on this on and off for a year, but the off time has gotten too long. I really need to reconnect.

3. Revising a picture book that seems a little preachy.

4. Writing 3 new picture book drafts. I have some really great titles (most of my picture book ideas start with a title, then I figure out what is it really about) but I haven't had the courage to put pencil to paper. There's something so lovely about having a great title for a book--so full of promise!  My fear is that I will write the wrong stuff, the wrong words, and ruin my idea. I am sure I am not the only writer to have this fear.  But I need to get over it. Soon.

So, that's what fills my writing days.

More soon, I hope!



Friday, August 4, 2017

The Haps

Things have been busy around here--well, not here, exactly. Not on the blog. Nope, the blog has been as quiet at a mouse. Actually, quieter than a flea on a mouse if you think about it.

 But around my house it has been a very busy Spring/Summer. Not only did my "baby" graduate from high school (how did she grow so fast??) but there have been some very nice happenings in the Shelley Moore Thomas world of books.

First, take a look at this:
This is the cover of Secrets of Selkie Bay in Spanish!

It releases in Spain in October (I think).
Cool, yes?

And then I found out that this book:

 received the

Here is a lovely group of students enjoying the book in Mississippi.

If you want, you can read about it here.

And I've been working on a few things that I'll be telling you about soon. *winks*

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How Is it March Already?

I have never let my blog lapse this long without a post.

I just....I dunno. It's hard to say much on-line these days. It's like I haven't wanted to add to the noise and clutter(and there is just so much noise and clutter) and I've worried that anything I might say might not be important enough. Somehow right now everything feels like it needs to be important. Why go and post anything if it's not important?

And then this week Amy Krouse Rosenthal died.

I did not know her personally, but for the past few years, she has been a part of my class. I can't imagine starting the school year without this amazing little book:

I miss her as if I knew her in real life, but I guess that's the gift of a truly amazing author--you feel as if you know her just by reading her words on the page. Her passing has stopped me short and made me look up from where my head has been (which has been looking down at all of the stuff I need to do, nose to the grindstone and all that) and notice that somehow we are three months into this new year and I barely remember anything that has happened since it turned 2017. I mean...wha???  How can time move so quickly? It is speeding along and I am not even watching it whiz past. And who even knows when it will all be gone?

Time is a treasure, and I must use mine more wisely. 

I must make:

Time to breathe. 

Time to observe. 

Time to appreciate.

Time to love.

Time to rest.