Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Cover Reveal: The Last Rabbit

What can I say about this book?  

There is an adorable rabbit on the cover—but this book isn’t about rabbits—not really.

 It’s about mistakes and hope and determination. It’s about guilt and redemption. It’s about sisters and magic and the magic of sisters. It’s about everything that lives in my heart.

 You see, when you are writing, there are some books that break you.  They leave little pieces of you behind—that’s all that is left of you after you’ve wrangled them into place. By the end, you doubt everything you’ve ever known about yourself as a writer. The story didn’t mean to destroy you, but hey…

And then there are books that save you. Books that let you put your whole heart and soul into them. Books that let you play with your ideas about yourself and the world. Books that let you risk everything to write them.

THE LAST RABBIT saved me. I was in a place where I was very doubtful I’d write another novel. Poetry still called to me to write picture books, but as much as I longed to write another middle grade, the books I tried to write were trying to break me. I can blame the books, of course. It’s easier that way. But the truth of it is that I was trying to write like a writer that I wasn’t. I was afraid of my method (haha—what method?). So I wrote things that I tried to make work. I tried so hard. But they didn't work out for me so well.

And so, I don’t even remember how I got interested in Hy-Brasil. It’s a Celtic legend, so sometimes that’s all it takes for me. And I read a report that the last visitor to have supposedly landed on this this vanishing island encountered a magician and some large rabbits.

Curious, those rabbits.

“I wasn’t always a rabbit, that much I can tell you.”

That was the first line that came to me. And thus, Albie’s tale begins.

Albie’s story was a joy to write—but I warn you that not everything that happens is joyous. There is heartbreak as well as laughter—because isn’t there always? Within the pages of Albie’s adventures, I allowed my imagination free reign—often having no idea what I’d written the day before when I’d sit down for an evening of Albie and her sisters.  I just gave myself over to story and, well, it saved me. 

Learning to trust a story again---that is perhaps the most magical feeling ever. 

So, here she is:

And here is her pre-order link:

I can't wait to share this book with you. It is the most magical thing I've written.



Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Happy Earth Day!

Earth from space: 15 amazing things in 15 years – Climate Change ...

My favorite pictures of the Earth are those taken from space. What an amazing miracle to have photos of our world taken from the darkness among the stars.

Today, though, since I can't travel into space (yet), I thought I'd take my camera outside and take some pictures of our planet, the part of it that is right in my front yard. Then, I thought maybe I could write the Earth a small note, letting her know how much I appreciate her.

Maybe you can do the same, and write your own, DEAR EARTH letter.

Here are my pictures and my letter:

Dear Earth,

Everywhere I look, I am filled with wonder at your wisdom and beauty. 

This little hummingbird mother reminds me to stay close to my nest and protect those who most need me. She tells me to trust that someday there will be hatching, and emerging, and even flying again sometime soon.

The little succulent in the shadow of the big succulent (look, it is as if they are holding hands) remind me that we all need each other. Some of us are stronger, and it is our responsibility to help the little ones along.

Ah, Earth!  Look at the gorgeousness you give us every single day!  These flowers remind me that new life blooms all the time. And oh, how wonderful new life is!  It takes a person's breath away.

And finally, Earth, you remind me that everything has its season and time. Sometimes, pods must fall to the ground for new seeds to grow. This is the way of things. 

I appreciate you, my planet, and I hope you can have a little time to heal as we all ponder the miracle that is Earth.



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,