Good morning, Everyone.
It is warming up here on the south shore of Long Island. But winter keeps it grip with the blustery and cold winds. I’ve been absent from the Weekend Coffee Share and so happy to be back. Pour your coffee or tea or both. Let’s catch up.
If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that the week before last, my grandkids visited for their spring break. My daughter, son-in-law, the grandkids, and their cat, Violet, drove the 15 hours to stay with us. While Halllie and Lance worked remotely, I got to be hands-on Nonny for a week. Violet avoided my surly cat, Hershey, and got comfortable upstairs. We filled the week with cousin visits, projects, picnics in the sunroom, a trip to the Fire Island Lighthouse and the local ecology center that keeps rescued and resident animals and ended with a Good Friday/Easter celebration with family and friends. We prepared to say goodbye on Saturday, but Violet hid in the attic rafters for a full day! After trying to wrangle and trap her (she was too smart for all those efforts) we left her alone and she came out for her dinner. The tired family left Sunday morning, drove to South Carolina in record time, and returned to school and work on Monday morning. I don’t think Violet will ever visit again.
If we were having coffee together, I would say that I have been busy with April’s AtoZ Blog Challenge. Each day (except Sundays) I post a Grand Prompt To Ask Your Grands and my short response. This is my fourth AtoZ challenge. I learned to stacked and scheduled the blogs in advance this year, except for next week. I have a lot of homework this weekend. The month crept up that quickly. Here is the link to my AtoZ and the Facebook page to the website.
If we were having coffee together, I would report that I am almost halfway through the edits for The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers. This last book in the Becoming America’s Stories series is a mystery holiday story and takes us to the end of 1911. Penny Weber, illustrator extraordinaire, is working on the cover art. I will soon call for beta readers. If you are interested, please email me: email@example.com. Stay tuned.
If we were having coffee together, I would announce that I am on a Middle Grade Summer Reading List with other amazing middle grade authors. Check out Vesta Giles’ post to see the terrific selections. There are choices for adventure, action, sci-fi, baking and, of course, historical fiction stories. http://runswithpens.ca/2022/04/11/a-collection-of-middle-grade-adventures/
If we were having coffee together, I would burst out with my Great BIG news. A little backstory first. In 1993, the Albert Whitman and Company published my very first children’s picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup. Of course, I immediately signed on the dotted line and let the editors and business moguls steer the story into a real live book. They contracted Nadine Bernard Westcott, a very fun and popular illustrator, and within eighteen months, I held my sweet picture book. I had very little to do with the design, illustrations, or marketing. Some of the content edits did not ring right with me, but they were the professionals and I was enormously grateful. They listed my book in the catalogs. There were fantastic reviews, and I had a way to visit schools and wear the author title. SRA McMillan picked up Famous Seaweed Soup and globally distributed the book in paperback, Big Book and in Spanish.
It had a nice life. But it has been thirty years since I signed on the dotted line and over ten years since the last printing. One can buy copies of Famous Seaweed Soup through eBay and library bound copies on Amazon. I never got another picture book published and life got very busy.
Former students who are now parents ask me where they can get a new copy they can buy for their kids. I miss reading to young children and inspiring their imagination and insights. I especially miss writing stories that call for a picture book life. It is time for a revival.
Alexa Bigwarfe of Purple Butterfly Press accepted the project. We will publish Famous Seaweed Soup with updated content and a new look. Penny Weber agreed to illustrate. June 2023 is the tentative pub date. Getting back to picture book kidlit feels very right for me. I love reading to kids and inspiring my young audience. Stay tuned!
That’s it, Everyone.
Have a good week. Make it Funtastic!
Enjoy ❤️. Like 👍. Share 😊.
Pray for peace.
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