Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


My friend, Gretchen, called me the other day to inform me that my article, "Dragons Race on Water" about the Dragon Boat Festival, finally appeared in the current (June) issue of Highlights for Children magazine. It's on page 10 for those of you who have this month's issue. I'm waiting for my complimentary copies, but glad to finally see it in print (it's been a long five year wait!)

Other writing notes:

• The play review I wrote for the Ukiah Players Theatre's production of Godspell appeared in the Thurs., June 20, issue of the Ukiah Daily Journal. This weekend, May 27 - 30, is the last weekend to see the play. Tickets can be purchased online.

• My long-suffering picture book manuscript, "Go Dil Lok and the Three Chans" has been sitting with Tricycle Press for 3 years now. It's been through 3 different editors who all have expressed an interest in it. After a 7 months gap of no contact, editor Joanne Taylor contacted me in November to tell me that they've misplaced my manuscript, and would I please send another one. Then in March, she emailed again to say that the publisher wasn't convinced it was the right project for them, but she would like to call me to discuss it. The long and short of that conversation was that the story had too many themes and she suggested keeping it to the basic Goldilocks and the 3 Bears structure. The revisions were emailed back to her 3 weeks ago, but there's been no word yet. I just realized that there's a pattern of 3's here. Maybe that's significant in some way? In either case, it hasn't been outright rejected yet, so there's still a little hope.

• The Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop (PCCWW) is now on Facebook and LinkedIn. It's a wonderful workshop for writers of middle grade and young adult novels on the beach in Santa Cruz, CA. with beach front accommodations available at the bucolic Pajaro Dunes resort. This year's event will be on Aug. 20 - 22. The faculty includes literary agent Ted Malawer, Upstart Crow Agency; senior editor Kate Harrison, Dial Book for Young Readers; and editor and publisher Laura Backes, Children's Book Insider. For an early-bird discount, mention you saw the announcement on LinkedIn by May 31 and receive a $25 discount on full enrollment. Other discounts can be located on the PCCWW website. Keep checking back for further discount announcements and information. I'll post them as I get them.

Monday, May 17, 2010


The New Plays Festival was a blast as usual! Ten 10 min. plays by ten different playwrights. Playing with Knives received a good audience response, which is gratifying. The cast included: Justin Briggs as Harvey Crenshaw; Jan Michele as Muriel Crenshaw; Mikael Tadeo as Mugger #1, Tony; and Jake Stoepler as Mugger #2, Marco. They all did a fabulous job! Justin was particularly hilarious in the lead role. I also enjoyed Night Class by Don Samson and Corinna Rogers' Perfect Results. I'll be purchasing the DVD of the productions when it's available, so will post Playing with Knives either here or on my website.

Check back in to watch it.

Friday, May 14, 2010


OPENING NIGHT for Mendocino College's New Plays Festival! My ten minute play, "Playing with Knives", performed earlier this year in Los Angeles by Fire Rose Productions, is in the line-up for the 8th Annual New Plays Festival at Mendocino College. It's always a fun evening of 8 - 10 short plays by different local playwrights. The cast is great, and I'm looking forward to seeing their performances tonight and tomorrow night. Check out the description of the plays on Facebook.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Ahhh...another heavenly writer's retreat at Green Gulch Farm in Marin County. There's nothing like a little Zen-ness to inspire your muse. I worked on Chapter 6 of my Young Adult novel, but really struggled with making certain concepts work. Of course, the bucolic surroundings, gorgeous sunshine, and call of Muir beach just a 20 min. walk away threatened to distract. However, I reached deep and followed author Jane Yolen's advice: Butt In Chair, and by the end of the retreat had finally completed that Chapter and begun the next. What a feeling of accomplishment that is!

The vegetarian food was delicious, as usual, and the opportunity to commiserate with other writers about writing and re-connect with old friends was priceless.

The Kitteridge Writer's Retreat at Green Gulch Farm is open to SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators) members only, but is truly worth the drive and the membership. The next retreat at Green Gulch is scheduled for September (date to be announced). If you can't wait that long, North Coast SCBWI is hosting a retreat and workshop at Dominican College in San Rafael, July 15 - 18. The retreat is a no-program, no-pressure writing time for attendees. The workshop features agent Jill Corcoran from the Herman Agency, Martha Alderson, author of Blockbuster Plots, Kathleen Duey, author of Skin Hunger and Sacred Scars, editor Andrea Welch from Beach Lane Books, and for an additional fee, a manuscript critique from one of the faculty.