Writing quote

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011


   My picture book biography, Cixi, The Dragon Empress will be released in October 2011. 

The last empress of China, Cixi, fought ruthlessly to isolate her country from the West while cloistered inside her lavish Forbidden City, ignoring the needs of her people. But was the Dragon Empress evil or just out of touch?

Gorgeous illustrations and an intelligent, evocative story bring to life a real dastardly dame whose ignorance brought a centuries-old dynasty crashing down, ending the imperial system that had ruled China for millennia.

Take a peek inside the book: Cixi Facebook page

Post a comment on this blog post and earn a chance to win a free signed copy! 
(Winner will be picked at random and selected in August).

Everybody else will get a 10% discount off the retail price of the book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


   If only publishers were so speedy in their responses. I mailed my application for an SCBWI grant that would help fund the cost of attending the annual SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles on Friday, April 29. The application had to be postmarked by May 1. I received an email on Monday or Tuesday, informing me that I was one of 3 recipients for this $750 grant. Yipee! So, I'm all registered and booked on a flight to L.A. in August. Unfortunately, the flights were pretty expensive, so the grant didn't cover all the transportation costs, and to save money, I'm staying a my brother Jason's pad in Santa Monica. He won't be there, but he offered me the use of his car too.
   "So," I said. "Do I get to drive the porsche then?"
   "Er..Let me clarify...you get to drive the station wagon."
   Oh, right. Still...it's a BMW wagon which beats my soccer mom mini-van anyday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


    I have two articles out this month. "Horses Helping Others", my non-fiction article just appeared in the May issue (Horsing Around) of Appleseeds magazine. Appleseeds is a social studies magazine for kids 8 - 11.

and my article, "Curtain Call" about Mendocino College's annual New Plays Festival appeared in the Spring issue of Mendocino Arts Magazine.

It's always great to see your name in print!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


   May Day weekend was a busy weekend for me. On Friday, April 29, my husband, eleven-year old daughter, and I met up with my sister in Cotati at the small, but intimate, home theatre of Linda and Harry Reid to watch the first Redwood Writers' Ten-Minute Play Festival. My ten-minute play, "Offing the Witness" was first in the line-up. Directed by Lennie Dean and featuring a talented cast of Guy Slater, Saskia Baur, Paige Picard, and Alana Raymond, the actors nailed their lines, the pacing sparkled, the audience laughed in all the right places, and everyone looked like they had fun to boot. So gratifying! 
   This was a fundraiser for the Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers' Club, started in 1909 by Jack London and a couple of friends. The price of the tickets included hor d'oeuvres and drinks provided in the Reids' lovely well-manicured backyard which made the whole event feel like an English garden party.
   Saturday, April 30, was the Mendocino LitFest, a literary event held on the campus of Mendocino College in Ukiah. It offered a round-robin poetry reading and writing workshops. I co-taught a workshop with my friend, novelist Jody Gehrman called From Picture Books to YA: the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing for children. We had around 20 workshop participants, but it's challenging to say the least to try and cover the whole range of children's book publishing in 50 mins. We had fun though!