Thursday, December 17, 2015

School Presentations

I finished the year up with presentations at a school about 20 minutes away.  What an awesome time with students and faculty!  Each presentation, focusing on my newest picture book, Supermoon, ends with a drawing I teach the kids to make. It brings back memories of teaching art. Sooo much fun!

One student asked, "How long do you think you will have this career?" :)  I wanted to answer, "I'm just trying my best to make it an actual career."  So many of them had seen the most recent supermoon in September and they were already eager to talk about it and listen to a story about it.  I love kids!  They are my people!  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Sketch

This is a sketch from one of the projects I am working on.

Kind of messy, but creativity is like that sometimes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

School Visits

I had the great pleasure of visiting two schools last week in the Texas hill country area.  The students were incredibly attentive and had some great questions.  The faculty was beyond gracious and helpful.  I felt so welcome!  A friend of mine who lives in Fredericksburg accompanied me on both visits and helped man the power point presentation. To reach the New Braunfels school on time, we had to rise at 4:00 A. M.!  That's a true friend!

After the visits, I met my husband in yet another small Texas town to watch our youngest son play football.  The trip reminded me of why I love Texas so much.  The people.  There is just something special about the lone star state.

I'm looking forward to more upcoming visits in the next few months!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shine Like A Supermoon

I spent the last evening signing Supermoon copies as I prepare for school visits next week.  I try to make each one special because each child is special. Looking forward to meeting them!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love Learning

One of my greatest joys right now is watching my one year old grand daughter with books.  She LOVES books already.  She enjoys learning new words and putting them with pictures, but she truly takes joy in a story.  She will search the pictures thoroughly while listening to the nuances of voice as the story is read.  She wants to hear it again and again.  There is such eagerness and passion for learning and life.  I see that also in a different way in my college aged daughter, full of joy and eagerness to learn and meet new faces.  I realize, that  joy of discovering is something that you must determine to have as you get older.  It may not come as naturally.  It has to be intentional. I'm thankful to write and illustrate for children because it keeps me in tune with that love of learning and joy of discovering life in new ways. I think E. B. White said it best,  "Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder."

Friday, September 4, 2015

Stories That Need To Be Told

I am in the process of rearranging my office/studio and came across several papers containing research I have done for projects yet not tackled.  There are two that strike me as stories that NEED to be told--stories about real life characters that people need to hear about and children need to learn about.  They are now in full view so I don't forget; so I can hear them asking, loud and clear, for their stories to be told.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Clouds

Clouds


I remember going to an art festival in town where artists displayed their work in booths outside.  As my husband and I walked by admiring all the creative art work, we came around a corner and saw the clouds passing by at the end of the street like a moving canvas.  It was by far the most beautiful piece of art we saw that evening!  I guess no one can out do the creator of the universe.   

Today we went to an art gallery where one of my previous high school art students had work displayed.  She is one of the most talented students I ever had.  So happy to see her work hanging where others can enjoy it!  I have commissioned her to do a pastel painting of clouds that will remind me of that beautiful evening.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A New Coloring Book Story Published

The third coloring book I have written for Warner Press is called The Little Lunch That Grew.  It is now available for purchase.  Doug Jones, the illustrator did such a great job!  I love thinking of little hands taking part in the next step of creating the story by adding the color.  Just makes me happy.  A lot of love and thought and prayer is put in these little stories!

Rainbow City

Read about a rainbow city in Mexico.  Beautiful!







Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Supermoon Is Here!

Supermoon is now available on Amazon!  This story was inspired by a hike up Enchanted Rock, an unusual pink granite dome located just outside of Fredericksburg, Texas.  My daughter and I made the climb with our dear friends who live near the area.  Our goal was to view a supermoon from the top. The experience is one I will never forget, from the giant glowing moon to the soft twinkling flashlights of all the other visitors.   Thanks to the Ivers family for taking us and encouraging me to write a children's story based on the adventure.   One of the greatest challenges I faced as a child, like most children, was overcoming my fear of the dark.  With a very over active imagination, the dark held lots of opportunities for my mind to go crazy.  The main character, Brian, must also face the enemy of darkness on his hike up Enchanted Rock.  The story is a great tool to introduce children to all the cool appearances the moon makes as well as ease their fear of the dark. The next supermoon will appear in September, the same month that the last of a series of four blood moons occur.  It's a great time to talk to kids about the amazing moon!      Supermoon on Amazon


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Supermoon Soon!



Supermoon, a picture book I wrote and illustrated, will be in out in June!  I'm already busy setting up school visits for the next school year.  Super fun!



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Trees and Wind

I spent the day with my grand baby and parents today. My dad, who has alzheimers, was relating to me his anxiety over a recent storm.  He does not talk as much now because he feels foolish when he cannot remember things so I was happy to hear him talk about something without worrying about his words.  He described how the wind blew so hard it actually bent the branches on their tree to the ground, or so it seemed to him.  He felt the wind was so strong it was literally bending the branches to the earth. Then, he said with amazement, the next day when he walked in the yard, he thought for sure there would be branches everywhere but there wasn't one, not one.  He smiled in relief.  I smiled too, because my dad had just counseled me like he used to at times and he did not even know he was doing it.  Sometimes in life, like now for me, pressure is pushing from all sides, bending me to the utmost position.  But as long as I keep calm in faith, I wont be broken or overwhelmed.  Thanks, Dad. I love you. And if you knew how much I love trees, you would know how meaningful that is for me.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Home of The Brave



I just finished reading Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.  It is the story of a young immigrant to the United States that is incredibly insightful.  This is only the second book I have read by Katherine Applegate but I plan on reading every one she has ever written in hopes that some of her incredible skill and heart can drip from the pages onto me.  The character was developed so artfully and completely.   Her words are like, "apples of gold in settings of silver"--words fitly spoken.
I feel like I took something away from the story that helps me understand people more and inspires more compassion in me.  I appreciate a story that aspires to give that kind of depth to children.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Little Chick Fun

Every year here in Fort Worth, we have a stock show/rodeo.  When my children were little, My husband and I would take them to see all the animals.  By far, the highlight was the baby animal exhibit where lots of little chicks could be found wobbling around and chirping. In order to reach their food, they would have to climb up a small hill and stretch out over the edge to nibble the grain. Inevitably, they would stretch too far at some point and lose their footing, slip down the slide and plop into the shallow water. Lots of fun!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is just around the corner and I remember always looking for inexpensive, fun items that were also meaningful, to place in my children's Easter baskets.   I had the privilege of writing two coloring book stories that are perfect for Easter.  I've included a link to purchase them:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Writing for Chiidren

I'm working on a story right now that is burning in my heart.  It has for a long time, simmered there, but now I know it's time to write it. I have started this weekend.  The thing about writing for children is that you must get down to the very essence of the heart of the story and let go of everything else. All that is left is the soul of the story.  There is a lot of struggle in creating that and finding words that a child can grasp while using language that makes the story sing.  A daunting task! I am thankful for prayer, help from not only the Creator of the best selling book of all time, but also the Creator of the universe is definitely a must! Yep, He is an author and illustrator.

Easter Illustration


Monday, February 23, 2015

Curveball

I just finished reading a story intended for middle grade readers titled Curveball.  It's not a book I normally would have chosen, but I found it interesting because it deals with a loved one who has Alzheimers. The author, Jordan Sonnenblick handles the subject really creatively for this age reader.  The only thing that bugged me, having a loved one with Alzheimers myself, is that it ended with the grandfather in a nursing home sort of shut off.  I know that is true for many families.  I just would have loved to see the family make a choice to have him live with them and the main character learn to give of himself more to help. I also see that reality for many families as well.  All in all I was impressed that a writer for this age group was brave enough to make this subject a very important part of the whole story.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Portfolio Critique

I recently had a portfolio critique done by an agent. It was a reasonably priced and she had very helpful comments. I would highly recommend it to other illustrators! http://www.maggiebyersprinzeles.com/

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Contract

I signed a new contract for a coloring book story today!  There is a lot packed in those simple stories, including my heart!

Valentines:Love is In The Air

It's that time of year...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hooked on Books

The only thing I love carrying more in my arms than a stack of library books is my five month old grand baby.  I went to the library to pay a fine (I really am working on that!) and I wasn't planning on carrying anything out other than my receipt because my library choices are being made online tonight. But there they were right behind me--hundreds of children's books beckoning me.  And ohh, I'm so glad I heeded their call.  I always make new discoveries. I found The Girl Who Lived To Draw! 

It's really not a bad thing to be hooked on books.  I mean, it is reading and bettering my craft. It's not like a bar or something.  Although, if I keep racking up fines, my husband may put me in a library book anonymous group!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

School Visit

I had the pleasure of presenting my books and talking about the process of illustrating a picture book to three high school art classes in Fredericksburg, Texas a few days ago.  They were a wonderful audience and I had a blast!  It was really fun to discuss my book that will be out this coming fall. The story revolves around  a well known landmark near Fredericksburg called Enchanted Rock. So fun!! Hope to have pictures to post of the visit soon. This is a sneak peek at part of one of the illustrations from the book that I shared:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

School Libraries Changing

How school libraries are changing.
‪#‎SchoolLibrariesMatter‬!

New Year

New year, new projects, new submissions out tomorrow, new portfolio illustrations!  I love new!

Virtual Dementia Tour

I had an interesting experience a few days ago at a place called the James L West Center here in Ft Worth.  My brother, youngest son, and I took a virtual dementia tour. We were given thin plastic inserts with tiny spikes to put inside our shoes to recreate some sort of neuropathy.   We wore garden gloves because most older people lose sensation in their fingertips.  Then, we put on goggles that have a yellow tint and a cloudy spot in the center to assimilate older vision. The last addition were headphones with constant blurred background noise.  Those with dementia have a hard time with background noise that the rest of us don't even notice. Also, many older folks wear hearing aides that many times make the issue  with background noise even worse.  After we had all our gear on, we were each given a list of instructions  right before we walked in a room.  The room had a bed, couch, dresser, etc and there we were to carry out the tasks.  I could only remember partial instructions.  I could remember something about folding three pairs of white socks but I could not remember what I was supposed to do with them.  I could remember  to sweep something and I found the broom but I could not remember what to sweep.  The feelings of confusion, even anxiety were very real.  I also felt stupid and somewhat embarrassed that I could not remember what to do.

 It was a very helpful experience to realize how the world looks to those with dementia, like my dad.  It made me want to work harder to help him live life as full as he can right now, especially communicating with him in ways that build his self esteem and give him the dignity he deserves.

A helpful website about tools and toys for those with dementia: Alzheimer's Store