Tuesday, August 30, 2016

house of dreams

So, we have lived in our new house for almost four years now and it has been an adjustment. The biggest one has been adjusting my own romantic expectations. One of my favorite books is Anne's House of Dreams, in which Anne lives in charming house near the sea. 

While I knew it was unlikely that I would have a gorgeous seaside house, I've always kind of wished for something beautiful--either a grey stone cottage with centuries of character or a glass modern home that lit like a lantern in the night. A house that you could imagine lived with stories and full of "scopes for imagination."

Of course, that's not exactly what we ended up with. Don't get me wrong, I like our house. It was a good choice--solidly built,  good location--all the things we needed to check off on our real estate list. But during that first year, I felt a small sense of disappointment. It was a nice house, but not my house of dreams.

But, as more time has passed, the disappointment has faded and transformed.   Perhaps it is kind of suburb-ian, perhaps it does lacks that storybook charm or any kind of grandness that would impress visitors...but it is our house! A house that we are paying for with income that I make from books! That is truly a dream.

And, as we add more of our own quirky touches (that would never fit with a castle by the sea) and make our own memories here, I'm starting to realize that while this might not be my house of dreams,  it is something even better--a home.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I've been feeling old these days
too many projects
too many bills
too many messages to answer, dates to schedule, responsibilities to care for, relationships to nurture, fears to conquer, insecurities to wrestle
too many wrinkles
not enough sleep
not enough energy


is still so much more 
than was given to you.


Friday, August 26, 2016

You're Invited!

Come to the When the Sea Turned to Silver Book Party!

I know, I've been squawking about this for a long time-- but this book has been six years in the making! You have to forgive me for wanting to celebrate in a grand style! Please come and celebrate with me!

Saturday, October 8th at 3pm
Porter Square Books
25 White St, Cambridge MA

It will be all the fun of the last book launch (and the one before that) plus some!  Gift bags shall include all kinds of awesome, including a poster, delicious treats, and a chance to win some original art!

Hopefully, you know that I am doing a big pre-order promotion--if you pre-order the book from Porter Square (which you can do no matter where you live), I'm including an exclusive "deleted" story booklet, one that I've especially illustrated and had printed.

Well, if you come to the book party, you can win one of those original illustrations, perhaps even this one:

original art from "The Stonecutter," signed, matted and framed--yours?
How? Just come to the party and if your goodie bag has a special stone in it (the significance of which will be explained)...you WIN!

Goodie bags are limited (I'm making a lot, but can't promise anything) but those who come on time (can't save bags for stragglers, really sorry!) with books pre-ordered get first dibs, so pre-order (helpful if you say pick up at launch party when you order) and COME! I hope to see you!

Not local? I'm hitting the road on a book tour so see if I'll be near you!

Monday, August 22, 2016

On my desk monday

Eeks! I received a final copy of the novel!!! It's a real book now:

the finished book with tear-worthy note from my editor/childhood friend Alvina, whom readers may know as Melody from Year of the Dog!
Yes, not just an advanced reading copy but a REAL book! With the color illustrations inside:

the color type decorations:

and the two color chapter headers:

Is it vain to say that I am so proud?  I feel like this book has been a such marathon of work and emotion, to see the finish line is just so...satisfying. I can't help feel like it's something to celebrate!

Please come celebrate with me! I have a pre-order campaign going on now--you get an exclusive "cut" story when you pre-order from my launch store (and your book will be autographed, too), as well as the actual Book Launch party itself (Sat, Oct 8th at Porter Square Books! Save the date!). I'll be announcing all my special plans (gift bags! grand prizes!) for the party later this week...stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pre-order "When the Sea Turned to Silver" and get...

an exclusively printed and illustrated "deleted" story from the book!!

In When the Sea Turned to Silver,  I had to cut out a story which I loved. While it just wasn't needed for the book, I still wanted to share it with you. So, I am creating brand-new illustrations for the story and going to make it into little book of its own...for you!

sneak preview of some of the art!

All you have to do is  pre-order When the Sea Turned to Silver  from my book launch store, Porter Square Books,  you will receive "The Story of the Stonecutter." It's a beautiful story--you're really not going to want to miss it!
The Old Man of the Moon makes a cameo!

The booklet is only available from me so this is only while supples last... PRE-ORDER NOW!  Hurry, hurry!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

new tenant

Totoro has moved out and there is a new resident...can you guess who?

hope you know your "Winnie-the-Pooh!"

Monday, August 15, 2016

on my desk monday

I have a drawing board for my desk-- a real one that slants and everything. I don't know why I never had one before. But my back and neck are thanking me.

What am I drawing on my brand-new boards? Well, it's art that will be for my pre-order goody which I will tell you about soon...stay tuned!

Friday, August 5, 2016

The garden so far

Despite a promising spring (when we finally finished putting the stones around)  the garden has struggled this year. It's been very dry and the rabbits have been taking much more than their fair share.

It's been a slow growth:

And our harvest of peas was small and short:

But, still enjoyed!

Monday, August 1, 2016

on my desk monday

On my wall, I have this pretty cool (even if I do say so myself) poster! My publisher revealed them to me at last month's ILA conference and I was kind of blown away.  So much so, that I asked if I could have a bunch of them. They kindly obliged and I am thrilled to say that every goodie bag at my upcoming launch party will have one in it! Doesn't that make you want to come to the party?  Save the date!!!

Not local? I'm reserving some for an online giveaway...so stay tuned for that, too!