Images/art are watermarked/copyrighted.


Thursday, December 24, 2009


The icy fingers of Silver Creek grasp the last breath of Fall as it flows into the pool below. Canyon Trail Closed. Dangerous Conditions.

The media reports extreme weather. Beware!
The drama of the media never ceases to amaze me. When did we go from what was once normal to extreme? Are my black and white childhood photos manipulated with Photoshop or is that me standing next to the huge snow drifts all bundled up looking like a small version of the Michelin Man.

Winter is a season. It has a purpose. The indigenous people knew this. Winter was a time to physically and psychologically be inside, a time to reflect, and plan for the next season. It was a time to sleep, to dream big and take advantage to the shorter day light.

Enjoy this Winter season. Dream your biggest dream. Spring will soon arrive with creation on its' doorstep.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ordinary, Extraordinary Stanley Turns Five!

I remember the day I found him. "He's the runt." I wanted a not too large dog with plans for him to be a therapy dog, working in schools with me.
I found him, then let him go. Having a puppy six weeks after my dad died just seemed like way too much stress. Jeff offered to hold him until I was ready. He needed to be in a home sharing his puppy love and learning how to be with a family. If he's to be with me, he'll be there when I am ready. He waited for three weeks. Nobody wanted Stanley, except for me. I was truly blessed with the beast.
The ninety pound runt, Stanley loves people, especially kids. He has served students in nine schools over four years. Stanley has served as a read-aloud dog in the local library for two seasons. Stanley has inspired many manuscripts. Happy 5th Birthday Stanley my ordinary, extraordinary pal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Everyday is Thanksgiving. Saying “thankfuls” at our evening meal has become a sacrament in our home. I am ashamed to say I learned this from my four year- old nephew who insists we do this at his house. Thanksfuls is what he calls them.

I am thankful for great wisdom from children and their ability to have fun.
I am thankful for all the people, & animals that have touched my life.
I am thankful for all of my teachers some harsher than others.
I am thankful for grace and the Ones who help extend it to me.
I am thankful for creativity and the ability to think outside of the box.
I am thankful that I no longer wait for Thanksgiving to give thankfuls.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Yesterday, I watched as my heroes played in the leaves at the park. My heroes are the students in a special needs classroom at a school where I work. They were rolling around together and throwing leaves up into the air, laughing. I witnessed the perfect combination of a crisp fall day and the joy of children. My heroes were taking a break from being classmates and heroes in Mrs. German’s room.

A few weeks ago, I taught them about heroes. I taught them they are heroes. They are not super heroes wearing capes and masks. They are not decorated heroes from doing extraordinary things that make them stand out in other people’s minds. The are working heroes being role models of kindness, respect, helpfulness, and treating others like they like to be treated. Their teacher agreed and has created them a hall-of-fame for heroes where they are with the ranks of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Abraham Lincoln.

A couple of weeks ago, the leaf play would not have happened. The leaves had not fallen and the heroes were still in the making, understanding the simple truth of which they are ordinary students who have the ability to make choices that make them a part of the solution. They are working heroes. They have inspired my newest picture book manuscript Calling All Heroes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I recently wrote a touching picture book manuscript about a goldfish. The poor little guy just does not realize he is enough. By the end of the story, he has had enough of not being enough. Enough said.

I am writing about this because the list of things I need to do as a writer and an illustrator seems to grow and grow. First, I joined groups of writers and illustrators for critique groups. I joined SCBWI and other wonderful organizations that support my work. I created a website. My peers told me it is important to be visible on networking sites. I am on Facebook and Manic. Now, I am blogging.

How does this have to do with enough? Time is how it is related, enough time. How do people have enough time to meet all these obligations and live a happy productive life and remain sane? If I am enough then why do I have to do all these things that suck time leaving me feeling like I am not enough?

At school, I see stressed out teachers, administrators, and kids. Guess what they are stressed out about? Time. Time to test. Time to meet. Time to finish or start something. Time for homework. I am out of time. The bells about to ring. The bus just left.

I thought about all the wonderful things I teach people about how to take care of themselves. How important it is to take time to think, reflect, communicate thoughts and feelings, breathe, relax, and play.

Here is how I am going to accomplish all of my writing and illustration obligations. I see a couple of options. I could quit the business. Most people who know me are laughing at that idea. I could choose not to meet my obligations. The chuckles are loud and clear, ringing in my ears.

It appears my choice is to blend my obligations in with my everyday life. I am doing deep breathing to relax as I type this. It is a little difficult to monitor with Abby & Stanley glaring at me because I am ten minutes late with their kibble. Sorry I have to cut this short, the timer on the stove is going off. I set it to remind me to put another log on the fire. Time to go :D