Happy Spring, Friends!
Those of you who know me know that I love learning about and writing about strong women! MRS. NOAH may not have done all the things I give her credit for in my book, but I like to imagine her coming alongside Noah, rolling up her sleeves, and getting the job done! Women who are strong, capable, fearless, faithful, wise and smart inspire me to try and be those things to the young women in my life.
That’s why a few years ago I started working on a picture book about Queen Elizabeth II and her life before she ascended to the throne of England. I’ve always admired her, but when I started researching her, I learned so much about her that I didn’t know that she instantly became one of my personal heroes. Underneath the quiet grace the world gets to see is a woman of incredible strength, wisdom, faith, and commitment to the job she’s been given. If you have a few minutes to read any of the wonderful books or articles about her that are available right now to celebrate her jubilee year, I promise you’ll be inspired.
Today, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 96th birthday, I’m giving away three signed copies of MRS. NOAH! To enter, simply stop by my blog before midnight tonight (April 21, 2022) and leave a comment about the Queen or about another strong woman in your life. Your name will be entered in a drawing, and I’ll announce the winners on Monday, April 25th on the blog!
Thanks for being with me on this journey!
Sensibility-“I cannot lead you into battle, I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else, I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.” Queen Elizabeth II
Sense- “It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.” Queen Elizabeth II
Top O’ the Mornin’ to You Friends!
It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of March and almost St. Patrick’s Day! I hope all of you are well, happy and looking forward to the beauty of spring that’s just around the corner. As a gardener, spring is one of my favorite seasons. It’s so much fun to visit my garden each day and see how my plants are getting on. The first thing to stretch its leaves towards the sun are the Lenten Roses. These brave plants don’t mind the leftover (or new) snow or the cold nights. They are determined to bloom by Easter, no matter what comes or what goes. These plants inspire me; their courage to be their loveliest in the face of challenges more delicate flowers can’t tolerate is a perfect object lesson for the writing life. Success in writing can often be summed up in just showing up and doing the work each day, in spite of rejection after rejection. My Lenten roses know what it takes to get the job done. Sometimes it seems the more difficult the spring, the more beautiful they are. The same thing is true about watching a story come to life and make its way into the world. The more difficult the struggle, the more satisfying the result.
I’ve shared with you the story behind the story of MRS. NOAH, and that’s why when wonderful things happen to this book the reward is all the sweeter. I found out a couple of weeks ago that MRS. NOAH is a Selah Award finalist in the picture book category! I was overjoyed to hear her name (and mine) read out during the finalists’ announcements. We’ll find out sometime in June if she wins an additional award, but to be a finalist is such an honor. I am beyond grateful!
In other news, I’ve opened back up to picture book critiques! If you or a writer friend is looking for a thorough and thoughtful evaluation of a manuscript for a reasonable price, please check out the PGWRites Critiques tab above for more information.
Thanks again for being on this journey with me! Here’s an Irish Blessing to take with you today:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
May the rain fall soft upon your fields and until me meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Sensibility- Recognition of the work it takes can often be a long time coming. But what a gift when it does!
Sense- Take time to research contests as part of your writing week. Contests are a great way to boost your confidence and get the word out about your work.
This week I am honored to be the featured writer on the Detroit Writing Room‘s blog! I had the privilege of participating in their recent awards program where my children’s book, IDA PLUCK’S CLUCK won first place in the Children’s Book category. You can read the post here:
As always, thanks for being a part of my journey!
After a several-month hiatus for all things MRS. NOAH, I’m reopening for picture book critiques! And for the very first time, I’m excited to offer 30-minute Zoom consultations as part of my Complete Picture Book Plus critiques! Click on the “Critiques” tab for information, payment, and submission instructions for all available packages.
So, if you have a manuscript that’s ready for the next big step, I’m ready for you! Thanks for considering a PGWRites Critique. I look forward to hearing from you!
Sensibility- There is a point when a story that’s dear to your heart needs to spread its wings and test the wind.
Sense- After you’ve written, revised, submitted to your critique group, and revised some more, it’s time to take that next step and enlist a new set of eyes for a different perspective.
I hope the New Year has been kind to you so far and that you’re finding lots of joy in the everyday! It may sound strange, but January is one of my favorite months of the year. Here in the Mitten, January is always filled with snow, and there’s nothing better than sitting by an open fire, watching fluffy snowflakes fill my backyard as I write. I think it’s the peace after two months of holiday celebrations that speaks to my heart the most. It’s as if I’ve finished a long race and am finally able to exhale. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the holidays! But the stillness and simplicity of January days hold a charm unlike any other month of the year.
And because of all its simplicity, January is often one of my most productive months of the year. Having large chunks of uninterrupted writing time means getting to let my mind wander and my muse have her way. It’s amazing what can happen when we have time to create. I hope you’ve found that kind of time this month.
January is also a great month for looking ahead, and I can’t wait to share my next book with you, O POSSUM’S PREDICAMENT! This book was a joy to write and it’s been an even bigger joy to see it coming to life. I’m hoping to be able to announce the release date very soon.
In the meantime, MRS. NOAH is still sailing strong, and I thank you again for your continued support! I would love to share MRS. NOAH and THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE with your students. So if you’re a teacher looking for virtual presentations for March is Reading Month or April Poetry Month, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Here’s to cozy, creative days and lots of good things to come!
Sensibility- Quiet, uninterrupted time is what we need to feed our creative souls!
Sense- Quiet, uninterrupted writing time doesn’t just happen. Look at your calendar and schedule time to be creative.
Many of you have asked,
Well, now you can!
I have a limited number of signed bookplates that you can peel and stick into your copy of MRS. NOAH! Here’s how to get yours:
- Purchase a copy of MRS. NOAH (if you haven’t already:) from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, or wherever books are sold.
- Visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads and leave a review of MRS. NOAH.
When your review goes live, use the form on my contact page and send me the following:
- Your name
- Your address
- The name(s) of the person(s) you’d like your signature made out to
- A link (or URL) to your review
And that’s it! As soon as I receive your information, I’ll pop your signed bookplate(s) in the mail! There is no deadline.
Thanks so much for your continued support, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sensibility- For book lovers, having a signed copy of the author’s work is a treasure.
Sense- Reviews help books get noticed by search engines, helping them become more visible and accessible to readers!
Here are just a few of the things I’m thankful for this year:
- I became a grandmother for the very first time a little over two weeks ago, and he’s just the most precious thing! Baby Benny came quite early, so he’s spent the last two weeks in the NICU sleeping, eating, and growing! I can’t wait to meet him and hold him and tell him just how much Grammar loves him!
- My youngest graduated from college back in May, and she’s working at a nonprofit job she loves helping teen moms through support, community, and love. I’m so proud of her!
- My older daughter received a full scholarship to Wayne State University Graduate School of musical composition. She’s teaching full time too, and we just couldn’t be prouder.
- My son and daughter-in-love are just the most amazing new parents! Their courage and faith as they’ve spent a month in the hospital while waiting for Benny to be born as well as the last 2 weeks with him in the NICU has been such an incredible thing to witness.
- My family, in spite of some health challenges over the past few months, are strong and happy!
- My first book launch has gone well and I’ve learned so much about marketing…something I was pretty nervous about…and I’m just so grateful!
I encourage each of you to find some quiet moments this holiday season to think about all you have and be grateful. A thankful heart is a happy heart! And in our house, the Joy of the Lord is always our strength.
O Come Let Us Adore Him!
What a month it’s been for our MRS. NOAH! Her story set sail on October 28th, and since then she’s been the #1 new release in children’s Noah’s Ark books on Amazon for nearly the entire month. She’s also been in the top 100 in a couple of other categories on Amazon and is continuing a strong showing in overall book sales on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You have been such a part of her success, and I just wanted to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!”
I know I’ve said it before, but if I could stand in front of you right now, faithful friend, I would give you a big hug and say, “Thank You,” for coming alongside me. Your support and words of encouragement are gifts I will treasure always. If you’ve ordered and received a copy of MRS. NOAH, I am so honored. If you love the book and have a minute over the next few days, stop by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Good Reads and leave a review. Reviews help books show up in search engines, and we want MRS. NOAH to stay strong! And remember, MRS. NOAH is a perfect book for gift-giving this holiday season and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop and wherever books are sold.
As you gather ’round your Thanksgiving tables with family and friends this year, know that this friend is giving thanks for YOU!
Sensibility- The writer’s journey is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, but as it says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Sense- No matter how the writer’s journey looks for you, the point is that you ARE a writer. Be thankful for the gift and use it every day!
It’s finally here! MRS. NOAH releases today, October 27, 2021, and is now available for presale wherever books are sold! The long wait is over, as MRS. NOAH sails into a book retailer near you. Here are a few links where you can order:
Thanks for joining me on this journey! Your encouragement over the past years makes this first fiction picture book release all the sweeter!
Thank you, friends!