In this brief time before the end of the current year and the beginning of the New Year, I like to pause and look back over what I have achieved – and what I haven’t achieved – and what I want to do in the coming year. I do this in a variety of ways. I create a vision board that includes my writing goals, hopes, and plans for the…

As promised last week, my fave Middle Grade and Young Adult reads of the past year. (There won’t be as many MG and YA as there were picture books.) As I said last week, please note that not all these books were published this year. I chose from what appealed to me, as well as what I hadn’t yet read, and so those choices spanned many years. I rely solely…

At the beginning of 2018, I had the intention of reading one picture book every morning throughout the year. I did well for the first half of the year, then not so well the second half – but I’ve still read a LOT more picture books than I would have otherwise, and many of them have been stellar. In this post, I want to share some of my faves, since…

Title: Hearts Unbroken Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith Publisher: Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2018 Genre: YA Fiction, #ownvoices Audience Age: 14 to 18 years Themes/Topics: Friendship, romance, Native American history and issues, racism Synopsis: Lou (short for Louise), is a high school junior in current-day Kansas. By the time the book ends, she is a senior. She and her family moved fairly recently from Texas. She’s a member of the Muskogee…

Most of us cannot get where we want to be on our own. We need to learn from others, to be challenged by others, and to be supported and encouraged by others. The same is true for writing. At first, I was too nervous to share my writing (except my hymn texts) with anyone but close friends and family. Finally, I realized that I needed more. I needed to reach…

Yesterday, November 11, 2018, was the 100th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that ended the 1914-1918 war, usually called World War I, known then as “the war to end all wars.” We all know now that although that name was filled with hope, that hope was quickly dashed. In ceremonies in many countries, those who fought in that war, and those who didn’t return, were remembered yesterday. There…

I shared this post on my other blog a couple of weeks ago, but its message is so important that I wanted to share it here, today, as well. Music can truly be like a candle lighting the darkness, whatever darkness might surround a person. This post will show how music created light in one young person’s life. Back in February of 2017, on my blog The Starborn Revue, I…