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Creation Requires Focus

StockSnap_JLXDNN5BNE photo/Angelina Litvin

It’s amazing/sad/normal that it takes major life events to motivate us to do what we need to do.

I’ve been away from my blog a couple months. My father-in-law’s death was the major life event that precipitated my absence. Obviously, when major things happen, we have to let the lesser priorities slide. For me, that was my blog.

Although for some time I’d been thinking about what changes I should make to my writing life, just in the last two months I’ve faced my need to let my blog go for an extended period of time.

I need to spend my time writing my novels and nurturing the writing-relationships I already have. Instead, I’ve been spending lots of time researching and writing my blog to market and promote my work to potential buyers.

I will return to marketing eventually. But for now, I need to focus on the creating.

Perhaps focus should be my word for 2017.

I’ll keep my blog, including my contact info, online. I’ll also continue to follow and comment on others’ blogs–just not as often.

Dear readers, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the past three years. Thank you for your faithfulness, your comments and reading suggestions, and your encouragement. I want to nurture our relationship. Let’s stay in touch.

The Dangers of the Defense

I’m very proud to announce my husband successfully defended his doctoral dissertation yesterday. He assures me that his experience was nothing like the fellow (who is a little like Amelia Bedelia) defending his master’s thesis in the following video.

How about your educational/publishing experiences? Have they felt anything like this? Have you had any Amelia Bedelia experiences?

3 Children’s Books To Read In Honor of Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass was born in Maryland sometime in February 1818. However, his mother was a slave, and he was also. At a very young age he learned that the ability to read would be a key to gaining his freedom. He risked punishment practicing reading and writing, but he did it anyway. And then he taught others.

Douglass became a well-known author, newspaper editor, and speaker. He wrote three autobiographies: A Narrative on the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845); My Bondage and My Freedom (1855); and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881).

Here are three children’s books featuring his life story:

  • Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by London Ladd (Disney-Jump at the Sun, 2015)–A picture book biography featuring quotes from Douglass’s writings and speeches.
  • Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2012)–A picture book biography focusing on Douglass’s early years and his quest to learn to read and write.
  • Frederick Douglass: A Noble Life by David A. Adler (Holiday House, 2010)–An in-depth middle grade/young adult biography, including not only Douglass’s childhood and escape to freedom, but also his lifelong fight against slavery and for black suffrage and equality.

What books about or by Douglass have you read?



Decorating With Art: Picture Books

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I decorate my home with art, aka picture books.

I keep my decorating simple, and I mostly change the decor and art with the major seasons, with a few extra holidays thrown in.

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What’s your decorating style? Do you use picture books in your decor? If so, how do you display them? Do you have favorite artists/illustrators?