Cupcakes make (almost) everything better

I made these for my birthday (since I never got one at Big Sur At Cape Cod the previous weekend…can you believe watermelon was the “dessert” offered on that day?!) and for the dinner we have to attend this weekend.

Have a lovely long weekend (both Americans and Canadians), and keep those who fought in wars past in your thoughts.

#SelfieArt Day…late!

Because May has been a lot busier than I expected, I completely forgotten about Selfie Art Day on the 25th. But Susan ( remembered and posted a piece of art for the occasion. She inspired Catherine and Yvette, and possibly others, to participate. To let me know your Selfie Art links so I can compile and post them in a couple of days, read on (or skip to the last paragraph).

Here’s mine below, a couple of days late, of me as a toddler. I meant to complete it in 10 minutes, but with all the interruptions I had, it took me closer to 20.

I’m still behind on everything and I have come to the realization that there isn’t enough time for everything. If I hope to complete the two novels (one middle grade, one young adult) I’ve been working on, in addition to my other writing–picture books and adult science fiction–and continue with making art, something has to give. So I’m going to have to cut back on commenting. Even though I will continue to read your blogs, I will not be commenting on every single one every day.

I’d turned off comments on this blog for the same reason. I’m a compulsive replier and that was taking up a lot of time, too. Catherine asked about that and I considered turning comments back on, but I may hold off for now. If you need to get a hold of me…such as for telling me your Selfie Art urls…just use the Contact Me form at my website (at Thank you…for following my blog, for reading my ramblings…I really do appreciate you!


Drawn with:


A handsome stranger

We came home from running errands to find this fellow (Darapsa Myron), also known as the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or Hog Sphinx, resting on our deck rail.

I hope it’ll stay awhile and lend its beauty to our drab brown deck.

A little Spring family trip

So I’ve been MIA for a bit because I had to get some stories ready for the Big Sur At Cape Cod workshop, a unique and rewarding workshop where writers work in small groups with authors, editors, or agents. I was paired with 2 mentors, author-illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien and editor Yolanda Scott, who, along with other writers in my groups, gave me insightful and helpful feedback. The Cape is not a bad place to spend one’s birthday weekend.

I also got to meet up with half of my picture book critique group (The Penguin Posse).


My family decided to do a road trip with me to Cape Cod, stopping at Magee Marsh, and various other parks to do some birding, and visiting friends in the lovely city of Worcester, MA. Tis the time of year for warblers to migrate and the hot spots are close to the Great Lakes. We saw many cool ones, such as Black-throated Green, American Redstart, and Blackburnian.

My guys are also really into trees and can be found examining them every chance they get, cringing at the non-native invasives and oooh-ing over the nice native specimens.


New Castle, DE

We drove through Newark on the way back, taking a southerly route, partially because we wanted to stop by Capriotti’s to get our favorite subs. We’ve eaten many, many subs in our lives and nobody does it like Capriotti’s!


The other reason we took a southerly route on the way home was to visit with hubby’s aunt (his father’s sister) who is one of our favorite relatives. This wonderful lady is smart, athletic, and generous, and because my MIL died 14 years ago, she’s been like a surrogate grandmother to the boys.


All in all, it was a wonderful trip. We got to see cool birds, some good friends, and relatives. The only way it could have gone better was if an agent had gushed over my work and signed me on the spot, but dreams don’t usually come true…I’m still waiting to have tea with Batman and Superman, after all (yes, I really did dream that one night).😀


Mother’s Day + Bird Day

Well, the week was a bit busier than I expected and I still haven’t finished what I need to do. I apologize for neglecting my blogging friends.

Since today is both Mother’s Day and Bird Day, I’m sharing a spread – of a mother kakapo – from a picture book I’ve been working on for 5 years on this endangered bird.

Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!

*Just a quick reminder to please don’t download my art (or anyone else’s art) without permission. Thanks.

Update on the Shining Firmoss

Remember the Shining Firmoss my son brought home?

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They grew and rooted nicely so he potted them and placed them outside to acclimate them. Unfortunately, some evil critter (likely a rabbit or chipmunk) pulled/ate some of them. Here are the few that remain:



Transformation #kidlitart

May, at least the first half, will be writing-intensive, so I may be a bit scarce in posting and commenting on blogs. Hope April showers are bringing you all May flowers!

National Arbor Day #doodlewashaday #botany

There are some people who contend planting a tree is good no matter what tree it is; others who’ve studied ecology counter that, in fact, you could do more harm than good by planting invasive non-native trees.

My son, the future ecologist, is in the second camp. For Arbor Day (a day late since I was in town and busy all day yesterday), I’d like to feature one of his favorite plants, which is more of bush than a tree, but close enough: the Eastern Wahoo.


Here’s what Horticulture magazine had to say about it (bold is my emphasis):

Wahoo  (Euonymus atropurpureus) is an excellent North American native. An alternative to the invasive burning bush (Euonymus alatus), this tough plant can be managed as a small specimen tree (30 by 30 feet) or as a thicket/hedge (9 to 12 feet) for privacy with renewal pruning. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and in wet to dry soils. This makes it an excellent candidate for rain gardens that are occasionally flooded. The late spring flowers are a deep maroon; they are small but stunning on close examination. The fall color is a delicate pink. Once the foliage drops, the red fruits inside light pink capsules will stop traffic. Seeds are a preferred bird food during winter months. USDA Zones 4–9.

Native range: Eastern half of North America


National Picture Book Writing Week – May 1 to May 8

This is not actually part of the “National Day” series by Charlie (, but a fun picture book writing challenge started by the multi-talented Paula Yoo. If you’ve ever wanted to write a picture book, check out her page for details on this fun and free challenge where you can read great advice and win prizes! Starts May 1, so hurry to join!


National Superhero(ine) Day #doodlewashaday

I spend the morning at the last physical therapy session for my frozen shoulder and grocery shopping, so my time is precious this afternoon, and I can either spend it drawing or working on some writing. I’m choosing the latter, so for National Superhero/ine Day, I’m posting a piece I’d done a year and a half ago. It was not long after I bought the ArtStudio app for the iPad and I was still playing with it, trying to figure out how it worked. I drew this with my (shaky) finger as it was before I bought a stylus.

I’m a huge superhero(ine)/comic book fan. I started watching the old Adam West Batman shows in Hong Kong when I was about 7 years old and was a DC fan for many years. Then friends of my sister got us into the X-Men, and I’ve been hooked by Marvel since. But enough reminiscing…I have real writing (as if) to do.

scarlet witch