Picture Book Writer

Picture Book Writer

Saturday, February 4, 2017

We Need You, Strega Nona!

Oh, the politics lately…

SO MUCH TRUMP MADNESS!

I was reading Strega Nona this morning, by Tomie dePaola. When I came to this page, all I could think of was Donald Trump's hair. Covering the house, the town, the world…


When will Strega Nona return with her three kisses?!?

Please soon. Thank you!

💋💋💋



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BIOPSY RESULTS

GREAT NEWS

The brain tumor is a LOW grade (grade 2) oligodendroglioma. It responds VERY WELL to treatment, most likely a targeted combo of radiation & chemo.

Basically, it is a GENETIC MUTATION.

Which makes me a MUTANT.

Therefore…

I am an X-MAN.

YES!!!

This is one of the HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE!!!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Still On Stand By

Still waiting for biopsy results. I will know something by the 24th of January. Only 4 more days…

So while I'm on Stand By, I thought I'd share a post on parenting. Because my kids are definitely on my mind right now. 

Now that they are older, I do have a little more breathing room. The preschool years are long gone. 

TAKE LOTS OF VIDEO! 

Sure, there are new challenges, but we're no longer in Base Camp. We've moved up the trail to slightly higher ground and can look back. Take in a view. 

A VIEW! Parents, I remember those days of being right in the thorny thick of it, up close and gross. Hang in there! You will one day get your view…and maybe even learn how to breathe again. Whew!

Here is one book I remember from those days: 



A  more recent book I just can't rave enough about is by Shefali Tsabary:


It has been a HUGE HELP.  It may have a somewhat different approach than what our culture is used to, but KEEP READING! Basically, you work on yourself first and stop trying to "fix" your child. Casting the beam from your own eye to see clearly. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.


Lastly, as I still stand by, I will leave you with a few parenting tips. I hope they help :)

  • LISTEN to your child with full attention (It's tough. I just had a delay yesterday when I was on the iPad. Keep practicing!)
  • SHARE your feelings (both good and bad) with them (When they see you open up, they see you respect yourself. They will learn by example - and maybe even open up to you)
  • TAKE IT OUTSIDE. Nature is a wonderful healing tool. Take advantage! (great for those surly teens, too)
  • Take time to REFLECT on your own childhood memories. Share those stories with your child. If it is a positive memory, maybe you could even recreate it in the present 💖


YOU ARE THE BRIDGE FROM PAST TO FUTURE




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Biopsy Update

All went really well. I was even released from ICU after just one night!

Dr. Holland, chief neurosurgeon at Providence Medical in Everett, is simply amazing. I thank him and his entire team for their professionalism, compassion, and overall outstanding care.

Lab results of biopsy will be in a week or 2. Hoping for low grade.

Now to rest, relax, and (as Dorothy would do) head into a good STORYSTORM!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Just a biopsy...

Today is the big day.

I'm going in for a biopsy. On a tumor. In my brain.

I remind myself that it is just a biopsy and not a complete removal where they open up the entire skull. Just a drill and a screw. And then just a needle inserted into that to swab around. Just 2-3 hours in the operating room. 

Could be worse…

Which reminds me of two great books, by the way:

The Yiddish Version (I LOVE IT!)

SO…

Since my diagnosis on December 7th, I have been very busy. Yes, they have me on a steroid.

I have finished 2 out of 3 of my winter quarter courses in Early Childhood & Family Studies. Only one more class to turn from an incomplete to a grade.

Speaking of grade, I'm really hoping the tumor is low-grade (1) and slow growing! But it could be intermediate (2). 

Could be worse (3 and 4). 

Back to business. Busyness.

I have organized the pantry.            

I have been making etsy purchases for the kitchen and home.
I have been up at all hours writing, nesting, and playing Seeker's Notes.
(I'm totally hooked on this eye spy game)


And let's not forget the kingdom…


I have enjoyed Christmas. I have enjoyed my family. I have enjoyed speaking with old and new friends. I have been amazed at my incredibly generous neighbors who have set up a meal train. I am forever grateful. 

I truly do live in Eden. 

Seriously. My next door neighbor is in the 501st Legion
PLUS…he and his wife are BREWERS.🍻

Heaven on earth...

I am taking part in STORYSTORM 2017, generating ideas for picture books (formerly PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). It has been so INSPIRING!



I also began reading a gem of a book. It should be in every writer's toolkit. Truly amazing and inspirational.


I have even enjoyed a couple of outings into Snohomish (my little Stars Hollow) for it's library, antique shops, and eateries.

I have been smothered with gifts. My husband has been amazing. The kids have stepped up to help with laundry, dishes, etc. 

Here is my new Napa (FINALLY! Took a brain tumor to get one!) that is now my WIZARD ROBE. And my modified dragon cane, ahem, WIZARD STAFF.


I have some bling arriving in the mail soon that I will add to the robe.


I also plan on celebrating Mardi Gras. ALL SEASON LONG!


Let the good times roll, y'all.

Ready for all things







  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Universe Provides (some book recommendations)

and this dudette abides…





Before and during my hospital stay, the Universe provided A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. It was a great comfort, because I related to Meg's physical sensations (particularly the numbness, known as Todd's paralysis, on the right side of my body) as she traveled through space and time. 



Moving on to the next book in line: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. 



I finally got around to reading it. It's been on my to-read list for years. But remember…


a wizard is never late!


From the very first chapter, we realize the main character, Arnold, had a childhood brain issue. And seizures. Crazy, right? Yet another character offering tremendous support. This is one of my favorite books. Thank you, Mr. Alexie, for listening to that call from the Universe! 

Note: This book is for grades 7-10, ages 12-17. I will be recommending it to my 13 year old son. I will ALSO be recommending it to my daughter when she is of age. I know I don't have to point this out, but just because the main character is male doesn't mean the book is strictly for boys. That would be like saying Harry Potter is only for boys…and that's just silly! Go for it, grrrls!

While I have always known the importance of literacy and the impact books make on children, this experience has given me an even deeper understanding. Books, and especially the characters, seep into our subconscious. They act as little guides. I can think of at least 3 books that were read to me in preschool that have stayed with me all my life. They continue to help me now:


            


Lastly, we cannot forget the villains. They are just as important. Just as helpful. The steroid medication I'm on to prevent inflammation keeps me up at all hours of the night. I have started to read Shakespeare's Richard III. You can bet I will be just as cunning and vindictive as the old Duke of Gloucester to help me beat this whole brain cancer thing.  [insert evil laugh]


Shine out fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass