Picture Book Writer

Picture Book Writer

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Update on oligodendroglioma

What do you think? Is John Oliver a good new look for me? 😆😁🤣😫

Two weeks ago I had not so great MRI. Tumor has not only grown, but now there is an egg sized cyst.  This explains increase in seizure intensity. It was a shock to find this out. Thought I was doing ok. Handwriting and typing is totally fine now. Had another MRI (Happy Mother's Day!) to check motor fibers to see if surgery can be done safely. At the least, we will have the cyst drained and then aggressive treatment of 5-6 weeks daily radiation and chemo. It's not all bad, though. Best joke of the day (inspired by new hooded robe): I am Obi-mom-kinobi 😆😂👏👏


I will continue to write and read for as long as possible! I may even start sprucing up my manuscripts for submission.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

We Need You, Strega Nona!

Oh, the politics lately…


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…

Boastful Big Anthony had only wanted to show the laughing townsfolk he wasn't full of lies (ahem, alternative facts). But his foolishness nearly destroyed the village by throwing it into chaos and making the townsfolk even more livid. 

Sound familiar?

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

Please soon. Thank you!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017



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.


I am an X-MAN.


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. 


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, 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 💖


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!)


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