Conspiring with the Universe

You know that feeling when you listen to your gut and let your intuition do its thing? Amazing, right? That’s how I feel every time I sit down to write a children’s story. I’m not saying that every second of every day feels amazing. In fact, revision and waiting and rejection feel a lot like agony, and sometimes the long, winding, seemingly endless path to publication seems a lot less cordial than the Yellow Brick Road.

Still! It’s all so worth it.

And you know when you’re doing something you love and it seems like good things start coming your way? I feel like that now. Since dedicating myself to kidlit in late 2015, I’ve discovered how incredible the children’s literature community is, both in real life and virtually. The support is immense. The array of information available is intense. The learning opportunities are infinite. I’ve made friends, taken classes, gone to workshops and conferences, read over 1000 books…

My dream of seeing my own books up on the shelf is still a long way off, but I’m every bit (if not more) inspired to continue down this path today. I’m at my best when I’m constantly expanding my curiosity, utilizing my creativity, experimenting with form, putting words on a page.

In the less glamorous moments of self-doubt, I have been incredibly fortunate to have a few twinkling little lights of encouragement help guide me in the dark. The latest glimmer is a mentorship I was awarded in January through a wonderful contest called Writing With The Stars.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Peter McCleery, whose debut picture book came out last month. BOB AND JOSS GET LOST! is sublime. You must check it out if you haven’t already discovered it. It was an instant new favorite in our household. (It had me at Scuttlebutt.)

Peter’s gentle yet firm way has helped steer me in a better direction and clue me in about the craft and real life of a working kidlit writer. He doesn’t hold back with the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and have already learned so much. I am excited to see where Peter’s journey takes him. Thank you, Peter! And thank you, Universe! On to the next chapter I go…


Writing Up A Storm

coal sun skyAfter teaching all spring and traveling most of the summer, I’m back to writing lots lately and here’s my proof. I’m a new contributor at Portland City Moms Blog. That has been a lot of fun and is inspiring me to resurrect my personal blog. I’m also working on some fun children’s writing that has been bursting to spill out of me for way too long. Keep checking back for updates! Oh, and even though I’m busy with those projects, I’m always up for more. Contact me anytime if you have any writing, editing, or proofreading needs!


Here’s a link to my archives at Portland City Moms Blog:

Current Projects

jane'sbook5091930_origI’ve been away from this blog for way too long, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. Besides moving to a new state, teaching, parenting, and working on some creative writing, I’ve continued to write some feature articles for two regional magazines in Washington state. I’ve also recently edited a book that’s been released. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, check it out!

By The River

How do you morph a life-changing two week trip into 400 words or less?

The local newspaper in my town kindly gave me a prominent, regular column during my recent humanitarian trip with a medical team and Rotary group to Haiti. It was great exposure and I’m so glad people have shared that this perspective helped bring this far-off country alive to them. But friends and strangers alike were pretty clear that some of the edited versions in the paper were a little disjointed. I think it was tough for the publisher to whittle such a life-encompassing trip down to several hundred words. I’m glad he used what he could and believe me, I wish I’d had more time and restful brainpower while I was there to severely edit some of my own stream-of-consciousness wordflow that spewed through my fingers straight to the keyboard. But we both did what we could. Check out my blog if you’d like to read a fuller account of the shortened bits that were in the paper, or look here for longer accounts that the local paper has kept online.