Although I live in beautiful Florida with my dear friend for most of the year, I am privileged to own a stunning home on a lake in northern West Virginia. My son keeps the home fires burning for the most part, but in May I want to be there to go through my gardens, see what plants are thriving, pull out the weeds. As a person who loves any reason to be outdoors, weeding and mulching my flower beds are labors of love. The fresh air and bird song from the surrounding woods calm my spirit as nothing else can. I have lots of "volunteer" plants in my back garden, plants that spread themselves from their original location. I almost always let them stay where they've decided to be. Makes a wild mixture sometimes, but I like the natural feeling.
Working outside allows my mind to wander, stories form, plot twists appear. Just this morning I realized that pulling weeds in a garden and finding plants in unexpected places is not unlike the editing process I go through when I have written a story, let it sit for a while, and then delve back into it almost like a new reader. Then I can remove the "weeds," the unnecessary words or phrases that clutter up the overall picture I strive to create. And during that process, new descriptions pop up, adding color and texture to my original work. I can see then where the story is thin, needs more development. Characters and settings can be enriched, nourished as easily as plants can be pruned, transplanted, and fed. And the result, when enough time has been put in, satisfies as a well-tended, much loved garden.
Author of Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
Published by Guardian Angel Publishing December 2014:
Jeremiah Lucky and the Guardian Angel
Jeremiah needs a little help and he gets it with the sudden appearance of his guardian angel. Chapter book for ages 7-10.
Jeremiah Lucky Finds Puppy Love
Jeremiah dodges a kiss from a princess and falls head over heels for a lost puppy. Chapter book for ages 7-10.
Watch for these titles coming soon:
The Whispering Chimney
Eleven-year old Bethany finds a stone chimney and discovers a beautiful but terrifying past. (upper middle grade)
(Beyond the) Stone Eagle Gate
David, age fifteen, flees a false accusation and takes refuge in a haunted, abandoned mansion. (YA, historical fiction ghost story)
The Interplanetary Adventures of Yan Sunnara: Book I Rescue on Lato
Cultural scientist Yan Sunnara rescues an unusual child on the planet of Lato with the help of an exotic and beautiful Uvian archaeologist. (Adult, soft Science Fiction, Rescue on Lato is the first of a series of four novellas.)
Three teens are connected by a mysterious and sometimes frightening ability to cross over from one dimension here on earth to another. This YA novel placed in the top three in Florida Writers 2013 RPLA competition. Speculative Fiction.
Some Great MG and YA books
- Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
- These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
- Red Blood Road by Moira Young
- On Little Wings by Regina Sirois
- Nation by Terry Pratchett
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
- Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (Printz 2012)
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- Fire by Kristin Cashore