The Hippo Years

THE HIPPO YEARS by Diana Murray We had no idea what a fateful day it was when my husband (long before we were married) went to a health insurance expo in Manhattan. He came home with some free swag, including a hippo puppet from HIP insurance. Of course we had to try it on and […]

The Magical, Musical Baby Bear

A Magical Lovey by C. C. Payne An older lady in the church choir had given my mother the yellow teddy bear near the end of her pregnancy. So “Baby Bear,” as we came to call him, occupied my crib even before I did. Once I was placed in the crib too, Baby Bear and […]

What is An Antagonist?

After attending the recent New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference, I had to make an unexpected trip to Miami. When my family calls for help, I get on a plane. I’ve earned a lot of miles this year. On a better day towards the end of our trip, my sister and I ventured into the Florida […]

Images of Whispering Pines

I start the day by applying what I’ve learned–or had reinforced–at Whispering Pines: an extraordinary writing retreat held annually in Rhode Island, and sponsored by the NE SCBWI. (I promise to blog about the conference specifics by the end of the week, and to thank everyone who deserves undying appreciation. There is much to tell and share!) For most […]

What if Mrs. Claus Took Over for Santa?

While I enjoy giving writing prompts to inspire other writers, I like being challenged myself. Last week, Kathy Temean had posted this writing challenge: On Christmas Eve day while baking five pies, cookies, meatballs and lasagna, I wondered what would happen if Santa got sick and Mrs. Claus had to take over?  Would the reindeer’s behave?  Would she find her way to everyone’s […]

The Ducks of San Diego

San Diego is a beautiful city. And that is where I spent the past week, celebrating a family member’s birthday. The weather was perfect (sunny and not too hot) and the company of people we haven’t seen in a while was even better. We walked and walked and . . . walked. Through the entire San […]

The Right Fit

On my drive home, after attending the NJ SCBWI Mentoring Workshop, I began to think about jeans; how hard it is to find the right pair. And how every time I feel hopeful about discovering the perfect pair, I end up with a pile of jeans in a dressing room, all of which need to […]