Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hey Look! It's my Article "Drops Make the Ocean"

Hey Look! My Article on the Statue of Liberty is now available at Kidz Wonder online magazine Jan/Feb issue.
Drops Make the Ocean
It's free! So you just have to click on the issue
open the pdf file
and scroll to page 49.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Check out this Christmas video

You've got to check out this Christmas video by my friend
Ian Sands
He's one seriously talented and funny guy!
Click here to see it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Twas My First Year of Critique Group

Don't be fooled! This may look like Mary Poppins, but it's really me.
Really! Honest.Words can't adequately express what my critique group has meant to me
However, I've penned a Holiday poem to give tribute to this wonderful group of people.
(from left to right) Jenny, Ian, Karen, me, Linda
The Annual SCBWI Carolina's Conference

Janelle at the ball. Pink braids are soooo "In"!

Me, Joe, and a few people I just met at lunch. Ian is behind the camera

Karen Lee, me and Leah Palmer Price

our group having a little predinner dinner of Chick-fil-A :0)
Carol, Mike, Kathy Janelle, Jenny, Don, Karen, and I can't tell who's behind Karen)

By Christy Evers

Twas my first year of crit group. In my toddler-filled home
My fingers were typing, ‘til the pain made me groan.
Paper and snacks were set up with care
In hopes that my butt would stay glued to the chair.

In the sanctum of Starbucks we faithfully met
While visions of book deals made our palms sweat.
And Janelle with her laptop, and her warm smiling face
Arrived early to reserve our beloved corner space.

When out of the walls there arose such a clatter
Oh, if only to silence the musical chatter!
Away to the Barista Ian flew like a deer
“Turn off that music! Don’t you know we can’t hear?”

The fluorescent lighting on the faces below
Made my skin look sallow; an unflattering glow.
When, what to my wondering ears should I hear?
The wisdom of “Crit Group”, which I hold so dear.

They pulled out their papers so lively and quick
Oh my! There’s so much red ink! I just may get sick.
More rapid than eagles the comments they came
As they went round the circle my comrades exclaim,

“A dash there. A dot here. Now that’s a nice line.
I like this idea. Work on meter and rhyme.
It looks like you’ve used every tense know to man
Try, now, and pick only one if you can.”

So off to the conference the breakouts we took,
With wisdom and knowledge to sell book after book.
We dressed up in costumes for the Grand Crystal Ball
If I may say so myself; our group’s the funnest of all. :0)

So now into the New Year we fly
When we set our new goals, we’ll reach for the sky
What adventures and success will 2008 hold?
We’ll go marching together! May all our books be sold!

Our little critique group is fresh and unique.
Now put your red pens away! This poem is not up for critique! :0)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 7, 2007

WOW!!!!!! 3D chalk art

All I can say is "Wow!"
This work is done by Julian Beevers. Most of his work is done in chalk.
If you want to see more of his work, click on his name and it'll take you there.
Don't fall in!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tuck Everlasting

This book is now in my "cannon" of books to reread, study and digest. The language is beautiful, the plot is fresh and thought-provoking, and the characters are endearing. Natalie Babbit takes the heavy subjects of life, death and immortality and allows the reader to view them from a unique and entertaining angle.

I saw the movie years ago and enjoyed it, but even as good as the movie was, the book is way better than its celluloid double.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Santa's putting an office in my stocking this year!

I'm so excited! My husband and I have been sharing the den and it's been getting cramped! Now that I've been getting serious about writing for children the office has been a disaster; Paper everywhere, things getting mixed up, clutter etc. The room isn't big enough for the two of us. We've decided to turn our guest room into an office. MY office! It will still have a bed for guests, but most of the time it will be office space.

So Good-by old guest furniture!! Buh-bye!!!!!

"Hello" even OLDER furniture. (these two pieces are items that I kept from my childhood bedroom)

And I'm going to fill the room with all the colors that I love! In addition to some of my childhood things I'll have things from my kids; the things they have made and will make. And I'll put up pictures and all kinds of other things that inspire my creativity and help me to connect back to childhood.

more pictures to come as updates are made . . . . .

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Artsy Schmartsy Priorities: The Promise Necklace

Recently my six year old daughter was excited about the arrival of a weekend visitor. She prepared for our guest by planning a special necklace making project for them to do together. My daughter was jumping out of her skin with anticipation.
The visitor came, the weekend passed and our guest went home without making a necklace and my daughter was heartbroken.
So, I told her I would make a necklace with her.
The day passed and I was about to leave for work early that evening when my daughter reminded me about my promise to make a necklace. I decided to take that extra 10 minutes to make the necklace instead of having the extra time to set up at work. I couldn't break her heart too.
It was well worth it. You would have thought I had taken her to Disney World by how excited she was and quite frankly, it ended up being the best part of my day.
I made a necklace for her and she made a necklace for me.
I hung the necklace that she made for me in my car as a reminder of how important it is
to keep our promises to each other
and how important it is to take time to do things with the people we love.

I hope my children will look back on today
And see a mother who had time to play.
Dusting and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow
For babies grow fast we learn to our sorrow.
Cleaning and cooking won't go away
But children grow bigger day after day

So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I'll play with my children 'cause children don't keep.
anon poem adapted by me

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cluck Kent and Lois Path

This time of year brings back memories of the writing experience that first cultivated the "love of writing" in me.

I was in 5th grade and in white chalk (this was the day of black boards) the teacher wrote:

Write a story starting with this sentence "One day I was face to face with a musket . . . "

wish I had the foresight to keep that piece, but I didn't. I do, however, remember a little bit of how it goes.

One day I was face to face with a musket . . .

I went on to tell the story of a young and strong turkey named Cluck Kent. World famous Bawkporter Lois Path found herself looking down the barrel of a musket. Cluck Kent sensed trouble was afoot and our hero dashed into the nearest hollow log to emerge none-other than Super Hero extrodinaire SUPER TURKEY!!!!!!!! Super Turkey was able to get the musket away from the hunter and saved the day. THE END

I had so much fun writing the story, and the teacher and my parents gushed over my paper and Voila! The seeds of "writing-joy" were planted.

Thanks Super Turkey and Mrs. Whatsyourname for my my 5th grade Thanksgiving writing assignment.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Book Review: Holes

Wow! I loved this book! I expected it to be good since it is a Newberry winner and they made a movie out of it. But I must admit, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I never saw the movie or heard much about it so the whole story was new to me. It's a great book all around. It's funny, easy to read yet interesting. I love the way Louis Sachar laced so many elements of the story together and tied them all up. Almost everything he included ended up being crucial somehow.

This is a great book to read for those who don't have much time for reading. The Chapters are short and easy to digest. My reading time was cut short this month, but I was able to knock out a chapter by chapter while waiting in the school pick up lines for the kids, and even while waiting in line for my coffee at Starbucks!

There's no excuse to not read this one!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Eye candy for aratsy schmartsy people. Check out Mr. November!

So, I turn my calendar to November, (all Monet if you couldn't guess) and much to my delight, November's picture is my FAVORITE Monet of all times. I get to look at it all month! :0)

I love Monet in general (is there anyone who doesn't?) But out of them all, this is the one that most makes me feel like I'm there. I can feel the breeze and hear the ocean in the distance. I enjoy the sultry whisper of the leaves stirring in the wind; the sun warms my skin as I escape the energy of the city below.

~sigh~ I hope I can see this in person some day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The countdown to Halloween is over: How I tortured my toddler

No more picture of dogs in costumes.

I'm not the responsible party for dressing up the dogs in my earlier posts. I am , however, responsible for torturing my child and dressing her up like a chicken.
She was not happy with me. But what could I do? They had the costume on sale for $5 at The Children's Place. How could I resist?

The only time she let us keep her hat on was while she ate some yogurt. Otherwise, she pulled it off and screamed if we tried to put it on her head.

ahhhh. . . . the memories parents make for their young--

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm a toddler!

I've know that I've wanted to write for children for about 5 years. this past year was the first year that I decided to get serious about it and treat it as something more than just a hobby. Since I've made that decision, I've seen a huge improvement in my skills, and my writing credits are slowly but surely adding up. At first, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, but then I sat down and looked at the few accomplishments that I've had, and though they may be small baby steps, I feel good about it. I'm heading in the right direction. This past year has made a huge difference. And as the New Year lurks behind the approaching Holiday Season, I'm excited to see what kind of progress will come with it.

Here's a small break down of my journey:

All my life (the fetal stage)= I've loved to write. I keep journals upon journals and wrote all kinds of stories as a kid. I was accused of plaigiarism by my 7th grade teacher, which scared the tar out of me. It made me a little scared to try too hard and it took a little of the joy of writing away. If only I had known what a compliment that really was, maybe I would've tried harder and stuck with it. Oh well. Live and learn.

Year 1 (newborn)= Read lots of picture books to my first child and thought "I'd like to do that" I wrote a story, got a rejection letter and thought "Oh, that's not as easy as I thought it would be." But I still wanted to write for children and decided to figure out how to do it. I bought books on how to write for children and decided to take a class.

Year 2 and 3 (baby)= I took a correspondence writing course with the Institute of Children's Literature. My mentor was Connie Heckert. She was wonderful and I learned a TON about writing for children and the industry in general. I started out thinking that I only wanted to write books, but found that writing articles was fun too.

Year 4 (first steps)= My course ended, I joined SCBWI carolina's, went to my first writers conference, joined a critique group and sent out a submission or two -- then received a rejection letter or two. My first success was winning a small writing contest with SCBWI.

Year 5 (I'm toddling!)= I subscribed to the Children's Writer Newsletter, which has been a huge help. This is the year I started getting some of my articles accepted. I think all of them, or almost all of them were leads from the Children's Writer Newsletter.
I went to my 2nd Writer's Conference this year and had a critique done by Caitlyn Dloughy at Atheneum. It was a great critique. She had a lot of good things to say. I'm going to send my MS to her when my revisions are complete.
This year I also committed to reading, reading, reading. With 3 young children, I thought this would be a hard commitment. However, I take a book with me wherever I go, and instead of watching t.v. I crack open a book. Not to mention audio books. This is another practice that has improved my skills (if I may say so myself). :0P

Year 6 = Will I be ready for preschool this year? Look at me now! I'm a toddler taking baby steps! Pretty soon I'll be running and getting into all kinds of messes. Oh, wait -- I maybe taking the analogy too far. Here's hoping I'll be running, without the messes. :0)

It's nice to look back and see some growth.

My goals for this year:
keep reading
Keep writing
submit more MS's
enter some contests
Keep on keepin' on . . . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: More forgotten scary stories

Here's another oldie but goodie! The story of Pinocchiohantas. A wicked Fairy put a curse on her so that every time she told a lie, she would shrink while her eyes and nose grew bigger.
I wonder why that one lost its staying power.
hmmmmm . . . . .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Forgotten Scary Stories

Do you remember the story about Werewolf Beard the 3 ft pirate?
That one was scary! ohhhhhh! I have goose pimples.

What? You don't remember?

It's a classic.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Words of Wisdom from a Master Jedi

Almost Halloween, it is.
Drive pets crazy, If you dress your them in costumes you will.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Helpful hints

If You're going to dress like a lobster, make sure the burner isn't on before you sit in the pot.
Beware of friends wearing lobster bibs.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Story Night at Chick-fil-A with Kelly Starling Lyons

Kelly had a GREAT Story Night at our Chick-fil-A!
SCBWI members Karen Lee and Gloria Glenn came to hear Kelly read.

She autographed postersKids flocked to hear her read.

Kelly and her new book "One Million Men and Me" was a huge success!

You can also check out our Kids Night blog for more photo's.
Great job Kelly!

Countdown to Halloween: More creative pumpkin carving

I've been sheltered all my life.
I had no idea. Ahh. . . the boundless limits of pumpkin carving.

Now I'm hungry .

Monday, October 8, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Creative Pumpkin Carving

All I can say is
Whoever thought if this is a genius.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Helpful hints

The Alligator costume: Perfect for those who want to hide in the bushes and scare the !@#* out of the Trick or Treaters after dark.

this Costume is also the safest choice for those Trick or Treating in the Everglades.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

SCBWI 15th annual conference.

This past weekend was the SCBWI Carolina's 15th annual conference. For a Children's writer this event is pretty much like Christmas only there's no decorated tree's, presents, relatives, or cookies, snow, reindeer, elves, flashing lights, jingle bells, carolers, horse drawn sleighs, reruns of "A Christmas Story" or long shopping lines. OK, so maybe it's nothing like Christmas, except that I was very eager for the conference to get here.

They had chocolate cake!

This is my critique group buddy Janelle. She doesn't really have pink braids, but we suspect this has always been her dream.

Oh look! Maybe it is like Christmas. See Santa in the back row? Thats me in the middle. I never realized until this picture how much I look like my brother.

That is me between two very talented people. Author/Illustrator Karen Lee, and Illustrator Leah Palmer Price. I guess I'm standing there hoping that the talent will rub off on me.

I didn't bring my camera, so the picture credits go to my dear friend and critique group buddy Ian Sands. Thanks for the pictures Ian!

I learned a lot about writing for children, enjoyed hanging with my friends, ate chocolate cake, dressed like a gypsy, babbled incoherently during my critique with editor Caitlyn Dloughy from Simon and Schuster and I drank lots of coffee. Can life get any better?

Monday, September 24, 2007

watch the panda cub with its mommy on the Panda Cam!

This is so sweet! There's a panda cub at the Sand Diego Zoo. The cub was born Aug 3rd. You can watch them together and it is ADORABLE!!!!! You've got to check it out!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Inside the mind of Lois Lowry

I was very excited to find that two time Newberry winner, Lois Lowry has a blog! I've recently read "Gossamer", "The Giver", and I'm almost done reading "Number the Stars" (I'll probably be done today). Her work is amazing and I'm thrilled to get an opportunity to gain a glimpse into her musings via blog.

I'm looking forward to reading her other works.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Creative exercise #3 "Think like a kid"

Anyone who has spent serious time writing for children has heard "you have to think like children if you want to write for children."

Here's a list of some of the great truths that children have learned.

1) Water color paints can be used as lipstick
2) When you moon your parents, they'll laugh at home, but not anywhere else.
3) Never wash your hair with vaseline.
4) If you wash your hair with vaseline, your hair will be shiny (and sticky) for weeks.
5) Curtains make poor vines when playing Tarzan
6) You don't need snow to go sledding. A laundry basket and a flight of stairs work too.
7) Don't put helium balloons near a running ceiling fan.
8) Don't spit into a running fan.
9) It's difficult to prove that stuffed animals come alive at night.

Now, here's your choices for creativity.
A. Make up some of your own "truths that children have learned" If you come up with any, reply to this post, and I'll add it to the list.
B. Take one of the above truths and use it to start a short story.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Is it wrong to fight a five year old over office space?

My five year old HAS to set up an office wherever she goes. So, when we were at the beach a couple of weeks ago, she found the perfect place for her office complete with pencil holder, sharpener, notepad and even a calculator. Don't ask me what the calculator is for. I don't know.

She was up early in the morning writing her "story" even before she ate breakfast.

I like the view. Would it be wrong to kick the kid out of her office space so I can make it mine? ;0) The balcony is too small for the both of us. Oh . . . the sacrifices a mother makes for her children.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Check out this new FREE e-zine

This is a great new e-zine for kids 6-12. It's full of articles, crafts, jokes and educational stuff too!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I've been meme'd

I've been tagged by my friend Karen Lee with A meme. I'm supposed to tag other people, but I'm afraid that all the people I know are the same people that Karen already tagged, so I don't have anyone new to tag, but I'll play along anyway.

Here’s how it goes: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names (see below), then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Eight possibly unique things about me:

1) when I was younger I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up (and still secretly have the same dream)

2) I used to ice skate competitively

3) I used to be a gymnast

4) In high school, I spent a month traveling through France with my French teacher and some class mates.

5) I used to go to church with Clay Aiken before he was on American Idol

6) I can crochet and quilt

7) I once had a turtle named Rocky, but he dug a hole under the fence and ran away

8) when I was a kid, my best friend really really really wanted a pet, but her parents wouldn't let her have one. So, We found a pool of water in an old flower barrel in my back yard with "tadpoles" in it. We scooped up the tadpoles and put them in a plastic baggy so she would have her very own bunch of baby frogs. To make a long story short, it turns out that they weren't tadpoles. They were mosquito larva. When the mosquito's matured, they ate through the plastic baggy and infested my friends home. Oops.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poetry Friday

Here's my first attempt at poetry Friay. There's certainly no rhyme, there might be a hint of meter. This is just some poetic-like musings that come to mind as I often pass this old barn on the road. Sometimes words want to get out, even if they aren't perfect.

Rotting shell of yesteryear,
Swathed in lacy green.

Winding bough seeking light,
Peeks through aged door.

Knotty branches reach for sun.
Timber shrinks to dust.

Place of birth and solemn grave,
Unlikely partners bond.

A union
Equally morbid and brilliant.

Fleeting yet endless.

Lending ever-present mind
To our own futile days.


Gee, I'm so darn perky and cheerful, I can hardly stand it! ;0P

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Story Night with Karen Lee was a huge success!

We had a great turn out!

A big thanks to Karen Lee for coming to our Chick-fil-A Story Night!
The kids had a blast listening to Karen read ABC Safari, One Odd Day and My Even Day

Karen reading the "Snakes Juggling cakes" page! I love that one!

Karen with Emma, one of our more enthusiastic listeners.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Story Night with Karen Lee this Tuesday Night

Story Night
Chick-fil-A RTP 104 Residence Inn, Durham

With Award Winning
Karen Lee!

Reading times:

Join us for Story Night on Tuesday August 21st from 5-7 PM as Karen Lee reads to us from her most recent book "ABC Safari"

You may recognize some of Karen’s numerous illustrations in publications such as “Highlights for Children, Ranger Rick Magazine and Family Fun Magazine” just to name a few. She has also illustrated many books such as “One Odd Day” and soon to be released “My Even Day” by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed.
You can check out Karen’s blog at:


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Take the Book Quiz: What Book are you?

What is your literary equal? Take the Book Quiz from Blue Pyramid and find out. It's surprisingly quick and for me -- accurate.

Mine was pretty much spot on! My match was "The Giver" By Lois Lowry

You're The Giver!
by Lois Lowry
While you grew up with a sheltered childhood, you're pretty sure everyone around you is even more sheltered. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, you were tapped on the shoulder and transported to the real world. This made you horrified by your prior upbringing and now you're tormented by how to reconcile these two lives. Ultimately, the struggle comes down to that old free will issue. Choose wisely.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Contest info for all you Artsy Schmartsy Poets out there!

There's a great new kids e-zine coming out in Sept. called Kidz Wonder.

They are accepting articles for future submissions, but they are also running a poetry contest, complete with prizes.

Here's the link for submission info!

365 Poems Contest, Kidz Wonder e-zine


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Raleigh Schmooze

We Mingled

And Listened to Stephanie

Isn't Karen so cute?

Hello nice lady from Quail Ridge!

We ate and drank and ate and drank and ate and drank -- well, you get the picture.

Wow! What a great schmooze! It was great to meet new people and put some names with faces.

A great big thanks to everybody who brought food and "festive" decor.

And a super great "Thanks" to Stephanie who gave us some valuable insights! You're a gem Stephanie!