Life sure does get busy, but I hope I’m never so busy that I won’t be compelled to participate in this WONderful annual—well, year-round, actually—celebration of CREATIVITY! Yep! It’s Dot Day, people! 😁😍 And as you can see by the image here, you can hear Peter Reynolds “share the origins of International Dot Day” 😁😎🤩 Continue reading

UP!–PODCAST Paradise 2! :)


OK, so…the bulk of this post was published WAY back in 2016. I revisited it for my own sake, wanting to listen to a podcast. It having been so long, I figured to check all the links. I’m VERY happy I did because a few were defunct and a couple weren’t correct! That aggravates me, considering how careful I try to be. BUT, since podcasts are wonderful, I thought it worth re-posting this updated version. There are plenty here, whether new or in archives to enjoy!…

The first time I became aware of the term “podcast” was over 10 years ago. When I was immersed in the online “Harry Potter” fandom, I heard of the “Mugglecast” podcast. At that time, for whatever reason, I couldn’t or simply didn’t know how to access it. It was launched through Mugglenet, whose team was attending and hosting all kinds of events pre-Deathly Hallows, and broadcasting Live. I didn’t get to hear any of it, and not until JUST NOW, when I googled it for this post, did I know they’re still doing it! 😎

Anyway, it was not until I became active on Twitter a few years ago, and wove my way into its wonderful online community of KidLit, did “podcast” come up again. That’s when “Let’s Get Busy” with host Matthew Winner became one of my favorite pastimes. It was the first one I began listening to regularly, “falling in love” with the experience. Some time after that, I discovered Nick Patton and his “Picturebooking” podcasts. Since then I’ve come across others, most of them KidLit-related, but the truth is—podcasts abound! Just do a search for “podcasts + any subject” and chances are, you’ll find something 🙂

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Book Giveaway: DEAR MR. DICKENS by Nancy Churnin

Writer Side UP! friends, I have never re-blogged a post on this blog because I’ve never mentally established the boundaries as to what content would or wouldn’t fit or “be fair” in that way. That said after reading this, I couldn’t help myself. I am blown away by everything about this picture book.

In my eyes, everything about this book journey is a lesson/message as much as the book itself. This is a testament to so many things! The value of reading–and research and where that can lead. That it led the author from those “sentence” seeds to Dickens scholars and eventually The Charles Dickens Museum in London is astounding. It feels like it was touched by angels 🙂 And I especially love that, for its author, the book journey has such a “happy ending” 🙂 As she discovered that Charles Dickens did have the wonderful heart his writing conveyed, I discovered about Theodor “Seuss” Geisel. Much has been said against him–falsely–in recent years, and my research, as did hers, revealed that.

Now Charles and Eliza are true role models in this way, emblazoned in this beautiful book. It and the book journey have such extremely poignant and important messages which, in my opinion, are just as meaningful for adults as children. I hope you find this as enjoyable and moving as I have 🙂

Writing and Illustrating

Nancy Churnin’s picture book DEAR MR. DICKENS, illustrated by Bethany Stancliffe and published by Albert Whitman & Co is coming out on October 1st.

 Nancy has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner in the U.S. mailing territory. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Nancy and Bethany.


In Eliza Davis’s day, Charles Dickens was the most celebrated living writer in England. But some of his books reflected a prejudice that was all…

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UP! — INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY 2021 is here! :D

OK, how on earth can another year have gone by? I know I’ve been steadily busy, not just with the pandemic books I published, but life in general. I’m betting you can likely say the same thing 🐝🐝🐝

If you follow this blog, you’re likely familiar with International Dot Day. Well, it just rolled around again today!

Last year was the first time I was able to post my Dot as a “Celebri-dot” and it was one of those “dreams” fulfilled 🙂 I couldn’t have been happier about it. But what is EXTRA special about this year is it’s the first year I got to celebrate with my 4-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte 🥰 Continue reading


I have to tell ya — the last thing I thought to be doing right now would be writing just for the fun of it! I’m so ridiculously busy, it doesn’t even cross my mind. And although I WANTed to participate in this year’s Fall Writing Frenzy, I didn’t expect to. Long story short, the other night, during the very-difficult-to-watch Presidential Debate, I happened to catch a reminder tweet from Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez, co-organizer along with Lydia Lukidis, that it was almost entry time and, of course, I again checked out the “Rules” page with all the image prompts.

Maybe it’s that I miss writing for fun. Maybe it’s how much I miss autumn peaks that no longer exist where I live — not for a good 15 years. Maybe it’s just that I ached for a creative break — the kind that doesn’t involve pressure or promotion or anything “required” other than staying within the 200-word count.  Continue reading