Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Looking for ways to recharge your muse, re-energize any flagging spirits, and send writer's block tumbling? Here are two that I'm joining in on to start off my year:

This series is put on by SCBWI Inland Northwest, my  home region. For this third series, presenters are Alice McGinty, Jenna Pocius, Andrea Welch, and Corinna Luyken. Space is limited.

A month of daily blog posts from authors, illustrators, and more to kick-start your commitment to generate 30 new story ideas. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

DECEMBER 2018 -- Christmas Songs Re-envisioned

In a recent newsletter, author Ann Whitford Paul suggested rewriting familiar Christmas songs as a poetry exercise. Since I loved doing something similar when I created my Halloween Nursery Rhymes, I thought I'd give Ann's idea a try.

Children, We Have Heard Their Calls    (Angels We Have Heard On High)

Children, we have heard their calls,
Loudly screamed throughout the malls:
Give me this and I want that.
What’s up with these spoiled brats?
Coal . . . for them all,
In their Christmas stockings.
Coal . . . for them all,
In their Christmas stockings.

We Three Elves
(We Three Kings)
We three elves from Santa’s workshop,
Bringing gifts to kids ‘til we drop.
Dolls, bikes, diggers, action figures,
Following Santa’s list.
O, where is Santa, can you guess?
The big guy’s on extended rest.
Sprained his backside, nixed the sleigh ride . . .
Thank the stars we have that list.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NOVEMBER 2018 -- A November Acrostic

Now that autumn’s taken over,

Outside the weather turns uncertain and

Venturing out is a guessing game.

Even so, don’t miss those places turned

Magical in their seasonal glory.

Brushed with hues from an earthy palette, they

Embrace this time of inevitable endings, and

 Reign supreme until snow flies.

Saturday, October 13, 2018



Nursery rhymes for Halloween?
Why not?
Look at that goose-riding character.
She is carrying a broom and wearing a pointy hat.

Harry Hairy, you are quite scary
How do you keep your fangs so strong?
I drink moonbeam milk, floss with spider silk,
And use a file to keep them long.
Old Witchy Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To fetch a stew pot of bone  
But to her vexation
There’d been reanimation . . .
Those bones now stood on their own.
Ghosties, goblins, howl and wail,
Catch a black cat by the tail
If it vanishes from view
It might be best if you did too.
Chantilly Vampire flies through the town,
Upstairs, downstairs, in her cape and gown.
Scratching on the windows, shrieking her request:
“Send your children out to play—youngsters taste the best.”
Little Mad Mummy
Filled up his tummy
Eating fried bats and ghoul kooties
There came a big rumble
And a quite gassy grumble
That unraveled Mad Mummy’s patootie.

Monday, August 27, 2018

AUGUST 2018 -- Star Party Haiku

At our house, August means it's time for a star gazing trip to the Ochoco National Forest in Central Oregon. Along with us were 500 plus other amateur astronomers camped out on a sagebrush studded meadow, hoping for moderate temperatures during the days and clear, dark skies at night. While we did get a couple of days that met those criteria, what we got the rest of the week were hot days and about 30 degrees of horizon lost to smoke from all the forest fires in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Not ideal viewing circumstances. However, it did prompt the following haiku rambles:

Heat fries stony ground
We sit, listless 'til darkness
Brings relief and stars
Ochoco heat wave
Leaves star hounds daylight zombies
Baying for star rise
Smoke rings the meadow
Obscuring constellations
Dulling nighttime views
Despite the smoke, we did see some nice displays from the Perseus Meteor Shower. If we were looking in just the right direction at just the right time, that is. 
Panning the night sky
Waiting while those shooting streaks
Appear behind me
Yes, not the greatest year for star gazing in the Ochoco, but we star gazers are optimists.
Night skies were a bust
Too much smoke veiled good viewing
Can't wait for next year


Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 2018 -- High School Reunion

My 45th High School Reunion is this month. I thought that called for a little commemoration and celebration haiku style.   

High school is spent in
In contemplation
Our faces have changed
Our bodies acquired some wear
But school ties endure
It’s been many years
But the memories remain
And friendships hold true
Soft clink of glasses
While thoughts in this moment dwell
On friends gone before

Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 2018 -- I've Taped My Sister to the Wall

I’ve taped my sister to the wall,
But I’m not being cruel.
My mom told me to watch her
While she helps our Aunt Jewel.
You see, my sister is a whiz
At defeating gates and locks.
She once escaped her playpen
With a slingshot made of socks.
Last month she used some baby oil
To grease two window bars.
Then shimmied down the drain pipe
And was headed for the car.
I probably shouldn’t mention
Her breakout in the park
It involved three other toddlers—
All four were found by dark.
Yes, it’s a sticky situation.
I’m really not a meanie.
But if I run out of duct tape . . .
There goes Kid Houdini.

 Wondering what on earth inspired this little ditty? Take a look here: Taped to Wall Prompt