“The Fishing Lesson” Unveiling and My Visit to Fountaindale Elementary School


I’ve had such fun with “The Fishing Lesson” book! On September 20th, the beautiful sculpture was unveiled at City Park, and I was honored to present the Mayor with a copy of the book. Here’s the boys and me by the statue, as well as a pic of me with talented sculptor and illustrator Paul Rhymer.




Then the following week I visited Fountaindale Elementary to talk to the first graders…



…and the second graders about how to write a story. Thanks for scheduling my visit, Mr. Bassler and Mrs. Leard!!


Visiting Author Day at Mercersburg Elementary

I visited Mercersburg Elementary School yesterday as their 2014 Visiting Author. The kids and I had an amazing time! I’m hoping to visit schools like this more often. So much fun!

I think this is me reacting to a girl’s confession that the annoying thing her little brother does is bite her in her sleep. Yup, that would be pretty annoying.
Look at this kid’s smile! How cute!
The kids were so smart. They already knew about plot and could explain rising action, climax, and resolution.
What? All of you like video games? No way! This is shocking.
Photo op at the end. I like it that some of the kids called me “Mrs Author.”
The kids asked me great questions, too, like why and when I started to write, how long it takes me to write a book, if I ever make mistakes when I write, and whether I’ve ever been to the flower shop by City Park.
Sometimes the kids would be ecstatic to answer, but then they’d forget what they had to say. I feel that way in meetings sometimes, too.

Two Exciting Opportunities Resulting from Self-Publishing

SuperDylan and the Night Horse is out! Also this month, I’ve received some other exciting book news.


SuperDylan and the Night Horse, the sequel to SuperDylan and the Powers of Just Right, would make a fun, educational stocking stuffer for students in 1st-5th grade. This book follows six-year-old Dylan as he learns that he and his family will be moving and he’ll have to make new friends.  He starts having nightmares, but with a little advice from his sister, Dylan learns something wonderful about his own abilities. This book teaches imagination, creativity, and self-confidence.

I’ve also recently become involved in two other exciting projects.

I was asked to write a children’s book to accompany a sculpture to be built in the City Park lake here in Hagerstown, Maryland.


The sculpture is being created by Paul Rhymer, also the artist who created the watercolor above. The sculpture will show a mama bear teaching her cub to fish, and my accompanying story underscores the importance of self-sustainability, lifelong teaching and learning, and the parent-child relationship. I wrote the book a few weeks ago and was proud to serve on a team that asked the City Council for funding last week. We were awarded our whole request, and we’ll be able to print and distribute the book to 5,000 local school children, along with lesson plans and information about the sculpture, which will be unveiled later in 2014. This is another fantastic opportunity, and one I wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for the Washington County Arts Council.

Washington County arts council

The Washington County Arts Council has been very supportive of my SuperDylan book, which they sell at their Gallery. Mary Anne Burke, Executive Director of the Arts Council, said she immediately thought of me as the perfect local author to join the team involved in this exciting “Fishing Lesson” project. Thanks, Mary Anne!

I was also asked to be the 2014 visiting author at Mercersburg Elementary School in Pennsylvania.

I’ll be visiting the school in January, reading SuperDylan and the Powers of Just Right to students, talking a little about the writing process, and then answering student questions. The school is purchasing a signed book for every student in the school. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to share the book with others and interact with the kids while doing something I love. I can’t wait! Thanks to Michele Poacelli for recommending me!

Neither of these opportunities would have presented themselves if I wouldn’t have self-published the SuperDylan books. I’d probably still be waiting to hear back from agents and the manuscripts would have been stuck in a folder on my computer. I’m thrilled about both these projects, proud to live in such a supportive community, and glad I can debut the Night Horse along with these two pieces of fantastic news!

SuperDylan and the Powers of Just Right: Coming Out in June

front-cover-full-sized.100%  Woo-hoo! Here’s a sneak peek at the cover of my book coming out in June.
It’s been awesome to work with my brother Grant on this!
“SuperDylan and the Powers of Just Right” is an early reader chapter book for ages 4-8.

Here’s the scoop:
When Dylan’s three-year-old brother dons a cape and threatens Dylan’s self-proclaimed position as the family superhero, Dylan panics. But after a dangerous flying test and an unlikely rescue mission, his feelings about his brother are about to change.



The Wii is Not My Bag, Baby

As I’m cooking dinner, I hear: “Mom, you’re still Luigi, and you’re doing better at Mario Brothers now that you’re in the other room than you were when you were actually holding the controller. I’m not trying to be mean. It’s just a fact that’s interesting.”

A March of Clams

“March. In like a lion, out like a clam,” says Dylan.

“Lamb, buddy. Lamb,” I say. “A lion is ferocious, like winter. A lamb is gentle, like spring.”

“Clams are gentle,” says Dylan. “Clams don’t even have legs. How could they attack you? Seriously.”

“Point taken. March. In like a lion. Out like a clam.”


Swiss Army What?

“No,” says Dylan. “Don’t trim that one. I need it. It’s my Swiss army toenail.”


–Dylan & Nate are characters from SuperDylan: The Powers of Just Right, an early reader chapter book coming out in the summer of 2013.


Dylan points to two men getting a power drain-snake out of a truck. “Mr. Harris has plumbers at his house! He’ll be so excited when he finds out.”

“He would have had to tell them to come,” I say.

“Oh. I thought they just knew these things,” says Dylan. “Like Santa Claus.”

“Yeah!” Nate grins. “Except these guys aren’t as sneaky as Santa. They’re just letting us stand here and watch them. BEST MORNING EVER!”

You’ll Never Guess

Five-year-old Nate calls me for his bedtime story tonight by saying “You’ll never guess how many virgins I have in here!”
I’m like “What? Oh… versions… of Goodnight Moon. Fantastic. That’s exactly what I thought you said.”