My wonderful wife got me a letterboard for my birthday! As if, between pens and pencils and laptops and smartphones, I didn’t have enough ways to play with words, now I have another!

Super fun gift, and something that will be ever-changing in our hallway.

Love.

As you may know already, Spencer and I are hard at work on the next book, which will be primarily focused on outer space and our place in the universe.

Working through some ideas for the book – I don’t know that this one will make it – so I figured I’d share it here. This is an image I made that let’s us see just how far away the moon really is from the earth, which I thought was kind of mind-bending. The distance from earth to moon, and the sizes of earth and moon, are all to scale.

Hopefully we’ll be coming back with some good news and more details about the next book soon!

Had an amazing time on Skype with the brilliant students at Stadium Drive Elementary! I got to read a lot of the students’ poems this year and in 2018, this class mastered the shape poem.

Anytime a student (Alisha) writes a poem (Calculator) so reminiscent of one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems (Homework Machine), I get really excited to share them both.

And Cooper’s response poem to Could You Hug A Cactus? was so good (and a very solid argument against the idea) that I had to response poem back to his response poem. New penpal? Maybe…

A huge thank you to Stadium Drive for having me my digital representation once again. Looking forward to next year!!!

Hey!

This past Saturday, Spencer and I got to visit the truly incredible children’s book store, Once Upon a Storybook, in Tustin, CA. Susie, Erin, and Tina there have created an absolutely beautiful store and an even more amazing community, bringing in authors, hosting weekly book readings, and truly building something special in just a few years.

Of course, the Cactus had to come with us, and sat proudly at the store entrance to take pictures with people coming in. Upstairs, Spencer and I got the opportunity to hang out, read poetry, and even make new illustrations with some awesome kids and their families.

If you get the chance to check out Once Upon a Storybook, I highly recommend it. It’s a prime example of why local bookstores and businesses are so important and an absolute treat to peruse.

Happy Independence Day, friends! The poem below, “Sounds”, gained so much heart once Spencer added his pencil illustration to it. It’s pretty amazing how much more meaningful it is thanks to his care and talents.

Sounds

 

Hoping you all have a safe and fun July 4th holiday!

Real Mom of SFV book review!Jen, over at Real Mom of SFV did a book review of Could You Hug a Cactus? today and had some amazing things to say about the book!

It’s nerve-racking to send your book out for review. As much as I believe in this book and I’m proud of it, I’m still putting it in someone else’s hands, under someone else’s microscope and getting someone else’s honest opinion. Luckily for us, Jen seems to have liked it!

Again, the process of getting Cactus out into the world is slow-going at times, but when we’re able to get feedback like this, it makes the waiting and the regular effort so rewarding.

In addition to her book review, RealMomOfSFV is also giving away 2 signed copies of the book so head over to RealMomOfSFV for a chance to win!

Thank you, Jen!

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Spencer and I did a Q&A with Ruby at Westside Mommy and it just went up HERE. She asked some great questions about the difference between living in Michigan and California through the lens of the book – accepting and loving someone even when it is difficult.

Spencer also made clear his total man-crush on Ryan Gosling. All in all, I’d say that’s a win. There’s also a giveaway for free signed copies of Could You Hug a Cactus?  Check it out!

…Author visits!

Thanks to Dan Dabrowski at Stadium Drive Elementary, Gregg Valley at Orion Oaks, and Leah Karagosian at Pontiac’s ATAP, I was able to spend some time back in Michigan to share Cactus and speak to a whole lot of amazing students before the school year ended. This was an amazing opportunity and I’m so glad I got the chance to go!

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If you’d like to learn more about my author visits, or reach out about scheduling one for your school or a school you know, you can check out my Author Visits page.