Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lambert the Sheep Chef... A rhyming tale that will make Mother Earth smile

From "Sheep Chef Lambert" (es de me... Anne Marie)

Lambert planted a garden. He watered and sowed.  
He seeded and weeded and signs of life showed. 

He waited and soon saw sprouts push through the soil.
Stalks stretched to the sun and vines creep and coil.

Lambert gazed upon colors; red, yellow, and green.  
His food was so fresh, the sweetest he’d seen. 

He admired the garden.  His heart filled with pride. 
He had a green thumb that he could not hide!

"Sheep Chef Lambert" follows a determined gardener/chef Lambert and the challenges he faces as a rising star chef in his neighborhood.  How will he overcome the growing demand for his tasty creations? Bon Appetite! -A

Illustration update... progressing to my utter delight...

It is a sweet surprise to discover a new illustration from Adam in my inbox.  He is more than half-way finished with the artwork for "Goodbye to the Earth."  In this post I'm excited to share another of my favorite illustrations with blog readers.  Truth be told... they are all my favorites... which is totally not the definition of a favorite... AND even worse, I am unable to come up with a more creative response to his emails than "I love it" or "Wow!"... I am at a loss for words, but I guess that is what an illustrator hopes for... who needs words when the artwork fosters a speech-stealing sense of wonder? -A

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Illustrator Found! "Goodbye to the Earth" is rocketing toward self-publication...

I am over the moon...

My brother is a pharmacist by day.. actually by night... he works what I would consider to be a brutal overnight shift... In addition to his aptitude for chemistry, he has always had an innate talent for art... He just sees things through a different lens... and I love it!  He has decided to help me out with my "illustrator for hire - without pay" problem!

So now, when he is not dispensing meds, he will be dreaming up illustrations for "Goodbye to the Earth"...  I can't wait to see what comes next!  Cyber Hugs, -A

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Publishing Adventure... If I could Kayak with a Yak is available...

I am so excited... I can't hold it in... I created a real book out of my text for "If I could Kayak with a Yak" by using!  Please check it out before the clock strikes midnight, or I pinch myself, or my computer turns into a pumpkin...  I stretched my abilities with this one... I created the illustrations to try to express what was playing out behind my eyeballs as I wrote the story.  It was fun and frustrating; exhilarating and very humbling!

The book is available in soft cover... (spendy, I think) and e-book (much more palatable)... linked below is your path to, what I hope is, a read that will make you smile...

Lulu Soft Cover link
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
Lulu e-book link
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
I also think you'll be able to find it in iTunes... still checking on that!

Happy, Happy Reading!  -A

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Milton Pratt, the Duke of Scat" ... Feline fans fall at his feet

From "Milton Pratt, the Duke of Scat" (supplied by me, Anna Maria)

Come a little closer.  People gather ‘round.  Open up your ears and listen to the sound.
I know a jazzy tale sure to make you say “whoa!”  A-one and a-two and away we go!

In a skinny alley by a lone streetlight,  a twinkling orb, in the dark of the night,
That shines in the center of buildings so tall,  where alley cats roam and creep along the wall.

A man leans back upon the streetlight’s pole. He snaps his fingers to the rhythm in his soul.
He’s lost in his music, and the alley cats sway.  They sit by his side.  Never will they stray.

Yippity skippity hop bop cha.  Bibbity Bobbity la dee da.

"Milton Pratt, the Duke of Scat" is another of my texts that uses a musical rhythm to add to the reader's experience. - This from the girl who can't dance... Milton has an odd ability that most folks don't appreciate; the feline demographic, however, does.  Milton stays true to his talents in this quirky, lyrical piece. ...skippity bop, see ya! -A

Halfway Henry... (it is possible, prose?)

From "Halfway Henry" (courtesy of me, Anne Marie)

Henry wanted to do everything.  So Henry did everything halfway.  

Each morning his alarm rang at half past six.  Henry put on half his school uniform because he did not like to wear his tie at breakfast.  Henry could never decide what to eat, so he ate half an apple and half an orange with his toast.  “Please spread half with peanut butter and half with jelly,” Henry told his mother.

While he slid on his tie; already half-tied, Henry brushed his teeth but only the top half because he was late.  He put half of his books in his bag and ran for the bus, already halfway down the block.   Henry sat with Tori on the bus, but just until it reached the bridge.   The bridge marked halfway to school, so he switched to sit with Josh after the bus crossed to the other side.

During quiet study hour, Henry spent half of his time on math.  When he worked through half of the problems, he decided to read half of his library book. The book was entertaining but Henry was nearly out of time, so he put it down to study his Spelling list.  This week’s list was compound words.  They were Henry’s favorite.  If you split the word in half, you ended up with two separate words like, bath and room or play and ground. 

Have you ever fooled yourself into thinking you could do it all?  Have you attempted to be a super-multi-tasker, only to find that you dumped the dog food in the muffin batter, and baked the ipad?  Like the rest of us humans, Henry tries to take it all on.  He eventually comes to realize the gratitude that stems from fully immersing yourself in a task, and following it to its end... if he isn't a little yogi, I don't know who is... namaste -A

Goodbye to the Earth... (this has serious App-eal folks)

From "Goodbye to the Earth"  (brought to you by me, Anne Marie)
Goodbye to the Earth. I am leaving for space.  I want to make footprints in some distant place.

Before I lift off, I will take one more trip, and circle the globe in my swift rocket ship.

Each country I pass shall wave their farewells.  But will I remember their sights and their smells?
I shout “Goodbye Earth!” I am bound for the sun.  The countdown begins. Five. Four. Three. Two. One!

So long U.S. flag; red stripes and white stars, and busy highways cluttered with cars. 
Aloha to luaus, big waves, and grass skirts; to hulas, bright flowers, and Hawaiian shirts.

Sksuse to igloos, cool Eskimo pies, and Northern light colors that dance in the skies.
Poka to rubles and Russian ballets; to Moscow ’s bright domes and snow-covered sleighs.
Sayonara to sushi, kimonos, and tea; Japan’s rising sun and tall Mount Fuji...

In my location-rich manuscript, "Goodbye to the Earth," a child who has decided to leave the Earth for space, takes one final journey around the world.  He says farewell to each country in its native language while noting the unique sites that he will miss (Flamenco dancers in Spain... mysterious Loch Ness).   His travels take him in the correct order around the globe.  With extraordinary illustrations, animation and sound, I feel this book has real potential to succeed in the world of the ever-growing, ground-breaking apps.   Happy week-ending... -A

Friday, March 30, 2012

Liza Green, the Alligator Queen... (yes, it happens to be another rhyme)

I love rhymes.  I won't apologize.  I gotta be me.

From "Liza Green, the Alligator Queen"  (by - you guessed it - me, Anne Marie)

Down in the bayou where the swamp grass grows; so deep and so thick you’ll lose your toes,
Where the water stands high up to your knees; a little house sits; hidden by the trees.

The middle of the swamp is so remote, you'll only get there by ridin’ in a boat.
A lady makes her home deep within the bogs; where her only house guests are turtles and frogs.

Liza Green lives where the moss hang low.  She rocks in her chair and strums a banjo.
She never took a lesson or learned to play a song.  Her banjo’s out of tune, and the notes are all wrong...

In "Liza Green the Alligator Queen," a bayou recluse entertains alligators with her banjo music. While her music is terrible to human ears, it gets the animals of the swamp grooving at an alligator ball.  Liza's story offers proof that dreams can be realized in even the strangest of environments.  With the text, I create a bluegrass rhythm to the story, and with swingin' illustrations and musical features, I see great potential... but I may be biased... G'night... -A

If I could Kayak with a Yak... (an appropriate first feature)

From "If I could Kayak with a Yak" (by me, Anne Marie)

If I could kayak with a yak, would our small boat sink? 
Would the yak lean toward the lake and try to take a drink? 

He could tip us over if he did not sit up straight. 
So I’d move him to the middle, to balance out the weight.

Would the birds that flew above be startled in mid-air
To see a creature in my boat with horns and wooly hair...

I recently bought a book for a friend's daughter during my lunch hour. I sat in my car reading, clock ticking, before I re-entered adulthood. The text and artfully matched illustrations helped me completely forget where and who I was at that moment. I imagine this is The Goal.  Rightly so, it also happens to be my aspiration in writing picture books. "If I could Kayak with a Yak" is a simple story I hope readers, or listeners, will connect to.  Exploring one child's reservations on entertaining an unusual guest in his/her kayak reminds us of the power imagination can hold.

"If I could Kayak with a Yak" is now a book... visit to check it out!

Until the next post... -A

A brief flyover of my work...

I thought it would be helpful to provide a brief description of my stories for my potential partners. The majority of my work is targeted to the children's picture book audience, a market I regularly fall into! In each subsequent blog post, I will provide a brief synopsis of my stories. Interested, serious, determined, and skilled e-book (or print book.. I won't discriminate) publishers, illustrators, coders, investors... can contact me for the full text. Happy hunting... -A

I try to give credit where credit is due, so I need to send a thank-you to Will Terry ( for suggesting I start this blog.... two posts in and I am certain it will be the high road.  So, thank you for corresponding with me Mr. Terry!  I hope this blog sees some traffic, and in turn more people are exposed to your striking and colorful work.  Rock on!

And so it begins...

...the blog that is, not the writing. I happen to have some years of accumulated writing, mostly children's picture book texts, which are clogging up my computer's memory stores. So I have decided to liberate them and share the starts of my stories with whomever would like to read them via the conduit of this blog.

My hope is that a talented illustrator and a hard-working coder will deem my work a perfect fit for their next e-book project... and that my carriage will not turn back into a pumpkin. I do hope that the odds of a cinderella e-book team plucking me from the fireside are slightly better than my chances at winning the mega millions. Sweet dreams and stay tuned... -A

PS... I am a published author (a children's science book on wind energy), so I do have relevant industry experience.... My husband thought I should add that.