I am row 1 – table 8a

My picture book, Spearfinger, and I have been invited to the 2017 Kentucky Book Fair. November 18, 9 am to 4 pm. I will have all 4 of my books available.

I will also be at the 7th Annual Kids Day at the Kentucky Book Fair will be held on Friday, November 17, 9:00 am2:30 pm.  Free, but registration is required for Kid’s Day only.

Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington.


Meet over 175 authors from Kentucky & beyond, attend author talks & panel discussions. Support reading, writing, & books in the Commonwealth!



I would like to write a picture book about Gloomy octopuses. That is their name, not their mood, they don’t talk much to people. Off Eastern Australia, researchers spotted a group of them living in an underwater city called Octlantis. They make dens, communicate with each other, and fight over dens. This is near another settlement called Octopolis. (does Octlantis rule over Octopolis?)

Gloomy octopuses are about the size of humans and are able to camouflage themselves by changing colors. They have 3 hearts. Do not make them angry—their raspy tongues are venomous. No word yet on whether they plan to join the UN.


November is Native American Heritage Month. I salute all Native Americans & their descendants.

Día de Muertos

November 2 is All Souls Day (Día de los Difuntos). Pan de Muertos (the bread of the dead), Aztec marigolds, Calavera (sugar skulls), food, ofrendas (private altars), and lots of decorations also mark this day. Today’s festival is presided over by Mictecacihuatl, Queen of Mictlan, the Aztec Underworld. [hubby is Mictlāntēcutli, Lord of Mictlan, fun couple]



Día de los Muertos

November 1 is Día de los Angelitos, Day of the Little Angels. Children make an altar so the spirits of dead children, angelitos, can visit. Pan de Muertos, the bread of the dead, Aztec marigolds, Calavera (sugar skulls), food, and lots of decorations mark this day.



I wish everyone a scary, fun, safe Halloween. Don’t disturb ghosts, the dead, the undead, and so on. This is a poem of mine that Spider magazine published in 2012:


He sticks his head right out of the water;

With big, red eyes, he peeks at me,

His neck is long and his tail is spiny,

He’s green and scaly and huge and ugly.


I run and give Momma the terrible news,

She doesn’t listen, she doesn’t believe.

I hurry to Papa and tell what I saw,

He laughs and snickers and chuckles and snorts.


Back at the lake the monster winks,

He thinks it’s funny, he thinks it’s a joke,

But I’m not smiling and I’m not happy,

I’ll show that monster a thing or two.


I grab my camera, pop off the cap,

He shakes his head, he splashes me,

Flips his tail, dives under the waves,

And never says goodbye.


I have a question. Most everyone has heard of the traditional/Disney-inspired Pocahontas, rescuer of Captain John Smith and so on.

The Mattaponi tribe has another version of her life: Her birth name was Matoaka,“flower between two streams.” She usually went by Amonute, meaning unknown. Pocahontas was a nickname meaning “playful one.” She married Kocoum and had a baby girl. The story turns ugly: Kocoum murdered, Pocahontas kidnapped & taken to England for ransom. In England, she was poisoned.

Can I write a children’s story out of the Mattaponi version?