See you on Friday (July 24)!

Hello, hello! I’ve been absent for a few months because SOOO much has been going on.

I’ve definitely been spending a lot of time processing all the latest developments in the country and in the world. I hope you’re staying safe, healthy and sane through all the ups and downs.

First, I’m posting an image from my Instagram account here because the #BlackLivesMatter movement is very important to me, and it’s been on my mind A LOT. Pictured below: me and my cousin Louise.


In addition to processing/digesting the recent events, I’ve also been INSANELY busy the past few months. Starting from about early April, life has been an absolute whirlwind! More about that in a future post (and I’ll have some super exciting updates soon!), but for now, I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be on a livestream event via the Los Angeles Public Library’s YouTube and Facebook channels this Friday, July 24th at 4 p.m. Pacific. I’m going to talk about The Paper Kingdom, my publishing journey, plus my worst rejection as well as my greatest triumph as a writer (I touched upon this in a past subscriber newsletter).

Details of the event are on this graphic:

The event was originally supposed to be an in-person affair, but of course due to the pandemic, it’ll now be virtual. Which is actually pretty cool because it allows for friends and family across the globe to tune in — hint, hint! 😉

Here’s a video “teaser” from the library’s Instagram account (press the play arrow if you want to move on from my creepy expression).

I promise to be back very soon with some cool updates and funny stories. For now, I leave you with the following bits:

A Sweaty Q&A

I did a number of virtual visits the past few months with schools, teacher groups, etc. During a Q&A, a student proceeded to ask me extremely specific questions about…turtles! How do you know if a turtle is a male or female / what does the inside of a turtle’s shell look like / how long does a turtle live / what do most turtles eat, etc. (Um, kid, I’m an author…not a turtle expert!! LOL!)

Anyway, I had a feeling this would happen someday (after all, I did write The Turtle Ship!), so thankfully, I’d researched turtles several years ago and was able to answer most of the questions with facts (rather than with fanciful fluff from my imagination!). But boy, after his fifth question with no end in sight, I started to get nervous!

Speaking of turtles, here’s a charming photo of Louie (a 22-year-old painted turtle) with the book. Thank you, Lauren the librarian, for this awesome picture!

Photo courtesy of Lauren Kratz — This is Louie the 22-year-old painted turtle! Follow him on Instagram @louiethepaintedturtle

A Daily Dose of Delight

I’m still incorporating moments of “hygge” into my day while sheltering at home (“hygge” = a Danish word meaning cozy moments of great joy). I recently added fresh-squeezed juices to my routine. We have an overactive lemon tree in the backyard and an abundance of mint in one of our planters, so I’ve made lots of mint lemonade.

Here’s a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice I made today. The juice was so bright it was nearly fluorescent, and the taste was AMAZING. I love how the summer sun makes all fruit so sweet and delicious.

Do you see that world map on our wall? It’s a push pin travel map we bought on Amazon. One of the things I miss the most is being able to travel, so we spent a fun afternoon placing pins in all the places we’ve visited, reminiscing about Bali, Egypt, Vietnam, the Amalfi Coast, Crete… **sigh**

Sherwin the Active Potato

I definitely cannot end this post without featuring Sherwin, so here’s a video of him getting exercise in the front yard. He runs like this whenever a fellow dog walks by our house. Sound up if you want to hear the full extent of his excitement. He is not a subtle guy.

Anyway, I hope you’re able to tune in on Friday (bring your questions!) and I’ll be back soon with some really fun and exciting updates. I actually have HUGE news that I’m itching to disclose, but I can’t just yet because I’ve been told to keep things confidential for now! ERGGGH!

Be well!