Wearing a face mask adorned with an orange beak, I had fun reading WHAT’S UP WITH WITH THIS CHICKEN? at Maxima Book Center in Lexington, MA, on Independent Bookstore Day. My cheeky chicken puppet introduced me and asked attendees to chime in during the reading, which they did with heartwarming enthusiasm.
Next Saturday, April 30th is Independent Bookstore Day, a yearly celebration that takes place in indie bookstores across the U.S. I’m looking forward to participating at a terrific new bookstore in my town of Lexington, Massachusetts, Maxima Book Center.
For my first in-person event since the pandemic began, I’ll be reading my book about a hen who refuses to relinquish her eggs, WHAT’S UP WITH THIS CHICKEN? I’m looking forward to it!
Books are 20% off that day!
A while back I said to stay tuned for the title of my next picture book. Now I can not only reveal the title, but the cover, too —
With irresistible illustrations by Debby Rahmalia and published by Albert Whitman, the book’s plot is:
Gracie loves when her grandmother comes for a visit, but this time Bubbe is sad. Her husband, Gracie’s grandfather, recently died. Gracie misses Zayde too, so when Bubbe reveals that she used to speak Yiddish with him, Gracie is eager to learn. As Gracie picks up more words, she and Bubbe move past Zayde’s loss and find moments of joy together.
The publication date is September 1, 2022, but you can pre-order on Amazon NOW!
The burning question now is, Can I wait until September to hold the book???
…rejections. At least, I don’t think anyone does. Well, I suppose if you were about to break up with someone and didn’t know how and then they broke up with you first, you might welcome a rejection. But that’s a rare circumstance, and besides, I’m talking about rejections of writing.
This post is for writers who want to be published (including me, because I need this reminder too!)
We work so hard on our writing—we plan, think, write, revise, seek feedback from others, revise some more, proofread, research potential agents and editors, write and rewrite query letters, and then after we finally submit. check our inboxes every day. All that, only to—
—get an email back saying “Thank you for your submission” and perhaps “The writing was charming” or “I enjoyed reading it,” followed by the dreaded big BUT…”But I’m afraid I don’t feel it is as strong as it needs to be…” or “But I’m afraid I’ll have to pass” or “The marketplace is crowded…” or “But opinions are subjective and others may feel differently,” etc. You know the refrain. And unlike that song from the ’90s, no one likes these kind of big buts.
Now here comes another one— BUT you gotta submit again. Yep, you really do. Maybe a rejecter just accepted a book with a similar theme. Or had a bad day or is already overwhelmed by their swollen client list. Or has terrible taste in literature. Try someone else! Try lots of someone elses!
Keep in mind how many rejections these wildly successful books received before eventually being published:
Harry Potter — 12
A Wrinkle in Time— 26
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—121
And Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected…wait for it…134 times!
Look over your submission and query letter again to see if there are any improvements you can make to improve it. Then submit again! And one day your inbox might have an email that makes you feel like this—
Yep, this holiday season, if you’re looking for a gift for a 7-11 year old who likes funny books, I have a suggestion for you…Me and the Weirdos, my award-winning middle grade novel about Cindy Krinkle’s quest to “unweird” her family is one click away on Amazon—$7.99 in paperback and $4.99 on Kindle.
What a bahgain!
Supply chain problems are sending people into holiday gift panic this year! I just realized (duh!) that books on Kindle and Audible bypass this anxious issue. They’re available with just a click!
And fortunately, Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster, my picture book about a well-meaning purple gorilla who forgets to shop and buys her friends amusingly inappropriate gifts, is available…drum roll…on both Kindle and Audible!
Order from Amazon or Kar-Ben Publishing, and you can read or listen to the story before you even start grating potatoes for the latkes!
Before Halloween I always make a stuffed-with-leaves “person” to greet trick-or-treaters. The head has been a red playground ball ever since the gruesome year squirrels gnawed on a pumpkin head.
As I worked on this year’s ball-headed person, I had high hopes for the Red Sox winning the American League Championship and going on to the World Series! Alas, my hopes were dashed when the Houston Astros were the victors instead.
But I’m grateful the team got farther than anyone thought. Red Sox Guy is still smiling by my front steps. Perhaps he’s remembering players shouting with joy every time they pushed a home run-hitting teammate through the dugout in a laundry cart. The memory makes me smile, too.
Summer has always been my favorite season, but add three marvelous, entertaining grandchildren to the mix, and I cherish these months even more!
Marushka is about 130-years-old.
Years before the Russian Revolution, my maternal grandmother, Rebecca, schlepped this doll from Kiev to New York City. Grandma was smart, opinionated, and big-hearted. I was crazy about her and her cooking; she believed in copious butter. When she visited, I would wake up early and hurry to her pull-out loveseat. Nestled against her, I requested stories—how she survived smallpox as a baby, what my mother was like as a child, and my favorites: why she despised certain relatives.
But in Grandma’s eyes my sister and I could do no wrong. I once found an immersion coil on my father’s desk and plugged it in underneath, where it burned a hole in new carpeting. My father chided me, but Grandma chided him, claiming my scare had been enough punishment. She and I were passengers when my new driver sister missed an exit and began backing up on the Long Island Expressway. I shrieked, “You can’t do that!” and she abandoned her strategy before we got rear-ended.
At home my mother asked about my sister’s driving. “She drives beautiful,” Grandma reported.
Grandma died when I was 16. Her loss felt unbearable. In my recurrent dreams she was drowning and I saved her. In the daytime I might spot a white-haired lady with a certain gait and imagine, “Grandma’s alive, just living with another family.”
Grandma’s and my love for each other was warm and fierce.
Long before my daughter was born, I knew her name, Rebecca.