Published Works

Once upon a time there was a girl who, before she discovered art, wrote books and articles and poetry. From a very young age writing was my way of making sense of the world. I wrote to discover why I thought and felt the way I do. I wrote to explore the implications of choices I made and to investigate the whys behind those choices. I told my truths in order to help others recognize the universal truth of their stories and help them find a way to make sense out of their world.

Along the way, I published some books.

Hugging the Rock

When her mom runs away from home, Rachel is left behind with her emotionally distant father and many questions she cannot answer. Over time, she learns the truth about her mom. But it’s only when she learns the truth about her dad, the rock- immovable and always there for her to lean on-that Rachel can move toward understanding. Every word rings true in this achingly real novel in verse.
Tricycle Press, 2006 ISBN 978-1582461809

Oliver’s Must-do List

Oliver wants his mother to play with him. But when his mother checks her must-do list posted on the refrigerator door, she discovers the morning is filled with too many chores. The next day Oliver presents his mother with a must-do list of his own. That’s when Oliver’s mother gets to work–and the fun begins. This special story captures the bond between a mother and child who share together.

Mary Sullivan, illustrator

Boyds Mills Press, 2005 ISBN 978-1590781982

Can I Pray With My Eyes Open?

Is there ever a wrong time or place to pray?

Deciding when and where to pray is something every child wonders, and this non-denominational picture book offers an answer. Whether angry and upset, or playing games and counting stars, every child is assured that they can pray when, where, and how they want, and they will always be heard!

Garin Baker, illustrator

Hyperion Books for Children, 1999 ISBN 978-0786803286

Jump at the Sun Treasury

This book is actually a collection of eight picture books and one of them is my book, Can I Pray With My Eyes Open?

Enrique Esparza and the Battle of the Alamo

In early 1836, trouble broke out in Texas. Texas was part of Mexico, yet many of its settlers wanted to fight for independence. Mexican General Santa Anna and his army came to battle the Texans in San Antonio at the Alamo. Eight-year-old Enrique Esparza witnessed the battle. His father was a soldier with the Texas army. The whole Esparza family had taken shelter at the Alamo, but they knew it might be dangerous. Would they survive?

Jeni Reeves, illustrator

Lerner Classroom, 2010 ISBN 978-0761339427

Robert Smalls Sails to Freedom

The true story of the fugitive slave and Civil War hero Robert Smalls. With his family aboard, Smalls and his fellow slave crew members commandeered a southern supply ship and sailed it out of Charlestown harbor into the Union waters.

Felicia Marshall, illustrator

Millbrook Press, 2006 ISBN 978-0822560517
"I just finished Hugging the Rock. Tears still fall. This story tugged at my heartstrings as I sat beside Rachel on Dr. Dan's couch, sat on the bench with her during gym and watched in the mirror during her haircut. I felt a connection to Dad as I was once a "rescuer" of one who was "lost." Mother's Day almost sent me over the edge. Leaving that page blank made a powerful statement. What an impactful way to "show not tell." I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this read."
Bea Brown

The Poetry Friday Anthology

This book is the brainchild of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong The Poetry Friday Anthology offers a set of 36 poems for each grade level (a poem-a-week for the 9 months of the typical school year), for K-5 or Middle School (6-8). Look for my poem, When the Rain Falls which can be used for choral readings and more.

The Lead Detectives

This book was a work-for-hire project for the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, a great organization helping to educate children about the dangers of lead poisoning and how kids (and their families) can learn to be safe around lead. You can read the entire book online here.

Did Not! Did So! and The Best Dog in the World

I did these two books for the New Zealand educational market. Later the books were resold to The Wright Group and have been in many a classroom since. The stories of Nathan and Nora were inspired by many adventures I had with my own children when they were young.
Wendy Pye, Ltd./The Wright Group, 1996

A Pony Named Midnight and The Very Patient Pony

I did these two books for a small educational company early in my career. The idea was to share stories of mainstreaming children and animals with disabilities. I based the series on my work at a horse ranch where we ran a program called Patient Ponies for Special People. These books are now out-of-print.
Writers Press, 1998

Foreign Book Titles

I did a lot of books for a Korean publisher who produces ESL books for students to help them improve their English. The books are varied, from fiction to non-fiction to basic reading skills like phonics. These were all work-for-hire projects and a lot of fun to create. I have found it fascinating to see the various ways the illustrators have chosen to illustrate my words.
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