Sunday, September 29, 2013


I've been asked to join a blog hop with incredibly talented writers. I am not the best blogger around, and so I wondered when pondering, what do I have to offer? I concluded that the best thing that I can offer to the writing world is the introduction to three of my good friends who are incredibly gifted writers. First of all a big THANK YOU Lori Mortensen, author of the fabulously funny Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg, along with many other fantastic stories.  I've just purchased Clyde for my library and it is one of my all time favorites, the rhyme is impeccable, the story excluded meticulously, it is a visual treat! The writers that I will introduce are some of my favorite people of all time. Incredibly talented, wonderful people. Donna Earnhardt, author of Being Frank, by Flashlight Press, Jenni Bielicki, my friend and critique partner, first place winner at Writers' Day with her story Starry Kalahari, and my friend Jodi Moore, the writer of When a Dragon Moves in, Flashlight Press, and also Good News Nelson, Story Pie Press. But first, the questions that I've been asked to answer. Thank you for reading!

What are you working on right now?

I have been working on a few new picture books, some in prose, some in rhyme. I had taken a break from rhyme for about a year or so, but recently, it has returned with such gusto that I've barely been able to catch my breath. Writing rhyme is one of my greatest passions, along with spending time with my children, husband and grandchildren. It fills my heart and soul and brings me such joy. It is like a great love. I worked 1/2 of 2012 and into 2013 on a picture book titled No Fun in the Sun for Santa. This is a story about Santa and his 10 elves and the trouble the elves cause while on vacation. It is a rhyming countdown book, illustrated by the talented Maria Pearson, illustrator of over 50 books. We worked hand-in-hand for the entire year and it was a delightful experience. Santa will be out next year, published by First Ideas Corporation, a new book/plush company, and will be released as a boxed set, with an 8X8 hardcover book, along with a plush Santa lifeguard.  I am also looking forward to a release next year of my book, The Lake Where Loon Lives, published by Islandport Press, illustrated by Brooke Carlton.  Loon is a story about a loon on a lake, and a boy that catches a fish, that causes a ruckus and splash and a swish, all while Loon tries to protect the chicks that ride on her back. It is written as a cumulative rhymer, think, (The House that Jack Built), it was so much fun to write, and I am looking forward to working with my editor, Melissa Kim, on promotion. My agent, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary is hard at work submitting a few stories of mine, and so we wait with bated breath.

Why do you write what you write?

I have an incredibly deep love for children, I owned my own daycare from 1991-1997, and I've worked with Portland Nannies as a nanny to many fabulous families. I have always loved writing, and have written since high school, where I filled up pages and pages and book after book with poetry. But it wasn't until 2004, when I attended a school visit at my daughter's kindergarten class in West Baldwin, Maine, by author Lynn Plourde, that I seriously thought that perhaps I could fulfill my dreams. I have been writing now for close to 9 years, joined SCBWI in 2005, and every day is a new adventure. I have met the most wonderful people on my journey and consider myself blessed to know them. Kids lit is a large/small business and by that I mean, publishing seems large, but writers of children's literature know each other, or know of each other, usually. It is a fantastic business, and I am always delighted when I am introduced to new talent and when I meet a new friend. The first thing I always do is buy their books. They have worked long and hard to get where they are, and it is a way to show my support for their talent. I am building a fantastic library for my grandchildren. I have been helped by many writers along the way, and so I try to pay that forward.

Why do you write what you write?

Writing picture books seems to be where my heart lives. I love children of all ages, but in particular children around the ages of 2-7. I connect with this age, find them funny, curious, imaginative, and delightful. You always know where you stand with a child, they tell it like it is. I think if everybody could remember what it is like to be a child, the world would be a much more peaceful place. Children live in the moment, enjoy living, laughing, and make-believing, and the land of make believe is a fantastic place to be. When I write, and can go inside a world that wasn't there minutes before, it helps me heal a deep part of myself as a child. I try to make the world a better place by writing "funny," and make a child laugh, and by believing they can be anything they want to be. Certainly, if I can become a writer with the obstacles stacked before me, THEY can be anything they want to be as well.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing is finding something unique to write about in your own perspective, with your own voice, something that hasn't been done a million times before. It is believing in yourself enough to continue on in the face of adversity, honing your talent, and fostering others along the way as well.

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce to you my writer friends, you're in for a reading extravaganza when you add these books to your library.

Donna Earnhardt, author of Being Frank, by Flashlight Press. I have known Donna for many years, we exchange stories every once in a while. She is a fabulous writer, each word carefully selected to create a unique story. She is a writer and a home-schooling mother. I admire her gifts, and her talents. When she sent me Being Frank several years back, I KNEW it had to be a Flashlight Press book. I was beyond ecstatic when I found out that Being Frank had been acquired by Flashlight Press. I have added it to my library and am so glad that I did. Being Frank is a story about a boy that is---well---FRANK. He tells it like it is. He learns along his journey that some things are better shared with more sugar and less pepper, an exquisite read, and a MUST HAVE book for any library.

Jenni Bielicki, author of Starry Kalahari, Jenni is a very good friend of mine, and my critique partner. We have written together now for about 5 years. She is a gifted rhymer, a true wordsmith. Her story Starry Kalahari, an incredible read, written in rhyme about the nocturnal life in the Kalahari Desert has won several awards, first place in Writer's Day, and second place in the Barbara Karlin Grant. It is just waiting for the right home.  I will be so excited, and cheer the loudest for Jenni what that times comes. Jenni is thorough in her writing, chooses every word very carefully, is a patient reviser, and leaves no stone unturned in her quest for a perfect rhyme, and a perfect word. I admire her talent and can't wait to see her books in print.

Jodi Moore, author of When a Dragon Moves In by Flashlight Press, and Good News Nelson by Story Pie Press. I have known Jodi now for a few years, as I said, writers know each other or know OF each other, and in her case, I sought her out.  I had heard such good things about Dragon. I knew instantaneously that Dragon had to be a part of my library after my very first read.  My grandchildren ask for it over and over again. It is a story about a little boy on a beach who thinks he sees a dragon, does he or dosen't he? That is the question in this fantastic book. The dragon and the boy spend the day together, the illustrations are exceptional, and the story is well written. Jodi is a major talent and I can't wait to see her career unfold. She presents wonderful school visits, with a lively Dragon head prop that her talented son made for her. She is not only a great writer, but a lovely person inside and out.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stepping Stones

In this business everything is a stepping stone, as one thing leads to the next. You can't get to the top of the mountain without climbing through bush and trees. Nobody can climb your journey. You must strap on your hiking boots pull yourself up, one step at a time, and move forward.

I've always heard that the writing is the easiest part, it's the submissions, the rejections, the waiting, that's the challenge.

I've been enjoying the process of marketing, and find it fulfilling to see 10 TURKEYS IN THE ROAD brought to fruition. I had the pleasure of attending my very first signing, at The Lil' Pumpkin Patch in Baldwin, Maine, last week.

To sit there, books in tow, pen in hand, signing for the children, well, that was a highlight of this journey! And one that I'd dreamt about for years.  Yes, 7 long years of hard work, and finally, there it was.

It's worth every obstacle you'll overcome when you reach the summit!

Happy writing, happy reading!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kirsten Cappy and Curious City

I had the enlightening opportunity to meet with Kirsten Cappy of Curious City over frothy coffee, and steamy tea, on Wednesday May 18, 2011 at Borders in South Portland Maine. We sat there, the two of us, her looking chic with a pink flower in her hair and leggings to match, notebook in hand, penning and planning, and me... drinking it all in. It warmed my soul more than any caffeine fix, or creamy chicken soup ever has, or ever could.

I secretly hoped that clocks would break, that time would stand still, because I wanted to devour book speak and marketing ideas with that brilliant wonderful woman all day long. Kirsten Cappy is filled to the very brim with greatness, overflowing with tons of turkey ideas.

I am lucky and blessed to know her, to work with her, and prepare, while gearing up for the release of 10 Turkeys in the Road, due out in September, illustrated by uber-talented, David Slonim, published by Marshall Cavendish.

Stay tuned for all the wonderful marketing ideas that she has, that we'll implement together.

I had anticipated that day for months, penciled in on the calender since January of 2011, but little did Kirsten know that I had longed for a day like that for many years, ever since I began my serious picture book journey in 2004, ever since I started daydreaming about all of it. This dream all began with a school visit when Stacie was 6, who is now 13.

And there I was FINALLY!

My hope for you is this...

...that someday soon, very very soon, it will be you sitting at Borders with Kristen Cappy, sharing coffee, and awesome ideas, for your own beautiful book for kids, and I'll be reading about your adventure on your blog, in the middle of some rainy dark night, while loons shrill on the still moonlit lake, and a new idea forms in the back of my mind.

Tara Lazar, Harold Underdown, Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations,Casey McCormick and Literary Rambles, Chuck Sambuchio

Brilliant Bloggers
Brenda Reeves Sturgis

I am not a brilliant blogger
gifted with gab
like Tara Lazar
Harold Underdown
Cynthia Leitch Smith's Cynsations.
I do not offer
the present of presenting
a precise topic
like the agent pages of Casey McCormick and Literary Rambles
or the excellent expertise of Chuck Sambuchino.
Each wonderful writer brings a unique spin
a musing for the mind
 a creation in children's literature.
They ALL make a difference
 in this kids-lit world where I reside
where I hang my hat
and my heart.
I am honed in
making no excuses
but share my thoughts
worn seriously on my sleeve
hoping that my words
touch your soul
Each one of us
each witty writer
offering our own points of view
either through blogging
or prose.
And it's up to you
the reader
to discover and partake
to lift your cup and drink
of the wonderful sweet wine of words
that we all
share with you unselfishly
for free
just because
we can
just because
we care.


Brenda Reeves Sturgis

NOTHING stays the same for long.
Not a season
not a second
not a sound.
Everything propels forward.
Sometimes slowly
sometimes quickly.
Time creeps like pouncy cat paws.
The sun sets in a different place
A minuscule about
A teeny tiny smidgen.
You must train your eye
to see the changes in life.
Pregnancies progress
babies are born
People live
and people die.
NOTHING stays the same forever.
Embrace the change
and jump in the middle of the hula hoop
circle your hips
while juggling spinning seasons.
Move forward
Never looking back
At the very least
do not dwell for too long
on the championship game
that was won 30 years ago
with the 3-pointer as the buzzer blared.
Or the crown that you wore
as homecoming queen.
Our minds
and hearts
are meant to enjoy sunsets
the dewy silky spiderwebs.
EMBRACE them for what they are.
A gift for today.
For tonight
For tomorrow.
Accept and unwrap
The presents of presence
wherever you go
wherever you are.
EMBRACE the change,
and move forward
one baby step at a time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mapled Cotton Candy Clouds

Mapled Cotton Candy Clouds
Brenda Reeves Sturgis

The clouds have fallen
They're in the sky no more
Blanketed on bended birch,
and toppled tree.
Adorn each limb and branch,
Graze each grassy knoll.
Mapled cotton candy clouds
Dissolve with one quick lick
Or tear
Or drop of rain
winter’s last dreamy delight
While spring tiptoes nearby.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mad Dash for the Bulletin

Mad Dash for the Bulletin
Brenda Reeves Sturgis

My bulletin arrived today
with cool kites on the cover.
I anxiously anticipate
a treasure I’ll discover.

The contents page, the notes and news,
remembering the best,
The poems and articles inside
will all be well addressed.

Awards, objectives, marketing,
art tips, a sweet design.
The bulletin with tea and toast,
is mine and solely mine!

My bath is drawn! The bubbles bob,
with candles all aflame.
Immersed for hours in the tub,
I’m hunting for my name!

With one mad dash, disaster strikes,
my child’s soon afloat,
and as for my loved bulletin,
it’s now a Barbie’s boat!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poetry Month

Brenda Reeves Sturgis

March lingers still
for 2 more days
April is poetry month,
in its honor
I'm going back to my roots.
tangled tightly in the back corners
of my mind.
not JUST for children
although that is my love
but from my heart
for me
for you.
If you stumble on my words of wisdom
arriving here from one link
or another
if you discover this at 3:00 a.m.
some sleepless in Seattle night
at 3:00 p.m.some drowsy in Detroit day
you will know that at one point in time
I was sleepless too
I was thinking
If you're up praying
or crying
or coddling
a sick baby
a dying parent
or managing menopause,
know that many
many women
including me
have gone through these trials
before you
after many yawns
your eyes will shut
you're tired bones
and weary soul.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 Circus Facts!

MORE Circus Facts

1. The word circus comes from the Latin word meaning circle, or ring!

2. A tradional circus is a trained company of acrobats, animals and clowns that work in unison.

3. Performers let you know their act is finished with their own special signature, a wink or a hand gesture.

4. It is harder to get into the Ringling Brothers Clown school than Harvard law school!

5. The human cannonball travels at warp speeds of 60-70 miles per hour!

6. For good luck, some performers keep an elephant hair in their pocket, from the tail of the elephant!

7. There is a New York City Trapeze School.

8. Whistling backstage is considered bad luck.

9. Performers NEVER eat peanuts backstage. Bad luck all the way around!

10. The circus is over 2000 years old!