Gordon College, April 30th

Sue Persenaire kindly invited me to visit the Children’s Lit class at Gordon College this evening. I spoke to her students about the Incredible Journey of getting a book published. Comparing it to a hike up a mountain, I discuss the three P’s that lead to publication: passion, persistence and patience. 

I was truly inspired by their own work as future educators and I took notes during Sue’s discussion on multiculturalism. Always learning!
I’ve been invited back for a book signing during Homecoming. But hey, it’s almost summer. I don’t want to rush into fall.

Republican-American Interview

Shennen Bersani and I took a drive to the Farm in Roxbury, CT. The last time we drove this way together was when she was preparing to illustrate my picture book. She wanted to meet the girls behind My Sister, Alicia May. 

This time we headed down for an interview with Tracey O’Shaughnessy from the Republican-American newspaper. This is Tracey, Cheri, Grandma Barb and Shennen. We had such a great time reuniting with the girls and my childhood friend, Cheri (their Mom). Tracey asked some difficult questions, but with each interview we draw closer to each other. It’s been an amazing bond.
Thanks to Bob Falcetti, too, who took some awesome photographs for the article.

NESCBWI April 25th

Okay, so I had to do the 6 a.m. thing to get to this year’s SCBWI conference in Nashua. I don’t do that well, but at least I had good traveling buddies. Donna, Licia, Kat and I drove up together and we began our fabulous day with Cynthia Lord. She was fantastic, as was Floyd Cooper who demonstrated his technique as an illustrator.

I had an excellent critique with Pamela Glauber from Holiday House. Thank you, Pamela. And Margaret Park Bridges and I were able to connect at lunch.

 Then, low and behold, at the end of the day I ran into a former roomie and Simmons grad, Alison. That was amazing, but I’m sure there are a lot of librarians roaming around that conference.

April 16, 2009 Fine Line Poets Read at Tunxis

We couldn’t have asked for a better reception and a more orchestrated event. Thanks to my childhood friend, Carolyn Boulay, a librarian at Tunxis Community College, we had a fabulous reading. The night was entitled “A Celebration of Womanhood.” The evening opened with an hour of music by Debbie Rossel, a local singer/songwriter whose music is rooted in acoustic folk rock and rhythm and blues. Keep an eye out for her upcoming full-length album.

Then the Fine Line Poets followed her. We had five poets: Virginia Bradley, Jean Tupper, Marcia Szymanski, JoAnne Preiser and me. We like Carolyn’s description of us as an “all-women poetry troupe.” Many thanks to some of my longtime friends, especially Barbara Newsheller, Carla Gregory and Joan Jannace, who ventured out for a Thursday evening event.

And we also thank the Tunxis Library and the Celebration of Womanhood Club. Hope to see you all again next year!
Soon, the readings will be posted to this link (not that we really want to see ourselves reading):

April 14, 2009 JoAnne Preiser at the Needham Library

In the morning I spent more time with Rachel, Alicia May and Taryn. We played ping pong. Well, we chased that tiny bouncing ball into every cobwebby corner in my basement. That’s more like it. 

Later, Mom and I ventured over to the newly constructed Needham library to hear our fellow Fine Line Poet, JoAnne Preiser give a poetry reading. She read from her book, Confirmation, and from some of her newer poems which drop the listener onto various movie sets and film productions. The way she described the scenes in one poem, she enticed us to watch the Japanese movie, After Life
In this Hirokazu Kore-ada’s film, 22 dead people are told to select one memory each which they will carry with them into their after life. Wow! Which one would I choose? As JoAnne says in her poem, I’d have to pick one day “with the four of us.” But to be cruising forever? That might not do it. It would have to be an ordinary day, but one without nose bleeds or sick stomachs… please!
Kevin McIntosh followed with one of his short stories about life in an Irish family. He kept us in stitches.  
(Photo: JoAnne Preiser and Kevin McIntosh)

April 13, 2009 Interview with Bev Beckham

And so what begin with a visit to my friend Cheri’s farmhouse in July of 2006 has come full circle. Now she and her girls and Grandma Barb headed to Walpole for an interview with Beverly Beckham from the Boston Globe. At last we have my book in hand. Yeah!

Shennen Bersani ( brought her sister, Holly, who also has Down syndrome. She was able to meet Alicia May for the first time. It was as if they’d known each other forever. At age forty, Holly began to play with Alicia and Cheri’s youngest daughter, Taryn, immediately. 
Soon Jean Cochran, our fearless publisher (, arrived and we gathered to discuss the incredible journey of My Sister, Alicia May from its inception.
Less than a week later, here’s the whole story:
How awesome is that!