Category: 84 Ribbons

84 Ribbons wins Moonbeam Children’s Award 2

84 Ribbons wins Moonbeam Children’s Award

I’m especially grateful for the honor of 84 Ribbons being selected as the Bronze book in the YA-General category by Moonbeam*. Their selection of my first novel shows how important it is for writers to have support from their team: caring critique groups, a strong editor, a personable publisher, professional web support for a tweeked storyline that resonates with readers.  Thanks to my team, my village, that elevated my  idea to a valued story.   *The Mooonbeam awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The...

Why Write a Book Series? 0

Why Write a Book Series?

People ask that question often. My answers are usually the same: I like my characters and they have more to share than will fit in one book. Also I enjoy following characters in books I read beyond more than one experience. For example, Howard Fast wrote a sage about a family across several generations. If you like l-o-n-g series there are others that stretch on and on, but Marta’s characters are not letting that happen. They will give me one more book after When the Music Stops which is Letters to Follow, and then I need to butt out of...

Re-Visioning 3


Writers often stress over editing. I know I did. It’s often a time when I become aware of holes as well as changes needed to elevate my writing. Then one year, at the Edmonds WOTS (Write On The Sound) conference, I heard a presenter suggest we stop thinking about revising a story and start thinking about re-visioning it. I immediately saw a huge difference in my attitude about editing. It became a challenge to look at the work as a whole, attempting to shine a light on what works and ramping up places where that light remained dim. Maybe it’s the same...

You’re Invited! 0

You’re Invited!

Throughout the year I want to break from my musings to allow you to be my guest and share your musings. As you notice I write short blogs but don’t let that stop you! If you have a lot to say, go for it! Here’s the plan: 1. Think of what you’d like to say about anything related to writing or reading. 2. Send me a note here, through my email ( or call me at 425-420-5161. 3. Tell me when you’ll have your musings ready for me to post. 4. Send your writing to me and Voila! I’ll schedule a Tuesday...

Day 84 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Thanks! 0

Day 84 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Thanks!

Thank you for joining me on my 84 days of blogging. It’s been a challenge! Now I’ll slip back to 1-2 blogs a week so I’ll have more time to work on finishing When the Music Stops. Thank you also to those of you who joined me at my book events. I met a lot of new people around my stops and made at least one new best friend. I discovered that most drivers are courteous and drive very fast on the open roads of Eastern WA and along I-90 to and from Billings.  I also discovered I can drive...

Day 83 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Author Q&As #4 0

Day 83 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Author Q&As #4

What is the most important message you hope readers will take away from 84 Ribbons ? All careers have struggles as well as successes. It is important to meet those challenges, honor our definition of success and work to change what is holding us back. Since writing Marta’s story, I’ve been told she’s strong and resilient; “I couldn’t do what she did”. That is not true. When our commitment to our passions is strong, most everyone can dig deep and find inner strength. We discover more about ourselves every time we solve a problem. It is my hope that the trilogy...

Day 82 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Looking Back 0

Day 82 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Looking Back

If you arrived after the first day of my 84 days of blogs, I hope you will take the time to look back and find the topics that interest you. I’ve tried to cover 84 Ribbons book topics, share information on ballet, let you in on a few secrets and answer questions about writing. After June 12th I’ll return to writing one or two blogs a week. Please let me know if you have lingering questions I might answer. I also invite you to invite your friends who enjoy or perform ballet to join us.

Day 81 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Results 1

Day 81 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Results

I have an amazing book of traits called The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. I depend on it to help me delve into various situations I create for my characters to navigate. Over the last couple of week, I asked you blog readers to share your thoughts. After reading the novel, the traits  that you feel Marta demonstrates (from the two lists I provided) include: anxious, determined, humble, resourceful and nostalgic. Some of you added your own ideas: persistent, imaginative, talented and sacrificing. Your choices interest me as I move forward with Marta’s story. I agree with...

Day 80 of 84 Days of 84Ribbons: A Secret 0

Day 80 of 84 Days of 84Ribbons: A Secret

Madame Cosper holds many secrets from you and from me. Much as I try to peel back her layers, she refuses. I’m afraid if I push her too hard she’ll use her cane and thump me! I know she loved to dance and had an illustrious career in Europe and on the East Coast but she is stingy with why she came to Montana. Maybe it was Herbert. I’m not certain yet. I do know why she is so hard on Marta. She sees Marta as a reflection of her teen self: talented and naive as well as fragile yet determined....

Day 79 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet History 1

Day 79 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet History

So, ballet started in the 16th Century. It began as a social court dance then became a specialized career and grew to include women. Early music was classical with music written specifically written for ballets. Since early on, choreography stressed flexibility, rhythmic flow and beautiful lines of movement. In modern ballets the emphasis often shifts to expressing more theatrical and less fluid movements which no longer adhere to the classic forms. Which is best? Classical or modern? It would be as if we tried to compare driving cars with baking a cake: there are similarities of course, but the differences...