Although I always look forward to  a New Year -- a new beginning -- I find after too much December jingling-all-the-way, January can be a dull month.  Warm "winter" weather here in Florida - an average of 80-degrees each day -- causes one to constantly think summer, to want to engage in  lazy summer things.

I had the chance to watch  LIBRARY OF THE EARLY MIND, co-produced by Steven Winthrow -- a wondrous film which anyone in the business of children's literature should view.  Personally, it was like visiting with dear friends -- Lois Lowry, Brian Selznick, Jack Gantos...on and on.  This is a film to treasure, to view over and over.  For more information see:

I am working on a second adult novel which makes me realize -- again -- that writing is such a pleasure, and at times, a pain.  The whole process is one of exhilaration, joy -- doubt and anxiety.  Yet, I am having a wonderful time creating characters who make me laugh out loud.

I gaze around my library looking at thousands of books and sit in awe of so much talent.

Next month my new collection, NASTY BUGS (Dial) will appear with16 poems, each especially commissioned by such greats as X. J. Kennedy, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, as well as a few surprises from 'newfound' writers.  How lucky I am to know such talents and be able to work back and forth with them. They bring poetry alive.

NASTY artwork is by the whimsical, Will Terry.  KIRKUS reviews states:  "As the bedbug says 'absolutely/deeee licious'" which ends "Bedbug Has a Bite to Eat" by Kristine O'Connell George.

Plans are underway for the Lee Bennett Hopkins/Edison State College 4th Writing Institute (click on EDISON STATE).

The whole town's jumpin' over Gregory Maguire coming to do the Keynote, including me, too.

We are planning a wicked Saturday morning!

Happy Poetry-ing.