It only happens every three years that both the Lee Bennett Hopkins/Penn State Poetry Award and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association (IRA) Promising New Poet Award are given.  This year the Penn State Award goes to Kate Coombs for WATER SINGS BLUE: OCEAN POEMS, illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle Books):

"For the water sings blue and the sky does too, and the

sea lets you fly like a gull."

The IRA Award goes to Guadalupe Garcia McCall for UNDER THE MESQUITE, (Lee & Low), a tender verse novel which Alma Flor Ada calls "A magnificent new voice in Latino literature." When Lupita, a high school freshman, one of eight children born in Mexico, learns her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Lupita's courage to deal with a life tragedy is revealed.

Two enormous projects are underway, both in revision stages.  Revision --  part of the writing process I detest until it is over with.  It is hard, horrid, cruel -- yet, at times, exhilarating.

Can April be looming so close ahead? On April 13, I turn 75...a number too difficult to digest.  Yet, as Sondheim wrote in FOLLIES - "I'm still here!"

And looking back - I'm glad I've been THERE.

Several exciting things are on the horizon.  Hopefully by April when I am older and hopefully wiser, I'll have several surprising things to announce.

Life is filled with surprise.  Hoo-ray for that.