Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog Tour aka "Writer Unboxed"

Hi Friends!

It's been a while, hasn't it?  I'm glad to see a lot of people have still stopped to check in here and read my posts!  Thank you!

Some of you may have wondered what I've been up to these many months that I haven't been furiously blogging and sharing project ideas with my fellow creative souls.  Well, here's the truth...

I've been WRITING!  Really, truly writing my book like every good little writer should! Okay, so I may have taken the time to attend a writer conference or two as well! ;)

I most recently attended the San Francisco Writers Conference [] and it was there that I met some of my colleagues.  

As it happens, I was invited by one of my new writer friends, C.M. Riordan, to take part in a blog tour.   You can check out her writing journey here:

As for mine, well here goes!

What am I working on? 

A middle grade fantasy about an eleven year old girl who discovers that she can use her gift to save her mother's life.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

My story is driven by character as much as plot.  My main character, Nora, really has to come to a place where she feels ready to do what she has to do in order to help out her friends and save her mom.   I think kids (and adults too!) can relate to the pressure that other people put on you to do something that you're just not prepared to do.  Ultimately, Nora comes to face her monsters with the strength of experience, friendship, and love!

Why do I write what I do? 

There are many reasons why I write, but as far as this book there are probably two major motivational forces behind it.

1)  I want kids and their families to keep believing in the impossible.  My dreams and my faith in the impossible have gotten me through a lot in my life and that's something that I wish for every reader.

2)  I really, REALLY want more books (and movies!) out there that feature girls as the hero!  I want girls to be seen as gifted, strong, and brave--even when bravery doesn't come easily!

How does my writing process work? 

So for a few years, my writing process was more like me going to writers conferences, groups, and classes and talking about being a writer.  

Now there is nothing wrong with any of those things, but the best part of the writing process is when you actually START WRITING!   

The writing process works when you let go of your fear of messing up and you just let your imagination run wild!  Because if we don't use our gifts, then the world may very well come to an end.  And we can't let that happen!  Instead, we must push forward and let our talent shine into the world even when we're afraid and it feels like we're in it all alone.  Because the truth is that as we keep taking those steps, however small, there are others stepping forward right alongside us! 

HAPPY MONDAY FRIENDS!  Stay tuned for more blog posts and tours and such...



Sunday, May 26, 2013


Hello friends!

I apologize that I haven't been doing much in the way of blogging since the new year! These last four months have challenged, grown, and encouraged me as an artist! I'd like to take the time to share some of the creative adventures that have been keeping me busy in 2013! I hope they'll be inspiring to you and that as summer approaches,you'll keep taking steps in the pursuit of your own dreams!

Festival of Women Authors 2013

First up:  The Festival of Women Authors at the Berkeley Marina!

  • Breakfast & Lunch
  • Four speakers
  • Book sales/signings
  • AND raffle prizes! 

Artistic Value: 

  • Opportunity to meet and connect with other writers & supportive members of the community!
  • The affirmation and empowerment that comes from being in a room full of women with a passion for the literary arts!
  • A reminder that we all have stories that can inspire the world around us-we just have to be brave enough to share them!

Next: A Class in Method Writing at the San Francisco Writers Grotto!

Jack Grapes' Book on Method Writing

  • Location, Location, Location!  This class is right on 2nd street in the SOMA district of SF-convenient to BART and bus transportation!
  • 2 months of creative writing, reading, sharing, and snacks each week thanks to the amazing Alexandra Kostoulas!
  • The opportunity to read your own work during a final celebration at Book Passage in the SF Ferry Building! 
Artistic Value:
  • Being challenged to write about your experiences and ideas in a way that is open and authentic-learning to let go of fear about what other people might think!
  • Staying real-writing how you talk!
  • The chance to learn not only from Jack Grapes' method but also from the "methods" of the larger writing community!
Both the Festival of Women Authors as well as the Grotto's Method Writing class left me with the essential principle that every creative soul should have etched in their hearts:




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ten Minute Masterpiece (Creation # 8)

Ready to make a ten minute masterpiece?  Wondering what in the world I'm talking about?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, READ ON!  

Way back in October of 2012, I spotted this video on YouTube:

Many people today (including children) are trapped in a time crunch! Eek!

What was  AMAZING to me about this video was the creative results we can come up with given just TEN MINUTES!

Inspired by this video, I came up with a list:

10 Creations YOU can make in 10 MINUTES! 
(for a creative FLASHBACK check out October's post Take Ten!)

#8: Create a Sculpture!  And yes, try to do it in ten minutes!

But I'm not a sculptor!

Yes, you are!

You have a sculptor inside of you jumping around and ready to work!

I don't have the right tools!

Yes, you do!  

Look around you!  Are there some leftover popsicle sticks?  Some clay from a school project?  A bottle cap sitting on the counter?  Use them!

But I don't have the time for this!

Yes, you've got TEN MINUTES!  Ready and go!

Have you made your sculpture?
WONDERFUL! Now tell me, what did you use to make it?


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Throwing Stones

Happy 2013 everybody!  Hope you had a peaceful, joyous, and especially inspiring holiday!  

I'd like to start off the new year with some thoughts that have become ever more clear to me in the last few weeks.

So much of our lives we spend throwing stones...both at others and ourselves.  

And here I remember an old saying:

Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words will never hurt me.

I couldn't disagree more!  


They have an ability to make us cry,laugh,gasp,sigh with desperation, hope, and wonder...

Words make us question...

Who we are...Who we could be...

Words give us answers...

Why bullies tease us...Why friends sometimes fight...and why monsters keep us up at night...

Words INSPIRE...

So as we begin 2013, I challenge you (and myself) to venture out into the world and (metaphorically) throw some stones!

Stones imprinted with words like...






Every person carries within themselves a fountain full of hopes, dreams, and aspirations for a meaningful life.

Be careful which stones you choose to throw.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Meet Leafster!

My new pal LEAFSTER!


I realize it's been a while friends... 

November got super busy with Thanksgiving, chocolate Baci, tea parties, and a craft show, oh my!  But as they say, "the show must go on.."

Here's creation #7 (from my list of "10 Creations You Can Make in 10 Minutes"):

Meet Leafster!

She's a super cute leafy monster whose tail can take her on all kinds of adventures!

Where did she come from?  So glad you asked!

I pressed a sweet little red leaf (the old fashioned way) in between the pages of a phone book.  After leaving it in there for a a few days (or weeks in this case), I took it out and created a leaf rubbing with a red colored pencil.  

Then things took on a more adventurous turn!

I took a red Sharpie marker and transformed my little red leaf into the GIGANTIC tail of a teeny monster named Leafster!  Leafster also has leafy ears and a cozy red scarf to keep her warm on all her adventures!

So I challenge you friends!  Can you create some super cool pals for Leafster?



Monday, November 5, 2012

Scary (or not!)

Here we are: creation # 6...

I felt that prickle on the back of my neck again. My breath caught in my throat. I closed my eyes and tried to calm down. It was probably nothing. I leaned back further against the tree and tried to focus on my book. I felt it—something—slide down my shirt! All I could think about was the tarantula my brother, Adam, bought when I was thirteen. He'd apologized a million times for letting it escape into my room but I'd never forgotten. I could still see it's black fuzzy legs crawling on my skin. I jumped to my feet and practically ripped off my sweater. I shook out my tank top. And then I saw it. Sitting ever so still on the ground was my attacker—a crisp red Autumn leaf.

Want to watch a video of me reading this (not so) scary story?  Check out the Rini By Design fan page:


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Creation # 5: When There's Something Strange...

Howdy and Happy Thursday!  I invite you to continue the journey through my list of "10 Creations You Can Make in Ten Minutes".

Today's creation?  A photo of something strange!  

Take a look...really stop to MULL it over...

Give your brain permission to wander wherever it dares to go...

And make a list (another one you ask?) of everything this photo reminds you of-and don't worry, this can be a mental list!  


Did you do it?  What did that fabulous mind of yours think of my new friend here?  Oh, and in case you're curious-I named her Cluckers!  

Here are my thoughts as related to Cluckers:

  • Gonzo from The Muppets-he loved chickens!
  • I want to read Tammi Sauer's book Bawk & Roll even more now...
  • A stuffed chicken-now why didn't I ever ask for one before?  Oooh...I know what's going on my Christmas list!
  • Maybe someday I could get a real chicken? Or chickens?  
  • Both my grandmothers had chicken coops!
  • Chicken pecks hurt!  Would I have the guts to collect the eggs? 
  • What would I name all these chickens?
  • Why DID the chicken cross the road?
  • Chickens are funny!  I don't know why...they just are!
Feel free to share your thoughts on Cluckers (or a strange object of your own fascination) right here...see below where it says comments?  Yep, right there! Thanks!!