Monthly Archives: June 2014



One of the big projects I did when I was home in Michigan this June was to help Mom revamp the window displays for the cake shop. I had a lot of fun searching on pinterest for style ideas, both for the background of the windows and for the cake dummies that would sit inside them.

One of my main goals for the “fun” window (she has two and the other was wedding/romance themed), was to try to get away from really girly cakes. Cake can be for everyone, obviously, but I think a lot of time people thing of decorated cakes and they think of swirls and flowers and sugar pearls.


The first cake I tackled? Admittedly girly, but I liked the grass feature. As far as decorating and fondant work go, it’s an amateur attempt at best. Mom can do much, much better. But it’s for a window display and not a promotional shot, so we declared it alright.


The hobbit cake was something I designed because I thought the nerdy guys in my life would like it. And I was right! Kyle loved it and wanted me to bring it back to NJ with me. But nope, into the window it went!


This third cake, is my favorite. Again the fondant work is only so-so, but I love the monochromatic colors and its simplicity. The little red crab was supposed to go on top of the cake, hanging over the edge of the waves, but I found the darling whales in Mom’s extra fondant figures box and I couldn’t help but use them. They’re perfect and so charming. Now the crab sits in the sugar sand at the bottom of the cake.

All-in-all, I’m pretty happy with how things turned out. Though I have to say, cake decorating is HARD and not for me. I’m glad to jump in when I can to help out, and it was fun to stretch some new and different creative muscles, but oofta. I’m glad it’s done.

I don’t have any pictures of the finished window displays, but if you’re in Hillsdale you should swing by and check them out. They’re pretty great (if I do say so myself). And if you’re there between 10-3, stop in and get a cupcake!



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Writing Assistant Monday: Home Again

Donna helps me critique the first 15-pages of a fellow middle grade author's manuscript.

Donna helps me critique the first 15-pages of a fellow middle grade author’s manuscript.

I’m back in New Jersey, happy to be reunited with Kyle and the cats.

This Saturday is my first event with SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), an organization I joined in January. I’m super looking forward to meeting other authors in the area and sitting in on panels that are all about the sort of writing I’m doing. I’ll also be meeting editors and agents, which I’m terribly nervous about. I just keep telling myself that they’re normal people–they put on their pants one leg at a time like the rest of us (unless we have the aid of a dresser during a quick change, of course).



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Writing Assistant Monday

Finding writing assistants while on the road is hard work.


Surprisingly enough, this is not what a helpful writing assistant looks like.

Finding cute distractions, is not.


“We hear you’re in the market for writing assistants?”

I managed to accomplish exactly 0 of my writing goals last week, but am off to a much better start this week. Fingers crossed that the productivity continues!

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The Last 5 Years

And by last, I mean previous…


Photo by the very talented Jen at Luna Dulce Photography.

Five years ago today, Kyle and I got married. It’s hard to know what to say about last five years of our life– the first five years of our marriage. It’s been hard. At times, really hard. And I have no doubt the difficulties will continue to follow us through the years. But there is no one else on the planet I would rather share burdens with than Kyle.

I find it both ironic and perfectly appropriate that we’re celebrating this milestone anniversary apart. Ironic, because, well, it’s a milestone anniversary and we’re 626 miles away from one another. But I think the fact that we’re apart is also indicative of my favorite part of our relationship. We support each other.

About a week after this picture was taken (on the day of the wedding)– Kyle left for a month-long fellowship in Massachusetts. I didn’t go along. It wasn’t a traditional way to spend the first few weeks of marriage, but it was important to us that he attend. It set an amazing precedent: that we could handle time and distance, and that we could support each other as we strive to succeed on our independent paths.

I’m very thankful for a partner that supports me, no matter how crazy life gets.

Here’s to the next 5 years!


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Writing Assistant Monday & Some News

First with the news: I sold a story! “Remnants of a Quilter’s Memory” is not science fiction or children’s fiction of any sort. It’s a very small 500 word piece about a family’s struggle with dementia, and it’s very close to my heart for a whole lotta reasons. It’ll be live at Every Day Fiction on June 22, so check it out if you’re interested.


Task mistress.

This will be my last writing assistant Monday post with featuring these furry faces for at least the next three weeks, because I’m headed home to Michigan! The plan is to help Mutti with the store (specifically sprucing up the window displays).

I’m also planning on finishing up the first (very rough) draft of my middle grade novel, relaxing and playing with my nephew who is just growing up too fast.


Assisting writers is hard.

I also hope to get some reading done…


How many books do you take on your 3-week vacation?

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