Sunday, March 13, 2016

Signs of spring popping up everywhere...time for a bath!

Clean (kind of) and more than a little wary.
I knew it was coming. For a week, I'd been avoiding going outside whenever Mom was around. What did she think, that I couldn't see the towel lurking outside the door? Smell the shampoo next to same? Not understand the word BATH, which she did not even bother to spell out?

To fully prepare, I hid in a series of closets, mooning over my fate. I plopped in the deepest dirt hole, reveling in being completely dirty.

Eventually, she caught me. Rather, my horse-and-dog-whispering sister, did so. I went to another place in my mind while she sloughed off that winter sheen (enhanced by some fervent rolling in a particularly skunky spot during my Wellesley College walk). I was sorry to see it go. Sorry to see eau of skunk replaced by aloe and oatmeal--who thought up that combo? Sorry to suffer through a vigorous toweling. Sorry enough to have to retreat to my sister's bed to recover from the trauma.

Spring does have an upside. My favorite dirt hole gets full sun. I can continue to rearrange Mom's hydrangeas. The chipmunks are ripe for chasing. My next bath will be, say, six months or so away. It's all good.

Friday, March 11, 2016

While I was friends published some great animal books!

I do enjoy my whale-print sheets, but as I am loathe to leave them, I'm better at getting some reading done than at tapping out book manuscripts. But I have to admit, I'm inspired by my friends...

Here's to my pals, who have managed to be far more productive than I and write some amazing animal-themed books!

Unfortunately, I never met the legendary Chief, but I heard firsthand the incredible and true tale of when he and his mom, Cheryl Lawton Malone, were loping along on Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Chief makes eye contact with a whale, Cheryl too, and therein lies the seed of an idea which is now:

Dario and the Whale. Dario's mom is a cook at The Salty Cod, so he comes back to the beach every summer. It's not easy for him to make friends, and amazingly, he and a young right whale, who is also a seasonal visitor, form a sweet friendship. Read an interview with  Cheryl here.

Fenway and Hattie. Hey, who couldn't love a Boston pup's musings on food, love, moving, food and family? Did I mention food? Fenway, a Jack Russell terrier, tells his own tale of food, moving, love and more food in this chapter book perfect for grades 3-5 by Victoria J. Coe. Mom read this in manuscript form, too, so I can vouch for its accuracy. Check out this fun interview with Vicki.

And...Teddy the Dog: Be Your Own Dog, by the hilariously funny Keri Boyle, is due in May. Preorder at my favorite bookstore, Wellesley Books, here.