Jay reading Kerry's new book

I had the pleasure yesterday of reconnecting with one of my early mentors, local author/illustrator Kerry Lee MacLean, at one of her author events at the Boulder Barnes & Noble. Five or six years ago, I took a one-day course with her at CU on writing children’s books. I brought with me one of the first drafts of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS. During our individual consultation, she was so impressed with the manuscript that she asked me to read it aloud to the class. I felt like a superstar.

After that class, I was so sure TROOP would be picked up by a publisher immediately. Well, I was wrong about that, as most new authors are, but I’ll never forget how good it felt to have a professional writer confirm my path and tell me I was on my way. So it was with great pleasure that I was able to thank her for her mentorship and tell her that at last, TROOP will be published.

Kerry, by the way, got her start by self-publishing a few books. She has since published traditionally with both Scholastic and Wisdom Press. Now she drifts between the two options with great success.

Quotes on Gratitude

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L.M. Mongomery, Anne of Green Gables

“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful… we let what was once a miracle become common to us.” — Joel Osteen

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” — John Henry Jowett

Gratitude list for the week ending October 27

  1. October. Such a fine and beautiful month
  2. Two of Kerry’s books in particular, PEACEFUL PIGGY MEDITATION and PIGS SKI OVER COLORADO, which I bought when we first moved to CO and which is how I recognized her name when I saw that she was teaching a class. 
  3. Jay volunteering to read part of the story with Kerry during her storytime
  4. Seeing my friend Corey Rosen Schwartz‘s book, THREE NINJA PIGS, at B & N and being able to tell the clerk that I knew the author!
  5. There is a special kind of hush that falls about the house after the first snow of the year. By the end of winter, it will become ordinary, but on Thursday, it was wonderful to work by it.
  6. Em is reading BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, one of my all-time favorite books. It’s been fun sharing it with her.
  7. Great parent-teacher conferences for both kids
  8. Katie Davis made me an incredibly funny video for the upcoming Writer’s Renaissance retreat.
  9. Speaking of Writer’s Renaissance, I had a fantastic Skype session with faculty member and author Mary Hoffman. Her writing “on location” session is going to be phenomenal!
  10. I had the honor of sharing my thoughts on Living Your Dream Right on a vlog at Do Life Right.

What are you grateful for this week?

Categories: Apps, Authors, Books, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, Family, Florence, Gratitude Sunday, Guest Blogging, Italy, Picture Books, Publishing, Self Publishing, Storybook Apps, Travel, Writer's Renaissance, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. I am soooooo thankful for the wonderful privilege of having one of my poems selected to appear in the next issue of Scintilla! Editor Tim Lepczyk is amazingly clear in his insights and so kind in his comments and suggestions.

  2. Julie, thanks for reminding us that the path to publication is a LONG one. But we can never give up hope. I’m grateful I got to WIPs out the door this week. I feel like that alone was an accomplishment.

  3. Good job on the vlog post. I’m grateful for that positive message!

  4. WOW! You have a lot to be grateful for! 😉 Great post!

  5. Oh how I’d give my left leg to come to Italy. I wish. Beautiful quotes and lots of fun things to be grateful for. I love October too.

  6. I’m grateful for another week and plans to travel this week – as long as planes aren’t grounded. I’m not flying to the storms path, but who knows what will happen to flights. (Thanks for sharing Kerry’s story. I read an article last year about her collaboration with the students in Boulder.)

  7. I’m grateful for a very nice visit with our son who lives halfway across the US.The video is funny! Katie did a good job!

  8. Loved your vlog. And Bridge over Terebitha is also one of my favorites. I am glad to be safe inside as the storm dominates outside!

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