Posts Written Byeditor

Handmade Knuffle Bunny Laptop sleeve (ears up), photo by Heidi M. Kim

An illustrator-friend of mine recently had a birthday, and I was excited to make a personal, handmade gift, especially since he is a fan of Mo Willems. I found Knuffle Bunny fabric (in organic cotton, no less!) and some coordinating flannel fabric and made him a padded sleeve for his new laptop: As I was making it, I came up with the kooky idea of making bunny ears instead of the usual tabs to close to sleeve. This came out nicer than I expected.Whew! (I never know what I’m going to get when I start a new project. Kind of…

from the Mad Tea Party illustration by John Tenniel, image in public domain

A wonderful writer friend of mine initiated a brilliant motivational tool this month called March Madness. Writer-friends from around the country opted in to be part of a month-long initiative to write at least 350 words every day of the month with three opt-out vacation days. Every morning, usually during the wee hour of 2:00 am my time, I (and the rest of the group) would receive an email from Wonderful Writer Friend which included a meaningful quote about writing or creativity or perseverance. It was the first boost to jump-start us to meet our daily minimum quota. Throughout the…

Cover Art from the 50th Anniversary Edition of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Sarah J Coleman/Grand Central Publishing, used with permission

When I was little, I remember vividly when E.B. White died. I brought a newspaper article about his death to school to show my teacher, half-expecting we would talk about it as a class or have a moment of mourning. Then and now, authors who have touched my soul reside in a special place in my story-loving heart. One of these is the reclusive Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel that I read as a soft and impressionable but mature ten year old. It’s hard to capture in words all that this story meant to me.…

16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco, photo by Heidi M. Kim

On a recent trip to San Francisco a good friend took me to see these beautiful tiled steps high above the city at 16th Avenue & Moraga Street. It happen to coincide with a time when I was feeling particularly dispirited about our society and what seemed to be a lack of kindness and caring. Perhaps tainted by politics and media, I felt an emptiness from the tearing down and destruction and rifts I was seeing and feeling in the world around me. So on a clear and cold day, we went to these unassuming steps that rose high above…

Art by Simon Kabab, used with permission

A few weeks ago, I woke up to the news that actor Alan Rickman had passed away. Like many Harry Potter fans, I had admired the way that he had brought the character of Snape to life in the movies. In my opinion, he truly did justice and even enhanced the character written by Jo Rowling. When I was a young avid reader (now I’m an old avid reader), there would be moments when in the course of the story unfolding, a character would say one line or the author would share one sentence or weave in one beat that…

Diversity in KidLit 2012 Source: First Book, Art: Tina Kugler

In this last year especially, there’s been more discussion about the need for multiculturalism and diversity on the kids’ bookshelf than ever before (finally!) Although a lot of peers echo the sense that the time has come, sometimes I encounter people who ask why such a push is necessary. The kinds of questions I hear are: Isn’t reading at its core about a reader identifying with characters by transcending differences? Do stories need to be mirrors, do readers really need to have themselves reflected in stories? Aren’t we then saying that a reader can’t identify with a character who is…

I Wanna Be a Real Book!

As I slowly teach myself to #CelebrateEverything, when I find myself reaching a writing milestone, I look for ways to mark and celebrate my place on the writing journey. In 2014, although I had drafted many picture books and had started many manuscripts, I had yet to complete a novel-length story. For me, it was a personal goal to complete a YA-length first draft and when I did, I took it to an office supply store and had it comb-bound into a notebook of sorts. I deliberately bound this first draft in landscape mode to allow myself a wide margin.…

In October 2010, a skilled surgeon at UCLA removed my thyroid and sixty-six lymph nodes in my neck, a post-surgery pathology determining that I had papillary thyroid cancer, diffuse sclerosing variant. This particular variant is a rare form of thyroid cancer, occurring less than 1% of the time with little data about its progressions. Some data suggest that it is a more aggressive variant, and there is an uncertain spot on my lung that is monitored for growth or recurrence. Only a few months before, as a starry-eyed newlywed, I had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After I got the…

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
“Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.”

- Pablo Neruda “Tonight I Can Write” or “Puedo Escribir”
Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair translated by W.S. Merwin

“Tonight I Can Write”

Recently, I have been swept away by the tidal wave that is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book by Marie Kondo that has worked its way through my circle of friends. Although I have to admit to skimming my way through this philosophical book about purging oneself of Things, the core principles have been incredibly helpful to me as I work my way through the vague and vast stash of stuff that I have and hold onto in my physical space. According to Kondo, we should hold each object in our hands and have a tactile experience, asking…