Feathered Friends, Feathered Therapy Animals

I love New York. The bustle. The food. The arts.

The people.

Last week, when visiting our son and his girlfriend, we walked down the busy sidewalk to enjoy brunch before going to a show (the bustle, the food, the arts all wrapped up in one delicious package.)

In the distance, a woman in a wheelchair rolled toward us. “She usually has a parrot on her shoulder,” Steve remarked.


(Note: this is not the woman’s parrot…this is an actor playing the role of the parrot.)

“Wait…a parrot?” I asked. “As in, a real parrot, or a stuffed animal parrot?”

“A real parrot,” he replied.

So of course, I had to talk to her. “Hello!” I called. “Where’s your parrot today?”

She stopped and smiled. “Oh, I’m coming back from church,” she replied. “I can’t bring him anymore. He sings too loud for the congregation.”

But she was only too happy to share pictures of her colorful roommate. Turns out, her parrot is a therapy animal. He keeps her company, talks to her (yes, they have real conversations – he doesn’t only “parrot” her words!), and can call for help when necessary.

I love New York. The bustle. The food. The arts.

And the people. Including the feathered, furry and fuzzy ones.


Having a Ball in the Snow…it’s all in one’s perspective

Yesterday, as so many did, I woke up in a lovely snow globe.

snow backyard

The flakes fluttered and danced, twirling in a soft, soothing ballet; cradling the earth in a gentle hush.

It brought back treasured memories of sledding, of snowmen and snow angels. I caught snowflakes on my tongue. I marveled at the frosted trees. I frolicked. (It’s a proud Moore family tradition.)

snow day ruler.JPG

About halfway through shoveling my driveway, however, things felt slightly less fun. The chill numbed my fingers. The wind reversed my progress. The plow rumbled as it roared by, tossing waves of snow back onto my newly cleared surface.

Snow cars driveway

Sadly, I stopped seeing the glory of the snow. And only saw the tediousness of the work.

Then, one of my sweet furry neighbors bounded out to share her ball with me.

Snow mia

As I tossed it for her, the snow morphed from annoying icy stuff to dreamy marshmallow fluff.

It’s all in one’s perspective.

The skies haven’t cleared yet, but thanks to this precious pup, my thinking has.

Happiest of birthdays to my love

Today is special because it’s my hubby’s birthday. Larry is my best friend & my love… my partner in life.

larry & me wedding

The father of our wonderful sons…

larry alex & stevie

My favorite DJ and dance partner…

larry dj

My perfect sandcastle builder…

larry castle

My invaluable author helper/techie…

larry author help

And my inspiration and support system in every way.

larry castle w baby

larry castle baby building.jpg

Every season.

Larry & me beach

larry & us christmas

Every day.

larry spaghetti moment

Every moment.

He makes my world a better place. He makes the world a better place.

Because no matter how independent I may be, how strong, how self-sufficient, I feel so blessed to be able to share my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my tears, my joy, my journey, my love, my life with this man.

Glass kiss

Who makes your world a better place? Tell them today. You might just make their world a little brighter.

H4L Day 28: The “Spirit” of Theater (celebrating new work in historic spaces)

This past weekend, my husband and I had the intense joy of watching our son perform in a new, immersive show called FREAKS DON’T CRY (a production of Linked Dance Theatre) on Coney Island.

Billed as a fusion of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” and the history of Coney Island’s sideshow, we watched, white-knuckling our seats, as drinks in the bar changed from clear to deep purple right in front of our eyes, as characters walked (and lay!) on glass, and as knives spun in a tantalizing game of Russian roulette and flew through the air. Dance wove both the story and the colorful characters together.

Freaks Steve on glass

(Photo Credit: Brooklyn Daily)

What’s more, this show is performed on the actual freak sideshow stage, which is now over 100 years old. We couldn’t help but think of all those who had performed before them, their spirits lingering, watching, enjoying the show.

Freaks Don't Cry stage shot

And oh, the inspiration for the young adult novel I’m currently writing. There’s something so special about an old theater! I felt the same way years ago when Steve and I performed as part of the cast of The Christmas Carol in the old Garman Opera House in Bellefonte, PA, which had hosted the brilliant minds and talents of George Burns and Gracie Allen, and Houdini, among so many others. There’s a certain feeling of awe, of respect, of fascination that ripples through me. It’s almost as if you feel an extra surge of responsibility to live up to “their” expectations.

They were proud, Steve. They were proud.

And so are we. Always.

And now, I must write.

H4L Day 27: Happy Place, Happy Feet

I ended my last blog with “there really is no place like home”. And I won’t argue the sentiment.

But sometimes, home is where the heart is.

beach feet.JPG

Last week, Baby Dragon and I were privileged to visit our happy place. To me, nothing is more inspiring than a day (or preferably, more!) at the beach, feet frolicking in the sand and foam.


Apparently, we weren’t the only ones.


I guess sometimes home is where the hearts, and feet, are.


And are…


And are…

birds gather 1.JPG

And are.


And now, I must write.

H4L Day 26: Somewhere Under the Rainbow

Today I had a Wizard of Oz moment.


It’s always been one of my favorite stories, whether reading the book series, watching the movie or enjoying a live musical performance on stage. I use it in my school visits to talk about character and plot development in writing. I even played the Wicked Witch of the West in a community presentation years ago.

(Admittedly, it was very therapeutic to cackle.)


And don’t get me started on sequins and shoes.

Larry and I have been traveling a lot as of late. Sometimes together, sometimes in opposite directions. For example, I was in NY last week while Larry was in Iowa. But this week, we shared paths (and walks on the beach) in Florida (we even got to visit my Dad and his fiancé – yay!) Of course, then he flew off to Georgia and I had to fly home without him. *sniff*

I was so excited to pick him up from the airport today. On our way home, we spied a rainbow and joked that it looked as if it were stretched over our development. As we got closer, we marveled how it looked as if our home was the gold at the end of the rainbow…


And this is what we found when we pulled into our driveway!


Which only goes to show that sometimes the best things are found under the rainbow.

*clicks heels three times *


There really is no place like home.

H4L Day 25: A Novel Idea

In addition to picture books, I’m also working on several young adult novels. I’ve actually completed one (that needs a TON of revision), started another, and had a wisp of an idea for yet a third (the latter of which is getting the most attention at the moment…what can I say? Those characters are talking the loudest.)

And then there’s the “fourth wall”. No, I’m not referring to the theatrical term where an actor directly addresses the audience.

I’m referring to my admittedly complex, free verse “picture book” that everyone says should really be a middle grade novel. The one that makes me feel as if I’m banging my head against the wall.

But in a good, loving way.

I hadn’t taken an SCBWI intensive in quite some time, but when I saw the NY conference offered a Novel In Verse option, and it was to be conducted by the fantabulously talented Ellen Hopkins, Sonya Sones, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Emma Dryden (not to mention the break-out session during the regular conference with the incredible Jane Yolen!), I knew the universe was trying to tell me something.

I’d been researching free verse for quite some time, hearing over and over again that there were “no rules”, but these amazing women impressed upon all of us attending that you need to know the rules of poetry to break them; that you need to understand, internalize and adopt the methods, and measures, and music.

I am now filled to overflowing with ideas, information and inspiration, and am so indebted to these amazing mentors (including my bestie, my critique partner and SCBWI roomie, Kimberly Sabatini!)


The incredible Ellen Hopkins, Kimberly Sabatini and Emma Dryden!


The magnificent Jane Yolen, Sonya Sones and Kimberly Sabatini!

SCBWI me Andrea.jpg

The amazing Andrea Davis Pinkney!

We must never stop learning.

And now, I must write.