Our world is broken. With the tragic and senseless events in Florida at the Stoneman Douglas High School, we are all broken by our grief, our rage, our despair. I have no magic words or happy platitudes to offer. All I can say is this:
There is love to be found- in unexpected places. Open your hearts so you will feel love from where ever it comes. A simple heart-shaped potato chip reminds me of the love that surrounds me, from family, friends, my faith community, my pets, and a kind gesture from a stranger.
There is hope: I see it in something as mundane as the yearly bursting forth of daffodil sprouts heralding another spring, to the hope for change arising out of students, parents, teachers and others no longer willing to accept what happened in Florida and acting on that hope. I noticed these daffodil sprouts just today. They had been hiding under a blanket of leaves and snow. Hope is like that; it needs to be searched out. Once found, it lifts the heart and the spirit.
Sending love and hope to everyone, whether they are directly affected by the Florida shootings, or feeling the pain for those who are.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
When Chloe Kim put up the highest score in the halfpipe event on Sunday at the Olympics, she received not only the gold medal, but a plush tiger (named Soohorang). In the last few decades, every Olympics seems to have a mascot but I'd kind of like to think that naming this tiger might as a type of goodwill ambassador might help bring awareness to the plight of tigers and animals across the globe as they become more endangered.
So when Evolution Revolution: Simple Lessons won gold, and Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines won bronze in the Feathered Quill Book Awards, I awarded myself with this:
It's pots of bulbs and seeds for dahlias, lavender, lilies poppies. They will be my little 'goodwill ambassadors' for bees and butterflies, inviting them into my garden. One of the major themes in my Evolution Revolution trilogy is the loss of habitat. Jack, a common gray squirrel, fights to save his tree, nest, and woods from construction machines and the encroach of humanity. (How many freaking shopping malls do we need?)
So I received a gold and bronze award, and I'm giving back food, a haven, and a dating space for bees and butterflies (maybe some birds, too).
And the star-shaped rock? That I have faith not only in myself, but in my small efforts to make a difference, one flower at a time.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Evolution Revolution: Simple Lessons!
Dear Ms. Bennardo
We are excited to announce that the book "Evolution Revolution: Simple Lessons" has won the Gold/1st Place award in the 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Young Readers (8-12) category! Congratulations! We had a HUGE response to our annual awards program, with many excellent books vying for top places. Your title rose to the top and you should be quite proud.
"The plot of this title is by far the best of all the books submitted for this category. The illustrations are great and the front cover scores a perfect 10!"
I'm feeling the love for Jack the squirrel! And a shout out of congrats to my wonderful illustrator, Cathy Thole Daniels, for not only the recognition for this book, but....
Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines!
Dear Ms. Bennardo:
We are excited to announce that the book "Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines" has won the Bronze/3rd Place award in the 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Young Readers (8-12) category! Congratulations! We had a HUGE response to our annual awards program, with many excellent books vying for top places. Your title rose to the top and you should be quite proud.
"You get an A+++ for all of your illustrations and your front covers are phenomenal. They all are eye-catchers that separate themselves from the pack! I do like the plots as well. "Simple Machines" is great for kids when it comes to learning about the environment. And the book is fantastic when it comes to learning the art & beauty of friendship.
Two awards for a trilogy! I am beyond ecstatic! This series was my heart; a project I started well over 10 years ago- and I'm hoping it keeps achieving more success!
All books that I sell at book events will feature the gold and bronze award stickers (sorry, I can't do that through Amazon or B&N).
I'm just so excited, I have to celebrate, but I don't know what to do! Send me a suggestion! If I use your suggestion (and no, I can't give free books to everyone) I'll send YOU a free copy!
I dared to dream...