About Me

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I am a children's writer from the Virgin Islands. Growing up there was like living inside a history book; an imagination stimulator. Consequently I've been writing for just about forever. I am a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and a member of SCBWI.

Blog Schedule

I post on Monday and Thursday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marvin's on the Move

Yes, I'm still taking November off. 

BUT, I would like to direct your attention to 

I am revealing how Marvin, lizard extraordinaire, got his name. 
Really... Marvin P. Tinkleberry? What kind of name is that for a lizard?
Particularly for a hero.
How could anyone take him seriously?

Do hop, skip, or jump on over to Marcia's and learn the REAL truth!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, the 
purpose of the Insecure Writer's Support Group is: to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting is the first Wednesday of every month.

You can sign up HERE.

On a lark I went to Youtube and typed in "insecure songs." This was the first one I clicked on. I'd never heard it before, and am not familiar with the singer. But oh my goodness, the lyrics are powerful and speak loudly to what I sometimes feel and I'm sure many of you do as well.

We can indeed be our own worst enemy. 

We are not alone, we have each other.


I know quite a few people are doing NaNo. I'm not, but I am taking this time to work on my grandmother's cookbook. So, except for a guest post Marvin and I have planned later this month, I'm going to be off screen.

Have you heard this song before, familiar with the singer? Are you your own worst enemy? Do you hide behind your skin?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero?

I'm honored to be taking part in Joy Campbell's blog hop,

I have never been one to emulate, idolize, or hero worship well known or famous people. (Although I must confess I've come close when I think about George Harrison.) There may be things I like and respect about them that they've done, but I don't know them and they don't know me.

My heroes, have always been people in my life. They were people who, for the most part, I saw every day.

My parents, my grandmother, Charlotte, Miss Myra, Mr. Roy were a few of my heroes... Despite their flaws, which we all have, each of these people showed and/or taught me how to be a caring, responsible adult.

But they're all gone now, I hope having a wonderful confab under a heavenly gossip tree. 

So who can I look up to now? That would have to be my sister, Erva. 

I can't begin to tell you all the things she has done, and continues to do, for the benefit of the Virgin Islands and its people. She is a long time Rotary member and been the president of her Rotary club. She has also been the president of the League of Women Voters for the Virgin Islands, twice. She is on the Civil Rights Commission. She is an eco-warrior woman who works tirelessly to protect the islands from over-development.

Currently she is working hard, along with many other people, to help save Coral Bay on St. John  from being turned into a mega-marina which would be disastrous not only to the ecology of the bay and harbor but also disastrous to the local people.

picture of Coral Bay

And I'm going to do something here I haven't done before, share the link to a fundraising campaign to help raise money for the legal costs to protect Coral Bay. If you have a few dollars to spare... click  HERE

My hero, my sister, Erva Denham, planting a tree at the local humane society.

My hero, my sister and former school teacher, passing out dictionaries to elementary school kids through a Rotary program she has been committed to for years.

My hero, my sister, speaking directly into the Governor's ear.

Who's your hero?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Alternative for Decent

Alternatives is a recurring post in which I give synonyms for an over used word. Click on the tab above for a "complete" list of over used words.

Today's word is:

ImageChef.com - Get codes for Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and more

We're talking decent here, as in nice, which is not to be confused with descent, to go down. Amazing what an extra letter and where the accent is placed can do.

Depending on how you use it, this list may come in handy for finding another way to say the same thing.

aboriginal, acceptable/accepted, accommodating, adequate, agreeable, all right, amiable, amenable, ample, angelic, appropriate, approved, apt, austere, average

bare, basal, basic, becoming, befitting, blameless

chaste, clean/clean-living, clear, comely, comme il faut, commendable, companionable, competent, conforming, considerate, continent, conventional, correct, creditable

decorous, delicate, dench, dependable, dignified,

elemental/elementary, essential, esteemed, estimable, ethical, excellent, exceptionally, exemplary,

fair, faultless, fine, fit/fitting, formative, friendly

generous, genuine, good, good enough, goody-goody, goody two shoes, guiltless

helpful, heroic, high-minded, homely, honest, honorable, hospitable

immaculate, incorrupt/incorrupted/incorruptible, incredible, innocent, inoffensive, irreproachable



law-abiding, legitimate, lily-white

mannerly, menschy, modest, moral/moralistic

neighborly, nice, noble

obliging, ok/okay, on the up and up, orthodox

passable, Pharisaical pleasant, polite, presentable, principled, proper, prudent, pure

reasonable, rectitudinous, reputable, reserved, respected/respectable, right, righteous, right-minded

sanctimonious, satisfactory, scrupulous, seemly, self-righteous, sincere, sinless, spotless, stainless, standard, stark, straight/straight arrow/straight shooting, sufficient, suitable, superb, sympathetic

taintless, tasteful, thoughtful, tolerable, traditional, tremendous, true, trustworthy, truthful

unadorned, unadulterated, unalloyed, unblemished, uncluttered, uncorrupted, undefiled, undiluted, unerring, unobjectionable, unselfish, upspotted, unsullied, untainted, untarnished, upright, upstanding, up to scratch, up to snuff, up to standard, up to the mark,

virginal, virtuous,

well-disposed, white, wholesome, wonderful, worthy


This post is for Christopher, an amiable, kind, considerate kid, who died too young at 39 of kidney disease. Despite the terrible abuse he suffered as a child, and the suffering he endured because of his illness, he left this life with tons of forgiveness and love in his heart.

Monday, October 27, 2014

12 Keyword Searches

Diane Wolfe over at Spunk on a Stick will be giving a review of my book A Lizard's Tail. Hop on over there and see what she has to say about it!

Today's post is about strange keywords searches that have brought people to my blog. They could be used as writing prompts, a jumping off point for writing the next big story.


1. I get random thoughts early in the morning (So do I, hate those pesky things!)

2. Corp of engineers fickle finger of fate award (How many of you remember Laugh-In? This clip from 1968 shows clearly that some things never change.) 
3. Kaleidoscope shells (I want one.)

4. Spelling spiders (I have this image of little spiders sitting at their little desks copying spellings words off a blackboard.)

5. Eleanor Roosevelt in color (Was she strictly a black and white sort of person?)

6. Iguana sore mouth (What? Sounds like a disease!)

7. Thrust stone old construction window (This makes perfect sense to me, how about you?)

8. Turning into the alien monster (That would be a neat Halloween trick.)


9. Half woman, half bird (I think she's called a harpy and there's your answer to turning into an alien monster AND your Halloween costume)

10. Gas spraying lizards (In the immortal words of Monte Python, "RUN AWAY!")

11. Lizards with a penny in throat (I suspect that would be a choking lizard.)

12. "Whoever you are, go out into the evening." (This is actually the first line of a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.)


Whoever you are, go out into the evening,
leaving your room, of which you know each bit;
your house is the last before the infinite,
whoever you are.
Then with your eyes that wearily
scarce lift themselves from that worn-out door-stone
slowly you raise the shadowy black tree
and fix it on the sky: slender, alone.
And you have the world (and shall grow
and ripen as a word, unspoken, still).
When you have grasped its meaning with your will,
then tenderly your eyes will let it go.

Rilke 1878
Rilke 1875-1926

Rilke at three. His mother lost an infant daughter and, in her grief and desire to have a girl, dressed him in girl's clothing. When  his poetic and artistic talents were becoming apparent, his parents made him attend a military academy, where he stayed for five years before illness caused his departure.

He must have been miserable. But it didn't seem to make him bitter. I've always gotten the sense from his poems that he had great sensitivity towards women and life.

He was only 51 when he died of leukemia.

Have you checked for keyword searches on you blog? Got a favorite one from the ones I've shared?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pictures Worth more than 1000 Words

 Here are some pictures of my characters from A Lizard's Tail.

Marvin P. Tinkleberry, lizard extraordinaire.

The Great Iquana.

 The Lovely Leeza.

The Old One - Leader of the colony at Stone Wall in the Garden by the Sea.

Here are some places and plants mentioned in the novel.

Flame Tree - aka a flamboyant. At the bottom right is an oleander bush.

The Place of Gathering - aka a bougainvillea. 

A frangipani tree, sending sweet aromas into the air.

 A maho tree on the left, whose rough barked branches creak when the wind blows. On the right, a maho flower. They are related to hibiscus.

Nightblooming cereus, a cactus, which El Grecko Gecko tells Marvin about.

One of many different types of hibiscus.

Do you use pictures to help inspire your stories, to help you focus on description?

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Lizard's Tail Release!

Finally, my hero has arrived.
Meet, Marvin P. Tinkleberry!

From the moment he cracked open his egg, Marvin P. Tinkleberry knew deep in the marrow of his bones that he was destined for greatness. He mentioned this to anyone who would listen.

“When I was an egg, an ancient Teller came to the Sacred Nursery to educate us about the Great Massacre and how Prince Leopold traveled Over the Hill to bring lizards back to the Garden. The Teller came to my egg and whispered my name. Then he said, ‘Destiny. You have a destiny.’ Right then I started to hatch and I saw him as he was leaving. He had the ugliest tail, all bent and gnarly. It wasn’t nearly as fine a tail as mine.”

In time the lizards stopped listening to Marvin. They snickered and said things about him.

The boys figured he was a showoff. “Greatness!” They laughed. “He’s all talk. Marvin doesn’t have the claws to fight a fat ugly gecko, even if one moved into his hole.”

The girls knew he was self-centered. “He’s always too busy looking at himself and doesn’t spend enough time perfecting his insect-hunting skills.”

The adults thought he was dreamer who didn’t pay attention. “If he isn’t careful,” they said among themselves, “he won’t live to see grandchildren.”

Their comments didn’t stop Marvin from talking. He just started telling the hermit crabs and butterflies, the rhinoceros beetles and June bugs. He even told the trees.

Which is why, it seemed, he could often be found talking to himself.


A Lizard's Tail is now available on Amazon

Feel free to spread the word, there's a hero lizard on the loose.

Marvin and I send out a BIG THANK YOU to those of you who are giving space to us on your blogs in the coming weeks.

It's an adventure!

And, just to let you know, Anansi and Company is available for $2.99 HERE!

What adventure are you on?