So honored to be invited yesterday as guest presenter at the Haiku San Diego monthly meeting on Zoom. Thank you so much, Naia Haikupoet ! Thank you to all the members--Deborah P Kolodji, Kathabela Wilson,
Carol Judkins, Seretta Martin, Susan Campion, Olga Gutierrez Garcia, William Galasso, etc. I had a blast sharing my book, Will You Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story and my creative journey! They say said they wanted me to be guest speaker again. I am really looking forward to that.
I am sharing my year in review. I could not believe that I have accomplished so much despite COVID! I'm so grateful to my family, friends, and the haiku/art community. I am so blessed to have your love, friendship, encouragement, and support! I love you all! Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings! I have learned and grown so much in 2020!
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, I haven't had any school visits or book readings. So far, I was able to do two book readings of Will You Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story in a poetry group Zoom meeting, one of which was Tanka Poets on Site. These photos were taken on November 4, 2020 after my book reading.
This one was taken on November 13 before my book reading. My dog Haiku and I were getting ready for the Zoom Meeting. Kathabela Wilson introduced me to more poets. I introduced Haiku to all of them, my bundle of joy, the inspiration behind my children's book, Will You Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story.
They all enjoyed it! You can watch the video of my reading below. After the reading, I had a few more orders.
Guess who won TWO awards this afternoon? Silver for Children's Books and Silver for Cover/Interior Design Thank you so much, Lord, for all the abundant blessings! Deep gratitude to my illustrator, Jiliane Vilch, for your amazing illustrations for "Will You Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story." You rock! Thank you to my two editors - Shloka Shankar and Brooke Nicolls.
Michael Dylan Welch, thank you so much for your wonderful blurb and guidance. I cannot thank enough your daughter, Sarah Welch, for making my book extra special. Thanks a ton to all the excellent contributing poets - Robin Robinbobobbin, Corine Timmer, Julie Bloss Kelsey, David John Terelinck, Shloka Shankar, Debbie Strange, Susan Furst, Alan Summers, Michael H. Lester, Susan Burch, Chen-ou Liu, and Pamela A. Babusci.
To see all the winner this year, please follow this link.
NOTE: There's a printing error on the plaque. It's supposed to be "2020" instead of "2019."
I am thrilled and proud to announce Purple Cotton Candy Arts' new release, "Johnny and Frankie's Summer Sleepover," a picture book written by Michael H. Lester and illustrated by George Franco. Now available on Amazon!
Johnny has a thing for ants. He admires them for their hard work, their discipline, their organizational skills, and their fascinating social network. During summer vacation, while other children play on the swings or throw frisbees, Johnny spends hours watching the ants at work and even feeds them jellybeans! When Johnny makes friends with an ant named Frankie, he has a summer he will never forget!
Michael H. Lester’s hilarious story about an unlikely friendship between a young boy, named Johnny, and a friendly ant, named Frankie, will have children of all ages laughing along with their parents and grandparents as they go from page to fun-filled page and back again.
Since I took a class in alcohol ink art, I have been hooked. I love experimenting with Tim Holtz alcohol ink and finishing my art pieces with doodles! Last month, I was encouraged by a poet friend to join a contest, Paws Backyard Wildlife Art Contest. I was hesitant at first because I'm not good at drawing, but I took the challenge. I thought I had nothing to lose! Why not make some doodles instead? As a creative explorer, I know there are ways to make up for what I'm not good at by applying new things that I've learned from my alcohol ink class, researching some doodles of animals on the internet, and most of all, by adding my own unique touch.
This is what I came up with. :-)
With the help of friends and acquaintances, I was able to gather the most votes and won first place in the adult category. I was over the moon!
My joy was doubled when I found out that my goddaughter won first place in the 3-10 years old category. While I received a $150 gift card for my prize, she won an Echo Dot for Kids.
I thought the contest was a cool way to raise funds to support Paws Animal Wildlife and Sactuary's mission--to rescue, rehabilitate, and release orphaned or injured wildlife.
Today, non-profit organization posted this on Facebook.
Because of the intermittent rain, the authors' interviews were held inside Carol's Bookstore instead of outdoors. It still turned out a success! I think the interviews were more intimate, the audience attention was more focused, and the responses were more personal.
Thank you so much to Sunni Harley for featuring me as one of the authors last night. I am also grateful to Dorothy Rice, one of the featured authors, for taking my video. You can watch it here.
Last February 6, I was at Barrett Ranch Elementary School for World Read Aloud Day.
I was happy to be able to read Zoobooloo: With Filipino Translation to the third graders.
For the first time I read my new book Will you Still Love Me? A Puppy Haiku Story. The kindergarten students loved it! One boy hugged me after I read the story.
The third classroom I visited was the 1st grade. As usual, I enjoyed all their responses. This event reminded me how much I love book readings at schools. I will try to achieve this goal in 2020 - more book reading events!!!
I noticed that the recent Facebook book launches, both for children's books and poetry books, which I have co-hosted have not been well-attended. I'm not sure why. Maybe because of the following reasons:
1. People don't have time.
2. People are not intrigued anymore because I've already done several in the past.
3. People are bored because I haven't thought of anything fresh to offer.
4. The poets or authors I have selected to publish don't have a big fan base.
5. I just have not found the right people to invite.
Who knows? We might have chosen the wrong time or day to host the book launch. It's hard to guess. All I can do is keep trying. For my new book, I decided to open a Facebook book page and hosted the book launch for one full week (December 23-January 1).
I didn't have to stay glued to the computer every day. I just posted several pictures and videos of the main inspiration of the book - my all-year round bundle of joy, my dog, Haiku. I tried to keep it engaging and entertaining as possible by coming up with three contests. I think that was less stressful for me. Everyone I invited didn't have to stick around or wait for the next posts. Everybody had time to browse and take their time to decide whether they want to just take a peek or participate and come back the next day when they are ready with their contest entries.
To get an idea of what was going on, you can visit the Facebook Page here:
I had a blast so I hope the guests who participated did too! :-) Here was one of the contests - Post your dog's wackiest costume or most pawsome attire below! The winner of this BEST DOG OUTFIT contest will win a free copy of my book. Here is Haiku showing of all her different outfits to show as examples for the contest.