SCBWI-Carolinas Conference Recap

A week ago I attended the SCBWI-Carolinas Writers Conference in Charlotte, NC. I learned a few key things that I believe will improve my writing. That makes the conference a success for me–well worth the investment of time and money.

My daughter lives nearby, so I didn’t need to spend money on the hotel. That’s always a plus.

I made some new writing friends like Andrew Barton, Tami Boyce, Dena McMurdie, Sarah Meade, Carrie Brown and Christine Boatwright. Great to me meet all of you!

But probably the best part of the conference for me was reconnecting with old friends like Samantha Bell, Teresa Fannin, Donna Earnhardt, Kelly Dyksterhouse, Meghan Hoyt, Debbie Allmand, Linda Phillips, Carol Baldwin, Vijaya Bodach and Joan Edwards.

It recharges me to sync with old friends. I’ve made some writing friends in my new home in Louisville, KY. But I think it will take a while to build a tribe like I had in NC. A tribe of people who love me, pray for me, and help me to become a better writer. Thanks, ya’ll.

Jean’s Blog Tour

Many people have helped to make God’s Blessings of Fall a real, live book. I am truly grateful to them and to God. Some of those folks are blogging about God’s Blessings of Fall and about my process of bringing it to life. Special thanks to them. They are listed below.

Please visit their blogs and thank them for helping to make God’s Blessings of Fall a success in the world of books.

And could you share? Thanks.

Happy fall, ya’ll! Blessings to all,


Joyce McCullough Tues. Oct. 1

Amberly Clowe    Wed. Oct. 2        

Write2Ignite Mon. Oct. 14

Sally Cressman     Fri. Oct. 18         

Laura Sassi          Mon. Oct. 21      

My blog               Wed. Oct. 23                 Announce my Book Giveaway

Nancy Sanders     Thu. Oct. 24        

Sally Matheny     Fri. Oct. 25         

CCA Blog            Sat. Oct. 26         

Kay Alonso        Mon. Oct. 28      

My blog              Wed. Oct. 29                Giveaway my Book

Carol Baldwin    Mon. Nov. 4       

Linda Ray Center   Fri. Nov. 15        

Blessings, Gratitude and Prayer

There are several reasons I wrote my Bountiful Blessings series of picture books (God’s Blessings of Fall will be available this week!). One of those is the importance of prayer in young children’s lives. Prayer is usually a natural consequence of gratitude. Seeing God as our Creator and Giver of blessings, I hope, will point young children to prayer.

I also hope it will become a part of your family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions—pausing to bless God for creating the beauty of the season of fall.

Once young children learn that they CAN converse with God they just assume that it happens any time, any place, under any circumstance.

In Luke 18:17 Jesus says, “I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” I say we need to pray like little children pray.

I don’t think we need to teach little children to pray. But we do need to get them ready to trust God and pray to Him.

  • We need to teach our children that they are loved.

God has wired the human brain to make connections. When young children feel that we love and value them they will connect those same feelings to God, their Heavenly Father.

  • We need to teach our children that they are safe and secure with us.

We teach babies and toddlers this by holding them close to our bodies, by making sure they are fed, warm, clean. By keeping them in safe places, by protecting them and helping them meet each new challenge. If they feel safe with us they will connect it to feeling safe with God.

  • We need to teach our children that we are listening when they speak.

When a conversation is going on with your little one, stop what you are doing and look into their face. Pay attention. Look at them while you answer their question. You are teaching your little one two critical life skills: how to listen and pay attention when other people speak, and the knowledge that God stops and listens when we go to Him in prayer.

  • We need to teach our children gratitude.

Say “thank you” to them often. As soon as they can sit in a highchair fold their little hands together and recite a simple “Thank you, God, for our food. Amen.” Teach them that all the things in our lives are gifts from God.

When we gently and lovingly teach these things to our toddlers and preschoolers it will be second nature for them to talk to God, to assume He is listening, and to expect Him to answer.

That is prayer in its purest sense.

Fall Picture Books

Four Seasons Make a Year by Anne Rockwell

The Reasons for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro

Fall Leaves Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E. H. Runstad

Fall Leaves Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Leaves by David Ezra Stein

Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaves Fall Down by Lisa Marie Bullard

Apples and Pumpkins by Julia Rawlinson

Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert

Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum

Apples by Gail Gibbons

Apples, Apples Everywhere Learning about Apple Harvest by Robin Koontz

Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum

Little Boo by Steven Wunderli

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

God’s Blessings of Fall-Cover Reveal


I’m so proud of this beautiful work. Thank you, Olya Badulina for the beautiful artwork in God’s Blessings of Fall.

This is the first book in my Bountiful Blessings series. It will be available in paperback and hardcover. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Thank you for praying with me and encouraging me during the process of bringing this book to life.

Blessings to you, my friends.

God’s Blessings of Fall-One More Day

Tomorrow is the big day! My first picture book, God’s Blessings of Fall, published by Little Lamb Books will be revealed.

YOU’ll be the first to see the beautiful cover.

Can you tell I’m excited?

God’s Blessings of Fall-Almost There

Only 2 DAYS until the cover reveal for God’s Blessings of Fall. 

You’ll love Olya Badulina’s gorgeous illustrations.

Share the excitement with me here and on social media, please.


God’s Blessings of Fall-Count Down

Just 3 more days until I reveal the cover of my debut picture book, God’s Blessings of Fall. 

I think the children in your life will love gettin up close to the sights, sounds and smells of fall.

I’m excited! Hoping you are getting excited about it, too. Please share on your social media.

God’s Blessings of Fall – Count Down

In just 4 days everyone will get their first glimpse of God’s Blessings of Fall, the first book in my Bountiful Blessings series.

Can’t wait!


God’s Blessings of Fall-Cover Reveal

Just 5 days until I share the cover of my debut picture book God’s Blessings of Fall. 

It’s a celebration of the bounteous beauty of fall that we receive from our Heavenly Father.

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