Dianna Aston: Will Write for Cookies PLUS GIVEAWAY


Plate of Cookies







Even before I started writing for children, I knew the name Dianna Aston. Her beautiful nature books for young kids are widely used in the schools. So you can imagine what a thrill it was to connect with her when I joined the kidlit community. And then I met her at the WOW Retreat…and had a one-on-one critique that turned into a two-hour chat where we shared our passion for picture books. I’m honored to have her visiting today…especially since it is Valentine’s Day as well as International Book Giving Day. Make sure you scroll through all the way to the end of the post…to enter the GIVEAWAY of TWO BOOKS.

Welcome, Dianna! It is a pleasure having you here.

ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?


 My all-time favorite book from my childhood is “Andrew Henry’s Meadow” by Doris Burns, which was published a year after my birth, August 12, 1964, also known as International Youth Day. andrew henrys meadow It’s about a boy whose imagination is off-the-charts creative. He has visions of pulleys and axles and how to make things work. But he tries to implement them in the family house. It’s not possible to live among parents and sisters and carry out his inventions. But Henry, being unstoppable Henry, gathers his tools and ideas and strikes out on his own. He goes to the meadow, where he builds a little house. His courage to make his dream happen inspires other kids in the neighborhood to follow, to build their own tiny homes. Soon, the meadow is a village of children, united by their dreams in a peaceful meadow. Each homemade dwelling reflects the child’s vision of home. The home of their heart.


The favorite of my books is “Dream Something Big,” illustrated by Susan Roth.dream-something-big It’s about a man like Andrew Henry. Simon Rodia, creator of the Watts Towers, had a vision. For half his life, he built towers out of trash, found objects and his own special mix of cement. People called him crazy, but he remained true to his vision. Like Andrew Henry, Simon—also known by children as Uncle Sam—was unstoppable. The towers rose, the tallest 100 feet. No ladders, no nails, no screwdrivers. Thirty-four years after he picked up one chip of tile, he decided he had accomplished his vision. He pinned his life-savings to his suit, gave the deed of ownership to his longtime neighbor, and walked away. He never returned. In 1990, twenty-seven years after he died, the towers were designated as a National Landmark. The city of Los Angeles, earthquake-ville, thought they might be dangerous so they did a stress test on them…tried to topple them. The crane went up in the air.


When I visit schools, I tell them about the towers and Uncle Sam. “If someone calls your dream crazy,” I say, “then you know you’re on the right track.”


When my son (now 25) was in 2nd grade, we found out he had dyslexia. Back then, it was called a “learning disability.” Sigh. The more I learned, the more I realized it was a gift…or could be a gift if the dreamer wasn’t discouraged. If you have dyslexia, you’re different. You think way outside of the box. Because you’re not part of the majority, people say, “What’s wrong with you?”


What does this have to do with Andrew Henry? He thought differently and followed his dreams. If his character is based on a real child, he probably had dyslexia. Once, when my son was about five, he tied up the garage with some kind of string machine, just like Andrew Henry did. Back then, I thought along the lines of Andrew Henry’s parents. Rolled my eyes. Sent him inside. Detangled. I so wish I could change that day. Now, I would say, “Way to go, James! I never could have thought this up.”


Here are others who had dyslexia, thought the “impossible” could be done… and were called crazy for dreaming what they did:



It’s crazy to think you can light up the world, Thomas Edison

It’s crazy to think you can stand in Kansas and talk to someone in France, Alexander Graham Bell

It’s crazy to think men could rocket to the moon and walk upon it, John F. Kennedy

It’s crazy to think we could create a United States of America and declare ourselves free, Thomas Jefferson.


Vivian… until you asked me to write this, I’d never made the correlation between my favorite childhood book and how it’s so a part of my writing life now. Answering the simple question, “Who was your favorite….?” This was eye-opening for me.


ME: Dianna…wow…I’m so happy about that! What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?


 Writers aspiring for publication may be frustrated with this answer. Which is, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

 a seed

I didn’t know that passion and perseverance was The Key. Wanting to write one story wouldn’t have imbued me with perseverance. To have passion means you want to write many. And with that passion, you won’t be stopped. Over 4 years, I wrote, I read, I studied, I networked. It wasn’t an effort. Learning the craft and knowing I had something to say kept me passionate. Unstoppable.

Of course there were times then, MANY, after checking the mail and reading yet another No Thank You… when I just hung my head and cried. Prayed. Made another pot of coffee. Revised. Read 40 picture books a week, checked out from the library. Made another pot of wine.

ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? And when do you find time to write?


 Twenty years ago, I began writing in earnest with the hope of publishing children’s books. After my kids got on the bus, I went straight to the computer in a tiny den with a big window in Suburbia. The ringing of phones and doorbells annoyed me. In the quiet, I was totally in the world of creating.

All of that changed when I moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in ’06. Suddenly, after all those years of solitude, I woke up to a world of non-fiction. No TV, no media. It was like looking at the world through baby eyes. What a beautiful world!


The den evaporated and I began writing in the courtyards of Mexican restaurants. One was Dila’s, a Sri Lankan cuisine restaurant. The courtyard was painted bright green and had a canopy of fuschia bougainvillea. The sunlight in San Miguel is platinum. So the colors and the light inspired me. At the big wooden table at Dil’s, I wrote a few books. One, “A Butterfly Is Patient,” is dedicated to him, Dilshan Madawala, my soul-mate brother.

There was one other restaurant where I wrote in San Miguel. Longhorn Smokehouse, a barbecue joint owned by a Brit who had had a bbq restaurant in Houston before setting up in SM. There I wrote “A Nest Is Noisy” and began work on “A Beetle Is Shy.”

 Butterfly is Patient(1)

Always, I wrote outside. I made so many friends at these places, people from all over the world. They were respectful and usually didn’t interrupt while I was writing. But often, one would shout across the patio, “A butterfly is magical!” or “A bug is creepy!” Or suggest I write about a talking cactus.


Now I write at a pirate bar in my new home, Port Aransas, the only town on Mustang Island, Texas. At The Gaff, where there is no air conditioning when it’s sweltering and only space heaters when it’s freezing, I write. I market. I book school visits. I have what I call “my table,” where I can spread out notebooks, computer, purse, satchel, datebook, plug into an outlet, plug in my earbuds to listen to music. There isn’t platinum sunlight inside this smoky, neon-lit place. There is a jukebox, slot machines and pirate paraphernalia. It is a Cheers bar, where everyone knows your name. And cares about you. And roots for you.

ME: When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?


 Ideas come to me at night and I jot them down on scrap paper. Receipts, envelopes, bank statements. In my early den days, I wrote mornings. Now, I go to my fitness class, get cleaned up and write/market/book in the afternoon.


ME: Why do you write for children?


 There’s a part of “Dream Something Big” when Uncle Sam, an Italian immigrant who had a difficult time learning and speaking English, was asked why he was building towers. I watched a DVD of him being interviewed.


When asked, he replied, “Why a man make the shoes? Why a man make the pants?”


That’s my answer. I have no idea. Why a man make towers? Why a man make a phone? Why a man light up the world?


Each of us has a passion, a vocation. For now, this is mine.


 ME: Dianna, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, writers, librarians might want to hear.


 Writing is not solitary. You need your family and friends to cheer you on. BUT you need your fellow writers to cheer you on…AND tell you how you might consider improving your manuscript by doing this. Join SCBWI. Attend workshops and conferences. Volunteer at them. Be giving with your time and insight for fellow writers. Writing and publishing is about teamwork. Think about it.


When my son was young, we listened to books on tape for the summer reading program at the library. With dyslexia, the print to him was a jumble. But, boy, he could listen. We read by ear all the Newberry books. Back then, I had to convince librarians that auditory reading is reading. You don’t need eyes to read. Just ask a kid who’s reading with her fingertips. They finally gave him the credits for reading.


In seventh grade, still struggling with reading print, the school admins suggested he be put in special ed. Grrr. On his auditory vocabulary, he was on par with 11th grade students. He still tries to tackle books, but the way he learns is by watching/listening to documentaries.

So my advice to parents, teachers and librarians…there are many ways to read. And reading is Learning.

That is GREAT advice, Dianna. You’ve given so much more than I ever expected…honestly, I believe that what you’ve shared will have a huge impact on all of us.

If you’d like to connect with Dianna and find out more about her books, please visit her website:


Her wonderful books are available at just about every online and brick and mortar bookstore.



And Dianna is not done sharing…she’s got two very special Valentine’s Day sweet treat recipes for you.


First, a Gluten-Free recipe:

Paleo Sugar and Spice Cookies (from Rebecca Bohl – http://www.paleogrubs.com)



   1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly

   3 eggs

   1/4 cup honey

   3/4 cup coconut flour

   1 tsp baking soda

   Orange zest from half an orange

   1/4 tsp vanilla extract


For the frosting


   3/4 cup white chocolate chips

   2 tbsp coconut oil

   1/3 cup pureed strawberries




   In a medium bowl, mix the coconut oil, eggs, and honey together with a hand mixer. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla. Add in the coconut flour and baking soda and stir with a spatula. Place the dough in the refrigerator to harden for one hour.

   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the chilled dough between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Let cool on a wire rack.

   To make the frosting, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave, stirring regularly. Remove from the microwave and slowly mix in the pureed strawberries until desired color is achieved. Spread over the cookies as soon as they are done baking.




   Servings: 14 cookies

   Difficulty: Medium

Other cookies: http://www.cooks.com/recipe/jd223549/sugar-and-spice-cookies.html

And here is the second recipe…Dianna’s favorite:


SUGAR AND SPICE COOKIES (from www.cooks.com)


1/2 c. butter or shortening

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp. molasses

1 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ginger

1 c. confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)


Set the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Grease the cookie sheets. Get a large mixing bowl. Measure the shortening and put it in the bowl. Measure the sugar and pour it over the shortening. Cream them together. Get a cup and break the egg into it. Add the egg to the creamed mixture. Beat it with a mixing bowl. Measure the molasses and pour it in. Stir everything together. Stir well. Set the mixing bowl aside. Measure the flour, the baking soda, the salt and the 3 spices into sifter. Sift them into a bowl. Pour the sifted ingredients onto the molasses mixture. Stir until all the flour is mixed in.


Use an eating spoon to scoop out a spoonful of batter and push it off onto the cookie sheet. Leave plenty of room around each cookie. Put them into the oven. Don’t open the door for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes look at the cookies; if they are not firm let them stay in the oven 2 more minutes. Take the cookies out of the oven and lift them off the sheet with a spatula. Set them on a wire rack to cool.


Get a cereal bowl and a serving platter. Pour the powdered sugar into the bowl. Take a warm cookie and put it on the sugar. Flip it around until it is covered with fluffy sweet sugar. Set it on the serving platter. Do this to all the cookies. Then pass them around.

You bet we will, Dianna! Who’s up for making these tomorrow? I think kids would LOVE to help with the sugar coating.

Now I know this has been a long post…but we are NOT done yet! Dianne had posted something on Facebook about a favorite book of hers…just imagine how surprised I was when she mentioned it in the interview. I was intrigued…and I believe this is a book we should all read…even as adults. So I am offering a GIVEAWAY of a copy of Andrew Henry’s Meadow by Doris Burns.andrew henrys meadow

But that’s not all!

I’m also giving away a shiny new copy of Dianna’s An Egg is Quiet.aneggthumb Whoot-whoot!

If you’d like to be entered to win one of the books, please leave a comment below and tell me if you have a preference. And if you aren’t already on my email list, I’d love it if you would sign up…my newsletter (which is in process) will be geared for parents, teachers, children’s librarians, and kid lit writers. and I would love to be able to share it with all of you. Each quarterly newsletter will also contain a book giveaway…because I just LOVE giving away books! To sign up for my newsletter, just click here: http://eepurl.com/8pglH

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy International Book Giving Day! I hope you have a beautiful week, dear friends. And please, if you have a moment, share this post…with so many insights shared by Dianne and a two-book giveaway, I’d hate anyone to miss out.

80 thoughts on “Dianna Aston: Will Write for Cookies PLUS GIVEAWAY

  1. I love your books, and I understand how listening is reading. My grandaughter listens to books while we do her math (I homeschool). She says the story helps her think. We read Andrew Henry’s Meadow. It’s a wonderful book. Thank you,Vivian, for another great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dianne is one of my favorite authors. I loved hearing about her history and process. Seeing how others work is always so interesting. I make it to Port Aransas sometimes. Hope she won’t mind if I stop and say hello! Thanks for the book giveaway opportunity too Vivian! Either book would be delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha…it sounds like Dianna may be getting some company soon…doesn’t her home sound like paradise. I can’t imagine being able to walk on the beach any time I wanted to…and find the treasures that the sea has released. Thanks so much for stopping by, Angela…I’m glad you enjoyed the interview.


  3. Wow! Love your favorite books! Especially Andrew Henry’s Meadow. Sounds EXACTLY like my son, and yes, I have sighed and unwound miles of string and all kinds of things. But right now, my entire kitchen and dining area is covered with model airplane mayhem. He’s building his own planes and testing their thrust for his spring science project. Love it! Even though we have to eat elsewhere.

    I have a niece with two children who are dyslexic. She had been a teacher for deaf students and then became a reading specialist with a focus (you guessed it) on kids with dyslexia. In the area where they live, she is a miracle worker. And her kids, well, they are super-duper creative and wonderful.

    I LOVE your books! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with Vivian and all of us!

    P.S. Thanks for the cookie recipes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s wonderful that special people step up and are willing to give of themselves to work with kids, Jilanne…good for your niece. And good for you…turning your kitchen into whatever it needs to be in order to encourage your son. Yes, I think that is our most important role as parents and teachers…to be there to encourage and support. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Vivian, what a great interview! I was privileged to meet both you and Dianna at WOW last summer. I was so pleased to find out what a beautiful soul Dianna has, and I became an instant fan of both her and her work. Vivian, since I already have a signed copy of An Egg Is Quiet, I would love to have a chance to win a copy of Andrew Henry’s Meadow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What great reading on a Sunday Valentine’s day as I do my laundry. Very inspirational especially about where to write.I would love to win Andrew Henry’s meadow and i can give you A US address. Thanks Dianne and Vivian

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great! Not long at all, Vivian. I could have “listened” to more of Dianna’s story. I haven’t read Andrew Henry’s Meadow, but from the description, Dianna is our Andrew. I am lucky to know both Vivian and Dianna, two of the most beautiful on the universe. A chance o win either book would be wonderful. Thank you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you were able to make it through the post, Mona…and I’m happy it was entertaining enough for you to wish there were more. 😉 And I thank you for your kind words…being part of this kid lit community is a joy for me…I wake up every day, eager to write and encourage others to do the same. 😉


  7. Lovely interview, Dianna and Vivian! Dianna, your books are gorgeous with language and illustrations. My students really like them! I like that there are different ways to READ!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vivian, yo and Dianna have already given us the gift of this interview. So inspiring. Glad I know you both! I would love Dianna’s hear book about Henry. Happy Heart Day to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vivian, Dianna, what a lovely interview. Thanks to you both! I’m not familiar with Andrew Henry’s Meadow and would love to be entered to win. Happy Valentine’s Day and happy reading, however you may do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Vivian, Happy Valentine’s Day. Thanks you for such a wonderful post.

    Dianna, I absolutely LOVE Dream Something Big. I used in in my elementary art classes and for a mentor text for a children’s biography I wrote. Your books are treasures. I would love either book but An Egg is Quiet keeps popping in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We could have a whole bookshelf devoted to Dianna Aston books, right Diane? I’m so so happy you enjoyed the interview…and I love that you’ve used Dream Something Big as a mentor text…I need to get a copy ASAP!


    • Thank you so very much, Marlene, for stopping by..and I have to tell you that I LOVE the way you put it, ”I would like to share either of these books with the children in my life”..yes, we need to share all of these wonderful books with the children in our lives. 😉


  11. What a great gift to receive on Valentine’s Day-a blog interview between two inspiring authors! Both of you are gracious and giving women and I’m proud to have you in my life. I have read the two book offerings and I’m pleased to have Dianna’s books on my shelf 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day ladies ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charlotte…you are one of the finest cheerleaders in this kid lit community. I’m always so grateful to see your comments and likes in many different FB groups. So I’m glad you enjoyed this interview…our little Valentine’s Day gift to all of you. 😉


  12. Dianna, lovey as always. Great interview too, Vivian. We love Dianna and her books at our house, and we would love either of those books. It looks like we have a Beetle book to add to our collection too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope you all know the classic line in “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse.”

    “Wow.” That was all she could say.

    Of all the interviews I’ve done, this is hands down my favorite. I have no idea why, but just Vivian’s first question, “What was your favorite book as a child?” elicited everything I wrote and I didn’t even think about it as I wrote it. The words just spilled.

    Talking to children about dreaming big, no matter what your circumstances, is one of the missions in my life. At school visits, I talk about famous dyslexics. And I know, know, know that Andrew Henry had to be based on a child with dyslexia. Just as Henry tied up the house, so did my son. After I speak, a child or two raises his/her hand and proudly says, “I have dyslexia.”

    Thank all of you for your lovely comments. You can reach me through my website. http://www.diannahaston.com.

    On the bio link, you can see what I’m working on. Many of you have used the word “inspiring.” The book I’m working on now is, I hope, inspiring. A coffee table book, “SOS/Messages of Love, Hope and Peace.” What middle-aged fairy godmothers can accomplish, with courage, determination, purpose. My Ford Focus is unstoppable. Be the change you wish to see.

    Thank you, Vivian.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right back at you, Dianna! WOW! I love your Ford focus…are you referring to Henry Ford’s ability to hone in on what needed to be done and then just do it, with courage, determination, and purpose? I just wrote a story about him and some of his friends. 😉

      Take a look at Mary’s comment below…you interview made a positive impact on quite a few people today…I do thank you so much for being my guest and I’m thrilled beyond measure that it was such a meaningful experience for you as well. 😉

      Your beach is nowhere near me, Dianna, but I’d love to build sand castles on it one day. 😉


  14. What a great interview- I am a newbie (for the past 5 years). What has held me back is fear of trying- I love the comment that it’s perseverance and passion that matter! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hello Mary,
    I am so so so happy you stopped by…and this was the perfect post for you to read. YES…I truly believe that perseverance and passion, even more than talent, are what bring success in this business. I totally understand about the fear of trying…of putting yourself out there…of SUBMITTING something, whether it is to an agent, an editor, a critique partner, or an online challenge. Have you ever been to Susanna Hill’s blog? http://www.susannahill.com If not, go there right now (or as soon as you can)…you will read dozens of entries to her First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest…the entries are all different…and everyone is supportive of everyone else. That’s what we need to be in this kidlit community…because it is a tough road to publication…and we MUST support and encourage each other. I don’t know if you are in critique groups or if you participate in any of the challenges, but I hope reading my post today has given you a newfound sense of confidence in yourself.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment…it means the world to me. 😉


  16. Dianna is a special gem. I admire her and the many stories she has authored.

    Thank you, Vivian, for sharing All About Dianna. I especially liked the answer to your question. “Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?”
    ~Suzy Leopold

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed the interview, Suzy…it was enlightening for me as well. And I so appreciate you putting your name at the bottom of your comment…it’s so hard to remember everyone who doesn’t have their own name as an avatar. 😉 🙂 And I LOVED the virtual birthday flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Wonderful interview. kudos to both of you. I would appreciate winning either book. Andrew Henry’s Meadow reminds me of an activity we did at a Bev Bos workshop many years ago. We had to make our group house out of various materials available. Each house was unique. What fun we had. Thank you for the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree…when we work with our hands, wonderful things happen…not the least of those are the beautiful memories that are made. I used to teach kindergarten…and we made graham cracker gingerbread houses every year…the kids were so very proud of their creations. When I operated a home day care, the children made their own bread once or twice a week…again, their own creation…however they wanted to knead it and shape it. Thank you so much for stopping by…I’m thrilled you enjoyed the interview and I’m so happy the trip downmemory land was a good one. 😉


  18. Your words are inspiring and your books look delightful.I agree that all children learnin different ways and with dyslexia, you can become inventive. I was an elementary teacher ( mainly for higher grades) buti am loving learning at my old age of 79. Thank you for the offer any book would be dream come true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello dear Jane…I’m so happy to see you here…and I’m glad you enjoyed the interview…Dianna is a special lady and I was honored to have her as my guest. I hope you got the 12×2 issues ironed out…I know that Stacy said she was getting in touch with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Vivian and Diana,
    So many delightful books. may I live many decades more to read them! Yes I’d love to read either of the 2 books I’ve put Diana’s books on my library list. thanks for the heart-centered interview.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dianna does have so many wonderful books to her credit, Sue…I agree. In fact, I just about ran out of room on the post…she has lots more that I didn’t put images up for. I’m so happy you enjoyed the interview…and I appreciate your wonderful comment!


  20. Vivian… you wrote about Henry and his friends? The group that included Firestone? The homes he and the famous guy in a wheelchair whose name I can’t remember. I almost wrote about this. An Australian told me about them and said I should write their story. Call it something like, “A Camaraderie of Friends.” I hope you’re writing this. These famous men who got together and camped and rollicked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup…they called themselves the four Vagabonds…traveled for 2 weeks each summer for 10+ years…Firestone, Ford, Edison and John Muir. My story concerns the 1921 trip they took right after Muir had died and they invited President Warren G. Harding along so they could twist his arm and bend his ear about legislation for the national highway system which was pretty nonexistent and in bad repair because the states were not required to maintain the roads. It’s pretty cool because as soon as he returned from his weekend of camping, he signed the Federal Highway Act of 1921, allocating $162 million and requiring the states to maintain the new roads.
      I’ve sent the story to Essie and hopefully she’ll find a good home for it. 😉


  21. I was having a bit of a crisis. Do I want to keep writing these books? After 20 years, I’m feeling a bit bored, although I have other books to write, about Mexico, about Victory Gardens. Thank you all so much for all of your comments. You’ve helped me. And channel that Andrew Henry and his legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess everyone needs a change now and then…even the most incredible dessert may pale if we have it every night (or maybe not, if it has chocolate in it). But I’m so glad the comments here have given you a sense of how much your work is admired, Dianna…and more than that…how it touches other lives and impacts them. 😉


  22. What a wonderful interview! I agree that passion and perseverance is The Key. For the giveaway, I’d love a chance to win a copy of An Egg is Quiet. Also, I can’t wait to try those sugar and spice cookies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Rebecca…how cool that you stopped by! You know first hand from your books with Corey that passion and perseverance are so crucial. Don’t those cookies look yum? Thank you so much for your lovely comment. 😉


    • Thanks, Dianna…I knew they had a harad time with formal schooling. And they sure did have fun playing. They had high-kicking, stair-jumping, and log-cutting contests. Of course, they camped in individual tents with electric lights powered by a generator Edison brought. Their food was served by waiters and cooked by their personal chefs, although most of them took a turn at the BBQ. It was like elite roughing it. 😉 I did know that the teachers of Ford and Edison didn’t think either would amount to much…so many brilliant people just have a different way of processing information. I also have a story I wrote about Joseph Montgolfier, the hot air balloon guy…he, too, had a hard time in school…ran away when he was 12…preferred to ‘self-learn’…so I’d bet he also had dyslexia. History is fascinating…and I’m having a ball writing these stories to make it more accessible to young readers. 😉


  23. Great interview, Vivian!! I’m a big fan of Dianna’s work, especially her series with Sylvia Long. I’m already the proud owner of An Egg is Quiet, so no need to enter me into the contest. Thanks for the recipes, Dianna!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just to clarify my short story for anyone who might not have understood it on the first reading, I tried to include several themes, metaphors, in it without it being obvious because for me, as a child, I remember being read books that had those things in them; also, when children came up to me to talk to me, I think they liked that I wasn’t talking down to them as though they were stupid or not intelligent. I never spoke to them in a baby voice because when I was child, I didn’t appreciate it when adults did that to me. Throughout the U.S., in the past decade, 14-year-old middle school students were required to read “Speak”, a novel about a 14-year-old-girl who was raped.

    It’s not only for all of the quiet, introverted children who are teased by their teachers or students about having a quiet personality, letting them know not to let others judgments of them affect and hinder their lives, and to be proud of themselves; it’s also about letting others who judge them know that their initial impressions of someone might be incorrect, whether based on race (the rabbit’s light brown color), appearance (a person having two large front teeth), or personality (being quiet). I guess you’d also have to be a little familiar with rabbits’ behavior; I haven’t ever owned any, but I know that they like quiet sometimes, yet also like to have friends, and they do munch on food loudly with two front teeth.

    I made it gender neutral because I’ve heard boys complain that they didn’t like the stories that were read to them, or that they were required to read at school, with themes of romance or friendship between girls and boys, or mainly with a female protagonist, saying that they were “boring”, which is understandable because at that young age, they’re not romantically interested in girls that way.


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