Suzy Leopold: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway


Plate of Cookies




headshot 1


Whenever I think of Suzy, I think of flowers. She is well-known in the kidlit community as the official giver of the most beautiful flower photos. If someone is sick or in need of cheering up…if someone has just gotten a book contract or signed with an agent, Suzy gifts them with virtual flowers. Birthday, anniversary, you name it, this lovely lady finds the perfect bouquet. I’ve known Suzy online for several years and was fortunate enough to meet her in person last summer at the WOW writing retreat. And she is even sweeter in person!

flowers on piano

When I asked Suzy for a bio, this is what she wrote:

I am a wife who is adored by my husband, Perry. We are proud parents to five boys and three daughters in law. Pa Perry and Oma Sue [grandparents] adore their seven sweet, smart, and sometimes sassy grandkids, who reside in Texas. I am an educator of hundreds of students, from preschool through eighth grade, including college level students, administrators and colleagues. Currently I teach a Reading course at Lincoln Land Community College and share summer school and after school reading and writing lessons in our community.

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Bilingual certification, Reading Recovery certificate, and a Master’s of Science in Reading.

My husband and I are organic gardeners on the Illinois prairie, who enjoy cooking and baking for family and friends. I am a reader and a writer. I am a painter of acrylics & watercolors and a creative crafter. I am a cyclist on a pink Marin Portofina. The proprietor of Afterwords Book Store calls me a reading extraordinaire, as I participate in story time and share the love of reading.

Leaving the world a better place is important to me.

Read, write & create every day.

yellow flower

WOW! And now you know why I love her! And why, when I had an opening in my blog schedule, I invited her to share her knowledge and her spirit with all of us.

Welcome, Suzy! I’m so happy to have you stop by today. I know you are going to chat about the importance of writing in journals. Thanks to you, yesterday we had a journal-making craft to go along with the Perfect Picture Book Friday selection which was a book you use in your classroom.

So, please take it away!

As a reader, writer, and an educator I use journals. I have a collection of them. Journals help me stay organized and become an excellent resource to refer to over time.

There are many purposes for keeping a journal or two or more. A journal has many functions and uses. Some of my journals list numerous book titles, including summaries, and my thoughts and recommendation about books. Many of my journals include tips, ideas, titles of mentor texts, even rough drafts for my fiction and nonfiction stories I write. I use journals to write notes about my students’ and their progress. My students and I keep reading and writing skills and strategies in classroom journals that become interactive notebooks.

mix of journals.jpg

Let me share some more ideas with you on how to keep a journal and encourage children to do so as well. Parents are our children’s first teacher. Empowering parents and guardians with tips and tools needed to support their child’s learning at home and at school, prepares the child for a successful future.

Many readers keep a journal to write about books. A journal is an excellent place to create a reading log of books being read. Scribe your thoughts about the book. Write a quick book report. Summarize and evaluate the book. Would you recommend the book to others? A journal can be used as a wish list of titles a reader wants to read. A double-entry journal, is a way to share, read and respond while rotating the journal between two writers. Most often a double-entry journal dialogue is between a teacher and a student or a parent and a child. These journals become a written conversation for learning, growing, and reflection.

Many writers use journals to create stories. Consider recording ideas, information, data and facts, or rhyming words about topics you wish to write about or are currently researching and writing. Many students and writers brainstorm thoughts and make lists in a journal. A journal can be used for pre writing. Make it spontaneous and write in a first draft form. Try a strategy referred to as quick writing. It is an informal ramble of words on paper to develop and generate ideas. Create a graphic organizer. Jot down words and more words. Just focus on your thinking and ideas; not grammar and spelling. The revisions and editing can follow later.


Many people, young and old, keep journals-artists, students, teachers, librarians, gardeners, farmers, athletes, politicians, scientists, writers, chefs, and many more. Writing in a journal is an excellent place to jot down personal experiences, thoughts, favorite quotes, and Bible scriptures. The journal may turn into a mini scrap book filled with memories. Add mementos and ephemera. Doodle. Sketch. Be creative. Most writers use a journal to record everyday events and topics that interest them. These journals may include daily entries that record news and events that are personal in nature. They are private and not intended for others to read as one writes about personal experiences, thoughts and dreams, turning the journal into a diary.

Journals come in a variety of sizes and styles, making them portable. Carry one in your purse or backpack. Use a variety of writing implements. You can use more than a pencil. Try writing with colored pencils, markers, or even a collection of rainbow colored pens.

leo inventions

Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci kept over forty notebooks? He wrote about his activities, and recorded plans for his engineering projects. If Meriwether Lewis had not kept a journal, while exploring across North America, we would not have a glimpse of his travels, during the time he lived, nor the geographical information that he recorded in his journal. The beloved, best known child diary, The Diary of Anne Frank, was written while Anne and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II.

anne frank

Don’t place limits on what you write and put in your journal or notebook. Reading and writing are reciprocal. Reading and writing are thinking. If readers are writers and writers are readers, then all readers and writers should keep at least one journal.

YAY! Thanks so much, Suzy! I’m definitely a paper person. I love journals…and especially love the one you made for me. And I’m so excited you are giving away a personalized journal as a prize today! 

my journal

To find out more about Suzy:

Grog Blog:

Through the Prairie Garden Gate:

Twitter:  SuzyK5

Facebook: suzy.leopold

I’m also excited about the yummy recipe she is sharing! The floor is yours, Suzy…or should I say, the kitchen!

journals group

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tarter


Mix sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly, set aside. Mix flour and dry ingredients in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 375°. Divide dough in half and roll 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter; sprinkle with sugar. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until delicately golden. Makes about 4 dozen cookies. While they may not last long, these cookies can be wrapped in stored in the freezer.

Please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway – you might be the lucky winnr of a personaized journal from Suzy!

Have a safe and happy weekend, everyone!


About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on September 30, 2017, in Cookie recipe, Giveaway, Uncategorized, Will Write for Cookies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Beautiful journals, Suzy, and dozens of reasons why we should have one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Suzy. I have a lovely journal that I’ve yet to use that Agatha created for me at WOW. I’m starting something new today so guess I should grab a new journal. One question…do you keep your journals in some sort of order or grab for one at any given time to find a surprise inside? Thanks again, Suzy and Vivian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Mona, grab your journal created by Agatha and use it for that *something new* today.

      Many of the journals in my collection have a specific purpose, lists of mentor book titles, favorite quotes and Bible versus, writing conferences, etc. If you want to consider using a journal for several purposes, create tabs as dividers and/or use the ribbon/rick rack book marks to separate the sections.

      These are a few ideas. Design your journals in a ways that is best for you.


  3. I loved the journals Suzy made and those cookies look yummy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve spurred me on, Suzy, to consider journaling again. Your ideas are fresh and timely. Thanks, Vivian, for hosting our Prairie Girl. I learned a lot about Suzy I didn’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fabulous post, Vivian! And, with one of my favorite people too! 😊 I’ve tried for years to be a good journal keeper and haven’t had much success, but now I’m re-inspired! I’ve just taken out a set of colored pencils and am going to give mixed media journaling a try. Now to go get a good notebook! Thanks, Suzy for such wonderful inspiration, all the beautiful flowers, and the recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your kind words warm my heart, Beth. 🌸 Enjoy creating and writing in your journal with your colored pencils. Mixed media is the way to go. 📓

      I always admire the lovely arcs of prismatic colors appearing in the heavens you share. Here’s a rainbow for you: 🌈


  6. Always collecting journals!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many journals, so little time. I have them all over the place. Problem is pieces of stories are scattered among several of them. (or maybe that is a good thing, or a strange juxtaposition of those thoughts and ramblings will creat something really special.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand your thoughts, Stephen, about *so little time*. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do what I want. 😊 I like your positive thoughts of creating stories and mashing stories together as you combine writings from one journal to another.


  8. Thanks for the inspiration Suzy! I’m going to find all my journals and reread them. I have one for when I travelled to Croatia. And also one where I write picture books. I can think of one more where I wrote a chapter book. You made me realize that I have had journals over the years but didn’t think about them lately until now! Thank you!

    I love that your cookie recipe! I love the idea of sipping on tea, eating a cookie and journaling all at the same time.

    Many good wishes sent your way, have the brightest and loveliest day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lily,
      I am pleased to know you found some inspiration. Such a compliment.

      How wonderful that you have journals about your travels to Croatia and your picture book/chapter books. Time to revisit your journals and add to them.

      Sugar cookies with a cup of tea sounds delightful. The cookies do make for good *dunking*.

      Your wishes warm my ❤️. Happy reading & writing.


  9. Danielle Hammelef

    I use my journal to keep book ideas and books I want to read. I also write poetry in my journal. Thanks for sharing your journal ideas and recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I already knew that Suzy is a giver of flowers and is super nice. What I didn’t know is that DaVinci had so many journals. WOW. Thanks for sharing that, Suzy. And thanks for sharing your ideas on journaling and the sugar cookie recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful ideas on how to use journals! I have baskets full of them. I love journals but often find I get stumped on what to actually do with them! I’m not a person who journals every day but I love your ideas for keeping separate journals based on book titles, story ideas etc. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! you’ve inspired me, Suzy. Much better than writing down stuff here, there and everywhere, and not being able to find it later.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Suzy exudes joy from her being — that’s why so many are drawn to her! I was inspired by her post. I have a variety of journals ranging from personal, to gratitude and dream. But my most important one are my spiritual journals. And, I keep them on a shelf.

    In my 20s I had a stack of journals about struggles in my early life. When I was dating my husband, I knew I wasn’t ready for a proposal. But one day I got the urge to do a sacred burning of my journals on New Years Eve. It was very liberating because I was letting the past go. A few months later he proposed and I felt free to accept. So some journals serve other purposes.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love reading about all things journals, it inspires me to keep my own.


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