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The Secret Lives of Letters

A unique series of 26 picture books, each of which delves into the secret life of a letter. I start the series with Z and move backward through the alphabet to A.

The first four working titles are:

  • Z Speaks Out
  • Why Y Why
  • X Marks the Spot
  • Wild Wooly W



The Interdependent Web

650-word Synopsis

See a 300-word synopsis

Eleven-year-old Jonathan Alexander’s steel-gray eyes swept the school yard and saw no one to come to his aid. He said the words that he had bottled up within himself the whole school year, “I’m not going to flunk my courses because I let you cheat off me, Piggy Iggy.”

While fleeing from the bully, Jonathan gets lost, runs across a covered bridge, and hides. His friend, Rahim, tricks Iggy and his cronies into looking elsewhere for Jonathan. The two explore a fantastical jewelry store.

Simultaneously, another of their sixth-grade classmates, Jade Chen, is lead to the same store by her pet hamsters, who suddenly can talk.

When circumstances bring them together, they discover that each of them possesses one of the three Keys of Understanding. To save the world from destruction by a rogue planet, they must restore communication, understanding, cooperation, and synergy between all species.

The three sixth-graders team up with two wizard shopkeepers, their teacher, plants and three kinds of “imaginary” creatures: dragons, unicorns, and mermaids to re-establish extrasensory communications between animals and plants and activate a dormant 248-milllion-year old organic worldwide defense matrix. Last employed 65 million years ago, this matrix is the only hope for Earth’s survival, but getting it on-line again is challenging.

The efforts of Jonathan, Rahim, and Jade, are constantly criticized by politicians throughout the world. The world’s leaders seem not to accept the fact that a rogue planet will pass near or strike Earth causing 98% of all life to be wiped out.

Politicians dismiss them as kids—partially because they are too young to understand anything because they cannot vote. Also in the USA, the entire concept sounds like global warming on steroids—and the current Congress and Administration does not believe in global warming, much less a rogue planet that will collide with the Earth.

The kids produce evidence that proves their claims, but no one in the world seems to care. Politicians proclaim the following as fake news:

  • Detailed astrological observations and mathematical proofs that show that the rogue planet will pass near Earth, wrecking havoc. The proofs are accurate but disregarded.
  • Proof that plants erected a shield that saved the world 65 million years ago. Unfortunately, no one is willing to believe that collectively plants are much more intelligent than humans or animals.
  • The presentations of unicorns which have migrated back from another dimension along with a way to view the dimension where they currently reside.
  • The revelation that dragons have lived for millennia in the Grand Dragons possess an uncanny understanding of flight and can communicate with birds—the living remnants of dinosaurs.
  • The testimony of mermaids that their race has lived for millions of years in the ocean and communicated with both marine plant and animal life, but they’ve given up on trying to work with humans, who are painfully cruel and quite conceited. No one believes in them.
  • All of these life forms must come together, to prevent Earth’s destruction. Only the unicorns will survive because they can transition to a different dimension.

Things are dark for the children who face the prospect of life imprisonment without a trial or death for treason. Bulk has lost weight. The children give up all hope of saving the world. However, a worldwide broadcast of music through a neural network established through the cooperation of plants and unicorns engenders world-wide inter-species harmony. The network empowers the creation of a shield that changes the course of the rogue planet, and because every life form communicates telepathically virtually eliminates corruption from human government.

Eventually, Jonathan and his friends, are hailed as the force behind the revitalized Interdependent Web of All Existence and credited with the survival of life on Earth.


YA Sequel idea:

The three friends are now teenagers. Human corruption may have been eliminated but there is evidence collected by the unicorns that plants have their own forms of corruption and that they plan to enslave humanity.

Please use my contact page to request a manuscript.

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Warm Inside

When I was a child, I used to walk with my father through wild fields. We would stop, and my dad would show me a Sassafras tree and let me taste the bark, which tastes similar to licorice or root beer. Later that field gave way to a long shopping center. Our walks are a treasured memory, and I’m wondering if it is worth trying to transfer them to a picture book.

Here’s the first draft of a beginning and ending.  Please use my contact form to let me know if you feel Warm Inside is worth writing.

“One more story, Pop-pop, please.”

“I’ve already read you two books, Shanna.”

“One more story, Pop-pop, please.”

“It’s time to close your eyes and drift off to sleep.”

“Please, tell me about the Sassafras tree and how it helps you fall fast asleep by making you feel all warm inside.”

Usually, I fall asleep quickly because there’s an itty-bitty warm spot in me that spreads and makes me feel good all over. But sometimes something in me feels cold, and I have trouble drifting into dreamland. That’s when I think about the Sassafras tree.”

Middle: We go for a walk through open fields that now have given way to shopping centers, and my father and I pick sarsaparilla bark. Eventually, we wind up at a deli and have homemade chicken noodle soup. Q&A show that the area has changed dramatically. We discover that change has its benefits.

A concept for the ending:
“I feel warmer already, Pop-Pop.”
And when Sasha fell asleep Pop-Pop kissed her a special good night kiss and said, “Sleep tight,” Pop-Pop felt warm inside.


A story based on two photographs that I took in Costa Rica

I took these two photographs in Costa Rica.  They are the seed of inspiration for a book that I’ll probably call Harmony & Melody.

The story will be about a turtle (Harmony) that wants to make a difference in the world, but no matter what turtles do they can’t really make a difference compared to humans.

Harmony collaborates with a woman (Melody.) They overcome many obstacles. Eventually, their artwork creates a social awareness and the combination of Harmony makes a huge difference in the world.

Stay tuned.

















“Dragon Eggs?” or The World’s Most Amazing Chicken

Idea Genesis

Hannah Harrison's delightful book Extraordinary Jane

Hannah Harrison’s delightful book

The top illustration, which reminded me of two brother dragons, plus reading Hannah Harrison’s book, Extraordinary Jane, got me to thinking about writing a book that demonstrates that anyone can be extraordinary (like Hannah Harrison did in her book). I want to approach the lesson in a totally different way.  Hanna’s book was published in 2015.  Perhaps we can even co-author a book together. That’s an idea I’m going to explore.

IMPORTANT:  This is an idea. It will be revised and refined.

Possible Plot Line

A mother dragon is caring for four eggs – bright green, bright magenta, bright yellow and dull white. The eggs hatch. The first three are dragons. The last one does hatch right away. The mother dragon warms the dull white egg with a touch of fire and it hatches.  Out pops a chicken.

The chicken imprints on the mother dragon, who feeds it dragon milk.

As time goes by the chicken does not feel special at all.  But one day, an event happens and the chicken is able to save a number of dragon eggs from a  predator by shooting out fire despite the fact that she is a chicken.  The marauder flees.  But one of the eggs has fallen from the nest into a stream which is ice cold. It starts to shiver.

The chicken pushes the egg out of the water and sits on it and until, just as the mother dragon comes in, it hatches, and all are well.

The chicken is deemed the World’s Most Amazing Chicken.