My Gender Work was Stolen in the Children’s Book Industry

#Columbused #GenderWheel #GenderNow #DiverseBooks #StolenWork

Context is Everything I was plagiarized twice in the same year by the same community. It was hard to wrap my brain around at first. After all, this is a community I felt some connection to. These were people I imagine to be well-intentioned parents and professionals. But now there …

My Story, Your Story, Their Story, Who Gets to Tell It?

First Voice/Own Voice and Indigenous, POC, LGBTQI Children’s Books

My Story I have been involved in the children’s book industry for over 20 years. I joke that they accidentally let me in. Indeed, something must have been going on…stars momentarily aligned, portals briefly opened… because not only did I get “in,” but my first book, Prietita and the Ghost …

What Keeps Me Strong in These Days – Checking IN and Blessings OUT

Children's Books as a Personal Practice

These days, these days, these days. Everything changing. So much discomfort. Everywhere hope and courage. So much waking up as the children take to the streets speaking truth OUT loud. So much more waiting in the wings. These days, I close much of my correspondence with “take good care through …

Self-Publishing Journeys

School of the Free Mind Student Spotlight: Sandra Gonzalez, Skillful & Soulful Press

When Matthew and I changed the format of our School to be independent study as well as more financially accessible, our hope was that folks would take full advantage of all the numerous materials to support them and their publishing endeavors. Publishing a children’s book, whether through traditional means or …

The time is now

Let's flood the world with our voices

The act of telling our own stories is a radical act. I continue to stand humbled by the power of creativity and its ability to heal us and change the world we live in. It’s with a sense of urgency that creativity flows through me these days. Sometimes it feels …

Update on When a Bully Is President, Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times

UPDATE 2017: As I had hoped my IndieGoGo campaign and private contributions helped jump start some of the big shifts we’re making in 2017: School of the Free Mind is now expanded and independent study Our free mentorship program will have its first meeting at the end of January Reflection …

The Rainbow Alphabet and The Girl in the Library

Finding Voice In a World of Silence

Two books that support kids: an LGBTQ intro for littles and a story about a girl coming into voice The Rainbow Alphabet with Mami Q and The Girl in the Library, The Library in the Girl will be published in 2017 by Reflection Press. Written and illustrated by me, The …

When a Bully is President/Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times

A children’s book to support kids and adults in the wake of the 2016 US election. The book can be used as a way to talk about oppression in society or as a straight up tool to talk about the current political climate and the next 4 years with your …

What I Learned from 3 Years of Teaching How to Make Children’s Books

#ownvoices in Children’s Books: A State of Emergency/ Blog Series 2 of 3

I’m no stranger to the inequities that exist for People of Color, Indigenous and Queer authors and artists. I’ve been teaching and lecturing about it and its impact for 20 years in the children’s book industry. I speak from knowing and teach from understanding on a personal level. So why …

5 Ways SCHOOL OF THE FREE MIND Commits to #OWNVOICES Rising in Children’s Books NOW

#ownvoices in Children’s Books: A State of Emergency/ Blog Series 3 of 3

What I shared in Part One and Part Two of this series contributes to why I felt driven to stronger action with School of the Free Mind, my online school. The children’s book industry feels like a state of emergency for our communities and a powerful place to invest our …