In early May I took 12 students from the Chatham University graduate program in creative writing to Spain. We stayed at Hort de Gloria near the village of Sella about 40 minutes from Alicante. We hiked and rock climbed, kayaked in the sea, visited Grenada and worked on the organic farm.
We decided that pruning olive trees was much like writing a poem; a lot of hard work, all about paring down, and shape. You choose your cuts carefully. Ultimately you have trimmed through the mess of branches and leaves to something that will yield a more satisfying harvest. Always a work in progress.
A BEACH TAIL by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. 2010
Fans of Crockett Johnson’s classic, Harold and the Purple Crayon, will find some of the same endearing exploratory themes in this realistic story of a young boy with a stick who takes a linear journey into the unknown and back. When Gregory draws a lion in the sand at the beach, his father gives him permission to play, but he cannot go in the water and he cannot leave the lion. Gregory draws the lion’s tail longer and longer, until he realizes he has strayed far from his father’s umbrella. He follows the tail back to where he started and where his father has been watching all along. This story will capture the imagination of young children longing to explore on their own. Gregory’s mild anxiety when he realizes he has strayed too far is resolved by his own resourcefulness, an ending young readers will find safe and satisfying. The close-up illustrations of Gregory carry readers along as if they are at his side, and the sandy appearance of the drawings reflects the beach setting perfectly. This is a reassuring tale of adventure. Recommended. Jennifer MacKay, Senior Content Editor, American Book Publishing. Salt Lake City, UT
Karen was born in Connecticut, and received her Master’s degree in deaf education. She has lived in Africa and in Haiti. Karen had an early dream to be one of the youngest published authors ever, starting a writing club at ten. However, Karen's published works came later in life, after extensive travels and family experience. Karen's ability to draw from personal experience and adapt into writing forms for all ages and interests expresses her true gift. See her website for more information about her books and stay in touch here for updates about her writing life and publications.