Here I Come!

My last post was a WHOLE YEAR ago. Totally embarrassed. Life has had its way with me.

The newly-published magical, picture books and young adult novels entered into the market offered many stories to read and savor. I found myself buried by books. And I tried a new path by writing and rewriting the third draft of a young adult historical fiction fantasy. My days and nighttime dreams were spent within a land of three kingdoms. My multigenerational characters became my new best friends. I even discovered I liked sparring with my multi-layered villains. Crafting a 68,000+ word novel was like giving a four-ton elephant a pedicure. Currently, an interested literary agent—a dynamic, instinctive storyteller—has my manuscript. It’s a time of waiting, wondering and…hoping.

After joining Julie Hedlund’s “12 x 12 Challenge” for my third year, I’ve been writing the sequel to my YA novel. The Kingdoms of Rose, Frost and Cliff are my second home. I’ve ever grateful for my Muse, who keeps waking me up at all hours with plot lines. And the characters who lived beyond book one keep calling my name. They want ACTION!

I hope while living with life’s bumps that you’ve been active in art of storytelling, especially when it comes to reading. One gem out of the jewelry box of new picture books is Janna Matthies’ Here We Come! Her spot-on use of onomatopoeia—swish, swish, bum…fiddle-dee, fiddle-dum—sets a natural rhythmic beat to the rhyme, transforming her adventurous story into a rollicking read-aloud for both children and adults. Her cast of characters—both human and animal—go forth on a nighttime adventure that will inspire children of any age to join in the fun.

This fun, frolicking cumulative narrative is illustrated by the talented Christine Davenier, whose watercolor artwork adds a charming delight and surprise to this rhyming romp.

“A boy sets off with his flute and his stuffed bear and a rum-pum-pum. As they make their way through the town and the woods, they ask, “Wanna come?” Soon, kids and creatures join in the fun one by one, playing instruments, singing, and dancing to the catchy tune.

But will a storm bring their fun-filled musical parade to an end?”

Janna Matthies, picture book author

Janna Matthies is a picture book author and early-elementary music teacher in Indianapolis. When she’s not reading, writing or making music, Janna enjoys gardening, walking her husky, and hanging out with her husband and three mostly-grown kids. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @JannaMatthies.!/Janna-Matthies

Now that I’ve gotten over being mortified with myself, I’ve made a promise to post at least once a month. May you be so encouraged to stay in the rum-pum-pum rhythm of storytelling even while life has its way with you.

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Marsha Elyn Wright

Bursts of belly-laughs. Raised eye-brows. Teary trickles. Heart tugs. Grumbly mutters and more. Good storytelling sparks emotions and memories in us. It connects cultures and generations. The best words create melodies on a page we can sing reading aloud. These story songs expand, challenge, affirm, and delight us. My hope is that my storytelling creates this magic for you.


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