Am I a Writer with a capital W or a lowercase one, written in pencil?


PS For those of you who have no idea what this is about: I decided to transcribe some of the poems and ideas I wrote in the little purple notebook I keep next to my bed. 

I almost didn’t include this one, but then I decided it was a good example of things that pop into my head. Do you have an idea notebook (or like me “notebooks” plural)? What do you write in yours?

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Why do the words flow freer when I’m tired

When I’m half asleep

Body aching, footsore from a long day of mothering.


Children clinging to my legs,

wanting me closer,


Though my mind wanders,

my heart stays

with them.


And the words come in my mind,

flowing through the pencil

after bedtime.

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If I knew

If I knew what you meant to her,

It wouldn’t have happened that way.

I would’ve gone without you

to another land

to another place.


Instead I stayed,

and we were never apart.

But we should’ve been.


(Like I said, these poems come to me when I’m falling asleep so I don’t always know exactly what they are about. Or if I did at the time, I have no idea now! Maybe it was a book I was reading at the time?) :) ASJK

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(This poem is inspired by a character in one of my manuscripts. but I probably will not use it since her backstory has changed…)

The night was black, and the the ocean pounded, pounded, pounded agains the rocks.

My father was gone, gone, gone.

And it beat a hole against the rocks, made a cave in my chest.

Sometimes the water floods in, makes it feel full, and sometimes

it’s empty.

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In My Heart I Am a Poet

As promised last week, here is one of the poems from my little purple notebook.

In my heart, I am a poet.

But the words won’t come

       when bidden.

They come in the night when the world is asleep

         when my mind is empty

and quiet as the room.

Warm cat purring,

down comforter comforting,

a blanket of sleep squeezing tight.

Awake, the words fail to delight.

No longer profound.

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Little Purple Notebook

Sometimes when I’m tired, sentences pop into my head.

I scribble them down in a little purple notebook that I keep by my bedside. Mostly they are story ideas that may or may not go anywhere, or ideas for solving a problem in one of my manuscripts, but occasionally I jot down a poem.

Some of these poems are seared into my brain; some of them I forget as soon as they’re written down. (Sometimes my pen is an eraser of memories.)

I was glancing through my little purple notebook today and thought why not put them in my blog?

So over the next few weeks I’ve scheduled some of them to go online.

I’ll tag them: Little Purple Notebook. I’ll post them approximately once a week until I run out, or until I decide the posts are too embarrassing and I need to delete them all…


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Banned Book Week Discussion

Hi Everyone!

I’m going to be participating in a discussion about banned books as part of Banned Book Week Discussion at Falmouth Public Library. The other speakers will include: author I.W. Gregorio (Ilene Wong), Stephanie Seales, and Sara Hines from Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth.

If you can’t come–I know it’s a little far for some of my Boston area kidlit friends–please share with your friends!

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What’s Amitha up to?

Hi everyone! It’s been a long while since my last blog post. I’ve been busy this summer with my family, my writing projects, and my volunteer projects.

My family’s been busy this summer, going to museums, the beach, hanging out at the neighborhood pool, playing video games, and of course, reading a million books. My younger child is now 3 and has camp 3 days a week over the summer (not every week), so I’ve been enjoying spending time with her while my 6yo is at camp. Unfortunately, this means serious jealousy–the girls fight over their precious time with me–but the 6 yo loves being with friends and has a lot of energy, so she also really, really going to camps. (“Can I PLEASE go to that swimming camp again this year? I’ll be so sad if I can’t!”)

As far as my writing goes, I have been plugging away at my rewrites of middle grade fantasy I co-wrote with my sister a few years ago, based on my trip to Jantar Mantar.  The book was originally in third person, focusing on one character, then it was in first person, and now I’m doing third person again, but alternating between two characters and fleshing out the worldbuilding more. So there’s been a lot of thinking and rewriting and deleting involved!

For the first time, I’ve also been working on picture books! I’ve been wanting to write a picture book for a while, and for some reason, the ideas never flowed for me. I’ve been tinkering with them here and there over the past two years, but it’s taken me some time to get some stories that felt really original enough to pursue. Plus after 6 years of reading them every day to my kids,  I have more of a sense of the rhythm and flow of how the text flows, and the ideas for those have been coming more frequently.

I’m also taking on some freelance work, and in September, I’ll be on a panel at Eight Cousins Bookstore and also attending this workshop at Highlights, which I’m excited about! I’ve been wanting to go the Highlights Foundation for a while now and this was a great opportunity. Thanks to my husband for agreeing to solo parent for a few days right at the beginning of the school year! I may post some pictures if I manage to take good ones with my cell phone.

As far as volunteering goes, I’m now Social Media Manager at WNDB, and also still work on the boskidlit calendar when I have time. Unfortunately I just noticed that the google calendar does not have as many items on it as the Facebook calendar. Oh dear. I guess I’d better fix that soon.

Anyway, I think that’s it. I’ve been doing a lot, so yeah. It might be a while before I blog again.

Catch you later!

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Links from the #NESCBWI16 disability panel

As promised, here are links from the panel on writing disability with author Padma Venkatraman, librarian Carrie Banks (loved this video where she speaks about her library!):

Books recommended by Padma and Carrie:

A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Including Families of Children with Special Needs by Sandra Feinberg, Barbara A. Jordan, Kathleen DeerrMichelle Langa, and Carrie Banks

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Tending to Grace by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Me and Rupert Goody by Barbara O’Connor

The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

El Deafo by Cece Bell

When Reason Breaks by Cindy Rodriguez

Rogue by Lynn Miller-Lachmann

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back by Harilyn Rousso

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, illustrations by Shane W. Evans

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Accidents of Nature by Harriet McBryde Johnson


“Sympathy is not a positive attitude” – idea from Kenzaburo Oe

Awards (as mentioned, keep a close eye on what works and what doesn’t)

IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

Schneider Family Book Award

Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award

Videos Padma Venkatraman watched while researching her novel

  • Clayton Bates dancing:


  • Adrianne Haslet-Davis dancing:


Online Resources and Further Reading



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Links from My Part-Time Writer, Full-Time Mom #NESCBWI16 Talk

For those of you who attended (and those of you who didn’t!), here are the links I included in the handout at my Part Time Writer, Full Time Mom workshop this past weekend. Some of these I mentioned specifically in the talk, and some are just for further reading. (A big thank you to author Pooja Makhijani for helping me with some of these links!)

Books I’ve enjoyed:

Hilarious stickfigure cartoon post

Related Blog posts and articles to check out (alpha by author)

A Sort of Related Poem I Enjoyed:

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