Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Twelfth Stone is about to arrive!

Some writers crank 'em out. Book after book. Some take longer than others. I'm one of the latter. The Twelfth Stone, my new novel, has been part of my life for most of it. I got the idea in 1978, based on an experience I had in 1972, began writing in 1993, finished the first draft in 2001, and now, in 2011, The Twelfth Stone is coming out! 
It has been a labor of love from start to finish. Living with all those characters in my head. They kept me company through bright days and dark nights. When I finished the first draft I cried like a baby, thinking I would never see them again. But then the editing began and I got to be with them for quite a while longer. In October of this year I am finally releasing them to my readers. I hope they will love them as much as I do.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jana's Musings...: Finally my audio book is here!!

Jana's Musings...: Finally my audio book is here!!: "It's been a while since I've written. Been very, very busy and finally, I can breathe and announce that the audiobook I produced, based on t..."

Finally my audio book is here!!

It's been a while since I've written. Been very, very busy and finally, I can breathe and announce that the audiobook I produced, based on the book I edited and published, The Adventures of Charlie and Moon, by Martin Meader is LIVE and up on

Brilliantly narrated by internationally acclaimed comedienne/novelist Alison Larkin, The Adventures of Charlie & Moon takes kids (and kids at heart) on a wild ride through the village of Tumblegum to the City of the Qunicequonces to save the endangered species from the evil Skunk Weavel. Only Charlie and his friend Moon can save the day!

This book was a ForeWord Book of the Year Award Finalist, and is a fantastic book to recommend kids read and listen to at the same time!

6 hours of listening hilarity and fun!

Teacher's Guide available for free download

I hope you'll download it onto your mp3 or iPhone and if you like it, be the first or 100th to review it!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pollen and me

This has got to be the worst allergy season I have ever encountered. How about you? Are your eyes watering? Are you sneezing? Itching? Breaking out? Yeah, me too.
It's all from pollen, that's right. I'm pretty sure.
What is pollen, you might ask?


Noun: A fine powdery substance, typically yellow, of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower or from a male cone transported to the female ovule by the wind, insects, or other animals.

I'm looking at pictures of pollen and they're scary to say the least, and what they cause, I can hardly deal with it. 

What types of pollen trigger allergy symptoms?
Many trees, grasses and low-growing weeds have small, light, dry pollens that are well-suited for dissemination by wind currents. These are the pollens that trigger allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergic rhinitis in the early spring is often triggered by the pollens of such trees as oak, western red cedar, elm, birch, ash, hickory, poplar, sycamore, maple, cypress and walnut. In the late spring and early summer, pollinating grasses - including timothy, bermuda, orchard, sweet vernal, red top and some blue grasses - often trigger symptoms. Ragweed is the pollen most responsible for late summer and fall hay fever in North America.

Well there you have it!
Yuck! I can't say I'm looking forward to winter again, but kinda.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I just had to post these crocuses. I am in awe of the way they poke up through layers and layers of dead leaves. New life appearing on the barren ground and it couldn't have come at a better time, when we here in the Northeast are about to go mad from this cold. So hopeful. I raked for 2 1/2 hours straight, with my coat off! I kept these crocuses in their little patch of decay, not daring to disturb them. A man saw me raking and laughed at me from his car as he drove by, yelling something about a snowstorm on Saturday, but I didn't care. I just smiled at him.

My crocuses reminded me of a song by Beth Neilson Chapman, Life Holds On, "...when I noticed all the grass in the cracks in the concrete I said 'where there's a will, there's a way around anything.' Life holds on, given the slightest chance, for the weak and the strong, life holds on."

Life is coming back to the Berkshires, and even if it snows on Friday or Saturday, these crocuses remind us of how life will continue and continue given the slightest chance.

Alison Larkin's narration of The Adventures of Charlie & Moon Audio Book

Alison Larkin's many voices are resounding through my kitchen as I sit here listening to the new audiobook I produced, The Adventures of Charlie & Moon, by Australian author, Martin Meader. I have listened and listened again to this six hour children's fantasy adventure, and thanks to the incredibly funny and charming narration by British comedienne, author and friend, Alison Larkin, I could listen for hours more.

The Adventures of Charlie & Moon, is a fantasy for children about a boy named Charlie who opens his birthday present the night before his ninth birthday and the consequences that follow. Moon is a young eagle who needs Charlie’s help to stop an evil toymaker from turning all the eagles and endangered species into stuffed toys. The Adventures of Charlie & Moon takes children on a wild ride through the imaginary Shire of Tumblegum to stop the evil toymaker, Skunk Weavel from achieving his wicked ways. The Adventures of Charlie & Moon is in production to be a feature film and I will be updating you on that exciting news as well.,,

Alison's character voices can be heard in cartoons and movies all over the world from work by Robert Altman to The Wonderpets. Her own bestselling novel, The English American joins a nobel Laureate, E.B. White and President Obama on's list of best author narrated audio books of all time. She is a comedienne, an entertainer (she certainly entertains me when we get together), author, screenwriter, playwright. To hear some of Alison's cartoon and movie voices click For more details go to

Kids are absolutely loving this crazy book, and they will now be able to read along with Alison, who does the voices better (sorry folks) than ANY parent could ever dream of doing. I am so excited about sharing this audio book with the world!

I will keep you posted on the launch date, but it will be SOON. It will be 6 hours of listening magic. Think of the long drives you'll be taking this summer. Think of the new Masterpiece Classics you want to watch, but it's bedtime. Or that paperwork you need to finish up, but your kids are bored and whiny. Now you'll be able to turn on the MP3 in your kid's room and go do your thing as they fall asleep (or crack up) to Alison's hilarious rendition of The Adventures of Charlie & Moon. But what I think will happen is, you'll wind up listening with them and you'll all be laughing your heads off. That's family time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jana's Musings...: Tsunami Help

Jana's Musings...: Tsunami Help: "It's scary out there. Earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation leaks, crazy goes on and on. I am sitting here in front of my woodstov..."

Tsunami Help

It's scary out there. Earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation leaks, crazy goes on and on. I am sitting here in front of my woodstove, watching yet more snow fall, trying to figure out what I can do to make even the tiniest helpful dent in all this mess.

Here's what I came up with: I can sell books and donate money to what I consider to be simply the best relief agency in the world, The International Rescue Committee.

So if anyone out there reading this blog wants to get a good book to read and make a difference, even a small one, I am offering this: buy a book off and I will donate $5 for every book we sell to IRC for tsunami relief. Choose from Weeping Under This Same Moon by yours truly. "A Free Woman On God's Earth" by me and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, or The Adventures of Charlie & Moon, by Martin Meader.

Thank you for your help!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thomas & Autumn

I'm so excited to share my news about my new picture book, Thomas & Autumn. My friend, Melody Lea Lamb is illustrating it. You've got to see this woman's art. She is amazing. Her book, Moonlight Memoirs has won a number of awards!
Thomas & Autumn is the sweet story of a little boy named Thomas who has a very special relationship with a very special chicken, Autumn. It is a book for tiny children and for chicken lovers of any age.
Thomas raises and shows chickens. He sells eggs. Thomas works hard in the barn. It takes him a while, but finally his egg sales earn him enough money to buy his very own chicken, a Banty hen that he names Autumn. Here's the first illustration!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Audio Book Is Born

 It's so interesting how the Universe works. One day,  a few months ago out of the blue, an Englishwoman calls me on the phone and tells me she was given my name by a mutual friend. She has been told that my daughter is a babysitter supreme (which is true) and she needs one. It turns out she has just moved to the area, is also a writer and as we speak and connect, we find we have more in common than one could believe. And to top it all off, she has moved in right across the street. 

My new friend is Alison Larkin, author of the bestselling novel, The English American. She is a wonderful actress and she narrates audiobooks! She demonstrates her array of crazy voices and characters and I begin to formulate an idea. Why doesn't she narrate The Adventures of Charlie and Moon, a wonderful children's book that I published? And it just so happens, she has a tiny window of opportunity to do it - right now!  We find a wonderful studio, Off The Beaten Track, right here in the Berkshires. We work for hours, but we have a blast. As I sit with the engineer in the studio directing it, we laugh so hard we can barely see. And the end result is fantastic! It will be out soon! I'll keep you posted as we get closer to our pub date! You can listen to Alison at her website:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rug Pulled Out from Under

Has the rug ever been pulled out from under you?

It simply has to be one of the worst feelings ever. Especially when it is pulled out by a supposed true friend. You are thrown off your feet. Crash landing in a painful position on the ground.  The wind knocked right out of you. Cut to the quick.

If I ever did that to anyone, I am sorry. If I was ever that callous, forgive me. If I am ever so insensitive, I deserve what I get.

Today will pass and these feelings will too. The bruise will heal with time. But is the friendship doomed? Is forgiveness possible?

Advice would be welcome.