New Girl’s New Day

New Girl: The Further Adventures of Elinormal is officially released today! Order your copy of this wonderful sequel to Elinormal!
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The son
Of the son
Coddled by greed
Hears a rallying cry
From the right – 

Kid shoulders his gun
Just like he’s been taught
God’s only begotten son
Wants him to

Arms himself against
Migrants, the poor, and the lame
Arms himself against love –  
Shuns the light

He’s only a kid, 
Too young to know how
His fate has been sealed 
With a kiss and a curse
His soul sold for glory & gold –
Forged under a white-hot sun
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FLP Book of the Day!!

Alphapoetica: A Poetry Primer for the Everyday Poet is part memoir, part poetry collection, plus writing guide. I can’t wait to share it with you! TO ORDER GO TO:…
RESERVE YOUR COPY TODAY #poetry #primer #flp

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Happy New Year!

2022 means new projects of the heart are ready to launch! My latest novel for children and a new poetry collection are both available now for preorder from their respective publishers: and I’m so happy to share my words with you. Thank you for helping to spread poetry, kindness and a bit of magic.

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Kristi Yamaguchi and I talked about life and literacy, passion and persistence, following dreams and believing in magic. You can catch the replay here:
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Hot off the Press

I am over the moon that Elinormal is featured on the Children’s Book Council’s Hot off the Press list!

This book began years ago as a few scribbled lines across a newspaper page as I sat in the lobby of a ballet studio, watching and waiting. A seed of a story that nestled in my writer’s brain, and continued to grow.

And now here it is, fully formed, making its debut next month.

The sequel, New Girl: The Further Adventures of Elinormal will follow in April.

Dreams really do come true!

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L.F. Tantillo
I sent my aunt a Mary Oliver poem that spoke to me
about the futility of worry. It ends with the lines 
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang

She responded in kind, a line worthy of a poet.
I try to sing but end up crying.  Maybe that's my song? 

My aunt is eighty-seven. 
She raised ten children. 
Sent them out into the world, one at a time
to bloom and grow like flowers.

I want to tell her, if she must cry, 
let tears fall like gentle rain, nurturing
the garden that she’s grown. 

Her life is still in full bloom, and
she surrounds herself with beauty.

A wall of paintings. 
Still life and cityscape. 
Seaside and countryside.
Antique treasures. Everywhere, 
inside and out, flowers bloom, despite the season
a cascade of color, to wake to each morning

There are flowers yet to bloom, 
There are stanzas yet to write.
Her song is a garden.
Her life is a poem.
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I grab a cup of coffee early,
new steam rich and thickly rising 
as daylight rises over distant hills
entering the quiet garden,
fully awake now in the flowering –
I wait among those that are 
just what they are
and those yearning to be something more 

overnight – blooms yield to transformation 
yellow squash, lemons, bright and bitter
tomatoes & strawberries red as love
linger in each morning’s ripeness
before the squirrels and birds arrive
to strip the branches bare
to claim what they want and will
while I sit idly by.

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A real estate listing 
sent in a text
29 photos, inside and out
our very first house
around the corner from the womb 
of our parents
the place we began
here is the odd-shaped room 
where our babies slept
here is the wooded expanse 
where they played
memories updated in hardwood 
and steel, wallpaper measured and hung
late into the night, replaced with bright paint. 

Forty years since we called it our own —
we don’t know these owners 
who don’t know of us, our memories 
hidden in closets, climbing the stairs
they don’t know of the cross we found 
etched into the wall, don’t know of the plastered hole 
punched in the hall, crayoned measurements 
marking the years, long ago dreams, disappeared. 
They’ll never know this house is alive, 
bursting with promise, forever mine.

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.I love this New Yorker article.“You know when botanists bisect a tree, and can tell by the thickness of rings what the conditions were like that year? This feels like we had that year, and this is what happened.”

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