About staceygustafson

Write KidLit? You Need #PBCritiqueFest!

Hey Kitlit Authors and Illustrators! Are you a Kidlit Author or Illustrator? Have you heard of #PBCritiqueFest? Check it out! Amazing prizes! This massive one-time critique giveaway will give 32 kidlit creators an opportunity to have their work critiqued by published authors, illustrators, and literary agents. Go to https://www.pbspotlight.com HURRY AND JOIN NOW! The good news is, if you're familiar with #PBCritiqueFest, this year will mostly feel very similar to the previous three years. If you're new to the festival, winners are selected randomly, raffle-style, but you can increase your odds by earning additional entries when you help promote the festival and participants' books. … [Read more...]

Tracy Beckerman Interview – Barking at the Moon

I’m so excited to share my author interview with Tracy Beckerman on her latest humorous book, Barking at the Moon. Prepare to fall in love with Riley, her incredibly loveable pup and her very relatable family. Remember that warm, fuzzy feeling you get the first time a new puppy moves in? A tail-wagging-face-licking-bundle-of-joy makes us happy. Did you know that 93% of folks believe our canine friends make us better people? Who else makes you feel loved from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep? During the pandemic, our sweet Stanley, a 20-lb white furball, kept me company. A friend to snuggle with and help with the loneliness during quarantine. He followed me everywhere, … [Read more...]

6 Simple Lessons Learned From 2021

Are there simple lessons learned from 2021? You betcha! I believe that before you can look forward, you need to examine the past. And strange as it may sound, the pandemic has delivered certain blessings as well. Practice Patience As COVID-19 continues to spread, and more people remain at home, frustration mounts as we navigate our new normal. Focus on the things you can control. #1 Lesson Learned from 2021...practice patience. Visit family via Zoom and FaceTime. Yoga and meditation can reduce stress. Accept and endure the circumstances. I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy … [Read more...]

Storytelling Show Celebrates One Year

Shelter in place leads to stories on stage. Storytelling show co-produced by Pleasanton mom celebrates one year. Join us Monday, March 29th at 6:00pm as Six Feet Apart Productions celebrates their first anniversary with a free show, live streamed on YouTube. The show will have interviews with some of the year’s storytellers, highlights from shows and, of course, stories. Access this free show by going to www.sfapshows.com and clicking on the cake. The show is free but attendees are asked to register in order to be sent the YouTube link. Storytelling Co-Producers Pleasanton’s own Regina Stoops, along with Claire Hennessy of Novato, started Six Feet Apart Productions (SFAP), an online … [Read more...]

Covid Vaccine Game Hunters – Who Will Win?

Good news. There are three vaccines available, Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Bad news. Who do you have to know to get the shot? At 56, I was prepared to wait…and wait…and wait. With a population of 39.5M, California is the most populated state in the nation. Heck, if it was a country it’d be the 11th largest. I get it, distribution was going to a nightmare. But what about my 76-year-old, high risk mother in Missouri? Why can’t I get her signed up?!! I’ve subscribed her to over seven websites. Made twenty phone calls. Sent text message galore. I’ve become obsessed trying to get her the vaccine from long … [Read more...]

Somebody Feed Joan – One Mom’s Food Talk

Before the pandemic, my mother and I talked about the latest literary books, my daughter’s upcoming nuptials and the health of various relatives. But lately, our conversations are mainly Food Talk. We speak on the phone or FaceTime daily. Conversations run from five minutes to an hour. But through it all, the core of our conversation is food talk. Lunch Food Talk I think I’m going to go mad. If I call in the afternoon, I imagine her sitting on the living room recliner, frantically searching for the portable phone. It’s time to talk about lunch. Here’s a little sample. “Hi mom. How are you doing?” “I’m fine,” she says. “Did you eat yet?” “Yep.” “What’d you … [Read more...]

A Writer’s Biggest Struggle – Procrastination? Perfectionism? What?

Every so often, you stumble across a story, saying, or joke that perfectly sums up your feelings at that moment. For me, I was fortunate to open an email from Howard VanEs, President of Let’s Write Books, Inc. I felt like he read my mind. Like Howard, I’ve experienced setbacks due to procrastination, perfectionism, and lack of confidence sharing my work. He granted me permission to reprint his email. I bet you’ll uncover some of your writing obstacles as well. A True Publishing Story (Names have been omitted to protect the innocent!) by Howard VanEs, President of Let's Write Books, Inc. It took me ten years, two months and seventy-two days to write and publish my first book, but with … [Read more...]

Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld – Life as a comedian, one Pop Tart at a time

One Christmas gift stands out above all others, Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld. It’s a compilation of 45 years of Jerry Seinfeld’s best jokes arranged by decade up, from the seventies to the Covid-19 era. Like Seinfeld, it’s a collection of jokes about nothing, focusing on the minutia of daily life. It includes 452 pages of jokes we can all relate to like Dad’s thermostat, the men’s room, Pop-Tarts, movie candy, nose hair, and more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR-YZ4lG2Rk Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved … [Read more...]