Friday, February 13, 2015

Subscribe to Blog at New URL

Hello friends.

Just a reminder that I'm not blogging here any more. I have a new home on my website

Many of you are still subscribed to the feed for this blog (meaning you get it via email).

If you haven't done so already, please subscribe at my new address:

It's easy! Just enter your email address in the box to the right of the posts that says, "Get Blog Updates via Email."

Thanks for reading. Hope to "see" you over there.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Blog and Website are Live

Hello Readers!

I've officially launched my new website and blog. I still have lots of work to do, adding more content, etc. but it's live. I'm building it myself (with help from my husband) but I'm not a web designer so my learning curve is steep.

At several points along the way, I almost gave up and stuck with blogger because I know my way around it. But in the end, I wanted a sleeker, more personalized site, so a change made sense.

Today I posted my first blog post on my new blog.

I hope you'll click the link above and hop over to read it. If you're already subscribed here, you'll need to enter a new subscription there. (Look for the "subscribe" box on the right side bar).

If you're not already a subscriber, please consider signing up. (Over on my new blog, of course).

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you on my new site.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Website Under Construction

I will be launching a new and improved website soon. My new, sleeker site will reflect the professional changes in my life.

I'll post the details as soon as it's ready.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting for Spring

It's been a long hard winter for my family for many reasons. The hardest part was the illnesses, hospitalizations, and loved ones lost. But there was also a polar vortex that kept us buried under snow with temperatures in the single digits for far too many days at a time. I knew my family had had enough when my 8 year-old daughter told me she was sick of snow. That, my friends, is a sure tip-off that winter is no longer welcome!

My calendar tells me that wood frog migration should be any day now. So do my daffodils:

Alas, my observations tell me that is not likely...
Much of the ground is still covered with snow.

The lake out back it totally frozen. (So is the "frog pond" where they mate)

Yes, the  temperature the last two days has gotten into the 50's, but snow is predicted for tonight.

I'm hanging in for spring and hoping that I'll see those wood frogs soon!

How's the weather where you are?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blogging Hiatus

I've been absent for quite some time and decided I should post an update.

My family has had a challenging 6 months for many personal reasons I don't wish to share on the internet. I haven't had time for blogging because my focus has been on my family. Any time I've had for writing has been spent on my stories for children, which is the writing that is most important to me.

To help keep me focused, I participated in the Start the Year off Write challenge which provided daily writing prompts for 21 days. I'm also signed up for Julie Hedlund's 12x12 Picture Book Challenge which is pushing me to write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months. I will also revise and submit as many manuscripts as I can during that time. And yes, I'm still plugging away at that YA novel I mentioned once or twice.

Part of what kept me from blogging an update was the feeling that I should set a new schedule and stick to it. The problem is, I just don't know what schedule I can manage. So for now, I'll leave this post here to keep readers informed and I'll return to blogging when it feels manageable.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

KidLit for the Philippines: The Fundraising Continues!

I've been hard at work tallying up our final numbers and making sure all of the pledged donations have been paid directly to UNICEF and Mercy Corps. There are a few high bids that still need to be paid, but I'm hopeful those folks will take care of their donations in the next day or so. 

(If you are a donor and have not heard from me about delivery of your service or item, that means the highest bidder has not yet made the pledged donation. Please do not make arrangements outside of the auction to deliver the items. I know it's easy to communicate these days with Facebook, Twitter and other places on-line).

Drumroll please....

The final auction total is $4627!

But that's not the end! Katie Davis has made an amazing offer. For every full price Video Idiot Boot Camp course she sells, she'll donate HALF of the cost to #KidLitPhil. So far she raised an additional $742.50!

So the current total is: $5369.50! YAY! We broke $5000!! 

Learn about Katie's offer below. And please help spread the word! Let's see how high we can get the grand total.

A few housekeeping details:
  1. Emails have been sent to everyone who was a "highest bidder" and submitted proof of donation to me. If you sent your proof and have not heard from me, please email me ASAP and I'll connect you with the donor of your item. michelle(at)michellecusolito(dot)com
  2. In case you're someone who likes to add up totals... you'll notice that the published highest bids do not equal the total at the top of this page. That is for 2 reasons: Some people donated more than their winning bid; other people made a straight donation and submitted a receipt to me so the donation would count toward #KidLitPhil.
  3. Which brings me to this: If you just heard about #KidLitPhil and don't want to take Katie's course, you can still help. Make a donation to UNICEF or Mercy Corps and send me a copy of your receipt (michelle at michellecusolito dot com) and I'll add it to our total. 
Finally, THANK YOU so much to everyone who donated, bid, tweeted, emailed and otherwise shared news of the auction. You really cannot understand how much it all means to me.

With that, I'm signing off from blogging until the new year. I'll post donation updates on our Facebook page. If you're interested in seeing them, please "like" the page. Come January, I'll publish the final number here on the blog.

Until then, Happy New Year everyone!
With Sincerest Thanks,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

KidLit for the Philippines: An On-Line Auction to Benefit Typhoon Survivors

KidLit for the Philippines is an on-line auction to benefit survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The KidLit community (folks involved in the creation of books for children- authors, illustrators, agents, editors, etc.) has a history of generously supporting others in times of need.

(Two recent examples are KidLit4Japan and Kid-Lit Cares. Greg Fishbone and Kate Messner shared their expertise gleaned from organizing each of those fundraisers and granted me permission to use their guidelines here. Thank you Kate and Greg!)

What exactly is KidLit for the Philippines?

It’s an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

The full list of current auction items is below (new items will appear each day). You can click on any item to see all the details, and bidding happens in the comments.  To bid on an item, check the current high bid in the comments, and place a higher bid by leaving your name and bid amount in a new comment, along with some way to contact you.

What happens if I win?

 Winners will be notified when the auction ends and should be prepared to make an online donation directly to Mercy Corps or UNICEF in the amount of the high bid at that time. After you’ve made your donation, you’ll forward your receipt to me, and I’ll put you in touch with the person who donated the service you won so that the two of you can work out the details about how and when. All services will be provided at the convenience of both the person making the donation and the auction winner, but this should happen within three months of the auction’s end unless something else is agreed upon by both parties. Exceptions are noted on some auction pages.

Who is Michelle Cusolito and why is the auction on her blog?
Well, I'm the organizer of this auction. I'm a "pre-published" children's author. (That's a nice way of saying I'm not published, YET). I have benefited from the support and guidance of many, many people in the KidLit community and have been continually impressed by their generosity. 

I was also a Rotary exchange student in the Philippines when I was in high school. From the time I arrived, I was welcomed, loved and supported by my host families, school mates, the Rotary and practically every person I interacted with. I still have many friends and "family" there. Some of them lost family members or were otherwise impacted by the typhoon. 

I hope you'll find items here that you can't live without and you donate lots of money to the relief effort. I also hope you'll support the amazing folks who donated their time, services, books, artwork, etc. Buy their books. Visit their websites. Send them a thank you Tweet.

Even if you choose not to bid, I hope you'll spread the word far and wide to others who might bid. Thank you.

Without further are the items open for bids right now:

(You can click to jump to individual items from here or scroll down)

Auction Item #2: Portfolio Critique by Hazel Mitchell  CLOSED

Auction #3: Mermaid Tales Sparkling Collection from Author Debbie Dadey CLOSED

Auction #5: Skype visit with Leslie Bulion (CLOSED)

Auction #19: Critique + book from Donna Earnhardt (CLOSED)

Auction #20: Portfolio Review from Russ Cox  (CLOSED)