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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Did some babysitting yesterday. Sara was waiting for me on the front porch...Ruth said Sara was so excited about my visit (I haven't been over for two weeks) that she insisted on waiting outside for me after coming home from daycamp. I'm glad I showed up 20 minutes early! When she saw me, she came barrelling down the front walk at me with a huge grin on her face. Annie (who was peering out the front screen door) immediately began pounding on the door and bellowing to be let out. Both of them always like showing me things when they first see me. This time, Sara gave me a piece of white paper and some rocks and told me that it was a craft I could do, arranging the rocks on a pattern on the paper (which I did immediately, of course, right there on the front lawn in the sun). Annie held out a toy dog to me and happily yelled, "DAH!" which I interpreted as meaning, "Look! I have a toy dog!". I admired the dog, and that seemed to please her because she wrapped her arms around my legs and called me "Mama". :-)

Hyped by the SCBWI conference and encouraged by my mss critique, I've started heavily revising the manuscript for my first book. I've set a deadline for myself for the end of September. After that, I hope to finish my other book and send it off; wish me luck!

OFFICEMUSIC: Nightnoise - "A Different Shore"

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