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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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***Please note: You are browsing Debbie's personal blog. For her kidlit/YA writing & illustrating blog, see

You can browse by date or entry title in my Blatherings archives here:

 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010+ (current archives)

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Welcome to Debbie's Blatherings, a personal blog where I've been posting since 1997. You can find my archives here: 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 -2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010+ (current archives)

If you're a kidlit/YA writer or illustrator, see Inkygirl. To find out more about me, my books and comics, various collab blogs, online portfolio and press, other miscellanea, browse the navigation links beneath the header banner. And thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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I CAN SEE! Igor, double eye surgery and seeing the world with new eyes

[Edited December 14, 2018: I created this post because it's the kind of personal viewpoint I was hoping to find while researching for my own eye surgery. Please note that every situation is different - talk to a medical expert before making your own decisions. I am NOT a medical expert. :-)]

I've never had the best eyesight, and have worn glasses for as long as I can remember.

Click to read more ...


Gratitude: Lee Wardlaw

Lee Wardlaw was the very first children's book professional who ever showed an interest in me and my work. Lee's early encouragement meant SO much to me and she helped me get to the next stage in my career: Lee critiqued two of my middle grade novels and after she worked with me on my first novel mss, Lee introduced me to her agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd., Ginger Knowlton. Ginger is now my agent, too!

Lee was also the one who first told me about the SCBWI. She took me to my very first SCBWI conference, introduced me around. I enjoyed the conference a ton (and met author Bruce Balan there as well) but wasn't yet ready to take full advantage of everything it offered. Years passed before I smartened up and started going more regularly in 2009.

Lee was my first children's book mentor and continues to give me encouragement and advice. She is smart, funny, generous and explains things SO well. No wonder her school visits and Skypevisits are so popular! Lee was also the one who first introduced me to school Skypevisits, gave me tips.

Lee was my "Ask The Children's Book Author" columnist in Inklings, my email newsletter for writers back in the days I ran a website called Inkspot back then (anyone out there remember that site?).

Lee has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children's Poetry Award and the Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Award (both for Won Ton - A Cat Tale Told in Haiku). Her books have also been honored by the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, the Children’s Book Council, the National Council of the Social Studies, the National Council of Teachers of English, Bank Street College of Education, the International School Librarians Association, and more.


You can find out more about Lee and her work at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Also do check out her Paws To Read website (and yes, that's my illustration, featuring characters from Lee's fun HAIKU books illustrated by Eugene Yelchin :-))


Gratitude: Patricia J. Murphy

Whenever student authors ask Patricia for her autograph, she asks them for theirs.

A Gratitude Post - Some facts about Patricia J. Murphy:

1. When I was a nervous newbie at an early SCBWI conference where I didn't know many people, Patricia took me under wing and introduced me to people, invited me to sit with her and others (including other nervous newbies) at the Golden Kite Awards banquet.

2. When I was on a book tour for my first solo book and was SO excited about doing a signing at a Chicago-area bookstore I've long admired, Patricia invited me out for dinner beforehand. She bought a copy of my book at the store beforehand and asked me to sign it. She then went with me to the bookstore event....WHERE NO ONE SHOWED UP. I was so embarrassed. She hung out with me and the bookstore owner as I signed stock, keeping my spirits up with fun chatter and also taking a photo of me signing books, which I later cropped to hide the fact that NO ONE HAD SHOWN UP. :-)

3. I've noticed that Patricia continues to be just as friendly and welcoming to nervous newbies over the years. She doesn't make a big thing of it.

Patricia inspires me, and I feel lucky to have her as a friend.

You can find out more about Patricia J. Murphy and her work at


See my other Gratitude posts.



My life has had its ups and downs but these days it's mostly been ups, and I'm grateful. I so wish we could save up these kinds of moments to take out when we most need them, don't you? Appreciating what I have and the people in my life.


Happy National Crayon Day! Remember to use your whole box of crayons

For details about how I created the image above, see my Instagram post.