Thursday, September 2, 2010

Surprises Come In All Shapes, Sizes and Ages...

I can’t tell you the exact date that I met Lenny, but I can tell you it was around the time Stripes died. I stayed in bed with my computer and my remote for about two weeks. Sounds silly, but I was sad…really sad.

I think it went something like this: I was on Susan’s blog and I saw Old Kitty’s picture and name, click… saw Brian’s picture, click…saw Lenny’s comment and click I had a new friend.

About a month later I got an email from Lenny…He had gone out of his way to find out what S.M.A.R.T. goals were because of a comment I had left somewhere in blog land. AND then he had taken the time to figure out my email address (which wasn’t so easy because I didn’t have it showing on Blogger) and sent me an email.

Lenny is a writer. Lenny makes me smile. I know when I see his name in my comment section I’m going to have one of those feel good moments. I know when I see his name on your blog you’re going to have one of those moments too.

Lenny is almost ELEVEN and likes cake a lot. I like cake a lot. In fact, I like it so much I wrote a picture book (manuscript) about baking a cake. I DVR three cake baking shows! Back in June, I joined the Next Top Title Blogfest and lots of you guys (including Lenny) liked my title A CAKE I WILL BAKE. Lenny mentioned my title in a comment recently…it made me think. He remembered my title! I was super surprised! I asked him if he would like to critique my picture book and he said yes. I was thrilled!

Lenny did a great job critiquing A CAKE I WILL BAKE! He wrote almost a whole page of comments for me.

He told me things he likes:

-i like the title cause its real catchy

-its real easy to read and that riming makes it fun

-its got cool fun words. i love the word dump. ha ha. and i like the word yummy

-its a happy story and could have lots of happy pictures with it

-being an i poem is cool for when a kid reads it cause it makes him feel like its about him

-its got a good message for sharing with someone and with dad.

And things he thought I could do better:

-i read it out loud and some parts of it got a little slower or got me stopped for a minute cause it lost its beat.

-i didnt like sticking that teddy bear on the top. i could like it better if it was a chocolate teddy bear and not the favorite for real one. yikes it could get all sticky and messy and maybe get ate up.

And then his brother Sebi threw in his ten cents too. I have to say with their help A CAKE I WILL BAKE made some big improvements and I can’t wait to present it at an agent lead critique group at SCBWI –KC in a couple weeks….

If that weren’t enough…I came home from running errands (yesterday) and found a package on my front porch. I was a bit confused because I wasn’t expecting anything. When I opened the package this is what I found.


Thank you so much, Lenny and Sebi! I’m so glad we're friends…Your encouragement means so much. (You two will be the first people I email when I sell A CAKE I WILL BAKE!)

I truly hope every one of you has someone in your life that surprises you with encouragement…Please feel free to share!

PS...Have a safe and Happy Labor Day Weekend! 


  1. My kids encourage me to be better in everything i do...

    may you also have a safe weekend!

  2. Lenny sounds wonderful. I think it's a very good idea to have some younger critique partners. I'm related to all of mine though. :o)

  3. They sound like amazing crit partners. It's amazing who you meet through random clicks.

  4. Awwwww yay for Lenny and Sebi!!! How adorable!!!

    He's really only 11?!? Well he's lovely and so is Sebi and what fabulous critquers/readers and mug makers! LOL!

    Awwww!! This really is so so so sweet!
    Take care

  5. Jeff--Thanks, I hope you have a safe one too...I'm glad your kiddo's are so supportive. :-)

    Myrna--Lenny is such a delight! Just seeing his name makes me smile...I know he's going to say something kind or insightful.

    Medeia--You're right! If I hadn't been so sad and looking for "cat" friends I wouldn't have found Lenny when I did. I'm sure I would have eventually, but would the connection have been the same? Who knows....

  6. Jennifer (Old Kitty)--You were the first click in that chain....(Cause Susan and I are old neighbors/friends) I'm so glad you had a Kitty picture. :)

  7. Oh, that is so sweet. What a nice guy you are, Lenny (and Sebi, too)!! You guys definitely know how to bring on the sunshine!


  8. Lenny sure sounds pretty darn cool! Hey, thanks for the shout out too, I sure am glad we ran across each other in this big internet world!

  9. Very cool. Your future Fan Club president ;-)

  10. Awesome!! What a thoughtful person Lenny is!! :)

  11. Amy-Lenny makes you smile too...I can tell. :-) They are both something special!

    Brian--You're right, he does! I'm glad we met too...You make me smile too. ;)

    Wendy--You're so funny! I think you have it backwards...I'm the President of his fan club!

    Jemi--Sebi said the mug and button were all his idea and it took him a long time to decide on the perfect ones for me. He suggested I wear the button when I present my story. Which I think is an awesome idea!

  12. Lenny is honestly the biggest ray of sunshine. I wait for his comments daily and he never lets me down, always as sweet as pie and what you have there Sharon would make anyone super happy!!

    He is the biggest sweetheart I know and it makes me happy knowing we found him on the blogosphere!!

    Cheers to Lenny!

  13. I love Lenny. What a nice thing to do! Thanks for sharing. :)

  14. Lenny sounds like a wonderful friend; what a sweet gift he sent you, so appropriate and loving...Best of luck getting your picture book published, Sharon!

  15. I love Lenny and his family more than cake (and that's A LOT). I'm right there with you~he literally makes any day better. I can feel his smile through every word. It doesn't surprise me one bit they did this for you. They're the most amazing bunch of people...
    LOVE YOU LENNY + LEE CLAN!!! *hugs*
    (To you, too Sharon!!!)

  16. hi miss sharon! WOW!! guess whos got a BIG BIG smile on his face? ME! what a really neat surprise you wrote for me. youre making me a famous blogster and critiquester for sure. ha ha. im sending you a zillion thanks for being so nice. its a really special surprise. me and sebi had fun helping on your cake poem and were real happy you like that mug and button. i just know that cake book is gonna be a big hit.
    ...biggy thanks and hugs from lenny

  17. That is so very sweet!!! As sweet as A CAKE you WILL BAKE!

  18. Jen--What a great description! He is a ray of sunshine!

    Janet--He's awesome!

    Jacqueline--I hope the move is going well...I'm overwhelmed by Lenny's thoughtfulness!

    Candace--I feel so blessed everytime I see his name pop up on my screen...I know I'm going to get to smile. :) You are right they are an amazing family!!!

    LENNY-- I'm so pleased with myself for being able to give you a smile. You really and truly do make me smile everytime I read your words anywhere on line...You say the most thoughtful things to people. It means a lot! You are something special. Thank you for everything! Whether my book is a hit or not you and Sebi have given me a huge gift. The gift of encouragement...THANK YOU!

    Kelly--You're right....very sweet!

  19. miss clarissa loves lenny! I love how he doesn't use capitals a lot and how he comes by my blog and leaves me that cute sunny smile!

    Clarissa Draper

  20. Clarissa--I have a feeling that at some point I'll have a character in a book that is named Lenny and he'll make people feel good about themselves and smile...

  21. I am smiling away here :-). What a lovely post and you are one lucky lady to have such great friends!

    C x

  22. What a sweet post! Sometimes it's the smallest things that can mean the biggest to us. Your post brought a smile to my face today! :)

    xo Catherine

  23. How cute are Lenny and Sebi? Lovely, lovely post!

  24. Oh my word. Can't even begin to express how much I love this. Lenny and Sebi are just amazing. Super post, super friends.

  25. Hi Sharon .. that is just wonderful .. what an amazing couple of kids .. Lenny being the senior leader in the "A Cake I Will Bake" series .. how lovely to come home and find that little parcel and oyster pearl of a mug and badge inside ..

    This is one of those star spangled days .. good news indeed ... enjoy the story .. lovely .. Hilary

  26. Aww, how cute, and cool that he'd (they'd) take the time to not only critique your work, but to actually send you things to encourage you further!! I got a fuzzy feeling of goodness when I read this post, Sharon. Thanks for sharing with us!

  27. Sharon, you won my book giveaway! Yay!
    Send me your address and I'll mail them out!

  28. As we've talked about before, Sharon, Lenny is one special guy that brightens all our lives. :o) I'm so glad I met him through our random blog parties! He just sent me the sweetest email and directed me to your post. Thanks for sharing his critique--it's so very perfect!

    *hugs* to you and Lenny, my friend! :o)

  29. Such an encouraging pair of kids! Wow!

    What a model for us!

  30. Sharon... Thank you for a wonderful and loving post. You've put a big smile on my face. The world is a better place because of people like you!

  31. Cheers to Lenny! What a beautiful post Sharon

    Hope you had a great weekend

  32. this is such a great story. thanks for sharing it. And congrats to all this good news!

  33. Great blog post. Thanks for sharing.
    : )

  34. Carol (in England)--I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I truly have been blessed by the people I've met in the blog world. :)

    Catherine-- I'm glad I was able to pass on one of Lenny's smiles to you. :)

    Clara--They are something special!

    Carolina--I wanted to let Lenny know how special he was and how much I appreciated his help and support. :) He's a great kid!

    Hilary M-B--My heart is full...and my confidence is renewed. :)

    Hema--I'm in awe of the time and effort and good will Lenny and Sebi have shown me. I'm glad my post gave you a warm fuzzy feeling.

    Terry--OMGoodness! I'm so excited! I can't wait to get those lovely books...I'm starting to get a good collection of my blog friends' books. :) BTW...Your book cover is awesome!

    Jackee--I'm so glad you met Lenny too! You have a great heart...which makes you a perfect friend for Lenny!

    Shakespeare--They put my presentation date on the calendar so they can cross their fingers for me. :)

    Sebastian--I think the world is a better place because of Lenny...He spreads his smiles/hugs all over blogland. :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Valerie--Thank you...I just wanted to express to him how much he meant to me and to everyone else how much of an impact they can have on a person when they put some faith in them...

    Terry--Thanks for stopping by again. :)

    Susanne D--Thanks...I have my heart on my sleeve today...

  35. Lenny is such a cool kid. I met him over on Candyland's blog and I'm so glad I did :) That mug he sent you is awesome!!

  36. That was the best story!!! How sweet!

  37. Happy Labour Day, Sharon!

    Awwww! How sweet of Lenny and his brother! And what a great critique. :)

  38. That is the sweetest and best thing ever!! How awesome!

    And thank you for passing through my blog. Have a great week!

  39. Sherrie--He is an amazing kid! I'm so glad that he had a good apt. last week. :) All smiles from the doctors...

    Terri--He's one inspirational person...he certainly inspires a lot of us to be happier and to try be helpful to others...

    mytressa--It was great to meet you at KarenG's BBQ!

  40. Hi Sharon - I just got your parcel! I've blogged about it :) have a read

  41. Lenny is too cool. I think he positively affects the owner of every blog he comments on. Read my last post for a little about Lenny - he gave up a prize because he'd just won two books. And then he worried he'd be troubling me by having me offer the book to someone else.

  42. That is so sweet! Lenny's the best. :)

  43. That's great! You got some good advice there from a good friend, sounds like!

  44. You get some seriously cool mail from some seriously cool friends!

  45. Oh, that was sooo sweet (excuse the pun!).

    Good luck with the ms at the conference. :D

  46. Nicole--I'm glad you finally got it...

    Theresa--His brothers are doing a great job...He's doing a great job...How many almost 11 year olds would think of others first when it involves prizes?

    Susan Q.--That he is!

    Bethany--I'm hoping I'll have some cool news after my conference...Like...let's see...OMGoodness, great news...I only need to change four words and then I can sell our story. :)

    Connie--I certainly didn't expect all the things I've gained from blogging...

    PJ--Your right...seriously right...

    Stina--I haven't used my mug yet...I have it on my desk and my heart fills every time I look at it. :) Thanks for the good wishes...

  47. oh wow, what a wonderful surprise and a special friend :)


  48. Ah, This is a very touching story...I so know how you feel, I have me own "Lenny" in the name of Valance...always a smile when he visits me blog!

    Thanks for the smile you gave me today!


  49. How cool is Lenny?! He makes great critique comments and sends encouraging gifts. WOW!

  50. Lenny is such a good person that when he won my uncontest (a soccer ball) he left it at his brother's work so that the less fortunate kids could play with it when he wasn't there. AMAZING.

  51. I love Mr Lenny! He brightens my day right up when I see his name :o)

  52. Wow! Lenny sounds so super thoughtful! I just started following his blog. His thoughtfulness just touches my heart. =)

  53. I can't believe I din't respond on this post. I know I visited with you 'bout it in emails, so I guess I thought I also responded here. Sorry 'bout that.

    Lenny is such a cool kid. I really enjoy his blog an' I'm so glad you told me about it.

    Congratulations on all the fun gifts he sent. That was so thoughtful of him. I also noticed that he did a good job of critiquing your book. He's certainly developing good writing practices. An' I love his writer's voice.

    Thanks, again, for pointin' me towards his blog. Lenny's World is a really fun place to visit.

    ~ Yaya

  54. Lynda--I feel very blessed. :)

    Houston--I'm glad you have a friend like Lenny. It's wonderful when we have supportive people around us.

    Suzanne C--He is one cool kid, with a big heart!

    Anne--That sounds like something he would do...

    Jessica--I know what you mean...It doesn't matter whose blog I see his name on, I know what ever it is he says it's going to make me smile too...He's so thoughtful and insightful...

    Carolyn V--WTG! You'll have an extra reason to smile now...

    Yaya--I'm glad you're enjoying Lenny's blog too...He sure does have a great "voice!"