When the Whole World Pauses


When We Explored the Great Outdoors


Shelter-in-place. Stay at home orders. Quarantine. Confinement.

The term can vary depending on your state or your country, but the meaning remains the same.

The whole world has paused and many of us are living the quietest moments of our lives.

Writers who are used to work alone and often in silence should have an edge. However, most writers I know have a hard time to focus and even a harder time to be creative.

Agents and editors, mostly based in New York City, are working remotely. Submissions are still going on. Rejections and requests too. A mix for me.

My agent has more time available, away from meetings and conferences, and she’s agreed to read my work. I really take advantage of the offer to polish a few manuscripts. She already read one and as much as she liked the premise and even compared it to a really great book she asked for a serious revision. While I waited for her feedback I worked on another one. I’m now ready to forward her a piece I really love. Let’s hope she’ll love it as much 🙂

Like everyone else I bake and I’m on Zoom. A lot. For my writing meetings and critique. For yoga, too.

I also read a lot and for the first time in years I finish 500-page-long books in record time.

Libraries and bookstores are closed and yet we need books more than ever.


The Last Bookshop, Los Angeles


Parents, I’ve heard, are especially begging for book suggestions. Many have told me how challenging it is to homeschool while working. All said that they are still sharing exceptional moments of warmth with their children.

Always around a book.


One of my several home bookshelves

So here is a very short selection of upcoming and newly published books. All are from friends of mine. All have published more than one book, so take a few minutes to browse their website and blog to find more.

From my California friend Claire:

Evie’s Field Day

From my  Florida friend Heather:

I adore everything about Rex the… We-Don’t Know! Very young kids will love the silly situations created by Rex from the second he’s adopted from the pound. Slightly older children will understand that Rex is so much more than a strange creature. Parents will use the story as a tool to talk about animal adoption and difference. As newly appointed teachers they might talk about the importance of humor in writing. In any case, everyone will admire Rex’s talents to earn the affection of his adopted family.

From my New York City friend Robin:

No Peacocks! is a hilarious Picture Book, perfect for read-aloud time. Robin told me that she got the seeds of her book on the real peacocks who live at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

From my New Jersey friend Nancy:

Today Is a Beach Day!

Always Makes Me Smile

Over these exceptional times people show generosity and solidarity. The Amelia Island Book Festival put together a reading list and I am thankful for the gesture. You can find me under Exhibiting Authors.

A member of my book club wrote a very nice group e-mail when we decided to come up with a list of books to help us during the sanitary crisis:

“I forgot an important recommendation, I finished reading Chez Moi in the USA by our own Evelyne Holingue! I loved it so much Evelyne, this is perfect! Thank you!!!
All your books of course but this one is very uplifting, hope that you are working on the next!!!”
Flowers Still Bloom

When the whole world pauses, small becomes meaningfull.

Take care of yourself and each other.
And Keep Reading!

I Met a Dragon Face to Face

For the first time, my monthly book club met through Zoom. It was different, of course. We could neither smell the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee nor taste the homemade cake or cookies that our host for the month would have baked.

But we still had each other.

And between us an opened book we had read and would discuss.

Last week, instead of an email, my friend Claire sent me a poem. Thank you, Claire. I owe you the idea for this short blog post.




by David McCord


Books fall open,
you fall in,
delighted where,
you’ve never been.
Hear voices
not once heard before,
Reach world through world,
through door on door.
Find unexpected
keys to things,
locked up beyond
True books will venture,
Dare you out,
Whisper secrets,
Maybe shout,
across the gloom,
to you in need
Who hanker for
a book to read.

Nothing, I agree, has more power than a book to unleash imagination when bodies no longer have the freedom to wander. This poem is for you, children, away from your schools and living now within the confines of your homes.



By Jack Prelutsky


I met a dragon face to face
the year when I was ten,
I took a trip to outer space,
I braved a pirate’s den,
I wrestled with a wicked troll,
and fought a great white shark,
I trailed a rabbit down a hole,
I hunted for a snark.

I stowed aboard a submarine,
I opened magic doors,
I traveled in a time machine,
and searched for dinosaurs,
I climbed atop a giant’s head,
I found a pot of gold,
I did all this in books I read
when I was ten years old.


Read and if you’re lucky enough to have a yard enjoy its simple spring treasures.

Take good care of yourself and each other.





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