Archive for April, 2010

Huzzah to the Ronald McDonald House!

April 26, 2010

 My son, Robinson, was born five weeks early and had to stay in the neonatal ICU at Advocates Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois until he was ten days old. The Ronald McDonald House, only three blocks away, welcomed us in and we stayed with them for over a month until the last adoption document arrived. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the RMH organization and especially the staff and clients at the Oak Lawn House — they came to feel like a second family to us.  


The building was large, beautiful and our room was huge. There was a kitchen full of food we were free to eat anytime, a laundry room, again free. (A life saver, seeing as how Binny wet his clothes, and often mine, several times a day.) There was a TV room, a play room, a small library,  and a lovely dining room where we ate with other guests and made friends.   

Staff members Kelly, Katie, and Lindsay.


Binny snoozing sweetly at the RMH.


Volunteers came in at least once a day to cook a meal or bake us cookies or cup cakes. We had free wifi. There was a shuttle to take us to and from the hospital at any hour or to the nearby Target for diapers and formula. And the suggested donation per night was only ten dollars (and those who can’t afford this do not have to pay at all.) I’m not poor, but I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had to pay $149.00 a night for a hotel room for 32 nights! 

Staffer Lindsey keeps Bin company while I put in yet another load of laundry.

I sent a modest gift to the Oak Lawn House and am driving over some more donations to a RMH here in Portland, but I will also think differently about how much change I toss into the donation slot when I drive through a McDonald’s for a coke and some fries. Thank you, thank you, thank you, RMH workers and guests who befriended us. You were so generous and gracious. And Binny’s first month of life was blessed by your kindness.  

Fellow guest, Robin, with Binny in the group dining hall.


Don’t forget to enter . . .

April 19, 2010

It’s not too late to enter the Kay Snow Writing Contest! Here is the description of the competition as seen on the Willamette Writers website. For the entry form and rules, see And, as I’ve said before, winning this award helped me break in as a novelist. Good luck!

p.s. If you are a teenager, do not tell me about what you are sending in because I am often the judge of the 9th through 12th grade entries.

Willamette Writers 2010
Kay Snow Writing Contest

The purpose of this annual contest, named in honor of Willamette Writer’s founder, Kay Snow, is to help writers reach professional goals in writing in a broad array of categories.

Entry Dates

Beginning Date: November 1, 2009
Postmark Deadline: April 23rd, 2010.

Category Guidelines

Adult Fiction – maximum 2500 words. One complete short story (or novel excerpt; excerpt can be any part of the novel) on any subject intended for an adult audience. (Double space)

Adult Non-Fiction – maximum 2500 words. One complete article for an adult market. (Double space)

Poetry – Two complete poems may be submitted as one entry, any subject or form. Maximum length five pages for total entry. (Single space, except double-spaced between stanzas.)

Juvenile Short Story, Novel excerpt or Article – Fiction or Non-Fiction – Maximum length 1500 words, written by adults for juvenile readers. State target age group below the title. (Double space)

Screenwriting – Maximum length (10) pages. Complete or partial script, any subject, in script format. (One side only, on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper using a 12 point Courier font.)

Student Writer (18 or under) – There are three categories of student writers. Students can enter any type of writing, fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Word limit, 1,500 words. Students should not enter adult categories unless paying the adult fee. If a student enters an adult category, do not put student or a grade category on the entry form.

Grades 1-5
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12
Students are limited to ONE entry. There is no fee for student writers in these three grade groups. Students should not enter adult categories unless paying the adult fee. If a student enters an adult category, they should not put student or a grade category on the entry form.

Tea and Time Travel

April 18, 2010

Time Travel and Parallel Universes was the theme of my most recent Supernatural Tea Party (see blog entry from January 6th.) Our new guests included Goody and Jessie’s fabulous friend, Roxanne, and my son, Robinson.

Roxanne & Robinson

Binny seemed thrilled by it all and on the verge of speech. We had sparkling peach juice, tea sandwiches, and cake. We discussed the concepts of twin parallel and multiple (infinite?) universes. We talked about time travel lore and the idea that some ghostly encounters might actually be glimpses back (or forward) in time. I love these gatherings. Can’t wait for the next.

the eats

April Give-Away . . .

April 9, 2010

So sorry that it’s taken me a month to write a new blog ~ I’ve been mesmerized by my baby son.  

The winner of the March Give-Away was Kaitlyn of Wildomar California. The April Give-Away is for you writers out there who want to see what it feels like to use old materials. I’m giving away a set of quill, ink cake, and handmade paper. If you’d like to be in the drawing for this unusual prize, send your name and address to the “Email Laura Whitcomb” feature on my website at (And let me know if you do not want to get postcards and bookmarks from my future novels — if so I’ll delete your address after the drawing for that month is done.)

I’m learning to be a new mom and a writer at the same time. I am starting another rewrite of UNDER THE LIGHT and I hope to blog at least once a week from now on. But it’s really not my fault if I get distracted by my baby — he’s delightful and absolutely compelling. See below.

Binny (2 mos, 8 lbs) Maximus (4 yrs, 12 lbs)