Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Elf Pix Creation!

 One reason I self-publish my elf books is that I so enjoy working directly with an illustrator.

Today I will talk about the steps taken by my illustrator, Shayne Hood, and myself to create the perfect picture to illustrate a page of my story, Bizzy, the Bossy Boots Elf. This scene takes place in the gift shop at an amusement park called “Santa Claus Lane,” which is shamelessly modeled on Santa’s Village in Jefferson, NH.

I started by actually visiting Santa’s Village with my husband, and Miles and Henry, our twin grandsons. They had been pressuring me to write a story about them ever since they realized that their two brothers and two cousins all were in other books I had written.

Here are the twins in the Gift Shop there, which looks a bit like “Santa’s Workshop.”

Henry (l) and Miles (r) at Santa's Village Gift Shop, 2019


During the pandemic shutdown, I finally wrote the rhyming story about the Izzy Elves going on vacation, in disguise, to an amusement park called "Santa Claus Lane." (This was actually a small park near Santa Barbara, CA, where the boys live. It operated from about 1950 until 2000.)

In the story, Henry and Miles go to Santa Claus Lane with their Gramma and Grampa. (My husband and I.) The boys have read all the other Izzy Elf books, and know 1) what all of the elves look like, 2) what each of them is named 3) what toys each makes, or job each does. (Blizzy makes snow globes; Fizzy makes Jills-in-the-box; Dizzy makes elfascopes; Quizzy makes puzzles; Whizzy wraps presents and designs wrapping paper; Frizzy has changed from styling dolls’ hair to making toy monster trucks; Tizzy reads and recommends books for Santa to deliver; Bizzy manages all the other elves.)

Throughout the day, the boys and the elves keep ending up more or less on the same rides and in the same places, but Miles and Henry have not yet realized the identity of the eight disguised elves.


One of their close calls comes at the amusement park’s giftshop. I wanted the picture to show how the elves and boys almost (but not quite) meet there. This meant there had to be some kind of structure which blocked the view of each from the other. Then I had the idea that some of the toys mentioned in the other stories could be for sale at the giftshop. Below is Shayne’s first sketch for this scene There were many aspects of this picture that appealed to me, but there was nothing that would keep the boys from seeing the elves.

I cut up her picture, moved the pieces around, sketched in a cabinet with a high back, and scotch taped the pieces together, scanned it and e-mailed it to Shayne. It looked like this:

I figured that a cabinet with a high back could separate the boys and elves, and also provide a place where various toys etc. made by the elves could be on display. Shayne took this idea and ran with it! (Please notice that standing in line to pay are my husband, me, and Santa Claus!

Here is the verse telling what happened in the gift shop:

“The Izzies went on to their very next stop

Which the sign told them clearly was “Santa’s Workshop.” 

“This doesn’t look much like the place where we work,”

Dizzy quickly remarked with a definite smirk.

“But have all of you noticed those hats with the ears?”

Asked Tizzy, “They’re our hats, or so it appears!”  

What the elves did not notice across the wide aisles

Was that something was thrilling young Henry and Miles.

For the two had discovered some toys made by elves,

And recognized all of them, all by themselves!

Miles said,“There are monster trucks made by “Sad” Frizzy,

And Jills-in-the-boxes constructed by Fizzy!”  

“There are elfascopes,” Henry said, “crafted by Dizzy,

And fun wrapping paper created by Whizzy

And Christmassy puzzles as painted by Quizzy!

And beautiful snow globes invented by Blizzy,”

Said Miles, “See the books recommended by Tizzy?

And the sign that the elves are all ‘managed by Bizzy!’ ”  

The boys kept admiring the elves’ handiwork,

But called by their grand-folk, they turned with a jerk.

Then they heard someone say, “Come on, guys, time to  go. 

We won’t see the rest if we all are too slow!”

Someone else muttered “Bossy Boots,” but then murmured “fine”

And the gaggle went out in a straggly line. ”

Finally, here is the wonderful cover which Shayne created for the book, Bizzy, the Bossy Boots Elf.

Friday, February 4, 2022

She sent us another one.

Bizzy likes this one, especially. He feels he helps to "highlight sentence structures," (whatever that means).

All we know is that kids seem to have a great time reading our stories in verse. So there.


Much love,

The Izzy Elves
Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Tizzy, Quizzy, and Whizzy

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Engaging and fun? That's US!!!!

Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you) keeps sending us these quoted bits. We're not sure why.

We know this is about all poetry, but we like to think it means we Izzies are "engaging and fun."

Until next time. . .


Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy,Tizzy, and Whizzy


Friday, January 28, 2022

Wow! Now we're "wise" and "memorable!" (So. Exciting.)

Can you believe it? We're creating memories and wisdom! 

Who knew?

Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, & Whizzy


Sunday, January 23, 2022


Drake reads from Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf, a story in which he appears (at a much younger age).

(A closed caption version of this video can be seen on VIMEO and YOUTUBE.

Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you) has been having fun making short videos about us.  (We wish she would let us appear "onscreen" to speak for ourselves, but oh, no, she must hog the spotlight.)

Here's the first one:   Meet Santa's Izzy Elves!

 (Note: this video is available with closed captions on Vimeo  and YouTube.)

Friday, June 25, 2021

Sometimes we can't help being annoyed with Deedy (Dorothea Jensen to you). Without conferring with us Izzies, last fall (during Covid) when she wrote a new Izzy story (Bizzy, the Bossy Boots Elf) she redid all of our existing books, and gave them brand new ISBNs. This was all well and good, but she forgot all about this, and didn't change any of the Buy Links on Bublish. Yes, we understand she is "of a certain age," but she let all the Buy Links turn into Dead Ends. 

She means well, but a little FOCUS would be much appreciated. 

Come to think about it, we need to check out if she changed the Buy Links on this blog. If there are any. 

We'll get back to you.

Meanwhile, thanks for reading.


Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy