2023 Highlights -- by Jane Kelley

The theme of 2023 should be NOT WHAT I EXPECTED.

In March, I took a train trip with my daughter Sofia. One of our stops was the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, the mile deep gash in the Earth was filled with fog. It was beautiful in its own way, if only we could forget what we had hoped to see.

We continued on to Los Angeles. At the Getty Museum, I came face to face with My Nemesis. She didn't look malicious. Her smile was serene as she spun my wheel of fate. What was she really thinking???

The highlight of May was one of pure joy. Our daughter Sofia graduated from LAW SCHOOL. If we look happy, it's because we know how hard school was for everyone during the pandemic.

In June, we let the spirit of our dear friend Alice soar as we celebrated her life with her family and friends.

In August, we got kayaks and discovered a different view of Lake Michigan.

Have you noticed that none of these highlights are about writing? I certainly did. So with determination and daring, I changed course.

I did not become a pirate. I decided to turn one of my stories into a family musical. Since I don't write songs, I found two fantastic partners who do. Clifford Lee Johnson III, Greg Alexander, and I are transforming my novel into a drama of life and death -- for the monarch butterfly. 

While we were working on GRACE AND THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, as I wrote in this blog, these actual caterpillars shed their skins, hid inside their chrysalises, and began the humongous task of reinventing themselves. What once crawled along a leaf did eventually fly. I have no photo of that -- I didn't want to take my eyes off of those brave and beautiful butterflies.

In November, our team was invited to develop that musical at the 2024 Johnny Mercer Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut. No photo for that either.  You'll have to imagine the butterflies swirling inside my head. 

Oh. There is one last highlight. In December, started another MG novel. 

to be continued . . . .

Jane Kelley -- is the author of many middle grade novels and the book for the musical GRACE AND THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT.


  1. The musical sounds amazing. Please let us know when and if we might be able to see it! Go, Jane!


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