dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author


Lennys sunshineGuess who turns 15 today?

I can hardly believe that Lenny Lee is already 15! Wasn’t he having his 11th birthday only last year?

Over the years, Lenny has brought joy into a lot of bloggers’ lives. His sunshiny avatar, his fondness for exclamation points, and his clever wit cheered us during our writing struggles, lifted us up after our failures, and celebrated with us over our successes. Lenny was one of my beta readers for The Eighth Day and The Inquisitor’s Mark.

When I retired earlier this year, Lenny sent me a gift of two mugs — one with the titles of banned books and one with the first lines of famous novels — and a lovely card wishing that one of my books would someday end up on a mug!


Lately, Lenny has been absent from the blogosphere. I know he probably has many important teenage things to do, like saving the world, defeating villains, battling monsters, and overturning despotic governments. (Pick up a YA novel and check out what the teenagers are doing. They’re all very busy.)

But this Birthday Blog Fest is just to let Lenny know how much we’ve missed him. Lenny, when you have the time, we’d love to hear from you! Tell us what you’ve been up to!

Look out, world. Lenny Lee is now a teenager!

He was sharp as a tack when he was a tween. I expect age is only going ripen his wit!

Lenny, I wish you a very happy birthday. With the help of my Dread Daughters, I made a video birthday card. I know you love animals, so here is Sorcia doing some tricks for you!


Yes, this is my 2nd post of the day! Please look below for First Impressions. This post is part of the Lenny-Lee-Fest, a shout out to a fellow blogger and all around great kid.

My Top 10 Reasons to Love Lenny:

10. Alliteration. Lenny Lee is a GREAT name. From Marilyn Monroe to Fred Flintstone — Who doesn’t love somebody with an alliterative name?

9. Animal lover. Lots of Lenny’s posts are about animals. He’s always interested in the pets of his blogger friends. He even had my goofy dog Sorcia on his blog sidebar for awhile!

8. Neat handwriting. I got a card from Lenny once, and his handwriting made my 5th grade students’ handwriting look like chicken scratch! How come my students don’t write like that? Wasn’t someone supposed to teach them … oh, yeah … um … Let’s move on.

7. Heartfelt voice. Any writer knows that developing voice is essential to good writing. Well, Lenny comes by it naturally! I used his post on dolphins with my class to demonstrate how voice can be used in a non-fiction piece.

6. Exclamation points!!! You can never use too many.

5. Bold. Lenny’s not afraid to poke fun at his grown-up blogging buddies. Regarding my 16th wedding anniversary, Lenny commented: “Yikes! You been married way more longer than I am old.” (I almost fell out of my chair laughing.)

4. Walking Advertisement. Here’s Lenny’s comment about my We Hear the Dead t-shirts: For sure those tee shirts are something to make people look. I know cause I’m a walking ad. My brother was flirting with a girl who waited on him at the store and he got asking her what she likes to do and she said she loves reading stuff and likes that history fiction lots. He grabbed me and swung me around like a top and pointed at your book on the back of my shirt and said you just gotta read this book. She wrote it down and said shes gonna get it. Hooray for We Hear the Dead tee shirts! He got a date from it too.” (Another ROFL for me …)

3. Insightful. In spite of his age, Lenny is incredibly insightful. When he read my brother-in-law Larry’s guest post about babysitting Sorcia, Lenny shrewdly noted that Larry and his wife seemed to be pining for a dog of their own. Not only was he right, but Larry and Deb now have their own German Shepherd!

2. Fooled me but good! In Jen Daiker’s Guess My Character Blogfest, I pegged Lenny’s character Gunther as a good-looking hunk who didn’t know all the girls were in love with him. But turns out, Gunther was a goat.

And (drum roll please), the Number One Reason to Love Lenny …

1. Smiles. Every single comment and email from Lenny makes me smile!

Have a great day, Lenny! Enjoy your Fest! We all hope to see you back in action and on your blog again real soon! And any of my blog readers who haven’t met Lenny yet (can there possibly be any?) ought to stop by his blog and say “Hi!”

Yesterday, I had the amazing experience of meeting two high school creative writing classes at Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Florida – without leaving my home! This was not only the first school presentation I’ve given (uh, not counting my daily lessons as a 5th grade teacher), but also my first time presenting via SKYPE.

I have to thank Amanda Burford of The Newbie Novelist for the opportunity to meet with her two classes. (I met Amanda through WriteOnCon, by the way.) It was Amanda’s idea to do the SKYPE, and despite my initial nervousness about relying on the technology – it all went very smoothly!

It’s pretty cool to give a presentation in your own home. Since they were only seeing me from the waist up – I could have worn my pajama bottoms if I wanted to. (I didn’t though.) Okay, so my dog licked my face at one point, and the phone started ringing (I dropped it on the floor and kicked it out of the room). One of the hardest things for me to do was talk to the camera on the top of the monitor instead of to the picture of the students on the screen. I think I got better at it, but it was hard to fight that impulse to talk to their faces.

They had some great questions for me: ranging from the process of writing, fighting writer’s block, getting published, and finding inspiration. Apparently, their original list of questions also included: Is your husband hot? But their teacher edited that one out. (Of course he is.)

Anyway, it was a fabulous experience and one I’d be happy to repeat …

Moving on to other business — I want to extend a HAPPY BIRTHDAY greeting to my blogging friend Lenny! For those of you who don’t know Lenny, please check out his blog. I won’t tell you exactly how old Lenny is, but let’s just say that Lenny’s age REALLY brings down the average age of my group of blogging buddies. And that’s just one of many reasons to love him!

Lenny’s a fantastic writer – he fooled the heck out of me during Jen Daiker’s Guess My Character Blogfest. He is also a walking advertisement for my book, since he’s fond of wearing the We Hear the Dead t-shirt he won in Candyland’s contest. And he might just be his brother’s secret weapon when it comes to getting a date …

So, Happy Birthday, Lenny! I hope you have a fantastic day!