The Artanian Prophecy

Our world was born from the magic of two.

The smiling twins whose creations grew.

They painted walls with ideas anew.

Until the dark day we came to rue.

When one jealous hand used mud to undo.

And the life of many too soon was through.


But listen to this prophecy with open ears.

To know what happens ever thousand years.

The Shadow Swine will make you live in fear.

Bringing death to those whom you hold so dear.

For they will open the doorway so wide.

That none of you will find a place to hide.


And the Creators will stop

As their dreams are drained.

Before 12 moons wax and wane.


But hope will lie in the hands of twins

Born on the cusp of the second millennium.

On the eleventh year of their lives.

They will join together like single forged knives.

Their battle will be long with 7 evils to undo.

Scattered around will be 7 clues.

And many will perish before they are through.

But our world will be saved if their art is true.






Noted with pleasure: The empathic envelope

We should all give children a sense of belonging…


Often our first thoughts are, “How am I damaging my child?” “What irreparable harm have I caused by this action?” ” What’s the one right thing to do?”  We picture our child in twenty years on a therapist’s couch or in a support group complaining bitterly about us or — with a little imagination — exposing to millions our toxic parenting on some “Donahue ” of the future.  With all these concerns, parents are in danger of becoming parent-therapists, not parent-people; child-bearing technicians, not human beings.  And the absolutely central fact that parenting is learning how to connect with kids is being lost.

Fortunately, when you get past all the “shoulds” and “should nots” in childrearing connecting is not such a complex and mysterious business.  I think the same dynamic exists in all families where parents stay connected with thier children, and where children grow into healthy adults.  regardless of…

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Children Mediating

I believe in empowering children, in giving them the tools they need to successfully mediate conflicts on their own. So, Using the Dean and JoJo Anti-Bullying DVD of one man’s friendship with a wild-bottlenose dolphin named JoJo I work with students engaging them in activities to create positive conflict resolution. They create Peace Cards with positive alternatives to conflicts and share them with one another as well as engage in writing and role playing activities to model good communication. With this program I have helped other educators teach children how stop bullying, avoid arguments, and maintain healthy friendships.

Dolphin Mediators are a group of 5th and 6th grade students who have volunteered to act as a go-between for other kids who might be having a conflict. With Mrs. Woodward as the faculty advisor, they use a prepared script to help others learn to take turns, communicate with “I feel” messages, and come up with win-win situations.  At recesses they walk around, clipboards in hand and offer advice, guidance, and rewards to those who resolve conflicts peacefully.

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement anti-bullying activities on your campus, contact me. I love to share!

Dolphin Legacy Contract!

I just signed a publishing contract with Creativia for The Dolphin Legacy, one I co-wrote with dolphin naturalist Dean Bernal.

Imagine ocean swimming in crystalline waters. All alone. Then three small dolphins join you. They’re all splashing, clicking, and whistling but one young male keeps staring as if he has known you since the days of Atlantian myth.

That’s what happened to Dean Bernal in the turquoise waters off the Turks and Caicos Islands. In that moment, his friendship with a wild bottlenose dolphin, named JoJo, began. He didn’t know it then, but their relationship would become world famous, inspiring millions.

After the death of his two dolphin companions due to human ignorance, JoJo grew closer to Dean. This lone, social dolphin introduced him to the waters and fellow creatures of his ocean realm and provided me with an extraordinary gift previously bestowed to no human: the secret life of a wild dolphin.

Making Mom Proud

“Laurie, guess what was in my inbox?” She barely waited for me to ask what before giddily telling me she’d gotten an Amazon ad with my book at the top.

“My daughter, the star,” she said giggling.

It looks like my publisher is hard at work again.  Promoting its authors. Well. Thanks Creativia Publishing.  It’s nice to know that even at my age I can make Mom’s proud.



In the Hot Seat with Jay Asher

” I wanted to see if you are able to attend the 9/12 SLO Nightwriters meeting? It promises to be a good one and your input would be invaluable – which I and others would greatly appreciate it if you can make it.”

When I got this email from my publicist, I had no idea what I was getting into. I imagined a meeting, like before, where I’d help critique various pieces of work. But when I arrived and was asked to put my name on a slip of paper, I was confused. Then, Susan explained that the names were going into a can to be pulled out randomly during the meeting for a hot seat session with Jay Asher.

Public speaking has always been my greatest fear so I tried not to let my shy side take control and give me a panic attack as I took my seat among other Central Coast writers.  Over the next hour, names were called as I focused on calming my breathing for when my turn came.

“Laurie Woodward,” my publicist, Brian Schwartz announced.

Go for it. I told myself, holding my recently published Artania high as I giddily approached the hot seat.


Jay w - Laurie-4Jay chuckled as we said hi. As soon as I looked in his kind face, my nerves calmed.  I’ve known Jay for years, since well  before either of us were published. Long ago we were both attendees looking for agents at various writers’ conferences and other events in California. Long before his Thirteen Reasons Why became a New York Times bestseller and Netflix series. And he has always been good people. Unassuming. Humble. Accepting.

Jay looked over his list of questions and asked, “What sort of a writing schedule do you have?”

I sighed. That was easy to answer. “I get up every day and write for at least an hour. No matter what. That way I get to start the day in my head.”

Then he asked me to describe my book.

And I froze.

“Umm. Artania is where all art is alive….” I stuttered my way through a confused explanation, kicking myself for not remembering my pitch.

I saw the sympathetic faces in the crowd. Feeling sorry for me. And I realized that these people were no threat.

I took a deep breath and imagined speaking to a group of parents or my students. Thought about Artania’s theme.

“I believe that we all have a special part of ourselves,” I said turning to the audience. “Our artistic side. For some, like you, it’s writing. Others it might be painting or dance. But each is absolutely unique. And what I try to do in Artania, is honor that beautiful part of us.”

Jay w explain


Like all writers do.

Even when they’re in the hot seat.