Illustration Intensive 2022

Whoo hoo! We got to hold this event in person for the first time in three years!

Fantasy Art Workshop’s Illustration Intensive is my husband’s and my week-long art workshop for professional and inspiring illustrators. It’s a fantastic event with lectures and teaching by top industry pros, art demos, deep-dive creating, and a week of networking. We last held it in 2019, and wow, judging by the response, people missed it!

To learn more about it, I really do encourage you to go the Illustration Intensive website, as I won’t cover it all here. If you’re an illustrator, do yourself a favor and look into it. If you know someone who’s into art, please share this event with them. We’re thrilled to know that many who’ve attend our event launched their professional careers here. And we love a good time, too.

A poem published!

I recently mentioned renewing my membership to a local writing association. That gave me some encouragement, let me tell you, because I’ve spent the past month and half trying to get back into my writing groove. And it’s paid off! — Not just because something I wrote was published but because I’ve finally, Finally, FINALLY (!) been able to put some words to paper once more.

Like so many people around the world, the past two-years’-plus worth of U.S. and world events have been stunning and horrifying and enraging and exhausting and deflating and utterly stifling. So many people could barely function, much less work at their best levels. I was among them.

The tipping point for me was a personal loss, two cats, adorable sweet sisters, rescues, whom we had to re-home because they couldn’t get along with our resident cats. They were lovely on their own. But we weren’t on our own. So in the best interest of all, they found new homes. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t heartbroken. So I set pen to paper and wrote a poem, tears streaming down my face. Poetry isn’t my default genre, but I’ve dabbled, and it leant itself to this raw emotion. I submitted the poem to the Wisconsin Writers Association’s Creative Wisconsin magazine.

And then a week or so later, I used WWA again as inspiration to write another spooky short story. This one I submitted to their Jade Ring contest. I don’t typically write to submit to contests, but, once again, these are strange times. We take inspiration where we can get it. It can sometimes lead to something good.

Today the inaugural online Creative Wisconsin magazine has my poem within. I’m a published poet! How cool is that? And how wonderful is it that I may be starting to get my writing groove back. It’s jarring when you lose a bit of yourself. It’s joyous when it comes back.

To enjoy the magazine, click on the image below. My poem is on page 21.

June 2022 Creative Wisconsin magazine put out by the Wisconsin Writers Association

Creative Wisconsin magazine – June 2022

Mad Town Grad

My youngest child has graduated college. I can barely believe it. I’m immensely proud of him even though I don’t share too much of my kids’ lives here, as they deserve some privacy. However, a parent is also allowed to brag a bit. 🙂

Armando was a full-ride scholar with an honors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus at Madison — my alma mater! He’s brilliant, funny, cheerful, chill, and just a joy to be around. Congrats, m’boy!

Photo shows a college graduate in cap and gown with his proud parents


Back home and added another member to our family. Glyph is eight months old, cute, cuddly, purrs a lot, and is a sweet and happy boy.

Those green nail covers, by the way, were put on by the shelter to prevent scratching. They’ll fall off naturally, and I won’t replace them. Cats gotta cat, after all. 😉

Glyph, the orange tabby kitten

Glyph, the orange tabby kitten

One adventure ends and another begins

What an adventure!

New York City has so much energy, excitement, and cultural relevance. Every bit of it seems famous, the food and social scene are incredible, and there’s goodness all around. I love New York, and I’ve loved my time here, but the adventure is coming to a close.After seven months at Scholastic, I realized the job wasn’t working out, which isn’t the end of the world. I’m proud of myself for recognizing it. Plus, I have forces pulling me back home, in a good way.

Experiencing the publishing world in its global heart was amazing. I learned so much, made great friends, and might continue in another capacity, just not in NYC and not in this moment. Here are a few final pics before I head back to a Great Place Near a Great Lake (aka, Milwaukee —- who remembers that jingle?)

Jeff Miracola and Silvia Acevedo outside NYC's main library

Jeff and me outside NYC’s main library


The library’s famed Rose Reading Room


And from the other side

My daughter Antonia and Silvia Acevedo at Central Park

My daughter Antonia and me at Central Park

Family on the ferry

And on the ferry


At John Wick’s famed Continental Hotel. Sanctuary!

Silvia Acevedo with her yoga group

My yoga group as we wish each other well 🙂


The endlessly gorgeous Manhattan skyline, this time at night. Goodbye for now, my dear NYC.


Finally, some snow! Jersey City and New York City seems generally about ten to 15 degrees warmer to me than Milwaukee, and their weather events are a day behind. So when I saw that a snowstorm was expected to hit Wisconsin and travel on as a nor’easter, I was like, whoo hoo!!! Snow at last! It wasn’t deep, not a huge snowfall, but area officials and regular folks took precautions. It was a generally well handled storm, and yes, it was beautiful.

silhouettes of two cats on a cat tower

My cats sensing snowy weather

Manhattan skyline under a stormy sky

The sky above Manhattan portends a storm

snowy city from above

The snowy city from my top floor apartment window


Street view

Silvia Acevedo and Jeff Miracola smiling with snow and a colorful sunset behind them

Snow and a beautiful sunset would make anyone smile


The holidays in New York City

I’ve been at Scholastic four and a half months now, and there’s a lot I can’t talk about because the projects aren’t yet announced or the work is propriety and/or confidential, but here’s the good news: children and teens are reading, and Scholastic provides great stuff for them to lay their eyes on.

I’ve taken (no surprise) hundreds of photos, having seen great friends, enjoyed fabulous sites, and just gotten to know this amazing city. I mean, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Ave, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, Little Italy, SoHo, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Theater District, on and on. Family coming to visit. Snowstorms and nor’easters. Seeing cousins. Making new friends. The fantastic, oh-so-welcome diversity. And, and, and. This has been a cool thing.

I’ll post just a few pictures here because, honestly, a single post can’t encompass it all. But trust me. Visit New York City sometime in your life. Stay awhile if you can make it.


The year 2021 is proving to be so transforming.

My previous post in July was about how this year has thrown unexpected things my way. Good things, for sure, like my job at Inkluded (which was temporary and remote), a furry addition to the family (Sketch, the kitten), and a new ride (my awesome orange Scooter).

A week later I was referred for a job at Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books.

You may be able to guess where this is going.

Another week later I was asked to interview for that fantastic job based in New York City. And as I’m typing this, I’m looking at the Statue of Liberty out my new apartment window. Also, the Manhattan skyline is gorgeous from my rooftop.

Say what?! you might be asking. I think I’m still asking that myself to myself, to be honest. Haha. But life is fun when it’s changing things up, isn’t it? This excellent opportunity is one that I certainly didn’t want to pass up and my family encouraged me to pursue. I’m so grateful for that as I’m loving it so far. It was remote for the five weeks it took us to move to the New York area. Now I’m going in once a week on an easy commute to the spectacular offices that are Scholastic Inc.

One more thing happened during all this. The week before we moved here, we adopted a kitten from the Humane Society! Yep, we did it both to give Sketch a playmate and to add some complication to the move because of course we would — haha! Meet Pixel, the once-fearful but becoming-more-confident-by-the-day addition to our family. I love this sweet little guy. Enjoy the cuteness.

So, I’ll leave you with some random pictures of a little bit of this and a little bit of that from the past few weeks. Here’s to new adventures!

Pixel the kitten


Pixel posing


World Trade Center transportation hub – Milwaukeeans will recognize the architecture!






The Harry Potter themed stained glass above the Scholastic front desk


The Manhattan skyline from across the Hudson River


Photo shows Manhattan skyline from beautiful Liberty State Park adjacent to the Statute of Liberty

Manhattan skyline from beautiful Liberty State Park adjacent to the Statute of Liberty


Panoramic photo from Liberty State Park showing the Manhattan skyline at left, Ellis Island at center, and the Statue of Liberty at right. It's simply gorgeous.

Panoramic photo from Liberty State Park showing the Manhattan skyline at left, Ellis Island at center, and the Statue of Liberty at right. It’s simply gorgeous.

Mightier than the Sword

Okay, you know me. I love books and respect the heck out of transformative works. So imagine my delight when I was asked to give an endorsement for a book about revolutionaries who changed the world through writing! Um, yes, please! And even better that the book was written by fellow SCBWI-Wisconsin member Rochelle Melander, who’s a friend and incredible cheerleader for fellow writers.

I just got my advanced copy of Mightier than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing. It releases July 27th and is sure to be a favorite of teachers and parents alike. I’m so happy for Rochelle and proud of this grand achievement. Mightier is compelling and a testament to the power of writing. I’m honored that it’s the first book for which I’ve given a blurb (an accolade quotation). This book is right up my alley.

Enjoy this glance at some inside pages, and remember, writing is revolutionary.

Image shows cover of book "Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing"

Image shows back cover of book "Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing"

Sample pages from book "Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing"

Sample pages from book "Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing"

Sample pages from book "Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing"

(Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing is available for pre-order at your local independent bookstore.)

It’s not going to go the way you expect

Back in January, I read an article by Literary Agent Kate McKean on her Agents & Books blog about how your journey (publishing journey, in this case) probably isn’t going to go the way you plan, as there are just so many variables in life, and how that’s okay and might lead to interesting things. That article, and similar articles by author Nathan Bransford, have clearly stuck with me, as I’ve been marinating all year in the theme of “letting the universe tell me how things are going to be because I can only control what I can control.”

So how did Planning Silvia expect 2021 to go? Well, Planning Silvia hoped to wrestle a bit more control of life because, since I can only control that which I can control, I should try to control more! Am I right?

“HAHAHAHA!” the Universe says. “Let’s fix those silly notions!” And it did.

In early May, a close family friend essentially gifted a scooter to me! He’d gotten his enjoyment out of it and wasn’t planning on using it anymore. Whoo hoo! What an awesome surprise! Please don’t think I’m complaining because I’m totally not! I’d wanted a motorcycle or scooter since I was a teenager. This little beauty needed some minor repairs, and I had to set up insurance, and then, surprise! I discovered it’s got enough speed and power to classify as a motorcycle here in the great state of Wisconsin. So suddenly I’m practicing to pass a driving test to earn a motorcycle license. Cool, but, wow, that wasn’t expected for 2021.

Photo of Silvia Acevedo on a bright orange Genuine Buddy 125cc scooter

Safety first.

You know what else I didn’t foresee for 2021? Getting a kitten!!! And that’s mostly because I’m allergic to cats! But I also didn’t expect to go outside on Memorial Day to water some flowers and hear something crying. What the heck is that? A kitten? A crying kitten?! OMG!!! Where is that precious little thing?!

Baby Cat was hungry and scared. Mom Cat never came back, soooo, Silvia to the rescue!

It was actually my pet-loving husband Jeff who decided we were adopting this little cutie. He was buying him a bed and toys before I’d even gotten my bearings on what was going on. Now we all adore Sketch, and so far my allergies haven’t kicked in. Supposedly that might happen when he’s about 12 weeks old. Crossing my fingers that it never happens.

Here’s Sketch, at about four weeks old. And it’s 2021 for the win again, obliterating Planning Silvia’s plans in the best possible way.

Photo shows Sketch, the kitten, at about four weeks old, when Silvia found him.

Tiny Sketch


Photo shows Sketch, the kitten, on the prowl

Sketch on the prowl

What next in the universe’s plans? An unexpected, remote job with Inkluded, a New York based nonprofit championing diversity in the publishing industry — and offering a tuition-free course toward that end. How cool is that? Again, unexpected and awesome.

Image shows the homepage of

Sooooo, yeah, things don’t always go as planned, but, like Kate McKean said, we might end up surprised. Life is full and fun. I’m not doing much writing lately, but I’m enjoying summer, and, once the weather changes, I’ll get back to some creative writing, as creation is good for the soul — planned or not. 😉