Sunday, December 29, 2013


I want to wish everyone a happy new year. 

This time of year, I get reflective, as many of us do. For my special education certification, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I should be student teaching spring 2015. And I look forward to going to work each day. On the writing front, I'm about to complete my second rough draft this year. While I still don't have an agent, I feel closer with each draft. On the family front, my husband and I will be together 25 years and married for 20 this coming year. At our newish home, both children are finally feeling more part of the community. And they're growing too quickly. My son is now in high school and my daughter is in middle school. I'm going to appreciate the last few years of my family of 4. With that thought, I wrote this poem: 


Every day he plays those repetitive notes
to that tune I don’t know the name of.
Some days they croon from the clarinet—
Other days they sing from the saxophones.

When he first attempted it the piece, it
hiccuped and coughed and squeaked.
But each day he practiced, the music
ascended, sparkled, and sashayed to the rhythm.

The concert has long passed, so its droning
presence has become a path to newer pieces.
A warming breath, an inhale, exhale—
An intention for his practice makes perfect.

Some days the music is background thrum,
but today the notes soar to renaissance.
This tune is a measure of my son’s progress—
Of composition coming to life with concerted effort.

This everyday, why again, sometimes
ignored tune has measured time in notes,
seconds, minutes, days, years, and so on it goes.
It’s a measure of the man he will become.

And when he does,
I’ll miss the repetitive rhythm
of the way it was.

- Theresa Milstein

Even though winter has just begun, many areas have already been slammed with a few snowfalls. Earlier this year, I wrote a poem about a storm from a  Magpie Picture Prompt. 

Since then, I've revised and submitted it. It now appears in the Winter 2013 edition Halcyon Magazine. You may either read it for free or purchase a hard copy. 


Love, Theresa xo

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I'm sorry I've been AWOL. School made life extra hectic, but I'm off for a month, so YaY! 

This summer, writer Robyn Campbell told me about the Charms Project that Sally Odgers  put together. The anthology wasn't about profit, but for the love of creating stories. 

When I mentioned that Lenny Lee would be part of the project to my daughter, Mia, she asked if she could write a story. Though Mia would be the youngest contributor, Sally agreed. Mia chose a wolf charm as her inspiration and wrote her story. After a little cajoling, she accepted some of my feedback and revised a few times. Then  Sharon Mayhew  offered her more feedback. Soon her story was done.

Mia is proud that even though she’s the youngest author, her story was gory enough to have to be included in the 3rd volume, suitable for older readers.

Mia’s piece is called “The Pursuit.” Here’s her bio:

I chose the wolf charm because I love animals. Wolves speak to me, maybe because dogs are one of my favorite animals. A Husky, which resembles a wolf, is my favorite dog. My wolf story for the Charms anthology has fantasy in it. Those are the types of stories I tend to read the most.

I’ve always liked to write. When I’m an adult, I want to be an engineer or do something related to science, but I hope to write at least part time.
I’m a sixth-grader who takes ballet and Taekwondo lessons. Since I have learned how to be strong and defend myself, I like to create characters that are tough. I don’t like damsels in distress!

My piece is called “First Star.” Here’s what I say about it in my bio:

I chose the star charm because as a child, I believed in the power of wishing upon the first star. As I got older, I realized that wishes came true with hard work and determination. But I still love gazing at the night’s sky. My favorite constellation is Orion’s Belt. 

If I could fulfill one wish for myself, it would be to make a living writing for children and teens full time. With continued hard work and perseverance, I hope I achieve it.

This story is dedicated to my sister, Kathleen, who helped me capture the big sister-little sister dynamic in this story. (Tess/Kate and Theresa/Kathleen, get it?)

The books are available in 3 volumes. Here’s the premise:

Hannah, Josh, Immy and Ashton met when their parents formed the syndicate to restore an old house and reinvent it as a boutique hotel. While the adults worked downstairs, the children found a mysterious treasure in the attic; a crock of charms. Every charm had a story.

Volume One tells the story of the first week in the attic, and offers stories for younger readers. (Susan Leonard Hill is in Volume 2.) Volume Two contains stories, poems and pictures most suitable for mid-grade readers. (Sharon and Robyn are in volume 2.)

In this third volume of Charms, the crock and the children are back. A problem threatens the syndicate and there are new adventures as Josh and Hannah go beyond the curtain to enter the world of the stories. Charms is a collection of stories, poems and illustrations by a wide variety of contributors. It is also a fantasy novel
in three volumes, though each can stand alone. Volume Three contains stories, poems and pictures most suitable for older readers. (Mia, Lenny, and I are in Volume 3.)

It was fun to write and critique these stories with a bunch of my favorite writing friends and my daughter. I hope you enjoy our pieces!

You can only get a copy by contacting 
one of the writers who is in the book. 
(So if you want a copy you'll have to let me 
know and I'll sell it at cost plus shipping.)

If you’re interested, email me at tmilstein at gmail dot com. Cost is $13.18 + shipping.

Sharon is having a giveaway to win Volume 2 on her blog.  Please visit!