the news, baked fresh

Friday, December 11, 2009

One Mother's Tale of Food Allergies

I'm happy to announce, my article One Mother's Tale of Food Allergies has been published in I AM MODERN Magazine. Click on the link to read about my journey with food allergies.

For those with food safely,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pictures of the book launch for THE DAY I MET THE NUTS at ArtInsights Gallery

And so it began...

You walked into a scavenger hunt at the amazing ArtInsights Gallery, which led to me. (Wait. Who's that handsome kid in the blue vest or that charming man sitting down in the background with that cheeky grin? Oh that's right, they both belong to me.)

There's my other handsome, slightly mischievous, little man in the gray sweatshirt, helping friends with the scavenger hunt.

Getting my signing down at the book launch took full concentration ;).

Again, it required full concentration...and a most serious look.

Look at these two sweetie pies patiently waiting! Thankfully, the boys in the background were not starting a wrestling match, or were they?

I met new friends...

...and old friends (okay, know I don't mean "old" but dear. If the camera had been facing her way, you would see how very young and beautiful she really is to all!). By the way, what were we talking about?

And I couldn't have done it without my husband or my beautiful mother. Since I'm not rich and famous, they get to be my handlers. And a BIG thank you to my Dad who kept a good eye on my boys (they were constantly on the move. So pictures of them here are few and rare.)

But the biggest thanks goes to my family, friends, and book lovers who came out in support. Thank you for your patience when the line got long...

...or when the author took a break.

Love to all,


Monday, November 16, 2009

I've been blogged

JC, of Mama's Mouth blog, reviewed my book. Thank you for the great review and for the picture of me with my own mama! I met JC when I was signing books at Fresh, the movie screening. She's a smart, motivated mom, insuring a healthy life for her kids! What would we do without our mothers who help mother earth?

Check it out here:

Monday, November 9, 2009

The lowdown on events for THE DAY I MET THE NUTS

Saturday, November 7: Book launch at ArtInsights Gallery was a huge success, big turnout of friends, old and new. I love that gallery; it has so much charm and whimsy. Talk about a kid's dream come true...all the animation and illustration art you could ever dream of. Thank you to everyone who came out in support, and special thank you to Leslie and Mike, the owners of ArtInsights! Stop by and visit them at

Sunday, November 8: Movie screening of Fresh. It's an excellent movie to motivate those of us who need a little kick in the butt to eat healthier and to make the right selections...go fresh, not preserved! At intermission, they introduced my book, THE DAY I MET THE NUTS, and told folks to check out the author in the back. I waved sheepishly behind a table with my Mom (300 or more people were there, talk about intimidating). I met some great people who inspired me to take a look inside my pantry (or not) and grab for the fresher variety. The theory is...we wouldn't have so many allergies if we ate right and treated Mother Earth with a little more respect. I believe it! Healthy foods may cost a little more, but our bodies are worth the investment. I love to cook and bake...believe me, I do! I just need to make more time everyday for preparation.

Monday, November 9: Dropped off books at Chick's Picks for the show starting this Thursday. Yahoo! It's going to be great. Then headed over to Curiosity Zone! What a fun place; a kid's paradise of fun and exploration. I highly recommend the C -Zone for every child. All the senses are used to learn about science, math, etc. Every time I walk in there, I learn something new and fascinating, thanks to the brilliant mind of Mary ????, founder and owner (she's one fascinating gal). While there today, I was welcomed there by preschoolers and their moms for a little storytime and signing. I read The Day I Met The Nuts, of course, and then the kids analyzed...well, nuts (pictures of nuts, not real ones) under microscopes. Those kids had lots to say about nuts, their own allergies, squirrels, their own ages, and just about anything that was on their minds. It's hard to keep up with those young, brilliant scientists to be! Hey, and just so you book (available in hardback and softcover) is now available, along with my allergy alert magnets, at Curiosity Zone. Go check them out in the flesh (or paper, rather) and say hello to the C-Zone staff for me.

Tuesday, November 10: Another fantastic movie screening of Fresh. Sue Ann Gleason of Conscious Bites was there to give helpful hints and suggestions for good nutrition, which leads to healthy living. She introduced me to those in attendance and I spoke with parents for a few minutes about food allergies and my book. After the screening, I did a book signing. Parents shared their allergies stories with me...makes you realize there are many of us in this boat weathering a rough storm.

Wednesday, November 11: I sped on over to Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, VA last night to listen to world-renowned food allergy specialist, Robert Wood, MD. I took lots of interesting notes for my upcoming article in TBA (I'll tell you when it comes out, for now I'll keep the publication a surprise). He shared his latest in food allergy research and how WE as parents, teachers, and caregivers can impact progress made toward finding a cure for food allergies. It was a powerful night...a gathering of concerned parents who desire nothing more than a cure. Thank you for your hard work, Dr. Wood.

Coming next week....I'll be conducting author's visits at Kiddie Country and Vienna Baptist Children's Center. I can't wait to read and talk to my young friends, many of whom I understand have food allergies.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Launch for The Day I Met The Nuts

Well, I'm busy preparing for THE DAY I MET THE NUTS book launch. And I'm thrilled that it's being held at ARTINSIGHTS Animation and Film Art Gallery. How cool is that? Books, animation art...a gallery...a fine time! I can't wait to see all the excited faces of kids who love animation and illustration art and a good read. I'll be there signing books and meeting young readers. So if you live in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, come by and check us out.

Saturday, November 7, 2009
Open House from 4-6 PM

11921 Freedom Drive
Reston Town Center
Reston, VA 20189

Monday, October 26, 2009


Don't listen to him up there. He's a nut!

It's out! My book that is....available for the masses. I'm so excited about this book because it will help all those kiddos out there who must suffer through food allergies. I'm allergic to those crazy nuts as well, and so is my son. In fact, Roman was the inspiration for this story. He is a true allergy champ.

Portions of the proceeds from my book help to support a good cause, FAAN. FAAN is the world leader in food allergy and anaphylaxis awareness. Their mission is to raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, as well as to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.

Thanks for checking out my book and for supporting all of us who must find a way around those crazy nuts!

Nut free and lovin' it,

Mary Rand Hess

Friday, August 7, 2009

Book Trailer for THE DAY I MET THE NUTS... Coming Fall 2009

I hope you enjoyed THE DAY I MET THE NUTS trailer. I'm very excited about this book and the audience it will reach, as well as the charity it will help. Be on the look out for an official release date soon!

Happy writing and reading,


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blown Away By First Grade Poets

Today I conducted a poetry workshop with first graders. Let me just say, I was blown away by their poems. For many of them, it was a first attempt at writing rhyming poetry (however, they have clearly touched on poetry and its other forms before with their fabulous teachers).

My favorite line came from a student who stood up and read his poem before both classes. The last line of his poem was, "Spring is King." It gave me chills.

As these students filed out for recess and gym class, they asked if they were coming back for more poetry. I'm not kidding...they wanted more. Watch out folks, future poets on the rise.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Rocks Because of National Poetry Month

I love April. Spring is in bloom (though it is still a bit chilly), the birds are happy, the children are rediscovering their favorite outdoor hiding spots, and people everywhere are writing poetry. Poets have their month in the sun to shine, to reach out and say, "YES POETRY MATTERS!" And it does, and it should be encouraged and cherished every month of the year. Once upon a time, poets were the celebrities of their towns, their countries, enriching the lives of kings and commoners alike, as they nestled in around their hearths at the close of a day. A treat...sweet words in the ear. A mystery...tugging at the heart.

O Captain! My Captain!
~Walt Whitman
"O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we
sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting.
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!!
O the bleeding drops of red
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the
Rise up-for you the flag is flung-for you the
bugle trills..."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

All Good Things...

So I haven't been around in a few weeks....but that is because I'm busy stirring up a pot of all good things. Some exciting developments, which I plan to share around the corner. Until then, I wanted to post a few favorite writing quotes that are good for the soul.

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
~Anton Chekhov

"Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing... the rest will follow."
~Jane Yolen

"To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make." ~Truman Capote

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." ~Albert Einstein

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." ~C.S. Lewis

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." ~Ray Bradbury

"Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar." ~E.B. White

And this last quote may seem daunting, but it inspires me to know we all must fail from time to time, and begin and again.

"Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers." ~T.S. Eliot

Signing off,


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Black Turtlenecks

I have to admit, I've had my share of black turtlenecks...still do. I even have black capes and black hats; the mysterious-looking uniform of a writer. But what does it really take to be a writer. And why do some writers persevere and others give up. Watch this interview with Kate D'Camillo to find out.

I found Kate DiCamillo to be humble, down-to-earth, and purely honest. I love when, after she decided she was going to become a writer, she "bought a lot of black turtlenecks and started looking sophisticated and world-weary." She said she spent the next ten years that way, until she realized she wasn't going to be a writer unless she started writing something.

Thank you, Kate DiCamillo for your honesty, and mostly for your bravery to keep writing even when the rejections were overwhelming. Your literature has made quite the difference!