MV Obsession 2023-05-10 14:37:44

Nature Photo Challenge: #11 Yellow…

TUMBLE! An origin story

There's just one more month until TUMBLE 'tumbles' onto bookshelves everywhere, and I am so proud of this little book! It received a Starred Kirkus Review and was positively received by many beta readers.

So where did the idea come from?

TUMBLE's origins are kind of sad, but it's a story of survival and so I'll share it with you. Rewind to Fall of 2020. COVID lockdowns. My family had traveled to be closer to my mom and stepdad who was in the final stages of cancer. As they were in home hospice at my stepsister's, we were doing the best we could e-learning at my mother's condo. Zoom school with first graders who had already missed half of the social skills from kindergarten was not easy. 

After e-learning one day, kiddo turned to me at the table wanting to write a story about "tumble." Tumble? I asked if he wanted me to write the words for him as I'd done previously, and with an emphatic "NO!" said he wanted to challenge me to a duel... a story duel! I don't know where he got the word from, but we got to work. He on his version. Me on mine... I started with some thumbnails that came quickly, and the words followed.

A bit later I brought it to my online critique group and they thought it was great. They were so encouraging! They helped me polish the text into the rhyming couplets you see in the final.

You can find the book here on Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tumble by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom


by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom

Giveaway ends June 08, 2023.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Also, there's currently a giveaway for TUMBLE! Entries opened today and anyone in the U.S. can enter until it closes June 8. 

TUMBLE goes on sale June 6 wherever books are sold.

I hope you win!

CBWC: Storefronts or Signs…

I decided to do both storefronts and signs…


Bunch of Grapes book store on Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Bunch of Grapes pub – London England

Shubert Alley – New York City ————-Alley’s General Store (circa 1858) Martha’s Vineyard, MA


Lens-Artists Challenge #246 – Still Life…

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge – Gardens…

MV Obsession 2023-03-25 15:47:31

Thursday Trios #71…

Whatsoever is lovely #11…

Taken at the Elms mansion in Newport, Rhode Island


It's a FLAN CLUB Recipe Post!

Today, I'm sharing with you my most tropical flan recipe: GUAVA FLAN.

It’s a very Caribbean-flavored flan featuring guava paste which is tangy and sweet. When combined with the custardy flan, the resulting texture is a little bit like a ripe pear custard. It’s a really yummy, and complex flavor. Let me know if you try making it! Take pictures and send them to me!

Flan Ingredients:

  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • ½ can (7 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 7 oz. of a guava paste brick (roughly half)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt

Caramel Ingredients (wet method):
1 cup of white granulated sugar
½ cup of water

Leaf shaped slices of guava paste


  • 1 circular baking form
  • 1 Bain Marie (baño de Maria)


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Make the caramel first to coat the baking form. Heat the sugar and water over high heat until boiling. Stir once and reduce to a simmer at medium-low heat until amber. Pour caramel to cover bottom of the baking form. Set aside.

Blend the evaporated milk, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add the guava paste in little pieces. Blend until smooth. Pour the flan batter into the baking form and cover it tightly with foil. Place  the foiled-covered form in the baño de Maria with water at about 1/3 to 1/4 way up the form. Place baño with flan form in the oven.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hr, 15 min (depends on your baking form shape/size) or until toothpick comes out clean. If you tap the side of the baking form peeking under the foil, the batter should not be watery, just slightly jiggly. Let rest for 20 min. Chill in the fridge for 3+ hours or overnight.

Ready to serve? Flip that flan onto a bigger plate.

Spoon caramel on top.

Decorate. Enjoy! Send me photos!

 Want the recipe card? Check it out from my site HERE

Picture Book Abuelita y yo hacemos un flan cover image

Abuelita y yo hacemos un flan comes out on June 13, 2023! Have you preordered? Pre-order anywhere books are sold!

Part 2, Sketch to Final: Abuelita and I Make Flan

 from sketch to final for abuelita and i make flan book

Back in 2017, when I started writing ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN my story looked like a list of ingredients (literally) and a recipe. I took this to my first writing critique group (!!Qué pena!! but you have to start somewhere). I had a hazy vision in my head for a story about a grandchild and grandparent making flan together.

The story changed shape many times between 2017 and it's publication in 2022.

Abuelita and I Make Flan early draft


In between, I realized the story was missing 'the heart'. So I combined a memory of baking with my own Abuelita with that feeling where you think everything's going wrong, but you're still safe and loved and accepted as an imperfect child deserving of love. This was a big step in learning to write for kids. There needs to be some kind of heart or hook or something for kids to relate to.


thumbnail dummies for abuelita and i make flan children's book
Next, I did a sketch dummy from Debbie Ohi's site: I played with different thumbnail illustrations until the story made sense to me (and my agent!). Then I enlarged it to a full size dummy, refined the illos, and began the back and forth of editing and revising.


I needed to add more tension! Here are some of the people who saw it and offered editing thoughts: critique partners, mentors, teachers from various courses and organizations, professional/industry critiquers, peers, and my mother*. And this jogged a memory of me breaking my mom's wedding plate while we were moving back in with my grandparents.

*For my second and third books, I did not have to take it so far and wide for editing. It took a lot for me to grow confident in my writing abilities! Also, sometimes your family doesn't know what makes a good children's book!

And that was the key! Once I added that broken plate, it all came together and we sold the manuscript to Charlesbridge in 2020, and it finally came out in August of 2022.

These days, my process for writing is more like a yes/no flowchart: outline or list, then a test draft in prose (does it work? yes/no), if no, a draft in lyrical language. When I think something's working, I'll exchange with a critique group (love/hate/boring?)... rinse repeat until it's feeling ready-ish enough to submit to my agent.


Lens-Artists Challenge #235 – Monochrome Shadows & Reflections…