Monthly Archives: January 2023

MV Obsession 2023-01-28 00:07:16

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Bend…

Bends in roads and stairs…

We used to have miniature dachshunds so I couldn’t resist this sculpture by folk artist Stephen Huneck…

From Sketch to Final Art: ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN

page from ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN by Adriana Hernandez Bergstrom

The story of ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN is a combination of several real-life events. I was inspired to capture a moment in time where it felt like everything was going wrong as a kid, but still able to find safety and love from my grandparents who accepted me as an imperfect child deserving of love. Anita, the main character, is a blend of real life people in my own family including myself. The Abuelita character was drawn from a combination of several real-life people including my great aunt, both my grandmas and their friends. 

What’s real-life inspiration and what’s not? I really did break a wedding dish, but it belonged to my mother, not my abuelita. The truth is my family did not bring much more than their suitcases with them from Cuba. I really did - and still do! - make a LOT of flan, but I helped my great-aunt, Marta, who had severe arthritis doing all the things Anita does in the book. In real life, I did more crafts like sewing, crochet, and cake decorating with my grandma. I chose flan because it’s delicious and it reminds me of our big family get-togethers which I miss very much.

I started work on ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN back in 2017. It was in large part thanks to SCBWI which connected me to a critique group which then led to a mentorship program at WNDB, critiques at SCBWI conferences, Highlights Foundation courses, Storyteller Academy and other educational resources and eventually my agent! Community has been pivotal for growth and feedback in the publishing world, and the success of this title making it to bookshelves everywhere.

Wordless Wednesday : Jetty…


Top row: rainy waterfront – car wash

Bottom row: carousel – Christmas lights – Lincoln tunnel from NJ to NY

Tumbling into A New Year – 2022 Wrap Up


Happy New Year!

The last few weeks of any year for me are typically about reflecting, month by month on the year that just finished. I snatch any quiet moment I can during the holiday rush to write down my thoughts on what went well and what didn’t professionally and personally.


Then the first few weeks of the year are a mirror of those last two weeks, and I take time to think about what I want my year to look like. I ask myself questions like: How can I participate in successful, fulfilling activities that re-energize or inspire me? What are some activities that drain me?

What elements of my life need to be edited out? I make a deliberate effort to imagine where I want to be at the end of the year, to imagine what success feels like, and then I write it down. This is how I set my intentions for the year. 


So it’s gone for six years now. 2022 brought to fruition a lot of seeds planted years ago doing these kinds of reflection and intention exercises. The path of my life has finally brought me here, to reflect upon the publishing of my first book as an author and illustrator.

This is no accident! It’s the course I set for myself, and worked toward year after year. It’s the learning and revising, and reflection all adding up. You too can set the course of your creative year, and I encourage you to take the time to reflect and set intentions for 2023.


Wishing you a super 2023!


Some favorite success-building creative activities:

  • Reflection journaling or sketching like The Year Compass ( - it's a free journaling tool).

  • Setting intentions and creating a plan for success

  • Choosing a word of the year for motivation or focus

  • Idea generation community activities like Tara Lazar’s Storystorm (

  • Editing workshops or critique group meet-ups
  • Accountability communities like 12x12 or Storyteller Academy or your local SCBWI conferences