Literary Creative


Wanted: 30 27 Oakland Kids 

for the Joaquin Miller Went Walkin’  Song Drawing Project!

Through Spring 2022, I’m hosting free monthly workshops for kids & their grownups to learn about the ecosystem & history of Joaquin Miller Park, contemplating the poetic spirit, playing, and making drawings about the Joaquin Miller Song!

Follow my blog, Walkin’ with Joaquin, and share this link with art-loving kids all over Oakland! Writers & artists please join me in creating “Art in the Hights”.  (calendar link)

Kristen (Baumgardner) Caven, this year’s CWC Writer in Residence at Joaquin Miller Park, educates, entertains, and inspires her audiences with an extraordinary array of books, presentations, performances, and events. The author of seven books, several plays, and an award winning cartoon collection, she applies positive psychology to her work strengthening communities through uplifting artistic expressions.


Books | Blogs | Classes | Events

Fall 2021 Happenings:

  • Writing weekly as Writer in Residence at Joaquin Miller Park with the California Writers Club! Follow my blog, Walkin’ with Joaquin.
  • “Working it Out with a Pencil”Johnnie Talk about thinking things through with cartoons
  • Joaquin Miller Nature, Art & Song Project – kids & their grownups sign up here!
  • “A Blanket and a Basket of Chow” – October 9th picnic – Readings by California Writers featuring Oakland’s first poet laureate, Ayodele “Wordslanger” Nzinga
  • The Dirndl Diaspora screenings – October 16th on Zoom & all month on demand. Tickets here.
  • Bandaloop! Weekly creative & dance fitness classes with a literary twist + occasional dance adventures.
  • Saving Mills College. Because it’s too good to give away.

Please Share!


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Let’s Co-Create a College of Co-Creativity: Mills 3.0

This month, the Mills College administration announced it's pulling the plug on this historic college, my 2nd alma mater, in ...
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I’m working on the 4th edition of The Winning Family with my mom. The last time we approached a publisher to bring it back into print, we ended up writing The Bullying Antidote!  The message is the same: raising children with positive parenting (we invented that term) is the best prevention for all types of social harm.

“So Much Winning”

excerpt from

The Winning Family
4th edition


In my twenties, when I wanted to be doing anything BUT hanging around my parents, it was awkward to be working in a family business with her, writing and educating parents on psychological skills. But in my early thirties, when I became a parent myself, I understood exactly what I was doing, and how my baby’s brain worked. I became a leader and a teacher, supporting mom in her presentations, guiding numerous schools towards better practices, helping other parents up their games, all the while continuing to support mom’s work. She retired from her speaking career when my son was a toddler, flunked retirement and went back on the road with her excellent methodology and enthusiasm.

She flunked retirement three or four times, bringing beloved books back to life when publishers went belly-up, always focused on providing parents and caregivers with much-needed resources for building emotional health. She kept saying, “I can’t retire! The world’s not saved yet!” But now that she really is retired, the world still needs this book. The word “winning” needs to be revisited, as does the term “self-esteem,” and even the word, “family.” I decided to accept her challenge of rewriting The Winning Family through my own eyes, using my own voice, adding my own knowledge from my parenting experience and studies in positive psychology. My son is now the age I was when I started bragging on my mom!

The book will be released next April. Subscribe to blog & Museletter for announcements.