Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happily Ever After

It's the end of summer!

So the writers at Smack Dab In The Middle are blogging about endings.

Here's my post.  I hope you'll take the time to read it!

And I hope you all had a great summer.

Here's how mine is finishing up....

Rewriting an ending!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


It's that time of year.

Many years have passed since I had to worry about who my teachers would be, and if any of my friends would be in my classes. But the days grow shorter. There's urgency in the air. The newspaper is filled with ads for notebooks and pencils. It's time for a fresh start.

My latest novel, THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS, takes place at that time of transition. One of my characters Lanora remarks -- "How many times do we get the chance to begin again?"

She proceeds to make terrible choices. (Something must go wrong in a book before things can go well.) But she's right about one thing. How many times do we get the chance? How many times do we seize that chance? We are made of our memories and our past connections. Can we ever really begin again?

Yes, I say. Yes we can.

Whenever I rewrite a manuscript, I'm always tempted to paste in long sections from previous drafts. I resist the effort of starting fresh, even when I know that's exactly what I need to do!

But it's time to go back to school. Time to sharpen the pencils. Time for a clean page. Time for cool breezes to clear the air. Time to begin the final rewrite for a novel I've been working on for longer than I care to admit.

So here we go!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Answering questions about THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS

I'm honored to be posting on Kirby Larson's FRIEND FRIDAY


DARLENE BECK-JACOBSON's blog "Gold From The Dust"

Darlene is also hosting a give away for the novel.

Follow this link for more information about  THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS. 

Please visit both sites to find out some back story for the novel -- and also to be introduced to two wonderful novelists, Kirby and Darlene.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mau and The Book of Dares for Lost Friends

Dear Two-legged One,

You're welcome. I have successfully inspired you to create a cat who is a cat, and not a fluffy fashion accessory. Because of my insights, Mau will take her place among literature's other masterful cats, such as The Cheshire Cat, Crookshanks, and Mr. Mistoffelees.

Mau's book will be in stores on July 14. Then everyone can admire her wisdom and her grace. There are some human characters in the book too, for those who like reading about "middle-school cruelty, the heartache of abandonment, and the supple bonds of friendship."  (from Publishers Weekly) Of course, my favorite parts were when Mau was hunting for rats near the Obelisk in Central Park.

I believe that you will be giving a reading at 7 pm on July 16th at  Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend. But I know that there is a cat in residence there, so all should go well.

I have arranged for 5 copies of Mau's book to be given away from Goodreads. LINK to the GOODREADS Giveaway  If you haven't joined that group of readers, you should. It's free and fun.

And so, dear Two-legged One, my work here is done. 



The Cat

Monday, June 8, 2015


This month, the middle-grade authors at Smack Dab in the Middle are blogging about what we did during the summer when we were kids.

Click this link to read my blog about Jabberbox.

And while you're there, check out the other authors.

This photograph is of the woods near the house where I grew up in Wisconsin.

Not too far from where Jabberbox was first discovered.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

That yucky voice again?????

The other day I came across a picture that my daughter drew ten years ago. She was just beginning to fall in love with the theater. I was so enchanted with her depiction of herself taking over the stage.

Until I looked closer. In the middle of the cheering crowd, there was one critic, shall we say, who chose to point a finger at the performer.

My heart sank. Here was proof that, despite how many opportunities and awards Sofia had received, despite how happy she was to be performing, she still heard a yucky voice. In fact, she heard it so clearly that she made it part of her picture.

In my first novel, NATURE GIRL, the main character has a continuing struggle with her yucky voice. As Megan hikes the Appalachian Trail, her confidence grows. The voice gradually fades, until Megan realizes with delight that the voice is gone.

I have to confess that that isn't really accurate. Those who have yucky voices, and I am one of them, know that permanently silencing that voice is very very difficult. The past few months, I've been struggling with an impossible novel. My yucky voice has been positively gleeful to have so many opportunities to make me feel bad. But I haven't let it completely take over my life.  I haven't quit. Instead I keep reminding myself of the positive comments I've received. It feels a little vain to reread kind emails and notes. That goes against my Midwestern upbringing. But why should we dwell on the negative? Why let that one voice be louder than the positive?

And so, in that spirit, I made a few alterations to my daughter's drawing. I decided to include what I know the rest of the audience was thinking. I hope she understands.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Asking Permission

Happy May!

This month the middle grade authors at Smack Dab in the Middle are posting about moms and asking permission.

Stop by the Smack Dab in the Middle site to see my latest post.

Did I have the right to tell about this woman's years with the Seneca tribe?

Mary Jemison

Please make a comment while you're there -- I'd love to know what you think too!