"Faint of heart": Is it a metaphor or a metonym? Or maybe an idiom? I don’t know, but now I’ve got enough material for my daughter’s next two ELA classes. Even though I’m a writer, I’m no expert in teaching figurative language (fortunately, the Internet is). But that's what homeschooling is all about. It all … Continue reading Homeschooling—Not for the Faint of Heart
Timber Howligan Secret Agent Cat is a book about saving animals, and I have celebrated that in many ways. When I finished my first draft, I went to the local animal shelter and adopted two cats. They were on sale, real cheap-$1 each! Since then I’ve paid thousands of dollars in vet bills for them, … Continue reading How to Tell if You are Really a Cat Person
You can’t tell by book sales. I’m not on the best-seller lists. I’m still able to safely walk through airports without being flagged for autographs. But the other day I walked into my eight-year old daughter’s class (I was there to volunteer as a writing coach), and I had to wait. I was happy to … Continue reading I HAVE MADE IT AS AN AUTHOR
Self-publishing is a business, so here’s the accounting: I promised to donate any proceeds to charity, the animal rescue organization Alley Cat Allies. Here’s what Timber earned in his first month out in the world: $4.07 from CreateSpace (11 copies) $11.87 from Draft2Digital (5 copies) $85.70 from paperbacks I sold directly (28 copies, including 12 … Continue reading Timber Howligan First Month Update: Success!
“I can’t wait until June.” My son’s friend came up to me at lunch today and spoke these words, rousing me from the Good Part of my book. I was supervising the class of fourth graders, who usually talked amongst themselves, played cards, or otherwise stayed occupied with age-appropriate activities. It was an easy gig. … Continue reading One Bite at a Time
The interior illustrations for Timber Howligan, Secret Agent Cat are done! Always trying to support local artists, I hired Wendy H. Wilkins, who is also a children's writer. Here's a sneak peek!
I’m bad at taking vitamins, keeping track of my glasses, and returning library books on time. My cats probably wish I would change the litter box more often. If it weren’t for my husband waking up thirty minutes early each morning and doing all the hard work—making the kids’ lunches, being my alarm clock, turning … Continue reading Why I Write
November is coming, and we all know what that means. Halloween candy binges. Christmas decorations everywhere. Frantic preparations for a gigantic holiday feast. Men growing facial hair to raise awareness about their prostates. And writers everywhere going insane trying to finish a novel in a month. Which one of these am I going to be … Continue reading Writing–Where I’m At with NaNoWriMo
We are a family of readers, so when my seven-year old daughter announced, “I just don’t like to read, Mama,” I didn’t know what to do. She’s in a year-round school, so for weeks I’d been struggling to get her interested in her obligatory “thirty minutes” of reading before bedtime. She was fine if I … Continue reading Blame the screen?
Are Young Adult books just for girls? Should they be? Well, no. But how do you explain this: “Imagine your local independent bookstore’s shelves. They teem with pouting girls and hunky boys and various shades of purple. Few self-respecting teen boys would venture there to find their next great read…So you are taking quite the … Continue reading Is YA just for girls?