Just Decide

We’re all faced with decision on a daily basis. But, what about those choices that cause sleepless nights and endless analysis? The cliche is right. The only thing worse than making the wrong decision is making no decision at all. Indecision, the unique blend of fear, spiced with insecurity, can lead to one heck of… Read more »

Happy 60th Birthday to Sparky the Fire Dog

  Happy 60th birthday to Sparky the fire dog! Meet Sparky, the adorable Dalmation spokesdog for The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA,) the leading advocate for fire safety. Since his debut in 1951, millions of people have learned about fire safety through Sparky’s extensive educational programs. NFPA teamed up with Charlesbridge Publishing and Emmy-award winning… Read more »

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s graphic novel of TANTALIZE is available

Today, I just have shine a light on Cynthia Leitich Smith. She’s the most generous, supportive A-list author in the world and certainly an angel to many writers on their way to publication. Including me. The graphic novel version of Cyn’s ever popular young adult novel, TANTALIZE, has just been released by Candlewick Press. To… Read more »

Double-Digit Fiction – The Word

In honor of Summer, I’ve dipped into far corners of my personal archive. Many moons ago, this won a double-digit fiction contest. Should it have won? I dunno, but every time I get near a pool, it comes to mind. THE WORD    (99 words) Mark stepped gingerly into the cold, sending ripples of water… Read more »

TLA 2011- ARCs, Authors, and Awesomeness, Oh My!

Last week, I spent several days at The Texas Library Association conference in Austin, Texas. I sat in on sessions about science in kids’ books, picture books, and the like. I schmoozed with authors, illustrators, and some of the nicest librarians in the state. Then I opened more book covers than you can imagine. Among… Read more »

2011 Austin SCBWI Conference Highlights

Wow!   That’s pretty much how everyone summed up the 2011 Austin SCBWI conference. My only regret was that I couldn’t clone myself, allowing me to attend every session with our amazing presenters. Unfortunately, this post will only address the sessions I was able to attend. Featured presenter, Arthur Levine, head of his own Scholastic imprint… Read more »

The Do’s, Don’ts, and “Stuff” of Writer’s Conferences

Writers conferences can be fantastic for writers of all experience levels. A little pre-conference planning is a great idea. Most importantly, consider your choice of conferences carefully. Some are geared more toward craft while others focus on the business and marketing side. The best choice for you will depend on where you are in your… Read more »

The Evolution of a Blog – Platforms should be made of rubber

I was recently asked by Mary Bowman Kruhm to contribute to an article she was writing for the December 2010 issue of Children’s Book Insider. My short blurb about how blogging serves my writing career got me thinking about how my humble corner of blogosphere has evolved in the last year. And how it reflects… Read more »

Time’s a tickin’- Win Front Row Seats to the Austin SCBWI 2011 Conference

 If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to register for the  2011 Austin SCBWI Conference: Books, Boots, and Buckskin. You can even register online   February 18 and 19, 2011. St. Edward’s University’s Ragsdale Center 3001 South Congress Avenue Austin, Texas 78704 What’s Included? Panels and lectures on writing and the publishing business Admission… Read more »

ALA 2011 Award winners

The new year brought an opportunity for me to purchase my very first Mac computer. The transition from my 19′ dinosaur PC to this 27″ big screen foreign platform is a wee challenge, especially with the loss of all my email content and the scavenger hunt to find my (presumedly) transferred files. So, be patient… Read more »