I am a winter kind of person. I don't ski, I don't snowboard, and I fail every year to get my snow tires applied before the snow falls, but still--winter is grand. I love the whole being indoors thing. I love the need for sweaters and wool socks and fires in the fireplace. I love… Continue reading The first weekend of winter arrives early and has nothing to do with snow.
I might have mentioned, I'm writing a book on Shakespeare and his plays and how they influence today's world. Weirdly enough, it's called Shakespeare: Investigate the Bard's Influence on Today's World. This is the third (published) book I've written, and it's my favorite. My research process is reading great books and watching great movies, so… Continue reading Shakespeare’s Skull: A Historical Whodunit
My middle son hates to read. He's 11. He likes playing guitar, listening to music, skateboarding, building stuff, and being with friends. He's not the kind of kid who sits quietly for extending periods of time. He gets decent grades and we never get notes home from teachers with any kind of warnings. He's a… Continue reading My kid hates to read and the world isn’t ending.
Does reading bad writing make you a bad writer? I remember an advisor from grad school wrinkling her nose and looking dismissive when asked this question. "How could it?" she said. "If you're a good writer, you're a good writer. Reading bad writing can't make you a bad writer, unless you were a bad… Continue reading How to blame suckyness on others
We're thinking hard about starting a new series at Nomad Press. We're pondering, we're testing the water, we're gathering evidence of future success or failure. We're nervous. We're hesitant. Until we're not, and then we're boisterous and foolhardy. Of course we can launch a new series in the space of six months! Of course everyone… Continue reading In the beginning, there was market research…
I adore Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, and Sarah's mother, Barb, who keeps me company on the frigid playground while we wait for the school buses to arrive. And I can't wait to be an old woman with long, grey, wild hair and strong opinions. I've never used any kind of age-hiding beauty treatment -… Continue reading Granny! Except, maybe not.
The year is dwindling. These days are my favorite days, and they're also the most depressive. I don't know about you, but every day or so, usually when I'm driving or folding laundry, I glance back on the divided hours of the past year and discover a pie chart I don't much admire. Quite a… Continue reading The Day After the Day After Christmas
Since we moved here, nearly exactly 16 years ago, we've always had Last Chores. Dogs to be walked, horses to be fed. Chickens to count and close in. Stars to marvel at, comets to spot, an unfamiliar sound to pause against. An open-air bracket at the end of the day, before we climbed stairs and… Continue reading Last Chores
I write and edit children's nonfiction books and I've been wondering lately--am I, are we, so focused on functionality that we're missing the chance to inspire? Most of the conversations around the office have to do with how to make our books easy for teachers to use "right out of the box." We provide essential… Continue reading Trying to Inspire
Yesterday I realized that, despite a broken dryer, several blank tax forms, and three music lessons, our Saturday was basically empty. One long stretch of nothing lay ahead for us to fill however we wanted. This hasn't been the case in a very long time. Usually there are birthday parties, concerts, visitors, previous engagements--all of… Continue reading Lazy Saturdays look great on paper.