Drawing Information-Lovers into Fiction and Vice Versa

Today I have the privilege of speaking to educators at the The Write to Learn Conference in Osage Beach, Missouri. Below are the digital handouts for attendees of my second session, “Drawing Information-Lovers into Fiction and Vice Versa.” Handouts for Pam...

How to Help Reluctant Learner Boys

Today I have the privilege of speaking to educators at the The Write to Learn Conference in Osage Beach, Missouri. Below are the digital handouts for attendees of my first session, “How to Help Reluctant Learner Boys.”   How to Help Reluctant Learner...
Missouri this weekend! (Write to Learn Conference)

Missouri this weekend! (Write to Learn Conference)

Hello educators! I’m on my way to the Write to Learn Conference: Feb. 15-17, 2018. It’s at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri, and I will be offering two seminars there this Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018.  I’m looking forward to exploring Missouri. before...
Characters need flaws

Characters need flaws

It’s easy to become so fond of your protagonist that you forget he’s not all swarthy, handsome, admirable hero. He’s far more interesting if he has faults, past trauma, inner struggles, etc. To ensure that these ring true, and to spawn...
In praise of librarians (by a humble YA author)

In praise of librarians (by a humble YA author)

Picture a shy girl living in a very small Midwestern town where there’s not a lot to do but daydream. The second of six children, she needs to escape the boisterous noise of her household now and again. She needs space to think and dream and be alone. She discovers...
Very original young-adult novel

Very original young-adult novel

  I read lots of young-adult novels — it’s part of my job. I don’t usually blog about them, but this one is different. This one is so incredibly original and clever and engaging. This one I would like to shout from the rooftops. Not just for...
Best book for fiction writers

Best book for fiction writers

Okay, maybe there’s no such thing as ONE best book for fiction writers, but despite two recent blogs I’ve done on writer’s block and deepening characters (which recommend various books on writing craft and character) I’ve found an even better...
Embera schoolkids in Panama: Bring pencils

Embera schoolkids in Panama: Bring pencils

  I just returned from ten days in Panama, and the highlight was not the canal, or hiking along the rim of an extinct volcano, where we saw the rare translucent blue butterfly. It was instead a day in an Embera indigenous village in the jungle two hours from...