Oops: Broken arm

Oops: Broken arm

On vacation in Budapest and Vienna… tripped over a tram track. The good news is no tram was coming. Bad news is I’ll be taking a short break from writing...
Hello, Missouri educators!

Hello, Missouri educators!

Educators! Time to save the date for 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 on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. That also makes me available for school and library...
Novel complete, vacation overdue!

Novel complete, vacation overdue!

On the wings of having just completed a new young-adult adventure novel, I joined my husband for a vacation hiking the Joshua Tree National Park, California for several days. The cacti were in full bloom, the temperatures were perfect and it was my first time visiting...
Finishing a novel

Finishing a novel

What do I do when I finish a novel (as I just have)? 1. Clean my office. 2. Do all the chores that have piled up  as I wrote my last few chapters (during that last dash to the finish line, I am aware of very little else around me!). 3. Conduct a final polishing of my...
Writing a novel, Stage II

Writing a novel, Stage II

I used to have a roommate who was a “colorist”; as a young artist intern, she colored-in the black and white artwork of a senior artist. Recently, it occurred to me that Stage II of writing a novel is kind of like that, at least for me. When I finish a...
Learning a new language = insight into encouraging kids to read

Learning a new language = insight into encouraging kids to read

I often joke that I like to learn foreign languages because it feels so good when I stop. It’s not a process that comes easily to me; whatever side of the brain it requires isn’t my strongest. But I recently came across a website that offers tips on learning a...
Writing “in the zone”

Writing “in the zone”

Doesn’t happen often, but isn’t it a thrill when your writing goes “into the zone.” What does that mean? For me, it means inspiration is flowing like water through a fire hose, and I resent making time for eating, sleeping or socializing. It...
“Never make reading a chore”

“Never make reading a chore”

by James McCann, former reluctant reader, former bookseller, now library digital services technician and author of teen books. Excerpted from Jump-Starting Boys by Pam Withers and Cynthia Gill (Viva Editions). Reading is important because it opens up your mind to new...
A parent’s greatest gift

A parent’s greatest gift

What’s the greatest gift parents can give their child? Taking care of their own emotional health. When a parent struggles with anxiety, depression or anger issues, there is a hundred percent chance the children will be affected by it. On the other hand, when parents...
Outlining a novel with math

Outlining a novel with math

Ever wondered about outlining a novel? And what does that have to do with math? When I was struggling with math in high school, I decided it was no big deal because I was going to be an author, and why would an author need math?! Ha! Big mistake. Let me tell you all...