Monthly Archives: March 2010

Three kinds of writer’s block (and how to cure them!)

During my recent visit to Highgate Elementary School, a student asked one of those questions that can only come from a fellow writer: Do you ever get writer’s block?  There was something about the way she said "writer’s block" that made it sound like something you could catch if you got to close to a […]

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Books I’ve Loved Lately

I’ve been deep in the depths of revision for the past few weeks — polishing up a picture book and a middle grade mystery.  They are both done (*pause for cheering & confetti here*) and on submission now, and I have big plans for a post-revision reading binge. But before I do that, I want […]

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Two States, Three Schools, & 350 Fantastic Readers!

Have I mentioned that talking with kids about books and writing is one of the absolute best things about being an author?   Today was one of those amazing school visit days, starting first thing in the morning here… Students from Rouses Point joined the kids at Mooers Elementary School for my presentation "Firing Cannons and Kissing […]

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Thankful Thursday

It has been one of those finish-school-get-the-van-inspected-rush-home-dinner-going-back-out-soon kind of days.  But sometimes, those are the best days to just take a moment…  I’m grateful today because: ~ I found out that I’ll be speaking at this November’s ALAN Conference as part of a panel on helping teens and tweens find their voices through writing, along with […]

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Get this book for your mom. Or your daughter. Or yourself…

So I think this has to be one of my favorite books ever.  Really. Full disclosure – I know Jeannine and heard her read a poem from this book at a writers retreat last summer. It was lovely and poignant, but when she described the book as a collection of poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, […]

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Skype Author Visits – and a Skype-Author Music Video!

It’s been a busy few weeks for Skype author visits, which means my lunch hours have been spent at my desk in my classroom, but far from alone! Last week, I got to meet these great kids from Holden Christian Academy in Holden, MA, and they had great questions about THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA […]

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Happy Pi Day! A dedication and a challenge…

It’s March 14th ~  and if you’re a mathy person, you’re probably already baking various number-shaped treats to celebrate Pi Day!  For those who aren’t so mathy…all the fuss is about the date, 3-14, and the fact that this date makes up the first three digits of pi, the mathematical relationship between the diameter and […]

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The Problem with Great Expectations: Should kids be pushed to read more difficult books?

A parent of one of our middle school students approached me at my daughter’s ballet class a while back. “I was hoping I might be able to talk to you about my son,” he said, shaking his head and wringing his hands in a way that led me to believe the young man must be […]

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Brave New Books: New Dystopian YA Novels to Pair with Old Favorites

I may write upbeat books for middle grade readers, but I have a dark secret…  I’m a sucker for a great dystopian novel.  Bring on the floods, the repressive governments, the book burning, the horrifying reality TV, and you’ll have me up reading long past bedtime.  I’ve been delighted by the fantastic array of new […]

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GIANNA Z. is going to be a Scholastic Book Clubs/Book Fairs Selection!

I got a surprise email from my editor at Walker/Bloomsbury one day last week while I was cleaning up my desk at school, getting ready to go home.  "I’m delighted to report that Scholastic Book Clubs have licensed book fair and book club rights to GIANNA Z…."  I had to write back to make sure that meant […]

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