Big Ideas

Newbery Award Book Shelf at My Library!

This is a post of mini-updates about writing. I’m in a really cool work group of fellow writers and illustrators that is working to support each other and promote each other for school visits. Exciting! 2. I was super excited to discover that my local library has an entire shelf full of the Newbery Award… Read more »

Is the Problem Bad Reading or Bad Writing?

Let’s say you’re reading a book and the author makes a reference to something and you just don’t get it. It could be a phrase, a symbol, a name. Whatever it is, it doesn’t make sense to you. Some readers might feel confused and give the book a bad review. Some readers might just skip… Read more »

Setting up email newsletter

Happy New Year! I love trying new things and here I go again. I’m trying a new way to stay in touch with people: an email newsletter. Check out the upper right area of my website and you’ll see this little green form: I’m not going to send out emails every day or even every… Read more »

New healthy food activity book for kids!

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an activity book that helped kids eat healthy foods? Parenting can get so stressful. We want the best for our kids, but we can’t control everything we do. We can’t force feed them healthy food!┬áRemember the old saying, you get more flies with honey than vinegar? When I… Read more »

Winning NaNoWriMo 2015

I did it! I won NaNoWriMo 2015! I wrote the first draft of my novel, The First Step, in a touch over 50,000 words. Here’s the day-by-day progression of my word count. My boys really enjoyed seeing the word counts grow and as you can see, they also enjoyed writing the updates themselves. At the… Read more »

Highlights Foundation Workshop

In October, I was made the decision to take the big leap and attend my first Highlights Foundation workshop. The workshop I chose was called “Creating Page-Turning Non-fiction for Middle Grade Readers and Up.” I’ve had a fair number of non-fiction pieces published in really great children’s magazines and I would love to also create… Read more »

Planning for NaNoWriMo 2015

So a year ago I put out a tweet asking people what story I should work on for NaNoWriMo 2014. I got more votes on the second project and have put the first project aside for awhile (but it’s still in the back of my head). For this year, instead of waiting until the last… Read more »

Chapter Titles in Scrivener Compile

Scrivener is great, isn’t it? Scrivener is really hard to learn, isn’t it? I can’t really learn and retain lots and lots of information just by reading it one time. I need to use the information in some way or else I find I have a problem and learn by finding the solution. My most… Read more »

Brain Food: SCBWI and SWPFSP

  I hate being hungry. I can’t concentrate and I’m really grouchy. Imagine if you were a kid who was hungry all summer. ┬áBut here in Pittsburgh, that’s not an imaginary thing. It’s real. In fact, there are more than 45,000 children in Allegheny County that are considered to be food insecure, and 73,500 children… Read more »

Celebrate and Self-Publish a Book

I’m so excited to announce my new kids ebook will be released Oct 2, 2015! It’s called Dinosaur Boogie and it is a fun picture book designed to get young readers moving like mosasaurs and grooving like gigantosaurs. This project to self-publish a book was truly a collaborative effort so read on to find out… Read more »