Picture Books to the Rescue

My nine-year-old son feels he can’t draw well enough for book reports, so he’s been using PowerPoint to create the visuals for them. He’s so proud, sitting there with that final report in his hand and big grin on his face. His teacher has been wonderfully supportive about his seeking an avenue of artistic expression that empowers him rather than […]

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Raising a Loving Heart

The day I found out that I was going to have three sons, my friend found out she was going to have a son, too. She looked at me with such an awed expression, pointing out that we were getting our chance to raise men who could be amazing husbands and fathers. I’ve carried that sentiment around with me consciously […]

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Wizardry Is a Hazardous Endeavor

Last night there was a fierce battle in our home. My young Harry Potter versus a throng of invisible Death Eaters. It was grand, and there would be injuries on both sides. In the process of casting one mighty spell, young Harry wanded himself in the eye. Lacking quick access to Madam Pomfrey and also suffering the ancillary injury of […]

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Dress Like Your Fav Book Character Day

Two photos from Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day at school. With two Harrys and a Neville, it looks like a scene from The Deathly Hallows, doesn’t it? Have a happy Friday!  

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What Do a Bear and a Barista Have In Common?

One of the things that I think makes me an effective editor is my experience as a writer. I know what it’s like to be in the word-working trenches, pushing to make creative things happen on the page even when you’re tired or distracted or stressed. I’m all of those things right now as I roll into the final two […]

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Library Day, The Next Generation

Library day at school. I always loved that day of the week when I was little, didn’t you? You turn in the amazing adventure from last week then wander the rows of shelves, carefully deciding what your adventure for the next week would be. Ooh, I get shivers just remembering the potential of that moment, little me standing at the […]

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Postcards Get Thumbs Up!

My postcards for WRITING THE NEW ADULT NOVEL just arrived. Yet again, Printplace.com producing quality printing for me. And since a Writer’s Digest Book designer created the image, the whole thing just looks super swell. People, if you need printed materials, I highly recommend Printplace. Eight years after printing my first bookmarks through that company, and I’m still high on […]

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Deborah at Barnes & Noble Mira Mesa Friday, Nov 22

As part of Barnes & Noble’s Discovery Friday event this Friday, November 22, at 6pm I’ll be part of a lively panel about books for young people with Shannon Messenger, author of the middle grade series Keeper of the Lost Cities and the teen trilogy Let the Sky Fall, and Debra Driza, author of the YA thriller Mila 2.0, the […]

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Who Knew Motherhood Turns You Into a Punctuation Mark?

Tuesday afternoon… Son sitting next to me: “Mom, did they have cars when you were a kid?” Me: “Of course!” Son sitting on the other side of me: “Oh, you mean like the crank kind, right?” Me, to the Heavens: Seriously????   Wednesday morning… Me, on the front porch: “Stop stomping all the ants! We’ve got to get to school. […]

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Happy Halloween!

It wasn’t intentional, but now that I see this photo of us in our get-ups, I see that we’ve got a family theme for this year: “Don’t mess with the Halversons!” Hope you have a fun Halloween!  

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A Halloween Must

Why did I meet my sons after school with a bag of candy corn for each boy, just two days before they’d be swimming in sugar? Because they’d just told me they’d never had candy corn. Unacceptable! Every childhood must include candy corn and I’m thrilled to be the one to introduce it. Candy corn is Halloween. Period. Which Halloween […]

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No Adventure Too Small During School Break

I was startled to turn the corner into my living room this morning and find a teddy bear rescue under way. I stood there a moment, puzzling how that tiny Lego first responder was going to save that huge bear. Then I decided I need to turn on my “eight-year-old boy” brain—and keep it turned on for the duration of […]

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Stargazing with Star Teachers

Yet again, the teachers at my sons’ school blew me away. Last week, three of them spent their evening not at home but at school on the playground, surrounded by scads of students and parents, leading a night of stargazing. They’d set up two telescopes, one pointing at the moon, the other at Saturn. Wow, to see the rings in […]

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Robin Cruise Sets Us Straight: “onto” versus “on to”

If you get mixed up about when to use “onto” and “on to”, you’re not alone. I received a question about this at DearEditor.com and asked Robin Cruise, freelance editor at Red Pencil Consulting, to field it because she’s so good at explaining grammar stuff in accessible ways. Here’s the question: Dear Editor… Which is right? 1) Jane stepped onto […]

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Is It Any Wonder They Want Surf Lessons?

I surf. Not beautifully, but I haven’t drowned yet, so I say it counts as surfing. Apparently dogs also surf. I know because we got to watch surfing dog championships this weekend at Dog Beach. The canines made surfing look easier than I make it look – perhaps because they are standing on all four of their legs, while I […]

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