A closed mouth
gathers no


New Old Friends Bring Surprises

Although I don’t remember who recommended I read Saving the Planet & Stuff (Putnam, 2003) by Gail Gauthier, I am very glad I did. It’s not often these days that you read a middle-grade novel where there are intergenerational friendships. Gauthier does a great job both poking fun at and showing the marvels of friendships like this.

Landing An Agent; You’ve Got One On The Line, Now What Do You Do?

One of the most frequent questions you’ll hear at writing conferences is, “Do I need an agent?”  or “How do I look for an agent?” For many beginning writers getting an agent feels like the Holy Grail. Once you hook an agent, you are on the yellow brick road to fame and success.

March Forward

In my effort to review a range of middle-grade books, this week I bring you a non-fiction story. March Forward, Girl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a memoir by Melba Pattillo Beals.

Wonderfully Disgusting and Adventuresome Books You Might Never Have Heard Of

Meet Mick Bogerman, treasure hunter, zombie fighter and mermaid wrangler. Mick is the narrator of the Slug Pie series, which includes: How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete, How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid, How to Destroy the New Girl’s Killer Robot Army and How to Protect Your Neighborhood from  Circus Werewolves. I file these under “wonderfully disgusting and thrilling books you might never have heard of.”

Great Metaphor for Tuning Out Haters


This article by James Clear resonated with me. In part it is because it deals with how to handle one’s inner critic. That’s always a good topic to re-visit since one’s inner critic never rests. But I particularly appreciated his metaphor, from race car driver Mario Andretti. Andretti was asked by a reporter at SUCCESS magazine for his top tip for success in race car driving:

A Story about friendship and family

Aven Green, the main character in Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, (by Dusti Bowling, published by Sterling), happens to have been born without arms. But this story is not about Aven’s armlessness per se. It is, at its heart, a story of friendship and family.

The Wish List: A lighthearted middle-grade series about Sparkles and so much more

In any classic fairy tale the fairy godmother shows up, wand in hand, grants the main character’s wish and then — her job done — POOF! she disappears in a shower of sparkles.

In her lighthearted series, “The Wish List” (Scholastic), Sarah Aronson (no relation) has taken that trope and turned it on its ear, transporting the reader into the world of fairy godmother school.

Breyerfest, Or, An Author Meets Her Readers

Writing is a lonely pursuit. You write and you write. You send your words out into the world. And then? Silence. Crickets. Unless you are lucky enough to do something like, in my case, the Breyerfest.


This Makes Me So Happy!

This review made me so happy because it begins with the premise I've always embraced; that the most interesting stories are not those of famous people but those peoplewho fly under the radar but have had amazing lives. 

It begins like this: 


Read more writings in my features, essays or books