A closed mouth
gathers no


So Many Books, So Little Space

In this review, I decide to write about two, vaguely related, books, in a desperate chance to cover more reading ground!


A Song From Somewhere Else and Summer of Lost and Found

This week I’m reviewing two middle-grade books that, while very different, both have supernatural elements to them.

Reviewing Middle Grade Books

Recently I got the opportunity to begin reviewing middle grade books for my local paper, the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. I leaped at the chance, not for the fame or fortune, but because it dovetailed with my desire to read more middle grade. I am expected to write one review every three weeks. And I plan to post those reviews here, as well. With no further ado, here is my first review!

The Significance of Snowflake Bentley and The Power of Jealousy

I have read a lot of books in my life. But Snowflake Bentley, by Jackie Briggs Martin, stands out in my mind because it was the first picture book biography I’d ever seen of someone who wasn’t already a household name. The book came out the year my oldest child was seven. She is now 27…. It was a revelation.

Non-fiction Conference in Iowa Was Inspiring and Rejuvenating


This past Saturday I went to a non-fiction SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

How to Keep Going in the Dead of Winter, When You Mostly Want to Hibernate And Eat Chocolate

Well, one of my new year’s resolutions was to write a blog every week. And so far, so good. It turns out I wrote six in January. And I felt good in January!  I felt productive! I was on track! I kept showing up! I had friends! I exercised! I hardly snacked!

I Start My Week With Sarah Aronson (no relation)

Writing is a lonely endeavor. That is true whether you are struggling with what to work on, which is where I am often these days, or if you are lost in the thickets of your story.

Publicity .... More Like Dud-licity!

I knew going into this part of my writing career that publicity was a whole different beast from researching and writing and even finding a publisher. For one you have much, much less control. For another you've got to compete with everything else out there clamoring for people's attention. I was determined to just be a good sport about it, try as hard as I could, but not feel bad if it didn't go smoothly. But six months out from my publication date, I'm not sure I did such a good job with that....

The Haskell Will Be Run This Sunday

This Sunday marks eight years since Rachel Alexandra won the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in NJ. She was only one of two fillies ever to win the event. Here are a dozen more fun facts about the storied Haskell event.



Last Week I Went to Dallas

One of the things I vowed when Alexandra the Great was published by Chicago Review Press was that I would go anyplace I was invited to speak about the book or sell the book or anything. That vow led me to the Lonestar Racetrack this past Saturday for their Roses to Ribbons event.


Read more writings in my features, essays or books