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Why Rachel Alexandra?

Alexandra the Great: The Story of the Record-Breaking Filly Who Ruled the Racetrack represents the first book I wrote from an idea I had and pursued. I had 

Publicity for Rachel Alexandra Begins!

I am proud to announce my first author presentation, which will take in place November in Farmer City, IL.

My good friend, Debbie Yeagle, invited me to speak to the Shakespeare club. And, get this, the group will be 125 year old next year. 125!! Did you catch that? I am very very honored and excited.

Continuing the Theme of Loving Non-fiction...

Here's a link to yet another story about the growth in non-fiction. I'm going to re-read this every time I feel bad about loving non-fiction. Why do I feel guilty about it? Somehow in my mind (my monkey mind, you know the one that always makes you feel bad) I tell myself that writers who create fiction are somehow more talented and creative than saps like me who love telling real stories, even when truth is often stranger than fiction. Go figure.  Maybe I should write a post titled,"1001 Ways People Make Themselves Feel Bad'"

Anyway, here's the link!

What Can Be Used as an Aphrodisiac?

In my research for my latest manuscript, which is about a rhino sanctuary in Kenya, I have been studying the alleged use of rhino horn as an aphrodisiac. In many places I have read that that explains why the rhino horn is so prized and, hence, poached to within an inch of its life (whether black, white, Sumatran or whatever). But then I read a book by Esmond Bradley Martin, who took it upon himself to do an exhaustive field study, interviewing 200 pharmacists and other healers throughout SE Asia.

How to Encourage Females into Science

This article popped up on my facebook feed (thank you Angie Isaacs). This feels like Shannon Palus really hit the nail on the head. These are systemic, cultural problems that can only be fixed by talking about them and raising awareness. Granted an overly simplistic answer, but a start nonetheless. It won't stop me from writing about very cool women, but I agree with Palus's description of Marie Curie as "seemingly flawless." I certainly put her on a pedestal when I was a kid. No way I could be like her. Maybe that's why I like to write about regular people doing unusual things....

Kids LOVE Non-Fiction

I found this article very heartening. Sometimes I feel bad that I am drawn to writing non fiction. It seems to me that fiction writers are far more creative and, ergo, superior human beings. But articles like this make me feel like it's okay to follow my own personal interests. There are even kids out there who share those interests!

Day Trip to Chicago For Non-Fiction Panel

Well, now that sailing season is essentially over, my weekends stretch unendingly before me. So this past weekend I decided to drive up to Chicago to attend an SCBWI-sponsored panel discussion about writing non-fiction for kids. Laurie Lawlor, W. Nikolai-Lisa, Jan Gilchrist and Marlene Brill provided a wide range of insight and provided good reminders about persevering and being flexible. Nikolai, for example, talked about how he started spending part of his time publishing his own work and how much he'd been enjoying that.

Do Photos Make a Book?

Well, I got some bad news today. The photographer who took the photo of Rachel Alexandra for Vogue declines to give me permission to use it in the book. I should not be surprised; I don't see that photo floating around like many others. Still, a bummer. 

June was a false start, let's try October!

Well, that first blog post kind of fizzled didn't it? The problem is, I'm not completely sure what I want to write about here. It should be writing related, this much I know, but the only other blog I write, which is sailing related, has a much more clear structure: go to a regatta, write about it. end of story....

This one is a bit more amorphous and also, maybe, more personal. Oh well, here it goes...

Better Late Than Never!

Okay, well, here it is, my first blog post. I realize I am quite a bit behind the times and should probably be tweeting or instagramming, but heck with it!  I wasn't sure I had much to contribute to the world of ideas and writing. Now I think I will, at least in part, use this blog to write about the backstory of projects I am working on. For example, tomorrow I leave to go to Cornwall to interview several people who knew Anna Merz, a remarkable woman who was a champion of rhino conservation in Kenya.

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