A closed mouth
gathers no


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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