Monday, April 6, 2009


I'm having a blast with Cynthea Liu's RLGL race. Red Lukas has made it to the 3rd page and I'm eagerly waiting for the next round's results.

Crumpled Paper is well represented and S’s picture book made it to the 4th page before being sent back to the start, while L’s CB has continued on to the 5th page. Wouldn’t it be cool if she won the whole race?

No idea what I’m talkin’ about? Check out
THIS and read up on the many contests and games Cynthea offers to help out new writers.

While you're there stop by and help out a worthy cause-- libraries.

Thanks Cynthea! You're a spot of light in this dark, rejection-riddled world of publishing.

Monday, March 30, 2009


First, let me start by expressing my dismay at the endless number of things that require batteries. From clocks, fire alarms and remotes to Nintendos, MP3 players and toys -- they're in everything. The need for electricity to run anything, even a light switch, was making me a little queasy. So I came up with a solution to lessen the damage we do to the planet.

A newly installed 55 w solar panel was my answer. It fills a battery in our laundry room and that battery recharges all of our gadgets. Unbelievably, it was a brainless installation - ready to go once the panel was mounted.

Now it may seem just a tad foolish to try and power up a house with sunshine when it's overcast or raining most days of the year in our locale, but we're giving it a test drive.

So far so good. The solar panel is churning out the free power even on a cloudy day. The rechargeable batteries have all been powered up and I'm feeling a little bit better about my legacy to the world.

It's all working so well it might just be time to invest in a second battery and see what else we can run off the sun.

Today batteries, tomorrow, straight into the grid!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stories for Children Magazine

I'm in again!

At Stories for Children Magazine you can read my non-fiction piece called Man-Made Stone.

Don't you just want to go and check out some old Roman ruins now?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Critique Groups

I think I may have already mentioned my FABULOUS critique group, Crumpled Paper, but they are certainly worth another blog of praise.

Currently, I'm working on my synopsis for Red Lukas and, like everyone seems to say, it's not as easy as it seems. So, like anything I else I write, I posted it for evaluation by Crumpled Paper.

The crits are starting to roll in and I'm humbled. What a group of talented, devoted writers! I have renewed respect and admiration for them. They've ferreted out weak plot points, slashed the word count and exposed the true synopsis underneath.

And they made it look so easy!

Thanks guys!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Today's the Day

Cynthea' book is coming out today!

The Great Call of China, by Cynthea Liu is out and it calls for a cyber party!

Cynthea helps out all of us struggling writers with her great website and offers tons of freetiques to boot. Everyone raise a glass to Cynthea today and don't forget to pick up a copy of her new book here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nemo on Ice

Love makes us do unimaginable things. Tomorrow night I will be taking two of my sons to Nemo on Ice. I have not been to an ice show since I was about, uh....let's see, 7. The only exciting thing I remember was the teacher losing one of the kids on the subway.

But for my boys, I will suffer through anything, even skating fish. That's love.

Hope they still want me to go when their taste turns to rock music.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


A pirate - a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.

In my mind, this indicates pirates are thieves. However, in recent media reports not only are pirates interviewed, but reporters seek quotes from their “spokesman” and refer to gang members as “colleagues.” Reading these reports enraged me. How could upstanding media outlets legitimize illegal actions with such word choice?

But before I jumped to any conclusions (I’m not as hip as I once was), maybe I needed to review my definitions of some of the words in question.

Colleague – an associate one works with

Well, I suppose that’s true. If you’re thieving as a group, then the people you consort with would indeed be your colleagues.

Work – an exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil

Yes, I would think that hijacking oil tankers would require effort. I’d even go so far as to say it would require labor. It’s no small feat to round up a crew and imprison them on their own ship.

There was more under work.

Work – employment, as in some form of industry, esp. as a means of earning one’s livelihood

Again, I guess these pirates are supporting their families with the ransoms and profits from their plunder.

I must now admit my error. My anger was misplaced. The media had not made a gargantuan error, altering the entire spin of the story by using the words “colleagues” and “spokesman,” but rather the small mistake of using the archaic word “pirate.”

Better to have begun with “industrialist.”

Industrialist – a person who owns or is involved in the management of an industrial enterprise.

Hmmm. Not quite right. Aha! I’ve got it.

Entrepreneur – a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

We don’t even have to send in the Navy to stop them. I’m sure a competing business will show up soon and keep them in their place, after all, pirating seems to be a profitable business these days.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Books Galore

What a great month! I've started 5 great books with 5 different reading groups. The group reading, Despereaux, is the most excited. Nothing like a movie to stir up a little interest in picking up the book.

Speaking of tie-ins, I'm intrigued with, The 39 Clues, the new concept from Scholastic. It has an on-line videogame and so far, looks interesting. My boys have the first 2 books from the 10 book series and have started in on the videogame portion. Not sure if this will be the answer for the publishing world, but it's the right direction. My own boys are voracious readers and so need no convincing. I'm gonna mention it to some of my less confident ones at school and see how they like the idea.

If nothing else, love the way ancient institutions are thinking out of the box. Or should I say, out of the book.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Upon Reflection

This past Christmas has been picture-perfect! From finding the seasonal tree ...

...being able to get it to the car... it into the livingroom...

and get it all festive...

to copious amounts of snowfall (for Berlin, of course!).

The thrill of the down!

The work of the up!

The very hard work of the up!

Couldn't have planned a better holiday!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


A new year normally brings fresh expectations. This year I've decided I'm going to take it as it comes - no resolutions, no formal plans, no goals to achieve.
Can't chalk up any failures with that.

Despite best laid plans, 2008 brought unexpected employment, and while one can't really complain about that, it did alter the routine of our household. It meant that some of my plans went unfinished and much of my energy was channeled away from my boys and my writing.

This year I resolve to do my best. No more and no less.

It should be a good year.

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