Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thoughts on the The Writing Life


"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.'' -- Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Writing Life

As I write each day, I try and remember these wise words from the poet, Jane Kenyon: 

"Be a good steward of your gifts.  Protect your time.  Feed your inner life.  Avoid too much noise.  Read good books, have good sentences in your ears.  Be by yourself as often as you can.  Walk.  Take the phone off the hook.  Work regular hours.” 

It seems that my dog, Sally, would have no trouble with most of these...except for the reading part!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Postcards from Rhode Island

Summer is my time to slow down, breathe, and spend lots of wonderful time with my family.  Here we are in Newport, RI, to celebrate our anniversary in the Navy chapel where we were married.

Watching the sun rise on Narragansett Beach in RI for Laura's birthday.

Our son, Matthew, and daughters, Kate and Laura.

Our son, Daniel, and daughter, Kate.

Watching the sun rise at the beach in beautiful Narragansett, RI.

Our dog, Sally.

Kate's birthday!

Bike riding in Newport.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Writing Retreats

The spiritual writer Paula D'Arcy (Gift of the Red Bird) continues to use TENDING TO GRACE as a prerequisite for her writing retreats, held throughout the US. Today is the final day of a five-day retreat at the Quellen Spiritual Center in NJ. 

Past retreats have been held in Alaska, Pennsylvania and Calgary, Canada -- and beyond!

Here's what Paula says about TENDING TO GRACE: "It is a beautiful piece of writing, very slim and a quick read, but will be a rich teaching tool for our days together."

In her book, WAKING UP TO THIS DAY, Paula D'Arcy writes about TENDING TO GRACE:  "It is a coming-of-age story that reaches into the reader's heart.  The central character, Cornelia, is a stutterer.  By the end of the story, which is spare and stunning, Cornelia has learned to press on heroically.  She finally leans into the shame that arises from her stuttering and also from the painful challenge of her mother's rejection.  Ultimately, an elderly aunt helps Cornelia find her authentic self, but not by using words.  She accomplishes this by holding a space in which Cornelia is able to come forward; she calls her forth."

I am so thrilled that Cornelia has come so far!'s%20Retreat%20With%20Paula%20D'Arcy.pdf

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Signing Books!

Signing a copy of Beholding Bee for a very special student at Castleton Elementary in New York. (He pushed and fought for Bee through the Mock Newbery competition until Bee came out on top!)

The school is filled with great teachers, amazing students and one very special librarian, Stacey Rattner.  Thank you, I had a wonderful day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

How did it get so cool?

Sheep Shearing Day! Our Daisy and Wilbur are pretty darn happy to get rid of those thick wool coats. Now if they could only get to the other side of that fence where the grass is always greener.....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The best part!

The best part of life is my family.  Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Best Books!

Just getting word from my agent that BEHOLDING BEE is on the 2014 Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year list.  So fun to hear before the official word goes out....

Sunday, April 6, 2014

There's nothing like a great library!

Thanks to the American Association of School Librarians, April is School Library Month. Look at what authors have to say about their school libraries!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Under the Apple Tree

Sometimes after a long New England winter, it's fun to remember that spring is hiding under the snow and is just waiting for us to peek underneath, pay attention and laugh out loud. I used to take my children hiking when they were little and we would call our walks "looking for spring."  One spot where we'd find the first sprigs of grass poking up would be under our apple tree.

In the same way, it can be fun to open my laptop and discover a review I've never seen before, like this simple and sunny one from Audiofile.

"Beholding Bee -- A gentle and moving coming-of-age story."

This means so much to me because it is exactly what I set out to do! And thank you to the talented Ariadne Meyers whose beautiful and sunny reading of the book brings Bee to life for the audio version. 

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Each Morning

My editor told me soon after I met her that when she comes across writing that takes her breath away, she buys the book. Every morning I turn on my laptop and try and remember that...

Monday, February 3, 2014

A quiet hike beside our brook

I have been busy working on my next novel.  I write all morning and then in the afternoon I take a hike in the woods and fields behind our home.   Often putting one foot in front of the other helps me work out plot problems.  If not, I just take in the beauty all around me.

So often while I am hiking I am thinking about what an amazing gift it is to be a writer and I feel so lucky.  I find so much joy in crafting words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into stories.  Who knew that as 2014 opens I would be doing what I've wanted to do ever since the sixth grade?

Here I am with my daughter.  The creative life is a beautiful life.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Caught in the Act!

So fun to catch my daughter, Laura, reading my first novel, TENDING TO GRACE!  

She's read it several times, this was a re-read...It was so fun to listen to her laughing and, of course, I'd have to ask, "Hey, what's so funny?" She was also one of my first readers for THE WONDER OF CHARLIE ANNE and BEHOLDING BEE.

 Lucky me to have four children who read my books!  I noticed my daughter, Kate, had BEHOLDING BEE tucked into her backpack when she went back to college after Christmas break. Matthew told me he's been reading BEE on the ferry on his way home from graduate school, and Daniel, my oldest, has been reading my books for years and years.

Lucky, lucky, mom.

And here they all are!

Monday, January 6, 2014

BEE makes it to New Zealand!

Thanks to the Children's Bookshop in Wellington, NZ, BEE continues to travel the world!

The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody (Beholding Bee in the US) is a staff favorite of Heidi Voorendt.

Here is her lovely review.

"A beautiful, touching story about an orphan girl who works in a travelling carnival where she is bullied and taunted daily because of a birthmark on her face. When a scruffy dog turns up Beatrice decides to run away with him. Joined by a piglet named Cordelia and with help from a mysterious old lady, they set of to find an new home. With a wonderful cast of characters and themes of lose, love, friendship and acceptance, it is perfect for fans of Eva Ibbotson and Katherine Ruundell.