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No Bah Humbug for Me! Why I Love the Holidays

I often hear less than enthusiastic comments about this time of year: “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over!” “This is so stressful.” “There’s always so much to do and not enough time.” Well, yeah. The to-do list I made this morning has a mere 24 items on it. But I love the…

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The Power of a Phone Call

As I write this, my dear husband is preparing another one of his delicious Thanksgiving dinners. He truly loves to cook, and I am regularly banished from the kitchen. I admit it—I’m incredibly spoiled. He is unquestionably my culinary hero. He’s also my telephone hero. In an age when so many, myself included, email and…

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Book Shopping for the Teens On Your Holiday List

    Did you know that more than 30,000 books for young adults are published annually? I sure didn’t, and I write for this age group! There are so many good novels out there in every possible genre and combination of genres: contemporary realistic, fantasy and adventure, historical fiction, science fiction, sports novels, mystery and…

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Why Writing for Young Adults Matters

This past week, I presented a talk about young adult literature to the Literature Committee of my city’s Woman’s Club. Due to a scheduling snafu, my audience consisted of five women instead of the anticipated 20 or so, and two of the attendees had to leave early because they were greeters at the club’s expo…

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What John Lennon Said

On the wall of our music studio at home, my husband hung up a plaque with one of our all-time favorite quotes by John Lennon: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” That certainly has been the case in my own life. For example, years ago, in the wake of a…

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Maybe Next Week Will Be Better

My younger son Joel teaches at an inner city high school in Denver. It’s a tough job for not much money. Last weekend, he recounted a particularly difficult week in which nearly everything that could have gone wrong did. “But it’s okay, Mom,” he told me. “I’ve even picked out what I’m going to wear.…

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The "Who" in Whodunits Can Be Tricky

My mom used to complain that she’d figured out the identity of the bad guy in books by Mary Higgins Clark way before the big reveal. Honestly, that never bothered me. I’ve always loved Clark’s storytelling ability, and even when I correctly suspected who the villain was, I kept right on turning the pages. Still,…

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The Two Most Common Questions Writers Get Asked

If readers have enjoyed a writer’s book, I’ve noticed that there are two questions they repeatedly ask. The first is usually some variation of, “So what’s your next book about?” and the second is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Recently, I decided to redo my website (currently in progress) and took a stab at…

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Sharon Draper's BLENDED: A Powerful Story

What a thrill to meet the award-winning writer Sharon Draper at the SOKY Book Festival this past spring. Before the festival doors even opened, we had bought each other’s books! It turns out that her daughter is a dancer, so she wanted to give While I Danced to her as a gift. And I devoured…

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