Like so many in America and around the world today, I mourn the death of a genuine hero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose decades as an attorney and Supreme Court Justice advanced human rights for everyone, most especially women. I recall reading that she was always amused by the frequent question from children visiting her at…

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  I can always tell when I’ve read a wonderful novel. Days afterward, I’m still thinking about the characters and wondering what they’re up to! Such was the case this past week when I inhaled Sarah Dessen’s 2019 novel, The Rest of the Story. The novel centers around seventeen-year-old Emma Saylor Payne. When her father…

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Determined to support our football-playing grandson, my husband and I ventured across the Ohio River into Indiana to see him play his varsity game last night and JV game this morning. All I can say is I have now witnessed close up why it took less than two weeks for our grandson’s high school to…

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Like all fiction writers, I strive to create characters readers will care about. But  that only works if I care about the life experiences that have shaped them. To do that, I’ve found it essential to delve deeply into their backgrounds. Much of what I learn will never appear in my novels, but my characters’…

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When I turned 39, my husband gave me a coffee mug that said, “39 and Holding.” At the time, I couldn’t imagine the day our marriage would reach that magic number, but today is our 39th wedding anniversary. I feel lucky as hell to be married to a man who makes me laugh every day…

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It all started after I finished my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill back in 2016. Despondent over the demise of my local SCBWI critique group, a  former member told me about her other writer’s group. “These women are serious,” she said. “They’re all multi-published, and they take turns critiquing each other’s work…

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Is there anything more fun than discovering a writer you’re not familiar with and falling in love with her work? That’s what happened to me when I accidentally discovered Bounce by Natasha Friend, a book that came out in 2007 from Scholastic Press. Don’t ask me how, despite being an avid YA reader/writer, I didn’t…

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Since 2001, I’ve been a member of a terrific organization for writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). While I’ve attended wonderful regional conferences, I’ve never attended the international conference. Not this year. Unable to hold their usual in-person summer conference in Los Angeles, SCBWI decided to hold an on-line conference. Instead…

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I suspect I’m not alone among book addicts in having piles of “To-Be-Read” (TBR) books all over my house. One of the advantages of having writing gigs and conferences cancelled and my public library being closed is that I’m doing lots more dipping into books I’ve always meant to read but never have. In the…

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