Thursday, February 26, 2009


Twitter is a brilliant little thing.
It was designed to create good in-house communication in corporations. So if there were twenty people on the "gizmo publicity" team, once each hour, they tweeted things like: "revision of proposals finished" and "waiting for printer ink, but the guy says he'll come before lunch" and "meeting yielded better idea. shifting to direct mail efforts, send blurb suggestions" and so on.

People are using it now in various ways--mostly to check in with friends in quick little bursts. If you can imagine my life being interesting enough to follow, please do follow me, I am trying to be interesting.
But I am considering something else. I do not now, nor have I ever "invented" book characters. I have always more or less channeled them. They have to line up, though, because books take a very long time to write. There is one who is way down the list for having a whole book written about him. He is wildly unhappy about this. Since I am always interested in getting myself out of the way of the people I write about, I will see if he would consider surfacing sooner than later--in short little twitter-sized notes.

If it happens, I will announce it here, there, everywhere....and he can tweet instead of me. Trust me, his life is incredibly interesting.

we'll just see....


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


There is no writer-high like the one that comes when something is finished, off your desk--at least until someone throws it back for revisions...
enlarging this one, you can
see that the tree blooms first,
before it puts out leaves.
It has a thorned trunk and
can grow to 60' tall.
It's about 20 tall now...
still a third-grader...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

time? what time?

FaceBook, MySpace, MySpace Blog, Website, Writerwriterwrtier (blog), WRITE (blog), Twitter, Email, phone, and life.
And writing. I have five projects on deck.

If I don't answer your emails quickly, or sadly, maybe ever, it is not because I don't want to. It's because I can't find time. It means everything to me that readers write me. I just can't keep up, unless I give up writing. And that would make no sense at all. So please don't write me angry emails. The books that say I will answer every email were printed almost ten years ago, when it was true. I still do my best to answer them, and every single one makes me smile and write better. I just can't keep up.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby animals....

In the moments between my novels, I have been writing these. Each one is a beautifully illustrated picturebook , based on current research. The story is told from the viewpoint of a baby wild animal.
Inside the cover, there is a DVD of BBC wildlife footage with a child actor voicing the baby animal, guiding kids though a typical day in in his/her life.
The footage is scored with both natural sounds from the animals and their habitat, and original music that kids can sing along with. There's a set of "fun facts", too.
On on the DVD case is a key code for the MAF Kids' Club website. When a child enters each book's code, a new section of the website opens. All are full of games for kids 3-6, each one based on that animal and its habitat. Many of the games are reading readiness games. Each child chooses, dresses and equips an avatar. Points are earned and can be used to buy adventure "gear" that allows kids to cross rivers, use binoculars to see the animals in the distance, play their own choice of music as they explore the habitatand more. Every navigation link is voiced for prereaders. The games span a wide range of abilities.
It's a Stealth Literacy, multi-media three-fer: Book, Video, Website. There are four books available now, Ella, Leo, Korow, and Nanuq. Tahi (Dolphin) and Suluka (Snow Goose) are coming soon. The key-code in each book opens a new section of the website.
You can find or order the books through wonderful, local, independent bookstores, B&N, Borders, Amazon, and on the series website:
The team:
Executive Producers: Ron Berry and John Christianson
Artist: Lara Gurin
Art Director and Book Designer: Eugene Epstein
Writer and Creative Director: Kathleen Duey
Vidiographer: Stephanie Carlson
Composer and Sound Artist: George Fogelman
Website Wizards: Caleb Gray and Wes Gray
Credits for individual voice actors are listed in each book.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


This is a euphorbia:
Astounding thorns, poisonous sap. It is from a land of tenacious razor-toothed grazers and so makes no apologies about any of this.

I wrote some thorns into a scene in STAYS a while ago. They aren't the focus, just a background touch, but doing the initial rewrites, I noticed them again. I wrote a poem yesterday--first poem in a while. It felt nice.