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Virtual Time Capsule

I just read about this great site called Quite simply, it's a way to send an email to yourself to be delivered at some date in the future. And this is the perfect time of year for it. I just sent one to my end-of-2008-self.

It's a great activity to do with your kids. (Whether that means in your classroom or in your house!)

And then if you want more accountability, post one of your goals for 2008 here!
I'll start:
In 2008 I will play more board games with my kids!


Class of 2k8!

A while back I told you that I was hoping to join a marketing group called The Class of 2k8. And then I think I told you that I did, in fact, join.

Well now, I'm excited to tell you that the year 2008 is almost here (which you may have already noticed) and the class of 2k8 website and blog and myspace pages are now all up and open for business!

And just to recap, if you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, the class of 2k8 is a group of 28 authors of books for school aged children and teenagers who all have our first books for this age group debuting in the year 2008. Because books by new authors are often teeny-tiny fish in a gigantamundic sea, we've all banded together (a la the fish in the book SWIMMY by Leo Lionni) to make ourselves a bit more of a presence.

So please check us out! Our first two books THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE, by Liz Gallagher and I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, by Lisa Schroeder are both due out in January, so treat yourself to a New Year's Present.




Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!
And to all who don't, we can still enjoy Elf, right?


I love Worksheets! Or, everyone should use worksheets for writing short stories

What a day I had yesterday! I spoke to the fabulous students at South Park Elementary School about writing stories. The kids were so full of questions and ideas and I met several who told me that they wanted to be authors when they grow up. I'll have to be sure to start looking for their books in about fifteen years. (It'd be pretty young to have a book published, but I could tell from the way they helped me plan a story that these kids really knew what they were doing!) There I am right there standing in front of an oversized book filled with the giant story planning worksheets I've written for students.

And as I am the queen of worksheets (I've dubbed my own self this, but I don't think that makes me any less royal,) it makes me so happy to know that my elementary school worksheets are going to used by kids so excited about using them! The regular size ones, that is, that I left for teachers to photocopy and use in their classrooms as they see fit.

Now I really can't wait until my book is out! Because then I'll be ablt to talk to students about Polly Peterson too.


Some books are for everyone!

I went to the library again today, though my stack wasn't as big as usual because, you know, I'm busy revising.

Every time I go to the library, I think to myself, I should check out some fiction from the adult section, or maybe even some non-fiction, because it would broaden my mind, expand my horizons, be "good for me." But I rarely do. And even when I do, that book usually spends three weeks on my nightstand ignored and unread. So what is the point even?

The fact is, I just love to read YA fiction. And there are already so many YA titles I want to read that I'll never get to the end of my list, so I don't want to spend my time reading things that I don't really want to read.

So why do I think I should be reading these other books?

Well, the non-fiction is so that I'll have new and interesting tidbits of information to toss into my books and into cocktail party conversations. But I guess I could accomplish this by watching documentaries, which is how I prefer my non-fiction, anyway.

But the adult fiction, what is that about? Well, I guess it's for cocktail parties again. Most of the adults I know outside of the children's writing world do not read books written for children and young adults. So if I don't read their books, we can't talk about books. But the truth is, they are missing out. Sure there are books that purely kid-centric that wouldn't hold an adult's attention span. But there are so many books that are ageless in their appeal, because of the quality of the writing, the likability of the characters and the level of thought and discourse the book will provoke. Movies and TV programs are cross-marketed, are promoted as appealing to entire families. I wonder why this doesn't work with books.

Hmmm...That's a good topic to discuss at my next cocktail party.


Quiz of the Month

I know what you are thinking, but it's not true. I'm not dawdling because I can't figrue out a plotting problem.

I just missed you!

Plus the internet has great quizzes. Remember when you had to buy a magazine to take a quiz?

The ablility to take a quiz whenever you want is a perfect example of how technology has changed our lives for the better.

Because what would my week be like if I didn't know that I was a Romance Novel.
Click on the What Kind of Book Are You? link below to take the quiz yourself.

What kind of book are you?
created with
You scored as Romance Novel

Congratulations, you got "Romace Novel." You're sweet, sensitive, and ready for love. Good for you! Just remember that life isn't a faery tale, and sometimes your heart will be broken. Try to be a little more discerning with your love, and you'll do fine!

Romance Novel




Comic Book







The joy of index cards and post-its

So, right now I am busy.
I mean very, very busy!
Then, what are you doing writing a blog post, you may ask. Why aren't you busy being busy?
Good question. Please don't mention this to my editor. I'm just taking a short rest.

Here is what I am busy doing:

This is a picture of my novel as it looks when I write out a short summary of each chapter on an index card and chart it on a posterboard to look at the pacing of the book in a three act structure:

This is a picture of my novel as it looks when I realize the pacing is off and I must rearrange and condense the end and expand the beginning and generally do a lot of work:


I think my rest had better end.


Ta Da!

It's the cover for THIRD GRADE BABY!
I'm head over heels in love. It's so much fun to see Polly Peterson on paper.
I'll tell the truth. She does look different from the way I imagined her while writing, but when she looks so cute, who cares?