news writers schools contact kid books teen books about


Teen Angst and Poetry

I've gone back to middle school!
Does that sound like I'm telling you the nightmare I had last night? For me, it could have been. My middle school years were not pleasant, to say the least, but I haven't been dreaming about them. Thank goodness. Middle school has come back to me recently in a couple of other ways.

1. I just read the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. I don't typically read non-fiction, but this book was so gripping I practically read it in one sitting. (It kept me up way past my bedtime.) It is a must read for writers with characters in this age group, all parents (especially those with daughters,) and anyone who just wants to understand those awkward years. (How's that for an understatement!)

2. I just visited Shepard Middle School, and will soon visit Caruso Middle School, to talk about writing. I was blown away by the talent and enthusiasm of these students! Some of them had story concepts that would make many agents and editors salivate. I think I'll hold on to the attendance list, because I have a feeling we all might be hearing from these kids in the future.

3. In preparing for above talk, I found my writing journal! The one I kept all through middle school and high school. I thought it was lost forever. But now all that teen angst is right there at my fingertips. Every emotion that passed through my body for seven years imortalized in bad poetry. Have you ever heard anything so exciting?

exhibit a:

exhibit b:
a trusting soul
trying to find
an interlocking soul
one that is
just the same
and very different
-jenny, age 15

Any of you care to relive grades six through eight with me?


Happy Global Warming Day.

Even though the New Year began a week ago, for me, it really didn't feel like it had begun until today. Finally a day of uninterrupted Work Time!!!

Last week was still Vacation Time. The kids were home from school. Many people were still out of their offices, but today, life is officially back to normal. My kids were grumbling of course, but I think they'll be glad to be seeing all their friends on a daily basis again. And besides, it's fifty-eight degrees here! It's not like we could have gone sledding again anyway. (We don't own one of these here grass sleds. They do look fun, though.)

Did anyone get anything done during the last two weeks?

In 2k8 news:
Check out the class of 2k8 blog today to learn all about 2k8's first book THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE, by Liz Gallagher.


Look Ma, I'm Teaching: A Voice Workshop for Writers

This Wednesday, January 9, I'll be leading a writing workshop entitled Crafting Voice: Make Your Writing Sing. It'll take place at The Bookstall in Winnetka, IL, 811 Elm Street, at 7 pm. If you are around and interested please drop by. With paper and pencil of course!

And if you can't come, then visit me at LiveJournal, if you are of that ilk. My blog is now syndicated there for your blog-reading ease.


I Won! I Won!

Goodness gracious I'm just so excited! I popped over to Lisa Yee's blog today to see who'd won her hilarious Bodacious Book Title Competition, and my entry was an honorable mention! I feel seriously, um, honored.

The contest rules were easy, pick a book title, change one word to a word that rhymes with it and give a description of what the book was about. My husband and I were addicted for about two days, then we sought help and went cold turkey. (But not before I entered, obviously.)
Here's my entry:
Book: The Polar Express
New Title: The Solar Express
Summary: Due to global warming Santa now owns beachfront property.
(And I will receive a small portion of the fantastic booty!)

And for any moms out there, check out this blog! (It's written by my sis.)