The Day I Found a Baby Bird

The noise was incessant. I mentioned it to my husband, who was working from home. "What is up with that BIRD?"...more

On Writing Teen Characters

Today I'm over at Fiction Reboot|Daily Dose talking about how hard it is to write a believable teen character. Read it here ....more

I Had This Friend

I had this friend who died almost two years ago at the age of 41 teaching people to body surf in the ocean. I had this friend who made fun of me even as I sat in the hospital with cat bite fever. He sent me a bouquet of flowers ....more

Should Parents Get Sued for Their Kids' Crimes?

Last weekend, I caught my daughter and a friend in a tree house in someone else's yard when the tree house-owning family was not home. "You're trespassing!" I yelled at my girl. She told me the neighbor's second-grade son had given them permission to be in the tree house when he wasn't home, and her friend had persuaded her it would be okay. I don't approve of her playing the follower when it comes to screwing up. Just because she didn't think of it doesn't mean she didn't do it. My anger launched a longer talk about taking personal responsibility even when a fallback excuse exists. ...more
Nikkistory I agree -- lots of influences, tough questions.more

How You Can Freak Out Over Growing Pains: Osgood-Schlatter Disease

My ten-year-old started complaining about her knee about a month ago. Sometimes it was fine, and sometimes she dragged her leg around like it was someone else's, calling it her "bum knee" and ready to swap stories in golf course pro shops. I wrote it off to drama, because: tween....more
I had this as a kid, mostly in my right knee. It got me out of running in PE for a while. ...more

Publishing, Punching and Playdates: Author Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

I first met Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat in person in ...more
Reading it now and laughing my ass off.more

I Don't Know Why Red Fades Before Blue, It Just Does

Ani DiFranco was wrong to try to host a gathering in a Southern plantation, but she also taught me a lot about life as a writer. "I am struck by the mediocrity of my finest hour." "I don't know why red fades before blue, it just does." These two sentiments have colored my career as a writer. I struggle to be taken seriously, mostly in my own head ....more

The First Cool Night

It is the first cool night of fall, and always, I remember how much I feared the cold when I was starving myself. When I was eighteen, and my boyfriend went off to college and there were no texts or cell phones, and all I had was a Jimmy Buffet CD and letters to warm me. When I was nineteen, I got a tattoo of the sun on my inner heel to warm me ....more

More Than Two

Her hair flies back in the wind because the motor's almost shot in Vicki the convertible so the top stays down now. It has to be helped up like an old man out of a chair, and most of the time, we don't feel like dealing with it. We leave ourselves exposed to sun and sky and wind because the sun feels good when it's not raining.We are talking about growing up, and I tell her the thing my dad told me about SEEs, Significant Emotional Experiences, the thing I put in THE OBVIOUS GAME, how you have to have two SEEs before you can really contribute to society, how some people go their whole lives without having two ....more

Win a Copy of THE OBVIOUS GAME on Goodreads

Here I've spent the first half of 2014 thinking I could no longer run giveaways for THE OBVIOUS GAME on Goodreads because it was published in 2013. (The dropdown in the author tools area only give you options for the year prior to your pub date and the year of your pub date.) I was sad, because Goodreads giveaways are such a win/win. They are inexpensive for an author to run (you only pay for the books and shipping) and they provide exposure as each sign-up adds the book to the signee's to-read shelf, thus giving the author and the book exposure she wouldn't otherwise have had ....more