Oh, my dear followers, I have been gone too long! Please accept my most sincere apologies. In my absence, I have been to the SCBWI-NY conference (the AMAZING Meg Rosoff, Margaret Peterson Haddix and MORE--see my author page on facebook for some great quotes) and been busy writing. I have also been busy working on a special project for YOU! My blog is going to have a new theme for a few months. I hope that this new theme will be a valuable resource and help to all of my writer readers (or reader writers). That said, you will have to wait a bit longer for the big reveal.
In the meantime, please note that I am the featured author in the recent volume of Knowonder!. I love the mission of Knowonder! to structure the volumes in such a way that families get a story a day for a month. The hope is that such a volume at an affordable price will encourage DAILY reading with parents and children. Check it out on Amazon (Knowonder! Herman's Horrible Day). I will put a link on my blog, as well.
I recently read an amazing middle grade novel that you should check out, as well. ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mulally Hunt was the best book I've read in a long time. The protagonist is a foster child who was taken from an abusive situation and temporarily placed with the Murphy family. This story touched me deeply, and I've not been able to stop thinking about it. You MUST check it out.
Also, Highlights Workshops in Honesdale, PA have been posted for 2013. There are some amazing courses offered this year, and I heartily recommend you check them out.
Yesterday, my daughter and I volunteered at an Odyssey of the Mind tournament in Chapel Hill. Most of you know that I have been an OM coach for many years, and I just took this year off. My daughter had been missing it, so we decided to volunteer. We worked in a different region than our usual competitions in order to be closer to her school. Even though I have been to many OM tournaments, it was completely different being on the other side. I was amazed and impressed at the enormous amount of work that went into the competition. I was especially awed by the number of volunteers who gave up their Saturdays to support these young people. Volunteering was fun and interesting, but it was HARD work! Some of these volunteers had been doing it for ten years or more. Many of them are teachers, many are former OMers themselves, many are parents of OMers, but a surprising number of volunteers are simply good-natured supporters of the program. As always, the children stunned me with their creativity and unique takes on the problem-solving challenges. The middle schoolers still seem to outshine all other age groups. (yes, even the high schoolers!) Most of all, I just LOVE hundreds of people gathered in one spot to cheer wildly for an academic competition. I am moved to tears every time. These young people are amazing and creative and unique and valued for their DIFFERENCES, which, sadly, is probably different from their everyday lives at their typical middle schools. But here, at OM, they can be fabulously creative and different and brilliant, and we cheer for them.
All these things--a literacy initiative, a great new book, an OM tournament, new learning
opportunities-- play into a new focus for my blog. For a few months, I will learn and study and strive to understand a subject, and I will bring you along with me for the ride. I predict you will be VERY interested, and I KNOW it is relevant. So, stay tuned!
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.