News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for May, 2011

Fan Mail Wednesday #116

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


Hey, I think I've got one! I replied: Dear Brennig, Thanks for your letter. You are my first Brennig, though I should mention that I've received letters from 37 Brendans and 6 Brendens. I have to agree with you, The Case of the ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #115

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


I'll be honest here. I'm at a point that I reach a couple of times every year, where I'm swamped with fan mail, overwhelmed, and feel nothing but guilt. When I hear writers talk about how much they love fan ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #114: A Colorful Choice of Words

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


NOTE: Apologies for the type-size weirdness of my reply. I don't have the patience to try to fix it now. Hi James Preller! I am a fan of your books! My class wrote you. I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario and my ...

A Website That Instantly Makes Digital Photos Look 100 Years Old

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web | No Comments »


For a quick, easy way to make your new digital photos look brand old, check out this Japanese website. All you do is upload your photo and in about ten seconds, the site spits back an aged-looking version which you can ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #113: Skype & Teaching in the 21st Century

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 Posted in Bystander, School Visits | No Comments »


Preamble: My friend, talented author/illustrator Matt McElligott, is a frequent presenter at schools. I saw him when he came to my local elementary school and he was spectacular. A total pro, funny, informative, and kind. For info on his author ...

Couple of Snaps

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 Posted in Family | No Comments »


Yo Yo Maggie, 4th grade. Gavin, 6th grade.

Notes to Myself: Writing BYSTANDER

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 Posted in Bystander, bullying, the writing process | No Comments »


I'd guess that all writers do it, but I can only speak for myself. During the course of brainstorming for a book, which for me usually involves a composition notebook and random observations, snatches of dialogue, character traits, ideas for ...

Odds & Ends

Friday, May 20th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web, Music | 2 Comments »


Around the web . . . * This was sweet and lovely and instructive on the value of seeing things from a different point of view. * I recently read this book and it's just about perfect, a 135-page gem. * Paste Magazine ...

Overheard: “Don’t try to write anything funny.”

Friday, May 20th, 2011 Posted in Family | 2 Comments »


Ah, the joys of middle school life. Is anyone else out there in the midst of it? It's a really complex time for those kids. And they might be, possibly, out of their minds. Helplessly so. Anyway, the scene: Gavin, my ...

The Note Pressed Into My Hand

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 Posted in School Visits | No Comments »


When you do school visits, there are many pleasures -- a few quiet moments spent in conversation with a librarian, the roaring laughter of a large group of kids, the student artwork in the hallways, a teacher who says something ...