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

Archive for July, 2011

Meet Sue Fondrie, 2011 Grand Prize Winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for “Worst Opening Sentence in a Work of Fiction”

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, the writing process | No Comments »


On Monday, July 25, Sue Fondrie was announced as the grand prize winner of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. As a longtime fan (and occasional perpetrator) of spectacularly bad writing, I blogged that sucker up and, to my surprise, Sue dropped ...

Yes, Virginia!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 Posted in Bystander | No Comments »


Last week, Florida crumbled into submission. This week, it's Virginia tapping out under the brute force of my choke hold of a book. No, it wasn't you; I have no idea what I just said, either. Gibberish, mostly. I'm gibbering. Perhaps ...

And Now, Ladies & Gentlemen, the Worst Opening Sentence of 2011 . . .

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web | 2 Comments »


Congratulations, Sue Fondrie! You have written the worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel in 2011. That is, according to the good-natured judges over at the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Here's Sue's amazing (and surely deserving) effort: “Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of ...

Overheard: “Dad, I just got a cool new app.”

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 Posted in Family | No Comments »


Gavin got an iPod Touch for his twelfth birthday. He just downloaded a new app. It's brought the whole family together. Let's hear it for technology. Come on, everyone, repeat after us: "BRAAAINS!" We think Mom has been working too hard. And ...

Tom Waits Reads Charles Bukowski’s “Nirvana”

Monday, July 25th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web, Readings | No Comments »


Tom Waits reads "Nirvana," a great poem by an imperfect man, Charles Bukowski. the young man thought, I'll just sit here, I'll just stay here. but then he rose and followed the others into the bus [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-vdPkESLZs] I really enjoyed this fan video, created by somebody out there and ...

“Bystander” Nominated for the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award

Friday, July 22nd, 2011 Posted in Bystander | 2 Comments »


I'm always happy to share good news. I learned this morning that Bystander has been selected as one of the books listed for the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award for grades 6-8. I'm not lying. Click here if you don't believe ...

The Rights of the Reader

Monday, July 18th, 2011 Posted in In the Classroom, Readings, The Gender Gap in Reading | No Comments »


"What we need to understand is that books weren't written so that young people could write essays about them, but so that they could read them if they really wanted to." -- Daniel Pennoc. - A note from my pal, Lewis Buzbee, ...

The 2011 USA Women’s World Cup Team: Helping to Restore a Little Faith in Sports

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web, Family | 1 Comment »


"You have to keep the fun alive -- if you are not enjoying it, what's the point?" -- Joy Fawcett. - Like a lot of folks these days, I'm loving the story of the American Women's World Cup soccer team. My family ...

Overheard: “-ish.”

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 Posted in Family, the writing process | 3 Comments »


It's how Maggie, my 10-year-old daughter, answers certain types of questions these days. For example, "Maggie, are you feeling better now that you've rested?" "-ish," she answers. As in, better-ish. Kind of, sort of, a little, not really. Or perhaps it's spelled "Ish." Hard ...

“Rizzoli and Isles” Ain’t No “Cagney & Lacey” — Not That I’ve Ever Seen It

Monday, July 11th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web | No Comments »


I always consider it a small triumph when a new television show hits the airwaves, and later gets cancelled, before I catch an episode. It's like avoiding a drowning, a vortex of suck I managed to swim past. The title of ...