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

Archive for November, 2012

The Poem I Read First Thing Today

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 Posted in Readings | No Comments »


Before I rubbed the sand from my eyes, before I drank a cup of coffee, before I got dressed, I read this poem by William Stafford. Then I read it again, out loud, to my wife, before she rose from ...

First Review for “Home Sweet Horror,” Book #1 of SCARY TALES Series

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 Posted in Scary Tales, School Visits | 2 Comments »


Question #1: If your friend writes a review of your book, does that negate it as an objective critical assessment? Question #2: What is friendship, anyway? I first "met" Franki Sibberson through her blog, A Year of Reading, co-written with Mary Lee ...

Photo

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 Posted in Readings | 1 Comment »


Sent to me by a friend . . . I wrote this book 19 years ago. Some days are hard. Some days I don't feel at all like a success. And other days I just want to give thanks, be grateful, ...

SCARY TALES #2: I Scream, You Scream

Friday, November 16th, 2012 Posted in Scary Tales | No Comments »


It's exciting to see a series come together. It's this long process that involves a lot of different folks all pulling on the same oar. But, like, we're on different boats. Or something like that. I just got my first peek ...

Review: “Before You Go” — Librarian as Matchmaker

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 Posted in Before You Go | No Comments »


Naomi Bates is a librarian in Texas, and she has quietly kept up a nice blog, YA Books and More, where she reviews current books and digital media. She was recently kind enough to read my book, Before You Go, ...

Some Random Kid’s Petition: “Support a Jigsaw Jones movie!”

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 Posted in Around the Web, Jigsaw Jones, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »


There's a kid somewhere in America named Daniel Van Ness. I don't know him from a hole in the head. But on November 7th, Daniel started a very important petition: Please have the 20th Century Fox company make a new movie ...

Overheard: “Hey, Dad, when I’m 18, I want to get a tattoo of a cat on my stomach.” (Parenting a Middle Schooler, pt. 3)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 Posted in Family, Middle School Life | 2 Comments »


I am sitting in the living room in early evening, reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Maggie, my 6th-grader, is doing handstands not five feet away -- because that is what Maggie does these days, continual handstands. Every ...

“The Swimmer” in BEFORE YOU GO

Monday, November 5th, 2012 Posted in Before You Go, Fun Clips | No Comments »


Burt Lancaster starred in a literate little 1968 film called "The Swimmer," based on a short story by John Cheever. I'm certain that I watched the movie as a kid, probably on The 4:30 Movie during Burt Lancaster week. Growing ...

In Praise of Farmers’ Markets

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 Posted in Current Events, Family, Readings | No Comments »


It's that time of year when our local, weekly farmers' market moves indoors and, obviously, the product changes. These markets really are a summertime thing. I'll be sad to see the empty parking lot on Saturdays outside the middle school ...