My First School Visit


Today I was the mystery guest at my son’s school.  It was the first time that I have ever read one of my stories to:

  • (a) unrelated children; and
  • (b) unrelated, not previously paid children.

In a nutshell, it was a big day.  And it was a ton of fun!

I started with a quick PowerPoint™ presentation explaining how I became a writer.


Then, I talked about the revision process, and how writers have good days, bad days, and sometimes very bad days.  But the key is persistence!  I think the kids may have been surprised to learn that it took me about six years to revise, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books Fall 2015).

I also spent quite a bit of time talking about rejections.  Maybe a lot of time since it’s a concept with which I am very familiar.   🙂

Finally, I put on my witch hat before reading, Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Creston Books Spring 2015).


Why the witch hat?  Good question.  Two reasons.  First, Hildie is about a crabby old witch and of course, a witch story deserves a properly attired reader.  Second, when I attended one of the SCBWI conferences, Peter Sís mentioned that one bookstore owner encouraged him to bring props, like a stuffed parrot, in case his reading didn’t go well.  So, I figured if all else failed we could talk about the hat, or even play catch.  I wanted to be prepared.  I also didn’t have a stuffed parrot. 🙂

I am so looking forward to my next school visit.  Hoping that I’ll have some Hildie sketches to share with the kids next time.  What a great day!

Are You Ready for Moose Day?


Blog reader:  Moose who?  Moose what?  Moose where?

Me:  So, glad you asked.  Tomorrow, January 7, 2014, is THE DAY that moose fans from around the world have been waiting for since . . . like . . . forever.  It is the most moose-a-rific day of the year!  It is a day of celebration.  A day to put on your antlers and go dancing with a duck or two or three.

Blog reader:  Really?  Why?

Me:  Why?  How can you ask why?  Because it is THE DAY that Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Noah Z. Jones’s most adorable book, Duck, Duck, Moose!, hits the bookstores.


And if you’re like me, and you just can’t wait till tomorrow, you can pre-order your copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or go to one of the super-cool independent bookstores.

As we all know, life is always better with a moose.  Happy Moose Day!