Newark Museum Signing This Wednesday

Dear Readers,

You are cordially invited to join me at the Newark Museum this Wednesday, November 20,  to kick off their Holiday Shopping Spree! I will be signing copies of my latest picture book, BRUSH OF THE GODS, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Continue reading

How to Make Friends at the Browning School

1. Say no. When the Browning School librarian calls to invite you to their book fair, say no.

2. Say no again. When the same librarian invites you the following year, just say no again.

3. Explain that you’d be happy to come during your normal school visit season — in the spring.

4. Say that you don’t do school visits in the fall or winter. It’s your writing time.

5. If she’s still inviting you, then you have to give it to her straight, “I DON’T DO BOOK FAIRS!!! IT’S JUST A SHOPPING DAY FOR KIDS.” Continue reading

How to Make Friends in China

Dear Readers,
Staying in one place in China for a month is a very different experience than hopping around from city to city. The best thing about it is you get to make friends! Making friends in China is not that different from making friends anywhere else. The Chinese are generally quite informal like Americans. They say hey, and then they hang out. When you buy something from someone, the next time they see you, hey, you’re a friend! And you didn’t even know it. And if you stay with a family, like I did, you really become family and get included in everything they do, even going to visit a sick grandchild in the hospital.
When you’re an author, making friends and becoming family is very important. Your inspiration and ideas will often come from these relationships. So here are some tips and helpful hints on HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS IN CHINA 🙂 ! Continue reading

Warning: scary photos! scary everything!

Dear Readers,

If you are squeamish, stop here. Do not read this post.

If you are still reading, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This starts mild enough, but it gets worse and worse. Quickly.

Then it goes from worse to I-can’t-believe-you-drank-that, before it gets better.

I kid you not. Continue reading

What I Did Last Summer

Dear Readers,

Is the end of summer leaving you feeling sad and melancholy? Do you wish you could begin summer all over? Do you dread having to wear clothes again and going back to school? Worse, are you worried about that perennial first assignment, “What I Did Last Summer”?

You are not alone.

When you’re an author, and you haven’t written a single word all summer on account of you were taking a break from authoring, you feel this way too.  Now It’s time for me to put my clothes on and go back to work. But first, let me tell you What I Did Last Summer. Maybe it’ll give you some ideas to use in your own essay 😉 — Continue reading

New Year’s Hike With Henry David Thoreau

CONCORD, MA — 1 January 2013 — Walden Pond looked so beautiful in the snow that I had to stop by and take a few photos of it before leaving Concord today.

But before you can get to the pond you have to park your car in the lot across the street. It costs five bucks.

Then you walk past the replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin.approaching henry's cabin replica Continue reading

Robbins House Update

CONCORD, MA — Today I’m taking a break from telling you about my research trip to China to wish you all a Happy New Year from Concord, Massachussets, which is horrible to spell without spellcheck.

It was a very nearly almost-white Christmas here this year.

But it’s snowing now! Hooray!!!

And though I’m in Concord to spend the holidays with friends, and to eat all their yummy food and to receive all their fantastic gifts, I couldn’t help but ask about the Caesar Robbins House, which I first told you about here.

Here’s what the Robbins House looked like in the post-almost-white Christmas snow:Robbins House & LucyAnd here it is after Saturday (12/29) night’s snowstorm: Continue reading