Seven Ways to Know You’re a Book Nerd

Surface area is your special first-world problem.   Some of your library fines are due to water damage (the bathtub gets ’em).   You use toilet paper for bookmarks. You have a permanent spot on the library reserve shelf. It’s not the ceiling that might fall on you some night.   When you search under […]

How to Use Wordsmith

Wordsmith: a Creative Writing Guide for Young People THIRD EDITION (yay!) has started showing up at home schooling conventions across the nation.  It’s not just for homeschoolers, though—anybody can benefit from a straightforward, friendly, slightly quirky and at times laugh-out-loud approach to a subject we tend to make either too simple or way too complicated. […]

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The Writer’s Ego

Don’t do it! they say. I never do it, claim the most successful. I don’t do it often, but every now and then it can be instructive to search my own name online (I would say, “to Google myself,” except that sounds a bit naughty). It’s not something anyone should set aside time for, but […]

Wordsmith: the Story

About 25 years ago I was in the middle of homeschooling two teenagers, my husband had quit his corporate job to start a business, and we were looking to move out of our comfortable middle-class neighborhood and into some place we could afford.  Our search was taking us farther and farther away from our friends, […]


Five Easy Steps to Becoming a Writer

Daydream about it a lot. Talk about your story idea. Write three pages every three months—not necessarily of the same story. Stop talking about your story idea. Think about it some more. This is cheating, a little: you won’t actually become a writer but you can think of yourself as one.  And you’ll have to […]

One Proud Nerd

Did you watch the Super Bowl?  I’ll tune in when the Cowboys are playing again (might be a loooong wait) but I understand the Atlanta/New England matchup was a pretty good game.  And I hear, too, that Wide Receiver Malcolm Mitchell had his best postseason game by a Patriots rookie ever.  But I’m not excited […]

Rick Riordan Makes His Case. Or Not Really

I like this guy.  Who wouldn’t? He turned countless apathetic preteen boys (and girls) into enthusiastic readers.  He’s sold millions (upon MILLIONS) of fun, action-packed novels with a foolproof formula of relatable characters, classic plot elements and details, and high hilarity.  His earlier novels, especially, were an admirable balance of humor and emotion with more […]