Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Memoir update - Longhand: The Rise & Fall & Rise of My Career as a Children's Book Author

paperback and Kindle
A birthday gift when I turned seven was a diary, my first. Pink and palm-sized, it had a brass clasp and tiny keyhole so I could record secrets on the lined paper then lock 'em up. I hid the key in a shoe to keep out sibling spies.
     Thus began a lifelong habit of writing things down. My closet is filled with spiral notebooks, old calendars, moleskins, travel diaries, and thick leather journals. I've culled intimacies from these diaries alongside memories of writing for the Los Angeles Times and Scholastic: the rejections, heartbreak, joys, and beloved editors. My privileged career has been intertwined with motherhood, the richest adventure of all.
     The most common question readers ask is, "Where do you get your ideas?" so herein lie the answers. I hope these behind-the-scenes of book writing might inspire writers starting out and those who love the magic of words. Longhand: The Rise and Fall and Rise of My Career as a Children's Book Author.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

NEW Prairie River study guides

our back yard at sunrise
This morning the thermometer in our back yard registered two degrees below zero. Frosty cold yet beautiful, I hurried outside (eeesh...gasp!) to snap the sunrise with my cellphone, then back inside to my desk. My happy news for the day is that study guides for the Prairie River series are now on my website.  I included writing and drawing prompts, a recipe, craft ideas, and suggestions for book talks. Oh, also a few secrets about myself and the creative process. So thank you to the many readers who suggested I do this. I hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

snowed in

getting some fresh air
Happy New Year! It's -8 degrees and sunny in Boise. We've been house-bound for three days because our neighborhood isn't plowed, but no worries! Good books, a good dog, fireplace and family nearby. And with all this time indoors I've been writing more study guides for my website. By popular request from teachers I've added The Legend Of Jimmy Spoon and Jimmy Spoon and the Pony Express. Seriously, they're fun to write!
in the sunroom with Poppy

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

fastest dog ever

Run, Turtle, run!

Our grandpuppy, Turtle, is staying with us this Christmas week. He's a happy fellow, an Australian Labradoodle who loves the snow and loves to run. And despite his name he's fast!

Monday, December 26, 2016

new Cabin Creek Mysteries fan

Jaden loves to read!
It's such fun to meet new readers.

This is 11-year-old Jaden with  The Legend of Skull Cliff. His mom sent this photo and said he loves the Cabin Creek Mysteries and is "gobbling up each book."

Well, I am thrilled.

I think kids who read and who hunger to learn, are going to help change our world for good.

Happy New Year everyone! May you find happiness and peace, and a good story to share.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cabin Creek Mysteries, FREE pdf Teacher Guides

 Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from snowy Idaho!
Poppy eyeing a flock of geese
By popular request, I've finished study guides for the Cabin Creek Mysteries series here, and had a lot of fun doing so. Readers might like to make a diorama of Hidden Horse Ranch or cook Mr. Johnny's Flourless Birthday Cake. There're tidbits about myself, the origin of each mystery, and some truth behind the characters - human and dogs! May your readers experience the joy of stories.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New teacher guides

Hello readers, parents, and teachers,
I'm very excited to announce that I'm making study guides for all my books. They're free and fun! I hope they can serve as a good start for branching out into your own discussions and thoughts, so I've included activities, writing and drawing prompts, a recipe, and some secrets about myself :)
Please feel free to download them here:
*  Bronte's Book Club
*  Jimmy Spoon and the Pony Express
*  Madame Mustache and the Boys of Bodie
*  Nugget: The Wildest, Most Heartbreakin'est Mining Camp in the West
*  Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, 1849
*  Stalked: Danger and Fury on Ellis Island 1912
*  More to come!