Book lists and library visits: I hope to see you at one of the following….

Hi all,

Things_I'll_Never_SayFirst the big news…. Things I’ll Never Say, Stories about Our Secret Selves was named to the CCBC 2015 Choices list! It’s also on the Teenreads Teen Choices award nomination list along with books be fellow Wisconsin writers Pat Schmatz (Lizard Radio) and Ann Bausum (Stonewall). If you like to vote for your Teen Choices, just click on here.





A number of Wisconsin authors will be gathering around the state and I’m scheduled to be present at a few. We love to hang out together at the Wisconsin Reading Association Conference which is held at the Milwaukee Convention Center. That kicks off the spring author visit season. SCBWI created this schedule and poster for us:12592354_939832912768444_7471174032287437789_n


Here are additional appearances:

  • March 19 — Wisconsin Author Festival, West Allis Library, 7421 W. National Avenue, West Allis, WI  — 1-4:30 pm


  • March 30-April 1 — Chairing Panel on Writing about Family and Dysfunction in Young Adult Novels with YA authors JL Powers, EM Kokie (of Madison) and Terry Farish — AWP Conference (Association of Writers and Writing Programs), Los Angeles, CA


  • April 10 – WEMTA AUTHOR FAIR, Kahlahara Resort, Wisconsin Dells. 11:30 am to 3 pm


  • April 17 — Hedberg Library Open Mic Event, Hedberg Public Library, 316 South Main Street, Janesville, WI 53545, Time: TBA


  • April 21 — Delafield Library, Reading and Q&A, 500 Genesee Street, Delafield WI 53018 (




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Janis Joplin’s Porsche is going to auction….

Janis Joplin with her Porsche Hi all,

You have no idea how many people have sent me the link or tagged me on facebook about the latest Janis Joplin news — her porsche is going to auction at Sotheby’s. Of course I tagged my editor at Abrams and asked if they could purchase the car. Susan said sure thing and “we’ll take a road trip together.”  Wouldn’t that be a kick? I’m picturing two writerly types, their hair whipping behind them speeding down Route 66.

I have other news, surely. But for now, let’s all just imagine what it would be like to ride cross country in a wild car, the wind in our faces….

Wading through fear thick as mud to discover words on the page

Posted August 11th, 2015

waiting for the rain by

Hi all —  You might recall that my last post was about my efforts to write despite a long drought of wordlessness on the page. I told you that I’d become so busy with the everydayness of my teaching job, my family and my addiction to facebook — oh, wait, I didn’t mention that little addiction, did I? — that I was struggling to write at all. Then, when I finally found time to write, I avoided it by immersing myself in that wicked addiction of facebook and by just simply not writing. It got so my brain was telling me that there was really nothing I needed to say to the world through stories. But I did periodically pull out a notebook, review some Julia Cameron thoughts on creativity, and even take on some practice writing exercises. I was like a child waiting for the first drop of rain to fall and I discovered that my patience was growing thin. I decided I needed a heavy dose of time to write and be a student of writing so I headed to Vermont College of Fine Arts as a GA where I was allowed to sit in on lectures and where I hoped to rediscover the stories in my head. I went. I wrote. I wrote even though I felt like I might be too out of touch with writing. I wrote even though I could and should have been intimidated by all the brilliantly funny and sad and serious and heartbreakingly real characters that emerged through student and faculty readings. I wrote even though that wickedly bad editor in my head told me I suck and I should take up weeding gardens which is easier — for the record, I hate weeding gardens and am not very good at it. I wrote until I felt words come like raindrops — soft and sporadic at first — then steamy and steady. I realized as the words fell onto the page that my biggest reason for NOT writing was fear that I’m no longer good enough. It’s a fear I believe I have to tackle every single time I start something new or go back to revise a work. But this is the time for me to struggle through that fear which is thick as mud.

Mud plugger: A unrecognisable  ….and so, this is what I’m doing, standing in the rain of words, struggling through the mud of fear. Writing. I’m writing and I’m just telling myself it’s okay if this draft isn’t good. I can make it better if I keep writing. So I’m writing and writing and writing. At least — at last — I’m writing.

PS — I’m still going to facebook way too much but I’m also spending less time letting it become a suckhole of time.