The Case of the Shrinking Thanksgiving

Hi everyone,

I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. We did although there were some disappointments in it. We prepared for ten. Our son-in-law Tim Williams did his usual wonderful job preparing the turkey. Here he is at work slicing to serve. The service bar was loaded and ready.
Nephew Jon Egleston is a cop and he had to work. We pulled one place setting from the table. Then my sister Jule Egleston suffered a setback related to her chemo treatments for pancreatic cancer and couldn’t come or bring our great niece Alexis Egleston. We removed two more settings. Our grandson Tyler Williams called in sick from food poisoning. So he and his sweetheart Josie Schute couldn’t come. Pulled two more plates.

We decided to eat while anyone was left. That’s our other grandson, Kris Williams on the right. We missed our loved ones who couldn’t be with us but our remaining five did our best to celebrate for everyone. Cheers to all and here’s to leftovers!


Why is this man smiling?

Hi everyone,

Ruth Culham kindly snapped me signing at Charlesbridge. That’s part of my wonderful editor, Karen Boss, in the background. So now I can prove that I really was there! Thank you Ruth!

Here’s Tara Welty between Mary Jo Fresch and me showing off our new book with Scholastic. Tara is Editor-in-Chief for Teacher Resources at Scholastic.

Laura Salas was kind enough to share this selfie from NCTE. With Laura (left), Sylvia Vardell, and Sandy around me, you can understand why I’m smiling!

Trying a different approach

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I reached a stopping point on a project I’ve been working on. An editor I’ve recently met would like to see a certain kind of story. I sent her several ideas but none of them fit her need. I sent several more. We talked by phone and settled on one of them.

I wrote a story based on those general guidelines, and I think I hit them all — except for one thing: it was probably twice the length she wanted. She hasn’t responded yet but while I was at NCTE (and driving home) I kept brooding about the length issue and considering ways to trim without destroying the story.

Yesterday I tackled the problem and managed to trim the word count down from 570 words to 250 words. Same story but with fewer than half the number of words to tell it. I sent off Version #2 and decided it’s time to turn to something else. At least now my editor has two choices. I feel better.

Good week in store

Hi everyone,

Home again and ready for a week of writing. I have only one, brief meeting out of the house all week so I plan to be a hermit. I enjoyed NCTE as always, met a lot of people, signed books, presented, and ate good food. On the way out of town we drove by the Jewel Box but it was closed for a wedding party. We then drove to the Arch for a quick picture as we left town.

I hope you all have a good week in store too.