Why? Why? Why?

Hi everyone,

Didn’t finish everything I wanted to yesterday but enjoyed what I did do. The most pleasant experience was getting a pedicure. Oh that does feel good! I came home and decided to take the rest of the day off. Then I had a good laugh and got back to work.

My smart phone badgered me to let it do the upgrades so I finally relinquished against my better judgment. Now I can’t take a picture worth a hoot. What was an easy adjustment before when I wanted to zoom in has now been transformed into something I haven’t figured out yet.

Why do they do these things to their customers? I was happy. Now I’m not. Is that the goal? Who has time to waste attempting to decipher the latest so-called improvement to a system that wasn’t broken? Er, excuse me. Got carried away.

Have a nice day. (:>


And the bullfrogs sang

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Grace Maccarone sent sketches for my new picture book, AND THE BULLFROGS SANG, being published by Holiday House next year. It’s the first art I’ve seen for the book, which is being illustrated by Kate Cosgrove, and I like it very much. The book is about the life cycle of bullfrogs. I should dedicate it to those lusty singers who sit around the shore of Goose Lake in spring, each trying to outdo its competitors in attracting a mate.

I’ll spend part of today going back over the text to make a few corrections and I also need to write the back matter. I have plenty of notes so that shouldn’t take too long.

Most unusual news

Hi everyone,

Day One of the week went just fine. Got a lot done and also learned that the upcoming volume of SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR, which includes an updated article about me, is due out October 6. Today has a break in it but I’m ready for a good solid block of writing all morning and well into the afternoon.

Okay, here’s some news. My work has been sandblasted into a sidewalk and painted on a bookmobile, but it has never been a tattoo before. A good friend of mine, Mary Cosker, plans to have the original Piggy tattooed in January. Mary teaches junior and senior English at Pioneer Career and Technology Center in Shelby, Ohio. Her early memories of my story were when she was growing up on a dairy farm in Jeromesville.

Does anyone remember PIGGY WIGLET AND THE GREAT ADVENTURE? Technically my work isn’t involved. It’s that wonderful illustration created by Les Gray back in 1973. Les also illustrated Larry Brimner’s great story of MAX AND FELIX. But I’m taking credit anyway because it was my story that meant a lot to Mary and her sisters when they were girls around their grandmother’s knees, listening to the great adventure of a pig who set out to catch the sun.

In January I will feature Mary and ask her to tell her story about those times that remain so vivid today. It’s a moving example of how books can have such powerful, lasting influences on children, especially when they are lucky enough to have a loving adult read to them.

Bring it on

Hi everyone,

This promises to be a good week. Jane Yolen and I are into a new book so I’ll work on that. Wyatt Townley (former Kansas Poet Laureate) and I are thinking through the possibility of doing something together so I’ll work on that. Mary Jo Fresch and I are into the final tweaks before our book goes to the printer so I’ll work on that.


I need to provide manuscripts and other information to my agent so I’ll work on that. And I hope to get a yes from an editor who wants a manuscript I have with her. It will be a busy week with lots of work and few interruptions. I’m buckling in.


Lesson learned

Hi everyone,

My M.O.W. worked yesterday for a few hours so naturally I got busy sneak writing. Life was good! I’m working on a book proposal and the juices were flowing!

My muse was feeling exceedingly witty. I kept thinking of one more clever thing and one more. I couldn’t believe it!

After completing a flawless introduction, I sat back with a sense of satisfaction and read it aloud.

Did I say that? Did I actually write that? Did I really and truly think this was funny? What. Was. I. Thinking.

I deleted it all. Went to the kitchen for a glass of condolences over ice and sat down with a book. Crime doesn’t pay.