Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


 Good news!

There will be a 2021 Quaker Motto Calendar.

For this year, we're asking if you'll send your email address to

to receive an order form and an address to send your checks.

You can also leave a comment with your email address on this blogpost and I'll send the mailing address for payment and orders. 

Because of the scramble to get the calendars ready ASAP, the checks will go to Katharine Scattergood Marino this year. As soon as she receives your payment and order, the printer will get them to you.

Here is some information you may want to know:


Hearing how much everyone loves these little gems really made us try very hard to keep them going.

For those of you not familiar with the calendars, here's a page from yesteryear!





Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Learn from the Best

 Writing Tip Tuesday(s)

Yesterday was my buddy and NYT-bestselling-author, Barbara O'Connor's birthday.

For a completely non-birthday reason, I happened upon this quote on her blog:

The core of the writer's challenge is to tell a fresh story. As William M. Thackeray (Victorian novelist, author of Vanity Fair), summed it up: "The two most engaging powers of a good author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new."

(via Philip Martin, the editor of The New Writer's Handbook)

I love how she puts on her teacher face and shares such good advice.

Like- go all zen into your character's head and BE the character.

(Note:Even though she's older today than she was yesterday, this is not even close to how Barbara looks or how she teaches. But it is an image I borrowed from her blog because it made me smile. There's lots there that will make you smile, too.)

If you click over to Barbara's blog, you'll find a whole bunch of her Writing Tips. 

For a long time, she actually called them Writing Tip Tuesdays and every single Tuesday, I learned a whole lot.

So, happy birthday, Barbara, and thank you for passing along your amazing, funny, helpful writing advice.

Oh, and if for some reason, you and your kids, ages 9-12-ish, haven't read Barbara's fabulous middle-grade novels yet, you are in for a treat. A HUGE treat.

It's hard to pick just a favorite, but this is one I've read more than once.


BTW, I loved the original cover, but this new one, wow!