A Country Mile

Mazza Monday

Well, the first day of the 2012 Mazza Summer Institute has come and gone.  And what a Monday! The first keynote speaker?  Carmen Bernier-Grand, three-time winner of the Pura Belpre Award and a tiny powerhouse of encouragement and inspiration.  As a child, Carmen was scolded by her older sister for staring at people, but Carmen […]

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Ohio’s Best-Kept Secret

Imagine a place where everyone in the room adores books the way you do.   A place where illustrations from children’s books, classic to modern, line the walls, and the chatter around you buzzes with words like “artist,” “create,” and “literature.” Are you dreaming? Probably not.  You’re likely in Findlay, Ohio.  Now you probably think I’m […]

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The best birthday, inDEED!

It all started on my birthday last month. Okay, that’s not true. It started a few years ago when my in-laws purchased some neighboring farmland with a sweet, little red brick one-room schoolhouse on it. Actually, not then. It started 22 1/2 years ago when I moved to the country and into a white house just down the […]

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The Clothesline

I hung clothes on the line this week.  To some, this may sound like a mundane chore. But, for me, hanging clothes out on the clothesline is much more. And the reasons are as varied as the colors on the line. First, there’s that smell.  That fresh, crisp, clean smell of sheets or towels or […]

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In Memory of a Bookstore

It’s been two and a half years since my first book was released. I’m thankful for many things.  To name just a few:  the enthusiastic readers I’ve met, my fellow authors (especially the first-class crowd of Ohio authors) who support and cheer one another passionately, and the fact that the book is still in print! […]

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I Found My Agent at the Mall

I’m really not much of a mall shopper.  I tend to gravitate toward small shops and neighborhood stores.  But there’s something so wonderful, so magical about the mall – any mall – at Christmastime, I could spend hours there.  From Santa’s house to a Winter Wonderland to the massive ornaments and decorations, I don’t need to spend […]

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In Search of… A Gnome Home

It’s a big stretch, I know.  From cattle to gnomes.  But my current work-in-progress has me reading and studying all about our wee friends in pointy hats.  I’m developing a particular fondness  for woodland gnomes.   So, on a recent hiking trip in the Hocking Hills, my daughters, my nieces and I were on the lookout […]

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Hot dog sauce

Last Friday, Maggie and I made a 4-hour drive from the farm to Gallia County, down on the Ohio River.  We were on a research trip for a work-in-progress and our gracious hosts, Chuck and Marjorie, suggested a popular lunch spot in Gallipolis.  Because “they have the best hot dog sauce,” Marjorie told me.  “If you […]

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Frost Quake

Ohio has had a rough winter by today’s standards.  It seems that we just don’t have the kind of winters I remember as a child in the  1970s.   These days the snow comes and goes.  Three or four inches of the fluffy white stuff  falls, stays a few days, then melts away as quickly as […]

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SCBWInspired!

I may be more like the cattle on my farm than I dare to admit.  It’s taken me a couple of weeks to ruminate and digest all that I took in at the 2010 SCBWI Confernce in Los Angeles.  I’m at a disadvantage to my bovine friends, as I possess only one stomach.  And, unfortunately, […]

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