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Life has been very un-funny these last few days. I had 27 action items on my To Do list that received no action at all except for late at night when I moved them to the next day’s list. There was a family medical concern, there were interruptions, misunderstandings; the tyranny of unrealistic expectations bore… Read more »

I was looking under my couch trying to find my glasses, when I remembered a time, maybe 25 years ago, when my daughter's gerbil Lassie escaped. We'd looked everywhere for this rodent to no avail and Jean had left for first grade in tears.   "If you find her, you'll call the school, right?"  I… Read more »

Protecting kids. It’s there inside of us. It’s in our DNA.

The school shooting in Newtown CT happened to our kids, to our teachers.  The loss is too deep, it can’t be understood, but what we must do in their memory and in the name of rightness and reason is to draw a line in the sand and say, No More.  Everyone can do something.  People… Read more »

When I was trying to break in as a new writer, sometimes I would drag myself to my desk,  asking the wrong question —Does the world really need another story?   Early in my career, I posed a similar question to a rowdy group of high school freshman who were not listening to much of… Read more »

The turkey is gone, the carcass has been made into soup, Black Friday is history, and maybe the spirit of Thanksgiving feels like it's wearing thin.  Keeping Thanksgiving is a lot like keeping a friend's place in line.  You guard it. Very deliberately…  Each day, no kidding, no exception.  No matter what's going on, how… Read more »

Among the throng of readers devouring books out there, and we writers just want to say, thank you, there is a little realized approach to reading that can bring unique fulfillment: Imagine what the writer was going through when she or he wrote what you have in your hands. For as much drama as the book you are now reading might possess, as much wonder as it might stir within you, trust me, the drama of actually getting that thing to print is a story in itself.

Nobody gets better mail than those of us who write for kids. Here’s one that made my day.

The challenge of homeless children and what ordinary people can do.

I can remember a cupcake materializing in the midst of a rotten day. A candle being lit despite the darkness. A birthday party planned even though it had been too tough a season to really think about that. My mother, sister, and I made Pilgrim dolls and decorated the house one Thanksgiving, even though our… Read more »

"If you stop sucking your thumb…" I said to my daughter twenty-five years ago.  She sucked her thumb harder and held onto her koala puppet Qantas and another toy koala named Laurie.  Jean said they were engaged.  She looked at me knowingly.  I had to come up with a serious offer to get her to… Read more »

I was walking through the playground near my house when it beckoned to me. The swing, that is. I was never a climbing across monkey bars kind of kid, but a swing was one of life's great inventions. I looked around — I was alone. I walked to the swing, plopped down and pushed off,… Read more »