Posts Tagged ‘conference’


April 1, 2017


If you’ve read this far in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I’ll bet you know exactly what this is. Clues: 1) It’s nearly 75 years old and still intact. 2) The cake it topped is long gone. 3) That lovely white dress really should have been another Army uniform. 3) Check out that flag–only 48 stars.  So, have you read this far?


February 25, 2017


This Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar sat on top of our refrigerator for as long as I can remember–longer, in fact, before I was born. I loved it, but only because every now and then, it would fill with wonderful cookies. It was a landmark day when I was able to reach it and pull out my own cookie, instead of standing on a chair to get one. But the old jar became much more than a cookie holder when I read one of Dad’s war/love letters to Mom: “Darling, you’ll never believe what the guys got us for our wedding gift.”

You guessed it. Dad’s war buddies bought Little Red Riding Hood. The gift meant so much to Dad that he carried it on his lap when he took the train to meet his bride-to-be on their wedding day. And they took it on their honeymoon. The cookie jar, minus cookies, has moved from the top of our fridge to the top of our war cabinet. Wouldn’t it be great if we all asked for the stories that go with family heirlooms? And we can pass along those stories to the next generation…and the next…and the next….


Missouri Memories…

February 22, 2013

I grew up in a small town, Hamilton, Missouri. I love that town–and all small towns–in my home state. Not only did I get a great writing foundation (We had to diagram sentences!), but there were stories around every corner. I was in Hamilton Elementary School when I entered my first contest, to write in 50 words or less why you want to be batboy for the Kansas City A’s (now the Royals). I won, but when they found out a girl had won their bat BOY contest, they wouldn’t let me be batboy. A few years ago, I wrote about that victory and defeat in a book called A GIRL NAMED DAN. When the Royals saw that book, they wanted to make it up to me. They flew me to K.C. to be batboy. It was an amazing night.

I’m setting my new middle grade novel in Hamilton. And I’ve used that town, or fictional versions of it, in countless books.

So now a very cool thing is happening. I get to be the keynote luncheon speaker March 17th at the Missouri Children’s Literature Festival in Warrensburg, MO. Students from all across Missouri are bussed in for the event, where they’ll get to attend writing workshops from well-known children’s authors. I can’t wait–my topic: Missouri Memories/Missouri Moments