Socked Away

[Click on the image or button to see the full publication] Socked Away Socked away was a poem that I wrote to featured in Highlights Magazine in November 2010. Any text you would like to insert about your writing process or goal that you had in mind when you were building this. Could be a […]

How do you know if you’ve got potential or even raw talent?

“Unless you live in a cave, you’ve heard of American Idol.” That was a recent comment made by a morning news anchors prior to a clip about the latest American Idol poll.

I don’t profess to living in a cave, although if you’ve seen my office you might suggest I should, and the more isolated the better. But, seriously, she’s right. I love music, but I rarely watch the show. But I will admit to talent envy because I couldn’t sing my way out of a shower.

Taking Risks

On my son’s 21st birthday, he celebrated by taking his first parachute jump. I can assure you this was not the way I wanted him to celebrate his birthday, and I was a nervous wreck and mad as all get out. When I graduated from high school, I celebrated with a trip to the Boston and New York area with two friends. The exciting part of the trip was that we didn’t have a clue where we were staying (of course, our parents didn’t know that), and spent one night in a men’s dorm at Yale and one night crashed on the floor of some young musician’s home that we had met on the street.


The first day of the new year is already fading and my holidays are, at best, a wonderful memory, save for the storage tubs of decorations that still need put away.

By now, many of you may already have broken those resolutions that were made with such sincerity not that long ago. For me, I’ve found the best solution is to not make resolutions in the first place – no room for self-recrimination, guilt, or feelings of failure later on. Of course, the year still begins with my own personal challenges – lose weight, exercise more, clean out the toxic dump I call my office, blah, blah, blah. But resolutions? No. Which might explain why I’m overweight, haven’t walked as much as I should, and do most of my writing in a space that could tie for first in the “world’s messiest office” contest.

Change can be good for the soul even when it’s hard

My best friend of over 25 years recently moved away. Far away. We’ve had a year to get used to the idea or “mourn” as we jokingly said, but as the moving date got closer it didn’t get easier. Over the years, Linda and I drank gallons of coffee, jogged hundreds of miles, cried till there were no tears left, and laughed till we made fools of ourselves. Although I know I can hop on a plane and visit, it will never be the same. I never had a friend like Linda before, and I know I never will, and yes, I know all about how the only thing that’s changed is where she lives. Still, one year is not enough time to prepare for something as difficult as this.

What writing for children is all about

At the recent Northern Ohio SCBWI publication party, I shared a story that to me typifies what writing for children is all about. At the risk of being redundant (but as a way to take advantage of the fact that I don’t have to write another article right now!), here’s my story.

In the village of Chalatenango, El Salvador, Andrea lives with the local village priest. Fr. Rafael came into her life when she was near death as a toddler and he was asked to give her a final blessing before she died. He insisted on taking her to the local hospital where she spent a month fighting for her life. Besides being raised on coffee instead of milk, Andrea was being abused by her father, so instead of returning home, her mother asked Father Rafael to take her.