Like so many of their peers, my sons are obsessed by the Harry Potter books. No wonder, then, that while introducing them to Star Wars I came upon this happy epiphany. As I brought popcorn into the living room, I overheard one of them reading the Amazon plot pitch for The Empire Strikes Back as if it … Continue reading Ele-Vader Pitch
Last week I took on the role of layout designer for a community literary magazine. It was a satisfying experience with a few lessons learned. The Job The challenge included formatting and organizing 120 pages of photos, art, poetry, and prose fiction and nonfiction between 50 and 1,500 words, in three languages and three different … Continue reading First Lit Mag Layout in the Books
Happy Publication Day to all the contributors at the American School of Bombay! Over 80 students, parents, teachers, and staff added their voice to the first issue of ASB Musings --- a collection of reflections of the world through our eyes --- to make it a spellbinding repository of poetry, short fiction, memoir, photographs, journalism, and … Continue reading Happy Publication Day!
End of last year I offered to help produce a school literary magazine, figuring I might be useful editing the 80 or so submissions. Yesterday I learned the organizers really need someone to pull the issue together, format it, give it that polished look. Why'd they turn to me? My inexperience coupled with their tight … Continue reading Lit Mag Guy
Appreciated the chance to chime in on Robbie Yates latest release, The Kooky Kids' Club, and honored to have a blurb on the cover. I found the story relatable and empathetic, the story-telling spare and true. In the author's own words: Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives … Continue reading New Middle Grade Fiction
Puzzled that I’d spend my time doing this, people will ask, ‘How long have you been writing?’ Part accusation, part sincere inquiry, it deserves consideration. The truest answer I have—and it’s not a wise guy answer—is always. I say ‘truest’ because of the stages leading up to my present output: two published novels; two mid-grade … Continue reading Always
Today I finished my fifth novel. Tomorrow, it will be a gift for my son on his eighth birthday. I await the sense of release, the great pocket of freedom that opens up when a large file is deleted. Last December a man walked into the SweetLife Cafe wearing nothing at all but his socks. … Continue reading Reader Wanted
Two weeks ago (yes...) I visited my son's second grade class. I read to them from my current work in progress, a novel soon to be presented IHO Mohan's eighth birthday. Before I finished the hands were up and all the mouths were saying 'Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!' They had plans for my principal foil, a … Continue reading Can He also Ride a Porcupine?
Without telling us the punchlines, Dutch researchers announced this week the discovery of four dirty jokes papered over in Anne Frank’s diary. I taught the diary as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi two decades ago, curious from the start why it was on the curriculum. My students faced a lifetime of grinding poverty, endemic … Continue reading Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa
My favorite work day of the year. The cafeteria never seems so alive. The visitor hall buzzes with energy. At State our children take the same oath of service---to uphold the constitution---that we took when we came on board. “I stachername, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United … Continue reading Take Your Child to Work Day