“Quitting” Ain’t a Dirty Word

By day, I work with college students. Often, those are students who are in academic trouble. And every day, I ask questions like, "Why didn't you drop the class when you failed the midterm?" or "Why are you so determined to stick to a major that's making you flunk out of school?" The answer, inevitably, is, …

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Turning Interviews into Kids’ Books with Erica Swallow

This month in the Inspiration and Perspiration series, I tracked down Erica Swallow, co-creator of a non-fiction picture book stemming from Erica's real-life interview with kid entrepreneurs. I met Erica at the San Francisco Writer's Conference, where, in our first chat, she asked, "Is there anything I can do to help you with your project?" I was later …

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Why I Write for Kids and Teens

Sometimes, when I tell people that I write for kids and teens, they respond with something along the lines of, "Oh that sounds fun! Do you think one day you'll be good enough/serious enough to write for adults?" I then launch in to all the reasons I love writing for young people. The challenge of …

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Art Modeling and Creating Art with Krystal Becker

Where does inspiration come from? Ask the ancient Greeks and they'd point you to the muses—goddesses with the role of inspiring artists, writers, and scientists. Today we meet Krystal Becker, a modern-day muse (or art model) and an artist herself. Meeting Krystal in person, you'd be unsurprised artists are drawn to her. Her retro features …

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Where do ideas come from?

“Where do you get your ideas?” I’ve noticed that fiction writers tend to answer this question in a tone I’ll call…cutsey sarcastic. “A unicorn brings them to me every full moon.” Cool, cool. The wisdoms of the masters—always super helpful… Don’t get me wrong, I get it. It’s a weird question for fiction writers to …

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Make a 2017 Bucket List

As we approach the end of the year, you know what question is headed your way. “Any New Year’s resolutions?” Does anyone actually stick to these things? I feel psyched about New Year's resolutions for about two weeks before I start dodging people as they ask me how it's going.  So for those who are a little sick …

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Create the World You Want to See

I’ve been thinking a lot in the past couple weeks about the subtitle I chose for this blog. Why not, "Story time!" or "Who brought the marshmallows?" or "Why to be careful checking out a stack of books about witchcraft because a student might think you're trying to summon the devil"? (Another story for another time.) See, …

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Collecting and Connecting – Two Years of Interviews

I not only tell stories, I collect them. I interview people about their complicated career paths and publish the articles once a month. After two years, I’ve found there’s a key factor that separates the interviews I find interesting and the ones I get fully sucked into, head first. But before I talk about other people’s stories, …

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