For Writers

Adam Smith Knew We’d Love Jane Austen

Are you a fan of Jane Austen? Ever wondered why her stories remain popular with generations of readers and movie-goers? Adam Smith, the economist and philosopher, helped me see Austen’s genius in a new light. My daughter led me to this. She’d been studying Adam Smith in college. She told me about his insights into… Read more »

“Take Five” with Before We Stood Tall

Today on “Take Five” I’m recommending Before We Stood Tall: From Small Seed to Mighty Tree. This picture book was written by Jessica Kulekjian and illustrated by Madeline Kloepper (Kids Can Press, 2021). From the front flap: “Discover the extraordinary life cycle of trees—in reverse! From mature tree to young tree to sapling to sprout… Read more »

Introducing “Take Five”—Book Talks in Five Bullets

I’m starting a series of short posts about children’s books I recommend. In each post, I will list five aspects of the text that strike me as memorable, magical, or noteworthy. My goal is to showcase great books while highlighting effective writing techniques. To kick off the series, I present an award-winning, nonfiction picture book… Read more »

Apple Blossoms, MTV Awards, and Finding Awe Outdoors

Nature instills wonder. We just have to notice. I recently read a Writer’s Digest article on how authors should gauge their success. It said, “Start by asking yourself: Why did I write this book?” I wrote Night Becomes Day: Changes in Nature because transformations fascinate me. Each summer, I watch flowers turn into fruit in… Read more »