Category Archives: Uncategorized

101 Books to Read

I found this on Obviously it’s from last summer, but it’s cool enough to check out even several months late.

Read with the flow!

Read with the flow!

Just picked these up

zombies and star wars!

zombies and star wars!

How did I not know there was a Star Wars zombie series??? And I the Walter Dean Myers book, so WDM can sign it at our presentation in March.

Sooooo, the next two weeks are supposed to be interesting.


Brain Overload…Need Shock Therapy

New story is out doing its thing in Agent Land.
150+ essays are sprawled in front of me awaiting the mighty blue pen.
Newer book proposal is coming together too slowly.

I need another run through fire and electrical wires in a big way.
This Friday’s night race through the woods will have to do for now.
Until then, this photo is my happy place.

cough, cough, hack!

I don’t know why my tongue is sticking out.

Fakie –sold out

Arg. Fakie is sold out again. I’ve contacted the publisher to get more shipped.
I have a short-term solution at my website if you are interested.
I apologize for the inconvenience.

Best Teen Novels

NPR released their “100 Best-Ever Teen Books” list yesterday. 75,000 people voted on the choices. So, if you are looking for your next YA read, check these out.

The result is a good list with a nice mix of classics and newer books. I’ve read quite a few of these, but I have a lot more that I want to. With school gearing up again, I’m adding these to my list of books to read next summer.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Mind’s Eye

My mom-mom turned 96 this week.

A lifetime of doing crossword puzzles, reading, and independence has kept her mind sharp.

Her eyes, though, weren’t so lucky. She has macular degeneration, and maybe 5 years ago, she had her first cornea transplant in one eye. And that’s when things got wacky.

Mom-mom started seeing people
And old buildings
And plants.

When we drove her through town, she asked us why they put all the old buildings back up. Then she asked, “Why are the men were wearing suits and derbies. Is there a parade?” Even sitting by ourselves in her house she leaned in close to whisper, “What do they want? They just stand there all the time.”

OK, I thought to myself, Grandma’s had a good run , but now she’s lost it. To make it even more frustrating, she’d weave the hallucinations into reality. She’d walk around a man she saw to get orange juice from the fridge. Yet if I asked her about the people, she told me: “They aren’t really here, but I see them just the same.” Therefore, She couldn’t have lost it, if she could tell the difference between the hallucinations and reality. But something weird was going on. And weird things make me obsess over them until I can find an explanation—even if that explanation is equally weird.

Doctors did scans, and tests, and blood work. They found nothing.

So I’m thinking: Mom-mom has reached that stage where she’d seeing things like they used to be.
Unfortunately, Millsboro has never had buildings larger than three stories, and she was seeing sky scrapers. So that wasn’t it. And one time she told me she couldn’t eat her cereal because there was a huge tree growing in her bowl. She definitely didn’t have that growing up.

So next I’m thinking: Could they be spirits trying to comfort her? Could they be her deceased relatives here to escort her off to a better place? But she told me the people never spoke to her or acknowledged her at all. They just stood around all the time. That’s not comforting; that’s stalking. And spirits would have better things to do.

I’ve watched my share of movies like Blink, where the eye retains some of what the previous owner saw. And this weirdness started when she received the cornea transplant. So now I’m thinking: What if these are the former cornea owner’s memories. Except for the tree in the cereal bowl, that could work. After six months or so, Mom-mom’s eye rejected the cornea, and she had to get a replacement. The buildings and 1920’s people were gone.

But then she got another cornea transplant, and now she sees children. Children climbing on her furniture and coming through secret passages in the wall. And when I went to visit her an hour ago, she saw kids running up and down the empty hall.

I was perfectly happy to accept the Blink theory of eye image retention, until my in-laws handed me an article two days ago about Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Apparently people have been diagnosed with this craziness since 1780, yet none of our doctors had heard of it.

I feel a sense of closure knowing this condition has been recognized for a couple centuries. However, I’m still going to obsess over why the visions changed with the cornea.

New Article is Live

My new article is up on Engage, the International Reading Association magazine, “Making a Point with a View.” It’s all about improving writing instruction by changing the student’s perspective.

In other news: One quarter of revisions finished. I need to get moving to meet my June 30 goal!

The List of Power!

My wife’s superhero name is List Woman!

There are lists everywhere: on the fridge, next to the phone, on my place-mat. Things need to get done, and she’s gonna make sure they do. Dylan has a list of things to do in order to get into college. I get a daily list to accomplish, she has her own list of Master Plan events. The most dreaded list of all, The Summer Project Uber List, casts a dark shadow over my near future.

Her real superpower, though, is infection. I tried to fight it with the penicillin of defiance and jokes, but still I caught the list disease.

The things she writes down get done. Not because my wife’s a tyrant. It’s probably because once it’s written, it’s out there. The world knows you’re supposed to do it, so you’d better step up. That’s the philosophy behind NaNoWriMo, but November is way too busy for me. However, since I’ve taken a 2-year writing hiatus due my teaching schedule, I need to accomplish some major work in my two months of summer.

I’m not even sure if you are still reading this, but that’s OK. This list is out there, so it will be accomplished. And that’s what gives it super power.

And now…

[the sound of trumpets]

The Summer Writing List…

Write article for Engage, the International Reading Association’s online magazine (June 11)
Finish revision and submit book project 1 (June 30ish)
Finish rewrite of book project 2 (July 31ish)
Agent things (July)
Update too many blogs and web pages. (Throughout—but start today!)

And oh yeah, it’s summer, so I should schedule in some fun
Take a road trip with the fam
Take kids to ballet, band, karate, and whatever…
Kayak and train for next obstacle race (Zombie run?)
Go to the beach and get better at skim boarding
Read 10 books this summer (I’m on number 2).

OK. Let’s get to it.