Active Denial
One of the things that is most fun about writing a novel is really getting to know the characters as people. And one of the hardest things about finishing is giving them up, releasing them to the pages of the book and moving on.

So this blog series is sort of my form of Active Denial. I can carry on thinking of Ivy Green and Paul Dobbs as living, breathing 12-year-olds and this world we live in is their oyster.

Kinda Cool, Kinda Creepy
Yesterday I shared some links to Greyhound and road trip-related articles because I just know that Ivy caught the travel bug during her GREAT GOOD SUMMER. But today we’re heading back up into space. Because would Paul think that news from Mars was cool, or what?

This particular news is actually kind of cool, but kind of creepy too. I think you’ll agree.


Share and Win!
To learn more about Ivy and Paul than just the stuff I’m sharing on my blog this month, enter to win THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER (plus an extra treat or two)! Simply share this post on twitter using the hashtag #greatgoodsummer, leave a comment here on the blog, or leave a comment on my facebook page. And thanks!

Stuff That’s Great Good — Ivy’s Turn

Welcome Back!
Hey friends — Thanks for your great response to yesterday’s kick-off of my new blog series: Stuff That’s Great Good. I’m excited to spend the next few weeks sharing some of the cool, creepy, weird and wacky stuff in the real world that I know my fictional characters would dig — and I hope you will too!

Stuff That’s Great Good
We started off with Paul — the pal and co-conspirator of my book’s narrator, Ivy Green. Paul is a science kid and hopes to be an astronaut someday. Ivy, on the other hand, considers herself more a girl of ideas than a girl of action. Still, with Paul’s nudging, the two of them take off on a brave but risky adventure. What she learns along the way is that she’s made of tougher stuff than she’d imagined.


Ivy’s only twelve in THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER, and by the end of the book she’s headed back to the small (fictional) town she grew up in, but somehow I imagine that the road is going to call her name from now on.

I’ll bet she’d love to take a trip like this with her mama and daddy on a Greyhound bus. And once she gets her driver’s license in a few years, maybe she’d be up for the Old Spanish Trail, the ultimate in blue highway (or backwoods or bike trail) adventures!

I hope if she goes for it, she’ll write about it….

Share and Win!
(To join Ivy and Paul on their original adventure, enter to win THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER (plus an extra treat or two)! Simply share this post on twitter using the hashtag #greatgoodsummer, leave a comment here on the blog, or leave a comment on my facebook page!)


Stuff That’s Great Good — Kick-Off!

Paul and Ivy Would Love This!
So the main characters in my novel THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER are pretty cool kids. As in, they’re interested in things that are wild and mysterious and, well, interesting. So much so that even though I finished writing the book many moons ago, I still see articles online and hear stories on the radio and think, “Oh, Paul and Ivy would love this!” (Yes, I know that they’re not real people. But y’know, if they were…)

Anyway, I’ve decided I can’t stand it anymore — I want to share these discoveries! And if I can’t share them with Paul and Ivy, I’ll share them with you! Over these next four weeks, I’ll be posting every day or so about the things my characters would get jazzed about — and that you might get jazzed about, too.

Share and Win!
And also (because why not?), I’m turning this whole thing into a give-away! Share any of the posts on twitter or facebook using the hashtag #greatgoodsummer and you’ll be automatically entered into my weekly drawing for a free copy of the book and who knows what else? Some fun little Paul-and-Ivy related things!

So. Yes? Yes!

Stuff That’s Great Good
AldrinNow, here’s a teaser of how this is gonna go. Paul Dobbs — the slightly antagonistic pal to my narrator, Ivy Green — is a freak for space. He flies remote controlled airplanes and he hoped to someday fly a Space Shuttle. But alas, the Space Shuttle program is no more and he grieves it throughout the novel.

Paul’s like a lot of us — he thought the end of that era was a death knell for the adventure of space. But there seems to be mind-boggling space news nearly every week lately. And I just can’t help but think Paul would get a huge kick out of it all. Like the fact that you can follow Buzz Aldrin on twitter. Seriously. And what about this look at Buzz’ Customs Declaration Form, submitted when he returned from the Apollo mission to the moon.

Cool, huh? Yep. That’s what Paul would think….

More tomorrow, I promise! In the meantime, share and be entered to win #greatgoodsummer



And thanks!




Poetry Princess Project — August

So our challenge for this month was haiku because, well, it’s summer vacation.
And we wanted something super duper easy.
Something we could just toss off in a couple of minutes.

(Insert evil laugh track here.)

I think we should re-name our challenge the “It Wasn’t As Easy As It Looked” challenge.

Anyway, we did it — haiku.
Although lots of us actually did senryu, or senryu-haiku hybrids or something.
Mine are sort of seasonal in nature (seasonal in nature — ha! — that’s a genuine haiku joke!) so maybe they qualify as straight haiku, but regardless…

Here’s the fun part:
We modeled all of our haiku after classifieds.
The old-fashioned kind that showed up in, y’know, newspapers.

Here are mine….


Free for the taking:

All food except raspberries

(seasonal cuisine)


Hot girl seeks sweater

and a/c that’s much too cold:

Summer Matinee


Wanted: stolen hours

huge latte, a comfy spot.

(I can’t put this book down)



To see the lovely, witty, perfect poems written by my partners in crime, go here:

Tricia Stohr-Hunt

Kelly Fineman

Sara Lewis Holmes

Tanita Davis

Andi Sibley

Laura Purdie Salas


And then you’ll find a zillion other amazing poems here, at Poetry Friday, hosted by Tabatha Yeatts. 


Poetry Princess Project — July

It’s hard to believe we’re more than half-way through this year of form challenges.
The whole thing has been equal parts hard and dreamy, really.
And this month, no exception.

So our agreed-upon challenge was to write a poem “In the style of….” and we finally decided to write “in the style of” e.e. cummings. Because who, pray tell, writes in a more recognizable style than e.e.?

We each chose a different poem, wrote our own piece based upon the original, and then recorded that piece so that we could experience the echo both on the page and aurally.

It was tricky to decide how closely we should hew to e.e.’s pieces, but what he offered up in terms of language and sensuality and risk and playfulness? WOW. What a pleasure. So, humbly, I offer up my poem, in the style of:


i liked you when you were curled within

me and now you are so yes a new thing.

Touch tiny and drift more.

i like your cry. i like how it calls me,

i like its round lips. i like to feel the weight

of your still-soft skull against my neck, and the ache

pain-love ness and the what will

always and always and always

be, i like knowing the almost all of you,

i like, slowly seeing the, deep tunnel

of parts I’ll never plumb, and the wholeness

inside out… And heart-blinking baby,


certainly this mother love

of mine, for you, so yes so new.


And here is that very same poem read aloud!

And here is the poem it was based upon….


Finally, here are my poetry sisters’ poems and recordings:

Kelly Fineman

Andi Sibley

Laura Purdie Salas

Sara Lewis Holmes

Tanita Davis

Tricia Stohr-Hunt


(Find links to even more awesome poetry at this week’s Poetry Friday host, The Logonauts!)

Fare well, friends. Thanks for stopping by and happy weekend.