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Welcome to my website

I’m glad you’re here.

I hope the cooler fall days find you thriving, though we remain in strange times.


See that photo to the right? It was taken in fall 2019 -- that haircut is the last one I got. I'll be very glad when we can safely, comfortably once again do normal things like get a haircut and decorate our tresses with purple lowlights.

I don't have much recent news to share. Publication of my nonfiction children's book on N.C. Piedmont farm life at the turn of the 20th century is getting closer to reality. The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will be publishing the book. It draws on the lives of the Sawyers and Hauser families, who once lived on land that is now called Horne Creek Living Historical Farm. The timetable for production and publication is still being worked out. I'll share the details when I have them.


Now on my front burner: The YA novel I started some years ago is updated and looking for its place in the world. That's been a good project for me during the long months of quarantine. I've finished a couple of manuscripts for very young readers, and those are also out looking for a home. Just about everything else is on hold. 

Recently, I had the privilege of teaching Writing for Children through Duke University's OLLI program. It was my first time teaching adults, an entirely different challenge from teaching schoolkids. Like their young counterparts, though, the grown-up students were a joy to work with.

I will eventually beef up the content of this site, but it might have to wait until I finish building a couple of stone paths, weeding, mulching, and rearranging plants in my yard. Caring for the garden has become a passion of mine. There is something soothing about having my hands in the dirt, something heart-lifting about watching my plants bloom and grow anew every year. At times like this, it's great to have a high-maintenance garden.

So please check in here now and then, look around, see what's new.

Read excerpts from my three most recent books. You can reach them with the links at left. If I get requests, I'll put up the first chapters of the older books as well.

Get to know me through my bio. Hint: Books and literacy are big parts of who I am and what I do.

Comb through my archive of bite-size Writing Tips. You'll find practical advice on punctuation, word use, story structure, character development, time management, and more. The Tips are now organized by category rather than chronologically, so you can easily find what you're looking for.

Contact me. Offer suggestions on how I can make this site more useful to you. Ask me questions about writing, publishing, or anything else. Let me know if you're looking for a conference presentation.

The section on my programs for students and adults has yet to be updated. I love to visit schools, libraries, and community groups, in person or virtually. I had the opportunity a few years ago, during grad school at N.C. State University, to present at several academic conferences, a whole other world. All of which is to say, I am back in circulation, experienced at speaking to a range of audiences, and available for engagements. Same goes for my editing services. If you're looking for a freelance editor, contact me any time and I will be happy to answer your questions so you can decide if I'm the right editor for your project.

This is probably so obvious I don’t even need to say it, but … everything on this site is under copyright. Feel free to link to my site — new guests are always welcome. But before you copy or distribute any part of this material, ask me for permission.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Show yourself around. I want this to be a place where we can meet, communicate, and continue to share the joys of books and reading.