October Update


Fall is here! What a welcome friend. I’ve been reveling in my sweaters and clogs, my brisk mornings and early sunsets. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy.

What I’m Reading

I joined Audible a few months back and have enjoyed it much more than I’d expected. I listen to lots of chatty memoirs, like Mindy Kaling’s, but recently I discovered you can get the entire Sherlock Holmes collection for one credit. Sixty-eight hours of audio! Very fun, even though Sherlock is shockingly pompous and condescending. It’s a good reminder that characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable, they just have to be interesting.

I also tore through Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers. It’s filled with wild children sprinting across the rooftops of Paris in the middle of the night. How cool is that? My review is at Kid Book List.

What I’m Cooking

Lots of apple recipes this month. I pulled out the slow cooker and made a yummy, if incredibly rich, Apple Cider Braised Pork. It came together really easily, and it made the house smell divine. The sauce is so dang good I’d recommend serving it over rice or polenta so you can soak up all that yumminess.

We went apple picking, so I made a huge vat of applesauce. It took hours to make and disappeared in about twenty happy minutes.

Oh, and here are the lovely apple roses I made:

Apple Roses

I used this recipe, but substituted a mixture of Earth Balance (vegan butter) and maple syrup for the preserves. Yummy and so pretty!

What I’m Doing

We got kittens! We have two new family members, Pollydor, named for the cat in Susan Cooper’s The Boggart, and Pirate. Whenever I’m writing, they are my mostly companions.


My daughter started Girls on the Run. It’s a great program and it’s been really fun for me to run with her a few mornings a week. Plus the kids are so stinking cute.

Girls on the Run

Photo by the amazing Traci Zambotti.

For the first time, this year the kids wanted actual spooky Halloween decorations (“Bones! Like, coming out of the grave!”). We have a cemetary and plenty of spider webs.


And of course, we went apple picking, leading to the aforementioned plethora of apple treats.



What I’m Writing

I’m editing my first book, a middle grade contemporary fantasy, in response to some fabulous critique partner feedback. My crit partners are the best!! I’m also working on book two, an early middle grade contemporary. I’ve been editing it with the help of an online class with the wonderful Jen Malone at Inked Voices.

Finally, I was lucky enough to attend the Rutgers One-on-One Conference this month. What an amazing conference! If you write for children, it’s the best opportunity out there to meet industry professionals. My mentor was the kind, smart, and supportive Elissa Erwin of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. I got to meet lots of great writers, editors, and agents who love kid lit. It was a fantastic day.

Happy fall, everyone!