Yes, I know I’m writing these books wrong, but I don’t care. (plus a sneak peek to Book 8)

Over the years I’ve been told by critics that: I wrote my books “wrong” (whatever that means); That that my series wouldn’t be “successful” (by whose standards?) because it wasn’t like other people’s books series; That if I really wanted to be popular (why would I want that much attention?!) I needed to change x, … Continue reading Yes, I know I’m writing these books wrong, but I don’t care. (plus a sneak peek to Book 8)

Sneak peek book 8: Anyone else clean a home to say “good-bye” or am I the only weird one who negotiates with houses?

Nothing is quite as melancholy as cleaning out an empty house. Again. Alone. Last night as I scrubbed another kitchen sink for the last time I thought of how many times I’ve cleaned out a house as I moved from it. Apartments: 3 Houses I’ve owned: 5 Houses I’ve rented: 6 Last night was the … Continue reading Sneak peek book 8: Anyone else clean a home to say “good-bye” or am I the only weird one who negotiates with houses?

The worth of battered books, and us (plus a sneak peek into Book 8)

I woke up dreaming of a battered book. I’d been thumbing through it and wincing that poor-quality sticky notes had left yellow squares on pages, along with what I suspected was coffee or soda splotches. And that brown smear? Oh, I hoped it was chocolate. I sighed in frustration. Not that long ago the book … Continue reading The worth of battered books, and us (plus a sneak peek into Book 8)

The hardest, toughest, scariest, best year I’ve ever endured: my first year as a 10th grade teacher (plus another sneak peek into Book 8)

“You’re gonna miss me, aren’t you, Mrs. Mercer?” a student asked me yesterday. “You big goober, of course I’m going to miss you.” But I didn’t say the first three words out loud. (At least I don’t think I did.) But I meant I would miss him, to my surprise. Back in autumn when I … Continue reading The hardest, toughest, scariest, best year I’ve ever endured: my first year as a 10th grade teacher (plus another sneak peek into Book 8)

Book 8 IS COMING THIS SUMMER! (I promise, really–just hang in there, friends)

Sorry I can't be more specific with the date. I need to finish this year of teaching in June. Then prep for and teach three weeks of summer school. Then move into our fourth house in just one year (a personal best [worst] for number of moves for us). Then finish editing Book 8 (all … Continue reading Book 8 IS COMING THIS SUMMER! (I promise, really–just hang in there, friends)

I used to think prom was a waste of time and money, but last weekend I realized why we need it (and a sneak peek to book 8)

My inner anthropologist compelled me on Saturday night to go to our high school and witness a cultural phenomenon called “walking out.” At proms in the west, this doesn’t occur. But here in Downeast Maine it’s the event of the year. Before the prom begins, the juniors (even though all grades were invited) link arms … Continue reading I used to think prom was a waste of time and money, but last weekend I realized why we need it (and a sneak peek to book 8)

They can keep changing the rules, but we don’t have to be obedient. (Plus 3 sneak peeks into Book 8)

My 6-year-old tried to play chess with me at their school’s STEM night last week. I didn’t realize he knew the rules, and it turns out he doesn’t, because he produced a secret weapon: a 6-legged spider he’d made out of clay in his class earlier. “This is spider-guy,” he announced. “And he can eat … Continue reading They can keep changing the rules, but we don’t have to be obedient. (Plus 3 sneak peeks into Book 8)

A surprising perspective of Godliness I’ve learned from teaching high school (yes, He’s still there)

They come into my room with complaints, always. It’s the nature of teenagers, and because I sit behind the desk I hear it all. Usually they march right up to me and express how annoying, or rude, or fake, or awful someone is. It's more important than lunch, more important than study hall, more important … Continue reading A surprising perspective of Godliness I’ve learned from teaching high school (yes, He’s still there)

Bethany wrote a song, guys! To accompany Book 5—”Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti.” Come listen and wear a sweater (because it gave me chills)

I hardly know how to write this post because nothing like this has happened before. I’m on the floor (because I was floored, literally) to receive an email from Bethany Cousins, a reader who’s become a friend (a side benefit I never realized that comes with writing: new friends!). She, with her husband (i.e. NuminousBand), … Continue reading Bethany wrote a song, guys! To accompany Book 5—”Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti.” Come listen and wear a sweater (because it gave me chills)

How an invasion of ladybugs brought down this pacifist and is making her rethink her stance on guns.

See this photo of our latest snowstorm? Look closer—see all the spots on the image when I turn on my camera's flash? Ladybugs. No, no, no—don’t start saying, “Oh, how sweet!” because they aren’t. Not one bit. They are everywhere. Hundreds, every single day, springing up in the oddest of places. Usually I find them … Continue reading How an invasion of ladybugs brought down this pacifist and is making her rethink her stance on guns.