The Beekeeper’s Fear

Written for middle-grade readers, my first book, The Mystery of Apple Crest, takes place on an Apple Orchard. A young girl and her family have moved into her grandfather’s home and learn to manage an Apple Orchard. In the course of writing this book, I learned an important lesson when a beekeeper’s fear stopped me in my tracks. I wrote this book mumble-mumble years ago. It is a sweet story, not well written, but in my defense, it was my first. Diligent, as always, I researched a lot of stuff. I’d been to orchards too many times to count, I’d even stayed a few nights in my aunt and uncle’s home with its orchard (see More than a Game). But I’d never lived on an orchard. So I visited a local orchard, toured the place, and asked lots of dumb questions. Bees and Apple Orchards During the course of the tour, I discovered that this orchard also had rows of beehives. It’s obvious once you think about it, apple trees have blossoms that must be pollinated. Bees are pollinators. In fact, apple orchards depend on honey bees to pollinate the trees. For best results, they need approximately 20-25 bees per […]

The Magic You Make When You Read a Story

Storytelling is magic. Black marks march across a piece of paper into your brain. And in your brain something grows and blossoms. Colors and shapes and feelings and adventure. The magic you make when you tell a story is that every single person who reads it puts a piece of themselves into that story. Not only that, they take a little piece of that story away with them. The magic you make when you read a story creates a world with characters and problems and solutions.  Why I Write Books were friends, allies, escape when I desperately needed those things. They took me to real and fantastical places. The heroes and villains within taught me good and evil are not simple but doing right is. Someone’s words slid right through my eyes and my brain and into my heart. This. I wanted to be able to do that. To help someone who’s having a bad day. To show someone who had darkness in their life that there is light and you can reach it. My Soul to Keep My debut book, My Soul to Keep, is very much one of those books. A book I hope will touch the people […]

What Is Bad Will Be Better Tomorrow

In my year-end review process I go through my old journals to get a sense of where I was last year and five years ago. It helps me to see what my goals were, what I’ve accomplished, and where my goals changed.  This year something I wrote five years ago, caught my attention. I don’t remember the details but can read between the lines. I had said something out loud about my dream of being a successful writer and it paralyzed me for a while. It’s been a rough year–again. But the little free verse that I wrote five years ago speaks to me today about more than my writing. What is bad, will be better tomorrow. I Dreamed and was Afraid I dreamed aloud today. I boasted of my writing abilities. And I grew afraid. I’m not that good. And I wasn’t. I dreamed a quiet dream. And I whispered I will try. And still I was afraid. But I tried. And words meandered across the page. I stopped dreaming. And I wrote. I was still afraid. But I did it anyway. And words marched and plodded and stumbled and fell. It wasn’t that good. But it was getting better. […]