Is the world really going to s***?

It sure feels like it if you look at the front page of the newspaper. Two more dead animals found in Blackstone home (The Boston Globe).  ISIS Video Shows Execution of David Cawthorne Haines, British Aid Worker (The New York Times). You may say to yourself: those are not even from today's paper. True. I try to avoid the news because it is so depressing, and every time I do look, this is what I find.

We are exterminating species from this planet at a rate a thousand times higher than before humans existed.

We are multiplying at a rate far beyond the capacity of the planet to support us; sometimes I think we are a plague.

We live the theme of my high school English class, "man's inhumanity to man," and extend it to every living thing, as well as the very air, water, and soil.

We are apparently content to let 15+ million US children go hungry and almost 3 million US animals be euthanized (and not call it murder).

And yet, don't we have a responsibility to try and do some good, however small? What about just putting some sunshine and positivity out there? I know it's hard, and sometimes we have to really look, but here's the thing: we don't have to really look to find someone or something that needs our attention and our help and our encouragement.

As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."



What if you’re shy?

How does a shy person get noticed? I ask because I have never been a person who seeks attention; rather, I prefer to read or to observe. Sometimes I am forced to the front of the room, for example for my graduation speech, but mostly I hover on the sidelines, not a wallflower exactly, more a rover. Sometimes I wait so long to get up my nerve to participate in an activity or group that it is over before I have the chance. Why should I care? I am also a writer, and to be a writer, especially these days, one has to want to be noticed; one has to wave one’s (often digital) arms preferably at least once a day and demand notice beyond what one has written. One has to share. Well, the thought of that gives me hives, not actual hives because those might draw attention but mental hives, hands clenched and my eyes closed, hoping it will all just go away. I am well aware that if I don’t wave my arms, send out some signals, make some noise, many other authors—and singers and entrepreneurs and dancers and actors and whatever it is that Kim Kardashian does—will make more than enough noise to compensate for me. I have on my list to read a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Maybe it will give me some tips. Or maybe it will tell me to embrace who I am and trust that the world will discover my books all on its own.  A girl can dream, right?



Best of summer books (according to me)

Okay, I already miss summer. You?

During the year, and by that I mean the school year since I do work and have often worked in a school, I read an average of a book a week.   During the summer though, I read as many as a book a day, which can make for a very good day indeed, especially if said book is read at the beach.  What did I read this summer?

Most memorable

Shadow and Bone
The Usual Rules

Least memorable

A Visit from the Goon Squad
The Invention of Wings

Best surprise

Faking Normal
Shadow and Bone

Biggest disappointment

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Will read more by this author

Mary Kay Andrews
Martha McPhee
Jennifer Brown

Total read June-August


And awesome beach read finished Sept. 7 to prolong the summer: The Matchmaker. You can see all my book ratings at Goodreads.



On the Way to Everywhere

The day has come—my second novel has hit the shelves!

Though she’s nicknamed for the magical Harry Potter, six-foot, dreadlocked Harry Kavanaugh doesn’t find any wonder in her daily life at an exclusive girls’ school outside of Washington, DC.  In fact she wants nothing more than to chuck her lot and enter the wilds of public school—too bad she didn’t reckon on a trip to the hospital, a runaway, and a renegade or three, which just might show her a different path to everywhere.
On sale now!
Available in print in my e-store
and from Amazon in print or e-book


Thank you for the weekend

I watch very little TV (the last show I watched slavishly was Friends, though I do admit to Sherlock, Downton Abbey, and House of Cards), but a recent viewing, perhaps even of House of Cards, brought me an ad slogan I’d not heard, “From the people who brought you the weekend.”  As I understand it now, this is a reference to labor unions, since people who worked in factories and on farms only had one day off, the traditional day of rest, Sunday.  Of course there have always and still are many people who have schedules other than M-F 9-5, people who work at night or people who work weekends and have weekdays off or people who have on-call schedules, etc.  However, the ad made me think of the new changes that modern life is bringing to our time, sometimes faster than it even seems possible to record, never mind process, and to me that change isn’t always positive.  With the internet, and with it email, cell phones, texting, and the like, many of us now can and indeed are expected to work—to be available, to be on call—every day of the week, every hour of the day.  From a personal standpoint this doesn’t seem like progress.  We all need breaks.  We all need “weekends,” whatever form they take. Thanks to those who made it happen and those who work to preserve free time, as we all should.  Take back your weekend, even if it’s only for an hour, and smile.

The New Weekend