A Blog of Writing Tips, Interviews, Thoughts on the Writing Process, Book Reviews, Blog Hops, and Things NESCBWI Conference Related.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Learning & the Brain Conference

November 15-17 I was in Boston for a Learning and the Brain Conference. I had been to others but this one was different. I left Boston on Sunday knowing that I and the school where I work have it right. We work with each child, finding ways that will support their learning needs. David Sobel said that it is, "about individual differences NOT learning styles," and he is right. The students I work with are amazing and different. I see beyond their challenges and know they are brilliant, empathetic, and avid learners. They never let their dyslexia, slow processing,, or executive functioning weaknesses stop from excelling.

Our current educational system does not have to be set in stone. Our country and our educational directives are still in their infancy compared to other countries.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thanksgivukah = Rededication and Thanks

Thanksgivukah can only mean one thing, the convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving. This could be the best mash-up ever for Jewish-Americans, Foodies, or any one who simply loves the idea of these two holidays being celebrated together. Chanukah starts at sundown on November 27th and the first full day of this 8-day festival of lights is on Thanksgiving.

Photo from
Think about how delicious this holiday mash-up will be: sweet potato and ginger latkes, pumpkin challah, Manischewitz-flavored Marshmallows, the possibilities are endless. So get creative and make you holiday meal one to remember.

Now, add into the mix, that Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for what we have, for the freedoms we enjoy, and for reflecting on the past, present, and future. Chanukah's, the festival of lights celebrates rededicating yourself to your beliefs and believing in miracles.

I believe I can complete the first draft of my next novel by January 1, 2014. To do so, I give thanks to my family who supports me and my dreams, for my friends who actually read my books, and for the life I am able to lead because of all the wonderful people who fill my life.

So when you are eating turkey and latkes, I hope you spend some time thinking about what you are thankful for and what you want to rededicate yourself too. Life is short, eat latkes!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

What do Writing and Motherhood have in Common?

Writing is often about letting go and seeing where your characters will take you. Writing is a lot like motherhood. The time comes when you have to let go and see your children take flight. Maybe you have already experienced this or maybe you are fast approaching the moment when the world changes. 

Today was my day to let my firstborn drive solo for the very first time. I knew he could do it because I taught him how to drive. I know he is cautious and competent, what I can’t control are the other drivers on the road who might not be.

Letting go means he has to take chances and I have to believe he will always be safe and come home because that is what a mother must do. It is what a writer must do. Often you have to go to the scary places in your mind to be able to know your characters. I know my son, its time for him to soar. He will make the right choices and go to all the places he needs to go on his journey. 

It’s time for me to let him go.