Sunday, June 30, 2013


green eyes

Friday, June 28, 2013

Overheard #256

"The chipmunks are robot spy cams."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Pop on over to City Muse Country Muse. Gina and Juliet posted another of my pictures for Writer's Block Wednesday. They called me a "guest photographer." How cool is that?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Submission Advice

Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing has an excellent article on queries, synopses and first pages. Seven agents talk about the most common submission mistakes. 

My favorite query mistake was from Katie Grimm. She advised against writing a query that "Makes you sound mentally unstable. Maybe you think you sound quirky or that you’ve really done your research, or you’re just that enthusiastic, but show your feet are on the ground and you haven’t been stalking us!"  

It reminds me of an author event I attended with Ruth McNally Barshaw. The audience was small, so we had a chance to chat with the author. (I won’t mention her name here, but she’s a friend of Ruth’s.) The author announced that the second book in a series was about to be released, and I said I was looking forward to reading it. The conversation didn’t go well after that. 

Author: You’ve read [name of first book in series]? 
Me: I’ve read all your books. 
Author: stunned silence. The look on her face said, “Oh, no. It’s a stalker.” 
Ruth (trying to help): Ann reads a lot. 

That’s right. I stalk lots of people.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I planted some coleus among the ferns.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Overheard #255

"You may think I’m not paying attention, but I am, secretly."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Three-Dimensional Solution

My Work-In-Progress involves an imaginary town with a road, a river and buildings. I drew a map and wrote the draft. Somewhere in the third revision, I discovered geography problems. Some of my characters were on the wrong side the river, and there is no bridge. I re-drew the map, but there were still issues. Finally, I decided I needed to see the town in 3D. I got a very old, very dusty set of Duplos from the basement and built the town. The model helped me identify where the problems were. Now I’m revising with geography and geometry in mind. 

Sometimes it takes more than a map. Here's some Duplo-building music.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another Rain-Soaked Peony

Gina and Juliet posted another one of my pictures today on City Muse Country Muse for their Writer's Block Wednesday feature. Thank you!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


After the rain

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Overheard #254

"It was probably the only time in history when the good guys won."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Traveling Chipmunk

One of my pictures is featured today at City Muse Country Muse. Thank you, Gina and Juliet!

This little fellow likes to sun on my front steps. He has a tunnel under the lawn and hiding places under the rose bushes. I call him Chip. The dozen or so chipmunks that live by my kitchen window are all called Dale.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Just when I'd been happily ignoring my blog, it wins an award. Thank you, Juliet and Gina at City Muse Country Muse.

They are also going to use some of my previously unpublished pictures as writing prompts for their blog. I'll post a link when that happens, but don't wait to check out City Muse Country Muse. Their poetry is breathtaking.  

In other news, I've been a revising fool this spring. My goal is three chapters a week. So far, I'm managing.

The Giant Backyard Project continues. More pictures will be forthcoming. My poison ivy experiment failed: nothing died. My next attempt will be to cut the stems of the poison ivy and apply the Round Up to the cut surfaces. Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Irises are tricky. I like light through petals.
I'm sure someone will tell me what these mushrooms are called.