Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The old dead blog...

If you're reading this, you need to get the new link! The new blog is over at Please update your subscriptions. Thanks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm it!

Wow, I've been tagged! I don't normally do this kind of thing, but I'd do just about anything for Jolie, so here goes:

1. What are your nicknames?
One of my best friends called me Spoory Laur (since my maiden name was Laurie Spoor). I guess I’m not really a nickname kind of gal, though.

2. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?
Dirty Dancing. I still have it!

3. What is your favorite scent?
Pumpkin pie.

4. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to?Whistler, B.C., my favorite (borrowed) "cabin" in the mountains. Thanks, dear friends, for all the wonderful mountain getaway trips!

5. Do you trust easily?
Yes, probably too easily.

6. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
I think before I act, way too much. I just finished reading Chris Eboch’s Well of Sacrifice, and I think I need to take a lesson from Eveningstar: sometimes you need to act before you think, or the opportunity is lost.

7. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Politics, negative ad campaigns, lies and manipulations of the truth, the deep divisions and disagreements in our society and around the world.

8. Do you have a good body image?
Good? No. Sufficient? Yes.

9. What is your favorite fruit?
Hmmm… tough call. Peaches or strawberries? (You decide; I hate making decisions.)

10. What websites do you visit daily?
My Google calendar, Google reader, Facebook (in that order).

11. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
Coffee, the all-important productivity enhancer. Facebook, the fun but insidious productivity killer.

12. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Determined, modest, generous, glamorous, wonderful mother.

13. What's the last song that got stuck in your head?
The theme song from I Dream of Jeannie (no, I have no idea why it’s in there).

14. What's your favorite item of clothing?
Pajamas, the fuzzier the better.

15. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Yes, with or without butter and marshmallows. Snap, crackle, pop!

16. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?
Just lying there, with no one around and no idea who it belongs to? Well, in that case, I’d pick it up, silly!

17. What items could you not go without during the day?
Coffee. Hugs and “I love you”s from my family. (Okay, family comes first, but they don’t come anywhere near me until after I've had my coffee.)

18. What should you be doing right now?
Cleaning the car out for the drive down to the Second Annual Kidlit Blogging Conference!

Now, to tag eight more who haven't yet been tagged. I'm going to tag a few Facebook friends since they don't have active blogs that I know of, but hopefully they can post their answers on their wall or profile or something. :)

Bernie, Chris, Rob, Jim, Peggy, Kirby, Joni, and

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I just got back from my first ever SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, and besides all of the:

  • inspiration and information to be soaked up "like gravy on a biscuit,"
  • wonderfully creative, talented, generous, and adorable people,
  • frivolous fun with friends old and new. . .

the best part of the whole conference is that my teen nonfiction manuscript about how to save the world got nominated for the Sue Alexander award!

So, now I'm feeling this awesome pressure and responsibility to GET TO WORK! (Along with an irresistable urge to break into my happy dance.)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Busy, busy, busy...

I haven't posted any new articles for quite awhile now, so you're probably thinking I've been sitting at home all day eating bon-bons and watching Oprah. No way! I've actually been taking a conscious break from article writing to focus on a book... or two. What started out as an idea for one middle grade book has now become a picture book biography of Emmanuel Yeboah AND a teen how-to guide for Youth Venture! I'm not sure working on two so totally different books at the same time is a good idea, but they're slowly moving along.

I also joined the Advisory Committee of our regional SCBWI chapter last year, and was very busy helping to organize our 17th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference. It was one of the most daunting, eye-opening and rewarding experiences of my life, and I truly can't wait to do it again!

And now, back to work…

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wheel-y cool!

What has more kid appeal than a gigantic truck that drives from town to town looking for tires to chomp? One that cleans up the environment at the same time! Here's one company's latest invention intended to help clean up waste tires in the U.S. and Canada.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Child specialists

No, not the specialists who know a lot about children. Rather, the children themselves who know a lot about their chosen specialty. Is it better for today's kids to be well-rounded generalists or hyper-focused elites? That is the question I examined over the summer. You can read all about it here.

The risks and rewards of ‘specializing’ early, LearningMap, October 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

KONO Magazine -- Bones of Steel article

KONO is a brand-new martial arts magazine for kids ages 5-12. My article about nutrition tips for healthy bones, "Bones of Steel," appeared in their May 2007 premier issue!

WeeOnes -- Extreme Treasue Hunting

Extreme Treasure Hunting, which introduces kids to the fun of geocaching, was the first article I wrote for children. It was accepted way back in April 2006, but finally made its appearance in the May/June 2007 online issue of Wee Ones Children's Magazine for ages 4-10.

Monday, March 19, 2007

FACES Magazine -- Riders for Health article

FACES: People, Places, and Cultures is a Cobblestone Publication for kids ages 9-14. I profiled an organization called Riders for Health for their March 2007 global health issue. By using fairly simple machines, Riders for Health has solved a complex problem. They use motorcycles to deliver medical supplies and services to regions of Africa with little or no infrastructure. Simply elegant.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Put those kids to work

You certainly can't tell by looking, but our kids love to help clean the house. Unfortunately, this is one thing I'm sure they didn't learn by example. If I enjoyed it even half as much as they do, we could probably do something crazy like invite people over for dinner once in awhile. Maybe someday they'll be able to do it all by themselves, but until then, here are some helpful techniques.

Choosing age-appropriate chores, ParentMap, January 2007