Gossip Girl?

I’ve never watched Gossip Girl before, but I’m watching it tonight. Right now. Since I’m writing for tweens and YA’s, I thought I should check out the show whose characters seem to be all over the internet. What’s all the fuss about? Despite the show’s pretty glaring flaws–everyone’s rich, there’s not a person of color […]

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Teenage Shakespeare

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research into Shakespeare’s young adult years. From the time he would have finished grammar (elementary) school, until he began to write and act in London, next to nothing is known about his life. (See my post “Shakespeare at Hoghton Tower.) This opens new opportunities for fiction writers who may […]

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Review of Crooked River

I’m posting from Chicago, where I’m visiting my daughter for a few days. While it rained yesterday, today is supposed to be warmer and sunny–so I’m hoping for a walk along the lake to get my creative juices flowing! I recently came across a really impressive middle grade historical novel. It’s CROOKED RIVER, by Shelly […]

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Tudor Books

I recently finished reading Trust and Treason, by Margaret Birkhead. Originally, I intended to use it as a reference for Elizabethan language, grammar, phrases, and word usage, since I’m in the middle of researching that period. However, the story was so captivating, I was quickly drawn in.

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Contagion

Ever since the uproar surrounding the Andrew Speaker tuberculosis case, I’ve been thinking about how much worse the 1918 pandemic might have been if people then had traveled with the same ease as we do today. Think of all the flights that could have criss-crossed the country, and even the world. Thousands more might have died. Some […]

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Writing Community

An unexpected surprise arrived via e-mail last week. Pictures from the 2006 Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference. That was the year Pandemic! won first place in the Young Adult category of the Paul Gillette Contest, sponsored by the Pikes Peak Writers. The contest coordinator, Dawn Smit Miller, sent a link to the photographer’s web site, where […]

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A Scientific Puzzle

Something that has puzzled scientists about the 1918 pandemic is that nearly half the deaths were in young adults. Most often, those most vulnerable to death from influenza are the eldest and youngest, the weakest members of society, in other words. Mortality curves for the flu usually are “U” shaped, with the peaks occurring in the very young […]

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More on the Pandemic of 1918

The pandemic spread throughout the world in 3 waves: The first wave in the spring of 1918, followed by the second in the fall of 1918. The third wave occured on the heels of the second, in the winter of 1918/19. It could not have happened at a worse time. Thousands of physicians and nurses were in Europe because […]

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PANDEMIC!

For the past 3 years or so, I’ve been working on a book called Pandemic! (The exclamation point is part of the title.) It’s YA historical fiction about the influenza pandemic of 1918. To be more specific, it’s about a teenaged girl, orphaned during the pandemic, who struggles to re-build her life in the face of financial […]

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