Good News!

I'm emerging from my writing "hermitage" (remember my photo?) with a couple of bits of good news!

ONE CAME HOME has been chosen for a couple of statewide reading lists for 2015-2016. These are the best lists to be on because kids read the books and then vote on their favorites. My book is for those readers and so it's such a pleasure to find out they'll be reading about ONE CAME HOME, discussing it, arguing over it, and then voting. Awesome!

Okay here are the lists I just found out about: 

Great news!

How's the writing going? The story is moving along, and I simply hope I can capture what's going on in my head on the page. I think it's going to be a good story. I hope so anyway. 

And now, back to the hermitage. If you don't see me a lot here, or on Facebook, you know I'm doing my job. It's good news!

Man, do I feel blessed to be able to do a job that I enjoy. I wish the same for you!

Haven't heard from me in awhile? I'm writing.

Whew! It's been busy -- in a good way!  

But now it's time for me to spend some quality time writing. So if my blog and Facebook posts seem a little out of date, it's all for a good cause -- there's a story that's being written. I'll definitely be checking my inbox, so if you email me through the contact form on my website, I'll get it! 

Hope you're all well. Thanks again and again for supporting ONE CAME HOME.  It's been wonderful!


Newbery Honor Weekend in Las Vegas (Photos!)


What was this whole thing like? Oh man, I don't know... Amazing? Yes. Wow? All the time -- wow, wow, wow.

It is HARD to know what to write. I mean, what a weekend! I met so many people. Thank you -- every one of you -- that took the time to speak with me and tell me what the book has meant to you. I am so encouraged. 

 And I am... well, speechless (or better, "wordless" since I'm typing). Every time I close my eyes I see a swirl of colors and people and feel so, so grateful.

I feel a yell coming on:


I got to see people I don't usually see in person -- fun! I met all sorts of people from Random House. I met the Newbery Committee. This happened several times throughout the weekend. By sighting number three, I was giving them hugs like they were long lost cousins. They were so nice! 

And I need to say this, Kate DiCamillo and Brain Floca did an amazing job speaking at The Newbery/Caldecott Banquet. Tears were shed. Thank you Kate and Brian! 

Okay, here's something fun! Check out the photo to the right: On page 198 of ONE CAME HOME, I wrote "Billy. Miller" And Billy Miller was the title character in Kevin Henkes Newbery Honor Winning title, THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER. Isn't that nutty? Two folks on the Newbery Committee found it. Once I knew, I needed Kevin Henkes' signature on p.198. (Kevin Henkes is a GREAT guy. It was so nice to meet him!)

Here's a slide show. Maybe that'll do a better job at expressing the experience. The photos were taken by my husband, who was so proud of me. (Phil earned his keep! He was right there -- all the time -- doing little jobs for me. He got water. He took photos. He checked in to see if I needed anything. I love that man!) Consider this a slide show of one writer's journey through what I'm calling "Newbery Honor Weekend."  It was QUITE a journey.