Monthly Archives: January 2021

January light

I spent this gray, sleety morning babysitting my granddaughters. They are 4 and 2 and when I’m with them, I am approximately 3. We started off with a few educational puzzles, but somehow the puzzle pieces became dishes, and some beads became picnic food, and off we went into Imagination-ville. We rode bikes and drove cars (got caught in a nasty traffic jam and had to be rescued by a crane, which let me tell you was hair-raising), visited a playground, broke bones, visited the hospital, befriended a monkey, ate broccoli-cranberry ice cream (better than you think) and in between had many lullabies and bedtime stories (people who live in Imagination-ville only sleep about 20 seconds a night, it turns out, but they spend a LOT of time getting ready for bed).

Of course we never called it Imagination-ville. While we were there, we just lived it, moment to exciting moment. Who knew what would happen next? We were the bosses of the universe, but the universe still surprised us.

When I write, I live in my imagination, yet even in my first drafts I’m at least faintly aware of bending the arc, shaping a cohesive whole. I feel the constraints of Story tugging at me. But this morning I just played. No need for a beginning, middle and end, or a plot that lasted more than a minute. We did have a theme, though. I’m pretty sure it was: Wow! Life is amazing!

New year, new hope, new book!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to welcome a new year. As a friend of mine says, this is one January we will not make a mistake writing the date!

So much has been said and written about all that the world has been through in 2020, I won’t add anything more. Instead I’m looking ahead, hoping to leave behind the anger, confusion and pain and replace them with good will and good work.

I’m happy and excited to be sharing my new novel, The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe, coming in June. Meet three of its characters:

And here is the publisher’s synopsis:

Eleven-year-old Loah Londonderry’s mother, a noted ornithologist, works to save endangered birds of the shrinking Arctic tundra. Meanwhile, shy and timid Loah counts the days till she comes home. But to Loah’s surprise and dismay, instead of returning, Dr. Londonderry sets off on a risky solo quest to find the Loah bird, long believed extinct. Does her mother care more deeply about Loah the bird than Loah her daughter?

When Loah’s elderly caretakers fall ill, she finds herself all alone except for her friend Ellis. Ellis sees things in Loah no one else does, things as hidden yet wonderful as the golden feather tucked away on her namesake bird’s wing. When Dr. Londonderry’s expedition goes perilously wrong, Loah will need to uncover that hidden courage and strength to save her mother, lost at the top of the world.

Beautifully written, The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe is about expeditions big and small, about creatures who defy gravity and those of us who are bound by it.  

Perfect publishes in June with Holiday House! Stay tuned for more about it, and meanwhile, happy, hopeful, new year hugs!