Friday, March 30, 2018

Read all about it! Meltdown #10!

I am incredibly proud of this crazy thing called MELTDOWN that Gina and I run every year with Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child and WRSI - 93.9 The River -- and this is the TENTH year that we're staging this musical-literary-madcap event for families.
Perhaps we will see you on Saturday? The event is free for all -- great bands and great authors lined up all day long!
Read all about it:

Meltdown 2018: Author Interviews!

Monte Belmonte, radio guy, has yet again interviewed our wonderful roster of Meltdown authors ahead of the big event on March 31! Please give a listen on your way over.

Also, you may purchase author books at the event OR online:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rest in Peace, Betty

Rest in Peace, Betty.

While I have spoken extensively about my chance encounter with Jeanne, my old lunch lady, that inspired me to write the Lunch Lady series, you might not know that the real-life lunch lady sidekick also inspired the comic book sidekick in my books. After brainstorming the story of what would become Lunch Lady for a few years, I realized that my spatula-wielding heroin needed help in both the kitchen and the crime lab. I immediately thought of Betty, the right-hand woman of Jeanne in the Gates Lane School cafeteria. After reading her obituary, you will be astounded to learn that she was VOLUNTEERING that entire time. And she once performed at Carnegie Hall!

May the memories she gave this world continue to bring smiles to her family's faces!

Advocating for the Arts

Advocating for arts education since 1990...

I recently found this letter from Massachusetts Senator John P. Houston in reply to a concerned twelve-year-old citizen (me) who was none too pleased to see the arts getting pushed out of public schools.


Congratulations to Jane Yolen on the publication of her 365th book! I shared Jane’s sage writing advice with the listeners of SiriusXM Kids Place Live.


Celebrating Lunch Ladies!

Display seen on a school visit to LVI Elementary—actual lunch ladies as undercover crime fighters. Not pictured: all of the students’ thank-you notes on display in the cafeteria that brought tears of joy to these faces! 

Gretchen was presented with a “thank you salad.” She had no idea she and her colleagues were asked to stop by the library to be showered with thank you cards and gifts from the students. School Lunch Hero Day is on May 4th this year, but I love when it’s celebrated at my school visits too!


Just found an old notebook filled with some of my early writing...

My grandfather empowered me to archive my childhood artwork. Every year, he’d give me a storage bin and encourage me to decide what to keep and what to toss. Because of that, I have a treasure trove of artwork that I made throughout my upbringing. I’m using some of it in HEY, KIDDO. 

Fans of my earliest books will recognize this drawing. But this isn’t from the picture book BAGHEAD, this is a still life drawn during my sophomore year of high school. Whenever my art teacher, Mr. Shilale, assigned a still-life drawing I’d try to tell a story with the setup. One day, he gave us a homework assignment to draw a paper bag using limited drawing tools. 

#ThrowbackThursday to wearing an airbrushed Batman shirt in front of Michael Keaton’s Batmobile in 1993. (And I airbrushed the shirt.)

Disney Cruise: Star Wars Day at Sea

I have delivered my author talk in libraries, gymnasiums, theaters, cafetoriums, and just about every imaginable space in between at schools all across the country. I never, ever imagined that I’d be asked to deliver my author talk on a cruise ship while sailing around the Caribbean. A gazillion thank-yous to everyone at the Disney Fantasy for having my family and me on board that week! 

Have you read to your droid today?
Traded some books to a few Jawas for pieces of scrap metal. Seemed like a good deal.