Everyone needs a little capybara in his or her life


But first, I saw this picture on facebook and had to share it with my blog friends.


How do you writers feel about it, particularly in light of a new book showing up on Amazon every five seconds, or so I hear. How would poor Cicero have handled that?

As to kids not obeying their parents, I’d love to see what that looked like in his day. I doubt very much that he’d like to see what it looks like in our day.

And now for something happier, check out what I’ve decided is my new favorite picture ever. Read the rest of this entry

How to be a hero… sort of…


As promised, here’s an interview with one of my heroes in the literary world, Christopher Healy, author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw (published by Walden Pond, an imprint of Harper Collins).

Christopher was kind enough to answer my questions about his books and the publishing process. Aspiring authors may appreciate his insights.


Christopher Healy chilling with a good book–one of his own!

BK: First, please tell us about the heroes.

CH: This is the story of four fairy tale princes who are tired of living in the shadows of their more famous female counterparts, so they decide to team up and make a name for themselves, only to discover that they’re pretty lousy at being heroes.

BK: Christopher’s description only hints at how funny these books are. My husband and I cracked up all the way through them. It wasn’t until later that we realized that they were meant for children. We gave the first one to our eight-year-old who read it in a day and a half, putting us both to shame.


Back to the interview, how did you get your start with writing?

CH: It was second grade when Mrs. Sheinman told my parents that my creative writing project—a folded construction paper book called, “Space Race”—was gold star material. That’s when I decided I wanted to be an author. It took another 30 years or so to make it happen, though. I actually began my professional writing career freelancing for various magazines, newspapers, and websites. I’d write whatever they’d let me write—mostly reviews and tiny little 50-word items, but it helped me build up a clip file. When I became a dad, though, it was hard to focus on much other than my kids, so I started writing about them. Which was actually a great move for me, because I ended up carving out a niche for myself as a “dad writer” with various parenting sites and magazines. And eventually I went from writing about children to writing for children.

BK: How did you land your agent? Read the rest of this entry

“There must be more than this provincial liiiiiiiife!”


When I saw this library ladder I immediately put it on my mental bucket list and then crossed it off. Climbing one of these would have been on it already if I had only thought of it. One woman even walked by and said, “It’s Belle!” Precisely. Now I have lived! If only I had a house with a library like this… and a lovely fainting couch to lounge on… and a smoking jacket, which is really just a rich man’s slanket.


Speaking of books, I have an upcoming interview with one of my favorite authors, Christopher Healy of the Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom series, so stay tuned!


Dust Must Plus


I’ve come up with a new rule of life: If you can see the dust, you should endeavor to remove the dust. This is why I now dust in the dark.

So get this: There’s this light cover for the ceiling fan that came with the house. It’s yellow/orange with three brown streaks. Very rustic looking. Kind of cool. However, it blocks so much of the light from the bulb that we just leave the cover off and let the bulb be exposed.

In my crazy cleaning/dusting kick, I decided to dust out the inside of the light cover that’s just been sitting above the tv. When I did, I noticed it was kind of … greasy? So I got a wet soapy rag and cleaned it out. Turns out the yellow/orange/brown was NOT this fixture’s original color. Read the rest of this entry

Not exactly a glass-half-full kind of kid


My husband missed dinner because a work meeting ran long. As I was serving our youngest her food she said, “It feels like Dad died.”

“That’s a sad thing to say!”

She looked down, thought about it for a while, and then changed her statement to Read the rest of this entry

Hamster juice


At my daughter’s birthday party, we discussed cake decorating.

In honor of my daughter’s best birthday present, someone said, “You could just put the hamster on the cake.”

E, my youngest, said, “Then you might get hamster juice on it.” After a long pause, she added, “That’s hamster pee.”

“Yes, we got it. Thank you,” I said to her.

Somehow that spurred her onward instead of silencing her. Read the rest of this entry

It’s a zoo in here!


My kitchen is no longer safe. Wild animals have taken it over. I guess this is what happens when Mommy sleeps in. The children have a field day. And no doubt had a wonderful time. They certainly enjoyed me finding all the animals. Here are several of the places I found them. Read the rest of this entry