Dead Elephants

When my kids were little, we lived around the corner from the library in South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts. Every day when their father went to work on the afternoon shift at the Air Force base, the kids and I would walk to the library and gather several picture books that we brought home. They cuddled up close on either side of me on the front porch steps while I read to them. One day I read them The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff.

When the mother elephant got shot, both of my little children cried and cried. I thought, oh no, I should never have read that book to them. After dinner they asked me to please read them the Babar book again.

“Any part in particular?”

“The part where the mother dies.” Continue reading “Dead Elephants”

Fresh Eyes

First readers are an important part of my writing process. I’m not talking about preschoolers, or first graders, I’m talking about friends and family who read my novels before anyone else. Before it’s an actual printed book, when it’s still in process or finished (supposedly) with plenty of errors—typos, missed question marks, fuzzy wording, maybe even fuzzy characters or situations. After I’ve read the book at least a billion times it still needs to be read by kind volunteers. Continue reading “Fresh Eyes”