The Steering Wheel

Cait has a fear of fire. She seems to have been born with it. It’s been a frequent topic of conversation since the time she was first able to express herself. To help her with this concern, we’ve practiced fire drills at home, we have an action plan for what we’d do and where we’d go, and she helps me replace the batteries in the smoke detectors quarterly. Even with all our preparedness, she still occasionally needs to talk about … Read more

A Great Day in NYC and the DWAA Awards

Andrew, Cait and I took a trip to New York City on Sunday. It was the first trip to the Big Apple for Cait. I think the only time she closed her gaping mouth was to chew food! Andrew had been there on several occasions for book dealings with publishers, agents, etc. But I was the official hometown girl. I’d had an office there for 12 years, right across from Carnegie Hall, and had lived there for several of those … Read more

Kiera Died from a Gunshot Wound

No, no, it’s not what you think. My Kiera is alive and well, and right here happily dozing on my feet. It’s the Kiera from The Oregon Trail.

Cait and I have been playing this computer game she got for Christmas. It’s designed to teach children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the trail.

The Learning Company explains: The game helps kids build real-life decision-making and problem-solving skills; they have to choose their wagon party, manage … Read more

Honest Friends

Cait catches me off-guard.

“Mom, when you’re having a conversation, are you listening or waiting to talk?” she asks.

“Huh,” I say.

“When you’re talking with someone, are you listening or waiting to talk?” she repeats.

I stop what I’m doing, look at her and clarify, “Do you mean, when I’m in a conversation and the other person is talking, am I listening and really paying attention to what they’re saying, or am I just wanting them to hush up … Read more

Code Red — the new “Duck and Cover”

Okay, I’m gonna date myself again, but I wonder how many of you remember the “Duck and Cover” drills we had back in elementary school during the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The drill went thusly: The alarm would go off throughout the whole school, and the teachers would instruct us to get under our desks, tuck ourselves into as small a ball as possible, and cover our heads with our arms.

Why were we doing this? In case of a nuclear … Read more

Eleven Years and Counting

I’m someone who needs a lot of freedom; I often find it a challenge to be locked into anything predictable or confining. I prefer to keep things open and flexible–and spontaneous. To satisfy these needs, I’ve always worked for myself so that I could keep my crazy schedule. I typically have several projects going at a time so I can move from one to another when I get bored or burnt out.

Being in possession of such a fierce streak … Read more

Out of the Mouths of B abes

As I struggled to make it through the Holiday hoopla with a good attitude, I had a momentary lapse during an especially tiresome gathering.

Briefly moving away from the crowd, wanting to catch a second wind, I stepped outside, looked up at the stars, and quietly sighed, “God help me…”

Cait, never more than a few inches away from me in these kinds of social situations, and not missing a beat, said, “God can only help when there’s a problem, … Read more