Questions from the Classroom.

August 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Posted in about life, Book reviews, Community groups, Education, Educators, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve recently had the pleasure to be in the classroom at Bishop Dunn School in Newburgh, New York with Terrie and her staff. It’s been fun to answer questions from students about the book. Some questions have really made me stop and think. “Why didn’t you just write about yourself?” one fourth-grader asked. Why do some people write fiction (make believe) instead of non-fiction (real life things)? I don’t know the answer to that. For me, when I sit down and write about Katie and Jake, I get lost in their world and it’s not about me any more. In real life, I wouldn’t have had a chance to travel across oceans and time. I guess my fantasies and dreams have always felt very real to me. Sometimes I write magazine articles. They’re non-fiction. I don’t get lost in them in the same way. For those, I try to be as correct as possible about the subject. To do that, I step back and look at what I’ve written. Sometimes when I was writing the Trunk in the Attic, I felt like it was writing itself. Have you ever had that feeling about something you’ve written? And speaking of something you’ve written…are you thinking about writing a story using Katie, Jake and Cooper as characters? I hope so! I’d like to see where you take them!

What a glorious day

July 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Posted in about life | Leave a comment
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We’ve all been talking about the weather here in the northeast. June was chilly and so rainy…and July has been too. But the great part of all the dreary weather, is the appreciation that comes when the sun comes out and it’s crystal clear. I had such a great day yesterday. I spent the morning giving my horse “TC” a spa day. I can’t ride because I took a fall in the gym…running backwards no less! It hurts right where I’d sit in the saddle. So I’m “grounded”. Rather than complain on a beautiful riding day, I decided to spend quality time with my horse. He doesn’t get to graze in the paddock he shares with other horses. They ate down their grass long ago. So I took him out and let him eat grass and clover growing in a field. I noticed that he always takes two swirls with his lips and bites the grass on the third. It was really relaxing listening to this rhythm. I watched a girl about 9 years old having a lesson with Suzanne Shepard. She and Bob Jeffries are trainers. They believe that horse and rider should be trained together so that both enjoy the experience. Sometimes kids just get on and ride, but Suzanne showed how to care for the horse, from cleaning Scout up to putting on his bridle and saddle. That’s an important part of building a relationship. I gave TC a bath and thought about how pretty he is. Then I went to the airport and my husband and I flew in his plane. We took a friend to dinner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was his birthday, and I know he’ll never forget how crystal clear the flight was. We could see NYC and all the way to Mohonk. Would we have felt so happy on such a beautiful day if it hadn’t been so gloomy for the past month? I think things like rain…and falls…happen so you get to take time out. And get ready to go when the sunshines!

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