building my website

Website Updates

Richard and I have been putting some time into updating my website. You can now listen to my Creature Comforts radio appearance through my website — either in streaming audio or as a podcast. Click on the Books and Stories tab and then click on the line below the book’s cover that offers more.

We’ve also added the educational materials I’ve developed in the last few months as I’ve taken Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator around to bookstores, libraries, and schools. You can find these in the About Sarah section. We’ll be adding more in the next few weeks so stop by from time to time to see the new features.

More Reviews

My uncle called last night to tell me he saw a blurb about Wolfsnail in Science News. He read it to me and promised to send it in the mail. I never expected the book to get reviewed much. My editor called a week or so back and said that Kirkus Reviews had given us a positive review and I just saw on the Boyds Mills‘ website that Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman liked it, too. Wow! I am very excited.

Richard is updating the website to include excerpts from the reviews.

Looking Back

Sorry for the long absence. We’ve been working behind the scenes to re-design the blog and to figure out how to re-do the entries we lost when we updated the WordPress software. And, honestly, I was a bit deflated by the hugeness of the task. In the meantime, we also have added a computer so I am working on a different machine (not the new one; that went to the techie in the family). It’s good to be back at the blog.

This is a photograph of Nathan and Douglas from 2001, the year that Nathan found the first wolfsnails in our yard. In the photo, he’s three and Douglas is two. Douglas is holding his earthworms. The marigolds in the background are Nathan’s. He loved to quote the line from Sarah Stewart’s The Gardener, “We gardeners never retire.”

I dug this up because I am working on a slide show for my website to tell the story behind, “Nathan’s Pet Snails,” and Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. For a good visual take on how much time has passed, I’m posting a recent photo of Nathan.

What makes me smile

Another image from the early work file. This photograph won third (or honorable mention) in a PTA art contest, titled “What Makes Me Smile.” I took it as a 10th grader when my team (the Port Gibson High School Lady Waves) won the district finals. My sister Emilye is #14. We lost to the state champs that year (1982), but it was a great run. This was taken in the dressing room at Mendenhall. We beat Madison-Ridgeland. Francene (front right) and Emilye went on to play college ball at Macalester and this photograph appeared in an alumni magazine article (spring 2003) about women in sports.

American Gothic

Another of my mother’s photographs for her photography class. We’ve called it American Gothic in the family for years. You get to guess which one is me. It was taken around the time I wrote “The Eight Balls.” Rules have been a theme in my writing for a long time. One of the first stories I wrote for the children’s market was titled “David Learns the Rules.” It followed a kindergartener through his first week as he learned to keep his car on the green road. I wrote it after I saw how much the behavior modification plan of my son’s kindergarten teacher had captured not only his imagination, but also those of his two younger brothers. Their artwork was green, yellow, and red for weeks.

First story

I am putting together the story of my (writing) life for the biographical section of my website. I am lucky to have a mother who kept many of my early creations. I am doubly lucky because she is also a photographer. When I wrote my first story (or at least the one that has become the stuff of family legend), my mother was enrolled in a photography class at a local college. She took a black and white shot of the story, titled The Eight Balls, and printed it in a borrowed darkroom.