And the winner is –

I used my own, private random name picker—not one of the illiterate ones, but the one with the beard.  

And we have two winners:

The Gardener:

Ariell Larson

Breaking Rank:

Patti Mason

There were so many entries, it was wonderful. Thank you all for your support. If you didn't win a book, I hope you still get a chance to read them. I've got links on the Workshop Blog to help you find them if  you're inclined to grab one of your own. It's just a delight to me to be able to connect with you!


~:: Another Shameless Self Promotion ::~

2012-07-26-TwoBooks Sorry, sorry – meant to have this done yesterday, but life stuck its oar in.  So here we go: I will award one of the new, very lovely and signed paperback editions of The Gardener to one lucky soul.  And one new, just as lovely and signed paperback edition of Breaking Rank to another lucky […] Continue reading →

News! And a Giveaway!

breaking-rank-cover2Thumb200 Suffering CATS.  If I ever say I’m going to do this again – at least, this way – shoot me.  Thousands of little bits of paper.  ARG!!  But we have come up with the three winners: (cue Kermit: YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!) So the first winner is: Okay, now Andy – let’s get that right – But you […] Continue reading →

Taking the Dang Leap

Cover2012-04-19-180 I don’t even know how to start this.  When I was little, we lived in L.A.  Everything was within walking distance.  The school, for instance.  Two blocks away – long sides.  An uncomplicated walk, it was not uphill and it never did involve snow—just sometimes torrential rains and huge, convulsing knots of drowning earthworms. In […] Continue reading →

On Boneheads and Literati

literaturesilly A danged lovely read. Written by Joni Newman, guest essayist ~ A few years ago as an undergrad I took a literature class that very nearly sucked all the life out of me.  The class included a plethora of post-modern literature.  It meant a semester with authors like Cormac McCarthy and Toni Morrison – authors […] Continue reading →

Being an Author

Shakespeare One year, I made the mistake of agreeing to judge our state novel writing contest.  It shouldn’t have been bad; there were only five or so manuscripts entered.  The first one I looked at  was all about “flatulence man,” a superhero(I am not making this up).  One was a fairly creditable historical novel. But the rest […] Continue reading →

Teaching High School English

critical_thinkers1 The image I used above this column is wonderful.  But I had to search the entire internet to find any hint of who may have drawn it.  Finally found it with the artist’s name “Warren” in Green, an Australian mag.  I can’t believe it’s been used by so many educators without the signature on it. […] Continue reading →

The Publishing Biz

PrintingPress Once I saw this PBS thing about the Beatrix Potter story—how she’d inked her charming illustrations and written the stories to match and finally, bucking civilized behavior, actually found herself a London publisher to make all of this into books.  The thing in the story that amazed me and filled me with what was honestly […] Continue reading →


1991-12RedingDePaula Once upon a time, somebody told the first story. I’m sitting here, trying to imagine it.  Who it was.  Who she was telling it to.  What the world looked like then, and what the story might have been about. Maybe it was an answer to a question, like, “Where did you come from?”  Or “Where […] Continue reading →

Sacred Cows

CowSign You remember Tootsie?  That movie that had Dustin Hoffman in it – the one when he got the soap opera gig?  Yeah, well, there’s this scene in the middle of it somewhere when he’s talking to his buddy, and they’re discussing this scene in a play the guy is trying to get produced. “You know […] Continue reading →