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I’m a writer who blogs about writing, reading, teaching, research, publishing, marketing, and more.


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  • The F Words: Anglo-Saxon Origins

    When I see high school students raising protest signs and chanting in support of their teachers, as in the strike (earlier this year) by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, I’m heartened. And when I see that the student chants are poetic in form (We ain’t shy./We ain’t timid./We are angry./We are livid.) I’m more than […]

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  • My Writing Life: 9

    When the new century arrived, I was busy working on children’s books, both fiction and workbooks. The fiction consisted of two early readers, Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke (Houghton, 2005) and Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner (Houghton, 2006). Early readers, as I’ve written about before in “Early Readers: A Short Phase,” are […]

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  • The F Words: Following the F Words

    It stands to reason that, before I sat down to write a YA novel titled The F Words  — in which a teen who tags his high school wall with the F word is required to write two poems a week, each about a word that starts with the letter F — I would make […]

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  • My Writing Life: 8

    In my previous blog I mentioned that researching Women at Play was an intense, four-year affair, and that it forever colored my attitude toward writing nonfiction. The nonfiction subjects I chose after Women at Play were individuals: Jack Graney on the one hand, Earl Derr Biggers on the other. Everything about Women at Play was […]

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  • The F Words: October Rules

    In September of 2022 The F Words moved from a frontlist book to a backlist book. A publisher’s backlist consists of all the books it still carries that were published a year ago, or longer. Some books a publisher carries go out of print. Others stay in print forever, bringing in revenues to the publisher […]

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  • My Writing Life: 7

    When I was a student at Kent State University I carried a double major: English and History. Anybody perusing my life in writing would think that I have employed only my knowledge of English and have disregarded my knowledge of History. But when it came to researching the hidden history of women in baseball and […]

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