Summertime

I swapped out my flannel sheets for the regular cotton kind this morning, which means that warm weather is here to stay, at least for a few months. Being a New Englander and avid year-round hiker, I don’t really mind winter or the cold. In fact, I’m not really at my best when the temperature outside gets above 80. This year, though, I’m really looking forward to summer.

I’m sure I don’t need to go into all the ways that 2020 was a complete drag. It was for just about everyone, except maybe for Jeff Bezos. But there were some lowlights: My mom died. My daughter’s college graduation was canceled. The U.S./Canadian border was closed. I was furloughed from my editing job for six months, and I found myself unable to concentrate on just about anything. Even though I had plenty of free time, I didn’t write a word that didn’t have a hard deadline attached to it, including updates for this website.

But summer is on its way. Flowers are blooming. My family and I are fully vaccinated, and I feel hopeful about the future for the first time almost 18 months.

Thanks for hanging on with me. I hope this summer brings you nothing but sunshine and happiness. Stay tuned for more in the near future.

Reading With Kids During Quarantine Promotes Active, Engaged Learning

No matter where you live, you’ve most likely been affected by COVID-19 in some way. Tasked with working remotely while also helping their kids with online school assignments, parents who are quarantined with young children might be in one of the toughest situations. With many U.S. states announcing that schools will be closed for the remainder of the academic year, parents must find activities that will keep their kids entertained and engaged, while also helping them learn. For many, this is proving to be quite a challenge.

According to a recent article in The Atlantic, reading with children interactively on a daily basis can help kids develop important literacy and language skills, while also helping them learn about the world around them. Reading with your kids is also a great way to spend quality time together and create lasting memories.

Several online resources are available to help kids (and parents) get easier access to books during quarantine, including Penguin Random House Audio, LibriVox, Project Gutenberg and International Children’s Digital Library.

For a limited time my middle grade novel, The Blue Bottle, an adventure story for kids age 8 to 13, is available for 50 percent off the cover price.

Stay healthy, and happy reading!