Monday, March 23, 2009


Spring. A false promise when you live in Montreal where the groundhog shrugs in February and doesn't even bother checking on his shadow. Spring just lingers on the sidelines as the long days full of sunlight trick us into thinking the warmth will soon follow. And it will follow. But it will be in May.

Spring. A busy time for me. MILO is now in front of me and as I jump in with my fabulous editor at Aladdin, Liesa Abrams, I get to re-visit the story and fix my boo-boos and strengthen some of the connective fiber that feels a tad flabby.

What I am loving is getting my cartooning muscle back into shape as I add and fix the cartoons that make Milo the special project that it is. I love the feeling. And love how my narrative can stop and then a cartoon makes the punctuation mark. Like in this cartoon from MILO - where he and his friend Hilary have just had a heavy talk and then Milo sees some older kids and wishes he could be as cool and wear a wool cap all year long...

...and then back in the narrative Milo gets it. And vows to burn all his wool caps when he gets home.

Being busy is a good thing. And watching your work grow and bloom is a springtime gift even if I still have to wear my winter coat. It's springtime in my office. And for now, that's good enough for me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Exciting news! I just found out that the Thurber House has announced this year's Children's Author in Residence which means I must yield the crown I was lucky to wear this past year.

Hope Anita Smith - author, poet, recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for her book "The Way A Door Closes" will be moving into the attic apartment written about in Thurber's story "The Night The Bed Fell". It's also the attic where I spent four amazing weeks last summer - and though no beds fell on me, I fell in love with it.
I am excited to hear all about the advenures Hope has this summer while continuing the tradition that Shelley Pearsall, Sam Swope, Lisa Yee and I all shared. The Thurber House Children's Author in Residence is a truly unique experience run by such caring, nurturing people who do everything humanly possible to make sure you to use the time to fulfill your creative needs as a writer. The only obligations (I called them the bonus stuff) are the weekly writing workshops the resident gives to kids in the Thurber Writing Camp and the workshops at the Dowd Family Center.

Three cheers for Hope - May her summer be productive and filled with the magical sound of the summer cicadas as they serenade her muse as they did mine....oh yes, and may the Thurber ghosts welcome her with open arms too!

Sunday, March 01, 2009


For anyone who DIDN'T watch the movie I wrote on the Disney Channel - DADNAPPED - (and not having kids between 8 - 14 is no excuse!), the plot revolved around a famous author who writes books featuring a super-cool teen James Bond-type named TRIPP ZOOME.

A TRIPP IN TIME, ZOOME TIME/BOOM TIME, and TRIPP'S LAST TRIP are just a few of the books my Dad character wrote featuring the self-assured sleuth. These books are big stuff and fans just can't get enough of the former dentist's crazy plots and frequent use of dental floss as a deterrent.

What's been fun since the movie's been airing is I'm getting lots of searches for "Tripp Zoome Books". Seems kids are curious how they can read the same books that inspire my teen heroes in the film. Though the plot is light and silly - one thing I'm proud of is I created teen characters who love to read. Books are important to the story and okay - this movie isn't winning an Oscar, but "Reading Rocks" is definitely one of the messages.

Maybe reality should follow fiction and I should write the books that I wrote about in the movie...