Sunday, November 22, 2009

In the Middle

Been working on an article to submit. It always starts out a challenge. I make the query, I get the assignment, I'm sure I can write it, I start...and suddenly I'm wondering how on earth I thought I could do it. I can go round and round on intros and conclusions, I can agonize over content, I can scare myself into wanting to give up entirely. Friday I promised myself I'd finish my draft, so I locked myself in the study with my 18-month-old while my other kids did art projects at the kitchen table, and just worked at it until I had almost the length I needed. Now when I look at it, it's not so bad. But I think, after 10 different ideas for the intro, I'm back to the first one. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Greeting Card Article

Just found out that my article about making your own cards just went online at
The Dollar Stretcher

Greeting cards are a tradition in my family. My grandfather worked photographic magic to make photo collage cards decades before Photoshop was ever invented, and my mother makes cards with illustrations, stamps, pop-ups, and wonderful poems. I've made my own holiday cards for several years now, with an online graphic, a thought or scripture, and a few short tidbits about my family. I can print them on a Xerox and mail them with regular postage, and I probably save $3.00 apiece over Hallmark options. I hope this is an idea that catches on--everybody can use some extra money right about now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kids love Candy Experiments

Well, I've presented candy experiments six times in the last week and a half--at my daughter's class party, my son's preschool, my parents' Halloween party, and here at home. We're planning to have another big bash next Wednesday (with all the people who were going to come last Wednesday and then canceled because they were all sick.) It still amazes me how much fun some kids have with candy experiments. Some of them liked the baking soda acid test, some of them liked sticking candy together, some of them liked experimenting with colors, and some of them just liked throwing candy in the water. None of them tried to eat the candy: after I told them a few times that the candy was for experiments, not for eating, and after they started experimenting with it, I think they mentally transformed it into experiment material instead of treats. Adults were having a harder time with it; one party attendee said "We really can't eat the candy?" and a teacher at one of my presentations was craving candy because she hadn't gotten any for Halloween. Another preschool teacher let her have some, but warned her she'd better eat it out of sight of the kids. So, the candy experiments have been a success all around.

Monday, November 2, 2009


When I joined a writing group three years ago, I had no idea I would someday start writing about candy experiments. It was just plain luck that one of my fellow writers was a biochemist.

Working on this project, I've been grateful for many connections, including a high school colleague witn a master's degree in chemistry, a nonfiction writer I met through SCBWI, and families who are testing experiments with me.

So make and keep friends for the sake of friendship. You never know where those friendships will lead.