Ten writers for children. All with something to say.



My holidays this year we're colored by being the first ones in my life without my mother present. My entire family rose to the occasion and we had a beautiful Christmas Eve here with sixteen around the table ranging in age from seventy seven to four.

For Boxing Day, we had a a gathering of my mother's friends in her house and we celebrated my sister's tribute to my mother in the New York Times magazine. At both events we felt a strong sense of my mom, but after the festivities, more of the sadness of her loss crept in.

The holiday season continues for me as my brother and his family are still around and don't return to their home in East Timor until Saturday. Today I met them at IKEA, one of my favorite unusual lunch places, and that is my nephew Liam pictured among the balls.

My next book, TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT, is dedicated to him and he's pretty excited about that.


A Delicious Christmas Holiday!

Last fall, just before leaving for her second year at Oberlin College, my daughter Ruby started her own food blog. She had recently become vegan and enjoyed discovering new recipes. When she was little she loved making "set-ups" of objects into fairy houses and furnished stages for her imagination to come to life. She still has a love of "set-ups"; this love combined with her photography makes for great blog photos! Her blog, "That's So Vegan" has taken off!? She gets on average over 1000 hits per day from all over the world. She has made vegan friends in California, London, Australia, and has been featured on other food blogs, as well as "Food Gawker". Usually she cooks and bakes in her small college kitchen, but coming home for the holidays meant daily baking, blogging, and eating!

Ruby photographing "process"
Yes, we all ate well this holiday. It has been wonderful having both of my kids home. My son Cooper, at 16, still lives at home, but with his daily schedule of school from 8 am to 3 pm, followed by circus classes from 4 pm to 9:15 pm, followed by homework until nearly midnight, we hardly spend enough time together.

Cooper cutting out Mr. Cookie Baker cookies
Mr. Cookie Baker cookies- veganized!
We baked and played board games, baked and watched Xmas movies (our favorites and annual must-watches are: "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Love Actually"), baked and opened presents, baked and shared long conversations, catching up on each other's lives. It was a lovely holiday!

If you want to know more about our holidays and get recipes, I recommend going to Ruby's blog-- her writing is delightful and the photographs are mouth-watering!


New House, Need a New Camera

Our Christmas this year was marred by only one problem: our digital camera quit working. It wasn't the battery, which meant we had no clue how to "fix" it. Consequently we have no pictures from this year's decorating, nor from our present opening. We did decorate a tree, however, and we definitely opened presents. We also rung in the New Year in good health and good spirits, so other than a lack of photo-documentation, the first Holiday Season in our new house was a rousing success.

The picture above is from last year. Except for Ben having a few more teeth, the picture from this year would have looked pretty much the same save for a few new ornaments on the tree.

I hope everyone has a wonderfully successful 2012, whatever that may mean to each of you.


The Holidays in Pictures

A challenging game of ping pong on Christmas day.

A completely unposed photo near the Christmas tree.

The "cousins" texting each other!

It was a fun day, especially with our son and his girlfriend in town. We also visited my side of the family a few days later and had a delicious meal at Marie Callendar's. She's a very good cook! :)

Happy New Year! I hope the coming year is filled with joy, good news about book projects, and many gatherings with friends and family.