Check Out the Books On My Reading List Through 2017 and See Why I Choose Them. My Reviews Will Follow!

Because I write nonfiction, I have to read a lot of books as part of my research. That means I have to be terribly picky about the books I read for pleasure. I’m not completely through my 2015-2016 stack (three more to go!) but I’ve already selected the nine titles that will be stacked on… [Read More]

Thwarted! Do You Know Any Great Places to Write Near Zionsville, Indiana? UPDATE: Darrin’s Coffee Company is Now Closed!

After just posting on how overjoyed I was to find a great new writing place – Darrin’s Coffee Company in Zionsville, Indiana – I arrived there last week with my computer and a stack of books to be met with a sign: CLOSED. Closed? How could my writing place be closed? Another Darrin’s customer arrived… [Read More]

A Message for My Books – Inspired By a Passage in Alberto Manguel’s Book Curiosity

There are certain books I gaze at from afar, knowing I would love to read them but knowing, too, that I probably won’t because my list is overly long and I’m becoming more and more aware of how little time there seems to be in a day. One book I know I won’t get to… [Read More]

Book Launch! – Journey From An Idea To Publication

A while back, I traveled to the Blue Marble Bookstore in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, for the book launch of Like a River by Kathy Cannon Wiechman. Book launches are exciting affairs. Of course, they’re really exciting if it’s your own book that’s being launched. But the journey from idea to publication is such a long… [Read More]

How It All Began by Penelope Lively Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

How It All Began by Penelope Lively; Penguin Books, 2012.  229 pages; $16.00 (paperback); reading level:  adult. It all began when 77-year-old Charlotte Rainsford was mugged; which meant she had to move into her daughter Rose’s house, where she tutored Anton, her adult literacy student, while her broken hip mended; which meant Rose noticed Anton’s… [Read More]

Leave the Door Open! – 40 Percent of 6-11 Year Olds Wish Their Parents Hadn’t Stopped Reading to Them

My husband and I have four children – all now adults. Reading to them was always a treat for me and watching each of them in turn grow “too old to be read to” was an agony. When my younger two boys, who shared a room and slept in twin beds side by side, were… [Read More]

Moaning and Groaning

I’ve done more moaning and groaning than writing since last November. Just after Thanksgiving of 2014, my husband and I moved out of our Richmond, Indiana house (where we’d lived for twenty-three years) to a new much smaller home in Indianapolis. The boxes and the upheaval and the not-knowing-where-anything-is pushed my writing time off the… [Read More]

Edith Wharton Teaches English

As I mention in my biography (pp. 66-67), an early short story Edith Wharton wrote called “The Line of Least Resistance” caught the eye of Henry James, a writer she was dying to meet.  It was the beginning of a long friendship between “The Master” (as James was known) and the up-and-coming Edith.  That same… [Read More]

When a Writer Isn’t Writing

Seeing young people experience live symphonic music – some for the very first time ever – is an event worth leaving my desk for. One morning a few weeks ago, I watched a line of school buses pull up at the entrance to Richmond Civic Hall and drop off hundreds of seventh graders. After they… [Read More]

The Poison Lady

Writers keep strange company sometimes. This particular weekend, I was invited to join a yearly gathering of mystery writers called “Magna Cum Murder.”  What could I, a writer of nonfiction for children, have to contribute to a conversation on mystery-writing? Did I do research? I was asked.  Then I could participate on the “Research, Reality,… [Read More]