1.22.2019: Strive to Fail

Writing about Writing (and Talking about It Too)

I wrote a piece for the February 2019 issue of The Writer magazine (on newsstands now) called Strive to Fail (published online as Six Counterintuitive Goals to Shake Up Your Writing Routine), in which I suggest some attainable—and perhaps surprising—objectives to set, such as Aim Lower, Seek Rejection, Slack Off, and Read Terrible Books, to aid in the pursuit of your writerly ambitions.

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with author Mindy McGinnis for her podcast, Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire. We discussed redirecting anxiety into creativity; writing across age categories; the nuts, bolts, and vulnerabilities of publishing personal essays; and more. You can stream or download the episode here, or find it on your favorite podcast app.

I’ve been spending January away from social media, burrowing deep into my YA draft (and giving Anna, Banana book 8 a final polish), and exploring nearby trails with my favorite pup, Arugula. Here’s a photo from a recent adventure:

Happy trails to you, too!

2.3.2016: More Bananas! and the Price of Promotion

Announcing...Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten!

I'm thrilled to share the news that there soon will be two more books in the Anna, Banana series. Up next: Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost KittenI can't wait to see the cover art! (But first I have to write the book.)

Here's the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace. I'm lucky to continue working with the fabulous team behind the first four books: editrix Kristin Ostby, agent Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, illustrator Meg Park, and art director Laurent Linn.

Click on the image above to open a PDF of the article.

Click on the image above to open a PDF of the article.

I have a new piece in the March issue of The Writer magazine, called the Price of Promotion. In it, I share what I did to help promote my debut novel (Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split), and what it cost, in time and money. I hope other writers will find it useful. (Click on the image to open a PDF.)

Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split recently went into its third printing. THANK YOU to all the booksellers, librarians, teachers, and readers who helped make this happen!

12.8.2015: One True Rule (and Other Numbers)

1 True Rule of Writing, 10 New Pages of Fun, 150 Book Donations, and a 5-Book Giveaway

I reveal the One True Rule of writingand the inspiration behind Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Splitin the January issue of The Writer magazine, on newsstands now. It's their annual children's and YA issue, so there's lots of great kid-lit content inside. My essay is also published on the magazine's website, under a slightly different title. Here's the link.

If you're in the mood for some games, challenges, puzzles, and coloring sheets, please check out the brand new Anna, Banana activity kit. It's free, fun, and printable! 

Only six weeks to go before Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade marches into a bookstore near you. It's available for pre-order in all the usual places, and there's a five-copy giveaway happening on Goodreads now through January 19th. 

Speaking of giveaways, thank you to all who helped spread the word about my Anna, Banana donations endeavor. I got a fantastic response from teachers and school librarians across the country, and there are now 150 Anna, Banana books en route to 50 high-poverty schools in 21 states. The thought of Anna and Banana meeting so many new friends makes me grin ear to ear. I hope these books will make the kids smile, too.

4.2.2015: A Recipe for Spring

Nana Sasso's Savory Easter Pie

In celebration of spring, here's a short piece I wrote for Italian Cooking & Living several years ago, about a family recipe passed along through my maternal great-grandmother, Maria Assunta Famighlietti Sasso, and the changing traditions surrounding it.

I don't recommend following the magazine's version of the recipe (it's too salty, for one), so I've also posted Nana's original instructions (as told to my mother) and my mother's adaptation (click through to read those). As you'll see, altering the recipe is part of the tradition and fun of this pie. Year to year, it is never exactly the same--so feel free to play with it!

Happy spring.