Thursday, July 2, 2015

Friday Feedback: Will this be Your Summer to Be Brave?

Come on in. The water is fine. 

It took me nearly 35 years to be brave.

To put myself truly out there in the world and try new things, believing I was capable of them.

Not that I was living under a rock or anything.

I mean, I had gone to law school, had a decent part-time career while I was raising my two little boys.

But write?

Be a writer?

That was a pipe dream, something I had tucked away long ago for more practical, attainable things.

So when the writing bug started to gnaw at my toes under the covers at night as I started to finally fall asleep, I made excuses, blamed others, thought, maybe in a few years because who has the time to do that NOW?

Oh, they were real excuses, grounded in fact:

First I was working full-time in big NYC law firms, then part-time (as many hours as I could muster the ability to focus primarily from home) while I  had one still-colicky toddler who refused to sleep, and another baby ready to pop from my belly.

I don't have the hours in a day.

My husband doesn't encourage me enough.

I need to be exercising. 

I should be cleaning the house. . .

Sound familiar?

Besides, WHAT DO *I* HAVE TO SAY?!?

I don't remember exactly what it was that got me from that thinking to sitting at my computer every night from the moment the dishes were done and my toddler had finally fallen asleep until the wee hours of the mornings to write my first manuscript. A manuscript that took me five years to write.

All I do know is that it was a proverbial light bulb going off: I just woke up one morning, looked at the laundry list of excuses and suddenly knew they were just that. Viable ones, maybe. But, excuses nonetheless.

And I knew that the difference between people who do and people who don't was always going to be that those who do don't find the time, they MAKE it.

That first manuscript, THE JETTY, a piece of contemporary women's fiction, garnered some decent praise when I finally put it out there -- e.g. became a Top Semifinalist in the first ever Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and even ultimately got me agented after two years of that unique hell that is agent-query rejection.

That manuscript, THE JETTY, now sits in a "drawer."

Unable to sell it, but now agented and encouraged, I wrote a second manuscript that my agent loved better, but that one, too, has never (not yet?) sold.

It was my third manuscript, THE PULL OF GRAVITY (a Bank Street Best of 2012, and, of course, a Nerdy Book Club* best, 2011. . . ) that sold to the legendary and extraordinary editor Frances Foster, at fsg.

And, after that, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO (to the wonderful Elise Howard at Algonquin YR).

And news some of you might not know because we haven't announced the formal details yet. . .

but my third novel just sold and I'm uber excited about that!!!

For me, writing and selling good stories continues to be a, well, let's just call it a "less-than-simple endeavor." There are days (weeks, okay possibly months and years) when I fear that I will never write another sellable story again.

But this I have learned. This I KNOW: I sure never will if I don't keep trying, if I don't put myself out there to be brave.

That is, in fact, the spirit behind Friday Feedback. Why I started the feature a few years ago. Long before you heard of me, before Teacher's Write was a deliriously wonderful part of my summers.

From 59 Reasons to Write by Kate Messner, with contributions from
your friendly Teachers Write authors! 

Because I know that so much of what we do, we do in solitude, and getting feedback -- and encouragement -- is such an important part of the process.

The concept of Friday Feedback is simple: Brave is as brave does.

So we, the published authors, open ourselves up to the same constructive feedback we hope to give you. Because, yep, we still have doubts and fears, not to mention benefit from the eyes of objective readers who can help us to see both the flaws and the gems.

Please be clear that the feedback you receive here can be less than imperfect. Often the excerpts are from rough (ROUGH!) first drafts, and either way, it is nearly impossible to assess a piece of story out of context from just a brief few paragraphs. As such, the feedback offered must be taken as intended, with a grain of salt, as merely suggestive or "food for thought."

Having said that, over the years many have found it not only helpful and encouraging, but even exhilarating, so on we go!



YOU and me, together. Being brave.

Before we start, PLEASE READ ALL THE RULES (apologies, for the sudden highlighting. Blogger does that to me when I cut and paste): 

At the end of each week's Friday Feedback blog post, my guest author or I will post a brief excerpt from a Work in Progress (WIP) and ask you for three specific pieces of feedback in the comments:

1. What works for you and why? 

2. What doesn't work for you if anything, and why not?

3. If it's a beginning, does it hook you? If it's not a beginning, does it compel you to keep reading?

******Now, take a moment to read the order of those three questions again. *****

Notice the order!!!

If you are a teacher I beg of you, never grade or assess a student's writing without FIRST sharing something that works. Something the student has done well, or "right" before you correct them or offer constructive criticism as to what they've done "wrong." 

And, yes, there is always something right. There are always gems to be found.

Hopefully over the course of this summer you'll see how much more open we all are to constructive criticism when we're first offered a bit of honest praise. . .

4. Once you have done that, you're invited to post your own BRIEF excerpt in the comments and we -- my guest authors and I, and even other Friday Feedbackers -- will offer you the same limited information in the comments.

5. By BRIEF, I mean brief. Regardless of how short or long OUR shared excerpts are, YOURS must be limited to between THREE and FIVE PARAGRAPHS and NO MORE. Five if they're short, three if they are long (if your paragraphs contain a lot of single-line dialogue, then do feel free to adjust this rule accordingly). 

Please note that this Rule #5 is for our protection and yours. Ours because there can be 30 or more excerpts shared in a given day, and that's a whole lot of reading and feedbacking for my guest authors and me to give, and yours because I don't want there to be enough up there that, if someone "lifted" your words from my blog, you'd feel a significant piece of your story was plagiarized or stolen. We are on the the Wild West internets here, after all.

Once in while, in addition to the three pieces of feedback given above, I will do one of my patented "SUPER SPEED FLASH EDITS" on your excerpt if it lends itself to one, in which I will quickly eliminate unnecessary words that might bog the piece or pace down, change tenses, or combine sentences, etc., namely small fixes that can have big impact while not messing with your substantive word choices or own unique voice. 

I do these when I hope they might serve to illustrate a concept that may help your -- and other campers'  -- writing to pop and shine even more. If you don't want me to do a SSFE on your writing for any reason, speak up in a note or email to me, or forever hold your peace.

Oh, and last but not least, even though it is called Friday Feedback, I know many of you have summer jobs and commitments, and so you are welcome to post an excerpt through SATURDAY, and at least *I* (I can't guarantee my guest author) will give you feedback through the weekend. Please do NOT post past Saturday night, as by then I will already be preparing the post for the following week. 

So, without further ado, here we go with ME in the hot seat. This excerpt is the opening of a YA ms I'm working on called (so far) THE SMALLEST SLICE.

What works? What doesn't? Does it hook you at all?

1. Late.

Jojo Bhatt is late.
She enters the cool shadows of the steps to the subway, her heavy backpack slung over her shoulder. There’s not much in the backpack to make it so heavy. No textbooks or homework or anything.
Jojo doesn't need those things today. Despite how it looks, she won’t be going to school, or back home later for that matter.
Jojo descends the steps calmly, catching her muted reflection in the plexiglass frame of a poster for some new Broadway show. It is her father’s brown skin and black hair that blur by. No single trace of her mother. She moves faster so as not to catch the blur in the next panel – this for a new luxury condominium uptown somewhere. As she reaches the second flight of stairs, she hears a train roar in, the squeal of slowing brakes, the bing of the bell, the hydrolic hiss of the doors sliding open.
Normally, she would run for it, but today she can be late. Today, she simply doesn’t care.
When Jojo reaches the bottom and the entrance to the platform, the worker in the token booth, an older man with a shock of gray-white hair, turns and looks at her. She holds up her metrocard and scurries past, her heart starting up a little though she knows she has nothing to worry about. At school, she’d have a problem, wouldn’t get past the security guard or the metal detectors. But there are no bag checks or scanners here.


Happy summer 2015 all you shiny TW campers! So glad to have you here. . .

- gae

* if you teach kids reading or share books with kids and are not a member of the Nerdy Book Club, you are plain silly.

Friday, June 19, 2015

On Hate and Things I Cannot Bear Nor Fathom. . .

I have no words for what has happened this week in Charleston, South Carolina, nor for what has happened before Charleston in Ferguson, in Florida, in Aurora, in Newtown, in Laramie, Wyoming, in NYC. . . everywhere, and seemingly will continue to happen because those of us with love in our hearts are so helpless and hapless or, worse, lethargic, in the face of those who are filled with hate, come from a place of ignorance or are, quite simply, inhumane.

I have no words today and so simply share the words of others who have found some profound ones, together with a strong wish and heartfelt plea that:

  • *you keep speaking up and out against intolerance, violence and hate, 
  • *you rally when possible, 
  • *if you are young, especially, you use your smarts, abilities and your words wisely and eloquently to sway others around you who may come from a place of fear or ignorance, and
  • *MOST IMPORTANTLY, you VOTE. Vote for candidates who are first and foremost for tolerance, equality, and peace, who are for protecting lives not just IN the womb, but once they are born into the world and living and breathing among us.  

If you watch or listen to one thing this week on the Charleston tragedy watch this:


And if you're still feeling hopeless after that clip watch the rest of his interview with Malala Yousafzai and consider donating to the Malala Fund.

If you read something, this is a good, important thing to read, with the below lead-in by the beautiful author, Kate Messner:

"What happened in a Charleston church on Wednesday night is a lot of things, but one thing it's not is "unspeakable." We should speak of it often. We should speak of it loudly." 
This piece is worth reading & thinking about. The man arrested for the horrific church shooting in Charleston may be referred to as a "lone shooter," but a community raised him. We are all responsible for the words we speak, the things we share on our social media pages, and the things we allow others to say, unchecked and unchallenged. I cannot believe we live in a world where this is still happening. We have to do better.  SPEAKING THE UNSPEAKABLE. . . 

If you are a writer and want to do something small to honor librarian Cynthia Hurd:

Donations in her memory can be made to the Charleston Public Library c/o Andria Amaral; Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St., Charleston SC 29401. 

Mother Emanuel Church also accepts donations:

We must find a way to do better,


Friday, May 29, 2015

Gearing up for Teachers Write! & Friday Feedback - Summer 2015

Teachers Write! 

What it is, 

How it Works 

Plus some FAQ’s

What it Is

Teachers Write! is a virtual writing camp for teachers, librarians and other educators
who either:

          * want to become better writing teachers by “walking the walk" and doing their own writing for the benefit of their students,  or

          * aspire to write fiction or non-fiction works, and, thus, desire to become better writers for their own benefit and purpose.

I may have doctored this quote. 

How it Works

We like to think of Teachers Write as an all-you-can-eat buffet loaded with YOUR CHOICE of opportunities to learn about, improve, and share writing.

Each weekday -- except Wednesdays which are a Q&A day -- there are writing lessons, prompts and exercises posted on Kate’s, Jo’s, Gae’s and/or Jen’s blogs (and linked to on our Teachers Write facebook page which you should join NOW HERE (click that link!) if you are willing

These prompts are intended to illustrate, inspire and spark your creativity. You do not have to do them all, but you may. You may pick and choose those those exercises and prompts you connect with, that move you to try them out. 

The week unfolds primarily as follows:

Mini-Lesson Mondays – chat about the topic in the comments with the guest author

Monday Morning Warm Ups with Jo Knowles – just what they sound like. Monday morning gems to get you writing!

Tuesday Quick-Write – Kate or a guest author sharing prompts!

Wednesday Q & A – lots of guest authors chime in!

Thursday Quick Write  – Kate or a guest author sharing prompts!

Friday Feedback  – Gae or a guest author sharing a writing lesson and a brief excerpt of new writing, followed by an opportunity to post your own brief excerpt and give and get hands-on editorial feedback!

Saturdays - we're off, but Gae allows Friday overflow posts on her Friday Feedback blog through Saturday afternoon. Extra hours to be brave!

Sunday Check Ins with Jen Vincent - Reflect on the past week and share your plans for the upcoming week at Jen's blog. Lots of cheerleading and motivation!  

Some basic FAQs you should know about TW!

   I’m not a real writer. I’m not worthy. Can I participate? Should I just lurk? 

      There are “campers” of all different writing skill levels participating in Teachers Write! Some of us have been writing for years, have manuscripts in the works, are even close to querying agents. And others are about to force themselves to write something creative – anything creative – for the very first time ever or in years.

No worries, whatever level of skill you are, you are welcome and wanted, and will quickly find yourself jumping up levels as you dive in. Some of our newbies of Years One and Two are already in that querying phase! Others are still struggling in the early phases of finding voice and confidence in their writing. It’s OKAY. It’s all OKAY. As Teddy Roosevelt once said (and one of our awesome campers reminded me), “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Jump in and be brave at whatever level you are. We’re here to encourage and support you, and we’ll sit back and smile when you soon find yourself moving up levels by leaps and bounds.

      * I don't even know what a WIP is, so should I pack my bags and leave?

A WIP simply stands for a Work In Progress. Any work in progress. Though authors often use it in reference to a novel, here we use it to reference any work in progress: non-fiction essay, blog post, spark of a short story you are writing from a TW! prompt. Even a poem!

Wear your WIP proudly, and share bits of it when you’re feeling brave.

* But I don't have a WIP, so I guess I should go now?

Nope, we can't let you leave that easy! Got a WIP you're already working on? GREAT! 

BUT, you don't need a WIP. You can start one during Teachers Write or if you're not ready for that you may simply work on the writing exercises never knowing when one might blossom into a WIP or at least start germinating ideas for one. Or some people come just to work on blog posts and the like. Writing is writing. We don't care which kind.

    My inner critic has been stomping on my face in cleats. 
How do I share when I’m filled with doubt and self-loathing?

      This is all we can say to that: ask past campers! 

      We’re here to support and encourage, not tear down. Wait until you see how much fun it is! And until then, isn’t this a great feeling to remember when you ask those vulnerable students of yours to share in front of their peers?!

Sounds good! How much does it cost?

      Nada! Zero! Zilch! Or, you know, the cost of being brave and putting yourself out there. 

Having said that, if you are able, we do ask you to PLEASE buy at least one book by each of the hosting authors (me, Kate and Jo) and at least one book by a guest author (and as many more as you can!). We also ask that you share our titles with your schools and local libraries, encourage your friends to read and put up reviews. Tweet our titles if you like them. All of these things truly help to keep our books in the limelight. And we love you for it.

I'm sold on it now! Where do we meet on the first day of camp?!

Because we're a virtual camp, we meet, or more accurately "catch up," various places on line. 

Each morning you will find the links to the day's exercises on the various facilitators' blogs: Kate's, Jo's, mine, and Jen's. We also tweet the links every day under the #teacherswrite hashtag on twitter and post them on our private Teachers Write Facebook page. Even if you don't have a Facebook page, think about creating one (it's free and easy) just for TW! even if that is the sole reason you ever use it. Facebook is a great place to share questions and concerns related to TW because it is easier than on twitter to follow a single conversation with multiple responses on one thread. Also, we're not limited as to how many characters we have to explain something!

Once you read and do the day's exercises (or, decide not to, and choose instead to work on something else) the other place we "meet" or "catch up" are the comments to those blogs. Sometimes we -- or the guest author -- invite you to share a snippet of your writing in the comments, other times we do not. If you're not specifically invited to share your writing in the comments, please don't as hundreds of snippets of writing can be really hard to get through and still find questions that need answering, etc. The exception to this is Friday Feedback where you are ALWAYS invited to share a snippet of your writing pursuant to the RULES.

Okay, but if I can't share my writing there on your blogs, where do I share it?!

Remember that you are first and foremost writing for yourself and that with hundreds of campers we can't read everyone's writing every day or we'd get none of our own done! 

If you want to share your writing and are not specifically invited to do so in a TW blog post, you should do that in your own blogposts on your own blogs, and then do things like share a link to your blog post on twitter using the #teacherswrite hashtag which lets other campers know you've written something you're interested in sharing, and leaves it up to them to find and read, or in emails with other campers and friends. 

Also, on Sunday check-ins, Jen often invites you to share links to your blogs! 

PLEASE DO NOT post links to your own blogs on our Facebook page because if everyone did that, no one would be able to find our links and other important posts of the day!

What you will find, I promise, as the weeks move forward is that, if you participate a lot, you will forge REAL (albeit virtual) relationships with other teacher-writer-campers and will end up sharing plenty with other campers who write in the same genre or teach in the same area, etc. Generally, a few weeks into the summer, Kate will put up a post specifically geared toward helping you all find and create critique groups (Here's a LINK to the one she did last year) and to our delight many of our campers are still involved with their groups they formed in years one, two and three!

* Okay, great. But I'm not a teacher or educator. 
Can I still participate?

Sure! The posts are all public, so anyone can write along with us! We just ask that you write on your own, rather than posting for critiques, etc. (except for Friday Feedback here on my blog, which is always open to the public!) because that way the groups stays a manageable size for our teachers and librarians. We love you, but that's who we really want to serve here because of the work they do with kids.

*I signed up but I didn't receive any confirmation. Do you secretly hate me and don't want me to join? 

No! We love you and are so excited to have you! Rest assured you are signed up and welcome. You don't need any confirmation - the sign up list is more for us to keep track of our campers and who we have joining us! See you there!

* Good try but I have so many more questions and you didn't answer them!

If I haven't answered your question yet, feel free to email me at the email I give you below. However, know this: The answer to most TW questions is "It's up to you!" This camp is what you make of it. It is not intended to stress you out, or make you feel as if you are falling short yet again in your teaching, writing or emotional life!! It is intended to support you and CHEER YOU ON! There is no good time to get started writing, yet so many people wait for that (like waiting for Godot). The time is NOW and we are here to help you, to provide inspiration on a daily basis (we hope!) and to encourage and instruct as you go along. Some people do every single exercise, some people merely use TW as a meeting place to make sure they are writing every day, and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. Many of our campers have finished books they never thought they'd really start, and many tell us it has been life changing. 

We love our campers. This camp is for you! Now come on in! What (who?) are you waiting for? 

Hope this information helps! Still have questions? tweet to me @gaepol, comment to me here, or email me at 

      We can't wait to see our returning campers and meet our new ones,

      Gae (Kate, Jo & Jen).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Me, Catching Up. . . with lots of links!

CAKE!! Because, CAKE!!!

Me, recently, posing for the webcam before a Skype visit
(It's how I check my hair ;))

Been a busy few weeks, with the paperback release of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO.

Seems the paperback has made its way to many Barnes & Noble shelves around the country which is a great thing.

Hoping it finds its way to some reading lists as well. And a reminder that if it finds its way to YOUR summer book club list, I will happily Skype in to your book club meeting of five readers or more. You can contact me through my website if you want more information.

Anyway, to celebrate the paperback release, I threw an awesome (if I do say so myself!) Palooza at the Huntington Public Library.

Despite it being one of the first sunny and warm weekend days of the year, we had a pretty full house and an extraordinary group of kids who stayed for the WHOLE event, from 90-Second Read Aloud through the book sale & signing, through the tween & teen only Writers Workshop!

It was a four-hour day -- not sure I'd ever make it that long again, though it flew! -- and the kids all seemed to have a good time.

This awesome animoto video was made by teacher extraordinaire Kristen Picone who brought so many enthusiastic students to the event, it truly blew all us authors away!

Those are some lucky kids in HER class!!!

That's Kristen with some of her students!

Here are a few photos from the event. If you want to see more, you can find the link to the whole album on my Facebook author page HERE.

Matt Blackstone, reading from SORRY YOU'RE LOST
a perennial favorite of mine

A student, ready with the bell! All those other hands up,
waiting for their turn with the Power of the Bell!

Listening to readings. . . 

Tracey Baptiste, THE JUMBIES

Charlotte Bennardo, BLONDE OPS

me, reading from SUMMER about kissing. . . 

Me, with the extraordinary Lynda Mullaly Hunt of
who drove 6-hrs round trip to be with us for the day!!!
Huge thanks again to the eight wonderful authors who shared the day with me including those pictured above and: Henry Clark, THE BOOK THAT PROVES TIME TRAVEL HAPPENS; Sarah Darer Littman, BACKLASH; Selene Castrovilla, MELT; Kat Yeh, THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE!

I've got a few more events planned and some more writing workshops I'm teaching both locally and not so locally, but maybe local for you! 

First, TOMORROW, I will be at the Fourth Annual AUTHORS UNLIMITED Festival at St. Joseph's college in Patchogue, NY. Promises to be a fun day with lots of awesome authors, so if you're local, PLEASE join us!

Then, coming up in July, I will be teaching a one-night Novel Writing Workshop at the Walt Whitman Birthplace. Please pre-register. The cost is subsidized and a mere $15. 

Also, coming up in October (and I'm super excited about this . . . though I still hope the time passes slowly as I need my summer and my open water swim season to last!!), I will be one of three instructors, along with the incredible Amy Ferris (!! Who I'm going to finally get to meet in person!) and Beverly Donofrio at the PEEC Women of Our Words Writing Retreat. I think if you register before June 1st, there's an early bird special!! So call soon!

Working on some other summer book plans, including to return to the amazing EIGHT COUSINS bookstore in Falmouth, MA. 

Me, showing my section in 59 Reasons. . . !
And, of course, our fourth (!?!?) summer of Teachers Write! Is that possible? Word about start dates should be coming soon! In the meantime, if you haven't heard, Kate Messner's amazing book, 59 Reasons to Write, based on the virtual summer camp program is out now! And if you're thinking about joining this summer, do make sure to join our Facebook page. . . lots of information gets shared there!

So many good things. 

Braved the water on April 18th with two other hardy pals!!!
Anyway, that's all the book catching up to do for now. In the meantime, if you need me, you know where to find me. Some harbor off the Long Island Sound. Already been in... it was freezing, but grand!!!

Thanks for reading here and there any everywhere!

xox gae

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

#TSOLG Paperback Palooza: Five Random Questions with Sarah Darer Littman

Sarah Darer Littman, 
strumming about Summer...
Less than two weeks to our Author Palooza on April 19th at the Huntington Public Library. YOU CAN CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER!

Several amazing MG and YA authors
 will be joining me for the fun and hands-on writers workshop, and I thought it would be nice to get to know them -- and me -- a little in the weeks leading up to the event. 

You may read all about the event HERE on the facebook event page, and even if you can't come to the event live, please join the event page and follow along in the fun.

So, over the past few weeks, I've been asking the guest authors to share their favorite piece of writing advice (or quotes that have helped or inspired them) as well as to answer five random questions from a big list I provided and I've been sharing  their answers (and chiming in with a few of my own in pink ...)

Up today with her five random answers to Five Random Questions is guest author Sarah Darer Littman

author of WANT TO GO PRIVATE? 

and the forthcoming BACKLASH 

and several other amazing novels for tweens and teens. Sarah is also a smart and eloquent journalist, and you should follow and read her everywhere possible!

You can read all about Sarah HERE. 

Before we get started with Sarah's five answers, here's a favorite writing quote of hers that helps her stay motivated and focused: 

“The main rule of the writer is never to pity your manuscript. If you see something you know is no good, throw it away and begin again. A lot of writers have failed because they have too much pity. They have already worked so much that they cannot just throw it away. But I say the wastepaper basket is the writer’s best friend.” -Isaac Bashevis Singer

Now on to Five Random Questions with Sarah Darer Littman... 

1. What's one of your silliest memories from childhood? 

My late father was involved with espionage (although we didn’t know it at the time) so we had all sorts of code words and phrases. One particularly silly one was if our Pekinese, Ming (the Merciless) had pooped on a walk, the phrase was “Mr. Brown left a parcel.”
2.  What's the dumbest thing you ever did?

There isn’t enough space on this blog to list all the dumb things I have done. It’s really amazing that *I* survived to adulthood - or, quite frankly, that I am still surviving as an adult.  But the important thing is to keep learning from your dumb mistakes.

3. Okay, we can't milk specifics there, so... what's the cruelest/funniest thing you ever did to a sibling?

I put my younger sister in my doll carriage and started pushing her down our long and graded driveway. And then, oops, I let go of the handle. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, I SWEAR! And then there was a pothole and the end of the driveway, and the carriage wheel hit the pothole and…yep, my younger sister went flying. 

But I wasn’t as bad as my older brother, who tricked my younger sister into the washing basket at the top of the stairs pretending it was a roller coaster - and then pushed her down. 

Frankly, it’s amazing my younger sister survived to adulthood. But she did - and she’s amazing and smart and funny and has two amazing smart and funny kids of her own!

4. What unique skill do you possess?

This isn’t a unique skill, but I have an extremely ANNOYING skill of having a song for every occasion, and an extremely awful tuneless voice to sing it in. This is the cross my children must bear, and they bear it with loud and frequent complaints. 

5. What did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I ever remember wanting to be was an airline stewardess. That’s what they were called then, because I’m old. It’s funny because now I hate flying, but I think my desire was more about the fact that I love going to new places and experiencing different cultures and meeting people who might live and think differently than I do, but looking for our common experiences. I thought about a career in the State Department when I was in college. 

In high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer but Dad said “You’ll never make a living as an English major.” 

It took me 38 years and hospitalization for a breakdown before I finally found the courage to listen to high school me and follow my dream. 

Sarah, what a brave, honest answer to share. Thank you. As for the stewardess part, me too (and me too on the ix-nay on the eyeing-flay now...) except for me, I think it was more about the outfits they wore back then. So glamorous! (I'm old too!)

So, there you have it. . . some advice and a few random things about author Sarah Darer Littman. Hope you'll check out all of her books, and if you're anywhere local, that you'll join us at the Huntington Public Library on April 19th for the reading, book signing and, if you're a tween or teen writer, the hands-on writers workshop with all these fabulous authors! 

And don't forget to order a paperback copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO if you can't come to the Palooza to get a signed one!

xox gae