About Me

I'm an author and arts administrator living in New England with my family and pugs. I'm also a caffeine addict and voracious reader. My latest middle grade fantasy novel, SHADOW WEAVER, is available now from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky!

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Next Event

Dec
12
Wed
2018
7:00 pm The Heroes Return Launch Party @ Barnes & Noble
The Heroes Return Launch Party @ Barnes & Noble
Dec 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
I’ll be joining Monica Tesler for the launch of her latest book in the Bounders series, THE HEROES RETURN!

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A Year for Renewal

2017 was a difficult year in a lot of ways, and I’m hopeful that 2018 will be much better. We have our newly expanded family to love, learn, and grow with, and I have lots of books to write (my “must-do” goals list is a wee bit longer than usual)! And if we’re lucky and all get out to vote in November, maybe we can correct the course the country is currently taking.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet this year (leaving me more time to write, of course), so without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2018:

MUST DO:

WANT TO DO:

MIGHT DO:

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2018? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

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July Reads – 2011

Month number SEVEN in my continuing mission to READ MOAR. This month I read 8 young adult books.

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It’s My Party…

It’s official: I am no longer a 20-something. Yesterday, I turned 30. I don’t feel any different (yet) but I expect any minute now I’ll magically transform into a more mature not-so-young lady. You know, a real grown-up.

Yeah right. 🙂

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so here’s a few highlights:

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Free Stuff Friday: An Ode to Open Source

I love open source software.  Yep, I wear my geek badge proudly!  Since I work in the nonprofit field, I know many of those organizations want to play with the big guns, but can’t unless they get a grant or major donation. I recently heard of one monster program (which I’m not going to name, sorry) that cost over $100,000. Way over.  That’s more than the annual budget for many nonprofits.  Open source can be a cost effective and viable alternative to the fancy-schmancy commercial products and is definitely something that should be on any nonprofits radar for serious consideration.  With active communities to support, extend, and improve the programs, the products are almost always just as stable – sometimes more stable (ahem, internet explorer, ahem!) – than the traditional route.

This week’s Awesome Open Source Application: GIMP

In a world where technobabble bombards audiences left and right, nonprofits need to stand out.  Branding is critical to making your organization known and recognizable.  Flyers in Microsoft Word or Publisher aren’t going to cut it anymore.  You need something more powerful to create things like logos, posters, and brochures that stand out in a good way, not because they’re printed on hot pink paper.

Enter GIMP – an alternative to Photoshop. And it costs…nothing.

Compare that to $699 for the current version of Adobe Photoshop CS4 and it might just be worth a try, hmm?

According to the GIMP website:

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.

I realize this is gibberish to many of you, so let me break it down real simple:

Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like in action:

The only major drawback I’ve found so far is that it doesn’t save in CMYK, but that won’t matter to most people. And since I’m accustomed to Photoshop, the interface takes some getting used to (though GimpShop has a cure for that).

So, try GIMP and let me know what you think in the comments!

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Progress Report—July 19

# OF WORDS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 3,172

I’m proud to say a lot of stuff got done this week.  It’s about time.

I completed the outline for THE GHOST WRITER, and along the way figured out some details that I couldn’t quite decide on before.  I’m excited to get started on it, but I’m also completely distracted by writing SHADOW. The scenes are vivid and won’t leave me alone. Plus, the third and fourth books in the Siren Saga (AKA: sequels to GLOW) are begging to be outlined.  There’s too much story playing in my head and I need to get it down on paper before it disappears!

Most impressive is the fact that I buckled down and revised my GLOW synopsis.  And I submitted it to my critique forum.  And received feedback. The revision cycle is about to start again, but I’m much closer this time.  One critic commented that I include too many characters—looking over it again, I can see that the advice is spot on and how I can take them out and still make it work.  It will probably never be perfect, but I’m going to try!

Random Fun Fact: I love Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  So much so, that I’m making it the play the theatre tries to put on in THE GHOST WRITER.  The antagonist in the story is not at all happy about it, but you’ll have to read it when it’s finished to find out why!

Next week’s goals:

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