News Flash! My Vermont College of Fine Arts classmate Debbie Dunn and I sold our new book WANTED: WOMEN MATHEMATICIANS. WANTED will be published by Disney-Hyperion in 2019.
Common wisdom suggests computers are an exclusively male domain– ironic when one considers that women invented computer programming.
WANTED: WOMEN MATHEMATICIANS tells the story of a team of nearly forgotten innovators, Jean Jennings, Kay McNulty and Betty Snyder, young women who hacked the first electronic computers (before hacking was a thing) to win the war and change the world. Betty, Kay and Jean knew computers must be small, nimble and communicate with each other, just like they did. WANTED doesn’t just give these pioneers their due. It demonstrates how the team’s “feminine” attributes– cooperation, communication and teamwork– formed the essence of how modern computers function.
This book is a labor of love and a dream come true. We can’t wait to share Jean, Betty and Kay’s story with you!
March is Women’s History Month. Click this page to download a free activity kit (PDF)
Click to download a free fun activity kit for THE MAP OF ME!
The Shocking Truth!
Novels have plots.
I have a confession-
For me, like a lot of other novelists, plotting used to feel IMPOSSIBLE. As unfathomable as an algebra problem. And just as bound up by some weird set of rules I thought I’d never understand. (Read more)
Are you a plotter or a plunger? Can I see a show of hands for each category?
I’ve always hated that question a little because I just don’t get it, at least for my own writing. Plotters plan ahead, arranging the sequence of events in their novels with the precision of a German train schedule. Plungers take a blind leap off a cliff and write whatever their heart tells them to put on the page.
I do neither. (Read more)
There are sound neurological reasons storyboarding works for some of us. It literally probes the deepest recesses of the creative mind. How?
A human brain is a mysterious thing and as a writer I’m always looking for ways to push inside my unconscious, to lift the veil between what I know on the outside and what my heart and mind know about my story on the inside. I’m trying to enter “the flow”. Even though I’m no great shakes as an artist drawing a scene is a powerful tool to lead me through the curtain into “the understory”. (Read more)
EVERY NOVEL HAS “UNBELIEVABLE“ ELEMENTS. YOUR JOB AS A WRITER IS TO “MAKE BELIEVE”—THAT IS MAKE YOUR READER BELIEVE THE PARTS OF YOUR STORY THAT DON’T MAKE LITERAL SENSE.
HOW? HERE ARE SEVEN (PLUS ONE) TOOLS. (Read more)
I had an AMAZING time at my favorite bookstore, Politics & Prose. Even though we had torrential rain in Washington well over 100 children and adults braved the weather and came out to hear me talk about Soar, Elinor! and my hero Elinor Smith. Thanks Blessed Sacrament and Capitol Hill Day School!!! You SOAR!
One student asked if Elinor ever crashed her plane and I promised to post this picture-
Thankfully Elinor walked away from this crash unhurt. The plane was repaired and she flew it again.
I also told students about Elinor’s funny cat. Here’s a picture of her with him. She’d just returned home after setting an endurance record- flying for over 26 hours without landing. Doesn’t she look tired? Her best friend is on her lap in this photo, wearing her flight goggles!
Thanks everyone for coming out yesterday! It was wonderful to meet you all.