Category Archives: news

Celebrate Reading (Drop Everything and READ!)

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

The author of the beloved Ramona Quimby books turns 101 years old today. A hundred and one! I’m sure she had no idea when she wrote Ramona Quimby, Age 8 that she would start a literary revolution.

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Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - by Beverly ClearyInspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. In the book, Ramona’s teacher introduces the children in her class to D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read). It could have been “Sustained Silent Reading,” but how much more fun is it with a title like that? I love clever teachers (and writers) who know how to engage their students and make learning an adventure.

Drop Everything and Read has become “a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives.” (Drop Everything and Read)

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Another Update—In Case You’re Wondering!

Hello, wonderful readers!

I just wanted to make a drive-by post to let you know I’m still breathing. I’m deep into edits of Book One of The Mage’s Gift: Blood and Shadow, and I just want to say ohmygoshhowcaneditingbesoslow?!

Yeah. Like that.

I would like to give a percentage of progress. Something concrete, like I’m 62% finished. But silly things like “consistency” have me going back and forth in the manuscript until I’m dizzy.

But… I’ve got two little snippets to share with you. First, a picture of the timeline:

Blood and Shadow timeline

Yes, it’s small. Yes, some of the words look kind of blurry. You didn’t want spoilers, did you??

Second, a corner of the map-in-progress:

Alshan Map, The Mage's Gift Bk 1: Blood and Shadow, by Robin Lythgoe

One day it will be greener, the rivers won’t look weird, and the bordering countries will have names. Won’t that be exciting?

Do you want more good news? The covers (Yes, two! One for each of the set!) are nearly done! I can’t wait to share those with you.

Stay tuned! If you don’t want to miss the release of Blood and Shadow, be sure to sign up for my Book Progress email list, which will give you nothing but information about my upcoming books.

Good News!

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Today’s technology is amazing. Mail that used to take a week now takes a few seconds. Research trips used have to be scheduled around vehicles, library (or other business) hours and/or holidays, but now “google” is a verb. When I was a little girl there were exactly two television channels, and they were black and white; now I read that most cable boxes are capable of handling 999 channels, but there don’t appear to be many actual channels after 600. Six hundred! (We’ve opted not to get cable at our house, so I had to google that.) In 2004 the Federal Communications Commission announced a total of 13,476 radio stations in the United States.

If you have somehow managed to miss what’s going on in the world after all that, you have hundreds – maybe thousands! – of ‘friends’ on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+, and etc. who are more than happy to pass along noteworthy information about what the president is doing (or not doing),  the advancement or degeneration of the multiplying political parties, how to solve the national debt (Did you hear the rumor that Apple has more cash than the U.S. Treasury? Leave my Mac alone!), the lack of privacy inherent in using devices connected to the internet, the number of times a person is recorded on security and spy cameras, everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about the Kardashians…

There are some days that I feel assaulted by the news. I want to hear and see some good things. Things that make me smile, make me wonder. Things that wake in me a sense of joy that I’m sharing the planet with some really awesome people.

So I went out and found some “good news” to share, and I want to start with a TV spot from that has been airing here recently. I’ve seen it a dozen times, and it still makes me sniffle and smile. Based on a true story, talented pianist Kurt Bestor plays (I know, it’s hard to believe) the pianist: Encouragement – Pass it On. (Unfortunately, I can’t post their video here!)

Brigham Young University students who began kicking around some ideas to help developing countries have come up with a rather ingenious invention. In fact, the devices they’re making are literally giving folks in these countries some “big steps” they’ve never been able to take before. (

Video Courtesy of

How about this one?

This week a man from the suburbs of Chicago has been making headlines for his outsanding honesty. Robert Adams is that man and according to him he was simply doing the right thing by returning something that just was not his. (Chicago Man Finds $17,000 and Returns It

Mormon Ads are some of my favorite videos to watch. What does swashbuckling have to do with spending time with your family? Check this out.

And then there is this last one, The Power of Words:

Wait, there’s one more Honorable Mention. Fellow author Gene Lempp not only writes informative and entertaining articles for his blog (and others!), but he takes the time to talk to people, to help them out, to promote them. I know because I’m one of the lucky recipients of his attention.

What kinds of compassion have you witnessed lately? What touches you? How are you helping to make the world a better place?