Archive Category: YA outside the lines

Cat playing with writer's keyboard watercolor

Writer’s block

I’ve never believed in Writer’s Block. I always thought it was a convenient excuse for soft people who didn’t want to do the hard work of sitting in a chair for hours on end, wrestling with the thousands of words needed a create an entire book.

YA outside the lines

 Joy, and Sponge Bob

Ironically, I did not allow my children to watch Sponge Bob when they were little, so I was unfamiliar with the finer point of Sponge Bob’s life as a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea in a tight knit community called Bikini Bottom.

YA outside the lines
Watercolor painting of a book chained with a cadenass

Why Banning Books is Bad

Banning books is like banning eyesight, or hearing, or taste, touch, or smell. It’s an attempt to make kids blind and deaf to the world around them, to protect them from reality. It’s wrong, and completely ineffective. As the parent of teenagers, I disagree with this impulse, but I do understand it.

YA outside the lines

Fear itself

I fear all the usual things; snakes, heights, enclosed spaces, dark alleys at night. I also fear driving on the Beltway, people not liking me and a worldwide shortage of gluten free Twinkies.

YA outside the lines
watercolor painting of autumn landscape with a beautiful road with colored trees


“Transition” is a soft and gentle word for a serene flow from one thing to the next. “Transition” is also fancy word for “change,” and as we all know, change is a no fun whatsoever.

YA outside the lines
A writing desk with a cup of coffee

The Best Bad Advice

Most of the writing advice I consider “bad,” isn’t really bad at all. It’s usually perfectly good advice that just doesn’t work for me. Conversely, my idea of good writing advice is probably terrible advice for someone else. 

YA outside the lines

Trixie Belden, Girl Detective

It was all so thrilling and perfect, if you were a thirteen-year-old girl, which I was. After it became obvious to me that I couldn’t go to Narnia, I wanted to crawl into Trixie’s world and live there instead.

YA outside the lines