Global warming

A child's drawing of car pollution

Dear Leroy,

I also believe in global warming, mostly because of my deep appreciation of science, nurtured by a solid public education, as well as observing the daily evidence around me.

For example, I just came back from walking my dog Ivy at the park. It’s February as I write, and there’s hardly any snow on the ground. When I first moved here a number of years ago, there would have been giant snow piles where sidewalks and roads had been cleared. There would have been plenty of snow to play in and make snow forts. Now I can’t remember when there was enough ice for outdoor skating.

I hope that we all keep our shared environment in mind with everything we do.

Stay well,


Roller coaster

Child's drawing of a roller coaster

Dear Matthew,

Have you tried the roller coaster yet? Your drawing is dizzily accurate!

I rode on one once with a friend whose parents drove us to the fair. It was a long, winding car ride during the high heat of summer, and I felt car sick even before we arrived. Plus, they fed us a boxed lunch at a roadside picnic along the way. We drank grape juice (it was warm) and an egg salad sandwich (plenty of mayonnaise, also warm). I did not care for either, but I politely tried my best. By the time I got on the roller coaster, I was feeling green.

I did manage to go all the way around before I threw up. To this day, I can’t drink grape juice or eat an egg salad sandwich. Still, whenever I have to write about a character who is not feeling well, I can recall precisely that feeling so as to include accurate details.

Happy reading,



Child's drawing of ziplining

Dear Ashlyn,

Like you, I’m not a big fan of heights, but it is fun to watch others ziplining or bungee jumping. I was watching a group of bungee jumpers on a very high bridge a month ago. Someone up there decided that she didn’t want to jump, but there was a large line-up behind her so the guides actually nudged her over the edge. Can you believe it?

Here’s what we all heard: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Then she bounced around while upside down, dangling off the bungee cord like everyone before her, and she was all smiles.

It’s fun to write or draw about scary or exciting experiences, though. You’ve done an excellent job capturing the moment.

Happy reading,





Always wear a helmet

Child's drawing of bicyles

Dear Dylan,

You saw a fireball in the sky while you were biking at night? I wonder what it was? My imagination soars!

I love your bike scene. I just came back from vacation where I was mountain biking in Utah and I did a header almost as soon as I started the trail. I hurt myself, but fortunately I was wearing a helmet. Always wear a helmet, Dylan, so you can live to see another fireball.

Happy reading,

Creepy Basement


Hi Kelly,

I know exactly how you feel about basements. Basement noises can be creepy, especially running water pipes. Yikes! I used to be terrified of basements when I was a kid. I’m not sure I’m entirely over that fear. Good luck with your story – a basement would make a terrific setting.

Happy reading,


PS I also don’t like spiders.