December 10, 2018

This is the season of light, and as a child it was one of my favorites. The tree was surrounded by presents. We said a prayer before our Christmas meal, thanking God for the bounty in front of us.

I also had that child’s view that everyone must have this, loving parents...

May 13, 2017

My mother died several years ago. No matter how old I get, I still have a pang of longing each Mother’s Day for just one more phone conversation, one more moment sitting together at the table, with our hands, so similar, wrapped around our coffee cups.

Mom was always ex...

April 29, 2017


I have Google and Twitter alerts set to tell me when webpages or internet users are discussing Maddi's Fridge. Sometimes I get great surprises, like when the Seattle School District teachers were striking and, to pass the time, read Maddi's Fridge out loud on the p...

April 28, 2016

This week I’m giving over my blog to some talented writers.


The students at McDonald Elementary School in Seattle has been studying hunger. Here are similes and metaphors from Ms. Roughton’s 3rd graders.




“Hunger is like walking through a desert with no end.” – S.



April 20, 2016

You can sit down to a writing prompt and go to all sorts of fun and weird places. Recently, a friend sent me this prompt: “Write about an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality. This can be yours, or that of one of your characters.”


My first thought was ugh,...

February 26, 2016

A few weeks ago I visited an elementary school in northern Washington State.



The school held a food drive and collected 1600 food items before my visit.


I spoke to three assemblies and then led two writers’ workshops. At the beginning of 5th grade workshop, I asked th...

January 15, 2016


[Note to parents and educators: this blog post has adult content and is not suitable for children.]

One of the sad things that happened this past November was that our dog, Cora Bear, got very ill. We took her to the break-the-bank dog diagnostic hospital and foun...

November 6, 2015

I’ve been doing a lot of school visits lately.





And I’m going to do the happy dance to celebrate –right here on my blog.


These are some of my favorite moments over the past few weeks:


A little girl holding her dad’s hand while walking that last block to school. She s...

September 10, 2015


Several years ago the theme of the Highlights Fiction Contest was to write a story set in the future. I’ve always enjoyed entering this contest, and sat down to write my sci fi short story for young children.


The page stayed empty. Not for a few minutes, or hours, as...

August 9, 2015

In early June my son and his friend, both college students, were skateboarding on a Friday night in Portland. They chose a street that each thought the other had gone down before. As they picked up speed both realized they were in trouble. My son’s friend purposely h...

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