Category Archives: Jennifer

The Highlights Foundation Magic

Visiting Highlights Foundation for the first time is much like entering an enchanted forest, the leaves dripping with writing magic. Three nonfiction story ideas were born in my little cabin in the woods. Several familiar Illinois and VCFA writer names … Continue reading

Posted in Highlights, Jennifer, Kandace Coston, Leda Schubert, Middle Grade Books, MT Anderson, Nonfiction, Picture Books, Steve Sheinkin, Tod Olson | Tagged | Comments Off on The Highlights Foundation Magic

Tapping Into Your Creative Inner Child

This fall author / illustrator Lynda Barry has fueled my creative fire. She generously shares her teaching materials and encourages others to follow along with the UW-Madison courses she teaches by sharing her syllabus, exercises, and homework assignments on Tumblr … Continue reading

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Post-Grad Revelations

Last month I checked a few major writing milestones off my bucket list: 1) Delivered my graduate reading of my young adult science fiction work-in-progress, Eraser. 2) Presented my graduate lecture, Shift That Narrow Trend Line into a Scatter Plot of … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Engineering, Family, Jennifer, MFA, Nature, RVC, SCBWI, Teaching, VCFA MFA WCYA, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Open Question

My first revelation of 2018 is that MFA programs have magical time slip powers. I last blogged in September when my third semester at VCFA was just getting started and I had taken on the challenge of writing a pretty … Continue reading

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You Snooze, You Lose

I recently started reading Waking Up White And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. This book was recommended during an incredible VCFA WCYA lecture by Tom Birdseye called “Fish Talks Water,” which discussed white privilege and … Continue reading

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Talking Slower and Thinking Deeper

My twelfth packet of MFA homework was due earlier this week. For once it was submitted without any all-nighters, drama, or emotional meltdowns. I had plenty of time to do the quantity and quality of work I knew I had in … Continue reading

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Rebirth

  (Photos by Matt Hussung) Solar Eclipse fascination escalated to total frenzy in the days leading up to August 21. Who had solar glasses? Were they off the right list? Which schools would watch the eclipse? Would my home be … Continue reading

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Cleaning Up The Trailer Trash Stereotype

Tomorrow I depart for my third residency at Vermont College of Fine Arts WCYA. The dreaded critical thesis semester is about to consume my life – except I’m not really dreading it. I’m a structural engineer. Critical analysis and technical … Continue reading

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Subtext: Two Plus Two Equals A Reader Connection

Eons ago, at my first SCBWI Prairie Writer’s Day Conference, I heard the popular writing tip “show, don’t tell.” That catch phrase should be writing advice to live by, except this wide-eyed newbie didn’t understand how to “show.” I jumped … Continue reading

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Can Kids Relate to Structural Engineering?

I never thought my day job as a structural engineer designing bridges would ever intersect with my dream job writing for children. Right-brain pursuits never cross paths with left-brain projects. Yet somehow they have, with a little help from my … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, Jennifer, MFA, Picture Books, VCFA MFA WCYA, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment