Friday, October 1, 2021

Slam-Packed Summer


Anyone else feel like summer just slipped through their fingers? 

(Story Time with Ms. Nora and all the kids.)

I spent mine running workshops with some of my favorite volunteers, moonlighting at Story Time and joining my first critique group with the Storyteller Academy Crew. 

The cherry on top was opening my package from Cricket Media and poring over my copies of Muse Magazine


Thrilled to see how my article “A Conversation with Ranger Kip” turned out and to see Mr. Baby Konrad and his daddy make a cameo in it. You can order your very own copy here
Ranger Kip Walton of the Indiana Dunes National Park is an amazing educator and advocate. Any kiddos in your life that dig mysteries and science will enjoy my interview with him where we explore the historic Bailey Cemetery. 
 Feeling all the fall feels on this first day of October. Pushing myself to try my first Inktober and gearing up for NaNoWriMo. I have The Secret of the Ghost Ship’s Compass out in the query-verse, so I’m trying to keep myself busy while my book baby finds its right home. 

My main focus is finishing up my first Chap Book. 

Hint if you like fish out of water stories laced with STEM opportunities, or chickens, this will be the story for you! Here are some pictures from the research trip we took to the Lake County Fair for it.

Stay tuned for how those go in my Autumn post and look for my next article in Muse coming out this month! It’s all about the science behind goosebumps. You can preorder it here.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cemetery Secrets: Behind the Scenes at Bailly

Anyone else work better on a deadline? I spent the official first day of spring at Bailly Homestead/ Chellberg Farm with my little family gathering original images for my next MUSE Magazine article. 

I love getting commissioned by Cricket Media.You may know Cricket's publications and not even realize it. They are everywhere! (Most pediatricians, libraries and schools carry them.) MUSE Magazine got the Parents' Choice Gold Award in 2020. It caters to 9-14 year old readers. 

As a kid I used to ask for subscriptions to various lines that Cricket publishes. (Yes I was a bookworm from the very beginning.) So, getting a chance to write for them is actually a dream come true. 

(Striking a power pose at age 5, with my sister and mom in front of the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago.)

This is my second Science @ Work article. Cricket bills MUSE Magazine as "The science and arts magazine for kids that’s spot on with the facts, but off-kilter with the jokes." My first article was published in March of 2020 and it featured the amazing Dr. Erin Argyilan of Indiana University. 

(March MUSE Magazine Cover.)

The purpose of this portion of their magazine is to help highlight underrepresented populations working in the sciences, while also covering an interesting portion of the month's theme. Cricket's publications are great to support because they run an advertisement free zone for kids. Their mission is all about making learning fun.

(March MUSE Magazine article on the history of texting.)

My next article will run in September of 2021 and the theme is "Layers of Meaning." 

(Ranger Kip at The Paul H. Douglas Center.)

I interviewed Ranger Kip Walton of the Indiana Dunes National Park all about the many layers of history happening at Bailly Cemetery. 
(Early drawing of the cemetery.) 

Once home to a French fur traded and his family, the history of this site surrounds the forming of the Calumet Region. 

(Bailly Cemetery today.)

It was our first time exploring this place as a family unit. The weather gods were kind, a rarity in Indiana during our tumultuous springs. It was great being able to introduce my menfolk (my fella Shawn, Baby Konrad and our pup Charlie) to this easy hike for the whole family.

(Exploring Chellberg Farm on our hike to the cemetery. You can see how the pioneers lived here.) 

 You can read all about Bailly with your little ones by ordering your subscription to Muse Magazine, or buy the September edition drops. (You can read more about my writing at

(Signs of spring and taking snacks on the trail. ) 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Writer's Retreat in the Time of Covid

I had a wonderful writing retreat this August at the French Lick/ West Baden Resorts. These quirky towns are full of what my favorite middle grade book character, Anne with an E would call "Scope for the imagination."

Thank you to the Indiana Arts Commission for this amazing opportunity. The pandemic required me to adjust my Individual Artist Grant proposal, but between e-learning and social distancing in a few beautiful Hoosier locations I’ve been able to hammer out the last of my rewrites

I'm looking forward to sending out my first query before I deliver Shawn and my little one. Hard to believe I'm delivering both my babies this year!

What is the Individual Advancement Grant? 

From the Indiana Arts Commission Site: 

The Individual Advancement Program (IAP) provides financial support to Indiana artists for career development projects. Applicants must plan a project (or phase of a project) that is feasible within the requested budget and completed within the proposed timeline.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Eye on the Arts Presentation January 2020

Eye on the Arts Presentation at South Shore Arts 

South Shore Arts has been serving Northwest Indiana for over 80 years. I had a great time serving as the January 2020 speaker for their Eye on the Arts Program. 

South Shore Arts is designated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. They are provided with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Their vision is to "Envision a progressive region that employs the arts to transform lives and strengthens communities." 

The staff chooses twelve Chicagoland arts to present on their crafts each year to a live audience. I discussed the world of writing, particularly for young readers and how to create inclusive creative spaces. A lively Q&A discussion followed the presentation.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Renslow Runs NaNoWriMo Workshops

          2019 NaNoWriMo Workshops

I had a great time teaching multiple NaNoWriMo Workshops in November. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. People across the world attempt to write a $50,000-word novel within the month of November. (You can find out more at the website). The workshops I ran were to introduce NaNoWriMo to the young people in my hometown, Gary, Indiana.

Slam-Packed Summer

  Anyone else feel like summer just slipped through their fingers?  (Story Time with Ms. Nora and all the kids.) I spent mine running worksh...