Experimentation; or What I Talk About When I Talk About Loving Middle School

(A bit of background info; In Maine we have the one-to-one laptop program.  This means that all middle school students in 7th and 8th grade have a macbook which they use for the school year.  However, I’m pretty sure former Governor King never had this use in mind when he commissioned the program.  Then again he was an educational visionary.)

On Friday I looked up from some papers I was grading to see one of my students leaning in for what looked like some open-mouthed smooching with his laptop.

Me: What are you doing?

Student: (looks up sheepishly) I wanted to see if my braces are magnetic.

Me: Really?!

Student: Uh huh!  They are!  (Leans forward and locks lips with the magnetic border around his screen.)

Needless to say, every kid in my class with braces got leaned in for a smooch of their own.   This is why I love middle school.


Names have been changed to protect the innocent

I’ve been fielding a lot of fun questions about Go West since Wednesday’s big announcement.  One of the things people often ask is whether anything that happens in the book actually happened to me.  And while I’ve never been a sixteen year old boy, and I was more of a nerd than an under-achiever in high school (shocked gasp), there are some incidents in the story that are culled from my own life experiences.

Running around town in my underwear covered in body paint?  Check!

Seeing someone mix an enormous bowl of  pasta salad topless?  Check!

Watching people throw rotten food at riders during a bike derby?  Check!

Don’t worry college friends, like I said, names have been changed to protect the innocent.



Depending on how long you’ve been reading this blog, you may know about my double life as a YA fiction writer.  Three years ago I began working with my amazing agent Lauren Macleod of the Strothman Agency.

THIS WEEK we finalized a deal to sell my YA realistic fiction book entitled Go West to the fabulous Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda Lab.  Carolrhoda Lab is the YA division of Carolrhoda books.   It will mostly likely hit the shelves Fall of 2012 or Spring 2013 -plenty of time to clear your reading list in anticipation 🙂

Here is the official listing on Publisher’s Marketplace!

More info and celebratory postings to follow!