“The Fishing Lesson” Unveiling and My Visit to Fountaindale Elementary School


I’ve had such fun with “The Fishing Lesson” book! On September 20th, the beautiful sculpture was unveiled at City Park, and I was honored to present the Mayor with a copy of the book. Here’s the boys and me by the statue, as well as a pic of me with talented sculptor and illustrator Paul Rhymer.




Then the following week I visited Fountaindale Elementary to talk to the first graders…



…and the second graders about how to write a story. Thanks for scheduling my visit, Mr. Bassler and Mrs. Leard!!


Unveiling of the City Park Bear Sculpture on Saturday @ 11:00 — first 50 kids get a free book!

I’m so excited that the “Fishing Lesson” sculpture will be officially unveiled this Saturday @ 11:00 AM during the Fallfest at Hagerstown City Park! I’ll be presenting the book to Mayor Gysberts shortly after 11:00, and the first 50 kids at the events will receive a free copy of the book I wrote, Paul Rhymer illustrated, and Terri Fleetwood laid-out. The books were also distributed to all first-graders in Washington County, MD, and they will be on sale at the Washington County Arts Council and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. All proceeds go toward the fund to bring more public art to the area.

1391886_807275785960603_7574138074214570147_nsleeping bears  little black bear

There will be many activities at City Park during Fallfest on Saturday, so please come out and join us!


2014 Nora Roberts Young Writers Institute (August 9th and 10th)

Wow, the teens at the Nora Roberts Young Writers Institute were fabulous! What a remarkably talented group! We had a number of writers who had already finished novels or had already won awards and contests, and we also had writers who were brand new to the craft.



Contest winner Sean Kenney started us off on the morning of the 9th by reading his horror story “Blink” so effectively I got chills!

Contest Winners

Then author Brad Barkley served as our keynote speaker and told us about how he got into the writing business and how important it is that creative folks find a primary outlet for our creativity. He offered great advice about the writing process and about fiction techniques. Thanks, Brad!


Throughout the day on the 9th, Michele Poacelli, Kate Benchoff, Alicia Drumgoole, and I offered breakout sessions on dystopian fiction, action writing, romance scenes, quick write prompts, and world-building. Writers also had an opportunity to have their work critiqued by instructors and workshopped by peers.




On the 10th, we focused on publication advice, and the writers researched literary magazines using Duotrope. They also submitted work to Hagerstown Community College’s Hedge Apple magazine, where they will be featured in a special online edition in September.

We ended the institute with a Coffeehouse Reading, complete with the ambiance of lamps, couches, and tablecloths, and a good many writers presented their work to an audience of other writers, friends, and family members.

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s institute possible. I’m already looking forward to teaching again at next year’s institute.