Tag Archives: authors

Lesson 1396 – Joe Hill – Good breeding or magical?

I have to say that our Barnes & Noble in Nashua absolutely rocks. Last weekend they had an entire festival geared toward teens (where I was fortunate enough to deliver a story development workshop to a group of young writers) and the store constantly has authors “just stopping by to meet readers.” If you ever see an opportunity like this, GO! You get to see real live authors and you get to ask them pretty much anything.

Last night I was able to see Joe Hill.

Such a great guy

Such a talented guy

Take a good look at that photo, if you think Joe looks familiar it’s because he is. Joe is Stephen King’s son (the spitting image of, I might add.) I only mention this because it will come into play later on. Continue reading


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Lesson 1314 – Updates and Super-mama hen

I know I was absent all last week but I had some good reasons. I had my annual visit with friends and went to the US Open, it was the last full week of summer, and my class started so I had to get ready to teach.

Believe it or not, this is fun!

Believe it or not, this is fun!


Anyway, some quick updates. We still have all of our remaining chickens. The town decided to pave our road and between the noise from the trucks and the smell of tar, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of any predators in our neck of the woods. Let’s hope it stays that way. Continue reading


Filed under Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1313 – Down for the count

Something out there is taking me to the mat. I can barely breathe for the congestion.

Puffy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, I feel like a commercial. Hopefully it’s good old fashioned allergies (just took a clariton) and not the dreaded everyone-comes-back-together-for-school-and-swaps-germs cold.

In any case, I’m definitely down for the count. Catch you all next week when things should be looking better.


Have a great weekend, everyone.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Filed under Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1312 – My cup of tea

It can be difficult work being a writer. There are good times when the work seems to come in a regular flow and there are tough times when you have no idea from where your next assignment will arrive.

Please Gods of contracts, send me some work.

What makes it so difficult (and yet so very, very exciting) is that every day I have to meet deadlines. Sometimes I have article that come due, sometimes it’s technical writing projects, and then there are my writing class plans that need to be prepared (along with the grading what seems like millions of essays.)

There are blog posts that need to be written, pitches that need to be composed, (because if there’s no work lined up, then there’s no work lined up) and on the side, I chip away at my personal projects that I hope to get into print someday.

It’s a crazy, frenetic and creative lifestyle which is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.

But which is definitely mine. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 184 – Live Free or Undead – and chickens

This is a post about a new book recently published featuring New Hampshire Writers. You may not think it has anything to do with chickens but just do me a favor and read it to the end.

Much to the delight of horror-story lovers everywhere, Live Free or Undead – Volume #1 of the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series – Edited by Rick Broussard has just been released. (PLAIDSWEDE PUBLISHING, 2010 – 293 pages, $19.95)

If you grew up loving (and I mean LOVING and taking it with you everywhere) that little Alfred Hitchcock magazine, then you’ll have a great time with this book. It’s a complication of 20 stories from some of New Hampshire’s best and twisted writers. You’ll squirm with delight over this delicious collection featuring zombies, vampires, things that go bump in the night, deer by the side of the road, and yes, even Maple Syrup. (and if you don’t think Maple Syrup is scary try serving it on pancakes down south when what they had ordered and were expecting was something called “Pancake syrup”).

Now that the evening darkness comes earlier, you can feel the winter storms gearing up for the Farmer’s Almanac’s predicted “Harshest Winter ever”, and winds are whipping through those bare-limbed trees resulting in acorns constantly crash, crash, crashing against the roof, I can think of no finer pleasure than being bundled up in a blanket, safe in my immediate surroundings while reading about a world out there gone crazy.

You can find this book in local bookstores.

Now here’s the chicken part – Rick (the Editor of this book as well as the editor of New Hampshire Magazine) and his family decided to make the plunge this summer into urban chicken farming. After asking many questions about chickens (what so they eat, what kind of care is involved, how about them eggs?, etc) , they were ready to finally get their own birds. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Book Reviews, New Hampshire, Project Chickens before the Eggs

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 178 – Literary chick Joan-Bauer update (a good egger)

I received some email from YA Author Joan Bauer yesterday (author of Hope Was Here, Squashed, and Best Foot Forward – to name a few) She had blogged about her chicken (Our Joan-Bauer chicken) on her website and wanted to know how the little chick was doing.

I get this a lot. The authors of whom we have named chickens after are very protective of their chicks, it is after all, not every day that a chicken walks around with your name on it. They want to check up on the birds, see if they are well, and make sure they haven’t been turned into Sunday Dinner (which, by the way, I’ll repeat, never will happen to any of our birds). Joan wanted to know if her chick was getting along with everyone in the gang.


Little Joan-Bauer is one of the girls


To answer Joan’s inquiry, here’s an update on adorable Joan-Bauer: Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Good Egg Interviews, Literary-chicks, Project Chickens before the Eggs

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 146 – Good Egg Interview with Karen Roman Young

As a mom of 6, I know how important it is to find books that kids will voluntarily read.

And as the owner of a tribe of dyslexics, I also know that when you do find a book that they not only read, but also discuss at the dinner table, and share with their friends, you hold on to it with both hands.

Doodlebug – a novel in Doodles by Karen Romano Young is one such book. (In fact, if the truth be told, I had to literally pry the book out of my daughter’s hands in order to write this – you’ll get it back sweetheart – just give me a little time).

Karen and I grew up in the same town and went to High School together. She was the ultra-creative one, always writing, always seeing things from a different point of view – the one we knew was destined for bigger and better things. It came as no surprise to anyone that she became not only a Young-Adult author but a damn good award-winning YA author.

To date, Karen has written over a dozen books for kids, including Cobwebs, Outsider In, and The Beetle and Me: A Love Story (which won YALSA Notable/ Best Books for Young Adults, 1999).

If you’ve ever picked up a kid’s Science book, chances are very good that Karen had something to do with it. She writes about Science Fairs, the Arctic, Maps, Ocean life, and yes, even Angels. Karen is not and never has been one for sitting still.

In Karen’s latest book – a story about a young girl, Dodo who moves from Los Angeles to San Francisco – Karen incorporates doodles right into the story (looking remarkably like all of her High School notebooks did, hmmm). Doodlebug is a non-linear story – the kind that creative kids (and especially those with reading difficulties) get. They really, really get it. It is an action story on a whole different level.

Karen absolutely nails what it’s like to be an out-of-the-box thinking kid who questions why things are the way they are when they could (with a bit of work and imagination) be so much better. Her character Dodo is the kid in all of us who stood up to (or at least wanted to stand up) to teachers to say “nope, not gonna happen in my world.” Doodlebug recognizes and embraces the spirit of kids assuring them that it’s not only okay to be who you are but that to be is a joyous thing, relax, have fun. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Book Reviews, Good Egg Interviews, Project Chickens before the Eggs