Monthly Archives: September 2011

JibJab is now offering customized ebooks!


Add a photo and make your child the main character! Find out more~


Amazing Women of History – 9.11


This story appeared in the Daily Intel, as extracted from the Washington Post:

Lieutenant Heather “Lucky” Penney  was the first female F-16 pilot in the D.C. Air National Guard’s 121st Fighter Squadron after getting her flying license while a literature major at Purdue. On September 11, 2001, she volunteered to go after United Airlines Flight 93, which was headed toward Washington. The planes weren’t prepared, but the pilots were:

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.

“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

Due to separate heroic acts on the highjacked plane, Penney’s  sacrifice wasn’t necessary. She spent the rest of that day guarding the airspace and escorting the president.

Parents, How do you feel about our digital future?


Would it be enough for you to read about a tree, listen online to wind whistle through the leaves and flip through screen after screen of photos? Or to really know what a tree truly is do you have to touch it, smell it and feel the shade on your face?

It’s no secret that the publishing industry is in the middle of a watershed moment as everyone navigates the shifting sands of print and digital content. I have to admit that while I find the irresistible allure screens present to young people troubling in some ways (get outside and play – it’s a beautiful day!) there is no turning back. Scholastic had admitted this as well by teaming up with Ruckus Media Group.

As a journalism grad turned graphic designer turned digital designer, this dynamic is one of the reasons I was attracted back to creative writing. The marriage of print books with digital technology offers near-limitless possibilities. Because the Tall Tale Factory is most interested in creating print-digital combinations, while at PNWA I made a point of asking agents about their viewpoints on this alliance so I can direct future query efforts accordingly.  It was obvious the profession is split in its feelings.

Like all parents, I am torn on this issue and continually encourage my children to find other activities that are not screen related. However, digital content can give them a richer experience. I look forward to exploring this new horizon with you.

A Trip to the Sleeping Bear


I just published The Bear Essentials, a Foodie’s Guide to the Sleeping Bear Lakeshore ( This is an e-book excerpt of my upcoming travel guide, Great Beach Picnics – Northwest Michigan. This storify companion is to get you in the Sleeping Bear spirit for your upcoming trip!

The Bear Essentials: A Foodie's Guide to the Sleeping Bear Lakeshore - $1.25 USD
Photo by on Etsy