Category Archives: Uncategorized

When Winning First Place Isn’t Enough


If you, my young readers out there, are writing (and I hope you are) chances are that at some point you’re going to win an award for your work. I can still remember one of the first awards I ever won for writing. It was a statewide poetry contest when I was in the 4th grade.  The winning entries were published in the newspaper at the state capital. Being a packrat, I probably still have the paper certificate somewhere. My writing career had begun!

I’m not going to lie to you. I still like winning – a lot. In fact, when I won first place in the PNWA Literary Contest children’s category last summer it was a night I will always hold close to my heart.

However, the reason I have not been posting more over the past few months is because I have been rewriting that winning story. Why? Two reasons. One, I received some suggestions on how I could make the story more competitive in the marketplace. And two, the judge inside of me knew something was missing from that blue-ribbon piece. I am happy with it now and proud to offer this new story to the world.

As you continue writing and learning I hope that you will enjoy the awards you are sure to receive but also that you will judge your work according to your own blue-ribbon standards. Write on!


Red Carpet Case #1 – The Victorian with a Secret

  1. This post was created with the help of to provide additional background information for the first installment of my new children’s mystery series. Please stay tuned to my website for details on when this book will be available!

  2. Mabel Caylor was an abolitionist and young admirer of Harriet Tubman.

  3. Share
    RT @CASJustice
    “Freedom for myself is not enough” – Harriet Tubman
    Wed, Aug 17 2011 14:41:45
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    RT @Africans4Africa: I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves. ~Harriet Tubman
    Wed, Aug 17 2011 13:52:59
  5. Share
    Harriet Tubman
    Mon, Feb 25 2008 19:57:01
  6. Share
    America the Story of Us: Harriet Tubman
    Thu, May 20 2010 22:40:35
  7. Share
    Harriet Tubman
    Mon, Mar 15 2010 21:23:43
  8. Share
    The planned Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Dorchester County is getting $8.5 million for construction costs from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the last piece it needed to move forward. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made the announcement for the $21 million project…
    Wed, Aug 17 2011 08:36:04
  9. Share
    Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
    Harriet Tubman
    Wed, Aug 17 2011 14:42:35
  10. How would Mabel Caylor have dressed during Civil War time?

  11. Share

    Sun, Feb 12 2012 14:06:27
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    Sun, Feb 12 2012 14:06:27
  13. Share

    Fri, Feb 10 2012 16:40:14
  14. Mabel Caylor chose to use silk for her quilt squares. Did you know that America once had a thriving silk industry?

  15. The Pultneyville Historical Museum featured a display of Victorian hair art. Silla also found one of the missing quilt squares hidden behind a framed piece of hair art. Can hair art still be found today? What does it look like?

  16. Share

    Fri, Feb 10 2012 16:40:13
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    Fri, Feb 10 2012 16:40:14
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    Fri, Feb 10 2012 16:40:48
  19. Share

    Sun, Feb 12 2012 14:06:27
  20. Quilts are central to Joe and Silla’s detective work. What did quilts look like during the Civil War?

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

Welcome readers!

book PNWA Literary Contest

Finalist, Children's Chapter Books

Thank you for visiting the debut of my new blog! This blog will link to my soon-to-be-unveiled website, and provide a bridge for you to visit my tall tale factory whenever you wish. We are pleased to announce that The Victorian with a Secret – the first product to roll off the tall tale factory assembly line – is a current finalist in the 2011 PNWA Literary Contest! It will be making its full debut in early August at the PNWA Conference in Bellevue, WA.