Author Archive | Kelly

Breaking News: Now Represented by Mandy Hubbard!

So, in most-exciting-news-ever, I am now represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency. I met Mandy at the SCBWI Western Washington conference, where I’d signed up for the Roundtable Critiques. I was assigned to Mandy’s table and had a chance to read the first bit of my middle grade novel in letters to dead people, about Sophie and the magical chickens she inherits when she moves to her great-uncle’s farm.

Mandy (who has two cows herself and clearly needs some chickens) seemed intrigued. I really appreciated her comments on my book and the other novels being presented. So, I followed up with a query.

I queried other agents. Mandy requested the full. I made some tweaks and sent it. Then, I got an email: Mandy loved it. She wanted to find time to talk.

Suddenly things started moving fast. I was following up on submissions and notifying agents, collecting questions that were important to me, and having conversations I’d barely dreamed of. It’s so strange, how 8+ years of learning to write novels and 2 years of writing this book suddenly crunch down into a week of intensity. It’s terrifying, too, knowing you’re basing the next phase of your writing life on a few emails and conversations, however in depth they are. I really do recommend asking a lot of questions when you’re talking to agents!

When I talked to Mandy, it was clear she loved the book and middle grade novels in general for the same reasons I do. Farm Girl is not an easy book to describe, yet she immediately got it, down through all the levels I hoped were there. She valued the things that were most important to me about it, and she had visions for where it could go.She offered representation, and after careful thought (and a million questions), I accepted.

People say persistence is important, and it is. But I would also like to say that without all the writers and readers and generally great folks who have helped me and believed in me and my ideas, I couldn’t have sustained that persistence.

So, thanks to all of you for helping me make it here now.



These Days: Now with Vacations!

These days, I have been:

These Days: Egg Edition

These days, I am:

We Interrupt to Bring You: Human Leukocyte Antigen Types (HLA types)

Letter from BeTheMatch.orgTotally unrelated to writing, but deeply related to life.

Today I learned from the folks at (I’m on the National Bone Marrow Registry) that I have a rare HLA type. This is the thing you want to match up well between patient and donor for a circulating blood cell or marrow donation. It’s a lot more particular than blood type, and it’s closely related to your ancestry, ethnicity, and heritage.

As a person who generally considers herself Irish-American, I was pretty surprised. (Trust me, there’s a lot of Irish-Americans out there.) I did my home cheek swab and joined up more out of support for a local leukemia patient than because I thought they’d need me. Apparently, I was wrong. I may not be needed very often, but if I am, I’m likely to be one of a very few matches

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the what-ifs right now. Personally, I know I’m fine with donating if I can help someone save their life. But what if I hadn’t happened to see that poster? I look at the articles about patients for whom there is no match yet in the entire registry, and I sure wish I’d joined sooner.

Want to know more, or considering your own cheek swab? for facts, myths, medical guidelines, etc.

These Days

Moss on a concrete railingThese days, it’s been raining in Seattle, and I am:

These Days

These days, I am:

  • doing a lot of work on Wraptillion, with exciting results
  • getting ready for upcoming trips to Los Angeles and Philadelphia
  • also getting ready for taxes, sigh
  • really enjoying these white cyclamen and their one tiny fang per flower
  • reading Cat Girl’s Day Off (and really enjoying it too)
  • making a list of broken & unfinished writing projects and trying to figure out what to do with them
  • watching the chickens peck through ice and figure frost out (yes, they have thawed water, they just like to peck at things)
  • wishing I hadn’t left the sourdough starter out of the fridge for a week without feeding & aerating it (results = not good)
  • thinking about cabbage (no action yet)

Ready for 2013!


These Days

These days I am:


Experiments: Pineapple

Initial impulse: sore throat

Beg for (and receive!) a fresh, whole pineapple after remembering that pineapple is supposed to help with sore throats. Go back to sleep.

Specialized tools & equipment:

Find pineapple on counter 4 days later. Feel guilty. Consider pineapple. Locate pineapple auger. Note existence of new ratcheting model; regret that pineapple waits for no one. Set up workstation over sink (due to past lessons learned in pineapple juiciness). Whack top of pineapple off with large knife. Start pineapple auger. Note emerging pineapple mush, juice overflowing. Feel doubt, vague sense of past unresolved questions of efficiency. Wonder if big knife is really the better way to go. Secretly suspect these problems would not occur with new ratcheting model. Wonder if the auger is progressing or just mushing things around. Keep augering. Finally hit bottom (of pineapple). Try to tip juice out; dump top section of pineapple in sink. Deep breath. Remove auger, with core of pineapple. Realize no container was prepared for dripping, juicy pineapple on auger. Grab container while holding pineapple over sink. Note “SINK CRITICAL” for future experiments.

Halve pineapple shell and leave core intact for chickens. Place pineapple shell & core in chickens’ food scraps bowl.

Result: chickens unimpressed

5 minutes later: chickens still unimpressed. Further research needed.

Auxiliary experiments:

Consider growing pineapple top.

Pros: have never done this before; plants = good

Cons: lack of space near windows (because plants = good); lack of photographic evidence of happily growing pineapple plant in instructions

Decision: Regretfully compost pineapple top

Results of original experiment:

Pineapple delicious

Throat does feel a bit better


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