Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

With 2011 drawing to an end, I want to say Happy New Year....


....thank you all for reading my little corner of the blog universe....

....and for helping to support my work and get my books (and all books) into the hands of young readers.

So....I toast blog readers and teachers and librarians and bookstore owners and writers and readers and parents.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Wishing y'all peace, joy, hope, happiness, health, cheer, beer, and all things good.

See you next year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Read this book

I'm a sucker for Southern books.

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood is Southern through and through.

But so much more:

an important story about race, friendships, small town life, and sisterly love.

Augusta Scattergood has drawn on real-life events to create her memorable debut novel.

A writer to watch, to read, to enjoy.

Available January 1!

Read this book.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


What writer doesn't love bookends?

Since, I'm married to a handyman, I love these.

Read this book

The day after Christmas, when you're through eating and opening gifts and all that stuff....

....and are relaxed by the fire....

....go to Barnes and Noble Nook First

....and buy....

...The Chick Palace... Leslie Davis Guccione.

(available exclusively through Barnes and Noble beginning Dec. 26)

Three Dilemmas

Two Friends

One Deserted Tree House

during a simmering summer on Lake Allamucy

Don't have a Nook? You can download the Nook app to your computer.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Coast to coast and back again

One day this week, I was visiting a school on the opposite coast. (They are on the West Coast. I am on the East Coast.)

Then I was at a school here in New England that made me feel so welcome. They posted this sign on every door and up and down the halls.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I love kids

From a school report by a fan:

Barbara O'Connor is a speaker at conferences all around the World. One of Barbara's books is called A Dog on His Own.

Um, I really hope this kid got a good grade on that report, but, um, Mary Jane Auch wrote A Dog on His Own. Just sayin....

Monday, December 5, 2011

The 4:00 Book Hook

A super newsletter published by a group of super writers.

"...aimed at people who share books with kids: parents, homeschoolers, teachers, librarians, grandparents."

The December/January issue offers some great gift-giving suggestions (including a couple from Yours Truly).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Poor Matty

My grumpy little guy had a tooth pulled.

He is not a happy camper.

Dear Barbara O'Connor

Dear Barbara O'Connor:

What do you do when you're not writing? I want to know to see if authors like you do normal things.

I love kids.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sometimes you gotta keep it simple

My husband thinks it's hilarious that I have every electronic, computerized gadget known to man....but I still use this little file box with index cards.

But, hey, you need a backup plan if the power goes out.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So proud of my BFF

Some exciting news coming!!!!

Dear Barbara O'Connor

Dear Barbara O'Connor

I am like Starletta [from The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis] because I am more like a dirt girl and I like to play with rocks.

I love kids.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Eureka! (sort of)

Every time I finish a book, I have this terrible feeling that I'll never have another idea as long as I live.

I have almost wrapped up On the Road to Mr. Mineo's (coming from Macmillan Fall 2012), so now it's time to jump into something new.

But my idea box has been frightfully empty.

Until a few days ago, when: Eureka!

I got a teeny weeny teeny tiny flicker of an idea.

Will it grow?

I hope so.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

On this Thanksgiving Day

I love

My family

My friends

My dogs

My health

My work

My life

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Headed to the Big Apple to spend Thanksgiving with my son.

Have a good one, everyone!

Gobble, gobble.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just call me Gadget

I have several nicknames.

One of them is Gadget.

Because I love gadgets.

My philosophy is: why do it yourself when you can buy a gadget to do it for you? (Although I could have lived without that battery-powered shower scrubber my parents gave me for Christmas one year.)

Quite a few years ago, I bought a Brookstone "Atomic" clock. It would automatically reset for Daylight Savings Time. The problem is that the government conspired against me and changed the dates of Daylight Savings Time.

There was NO way to reset that dang clock.

I lived with it for a while but then it started randomly springing forward and falling back on weekdays. Not good when you have to go to work.

So I bought a NEW Brookstone clock.

This one not only changes for Daylight Savings Time, but it sets itself when you plug it in!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guys Read Book Club

The Browning School in New York City has a father/son book club called Guys Read: 3rd Grade Book Club.

According to the website: It was "begun by Susan Levine, Assistant Librarian, as an opportunity for dads (or uncles, grandfathers, or other close guy friends) to share the experience of reading in a participative and fun way."

They recently read The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester.

Pretty cool!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Setting map

For some of my books, I draw a VERY rough map of the setting. (I'm terrible at drawing.)

It is a valuable tool to help me maneuver my characters throughout the story.

I drew one for my upcoming novel, On the Road to Mr. Mineo's.

I never dreamed I would show it to anyone.

Today my editor asked me if I could sketch a little map for the jacket artist (Greg Call), who was working on a map for the book jacket. (She added that it didn't need to help me get into Pratt. Good thing...)

So, I sent the one I used. Pretty rough....but, hey, it helped!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Barbara O'Connor

Dear Barbara O'Connor:

Your next book should be "I AM NOT GOING TO SCHOOL."

I love kids.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dear Barbara O'Connor

Dear Barbara O'Connor:

My hobbies are video games, football, and having fun with my life.

I love kids.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

This little Buddha incense burner my son made when he was little.

P.S. Can you tell he grew up going to a Unitarian church? :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dear Barbara O'Connor

Dear Barbara O'Connor:

My hobbies are hula and singing lullabies.

I love kids.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In a pickle

While these students were hard at work during my writing workshop....

I snooped around the room, looking at the bulletin boards.

The students had drawn pictures illustrating idioms.

Luke was in a pickle when he couldn't decide wether [sic] to go to the football game or to his best friend's birthday party:

When I [was] playing outside it randomly started raining cats and dogs:

When Jane lost her softball game she was down in the dumps:

The Bushe's Baked Beans were to die for:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

This wall pocket I got in England.

I love it because I remember so clearly the little town in the Cotswolds where I got it.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I love kids

From a reader:

My favorite hobbies are bowling and writing letters.

I love kids.

Monday, October 31, 2011

As time goes by

Mrs. Mansfield's fifth graders at John F Kennedy School are eager to show me their timelines during a biography-writing workshop.