calling it like it is

By | July 24th, 2014|abuse by clergy, media, survivorship, Tech, writing|

There's been a lot of news coverage, especially from Britain, of arrests made in connection with international sale of images of child sexual abuse. The good news is that a lot of pedophiles--many in positions of trust and of power over children--are being busted. The sad news is that the 600 recent arrests are just [...]

yet another escape from a polygamist cult

By | February 15th, 2010|books, reviews, Uncategorized, writing|

Okay, this is the third novel about a young teen girl who escapes from forced marriage in a polygamist cult that has cross my desk in the space of a year. Keep Sweet, by Michele Dominguez Greene, is a good read. Like the other two I've reviewed here, this book has its virtues, but laid [...]

when they start writing the history

By | October 2nd, 2009|books, writing|

Right now I am reading a brand new book The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse by Nancy Whittier. It's the first study of the movement to end child sexual abuse in the United States.

a reader writes

By | August 27th, 2007|books, reader response, writing|

Earlier this summer a reader in a small cattle town in a rural Western state wrote a letter on a typewriter and mailed it to my publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York. The letter went on to my editor, Melanie Kroupa, in Boston. She faxed it to me in northwestern California. Here, with [...]

after long silence

By | May 29th, 2007|media, websites and weblogs, writing|

It's been way too long since I posted here. What has absorbed me is my involvement in digital storytelling. This began as an invitation a year ago from Amy Hill of Silence Speaks to participate in a digital storytelling workshop. Digital Storytelling gives ordinary people the skills to make short, personal QuickTime/DVD movies about their [...]

who you are

By | January 4th, 2007|reader response, websites and weblogs, writing|

You might be a first time visitor to this site, or an old friend coming back to see what's happening with Strong at the Heart, or someone who needs information now. It's been a year and a month and a week since this website went up and I started this book blog. Blogging—as many have [...]

just listen

By | December 2nd, 2006|books, writing|

The first thing I did when I finished reading Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen, was to check out the Cybils website and make sure that this stellar young adult novel has been nominated for the YA fiction award. (It has.) Dessen really gets it. Really understands that people who have been sexually assaulted are not [...]

survivors and sterotypes

By | October 4th, 2006|books, media, writing|

Where do you get your image of who and what survivors of sexual abuse can be? Do the survivors portrayed in books and movies accurately reflect real people's experiences--or are they projections of the creators' own fears and beliefs? This summer I sat down with recent young adult novels that have major characters who are survivors of incest, sexual abuse, and rape. It was eye opening to look at these books side-by-side and consider just what they tell young readers about surviving abuse. "Hero, Victim or Monster? an author looks at depictions of sexual abuse survivors in YA fiction" was just published in School Library Journal....

more on books

By | August 28th, 2006|books, writing|

Pause. Okay it's summer AND I've been deep into working on an article for School Library Journal about the representation of sexual abuse survivors in fiction for teens. It's something I've been watching for decades now, how survivors are depicted in film, on the news, and in literature...

that kind of day

By | May 4th, 2006|Uncategorized, writing|

Today was an in between kind of day. I'm back from travel for the book. Haven't solidified upcoming appearances for summer or fall yet. There's a stack of short writing assignments on my desk. The sky was half fog (to the east), half sunshine (to the west). I jumped on my bike in the late morning and rode out through farm land towards the coast, just taking it easy and feeling the sun on my arms and face. I passed the calf I saw being born a few days ago; he's on his feet--as he was twenty minutes after birth--but looking fully at home in this world now...