Why I’ll (Probably) Never Write a “Real” Book

“So when are you going to write a real book?” Children’s writers in my audience are probably groaning right now, because this is a question we’ve all been asked at least once. Most of us come back with an expression of comically-exaggerated confusion and something along the lines of “As opposed to all of the imaginary ones?” Inside, though, we are typically seething with rage or welling up with existential despair, because what the questioner really means is “When are you going to write a book for adults?” The implication, of course, being that books for kids are in...

Earl Bakken: The Man Who Changed Our Hearts

Earl Bakken passed away last week at the age of 94. Not many people have heard of Bakken, but he saved millions of lives all around the world. In 1949, Bakken founded Medtronic, a garage-based medical equipment repair shop that made $8 in its first month of operation. In 1957, an infant with a heart condition died after a blackout disabled her plug-in pacemaker. At her surgeon’s request, Bakken invented the world’s first portable model, powered by an external battery taped to the chest. A few years later, he and his partners licensed designs for the first implantable pacemaker....

OleHenriksen Cured My Acne…And I Have No Idea How

When I was in high school, there was a commercial – for Olay, I think – in which the actress complained about having acne and wrinkles at the same time. I remember watching it with one of my Sisters of the Traveling Chocolate and laughing, because like that would ever happen. Not so funny when you’re 40 and it’s true! I don’t mind the wrinkles so much. I figure I’ve earned those, especially the one on my forehead that’s from decades of raising my eyebrows at people. But oil and breakouts are things we’re told we’ll grow out of,...