Magical Memoir Moments

Celebrating Readers! An Invitation to Help Plan a Book Birthday Party

Can books have birthdays? Of course! In just a few days, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World celebrates her first birthday.  I’d love to have your help to think about an appropriate way to thank readers, celebrate story, and find an excuse to indulge in cake and punch. Or more sugar cookies. Today…

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Another Winner: Elfrieda Schroeder's New Beginnings Keep on Going and Going

For 100 Days Elfrieda Schroeder woke me up in the morning. She never forgot to write her New Beginning entry into the 100 Day Challenge Contest. I missed her after the days were over, and I want you to meet her. She wins the prize for internalizing the idea of that challenge. She inspires me….

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Serendipity: Introducing Mary Lou Weaver Houser, Another Lancaster County Mennonite Woman With Her Own Story

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve often felt like a bride, or perhaps a wedding planner, but with about a dozen weddings to organize instead of just one! I’ve been to five states and talked to more than 700 people, signing more than 330 books along the way. Thrilling! The best part…

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The Day Before Launch: Going Home to Lititz During Harvest.

Who says you can’t go home again? Reporter Sarah Chain certainly disagrees. The official launch will be held tomorrow night at Lititz Mennonite Church, 165 Front Street, Lititz, Pennsylvania. 7 p.m. If you live close by, please join us! We’ll have a party, and we’ll relive a little Lancaster Conference Mennonite Church history in the…

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The Longhouse Project at the Hans Herr House: A Good Beginning

Like many Mennonites whose roots go back to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, I am a descendent of Hans Herr. The 1719 Hans Herr House, built in that year by Christian and Anna Herr, is the oldest surviving house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the oldest original Mennonite meeting house still standing in the Western Hemisphere. I…

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Embrace the Blush! A New Book Trailer and A Look at the Other Side of the New Beginnings Screen

Those wonderful folks at MennoMedia called me up this week to announce that the book trailer for Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World is finished! Writing the copy for this trailer forced me to think hard about two things: what I discovered what readers might discover I chose the phrase “embrace your blush”…

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An Ode to Lancaster County Corn Harvest: And an Excerpt from Blush

Nothing symbolizes the abundance of summer like a load of fresh sweet corn. My childhood summer memories revolve around corn, which was not only the sweetest vegetable we grew but also the most communal. Here’s an excerpt from Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World about what it was like to eat roastin’ ears…

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Playing and Working: Launching a Book while Helping to Launch Children

If what you love to do most is learn, then your work can always be play. And if the book you make is about childhood, what better way to learn and work than to play with children? That’s what Stuart and I have been doing this week. Here are our two teachers and playmates. Meet…

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Were Every Stalk on Earth a Quill: Hymn Singing As Transcendence

Did you grow up singing hymns in church? For me, almost nothing stirs my soul like a hymn, especially those sung in four parts with other singers who are listening carefully to each other. This love of music started early in my life. I wrote about learning to sing a cappella music in my memoir…

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A Sneak Peak into the Black Box of Preparing to Launch a Book: A To-Do List for Book Marketing

Sometimes this book launch project seems a little like re-learning how to hoop. I can jump in enthusiastically, keep the hoop going for a little while, but mostly I have to laugh, pick up the hoop, and start over again. The analogy between preparing to launch and relearning hula works like this: I’ve got a…

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