About Crystal

I have always loved writing. When I don’t hate it. Maybe I should say I’ve always had to write. That’s more accurate. It calls to me and I’m compelled to answer. Read more »


Clever Elsie

“She can see the wind coming up the street and hear the cough of a fly.”

Dancing Skeletons

Recollections of growing up with a big Mormon family in a small Oregon town.


More Reasons to Love SCBWI

SCBWI...the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. (Because seriously...I could talk about this event for days. Daaays I tell you!) Having my good friend there with me. I could bounce thoughts off of her while my brain worked to process things. She also...

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Crystal Goes to Denver

A few weeks ago I did a big thing. I took a trip just for me. No kids. No husband. Just my friend and I hopping on a plane and getting out of town. Purely indulgent. You might be imagining a spa weekend getaway for some much needed pampering. But that wasn't it at...

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Mourning with UCC

I managed to lose my phone this morning. When I found it in my son's school parking lot it had already been run over. The screen was crushed, and broken shards of glass threatened to slip from the case. I was irritated, but consoled myself with, “Oh well, does anyone...

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Epic Hike to Mystic Lake

Outdoor Enthusiast is an inclusive kind of guy. Like, almost to a fault. Outdoor Enthusiast: I've been experimenting in the kitchen with apples from our backyard. I made my first apple crisp. Friend: Congratulations. That sounds delicious. Outdoor Enthusiast: You and...

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Happy Birthday Agatha Christie

When I was in college someone passed on their used Agatha Christie collection to me. Mostly I felt a little indignant when I read the first one. Not because someone had given me used books. (You should know me better than that.) But because I hadn’t been introduced...

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The Reluctant Wife of an Outdoor Enthusiast

I like the outdoors. Really I do. But not like my husband. He can't stand to stay indoors for very long. And by very long I mean more than three minutes. He can't sit still. He gets stir-crazy. I can literally feel the anxious energy, like his sanity is about to...

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Mystery on the Menu

(All images used are either mine or public domain. There's an unspoken rule about book covers...publishers and authors alike love to have their books promoted as much as possible. So while the artwork is copyrighted, it's also generally considered fair use.) Is there...

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Number One Fan

I don’t have much experience interacting with famous people. The few times it's happened I feel like Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney. Chris Farley: Remember when you were with the Beatles? Paul McCartney (laughing): Sure. Sure. Chris Farley: That was awesome....

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Reading: Creating Opportunities for Magic

The doorbell rings right after breakfast in the summertime. Four pairs of pounding feet rush for the door, trying to be the first to turn the knob. I don't even bother checking the door. It's not for me. Our neighbor has come down to play. The other day this familiar...

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3 Helpful Resources

I mentioned in an earlier post that I look to other writers to get better at the craft of writing. Here are 3 resources that I've found helpful: On Writing by Stephen King  I'm not into the horror that Stephen King writes so I tend to shy away from his work. But can...

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