November 25, 2008

I’m remembering my mother, Jean Timmons Frost, who lived from March 30, 1917 to November 16, 2008. She raised ten children and had 24 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, most of whom gathered in Los Alamos, New Mexico last weekend to honor and appreciate her.

Think of the time-span of her life. She recalled the first time she saw an airplane–at a demonstration by the Wright brothers in Minneapolis when she was a child. She was born before women could vote, and lived through WWI, the depression, and most of WWII before she began the 40 years of her life that would be primarily, but never exclusively, devoted to her children.

She and my father had a loving, fun, supportive marriage, and I feel exceptionally lucky to be a part of the family they brought into the world.

October 29, 2008

And now I can show you the final jacket art for Crossing Stones. Isn’t it beautiful? The story takes place in 1917, in rural Michigan. The book will be out next fall, Frances Foster Books, FSG.



October 3, 2008

My next book, Crossing Stones, is beginning to seem real. The initial sketch of a possible jacket design gives a sense of the time (1917) and the form (water flowing over stones).

September 28, 2008

Crock Pot Apple Butter

“Marlene’s recipe” from Diane Schmucker

Core and slice apples.
Heap in crock pot.


  • 2-2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Put lid on crock pot.

Cook on low for 12 hours.

Take lid off crock pot.

Cook on high for 2 hours.

Remove from crock pot and put in blender.

Store in freezer.

September 17, 2008

Where did summer go?

The bluejay family entertained us for weeks, and is not so much in evidence now.

Our pear tree had it’s most prolific year yet.

Crossing Stones has been copyedited, and I’ve seen the sketches for the cover design, by Richard Tuschman–just beautiful! It makes the book seem so real. It will be out in about a year.

And this weekend is the Johnny Appleseed Festival here in Fort Wayne, one of my favorite weekends of the year–old-time music, food cooked over wood fires, great craft booths, fresh apple cider, warm caramel corn, and a crowd that always seems both large and intimate.


June 22, 2008

We were in Scotland for two weeks, mostly on the Isle of Barra. I was able to renew old friendships and share the places I love with Chad, as well as discovering new places and meeting new people. Especially delightful were the young people we met in Castlebay School.

I noticed much more Gaelic being spoken than I remember from my last visit, four years ago. I didn’t learn much myself, but I think if I spent a year or so there, I could learn it.

Since we’ve been home, we’ve been picking cherries from our two trees. The birds got more than we did–it was fun to see the birds, and this evening I saw a family of fledgling blue jays on the branches as I was picking.


February 21, 2008

Something that made me really happy this month:

the announcement of the 2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Diamond Willow. There were so many great books of poetry for children published in 2008; the knowledge that this particular committee read all of them and selected my book fills me with gratitude. And I always find that deep gratitude is a firm standing place from which to launch new work. So, thank you, to:

* Lee Bennett Hopkins

* this year’s committee

* the Pennsylvania Center for the Book.

Congratulations to Margarita Engle and Patricia McKissack whose books are also honored.