Notes from Candice Ransom

Happy Thanksgiving . . . from Atticus!

Read my face: disgusted.  I’ve been living in this house almost a year but if the people here don’t shape up, I’m leaving. First Mama got sick.  They say cats love sick people, and it’s true to a point.  Nothing better than a warm body in the bed, somebody bringing food.  But Mama kept emitting

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Tell Me About Your Book . . .

This past weekend, I went to our regional SCBWI conference, a happy gathering of children’s book writers and illustrators.  I believe there were 265 in attendance, not counting the faculty.  The ballroom at the Holiday Inn Dulles was comfortably packed and energy crackled. I always love waiting for this conference to begin, the year-long work

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Pumpkin Day!

Welcome my latest book!  Pumpkin Day is my first pre-K reader, about a family that visits a pumpkin patch.  Erika Meza did the cheerful, autumn-perfect illustrations. I never went to a pumpkin patch when I was a kid.  We raised our own!  Pie pumpkins (smaller, for cooking) were grown next to the corn in our

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Atticus: All Grown Up

The last time I posted about Atticus, he was heading into the record books as The Worst Cat in the World.  When I left for Hollins this summer, I gave my house one fond final look, knowing it wouldn’t be the same when I came back. Amazingly, the house was the same when I returned

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Farewell, Summer

Lots of people crowd the beaches Labor Day weekend.  We prefer to put a stamp on summer’s end by going to the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia. I will be on an Internet sabbatical for the month of September.  This is not “Farewell, blog,” but just “so long for a while.”

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Dateline: Saltville, VA

Friends have had enviable summer vacations to Italy, Myrtle Beach, Ireland, L.A., and Hilton Head.  On the eve of my husband’s retirement, we took an overnight trip to Saltville, Virginia.  Don’t rush to the map—I’ll tell you how to get to this fabulous place.  Drive down I-81, following the mountainous spine of Virginia until you

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Summer Reading

Though summer is fast coming to an end, I’m cramming in as many thrillers and other “beach” reads as I can.  At the beginning of this month, Bookology published a short essay of mine about children’s summer reading.  I’m one of the magazine’s many contributors, happy to be among writers like Avi, Virginia Euwer Wolff,

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Making Magic

We heard their piping, excited voices as soon as we walked through the door.  My friend Donna and I had planned a Friday morning pause between exercise and errands.  After meeting at a downtown coffee shop to talk shop, we’d sandwich in a gallery-hop at Liberty Town Arts Center.  And now there were kids.  We

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Missing: The Children of Summer

It was a place I often thought about.  I located a lot of my imaginings in it.  ~~ Wendell Berry As I cruised through my neighborhood last Thursday afternoon, I felt like an extra in a Charlton Heston sci-fi movie, “Soylent Green,” perhaps, or maybe “The Omega Man.”  When I left for Hollins University back

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“Go Where You Are Welcome”

The trees welcomed him. The bushes made way for him. George Macdonald, The Golden Key Years ago my career and I had a big falling out. I pouted for a while, then decided to leave children’s books and turn to writing adult mysteries.  It was not an unfounded decision— seven of my books were canceled

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Packing My Typewriter for Hollins

Yes, you read that right.  I’m taking a typewriter to Hollins University.  Not a display piece to hold photographs, but a working Smith-Corona Super Sterling in its original case.  Its walking papers state it was purchased new in December, 1967.  Now it’s mine. Two things spurred me to buy another typewriter.  One, a vague unease

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Wonder-Words: Catch Them Before They’re Gone

Is there anything worse than being flattened by sickness in summer?  An eighteen-wheeler virus Jake-braked through our house and left both me and my husband in the ditch.  During conscious moments, feet snugged under a hubcap of a cat, I read the latest issue of Orion.  The magazine subtitled Nature, Culture, Place invites the finest

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