Famous Wisconsin Ski Race Has Origins in Norwegian History

More than 800 years ago, Norway was caught in a civil war. Two groups fought over who should rule the country. The ruling party made fun of the rebels by calling them Birkebeiner (“Birchbarkleggers”), because they wrapped bark around their legs to stay warm and protect them in battle. In the winter of 1206, the 18-month-old prince... Continue Reading →


Mama feels hot! Your baby girl calls her brother to the couch where you lie, volcanic in loose clothes. They flutter their cool hands over your skin as you exhale flames. Turn your head so as not to scorch them. Soon your husband will return. Soon, when he opens the door, the breeze will stir the... Continue Reading →

We Are Grasshoppers

First published in Volume One Magazine This morning, the kitchen thermostat reads 59 degrees. It’s still dark outside, so I can’t confirm the forecasted snow and wind. Either way, seems time to turn on the heat. I hold my breath as the furnace clicks then rumbles to life. It’s an old furnace. “Don’t expect it... Continue Reading →

Why Does Poison Ivy Itch?

You’re in the woods, building a fort or exploring, and having a great time. A few hours later, you get a horrible, itchy rash. Argh, poison ivy! Despite the name, poison ivy does not make poison. Instead, every part of the poison ivy plant – leaves, stem, vine, berries, roots – makes an oil called... Continue Reading →

Sentence Diagramming: Stuff of Stars

I love picture books. Not all of them. I lean away from super silly and toward the ones with really cool language. Picture books let writers play with theme and plot without worrying too much if something makes sense to adults. They follow kid logic. They can also get away with prose that would never... Continue Reading →

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