About Me

Hi! Thanks for visiting BostonWriters.

Who I Am

When I started this blog, I was finishing up my second decade helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English.

As a full-time blogger and writer, I’ve now turned my attention to a much more complex problem — how parents can foster their child’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them without sacrificing their own sanity.

My first book, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how parents can use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them–without being an artist themselves. I’ve also released a companion journal for parents who would like a place to capture their interactions with their children around public art.

My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can handle their child’s curious questions without enrolling in a college-level refresher course.

Where To Find Me Online

Once upon a time, I was the proud writer for three separate blogs:

  • This blog, BostonWriters, on books and how they influenced my writing life
  • Caterpickles, on being a first-time parent and dealing with my daughter’s relentless curiosity without squashing it or my brain
  • Once Upon a Time in Needham, on the curious tidbits I was unearthing in my then-church’s archives

Once Upon a Time in Needham was the first of the three blogs to be retired and converted into a static website. A move from the Boston area to Chicago in 2013 kind of forced my hand on that.

I continued writing both BostonWriters and Caterpickles for several years after. Then 2020 happened. I was forced to admit that between parenting, blogging on Caterpickles, working on my next book, and working at my local middle school library, BostonWriters was simply too much to do well. I was forced to make a choice: I could either write one blog reasonably well or two blogs very poorly indeed.

I put BostonWriters on hiatus in early 2020. I’m leaving it up, because y’all are still visiting (thank you!) and I hope to return to blogging about books and their effect on my writing life one day.

But for the time being, I’m focused on doing the best job I can on my curiosity blog, Caterpickles, where I track down the answers to questions prompted by my reading, public art I noticed while out in the world, and of course, conversations with my family and friends. Naturally, I talk a lot about books there too.

Curious about what you’ll find on Caterpickles? Check out: 

Mostly just interested in what I’ve read or planning to read next?

You can also find me:

  • On Twitter, where I still talk about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell
  • Tracking my annual reading on Goodreads

Contact Me

  • Email me at shalahowell {at} gmail {.} com
  • Sign up for my mailing list
  • Or leave a comment below.