Author Archives: Shala Howell

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades 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. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.

Merry Christmas!

May your holidays be peaceful and your 2018 productive in all of the ways you would wish it to be. Thank you for spending another year with us.   Advertisements

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My most recent Twitter crop of #writing angst

It took me a long time to come to terms with Twitter’s weird blend of watercooler/cocktail party/retail culture. But now I find it to be a fairly useful source of #writing tips and news. Here’s what I found most helpful this week. Continue reading

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What happened when I stopped wearing my Apple Watch for a week

As I had allowed myself to become more distracted by my Watch and iPhone, I had forgotten about all lovely little details that a more mindful life offers.  Having them back has been pretty great. Continue reading

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So I did NaNoWriMo this year — was it worth it?

Every November, I debate whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo. Most years, I end up doing it, but I try to only do NaNoWriMo if I have a project that would benefit from its word-count driven format. I skipped … Continue reading

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A Writer’s Holiday Wish List

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Hey, my book’s out!

We here at BostonWriters are in the process of moving to California. But before we go, I wanted to let you know that the first installment in my new parenting series is finally available. What’s That, Mom? uses the proven case-study … Continue reading

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Review: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

Throughout history we have used salt as a currency and prized it for its ability to preserve and flavor food. In Salt, Mark Kurlansky rewrites world history as the story of man’s access to this now common, but once highly prized, commodity. Continue reading

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Great first lines: Another Louise Penny Edition

From The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny: “Kneeling in the fragrant moist grass of the village green Clara Morrow carefully hid the Easter egg and thought about raising the dead, which she planned to do right after supper.” Related Links:  More … Continue reading

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Review: The Land of Love & Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Tiphanie Yanique’s debut novel is as much about the island of St. Thomas itself as it is about the various generations of the Bradshaw family who inhabit it.   Continue reading

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Memorable quotes from somewhere in the middle of a book: The Anthony Trollope edition

From The Warden (1855), the first of the Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope: “Scandal at Barchester affirmed that had it not been for the beauty of his daughter, Mr. Harding would have remained a minor canon; but here probably Scandal … Continue reading

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