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 will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.

Book Review: The Tarnished Chalice by Susanna Gregory

The Tarnished Chalice By Susanna Gregory Little, Brown Book Group, 2006 What the book’s about: For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, the Matthew Bartholomew mysteries are set in the mid-1300s in various towns across England and … Continue reading

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Book Review: Pride and Prometheus

Pride and Prometheus By John Kessel New York: Saga Press, 2018 What the book’s about:  As even a quick glance at the cover will tell you, John Kessel’s Pride and Prometheus is a blend of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jane … Continue reading

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20 quirks of famous writers and one very patient blogger

Readers, I’d like to say a few words about writer and blogger, Jack Milgram. Several months ago, Jack sent me a polite note asking if his infographic, 20 Quirks & Strange Habits: The Weird Side of Famous Writers, would be … Continue reading

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Boston-area folks: Come to my first book event!

I’m headed back to Dedham, Massachusetts for my first book signing on Saturday June 16th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Event Details What:  My first book signing! It’s for What’s That, Mom?: … Continue reading

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Do you write in your books?

Last time, I talked about how reading Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer made me rethink my principled stance against rereading books. As you may remember, I had stopped rereading books after my daughter was born so that I could focus … Continue reading

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Do you reread books?

I stopped rereading books ten years ago when my daughter was born and reading time became a precious commodity. After reading Francine Prose’s book Reading Like a Writer over the holidays, I’m starting to wonder if that was a mistake. Continue reading

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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.  

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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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