December 2 Writer Birthdays

One tradition I’d started years ago on the first version of the Petrini Page is posting lists of writer birthdays. I still don’t have a list put together for every day of the year, but I’m getting close. I don’t claim that these lists are inclusive, but I am trying to post a wide variety of writers, from various cultures and time periods. Here are the birthdays I’ve found for December 2.

1728 – Ferdinando Galiani, influential Italian economist & writer.

1868 – Francis Jammes, French poet.

1885 – Níkos Kazantazakís, Greek novelist.

1897 – Rewi Alley, writer, educator, and social reformer.

1909 – Joseph P. Lash, American political activist, Eleanor Roosevelt biographer, and author who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

1910 – Russell Lynes, art historian, critic, and author who was also managing editor of Harper’s Magazine.

1914 – Adolph Green, American lyricist and playwright.

1929 – Dan Jenkins, American author and sportswriter.

1929 – Leon Litwack, Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian.

1935 – David Hackett Fisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian.

1937 – Brian Lumley, English author of horror fiction who first became known for writing in H.P. Lovecraft’s shared universe centered on the Cthulhu Mythos; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for lifetime achievement in horror writing.

1939 – Yaël Dayan, Israeli political activist, novelist, and journalist.

1944 – Botho Strauss, Germany playwright, novelist, and essayist.

1946 – David Macaulay, bestselling Caldecott Medal-winning British-born American author and illustrator of picture books for children and adults; his books, including Cathedral and The Way Things Work, combine text and highly detailed illustrations that explain architecture, design and engineering.

1948 – Elizabeth Berg, bestselling American novelist, playwright, registered nurse, and rock-band singer whose books have won many awards.

1948 – T.C. Boyle (Thomas Coraghessan Boyle), prolific American novelist and short-story writer who has been awarded the PEN/Faulkner prize for fiction.

1950 – Benedict Fitzgerald, controversial screenwriter who co-wrote the screenplay for the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ.

1958 – George Saunders, American writer of essays, short stories, and children’s books.

1963 – Ann Patchett, American novelist who won the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

1971 – Jüri Reinvere, Estonian poet and composer.

December 1 Writer Birthdays

1083 – Anna Komnene (also spelled Comnena), a Greek princess, scholar, doctor, hospital administrator, and the daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos of Byzantium; she wrote the Alexiad, a historical account of her father’s reign.

1886 – Rex Stout, American writer of detective fiction, known for the character Nero Wolfe.

1895 – Henry Williamson, English author known for his natural and social history novels.

1942 – John Crowley, American author of fantasy and science fiction.

1948 – Azar Nafisi (Persian: آذر نفیسی), Iranian-born American writer and professor of English literature, best known for her book Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 117 weeks.

1949 – Jan Brett, American author and illustrator of children’s books, focused mainly on Scandinavian cultures.

1956 – Claire Chazal, French romance writer, journalist, and television news director.

1958 – Candace Bushnell, American author of the international best-selling book, Sex and the City.

1960 – Sergio F. Bambaren, Peruvian writer, noted for his love of the ocean and unknown horizons, and for his books related to surfing.

1964 – Jo Walton, Hugo Award-winning Welsh-Canadian science-fiction and fantasy author, best known for her novel, Among Others.

King of the School Story

I am so sad to hear that author Andrew Clements passed away yesterday, at the age of 70. He wrote 80 books for children and young adults, and was best known for Frindle and his other middle-grade “school stories.” In fact, few authors write a school story as well as Andrew Clements did, and young readers responded by clamoring for more. It’s sad to think there are no more new Clement books to look forward to.

Photo Friday – Street Art, With Pup

I posted many photos on my old blog. On this new iteration of the Petrini Page, I intend to keep posting my own photography, including on “Photo Fridays,” starting now.

I was walking in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and came across a street artist putting the finishing touches on a mural. I later learned that her name is Lauren Asta, that she’s based in San Francisco, and that she travels around the country painting freehand murals and “doodle art” on any wall she can get her hands on. As I watched her work, I was struck not only by the amazing mural she was creating, but by the little dog and fuchsia water bottle that sat on a ledge on the wall, with those amazing black and white doodles as a backdrop.

Welcome to My Blog!

Hello, I’m Cathy. I have had a blog, The Petrini Page, since 2007. But my old host company has become a problem, so it’s time to upgrade to a new one. I hope to copy a lot of my old posts onto this new page, but it could take a while, so bear with me.

In the meantime, for those of you who are new to The Petrini Page, here’s a summary of who I am and what I hope to do on this site.

I am a published author of 28 books for children and young adults, a former magazine editor, and the mother of a high-school senior. I’ve written 20 books for Sweet Valley High and other teen series, all under pseudonyms. My nonfiction kids’ books, under my own name, are on topics ranging from Dragons to Stonehenge to the Cherokee Indians. Currently, I’m writing a science fiction novel, a picture book, a teen time-travel fantasy, and a historical teen fantasy. In other words, I am trying to do too much at once and not making a lot of progress in any of them. But I’m closing in on a decision about what to pursue first, and I’ll let you know when I sort it out.

I’m a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National Federation of Press Women, among other groups.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, drawing, traveling, taking photographs, and ruining my son’s life by making him do homework instead of letting him play video games all day. Other hobbies include releasing books into the wild for BookCrossing, filling my Little Free Library with books, and sending postcards to correspondents all over the world through Postcrossing. I also run an arts contest for children and teens at 220 schools across Northern Virginia, and help arrange fundraising and communications for my son’s high-school orchestra.

I hope to use this blog for talking about writing, reading, and parenting, as well as, at times, politics, art, and history. I know, it’s broad and unfocused, but so is life. Right?

I hope this will be interactive. Please respond if you want to chime in, agree, disagree, or otherwise add to the conversation. I ask you to keep it respectful, and to steer clear of spamming and scamming.

Thank you for tuning in!