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 Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.

Critter update: The opossums strike back

Apparently the Opossums That Be didn’t much care for my post on what to do if an opossum visits your backyard. In fact, they seem to have gotten pretty riled up, because they are now threatening my family. When my brother-in-law … Continue reading

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“Why can’t you heat a jawbreaker?”

In an effort to finally rid the house of our leftover Halloween and Easter candy, I snagged a copy of Loralee Leavitt’s Candy Experiments and began to flip through looking for a way to dispose of all those unwanted Peeps. … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Mood Alert — Slumpy, with a chance of summer

Is school out yet? Related Links:  More Wordless Wednesdays on Caterpickles

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There’s an opossum in my yard. Is it time to freak out?

Last week, when The Eleven-Year-Old and I came home from school, we discovered our normally droopy cat on high alert. When you are used to coming home and seeing some version of this: But instead see this… It kind of … Continue reading

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What’s The Eleven-Year-Old reading this week?

This week, The Eleven-Year-Old indulges in a bit of not-too-scary horror courtesy of Troy Cumming’s The Notebook of Doom and K. A. Applegate’s Animorphs series. Continue reading

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(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday: Edgar Allan Poe

Once you start looking for it, public art really is everywhere. My husband passed this guy while strolling down Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts last week. This life-sized statue of Edgar Allan Poe was created by Stefanie Rocknak, and installed … Continue reading

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What’s The Eleven-Year-Old reading this week?

This week, The Eleven-Year-Old stumbled across Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever 1893, and discovered Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read anthology series (she really wants me to tell you that the Guys Read anthology isn’t just for guys). Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Flowers

I have never seen this kind of flower outside of a florist arrangement before. But there it was, just growing next to a fence post because California is a magical place where that sort of thing just happens. Related Links:  … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Mood Alert

The Eleven-Year-Old has officially started the last month of fifth grade. The entire house is pretty much feeling it. Related Links:  More Wordless Wednesdays on Caterpickles

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“Can I compost my potentially E. coli-infected lettuce?”

Thinking about composting your potentially E.coli infected romaine? Do me a favor. Don’t. At least not this time around. Here’s why. Continue reading

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