Current Projects


Critical Insights: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 

This was a collaboration with editor R. Kent Rasmussen and other Mark Twain scholars for a collection of new critical analyses of Tom Sawyer. My chapter, titled "Tom Sawyer’s Complicated Relationship with Mark Twain’s Hometown,"

focuses on the evolution of Hannibal, Missouri as a tourist destination.

Available from Salem Press, 2022

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Engaging Activities to Support English Learners (EASEL)

Collaborating with Jane Govoni, we are creating an activity book for preservice and current educational professionals to help them support English learners in the Pre-K - 12 classroom. More than 200 activities covering 60+ ESL topics.

Available from Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2023

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Highlighted Projects

Project | 01

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Project | 01
Mark Twain: Words & Music 

As co-executive producer, I conceived and wrote the narrative for this double-CD as a benefit for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal. My childhood friend, multiple Grammy-winner Carl Jackson, produced this project, which tells Mark Twain's life in spoken word and song. Featuring Jimmy Buffett as Huck Finn, Clint Eastwood as Mark Twain, Garrison Keillor as narrator, Angela Lovell as Susie Clemens, with songs by Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Ricky Skaggs, and more. (Mailboat Records)

Project | 02

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Project | 02
Orthophonic Joy

From the success of Mark Twain: Words & Music, the concept of a benefit CD led to Orthophonic Joy, a double-CD that tells the story of the "big bang" of Country Music - known to music lovers as the "Bristol Sessions." Carl Jackson was tapped to produce this project to benefit The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee, and I was deeply honored when Carl asked me to research and write the narrative, which was performed by WSM legend Eddie Stubbs. Singers include Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow, and more. (Sony Legacy Records)

Project | 03

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Project | 03
"Talking Twain"

Thanks to Mr. Ronald E. Riese, my fourth grade teacher, I have been reading Mark Twain for decades. I also like to share Mark Twain. I've taught dozens of teacher workshops on taking Twain into the classroom and focused on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for The Big Read all across the country. I've shared Mark Twain aboard the American Queen on the Mississippi River, at Oxford University (where Twain received an honorary doctorate in 1907), and in Bermuda, Twain's favorite vacation spot. You don't have to live in one of Twain's favorite places to invite me to "talk Twain" at your event. Let's talk.

To discuss new projects, let's talk...