News, On Writing

NaNoWriMo is Here!

It’s November, and you know what that means.  It’s NaNoWriMo!  National Novel Writing Month is the time when people abandon sane schedules, spouses, entertainment, sleep, and sometimes even food in favor of writing like crazy for an entire month.  And the reward is... the satisfaction of having reached your goal of 50,000 words (and a… Continue reading NaNoWriMo is Here!

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Book Reviews

The Wee Free Men

Book Review: The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching lives on the Chalk, a warm, hilly, green grassland in an alternate world that reminds me of the lowlands of Scotland. Tiffany thinks of herself as normal: she’s part of a typical, loving family with daily chores to do, like making cheese and… Continue reading The Wee Free Men

Personal updates

Beep, Beep!

One of the things I love about children is that they are endlessly imaginative. Today my grandson and I took a cardboard box, some tape, and a pillow, and we made a car. We had a glorious time racing around the house. He pushed the bolt in the center of the steering wheel, saying “Beep!… Continue reading Beep, Beep!

Personal updates

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, published in 1939, was one of James Thurber’s most famous stories.  Considered a masterpiece, it has made its mark on our society and even our language.  It is the story of a little man who spends his time in heroic daydreams when in real life he is dominated by… Continue reading The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Personal updates

Saving Mr. Banks

Last night we saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks.  This well written and superbly acted movie was deeply moving, and oh, so poignant.  It tells the story of how after twenty years of pleading, and after he and his staff despaired of being able to work with this complex, crusty, immovable Australian woman, Walt Disney… Continue reading Saving Mr. Banks

Personal updates

The Best Gift

In my work as a reading tutor at the elementary school, one thing becomes very clear:  children who are read to at home become good readers.  The wonderful world of books is opened to them, their eyes are wide, and they are eager to learn what is within the pages.  Children who are not read… Continue reading The Best Gift

Personal updates

The Magic of Christmas

Recently, someone asked, ‘What do Santa and reindeer have to do with the birth of Christ?”  Well, maybe on the surface, not much.  But let me explain.  The whole Santa thing may be just a game we play with our children, but it’s a fun game, and what it represents is related very strongly to… Continue reading The Magic of Christmas

Personal updates

The Friendly Giant

When I was leaving the elementary school today after tutoring, a group of kids burst out of one of the portable classrooms and ran down the sidewalk.  They were all carrying recorders.  Some were playing snatches of Carol of the Bells.  They were all excited, chattering, jumping over the cracks in the sidewalk, and just… Continue reading The Friendly Giant

Personal updates

My Favorite Bears

Teddy bears hold a special place in my heart.  I still have my first bear, now quite blind and scruffy in his old age.  But he's a kind, wise grandfatherly bear who presides over my large assortment of stuffed animals.  My youngest sister has an even larger collection.  We both have a tendency to give… Continue reading My Favorite Bears

Personal updates

Mary Poppins

What do you say when you wake up and feel blah: a day when you're at the end of your rope, and there's nothing you can think of to say? As Mary Poppins would tell you, the answer is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Ha! I feel better already. My favorite movie from childhood was Mary Poppins. I enjoyed… Continue reading Mary Poppins