UnSubject: #atozchallenge

  I'm watching an old production of The Woman in White and pondering the place of the woman in Victorian fiction. There are two half-sisters, one who has inherited, or will inherit, great wealth; the other is relatively poor. The wealthy one is beautiful; she is delicate and wears pastels. Occasionally she faints. The poor … Continue reading UnSubject: #atozchallenge

H Is for The House of the Seven Gables: #atozchallenge

Unable to think of an H word I could get a post out of (I searched the dictionary for a likely candidate, but in vain), I fall back on a post that appeared April 9, 2018, exactly one year ago, for Day H of the A to Z Challenge. It's a little English majory, but … Continue reading H Is for The House of the Seven Gables: #atozchallenge

My mother brought home boxes of books . . .

My father worked up to three jobs to ensure our family never missed a meal. We weren't poor but neither were we wealthy or middle-class. Every so often my mother took a job to help make ends meet, including one at Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Northwestern University, where she worked as a cleaning woman … Continue reading My mother brought home boxes of books . . .

Day H: House of the Seven Gables #AtoZChallenge

In November 2016, I posted about my upcoming visit to Salem, Massachusetts for UnCon, the writers' conference hosted biannually by Writer Unboxed. And in my usual flippant fashion, I said, "Cold is what I wanted when I registered for the conference last summer. Sweater weather. I don’t get nearly enough." The truth is that I'd heard … Continue reading Day H: House of the Seven Gables #AtoZChallenge

Isabel Allende: January 7th

  I start all my books on January eighth. Can you imagine January seventh? It's hell. ~ Isabel Allende   "Paula is a soul-baring memoir that, like a novel of suspense, one reads without drawing a breath. The point of departure for these moving pages is tragic personal experience. In December 1991, Isabel Allende’s daughter Paula … Continue reading Isabel Allende: January 7th

Everybody’s Politics

Isabel did read Italian; if she had any difficulty with La Repubblica, it was with understanding the complexities of Italian politics. But that, she suspected, was the case with everybody's politics. And it was not just a linguistic difference; she could never understand how American politics worked. It appeared that the Americans went to the … Continue reading Everybody’s Politics

Waiting for the universe to cough & the #ROW80 report

Earlier this evening, I had an idea for a post. I knew the first line. I was confident I could write the middle without too much suffering. I didn't know how it would end--I never know the ending when I start out--but I believed what I'd already written would lead to an appropriate close. I … Continue reading Waiting for the universe to cough & the #ROW80 report

One Pebble in a Shoe Can Change the Universe

It happened again. An author killed off a character I love. I hate that. I hate the author. I continue to like the book, but the author I despise. This time it's Anne Tyler. I love her novels. The Accidental Tourist. Breathing Lessons. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. My favorites, if I have favorites, are Back … Continue reading One Pebble in a Shoe Can Change the Universe

My Gratitude List: 12 Items, Girdles Not Included

Make no mistake: I am grateful. For my husband, my family, parents who gave me a good start and kept on giving, my home, teachers, education, friends, time to use as I wish, the rights guaranteed to me by the Constitution, the freedom to pursue happiness, good health, and a host of other blessings. But … Continue reading My Gratitude List: 12 Items, Girdles Not Included

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

The Newbery Honor Book and the notebook pictured below were lying on the floor beside my chair when I heard them conversing.   See more Dialogue photos here. Related articles Free Samples of the 2014 Newbery Medal & Newbery Honor Winners 2014 Newbery Honor Winner: Kevin Henkes on "The Year of Billy Miller" Bargain Alert! … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

A First Line of Note

"Should I have taken the false teeth?" ~ Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man About twenty years ago, I went on a Robertson Davies binge. I plowed through a number of his big, fat, fascinating novels, one right after the other.  Then I moved on to another literary addiction, but Davies' stories still haunted me. Last … Continue reading A First Line of Note

Like Sending a Bucket Down the Well

I never wrote a word that I didn't hear as I read. ~     Eudora Welty * Familiarity. Memory of the way things get said. Once you have heard certain expressions, sentences, you almost never forget them. It’s like sending a bucket down the well and it always comes up full. You don’t know … Continue reading Like Sending a Bucket Down the Well