Saturday, May 28, 2016

Annals of Teaching: Final Countdown

summer break, summer vacation, school

I'm in the death throes of the 2015-16 school year.  Not to be dramatic.  It's all over but the narrative comments, and I'll likely be live-tweeting the carnage this weekend. My narrative comment tweets have historically been enjoyed by precisely no one, so we can all look forward to that time waster.

Here are two end-of-year vignettes that I want to remember:

The Clock:
My teaching partner KK's clock fell off the wall and broke. She tried to fix it to no avail.  "What should I do about this?" she wondered.  The office manager wisely put in a work order for her.  Problem solved.

The next morning I arrived in my classroom and glanced reflexively the spot on the wall where I keep my own clock to find it missing.  "Oh my god," I thought.  "She STOLE my clock."  I rushed next door to confront KK about her theft, only to discover that her broken clock was still in place, not keeping time, above her door.

Clearly the maintenance department confused us - KK and KC - and took my working clock, leaving her broken clock in place.  

This made me laugh hysterically for many minutes, and I continue to laugh about it to this very day.  Re-reading the story, I can see that it's not really funny.  That just goes to underscore the extent of my exhaustion.

The Rubik's Cube: 
Mac has become obsessed with Rubik's Cubes.  He's got a 2x2 cube and a standard 3x3 cube, and he mostly has one in his hands, whizzing the planes to-and-fro with alarming speed, asking which side he should solve next.  "Orange," I answer, or yellow, red, blue, green, white, or red.

I'm really bad at Rubik's Cubes and most other tasks that require spinning objects in space.  I can't move furniture, park cars, or take standardized tests that require spinning objects in space.  Despite this disability, Mac's been trying to teach me how to solve one side of the 2x2 remedial Rubik's Cube.  I'm embarrassed to say there's been little success, and most of it has been accidental.

"Mom," he said last night.  "Everyone has talents, but the Rubik's Cube is not one of yours."

Truer words have never been spoken.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Writerly Wednesday: To Punish?

self-help, parenting, speculative fiction

Truths and questions to ponder from this week's readings!
  • I'm still in Building Resilience in Children and Teens by Kenneth Ginsburg.  This is an A1 parenting book, right up there with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.  Both books address punishment and consequences, along with connection and empathetic listening.  Actually, Ginsburg echoes Faber and Mazlish's contention that "punishment has no place in a loving relationship."  Ginsburg says that if we continually punish our kids, they won't learn to solve problems or "channel their energies." It's not that there shouldn't be consequences, but that the missteps should first and foremost become opportunities for conversation.  I mean, I agree with this in theory. But what about the umpteeth stupid decision your kid makes?  Ginsburg says we're supposed to say, "If I just get angry, we won't get anywhere. I'm going to take a walk; when I come back, I'll be ready to listen."  We'll see. 
  • On a totally different note, I'm hooked into my very first "space opera."  It's a genre.  I'm embarrassed to say I'd never even heard of this ambitious literary category until the blurb on the cover of Leviathan Wakes proclaimed it as a hallmark example.  Like Ginsburg, James S.A. Corey addresses punishment and consequences, but on a more melodramatic scale - The Martians vs. the Earthers, the Outer Planetary Alliance vs. Everyone.  Two likable protagonists - players in the conflict, but lightyears apart from one another - alternately explore the growing unrest. The structure drives home the idea that conflicts remain inevitably multi-faceted.  See how I made the connection there?  It was a real stretch, but it's done. That's an English Major in action.
While it might be true that most things have more than one side, I'm currently obsessed with one particular viewpoint, and that is that this is the last full day of classes for the 15-16 school year.  It's been one for the ages.

You Might Also Like:
If you like musings on parenting and books, you'll definitely like the Word Savvy Weekly(ish)! Sign up here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Getting Organized

planner, bullet journal, day minder

This may come as a shock to you (okay, probably not to anyone who's actually met me in real life), but I'm not naturally organized.  I forget to go to things, forget to put things on my calendar, forget to purchase items at the grocery store that were actually on my list.  And just don't even mention remembering to put the keys on the hook where they belong.  It doesn't matter how much I want to do that or understand the benefits of the system.  I just won't do it, no matter what.

Every once in awhile I get fixated on improving myself and eliminating my poor habits.  Over a year ago, I cleaned my closet and drawers using a little book called the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Lo and behold, 18 months later my closet is still pretty clean AND I'm still folding my underwear. Amazing.

So, buoyed by the one-time success, I'm currently looking for the planner system that will fix me.  A little googling, and I've become obsessed. It turns out this is like a religion to people.  

Have you heard of bullet journaling?

I can't stop looking at links and thinking about systems.  More importantly, I can't stop thinking about the right pens and pencils for the task. The supplies are so pretty.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Race Report: 10 Miles on a Teensy Bit of Training

race report, trail running

In last week's newsletter (let's be honest, if you're not getting the newsletter, you probably want the newsletter), I wrote about how I have this tendency to sign up for races and then under-train for them.
I did this once again with the Citytrail Loppet.  What happens is you sign up, think you're going to run a lot and be ultra prepared, and then you don't run and aren't. In any case, here are a few stand-out moments from my weekend single-track foray:

  • My running pal, Paula, called me the night before the race to remind me to drink a lot of water. It was going to be sunny and hot on race day at 80+ degrees.  "Yep," I replied, thinking of the importance of hydration as I poured a stiff gin and tonic.
  • As we milled around the starting line, we noticed that the crowd was extra fit, even for a running race.  "I don't see any cotton," Paula said.  Nope.  Everyone was wearing technical clothing and seemed perfectly muscled and slender.  "I usually rely on a third of the field to be wearing a cotton t-shirt," Paula said. "I'm looking for someone to beat," a friend told me.  "I volunteer," I agreed.
  • I'd signed up to be in the first and fastest wave of the race, but on surveying the field, I demoted myself to the second.  Fewer people would need me to move over on the narrow trails to pass.  This was a good choice.  
  • Even though the runners are for real, I've noticed that people are generally pretty cheerful and chatty in single-track trail races.  Like, racers in front of you will say, "Let me know if you want to go by!" while leading you deftly through the woods.  It's nice. And then, when people do pass each other, they generally offer an encouraging word or two.  I upheld this tradition heartily.  But, not weirdly or creepily.  It's a balance.
  • Something that still weirds me out about trail running is that people generally walk up steep hills.  My high school cross country coach made it seem like the worst, wussiest thing you could ever do to walk up (or down) a hill.  The trail running people have a different philosophy. Their theory is that running hills takes more energy than it's worth in terms of total time.  I like this philosophy, and I think I could probably, with a little time and concentration, turn it into a metaphor for life.
  • At the finish line, you got a pint glass and a technical t-shirt with a cool sun logo.  Who doesn't like swag?  I'll remember the effort fondly in my new t-shirt.  I didn't run super fast, but I had a super good time.
race results, 10 mile
You might also like:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Annals of Teaching: May Madness

teaching middle school may

We've talked about May before. This year, I keep saying I'm hanging on by my fingernails.  Then, I make my hands into claws and contort my face to illustrate the reality of my desperation. After that, I imagine falling into a pitch-black abyss, as I've actually chewed my fingernails down to ragged flecks of nothing and can't  hang on by them.

I've spent a lot of time telling Dan I think this May is the worst of all Mays.  I can see when he's placating me that he actually doesn't believe this.  Not even a tiny bit.

"It's always like this, but maybe this one is a little bit worse," he wisely concedes.

Last night, I think I told him fervently, "It's not!  This year is soooooo much worse."

"I'm sorry you feel that way," he said, and there might have been the edge of an eye-roll creeping in here, "but I can assure you that you're actually like this every year.  You're miserable every year.  And every year, I try to support you through it, knowing full well that after two weeks of misery, you're going to have like ten weeks OFF."

Hmm. I tried to tell him that I'm actually working for two of those weeks this year, so it's only eight weeks off,  but even I could hear the ridiculousness of that statement.  We can all be assured that I haven't completely forfeited self-awareness.  Sanity? Maybe.  Self-awareness? Check.

You Might Also Like:

The time I almost fell down when trying to teach eleventh graders about Bonnie Tyler.

The one May I tried to bribe my eighth grade advisory to win at kickball.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Full-Time Writer

writing process

I've decided something: This summer, I'm going to be a full-time writer.  I'm pumped about this endeavor, and I'm deeply invested in planning it.  I won't stop talking about it.  It's getting to the point where people say, "Okay, yeah.  We know. You're a professional writer." But anyway, you probably want to know about it, so here's the plan:
  • I signed up for a class to help me make progress on my novel(s).  It's called Your Book Starts Here.  Apparently, you learn how to storyboard and then, presumably, you write the panels.  I'm taking the class online because I don't actually want to talk out loud to other people, but I think typing to them might be okay.
  • I'm converting Shef's old study into a studio.  I'm calling it a studio because that seems official and legit, and as a full-time writer, that's also what I want to be.
  • I'm learning all about being a blogger.  That seems weird to say because I've been a blogger for twelve years already.  Turns out, there's a lot more stuff to learn like email newsletters, images, Pinterest, search engine optimization.  Actually WRITING the blog turns out to be only one tiny facet of blogging, according to the Alliance of Professional Bloggers.  That's not a real thing, but you can find lots of other groups of them on Facebook.  I will employ the new things that I think are cool and relevant to my blog right here.
  • I have business cards.  The cards say I'm a writer, so it's probably true.  I'll keep you posted.

professional writer

You Might Also Like:

Little pieces of fiction I've written.

The time I decided to quit teaching to be a full-time professional writer, but then I didn't actually do that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Writerly Wednesday: Planning a Summer Reading List

It's that time again.  There are eight teaching days left.  That total includes two half days, which let's be honest, hardly count, except for when it's 10:30 and I'm staring down two hours of confinement with sweaty twelve year-olds whose desperation for freedom I can literally smell.

But after that, Summer. Yes, I'm excited to walk the dog leisurely at 6:30 instead of at 5:18.  For sure, I can't wait to expose my psoriatic skin to sunlight for several hours each day.  100%, I'm excited to torture delight my children with required reading time each week. 

You know our drill, right?  We each have to read a book per week (or 200 pages, as Shef expertly negotiated this spring) or else forfeit our electronics until we finish? This policy has lowered my approval rating, but I stand by it as essential to my agenda.

So, how do I compile a summer reading list?  My friend Stacy is utterly disciplined and curates a list of 8-10 titles throughout the year.  I'm jealous of her competence in this and many other areas. I'm more slapdash (see my over-long #TBR list on Goodreads), but I still have a plan.  I like to have a book on the go in each of the following categories:
  • Audio - Could be fiction or nonfiction.  I'm especially partial to thrillers and mysteries on Audible. One of my faves, The Girl on the Train, was recently named Audio Book of the Year.
  • Nonfiction - Teaching related or not, self-help or not.  Right now, I'm reading the parenting and teaching book, Building Resilience in Children and Teens.
  • Middle Grade/YA - I've got The One and Only Ivan cracked at the moment.  I love having a kids' book in progress because you finish fast, creating that all important sense of accomplishment.
  • Adult Fiction - Here, I crave a good mix of highfalutin "literary" work and well-done page-turners.  Right now, I'm reading Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. I need a few hours to really get into it, but I keep falling asleep ten seconds after my head hits the pillow. #struggleisreal
To track my progress, I log each book on my Reading Life spreadsheet.  This year, I added the blurb column to help me remember details when I do my Year-End Reviews. 

I wish I were organized enough to provide a list of amazing and fulfilling recommendations in each of these categories, but I'm not.  Lucky for all of us, I found a truly inspiring list from last summer at one of my new favorite websites, The Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I like this gal and her What Should I Read Next? Podcast.  Apparently, she's got a new set of recommendations coming soon, so that's sure to be awesome as well.

Ok, cool.  Carry on.

You Might Like:

My favorite adult fiction of 2014.

The time I read my all-time favorite parenting book.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Let's talk about supplies.  Lee and I each have on display the superlative pencil, which is without one iota of doubt, the Dixon Ticonderoga.  This year, I discovered the Dixon Black, and OMG.  It's everything from the traditional yellow #2 - smooth sharpenable graphite, non-plasticky grip, bi-color crimped ferrules - but in chic black.

It might just be the freshly sharpened Dixon Black that gets me through this week.  Dan says I get this way - panicky, exasperated, exhausted - every single May.  I contend this May is the worst.  Are you a teacher?  Here are my tips for May:
  • More coffee.  Not the bad, luke-brown kind.  The good kind, maybe even from the Starbucks.
  • New supplies.  Felt-tips, fun colors, a pack of Dixon Blacks.
  • A mantra.  Breathe in on "Almost," out on "Done."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tween Town

We had a gloriously unscheduled Saturday with nothing on the calendar into the evening.  "This is great," Dan said, surveying the emptiness on our weekly whiteboard. "We could take the kids to dinner and a movie." 

You mean create memories as a family by sharing a recreational activity that doesn't involve racing around the metro to various youth sports-watching venues?! 

Yes! Let's purchase greasy popcorn, sit in comfy recliners and commune with Captain of America, as Mac calls him.

Great news, we told the kids.  Let's go out to a movie on Saturday night!

"Yes," Mac squealed.  He loves going to movies.

"Ugh," Shef said, frowning.

"What?" we asked, maybe the littlest squinch of exasperation leaking into our voices.

"It's just," Shef sighed, "I hate going to movies with the family."

Turns out, he'd rather stay home by himself than sit with us in a public theater, even if the movie features an Avenger.

Tweendom is so awesome.  I'm sure the teens are even flipping better.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Annals of Fitness: TC 1 Mile Results

A week ago, I watched from my classroom window as my first-born smoked a mile on the track in 5:48.  He was super excited to both break the 6-minute barrier and to clock the fastest time in the sixth grade. I would be lying if I didn't admit that's it's a thrill to watch Shef fall in love with the same sport that's captivated me for 27 years.

As an added bonus for my speedy sixth grader, I was set to race the TC 1 Mile, which would give us a point of direct comparison in terms of mile times.  "How fast do you think you're going to run it?" he asked, smirking.  

I mean, obviously, I wouldn't be running a 5:48. 

Still, I warmed up, I felt nervous, I jumped in place in the minutes before the race just like I used to in high school and college.  Back then, I actually did run much faster than 5:48, thank you very much.  When the gun went off, I sprinted off the line with the rest of the crazies.  My legs and arms felt burny.

Oh dear, I thought, two minutes into the race.  Of course, two minutes in means only four more minutes of suffering.  I've done two 13+ hour labors for the purpose of childbearing, so I can basically do anything for four measley minutes.

I found it a little harder to punish myself on the road for a mile than on the track, but I tried my best to keep the hammer down.  I passed a couple of people and got passed by a couple. In the final stretch, I was out-kicked by tiny ten year-old with excellent form.  I didn't let it get me down.

As you can see, I was crushed by my own twelve year-old by 44 seconds.  That's a lot, but to be honest, I'm happy to be the loser. It's fun to watch him win.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Annals of Fitness: TC 1 Mile

For some reason, my friend Melanie and I decided to run the TC 1 Mile tonight.  So, for a good time, we're heading downtown, parking, getting our numbers, and then running balls out over 1600 meters.  
We're paying cold hard cash to do this. 

To be honest, I would probably bag it if I hadn't already forked over the dough.  I'm hoping this is going to be one of the many, many things that I don't feel like doing, but then when I do it, I'm super happy I followed through.

I haven't raced a mile for seven years, at which point I clocked a 6:17. I don't think that particular time is within the realm of possibility tonight.  I think if I run until I feel dizzy and throw up a little in my mouth, I might be able to get a 6:45.  I wish I didn't care (and I totally don't, duh. I'm a recreational 38 year-old runner), but I will probably try to pummel as many other recreational 38 year-old runners as possible.  

I'm not proud, and I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Writerly Wednesday: Mindy Kaling and Reggio Emilia

Little life lessons and interesting ponderances from my book stack this week!
  • I'm zipping through Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.  It's hilarious and charming, and I'm thinking that Mindy and I should probably be best friends.  I'm sure she would love the on-fleek arts scene in Minneapolis, and she and I could establish a fabulous creative partnership.  In her book, Mindy provides an instructive list of take-aways from the time her hit television show switched networks.  I'm excerpting it here:
    • No matter how good you have it, it's cool to want more.
    • Self-pity gets results
    • It's OK to drink tequila in the car if you just had a really good meeting.
    • If you believe in yourself and work hard, your dreams will come true.
    • Well... I guess the people who work hard whose dreams don't come true don't get to write books about it, so we never really find out what happens to them. So...
  • For months, I've been dabbling in The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation. This is part of my "Teach Elementary School Someday" professional development plan.  In the most recent chapter, the mayor of the remarkable city of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy discusses immigrants and the importance of welcoming. "[C]hildren are a great engine," Mayor Delrio says.  "[T]hey perceive that we do not have any other destiny than knowing one another, living together, and not being against but instead in favor of someone or something."  I like that a whole lot.  The book has a whole section on the family-school partnership, and I'm especially excited to get to that part.
I think that's it for this dreary day, but if you think about it, that's kind of a lot.

While I'm thinking of of it, are you the kind of person who likes book news, book reviews, a general literary life?  If so, you might like my newsletter.  You can get it by subscribing.  I send it out weekly(ish).  Just sign up already if you feel like it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Mac has the world famous Poetry and Punch event on Friday.  Good news: he's 100% ready and has been reciting his poems for us nonstop.  Last night after dinner (vegan macaroni and cheese!  But, #truth, I sprinkled real cheese on top), he walked to the middle of the family room and did all four pages and two voices of "I am Phoenix" by Paul Fleischman straight-up from memory.

The skinny on Poetry and Punch is that the kids do an adorable and impressive program of poetry recitation and performance.  And then, parents also have to share poems from memory.  When Shef was a second grader, I recited a charming little ditty called "Nose Pickers."  I was feeling pretty good about myself, and then Dan brought the house down with "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" by Willard C. Smith.

Show off.

This year, I've decided to write an original poem about Mac, who in his entire person just screams out to be the subject of a few lines of verse.  Yes, I sort of hated the parents who wrote original poetry when Shef did P & P (show offs), but I'm older and more mature now. Also, I've been writing poems with the sixth graders, so I'm all warmed up.  We'll see how this goes.

The #TwinTuesday today, then, is totally on-point.  It's two things that start with P - Poem (draft, in this case!) and Peas. Betcha want to see what Lee has!  I do, too.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Annals of Poor Dog Ownership

Remember when I talked about how cute Teddy is and how everyone loves to stop and talk to us when we walk the neighborhood?  Well, I fear that will no longer be the case.  This is the story of what happened:

Everyone knows that doodles need extra coat maintenance.  They don't shed, which is a plus.  The trade-off then is that you have to brush your animal to limit tangles and mats.  Further, you have to bring him to a professional groomer to be clipped and otherwise beautified.

Sadly, I failed in these essential obligations, and Teddy became horribly matted.  By the time I got serious about the situation, the only solution was to have him shaved.  I told Liz the Groomer this much when we arrived at the pet salon.  Still, when I picked him up, she forced me to look at tangled dog shaped sweater of fur she'd removed from my animal.  "This is how bad it was," she said. I nodded and squinched up my mouth.  "Ugh," I said.  Then, she made me hear about how the mats were so terrible for his skin and how he was clearly suffering during the shave.  Obviously, I was so, so sorry.

"Oh my gosh," said Mac when he saw the damage.  "He's a rodent of unusual size!"

"He looks ridiculous," Dan keeps saying.

I will admit that the shorn tail is especially off-putting, but I'm hella grateful for the fresh start.  This time, everything's going to be perfect.  Teddy, I'll never fail you again.

Friday, May 6, 2016

I'm Just Trying to Write Something

This is a story about writing my next review for Literary Quicksand. I'm reviewing a book I've been meaning to read for eons. It's called Between Shades of Gray, and it's by the daughter of a Lithuanian immigrant whose parents escaped to Germany and then to the United States before many of their friends and relatives were shipped off to labor camps during World War II.  The book is a big and important work about Stalin's hidden murders - the genocide of millions of Lithuanians, Estonians, and Latvians.

So, the issue is... I don't love the book.  I think I'm literally the only person not to love it.  The New York Times loves it.  The Horn Book loves it.  Even Harlan Coben, the author of several sub-par (in my own opinion, of course) mysteries, loves it.

My lack of love for the novel is making me feel bad about myself and question my legitimacy as a reader.  Like, maybe I just don't like historical fiction?  And isn't that kind of indicative of my lack of appreciation for everything that's come before?  And, is it shallow of me to want the writing to be more lyrical?  More surprising?  But who needs beautiful language in a book about mass murder?  What kind of monster am I, anyway?!

These are the crises I'm butting up against as I begin to write my review.  But, I want to assure you that I'll embrace the discomfort and write my review honestly and with a commitment to authenticity.  That's just the kind of reviewer I am, after all, and you can count on me.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I Was Wrong

This is a story about being wrong.  It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes I'm just... not right. Yesterday was one of those times.  

My brother Devin thought it would be rad if he and I took our shared mother out to dinner for her birthday, just the three of us without our spouses and children.  Also without our sister, but only because she's in Croatia.  "Yes," I said.  "Great idea." I found myself looking much forward to this adult night out, chatting and sipping beverages, and maybe ordering some appetizers.

Imagine my surprise then when Devin was like, "Yeah, so tomorrow.  I was thinking bowling!"


It's widely known that I don't like fun.  "Well," I texted back, "I don't like fun, so I don't like bowling.  But I will bowl." In addition to not liking fun, I'm also generally agreeable.

Now to the part I was wrong about.  The bowling was supremely fun.  We had some dinner, including sweet potato fries (insanely fun), drank some house-made IPA (what's not fun about that?) and then we bowled.  I improved my score from 70 to 118 between rounds one and two.  I think we can all agree that's an excellent rate of improvement.  It's fun to improve, as it turns out.

I was wrong about the plan, and I'm glad I cooperated.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


As I was setting up for this week's shoot (yes, on Wednesday morning - oops!), I dropped my box of toothpicks and watched all 700 or so scatter over the floor.  Thankfully, I took this as a moment to model calm for the seven year-old who had eyes on the scene.

"Shoot," I said,  mildly.

And then, I quickly realized my opportunity. I pulled out eight inches of tape measure and plopped it down right in the middle of the mess.  After the photo, I scooped up the useless picks and threw them in the compost.

That's right.  We have organics recycling now, free of charge thanks to the City of Minneapolis.

And this is the story of this week's #TwinTuesday photo.

I'm going to add in a bonus story about Grammar Camp, a ridiculous teaching ploy to which I've resorted.  Basically, we got behind in our grammar instruction and to make a week of lessons and practice more palatable, I've made it campy, complete with "campfire" songs.  I put that in quotes because I'm not actually making a fire in the classroom.  Duh.

Anyway, you might be shocked to know how many adult musicians have gone in for making and recording songs about grammar, mechanics, and punctuation topics.  There are hundreds to choose from.  My students' current favorite is this little ditty from the Grammarheads.  They're singing it in the hallways, and I can't stop them.  Enjoy.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Panoramic Picture

I'm telling a story a day in May, inspired by the Story-A-Day Challenge.  For that awesome endeavor, people are writing fiction.  I'm doing the same type of mostly-nonfictionish that I usually do here at Word Savvy.  Speaking of, did you notice I have a new URL?  Yes.  After 11 years here, I finally purchased my domain.  Somehow that seems momentous. 

In any case, here's the story of The Panoramic Photo.  For some reason each year, we parade out of the building, line up, and cheese for a panoramic photo that includes every person in the Middle School. Inevitably kids try to make funny and/or inappropriate hand gestures in the photo.  Each year, the photographer gives the same speech, "Hey," he'll say through his bullhorn, "this is a picture.  If you do something inappropriate we'll know it was you.  Not a good choice."  Still, as I look around, I see kids doing all kinds of ridiculous things - dabs, peace signs, random finger patterns - on three.  To combat this, the photographer always takes photos NOT on three.  Like, he'll say, "7, 6, THREE."

Ha ha. Gotcha kids.

You might be picking up on my feeling of ambivalence about the panoramic photo.  On the one hand, okay, it's a long photo and everyone's in it, except for the people who were sick.  But on the other hand, can't we find something better to do than try to make kids line up silently on the soccer field and invite their adolescent behaviors?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day

After a week of doom, gloom, broken furnace, and frigid rain, we're finally at 60-something and sunny here in Minneapolis.  I'm celebrating by adding new titles to my Little Free Library, which is a constant source of happiness in my life. 

In last week's newsletter, I asked for help choosing my next read from a pile of never-cracked books I've had stacked in my nightstand.  I got recommendations for The One and Only Ivan, Savage Detectives, and Some Luck.  The Dinner, on the other hand, got a terrible review in response to its photo, so I decided to let it go.  I'm certain someone will want it, and soon.  

In fact, just a second - let me go check.

Okay, here's the scoop: The Dinner is still there, but Go Set a Watchman is off to a new home.  I hope the new guardian doesn't mind the hundreds of terrible reviews that kept me from reading it, but unfortunately, not from buying it.