Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Leaning In

I hope non-Facebook people will be able to see this link to Kate DiCamillo's Author Facebook page. But I'll cross my fingers and share because it's so truly wonderful.

I, too, was told to stand up straight. I was the tallest girl in my class for a very long time. My godfather was an orthopedic surgeon. I loved ballet.
All those things "told" me to stand up straight.
But Kate reminds us that if we're looking closely, it's okay to lean down.
The better to see with!

And leaning in is a sure sign of paying attention.

Paying attention and writing slowly= two lessons I'm taking away from Facebook today.

(Maybe it helps that I'm looking at a lot of trees this week?)

Here's Kate DiCamillo's Facebook post. What do you think?

"I took this picture when I was up at the cabin. I like this tree. It leans. I was always told to stand up straight; and..."
Posted by The Official Kate DiCamillo Page on Thursday, June 25, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

It's Monday! What I'm reading today.

A first for me.

A book with a possum character named- TA DAH!


Here she is, dancing with joy with one of her twelve siblings in
 Appleblossom the Possum.

(Thank you, Dial Press.)

Lots of bloggers and readers and writers share books on Monday.

Here's the hashtag if you're tweeting what you're reading:

The blogs?
Find them all over the place!

Here are two I often check. 

Alyson Beecher is here at

And Kellee Moye is here at

In addition to APPLEBLOSSOM THE POSSUM by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Yes, the same author who penned COUNTING BY 7s), I am not only reading but loving so very much-- the new Calpurnia Tate novel
More to come on that one.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Books Needed!

My sister, my niece, much of my Mississippi family lives in Batesville, MS.

This week, one of their schools burned to the ground, overnight. While they were able to save the historic brick school building next door, it was devastating to the 15 kindergarten and 2 Pre-K classrooms.

They've set up a Google Doc for donations:

(On that google doc, there's a link to order via the Scholastic Store. CLICK HERE-- They're having a big summer sale right now.)

For my writer friends whose books are K and Pre-K, scroll down for the address to send a copy of your own book, if you're so inclined.

Here's the memo from the school and the volunteers who are working to supply those classrooms:

On July 10, the Kindergarten classrooms at Batesville Elementary in Batesville, Mississippi, were completely destroyed by fire.

Please help us replenish their children’s book collection.

What You Can Do:

Follow the directions on the attached Google Spread Sheet.

Choose a book or books to donate.

Place an order. Most are found on Amazon.

Have the books shipped here:

Lydia Aderholt
211 Jones Street
Batesville Mississippi 38606

Thank you so much!

Mississippi Bloggers
Lydia, Kacey, Jessica, and Laura

LaSherry Irby, Principal
Batesville Elementary School

Friday, July 10, 2015

Teachers Write

As if you teachers didn't have enough to do over the summer, here's another thought.

Click on over to KATE MESSNER'S blog and follow along with her fantastic fellow writers.

No, wait. This is fun! It's not another chore. You will love this.

And hey, you don't have to be a teacher. You can write for the fun of it and learn so much.

Start with JO KNOWLES'S Monday Warm-ups. CLICK HERE for the first prompt.

I love the idea of that blank piece of paper. Jo asks her writing readers to fill her comments with their ideas for a work-in-progress. Super idea for a Monday warm-up prompt.

Kate has a whole lineup of writers ready to give great suggestions. So far (and the summer is young), my absolute favorite, and one I hope to put into practice, is THIS. Click to go to Sarah Albee's hilarious post about writing funny.

Here's a small sample from Sarah:

1. Surprise your reader with the unexpected.

Last week I heard Dave Barry on the radio. Terry Gross was interviewing him about his new book. He was talking about the good old days when he was a kid, in the pre-helicopter-parenting days when parents basically ignored their kids. “On a summer morning we’d leave the house,” he said, “and my mom would say, ‘Be sure you’re back by September.’” It’s funny because your brain is expecting “by dinner” of course, and he jolts you with the unexpected.

Funny is crucial, even in serious stories. Especially in those. And Sarah writes true stories. Not necessarily humorous non-fiction. And yet it is.
We can all learn a lesson, teachers, students, just plain writers.

Thanks, Kate Messner, for this summer fun. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hot Dog!

Food from books- what could be more fun?

Check out these pictures and menus from some of our favorites:

One of my first writing gigs was a column on BOOK CLUBS for Skirt! 
(a regional magazine, and yes, that exclamation point is in the title.)
Book Clubbers loved to write about the food that complimented their book discussions. 

Like these:

 (You can find a few good ones, HERE.)

And while I'm at it, how about raising a glass to your favorite book and cook with this one?

Now I'm hungry. 
I'm off to eat my semi-annual slaw dog, in honor of July 4th weekend. 
Happy holiday, everybody!