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Learning about a Childhood Idol and Gaining Another

When I was a kid, I loved Pippi Longstocking. I remember her being a bit eccentric and unconventional, but what I loved most about her was that she had red hair like me. I had no idea that these books were thirty years old when I was reading them, or that they were written by a Swedish woman, Astrid Lindgren, who was ever bit as unorthodox for her time as the character she created.

Book Review: The Opposite of Certainty – Finding Myself in the Story

I started reading The Opposite of Certainty, a memoir by Janine Urbaniak Reid, because it’s another story about someone with a brain tumor.  This time it was the author’s young son. I’m an astrocytoma survivor and I think I’ve read every book there is on brain tumors trying to find myself in the story. Even as I tried, I never quite found the same story, until now.

Another Coronavirus Craft: Make a Mosaic

Mosaic pieces in a wall

A few months ago I wrote about how I was struggling as many were with quarantine brain and the only antidote was activities that put me in a state of flow. Even though life has returned a bit to normal and I am going out a little more, including to a few stores and a few restaurants, I’m still finding that activities hands-on activities are enjoyable. One new one recently has been making mosaics.

A Group of Artists is Showing How Words Matter

As a writer, words are important to me. I usually write quickly, but still choose my words carefully. When I type, my cursor usually doesn’t just go one way. It goes forward and backward as I write and rewrite, making sure to choose the words I really want to say. When I choose the wrong word, I pick another one.

Art on plywood that says: Understanding

In the wake of the uprisings following George Floyd’s death, words matter more than ever. A group of artists are showing that now in an area hit by destruction.

Elephants and Tourism Struggle with Coronavirus

Just as the pandemic was beginning in February, my husband and I traveled to Laos and Cambodia. It seems like a lifetime ago now when there was so much uncertainty. As we talked to local drivers and tour guides, they talked about this potential threat. As a driver took us to the airport through the teeming streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia, to the outskirts where it seemed the hotels just stopped, he spoke about what it could do to his livelihood if tourism was affected.

Two elephants walking

A few weeks ago I saw an article on the elephants in Thailand returning to their homes from tourists camps with no visitors. Without tourists, the locals are suffering and do not have the money to pay for the land, the food, and the salaries of those who work there.

How This Once Defiant Speaker Found Her Voice

Speech class was part of my high school curriculum. Our teacher made her grading system clear. I don’t remember how speeches were graded, though probably some mix of content and performance. What sticks in my mind after all these years, were the consequences for not preparing your speech. If you missed a speech, you received 20 zeroes.

Theft by Finding and Stealing Ideas During Quarantine

Book Review Image

I finished reading Theft by Finding by David Sedaris recently. This book of the famous writer’s diary entries from 1977 – 2002, was exactly what my brain could handle during coronavirus isolation time. I didn’t have to carry plot along with me from page to page. If I grew tired of reading, I could quit in the middle of page. Also, since I’m not writing much, reading the diary of a famous writer during the quarantine is perfect since it reminds me of all the things I can’t write, right now and how famous writers struggle sometimes too.