Parties and Puppies

Let me set the stage: my husband is out of town. Every time he leaves me for any period of time, life gets interesting. This time around, I knew I had a big party to prepare for. That wasn't a surprise. The little bundle of joy who came to share the day was a surprise. As Writer in Residence, I knew that one of my major duties would be to participate in a celebration welcoming best-selling author Diana Gabaldon. I spent several months preparing my formal Scottish attire -- evening gown, petticoats, Scottish plaid, accessories, even nail polish. Since I'm definitely not a girly-girl, this was a chore, not a pleasure. The day of the big event had a tightly choreographed agenda: sound check at

A Tale of Two Classrooms

School has started! I went back to school August 1st; students returned to school yesterday. I had 80 new eighth graders to meet, greet, and convince that reading and writing are important. Their perspectives run the gamut of voracious readers and creative writers to those teenagers who loathe picking up a book or stringing written words together. So, some of them walk in the room full of enthusiasm and smiles. Some of them walk into the room scowling and full of teenage "attitude." I spent the day attempting to engage them and encouraging them to give me a chance. I left the school building, jumped in my car, navigated down I-25, and 45 minutes later managed to find the beautiful Erie libra

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