Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Gary Paulsen - Gone to the Woods

 Once, a publisher asked me to write a biography of Gary Paulsen.  I wasn't sure how to go about it; how to contact him. And because there was very little already written about him, I had no resources to draw from.  At that point computers were white letters on a blue screen or black letters on a green screen and the internet was just being organized - just words, no pages, no pictures. So I went on to other projects.

But today you can read his life story as written by himself.

Gone to the Woods, Surviving a Lost Childhood (NY: Farrar Straus Giroux publisher) is the autobiography you should read.  Full of grit and growing up, this tale tells how he practically raised himself because his parents were drunks.  And he tells it like an adventure tale, even referring to himself as 'the boy.' 

He preferred to be in the woods or working on someone else's farm and kept running away from home. From school.  Finally, when he was a teen, he discovered that libraries were warm places to lurk in. Then -- the librarian gave him a book.  He couldn't read well, but the librarian gave him more books and he became a person who devoured books. And then -- the librarian gave him a notebook and he wrote a story. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Treat everyone like they are Real People

After I retired from being a children's librarian, I stopped by the library where I had worked to pick up a book and ran into a boy who is intellectually disabled who used to come into the library a lot when I worked there.  He was so happy to see me He had thought I was dead, because I hadn't been there to help him find the books he liked.  But the part that melted my heart was when he said that I was the only one there who treated him like a Real Person. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

It's all the fault of Easter Eggs

So many people are complaining that they've gained weight during the pandemic.  Me?  I've been losing weight for the past five years -- 20 pounds so far.

But - the reason I'm gaining weight this past month is the usual one for this time of year - Easter Candy.  Sees has the most delicious easter eggs and  I love the Mayfair ones - dark chocolate covered easter egg with cream filling stuffed with nuts, candied cherries and other good stuff.  Yum. 

Since I always eat salad for lunch, when I run out of my Sees Mayfair easter egg stash, my weight will get back on it's gradual losing weight thing again. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Squirrels attack

 Squirrels would chew through the plastic bins we kept the bird food in, then attack the bird food. 

So we went to metal trash cans for the bird food, and they figured out how to pry the lids off, 

So we began putting bricks on top of the lids to the metal cans -- and they finally couldn't get into the bird food.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

When I log into a Zoom meeting

Want to know why my square on Zoom is always black?

It's because when I log into a meeting/ lecture, Zoom shows me what my picture will look like at the zoom meeting. And I rear back and mutter, "Who IS that old, ugly person?" and choose No Video.  

No matter that I even showered and wore nice clothes to the meeting, my zoom square is black. (with my name on it) 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Let a child be bored

I had two 10 year old boys at my house on Saturday. They were bored. Complained that they were bored. I ignored them. Told them I wasn't there to entertain them. 

So - they played hide and seek. They raced around the neighborhood on their scooters, one of them teaching the other how to do stuff. They got into my child instruments. played the Kazoo. Did such a good job on the drums that I think they should join a drum line. 

They did what kids used to do before electronics were invented.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

a history of typewriters - as experienced by me

I've lived through the whole history of typewriters:

From the old Remington typewriters, a portable typewriter in college, the MTST machine (the first word processor) various electric typewriters (one of which my husband broke when he got frustrated while writing an antique MG article for a magazine), a Commodore 24 (wrote many stories and my first published book on it) , The Apple IIe, the first iMacs, the more advanced flat screen iMac, and now I use the iMac with a bluetooth mouse and bluetooth keyboard.