Hat tricks & ‘Palestinian Neighbors:’ a crash course in book review protocol

I used to do way more book reviewing than I do these days. I also did a lot more feature writing. But that’s hardly a surprise when your job title is reporter.  I still write the occasional book review at work – in fact, I have 10 to write in the next couple of weeks … Continue reading Hat tricks & ‘Palestinian Neighbors:’ a crash course in book review protocol

Writing with one eye: diary entry of a neurologically unhappy quasi-cyclops

It’s been a long month. Two weeks ago I underwent a procedure most people call cataract surgery, which I have unilaterally nicknamed “extreme Lasik.” It has left me unsettled, crabby and neurologically unhappy. I know cataract surgery is different than Lasik. With Lasik, a medical professional reshapes your cornea using a laser. Cataract removal is when your cloudy … Continue reading Writing with one eye: diary entry of a neurologically unhappy quasi-cyclops

The ‘Gray Rhino’ moves into a nursing home; great experiences ensue

When The New York Times recently ran a front page story about China's effort to combat "gray rhinos" --large and obvious problems that are often ignored until they become crisis-- I was beyond excited to see one of my dearest friends getting some well-deserved props. Then I looked for the citation – because, after all, “The Gray Rhino: … Continue reading The ‘Gray Rhino’ moves into a nursing home; great experiences ensue

Great moments in librarying (yes, it’s a verb now), with illustrations

The best seven months of my work life so far are the ones I’ve spent as a public librarian. Here are a few of my favorite moments librarying and some pictures of the reason I now describe myself as my library’s “Display Queen.” (Yes, I did use “library” as a verb. Thank you for noticing.) … Continue reading Great moments in librarying (yes, it’s a verb now), with illustrations

Our childhood, the ‘do-over version:’ Brought to you by my sister and starring my niece & nephew

It wasn’t until my niece and nephew were 10 and 8 that my life was in a logistical and financial place to take a week off and fly from Milwaukee to Edmonton to visit them. My brother-in-law, who travels a lot, was going to be gone even more often that month and my mother had mentioned … Continue reading Our childhood, the ‘do-over version:’ Brought to you by my sister and starring my niece & nephew

Just me, at a writer’s retreat weekend, or “Three seismic paragraphs and a sandhill crane”

Last summer, I gave myself a gift. My friend Judy was offering a four-week writing workshop. I went on-line and registered. She’s one of the Writer’s lunch writers, owner of Redbird Writing Studio and the author of “Shut Up & Write.” It was everything I hoped for and then some. You can draw a straight … Continue reading Just me, at a writer’s retreat weekend, or “Three seismic paragraphs and a sandhill crane”