NOW THAT HALLOWEEN HAS PASSED…

halloween bremer musikanten

 

“…gather your witches, vampires and bats,
spiders, ghosties and arch-backed black cats.
Stand them together with goblins and ghouls,
then stack them up high on the backs of pack mules,
Or store them in boxes way up in your attic,”
the skeleton in my closet was downright emphatic.

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, HOLIDAYS, HUMOR, POEMS | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

NIGHTMARE ON UNTER DEN LINDEN – A Banned Books Week Tribute

It’s somehow fitting.

The sweeping square is shrouded in silence, but for the dime-size drops of rain slapping the neatly laid cobbled stones under my feet. The typically bustling quad is empty too, except for the line of  bicycles strung along the façade of the Alte Bibliothek (Old Library) and three tourists hunched under wide-domed umbrellas staring at the ground.

I’m watching the young men from the west side of the Berlin Opera House, waiting for them to move on so that I might have a second of solitude on my own to pay my respects to a moment in history that must never be forgotten so that it might never happen again. Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, Essay, EVENTS, IN MEMORIUM, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes, VIEW FROM MY SOAP BOX | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

HEY, RAPUNZEL ~ SURF’S UP!


The only thing missing from the stone tower resting up against a craggy cliff side along the southern California coast is a sixty-foot silken braid trailing from the top window slit to the rocky beach below.

Well, maybe the thick, lustrous plait isn’t the only thing absent from the colossal structure. A bare-chested dude decked in board shorts, cupping his hands around chapped lips, shouting, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel you smokin’ fox, let down your mane that I may climb your locks” would certainly complete the picture.  Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, HUMOR, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

KALAALLIT NUNAAT – Man In The Icicle

 

Winter

Dissolving

crystalline crust decomposing

evaporating Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, ARCTIC WONDER, POEMS, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

THANK YOU, RICHARD PECK (April 5, 1934 – May 23, 2018)


We met in Miami when Destiny dropped me in the seat next to you at a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators pre-conference dinner for volunteers and faculty.

Our paths had crossed once before, at my first SCBWI conference where you’d signed one of your fabulous books for me and kicked off the event with a spell-binding key-note beginning with how you remembered a time when blackberries were just a fruit that grew on bushes. Did you ever add apples to that speech?

Thank you, Richard Peck, for Continue reading

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IN SEARCH OF A NEW ‘F’ WORD

Certain words in the English language make me cringe. The short, staccato sound of them wrinkles my nose, puckers my lips, and stabs my ears. One of the two most wince-worthy in my book of offending words has recently sent me on a quest to finding an acceptable replacement even though the short burst that thrusts forth from pressed lips when expressing it ‘speaks’ for its meaning.

Once I’d set my intention, it didn’t take long. I already knew a German substitute was out. Too sharp. Too similar. The French word didn’t strike the right chord, either. Then I hit the mother lode. Italian. It’s not only a tolerable word in this melodic and passionate language, it makes me want to scent it with lavender oil and bathe in its languid luxury. See if you agree… Continue reading

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HOOD RIDING RED LITTLE – A Tale In Reverse


The phone rang once. A clipped voice answered, “9-1-1-what is your emergency?”
“grr-rr—umph bwaa—maaa….”
“I can’t understand you. Can you speak more clearly?”
“grr-rr—umph *cough* bwaa—maa *cough—cough*”
“Are you choking?”
THUMP THUMP THUMP
“An emergency vehicle is on its way—please try to stay calm, and breathe—breathe as best you can.” Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, CHILDHOOD, HUMOR, SHORT STORIES | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments