Reading and Writing Quotations



“Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.”                                    J. K. Rowling


“I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.”                                         J. K. Rowling



“Believe in yourself. Keep writing.”  Neil Gaiman

“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.”                                              Neil Gaiman



“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”            Ray Bradbury

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

                                                                  Ray Bradbury

Shakespeare of Main Street: How We Should Teach English


Here is an excellent post from Joe Linker.

The Coming of the Toads

Evidence for the claim that Shakespeare did not write Hamlet, Lear, Othello, and the rest, is often cited reasoning that an uneducated farm-boy moved to the city lacks the formal education necessary to explain the depth of knowledge, experience, and wisdom found in the plays.

Though prowess with language is not necessarily a school learned skill, the rebuttal to the Shakespeare as author naysayers is found in Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare. For one thing, Shakespeare indeed was educated. Says Greenblatt, “…[Shakespeare] was sent to the Stratford free grammar school, whose central educational principle was total immersion in Latin.” Portland Public Schools should adopt the school’s method. The school day ran for twelve hours, six days a week, year round. “The curriculum made few concessions to the range of human interests: no English history or literature; no biology, chemistry, or physics; no economics…

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Sumer is icumen in


Please enjoy this wonderful post from John Bainbridge at Country Ways!

Country Ways

I never walk in Summer without thinking of the medieval song that gives this blog its title. Sumer is icumen in is a roundelay, a polyphony, sung by several voices all coming in at different points. I give it here in the original Middle English and an updated take on the old song.

It is at least 800 years old, and one of the first songs for which we have the tune given, thanks to a manuscript owned by William of Winchester, a monk from Reading, who -allegedly – liked to put it about a bit. Naughty William was brought before the Bishop of Hereford in the 1270s to investigate charges that he’d slept with a number of women, including a nun! William’s manuscript is now in the British library.

Interestingly, the song may not be as innocent as it sounds. Some academics have speculated that it may not just…

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Late May Self-Promotion Party!

sakura tree

                                                     (Photo by Oleg Magni on

Hello everyone! It’s near the end of May, the weather is turning warmer, and it’s time for a self-promotion party!

Be proud of your writing!

Share your book(s) with the world!

Be your own best publicist!

To help as many as possible see your work, reblog, like, and follow others.

Available on Amazon


Get The Draft Done! is available here:


Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.


Please follow the following links to find my novel:


Print book

My radio interview:



Available on Amazon

French On English

Available on Amazon

Roberta Writes – A wonderful review of Lion Scream by Resa


Here is a wonderful review of Robbie Cheadle’s excellent book of poetry: Lion Scream Syllabic Poetry About Southern African Wildlife.

Thank you to talented artist and costume designer, Resa McConaghy, for this wonderful review of Lion Scream. Resa’s lovely blog, Graffit Lux and Murals, showcases street art from all over the world so do pop over and take a look around.

Lion Scream – by Robbie Cheadle

I thought I knew what was happening to earth’s animals. Now I know what I knew, but better.

Through the use of syllabic poetry, photography, video and text, Robbie takes us on a learning tour of South Africa’s creatures and their environment. I even learned a new term:Sixth Mass extinction.

I don’t know much about poetic structures, but I know what poetry I like when I read it. I like all of Robbie’s poems, even when the message is haunting.

I also know I love animals. Please enjoy Robbie’s videos! They are only a few seconds long.


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Please Honor Memorial Day–2023




I hope all of you have had a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday, Memorial Day, exists.  The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.

This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America.  Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day.  I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and  thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.

They deserve our thanks and our honor.

Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.



Pilgrims’ Way, Hollingbourne to Charing


Here is a wonderful post to enjoy from “walkingaway.”

Walking Away

It’s been a while. In fact it’s been three months since I was last on the Pilgrims’ Way and I don’t really have an explanation as to why that is, although it’s not yet a year since I began back in Winchester which for me is rather good going. (In the past I have glossed over why it took me 7 years to complete the Thames Path, the partial answer is a small, heavy and badly behaved baby). I guess I’m not a terribly dedicated pilgrim. I doubt that anything much has changed, it’s been sitting here quietly for hundreds, probably thousands of years, but I can tell you that everything has recently gone green since I was here. Very, very green.

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How “Goodnight Moon” Evolves Each School Year


Please enjoy this wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections

Language is #1 for children, and literacy is the road to developing their language.  I read picture books to children all the time, and chapter read at rest time.  Books are always available to children.  They become ‘good friends’ and are as popular as toys.  Really.

I don’t know when I began reading chapter books aloud at rest time.  It was one of those ‘teacher moments’ when it just felt right.  So, I did, and it’s my favorite time of the day.  Children are eager to hear ‘what happens next’.  If you don’t know, the late Jim Trelease, author of the million-copy bestseller The Read-Aloud Handbook, the guru of reading aloud, visited my classroom to hear me read to children, especially at chapter reading.

But there’s more; the everyday constant, the precursor to chapter reading – Goodnight Moon.

I recite the book before chapter reading.  It gets children…

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With Which Authors Would You Choose To Share A Meal?




This idea of meeting with a few authors over a meal and having a conversation with them is something I have discussed before, and it was fun to consider. I have, therefore, decided to cover this scenario again.  I was thinking about with whom I would like to dine and with whom I would enjoy having a conversation, among authors, both living and dead. Obviously, for the sake of this idea, if an author is dead, he/she will be resuscitated for the meal and conversation.



I consider myself an author of speculative fiction, which can encompass many genres, but one of my areas in writing, in teaching, and in study is Gothic/Horror.  Three of my novels, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1, Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 2, and Evil Lives After, The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 3 are all of the Horror and Gothic genres. I have already written the first draft of two other horror novels. Horror and Gothic have interested me since I was a youngster, and it will the rest of my life.



I would like, therefore, to have a meal with 3 masters of this field: Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Bram Stoker. I think this would be an enlightening, provoking, stimulating, and lively conversation. I would raise a glass with them and toast to their enduring brilliance.



My question, then, to all of you is this: with what three authors would you like to have a meal and conversation?



Acorn Bank and Dorothy Una Ratcliffe


Please enjoy a wonderful post from John Bainbridge at “Country Ways”!

Country Ways

On Sunday morning, we went over to Acorn bank near Temple Sowerby. Most interesting to me because it was the home of the wonderful Dorothy Una Ratcliffe – a quite remarkable woman in so many ways. A great chronicler of Yorkshire and its dialect, a champion of Gypsies – not only a leading member of the Gypsy Lore Society in its greatest days, but an occasional dweller in caravans and a traveller on the roads.

Acorn Bank

She was a great society beauty and a campaigner for a great many social causes – and a real lover of our countryside.

Dorothy Una Ratcliffe

Her book The Cranesbill Caravan, detailing her time in a caravan in the Yorkshire Dales, is a great favourite of mine and deserves to be read by everyone who loves the outdoors and the Gypsy way of life.

Bluebells at Acorn Bank

Dorothy was born in…

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What Is One Of Your Favorite Books–Revisited?




I am a teacher, a writer, and a lover of books. I cannot remember a time when I could not read, and the simple act of reading a book is one of the best pleasures in life.  So, I was thinking today about a book, one of my all time favorites: The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, that I have used in classes at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. This novel is brilliant, funny, witty, Gothic, romantic, and deeply engaging.  Can you tell I love it?

Here is a quotation from the back cover of the paperback:

“Wondrous . . . masterful . . . The Shadow Of The Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.”

— Entertainment Weekly, Editor’s Choice

I love to ask this question of readers: What is one of your favorite books? (If you wish, offer more than one.)