Have You Written Today?





Here is a quick question to all the writers out there who read this blog: have you written or will you write at least 300 words today? If you do that much every day, by the end of one year, you will have drafted your book!

Have faith in yourself!

Keep Writing!



Happy Thanksgiving — 2019 — For What Are You Grateful?




Happy Thanksgiving!

Please remember to recognize the positives and the blessings in your lives.

Enjoy your feasts, your gatherings, and your traditions. And please remember to give thanks to those who help us in many ways. So many are away from home, friends, and family, and we should all give them a moment of thanks.

Please try to remember those who are less fortunate, and try to find some kindness and to continue to spread it throughout the year.

To my friends, including my many blogging friends, and family, –thank you!

I would also like to ask all of you:  For what are you thankful?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quotations On Education




“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

                                                                              Margaret Mead




“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

                                                                              Thomas Paine




“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”


A Call to Arms (and Pens)


Here is a call to join the U.L.S. from one of my Lehigh University Students!

A Band of Banned Books

It has come time, my friends, for me to call out to you to join the Underground Library Society with an eye-catching piece of shameless propaganda.

I designed the poster above to be posted all throughout campus with the intention of getting my peers to raise the question, “what is ULS?” or, at the very least consider the quote atop the page. “You never really know a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb inside his shoes and walk around” (Lee 1960) spoke volumes to me, as I have mentioned before. It was important to me to include this in the poster, as even if no one wondered what the ULS was, maybe they’d stop and take in Lee’s words of wisdom spoken through Atticus Finch to his daughter, Scout in the beloved classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

I wanted to keep the…

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Real Heroes


Here is a beautiful post from Jennie, the extraordinary teacher!

A Teacher's Reflections

There are sad events in life that turn into goodness for others.  Gabi’s Bears is a case in point.  It started as a local fundraiser in a small Massachusetts town, after cancer had taken Gabi away.  Buy a bear to be given to a pediatric patient and donated to MGH (Mass General Hospital).

The fundraiser was so successful that the two women who made the bears decided to do more.  They made countless bears.  It was a labor of love.

Over fifty bears were initially delivered to MGH.  These heroes will be delivering more, in bunches of fifty, every few months.
And all those bears go into the arms of children who need a lovey, want to hug and love a bear.

At school, bears and loveys are important for children.  They are the ‘go to’ at nap time and when things aren’t going well.  I have a great understanding…

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ULS Poster


Here is another of my students’ posters and blog post.

Sarah *sips

As part of the Underground Library Society, I have created a poster for my chosen book, Animal Farm. The ominous pig I drew, Napoleon, who himself symbolizes Stalin, represents communism and the evil that surrounds it. The other animals are drawn in solid black to symbolize their lack of identity and worth under oppression. I chose darker colors for the grim, hopeless reality and red to represent all the blood lost throughout the novel.

The center quote reflects the core of the novel – the distortion of ideals and class segregation. When history repeats itself, society tends to reestablish all that it has worked against, including classes. This novel serves as social commentary and criticism as well as a warning to mankind.

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The Underground Library Society (ULS): My poster!


I wanted to share one of the posters that one of my Lehigh University students made for the ULS, the Underground Library Society, project.

Maddie's Blog: Book Banning

Happy Thursday everyone! This morning was a chilly one, but it got me thinking about all of the exciting times ahead of us! I personally, am not a fan of the cold but I still love this time of year. There are so many things to look forward to and to be excited for! For me, I always look forward to Halloween, followed by my birthday, my friends’ and my mom’s birthday (I am a BIG birthday person), Thanksgiving, and my most favorite holiday: Christmas! I love Christmas and the whole holiday season, so it is no surprise that I chose a Christmas novel as my book for this project.

In continuation of this project, our next step was the create a poster that included “ULS” in some form and our quote from the novel that we chose. I decided to make my centerpiece of the poster a book and…

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A Classic Children’s Book and History


Here is another excellent post from Jennie, who is one of the best teachers — of any grade or age!

A Teacher's Reflections

I read this book yesterday to children, and I only got through the first few pages.  It is one of the best books to teach history and what happens over time.  We had to stop and talk about so many things.  Today we will finish reading the book.  This is a repost, and it bears reading again and again.


As I read one of the classic children’s books, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, it turned out to be an unexpected history lesson.  This wonderful book begins with a charming little house on a hill, living through days and nights and the seasons.  She loves the countryside and the changes.  The early illustrations capture all the images of the seasons.  At this point in the book children are hooked, because they love the little house.  As I turned the pages they knew summer followed spring, then autumn then winter. …

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Inktober 2019 – Wrap Up


Here is more excellent artwork from Sarah at https://secretartexpedition.wordpress.com/ !

Art Expedition

I actually planned to share the rest of my Inktober drawings with you piece by piece, like I did with the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, but realized that I did far too many drawings to do this in time before Christmas (which unbelievably is due in just a couple of weeks – hands up who gets just as nervous about that as I do!).

So I’m doing a little wrap-up instead which will us all save time (aren’t I the considerate one? 😉 )

(If you’ve missed the first part of my Inktober, you can have a look here: Paper, Ink and Pen)

I don’t know about you but when I think of black and white ink drawings, my mind goes instantly to those first Micky Mouse drawings by Walt Disney that looked quite different from the modern colorful version of this legendary character.
I think Mickey…

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True Magic In Writing!


Power of Words


There is magic in stories. Magic is the transmutation of objects or the manipulation of the world in ways that move outside the realm of science. Whether or not magic is real in the sense of the here and now world is not the point; magic is a metaphor for fiction. Stephen King says, “books are a uniquely portable magic” (104). This magic is in the words, in their transmitting from the writer to the reader other worlds and ideas. In writing fiction, writers create a world that was not there; even so-called realistic, literary writers create an alternate world that readers inhabit when they read the book. The writers and the readers, in a mystical incantation, create another reality, one that can be so strong sometimes that readers can be moved to tears or laughter or sadness or joy or grief or sorrow or despair or hope. Readers come to care about the characters and feel empathy as if they were real.

That truly is a kind of magic.

Neil Gaiman, in his introduction to Ray Bradbury’s  60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451, speaks to the power of the written word and stories: “Ideas—written ideas—are special. They are the way we our stories and our thoughts from one generation to the next. If we lose them, we lose our shared history. We lose much of what makes us human. And fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over” (xvi). It is through the creation of artificial worlds, no matter how speculative or fantastic, that we experience our world in more intensity and with deeper clarity. This act of magic is what we share as writers and readers. I am honored to be a mere apprentice in the magic of writing novels.

Works Cited

Gaiman, Neil. “Introduction.” Ray Bradbury. 60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451. New

York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000.