Fridays are more fun with this…

I saw some geese flying over head yesterday as they traveled on their journey down south to warmer climes. I was immediately reminded of this, one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, and then today, I saw it posted by one of my friends on FB:

“You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. / You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves. / Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. / Meanwhile the world goes on. / Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain / are moving across the landscapes, / over the prairies and the deep trees, / the mountains and the rivers. / Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, / are heading home again. / Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, / the world offers itself to your imagination, / calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— / over and over announcing your place / in the family of things.”

“Wild Geese” – Mary Oliver.


Let’s have a little catch-up, shall we?


Life has been calming down which means that I’ve been able to catch up on things, both blog-wise and life-wise. It’s been really nice, actually.

poetWe recently got tickets to a poetry reading by Juan Felipe Herrera who is the current U.S. Poet Laureate. Herrera was very funny, very laid back and had some great pieces that he read to the crowd. In fact, he had the same vibe as Billy Collins (also a previous U.S. Poet Laureate) and who gave a big reading here in town a couple of years ago. It seems that the position of Poet Laureate is going to more accessible poetry (and its writers) which I really appreciate. I love poetry that I can connect to. I enjoy other poetry as well but I find I have to work harder to find that appreciation sometimes. I know, shameful but there you go.

So that was a fun evening of culture (and you know how I likes a bit of culture every now and then).

interview-with-the-vampireScreen-time has also been fun lately. As a head-tip to upcoming Halloween, we watched the old (1994) Interview of the Vampire with baby Brad Pitt and baby Tom Cruise (before he was weird). Loved this – it had just the right amount of scary without being too much and was funny to boot. Recommend this even if you’re not into scary stuff. It’s a good flick.

Went to the movies to see The Martian (2015 with Matt Damon) which was really good. Not many movies really suck me in to the narrative, but this one did and continued to do so right up to the end. Damon does a great job acting as the abandoned scientist stuck on the rather inhospitable Mars and apparently it’s pretty accurate, scientifically speaking, for the most part. One of my favorite quotes was this one: “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this one.” Nerd humor.

KTXT-FM_LogoSpeaking of media, our local college radio station was having an outside broadcast promoting an event and the 80’s music (which I adore), so having been a college radio DJ in my younger years (about 30 years ago so it was all vinyl), I tootled over to where they were standing and ended up on live radio  talking about the old days. That was really fun, so now I’m getting back into music a bit more than I was.

And then back to books, I’m implementing a Book Buying Ban (similar to what I did last year). I’ve made the chart and now just actually have to keep to the ban. (It hasn’t gone well this week, but today’s another day!)

And reading-wise (re: books), I’ve been reading up a storm which has been great fun. Non-fiction on a childhood in the 1930’s northern England, a non-fiction of literary criticism and background on the Great Gatsby, and a collection of short stories published in the 1920s/1930s. (That last book of short stories was a thrift store find and I picked it up at random to read. Happily, I found out that the stories are some of the same time period as when F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing, so having learned more autobiographical stuff about Fitzgerald, it’s interesting to read some of his (and his peers) writing immediately after.

And then this weekend, I’m signed up to go to a Digital Story-Telling Workshop on campus. Not exactly sure what to expect, but I do know we need to take a DSLR camera and a flashdrive. I’ll let you know how it goes.

So it’s been fun.


Credit: (Just let me know. I’m happy to add text.)


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Night – Robert Frost (illus. Susan Jeffers)

book267Based on a snippet of American poet’s Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods…” is a charming and rather old-fashioned book perfect for quiet and peaceful reading. I would think that quite a few people have heard of this poem’s first line and it’s a familiar landmark on school reading lists, but don’t let that stop you from picking up this book. It’s the illustrations that bring new life to this poem, and are all completed in pen/pencil and ink with just a splash of color here and there which helps to emphasize the solitude and hush of a snowfall in the country.

It’s the pictures that make this poem new and magical again, and it’s a perfect read for a reflective winter night. It seems to capture the peaceful feel of snow perfectly!
(And then – it hasn’t snowed for ages, and we had a snowy weekend. Nice change in the weather, and even better that it went away after a while! Addendum: It’s back now.)

Lubbock Home and Family Book Review for April 2013

LHF_logoEach month, I write a book review column for a local magazine here in town. In collaboration with (and with permission from) the publisher, I am adding the column to my blog as I thought it might be a fun feature. So – here you go:


Dogs_dayEvery Day’s a Dog’s Day – A Year in Poems – Marilyn Singer

A book of short rhyming poems from a dog’s perspective on a calendar year of his family: everything from Valentine’s Day to summer holidays to the dreaded visit to the groomer’s place. Really great fun for reading out loud, this is a super book to introduce kids to simple poetry and the joy of wordplay. Plus, it has a lovely pack of doggy friends who hang out and have adventures. (A nice extra touch is the multicultural illustrations – sweetly get the point across without being heavy-handed.) Poetry can be fun to read together so try a poem if you haven’t already. Some can be really excellent and a lot of young readers enjoy the rhythmic reading and word patterns.


LHF2_April13I Like This Poem – Kaye Webb

A collection of poems (both old and new) that have been chosen by children for other children just because the kids liked them. Although this is a British book (and with an emphasis on British poets), kids will come across familiar poems and perhaps be introduced to new ones. The poems are grouped by the age of the kids who chose them, and who range from six years old to 15 or so. An extra nice touch is that each poem has a footnote saying just why each kid chose that particular poem – makes it very relatable to the young reader, I think. A fun way to introduce younger readers to the word play of poetry, this anthology is wide enough for almost everyone to find a favorite poem. It’s a good example of how fun language and words can be as you get comfortable with reading. (Super fun to read aloud as well.)


ring scar coverThe Ring Scar – Loren Graham

Yes, this is poetry – please don’t stop reading this paragraph. It’s not the poetry you read in school…. This 2010 collection of poetry is by Loren Graham and is an honest (and at times searing) reflection of how one man’s marital separation and then divorce affected his life. Modern poetry that plays with words and spacing, the poems are a straight-forward assessment of how he feels with regard to the disintegration of his relationship and then the afterwards. It’s not often that one comes across such straight-up blunt writing, but I appreciated the openness. You will not get a totally “happy” read here, but you will get some good poetry.  (Helpful note: TTU is good at bringing real-life poets to town for readings etc. that are free to the public on the whole. Check their website for more info.)