Authorial Advice

I was telling my son about all the stuff I did while he was at school: “After I dropped you off, I rushed over to Kinkos to make photocopies, and then I taught a lesson at elementary school, and then I met with a federal investigator about a student seeking a security clearance, and then I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up some essentials, etc. etc.”

He listened attentively and then summed it all up:
Mommy’s Busy Day. By Mommy.”


‘Alexander the Great’ Might Agree

Demigod camper to Percy Jackson, a teen who learns about his parentage at Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for people like him:

“I bet you were kicked out of a lot of [schools].”
“Diagnosed with dyslexia. Probably ADHD, too.” . . .

“Taken together, it’s almost a sure sign. The letters float off the page when you read, right? That’s because your mind is hardwired for ancient Greek. And the ADHD–you’re impulsive, can’t sit still in the classroom. That’s your battlefield reflexes. In a real fight, they’d keep you alive. As for the attention problems, that’s because you see too much, Percy, not too little. Your senses are better than a regular mortal’s. Of course the teachers want you medicated.”

— The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

Taming the Meadow

So, I was talking to a neighbor the other day about how to keep the kids busy and still get things done around the house, and she mentioned paying her kids a penny for each dandelion they picked.

I pictured scooping 68 cents out of our change drawer. Then, one day after school while waiting for my husband to get home, we brought empty plastic grocery bags to the front yard.

My daughter picked 500 dandelions. And my son, 300. I had to pull out a fiver and scrounge up a few dollar bills.

I probably picked about 200 that evening, too, as the cooling sun filtered through the trees. Grand total: more than 1,000 dandelions in one Olympian sweep. Gives you some idea of the state of our yard.

Call for Submissions: The Three Quarter Review

The Three Quarter Review: Poetry & Prose > 75 percent True is now accepting submissions for the Winter issue. Prose up to 3,000 words. Up to three poems. Literary journal submissions must be at least 75 percent true.

Short pieces welcome. Typed, double-spaced. For details, check out ‘Contact Us’ and read the journal at

The plot–instead of finding human beings more or less cut to its requirements, as they are in the drama– finds them enormous, shadowy and intractable, and three-quarters hidden like an iceberg.
– E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel

21st Century Skill Set

“What are 21st century skills? Often called ‘soft’ skills, they include creativity and innovation, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. More so than any individual ‘hard’ skill, these are what our graduates will need to succeed in the workforce of the future.”

— Lawrence M Rivitz, president of Green Street Academy in an Op-Ed