All in Silliness

The Solution to My Home Page I Spy!

I don't know why it never occurred to me to share the solution to the little game of I Spy on my home page. I *think* I thought the answers were so obvious they didn't need explanation. But as I looked at it recently, I caught myself thinking, "Now what was Something severed again?"

The Secret to Developing Literary Tension (The Grabill Scale)

I first started thinking about tension when I heard Donald Maass speak at a conference some years ago. He described how the simple scene of a man looking at his watch while waiting for a bus can go from bland to Bang in a matter of words. Since then I have often noticed the varying levels of tension, both in books I have enjoyed and in those I haven’t. Here I'll discuss the ten levels of tension, and what they mean to the writer.

What it's Like: A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool ... In Poetry

In honor of the last week of our homeschool co-op, I'm going to give you an inside peek at what we do all day. Like the reason I don't answer the phone, respond to emails, keep my house clean (enough), and say "No" to (almost) every invitation. Because when I answer the phone, respond to emails, clean the house, or volunteer for whatever-the-h@ll-someone-thinks-I-ought-to-have-time-to-do-since-I'm-just-a-stay-at-home-mom...

5 Things to Love About a Community Fundraising Garage Sale

Every year my parish holds a garage sale to raise funds for the VBS and Preschool programs. It has fast become one of my favorite events and helping at every stage, in my mind anyway, absolves me from taking part in the actual VBS. Anyhow, a sale of this size is a huge undertaking. Like crazy huge involving weeks and many, many, many hours from lots of people. But it's so worth it, and apart from the usual reasons about helping others and serving the community, here's why…

Wanted: Hydration Station OR Confessions of a Dog Neglecter

At this very moment St. Nick is singing, "I'm a little butterfly." To annoy his sister. Which is working marvelously.

Moments ago, however, Oscar Wild (the dog) was sitting in the kitchen, staring at me. He does this sometimes and it can be unnerving. It usually means something. As in MEANS something. Like FEED ME or I WILL SOON BE PEEING ON THE FLOOR. This time I knew...

The Many Questions of Fish

Little Fish is in a delightful phase I don't remember St. Nick going through at age 8ish. He asks questions.

Yes, of course Nick asked (and still asks) questions. But his questions are more, um, grounded. Take, for example the question he asked about a year ago. "Mom, when did you and Dad have sex to make the baby?" Hello math lesson.

Fish's questions are ...

The Seriousness of Poetry

Setting: A poetry workshop at Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing. Fourteen attendees and one facilitator sit in plastic chairs arranged into a lopsided circle.

Attendees have just finished their first writing exercise.

Facilitator: We've all had sixty seconds. Shall we read what we've created? Let's hear three or so, then pause to consider what stands out most ...