BEFORE WE VISIT THE GODDESS by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: A REVIEW


This 2016 publication particularly appealed to me because I had read Divakaruni’s One Amazing Thing and because I knew she was a professor of Creative Writing at The University of Houston, not only my alma mater, but also one of the five campuses in the system that employs me. She has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times, so I was aware of her writing prowess going in to this novel. It deals with four generations of women and the ins and outs of mother daughter relationships.

The setting ranges from Bengal, India to Houston, Texas, another selling point for me. Basically it is the story of Sabritri, daughter of the village sweets maker, Durga; Sabritri’s daughter Bella; and her daughter Tara. The novel explores many different forms and kinds of love, love that reaches across generations. All of the women are strong female…

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How To Take The Perfect Writer’s Nap #SundayBlogShare #Writer #WritersLife


I became a writer for a number of reasons; I wanted an excuse to wear more tweed, I thought I had a J.K. Rowling look about me(after a few gin & tonics), I needed to do something with the many voices in my head, my obsession with pretty notebooks needed to go up to the next level and I thought being a writer would allow me to experience a new kind of afternoon nap.

Writer naps are a bit special for a number of reasons:

  • They are the only kind of afternoon nap you can get away with. Seriously, if you explain to loved ones how important it is for you to take a little nap after being creative they will understand. Just ignore the loud exhales and eye rolls. (I have suggested my loved one gets his eyes checked given the amount of eye rolls he gives…

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Wednesday’s Words: On Shel Silverstein and Other Things


Continuing with the idea of teaching poetry to elementary age kids, one sure fire poet is Shel Silverstein, a favorite of kids and adults alike.  With Silverstein, one does not have to wait for an occasion to integrate poetry into daily activities, whether in the classroom or at home (Listen up Grandparents!). Looking at trash from the classroom or from the home, Silverstein’s “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out” is the perfect poetry “happening.” Reading aloud the sound-filled poem (“She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans”) introduces what Sarah will and will not do.  Taking the garbage out is where she draws the line.  Vivid, but gross images follow:

“And so it piled up to the ceilings:

Coffee grounds, potato peelings,

Brown bananas, rotten peas,

Chunks of sour cottage cheese…

…With bacon rinds and chicken bones,

Drippy ends of ice cream cones,

Prune pits, peach…

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A Good Book for a Psychology Textbook, Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind: A Review


While tidying up and rearranging furniture in all the rooms in anticipation of out-of-state company in June, I came across a yellow legal pad which had fallen behind the dresser.  On it were the notes for a review of Jesse J. Prinz’s book which deals with the human mind.  Checking back over Sunday (Evening) Posts, I never reported finishing the book nor posted its review, so here it is.

This 2012 publication by Jesse J. Prinz would make an excellent psychology textbook, as it deals with a review of the nature vs nature debate while focusing on what is uniquely human and what is universally human as opposed to the animal kingdom. Studies and case studies from both kingdoms are given as well as the author’s “take” on the role of biology on the human mind and on human behaviors. The author takes issue with the notion that “genetics explains…

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When we studied homonyms, I found a delightful book, Your Aunt is a Witch, which presents homonym pairs in easy to remember rhymes.  The cover alone catches the eye of the reluctant reader. I converted the rhymes into a painless but practical worksheet series for the students to illustrate.  Here is one of the rhymes converted into worksheet style:

Little Prince Randolph is ( heir  air ) to the throne,

And some day he will be king.

He simply adores to fly through the ( heir   air )

On his solid gold, diamond-trimmed swing!

After the children pick the correct word, there is space to illustrate the rhyme.

When we discussed literal vs figurative language, I found The King Who Reigned a humorous combination of figurative images illustrated by literal drawings which also dealt with confusing homonyms. The children enjoyed making their own funny illustrations of “She’s all ears,”…

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I protest #InternationalChildrensDay

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I protest.

I protest against the poverty and hunger in which so many children are forced to live by failing societies where greed is an economic norm. In the UK, alone, one in four children officially live in poverty… yet it is relative poverty. In many countries, poverty is the norm and means utter deprivation of even the most basic necessities. Every ten seconds, a child dies from hunger and its consequences. Almost nine hundred children die every day because they have no access to clean water.

I protest against the denial of medical care to any child. Every year, over 13 million children less than 5 years die from illnesses which could have been avoided or treated.

I protest against eager minds denied education in a world where so many have access to so much. Over a hundred million children, the adults of our own future, are growing…

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ACCEPTABLE TIME by Madeline L’Engle: A Review


Polly, daughter of Meg Murry of A Wrinkle in Time, and neice of Sandy and Denys Murray of Many Waters, is spending time with her mother’s parents in New England. A neighbor, “Bishop Nase” manages to open a Time Gate which transports individuals back in time.  Both the Star Gazing Stone and the Old Wall act as portals for Polly on several occasions.  Meeting Anaral, a Druid who travels back and forth, and other characters from the time period, Polly and her cowardly friend Zak manage to become stuck 3,000 years before the present.

Back in time, Polly finds herself with The People of the Wind, and later captured by their enemies The People Across the Lake. They are besieged with drought and believe that a blood sacrifice is necessary to bring rain to their land and tribe.

Although the novel is not traditionally religious, it is spiritual and offers…

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