A good week in America.

June 27, 2015 § 8 Comments

FPL kid on puppet day.I don’t know when I became an activist limiting my efforts to the very local—a neighborhood on the south side of Tallahassee where I run a children’s library out of the house that used to be my father’s.

Along with neighbors I plan and teach a program every Sunday to promote literacy, science, and art to kids who, like me, live with financial constraints that limit opportunity.

Luckily, we  can go anywhere with the help of books.

I want to be a change agent, but I came to realize that the lever of global change was not in my hands or even in the collective hands of we-the-people.

Perhaps it was the Citizen’s United ruling which gave unlimited financial influence to big corporations and unions by allowing them to funnel campaign contributions through super PACs, essentially buying elections.

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Does God get tired…

June 20, 2015 § 8 Comments

Sunset in Apalachicola.

Of our whining, hey, thanks for the great gift, but why the limited warranty?

Of our Monday gossip, Tuesday self-indulgence, Wednesday superiority, Thursday anger, Friday avarice, Saturday  bigotry, Sunday righteousness?

Of our claims that we know his mind because we’ve read the Book. « Read the rest of this entry »

She said…he didn’t.

June 13, 2015 § 11 Comments

Speech bubble, female.I was packing my author props for a school visit when I wondered, how many days of conversation would it take to say the number of words in the average middle-grade novel?

The writing process is daunting to kids.

I wanted to be able to say, “Heck, you say enough words to fill a novel every day!

Or every three days. Or every five. We’d talk about the quality of those words later.

Questioning the ready crystal ball of the internet: how many words does a person say in a day?  I got, not one answer, but two.

Female: about 20,000. Male: about 7,000.

The discrepancy was so great—nearly three to one—that I forgot all about the question of speaking a novel’s-worth of words and began thinking about how men and women use language.

It is too simplistic to say women are just chattier than men. Obviously they are, but why? How does the relationship the sexes have with communication differ? « Read the rest of this entry »

Down the chimney up.

June 6, 2015 § 10 Comments

ChimneyWhat goes up the chimney down, but not down the chimney up?

An umbrella.

I liked this riddle as a kid. As an adult prone to metaphor I still like it.

The chimney is narrow and rigid.

The umbrella is flimsy but with its wings folded it can go down the chimney just fine.

Open it and it will break itself in the descent.

There is no hope for that umbrella.

We all face circumstances that are rigid and confining.

How we deal with those times may be a matter of choosing the right metaphor.

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