Elizabeth Strout and why I love her

American author, Elizabeth Strout writes novels and short stories that make me happy to read all night. Her novels and short stories are amazing on many levels and I’ve become a delighted binge reader fan. Olive Kitteridge, the book for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 2009, is a novel written as …

Eat dessert first because life is uncertain

Eat dessert first in these uncertain times. It’s an old habit, but one I’d almost forgotten. I still choose dessert from a menu before looking at the entrees and mains. But somehow I’ve lost sight of the importance of grasping pleasure when it presents itself. But now I’m back on track. Most years, I’ve chosen …

Why hobbies are good for you

Hobbies include the activities people do for fun or relaxation. Everyone needs an escape from their usual daily occupation, work or boredom. Hobbies fill this space. They range from sport and exercise, craft, art and puzzles to developing new skills in any field that interests us. A hobby or two or more provide the changes …

Walking meditation in a labyrinth

Walking meditation can be done anywhere, but walking a labyrinth adds a special dimension to this ancient practice. An award-winning novel, The Labyrinth, (2020) by Australian author, Amanda Lohrey, provoked me to find out out more. In the book, a middle-aged woman with seemingly insurmountable problems and deep grief decides to build her own labyrinth …

Cubby study sanctuary – a place to love

Cubby study sanctuary, my place to retreat and enjoy. The tiny space off the living room in our apartment grabbed my attention. Used for storage of unfolded laundry by the tenants-in-residence, its potential thrilled. ‘It’s called a study-nook on the plan,’ the real estate agent said. ‘I’m yours!’ the little space whispered.

Rediscovering craft – the joy of making things

Rediscovering craft and the joy of making things occupies my time. Once a prolific knitter, dressmaker, quilter, gardener, I stopped making things. I don’t know why, but increasing arthritis probably made it a challenge. Instead, creative pursuits that involved writing rather than making, occupied my time. I suspect I’d uncover a major debate about the …

Poetry, permission and how to make lentil soup

Poetry as a response to a recent blog post surprised and delighted me. I had written about grief and loss. You can read the original at Baby steps on the road to recovery My dear granddaughter, Jane-Heloise, sent me a copy of a lovely poem on the same theme by acclaimed American poet, Jane Hirshfield. …

Are prime number birthdays special?

Prime number birthdays should be the same as all other birthdays. So common sense tells me. There’s probably nothing special about those years which are divisible only by one and themselves. But experience tells me differently. It seems to me that prime number birthdays and the years that follow often possess special magic. I’m curious …

Appreciation for people who inspire us

My morning pages (four pages, written long-hand first thing) often turn into lists of gripes about the world and my place in it. Sometimes, though, they fill with little songs of appreciation. Often, I forget to tell people I’m grateful for the inspiration they provide. So here, off the top of my head, in no …

Short stories as art and craft

Short stories fascinate and often delight both readers and writers. They can be compared to pieces of art or even to poems. All three capture a mood or an emotion that lingers long after you view, read or listen to them. In the past, I’ve reviewed short stories, including ‘Killing Daniel’ and Everywhere I Look, …

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