Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Room of One's Own

Many of my dear blogging writer buddies have offered a peek at their literary digs, so I'm sharing my own humble hovel. I often fantasize about that space by a real window, with just enough wall space for my inspirational paraphernalia, flanked by a wall of well-stocked bookshelves. Maybe after a few best-sellers!

In the meantime...I'll entertain the muse in my little corner of the basement. Speaking of you go around the corner, you'll find the rest of my hovel, the space where I tend to stash most of my beloved creative mess.

Believe it or not, my little sweeties respect my space. They don't mess with Mama's desk or her work table. I had to laugh when I overheard my 6-year-old reading the riot act to a playmate who had started fiddling with the little things on my desk. "OFF LIMITS...OFF LIMITS...THAT'S MAMA'S!"

Of course, what lay behind me in my little slice of literary heaven?

The guinea pig, the toy box, the air hockey table, the pile of plastic doodads that no kid can life without,...and usually a kid, sitting right in the middle of it all. For some reason, my daughter's favorite place to play is 6 inches behind my chair. She hums, sings, or recites whatever little drama she's inventing with her chunky Little People or her My Little Ponies.

So, though I love my dear little corner at the foot of the stairs, I still dream about that wonderful desk in front of a broad, windex-clean window, lovely bookshelf stuffed with every tome I could ever want or need beside me, bluetooth printer tucked away in an easy-to-reach spot, and a DOOR. A door that actually closes. A door that shuts me in with my fickle muse, where I am free to roll around on the floor or rant or curse or slap the crap out of some villain (all in the name of writing, of course). Ahhhh...yes, Virginia...there is such a place.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Latest Craziness on Scrotums and the Periodic Table!

Well, it just keeps coming...But thank Petunia that Susan Patron has an impeccable sense of reason and a clear voice as well as a marvelously creative talent with pen and paper. She has responded to the ridiculous attacks concerning the infamous "scrotum." Read it here

All I can say is I'm glad we have librarians like her keeping the doors of our freedom and the minds of our children open. How uptight and Victorian can people be in the 21st century?

On the lighter side...A wonderfully inventive nonfiction book has been launched. Check it out

I haven't seen the hard copy, yet, but my students are working on nonfiction for children right now, and this looks like a fabulous example of innovation and kid appeal.

So many people assume that nonfiction is the "non-creative" form of children's lit. I've taken a stab at it, myself, and believe me, good nonfiction draws most on a writer's creativity. Find an angle; give the subject life; define a character in terms of his actions and statements rather than just list his credits. Not all nonfiction can get wacky, nor should it, but those little nuggets of nuttiness can show a kid that real life is fun, too!

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Today, a hint of summer peeked under my bedsheets when my 6-year-old daughter padded into our room and whispered, "Mama, can we have a family cuddle?" Who could say no to that, even if it was barely 7:00am on the one day I can sleep in. Daddy whispered, "Go get your brother..." And within a few quiet moments, the bed was filled with the Scott clan, all snuggled in, under the blankets. This is the one ritual we have in the summer that I adore, and I wish we could manage it all year long. Since no one has to be up early in the summer months, we take that time when the sun finally makes it impossible to sleep, and we get in a solid snuggle before we start our day. During the school year, even Saturdays are often a bit too scattered to enjoy the family cuddle, so it's a real treat when we can squeeze one in.

This beautiful tradition was started by my then 5-year-old last summer. What a beautiful way to start the day. I swear, I don't think I've ever had a bad day on those mornings when we started with the family cuddle. I hope I can capture that magic in a book someday, but for now, I'll savor every drop of it in my blessed real life.