If I’m not learning I’m not living

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Please have patience. Each of these posts is started with inspiration and requires lots of perspiration and key-pounding to complete. By the time spring truly arrives my hope is to expand my posts to include more book reviews and more hints on sharing what we glean from what we read. If I’m lucky I’ll also share some views from places beyond my own backyard. To get there, I need to learn more.  So I am taking a class, Blogging 101, that WordPress offers to help folks like me (and you!) figure out the mechanics and art of blogging. You have just read my first assignment. While I will be working at this each day, I don’t plan on sharing most of them. But we both will discover before too long if the lessons stick!

Readers, guilty pleasures need a PR makeover

I admit, when I have no book in hand I’ve been known to read anything from all the ads in a subway car to the back (and sides) of a cereal box. Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Don’t knock it. As I recall, there was a time when there  were short stories on the back of a specially constructed Cap’n Crunch box that had an extra flap for more story.  I could take or leave the cereal, but to have something to read at the table – that was something special.

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“So, what are you reading?” is a question I ask of a new acquaintance or someone I haven’t seen for a while.   Continue reading Readers, guilty pleasures need a PR makeover

I’ve moved! Virtually, that is

The combination of unceasingly cold weather and the common cold have kept me close to my computer. With a bit of help, you are now seeing this blog and my website in their new home.  The look is much the same for now but the address is streamlined.  And if you find me from somewhere other than your phone, the subscribe option is readily visible.

The great news about virtual moves is that there are no packing boxes to unload or shelves to build so I am squeezing in some other activities. I’m a bit behind but I am watching the BET miniseries, The Book of Negroes, that I discussed a few weeks ago. The first 2 hours were what I imagined while reading the book, a very pleasant surprise.

My front-burner reading right now is a grand mix.  A discussion of  Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland is rescheduled for next week. Lahiri grabbed me from the first sentence and sent me off in search of info on the Naxalite movement in India that is the catalyst for the story. I’m also tasting some upcoming titles on my iPad. Having the chance to find a great story before it has been promoted and dissected to death is such fun. Of course, many of these advance reads are also good candidates for the remainder section of the bookstore. I just abandoned an upcoming novel about George Sand by a writer I usually enjoy. Her writing of semi-fictional accounts of real people is less appealing to me than the characters she creates on her own. An upcoming debut novel by Rebecca Dinerstein landed on my iPad. It is due out in April and I hope to have a review to share. She’s created two parallel threads, each with a distinct narrator. So far it is worth the read and I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

Before I leave this space, I’d like to share the promise of spring. Back in 2010 the DC area was gripped by Snowmaggedon. It took a while, but the season changed and the cherry blossoms bloomed. I spent a glorious day with a camera watching nature reborn and people from all corners of the earth walking the Tidal Basin in celebration of Washington and spring.

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Migration isn’t just for birds

OK, the morning temperatures are in single digits with wind chill below zero. Warm breezes and snow-free weather reports are encouraging many of my peers to give up their long underwear for long walks on the beach. But that’s not the migration I’m talking about.

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Let’s just say I’m a cloud hopper.  When you move a website from one service to another the technical term is migration.  Let me tell you, it is just about as messy as many trips to Ellis Island. If there is a misspelling of a name or a problem verifying a destination, all forward progress stops. And rarely does the interaction involve dealing with people.

This blog is the frontispiece of my new website. As with any work in progress, there are missteps and challenges. I’m still working to get the look and features just right. And in the cloud hopping department, I’ve moved from one host to another that should make the creative process a bit easier.

If it can be so tedious, why bother? I think I have something to say. And I know having the intellectual challenge of making this technology work for me keeps me sharp. Some very wise octogenarians keep showing me how much there is to learn at every age.  So I keep learning and exploring, between the pages of a book, walking a neighborhood or finding portals to brilliance on the internet.

Everyday I’m learning more. Please keep watching this space. After all, I’m Finding My Wings. And with a little luck and some help from my friends, I’ll fly!

Reading, a portable vacation

Forget the 10835269_904426496256072_731989134103596863_ogroundhog! You don’t need a rodent to tell you that winter’s got a firm grip on the U.S. Like everyone else, I’d be thrilled to have warm winds and long sunlit days but it’s not to be. The upside of howling winds and darkness is the pull of a comfy chair and lots of good books. How apt that February is Love of Reading Month. Continue reading Reading, a portable vacation