Friday, April 25, 2008

Little Writer

Emma, my 9-year-old, has had rough year. Third grade is tough and she is bright, but a bit dreamy and creative, and would rather be outside playing than studying for exams. (Wouldn't we all?) Luckily, she has a very involved teacher, who has been careful to encourage Emma's natural abilities, along with trying to get her to work harder on the things that don't come as easy to her. This year, she chose Emma to attend the Young Author's Night—which is a program they send talented and gifted writers to in the Spring. Kids from Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County are selected to go. It makes them feel so special. One author talks to them about her life and what it's like to be a writer. Emma came home so inspired that she started to work on a mystery novel.;-) AS to how I feel about my daughter perhaps following in my foot steps...well, let's just say that a mixed of of emotion that might be better left for another post.

Here is the story Emma wrote that got her into this event and the one she shared while she was there. (Okay I am bragging and I am using my blog to publish my own daughter's story, wouldn't you?)

Don't you want to know about when I got lost at the children's museum in Lynchburg? It was July 27, 2006. I finally got to the children's museum after one hour of waiting in the car. We finally got to the the children's museum in Lynchburg. I jumped out of the car and raced to the door. I pushed open the door and glanced at the inside playground.
Soon after we got to the museum, my Dad asked me to climb all the way to the top floor, I said yes. So, I climbed to the last floor. I saw a tunnel through the playground. It was the only way to get to the next floor. So I went through and I got scared. Suddenly, my dress was caught on something so I turned around and saw a family. I screamed so loud that a lady who worked there heard me. She crawled in and found me. She grabbed me. She finally got me out of the terrible place. I looked behind me and saw a sign that said "tunnel of horror." I started to cry and asked the kind lady will I ever see my mommy and daddy again? Yes, she said. But it didn't sound like the lady. I looked up and saw my mommy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rainy Spring Day

It's been raining off and on all day. Now the rain is falling steady and I can hear it pounding on the roof. Spring rain is a joy—you can feel and see all the buds and shoots just soaking up the moisture.
Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here in this Valley that is in some ways so behind the times. I wonder what I am doing at my keyboard. Am I writing? What will become of the bits and pieces of poems and stories I have scattered? Do they have any meaning? Will they sprout into more?
I can hear the birds chirping, along with the rain, outside my windows. My office is a sun room that we made into a space that was supposed to be just for me. But like so much at this time in my life, it has turned out not to be that way. Finding the time to write is not any harder than finding the time to actually think a complete thought, which sometimes is almost impossible. That tell you something about me and my life. Scattered is the best way to describe it.
Sometimes I have moments where I can see with clarity and have the space to explore it. Few and far between.
Still there is the rain. something to bring joy and flowers and green. Everywhere, the green.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Column in Gannett's News Leader

Check out my latest column.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

L'Italia in Staunton Rocks My World

A few weeks ago (okay I know, I am really behind...) we went to L'Italia in Staunton, Va. We rarely go there because it's a little pricey and because it's in downtown Staunton and can be a tricky parking situation. In any case, I'm so glad we went and I plan to go back. Let me put it to you this way: I'd walk blocks and blocks and up and down several mountains to go back and eat their eggplant parmesan. Not only was it the best eggplant I have ever had in my life, it was quite possibly the BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN--EVER!
Okay, so what do they do with the eggplant? How do they make it so perfectly--soft, but not too soft, not stringy or seedy in any way? I wonder if they would tell me. I sort of asked the Zac Efron-look alike waiter, who politely shrugged and said he did not know. But he added that they use fresh and locally-grown ingredients. Could that be it? Hmmm. I wonder.