Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Bum

Aside from the week of curriculum writing and the afternoon of looking at and discussing the direction we'll take for vocabulary-I have not done one single productive thing since the end of school. One full week of being a book-reading, TV-watching, couch potatoe. I'm ready to say "that's enough of that," but it's too blasted hot to get too wound up about anything.

I'm finishing Aprilynne Pike's Wings, and it is a charming book. Fifteen year old Laurel has been homeschooled until the age of fifteen, and the move to public school is traumatic. It gets better as she forms a friendship with David, until a bump appears on her back. And then the bump blossoms.

Next in the pile is Generation Dead-or maybe The Shadow of the Wind. I must finish Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for a committe meeting at the first of August. Sigh. So many books, so little time...

Monday, June 8, 2009


Mr. Epic says it's time to stop the book reviews and do a different type of writing. So, here's an excerpt from my reading autobiography. It's titled My Reading Life, or How I Learned to Cuss.

Mine was an extremely conservative family. No one, absolutely no one, in our household used even the mildest of profanity. The only place I might hear the word “hell” was in church. However, as a precocious eight year old reader, I was attracted to those paperback westerns Papaw read. I not only reenacted scenes from the books on horseback, I attempted to emulate the language also. On day in third grade as we stood in the lunch line (I recall being in a plaid jumper and wearing black patent leather shoes, but that may be wrong), I stamped my little foot and proclaimed “DamN it, I’m tired of waiting!”

A boy in my class turned around, stared wide eyed at me, and asked “What did you say?”
I repeated myself, and he responded, “It’s ‘dam it’, there’s no ‘n’, and you better not let a teacher hear you say that.” I was intrigued. He filled me in on a couple of other words I better not say in front of an adult, and let me know that it was called “cussing.” However, he didn’t provide a complete lexicon of cuss words, and about a year later, a book again added to my education.

My older sister and I were going for a swim in the back yard. As we raced down the hill, I yelled, “Last one in is a dirty awld bitch!”

After we hit the water, my sister swam toward me, and in a hushed tone asked, “What did you say?” I repeated myself, and she responded “Where did you hear THAT?”

I replied that it was something I had read in a book. She laughed derisively and answered, “No you did not. That wouldn’t be in a book you read; you heard it at school. And you better not ever let Mother hear you say it.”

I shrugged and continued swimming. I knew that arguing with her was useless. But when I got out of the pool, I went and found the book I was reading, National Velvet, and located the offensive line. In the book the father, or maybe the grandfather, was lamenting the fact that the dog had given birth to a litter of puppies. Ah. So now I knew that the word for “dog that gives birth to puppies” was not acceptable language around adults.

See, reading DOES expand the vocabulary...

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Reading Roland Smith's Peak right now. I'm ninteen pages in (had to stop for a minute to let the dog out) and I don't belive I'll be going to sleep tonight. This one is going to be a cover to cover, one sitting read.

Saturday, June 6, 2009