Sunday, March 20, 2011

Favorite Books

What were your favorite books to read when you were a child?

A favorite series of mine? The Shoes books.

Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes, first published in the 1930s, was followed by many more, including  Theater Shoes, Skating Shoes, and my favorite, Dancing Shoes. Most of these books involved orphaned children discovering hidden talents for dancing, acting, or singing (with a few surprises).

The theme: Follow your dreams.

By the time I became fully engrossed in Shoe mania, I was ready to have my parents send me to London so I could attend some sort of stage school. I had forgotten I had the grace of a hippopotamus on the dance floor, sang perpetually off key, and was far too shy to stand up on stage before an audience.

It didn't matter; I was stagestruck. I started taking dancing lessons, belted out songs from musicals,  and searched the library for plays to read. I couldn't find any, so I used the section of Maeterlinck's strange play, The Blue Bird found in the pages of Ballet Shoes. In the privacy of my bedroom, I rehearsed playing all the actors' roles. From The Blue Bird, I used the play as a template to start writing my own plays.

My dreams of limelight stardom in the theater may be over, but I'm still writing.

What was your favorite book or books?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I went outside a few minutes ago to latch the garden gate (I don't want deer dining on my spring plants). I'm always a little surprised to look up and see so many stars. I forget sometimes about the stars--the billions of worlds existing elsewhere. I still remember the first time I learned that the stars in the night sky were suns and galaxies. I started thinking obsessively about other life--something alive watching me from another corner of the sky.


I've been busy editing a novel and training for a new job. My days filled with work and obligation. I stop to watch the stars and remember those child thoughts--and remember my imagination.