I recently came across this quotation by Brandon Sanderson: “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” Truth be told, I’d never heard of Sanderson. (He’s an American fantasy writer.) But his comment made me think about storytellers and stories. I agree … Read more
I heard an interesting idea on CBC Radio the other day, on one of the summer reruns. Canadian novelist Katherena Vermette was talking about her latest novel, The Strangers, which I liked a lot. It’s about family—grandmothers, mothers and daughters—and the complicated ties that bind generations together. Vermette made the point that girl babies are … Read more
Special things help us remember special people. But telling their stories is even better.
Junk—like beauty—is in the eye of the beholder. With a bit of science and creativity, junk can be transformed into useful things.
I’ve been a word nerd for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been a cruciverbalist—a crossword fan—since at least junior high. That’s when my big sister started buying me Dell magazines, which had crosswords of varying difficulty plus many other kinds of puzzles: logic puzzles (You solve a problem by deciphering a series … Read more
I’m a baba. Truth be told, I’m a proud-as-can-be, floating-on-air, tickled pink-and-blue baba who thinks her grandson is the cutest, brightest, smartest little boy in the whole wide world. Other babas are free to make the same claim. I don’t mind. It’s a baba’s prerogative. My babas were certainly proud of me. And I was … Read more
Easter 2021 was different, thanks to COVID-19. But I did my best.
My recent epiphany about the folk song “Alouette” brought to mind some other bird songs from my childhood—folk songs my Baba Fill taught me in Ukrainian. One was an action song about a chyzhyk—a siskin or a finch*. Again, in the bliss of ignorance, I didn’t know what a chyzhyk was until I looked it … Read more
Sometimes we think we understand things we really have no clue about.
Poop has been in the news lately. Not the kind that our politicians dish out (although there’s been plenty of that too). But all sorts of interesting poop! Did you know that honey bees in Southeast Asia use bird poop and buffalo dung to keep predatory giant hornets away from their hives? Bees are generally … Read more