Never continue to read a book that contains grammar and spelling errors, excessive repetitions, or unrealistic dialog. There are hundreds of thousands of books from which to choose. Don’t “settle” for irritating reads.

Clipart from Santa Clara Library


The Power of Reading

Enjoying life is a great gift, but sometimes the stresses of life rob us of our joy. Often when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I curl up with a book and become lost in a good story. While reading, darkness is dispelled by imaginative authors who employ humor as they create characters with unique personalities. These talented authors lure readers into a positive world that provides a temporary escape from trouble and pain. 

During an extended stay with our younger daughter as she valiantly battled cancer, relatives and friends joined us in reading and sharing stories. These entertaining stories lifted spirits and the sun seemed to peek through the dark clouds of fear.

Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, is one of the talented authors whose works we chose to read. We laughed our way through Mma Ramotswe’s hilarious adventures at her very own detective agency in Botswana while trying to guess how she would arrive at solutions.  

Another series we enjoyed was The Mitford Series by author, Jan Karon. Ministers’ spouses and/or children in our little group could easily identify with Father Tim as he dealt with situations and people in his church. While laughing at the way he handled unusual problems, we rooted for him to find a wife.

I will always be aware of the power of these stories to relieve stress and provide joy during that very stressful time. 

“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."~ Madeleine L’Engle

Link to: Child of Desire


Thanks to the Fox, the Dog, and the Strict Teacher

I think the long-term objective of my high school typing teacher was, “Each student will be able to type a jillion words per minute by the end of the semester.” Sitting in a basement classroom filled with ancient typewriters, I viewed that teacher as a demanding taskmaster who had no life beyond the dimly lit room where she persistently attempted to squeeze from us at least one more word per minute.

The most important sentence to master in typing was, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence is significant for typing teachers because it includes all of the letters of the alphabet. So, each day while our brains notified our fingers concerning the locations of the letters on the keyboard, we raced against the clock to correctly complete repetitions of this sentence. When the teacher rang a bell to signal that we were to stop typing, all fingers had to instantly be in the air and visible. Trying to type one additional letter after the bell meant no credit, regardless of how many points had been earned minus that small infraction.

Some of my fellow classmates aspired to get by with the grade of  “C.” This was the lowest passing grade. Our high school did not recognize “D” as a grade.  I, on the other hand, was the uptight student striving each day to beat my own record. 

Many years have passed since taking high school typing, and I now have great appreciation for that class. In public places I sometimes see people using two index fingers to enter things on their computers. It is then that I’m reminded of the brown fox, the lazy dog, and the very strict teacher. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to type my novel, which contained 77, 322 words, with two fingers. 

Current educators often argue that drill inhibits creativity. I used many drills to learn useful skills (think cursive writing, multiplication tables, sight words) and I’m actually quite creative. At least that is my assessment.

Link to novel, Child of Desire

~ Clipart from Modiru &Clipground. com