Birthday time in the Imaginary Writers' Room

Birthday time in the Imaginary Writers' Room
Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns  gathered behind the closed door of the Imaginary Writers’ Room, one of the larger and more comfortable corners of my mind. “Where is he?” demanded Agatha. “Where’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? It’s his birthday, after all!” “Well, yes, by Margaret’s time,” said Stevenson. “It’s... Read more »

Due to technical difficulties beyond our control... beats File not found

Due to technical difficulties beyond our control... beats File not found
The fast pace of the new century — the thought that since we can get some things done faster, we should — has killed off some lovely expressions that nearly everyone seemed to know years ago. One of the expressions I grew up hearing on TV and radio was “Due to technical difficulties beyond our... Read more »

Singing in the rain -- with a neighbor, it's more fun

Singing in the rain -- with a neighbor, it's more fun
Our recent rainy days have me looking out for a little neighbor boy I encountered in similar weather last spring. I walked under the local bridge for the “L” train and was just ready to get out of the rain, but he walked under it and was singing to his mother. “Rain, rain, go away,”... Read more »
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Happy Mother's Day? Well, if you insist....

Happy Mother's Day? Well, if you insist....
Here comes Mother’s Day. I’m already wondering about facing my first Father’s Day with no one to celebrate, but I think Mother’s Day is harder, even the 14th time around. People keep wishing me “Happy Mother’s Day” without knowing that I don’t have either children or a living mother. I suppose this one’s harder than... Read more »

How my cello got here via the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

How my cello got here via the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
When I was a schoolgirl, I was Serious enough — and growing fast enough — to need a full-sized cello, not the smaller one I’d been practicing on. My parents, meanwhile, were in the church choir, where musical things got discussed even after rehearsals. The conductor turned out to have a friend who was ready... Read more »

Thoughts on writing for my 400th post

Thoughts on writing for my 400th post
On July 14, 2014, I sat down and started this blog with three posts, the better to keep myself from wondering what to do first and to keep from looking like I was a rookie with just one posted essay to my name. Those three posts are still the backbone of my categories Sustaining Books,... Read more »
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The value of habits

The value of habits
How are your spring habits coming along? Are you doing extra cleaning or shopping, or moving your woolly things back in your closet so the linen things can come forward? My spring habit of listening to or watching playoff hockey games is ruined with no one to cheer for — again.  That’s just when I recognize... Read more »

The Harvard Dictionary of Music, but not biography

The Harvard Dictionary of Music, but not biography
I thought I’d have a set of posts ready to do about composers when I settled down with “The New Harvard Dictionary of Music.” Hey, I even had portraits of my favorites lined up — Tchaikovsky made it here, and Beethoven and Handel were waiting in my files. But there’s only one problem: The dictionary... Read more »

Exotic words in 'The Harvard Dictionary of Music'

Exotic words in 'The Harvard Dictionary of Music'
“The New Harvard Dictionary of Music,” one of my father’s favorite reference books, is now one of my new favorites. Its sheer size means it would not be finished in one post (this one). Here are some of the more exotic things I’ve found in it — so far: Aliquot string: “A sympathetic string. The... Read more »
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The value of music

The value of music
When it’s past time to work on arithmetic — from monthly bills to the figures for my taxes — there’s no use having a story on in the background. I know, I’ve tried. Music is precious then, for tuning my brain and distracting the parts that want to go off and play with something else... Read more »