Archive for May 2018

Serious advice to 16-year-old Margaret

Serious advice to 16-year-old Margaret
The challenge came in my e-mail at 8 p.m., just as I expected, for Chicago Now’s Blogapalooza-Hour. That’s our monthly challenge to write a post in one hour. The topic is “What are three pieces of advice you would give to your 16-year-old self?” Without further ado, here they are: Keep playing your cello, even... Read more »

Thoughts after finishing 'Moby-Dick'

Thoughts after finishing 'Moby-Dick'
Whew. I’ve finished reading Herman Melville’s novel, “Moby-Dick,” and survived. It’s been only a few minutes as I start writing this. I’m exhilarated, and not just from being able to add it to my “Books Finished” list for this year. (It’s no. 14, by the way.) The whole book seemed to build up to the last... Read more »

Words that make me happy

Words that make me happy
With thanks to my friends and Chicago Now colleagues, Judy Marcus at Opinionated Woman and H. Van Howe at Pizza for Breakfast, I hereby present my own version of their lists of things that make them happy. (Their lists are linked to their blog titles.) True to the focus of this blog, I have selected... Read more »
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Why I watched the royal wedding

Why I watched the royal wedding
  The Earl and Countess of Dumbarton, or if you will, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — oh, all right, Prince Harry and Meghan — got married today, and I got up early to watch. To doze on the sofa until things got moving, yes, but to watch. Why? I saw his parents’ wedding on TV,... Read more »

'Moby-Dick' - and why I took 'shore leave'

'Moby-Dick' - and why I took 'shore leave'
Have you ever had books come to your public library “on hold” that you’ve been waiting for? How about great books lent to you by a friend who’s eager for you to try them? Or how about just feeling like you’d like to finish a book for change, not be several hundred pages from each... Read more »

Another meeting in my imagination's Writers' Room: Senses and fiction

Another meeting in my imagination's Writers' Room: Senses and fiction
In the Writers’ Room  of my imagination, it’s time for another meeting of the committee  of great writers who have been “advising” me about my novel-in-progress. (If you’re not up to date with “transcripts” of previous meetings, catch up at the highlighted links.) This time, I set the agenda myself: I wanted to know about whether... Read more »
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'Moby-Dick' - It's a coffee pot, Mr. Starbuck

'Moby-Dick' - It's a coffee pot, Mr. Starbuck
As I continue to read “Moby-Dick,” I’ve found references to the sailors’ drinking habits at last. I found the following in Chapter 81, “The Pequod Meets the Virgin” (a German ship): “‘What has he in his hand there?’ cried Starbuck, pointing to something wavingly held by the German. ‘Impossible! — a lamp-feeder!’     “‘Not... Read more »

Why people say 'Mayday' (and why this won't get read on the radio)

Why people say 'Mayday' (and why this won't get read on the radio)
Happy May 1! That’s how you’ll probably hear today mentioned on radio and TV. You’re extremely unlikely to hear it mentioned as a little holiday you may have celebrated at school, May Day. (Even the parades in Russia are usually described as May 1 parades.) That’s because Mayday is the international signal for distress. It... Read more »