Of Novels and Webmischief

One of my goals this year has been to get more of my work out there — not necessarily through the traditional publishing route, but on my blog, through medium, and — rather ambitiously — by posting the first novel I ever wrote (under a pen name) free on the web. So if you’re curiousContinue reading “Of Novels and Webmischief”

Mr. Bell

Mr. Bell wafts into the shop on a near-winter’s eve, hunched over his stick, little beetle eyes glittering. “You have some books for me,” he tells me at the counter, and so far, so good, though he’s approached my till from the wrong side of the queue. “Sure thing, what’s your surname?” “It’s Bell,” heContinue reading “Mr. Bell”

How you can use Nanowrimo to build a year-long writing practice

Five days into November, the fireworks are flying, the coffee is flowing, and all over the world, novelists from all walks of life are furiously scribbling away, aiming to reach the goal of writing 50,000 words by the end of the month. Started in 1999 when Chris Baty was told, in no uncertain terms, thatContinue reading “How you can use Nanowrimo to build a year-long writing practice”

Six Things I Learned from Reading like THREE HUNDRED Stories Written by Six-Year-Olds

As a judge for Wimbledon Bookfest, I read three hundred (and forty two) stories written by children between the ages of six and eleven. 

This is what I learned.

My Take: “My Brother’s Name is Jessica” by John Boyne

First off, let me put one thing out there before anything else — I went into reading this book with the best intentions and only the fullest sympathy for John Boyne as an author. I knew about the controversy that had erupted on twitter and social media (as it does), and I picked up our shop’s ARCContinue reading “My Take: “My Brother’s Name is Jessica” by John Boyne”

Goodbye, SIDAS. Goodbye, Slovakia.

Note To Readers: The Next few blog posts are from my Slovakia backlog. I am posting them quite a few months after the fact.  At the very beginning of this crazy journey, when I first put in my application for SIDAS Active English weeks, it was part of a larger winter adventure plan designed toContinue reading “Goodbye, SIDAS. Goodbye, Slovakia.”

The Scavenger Hunt Dictation: a Hyper-Active Activity for Teaching English to Young Learners

If you’ve ever wanted to see your kids crawl under a desk while learning English, then have I got the activity for you! Probably one of my favorite things to do with young learners during the first few days of class, this variation on the running dictation is adapted to be just a bit moreContinue reading “The Scavenger Hunt Dictation: a Hyper-Active Activity for Teaching English to Young Learners”

Village Life

Note To Readers: The Next few blog posts are from my Slovakia backlog. I am posting them quite a few months after the fact.  Stary Tekov is a proper village. There is no possible way it can be confused with a town–not with a population of less than fifteen hundred people, where the only restaurantContinue reading “Village Life”

Further Adventures in Vegetarianism

Note To Readers: The Next few blog posts are from my Slovakia backlog. I am posting them quite a few months after the fact.  It’s the last week before my Easter Break, and having arrived just this afternoon in a village known as Stary Tekov, yet again, I find myself lucky to have gotten dinner.Continue reading “Further Adventures in Vegetarianism”