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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

Writing Road Trip by Lisa Bullard | Shifting Gears Maurice the Unbeastly Writing Road Trip by Lisa Bullard | Drive Skinny Dip with Margarita Engle Rufus Blasts Off!

Bookstorm™: Giant Pumpkin Suite

Giant Pumpkin Suite

Competition is a part of young people’s lives: art, sports, music, dance, science, cup-stacking … many children spend a good part of their day practicing, learning, and striving to do their best. Giant Pumpkin Suite is about two types of competitions, a Bach Cello Suites Competition and a giant pumpkin growing competition. Rose and Thomas [...]

Skinny Dip with Patti Lapp

Patti Lapp

A dedicated educator in Pennsylvania, we invited Patti Lapp to answer our twenty Skinny Dip questions.   Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? Mr. Jordan was my favorite teacher who taught 7th grade. He was funny and straightforward; all of us students respected him, and he certainly kept everyone in line. I [...]

Shifting Gears

Lisa Bullard

The only argument I’ve ever witnessed between Teenage Nephew 1 and Longtime Girl-friend was a doozy. And I couldn’t help chortling with glee because the basis of their disagreement was so close to my heart: What makes for the best possible story? Actually, the way they put it was, “What’s better, ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Harry [...]

Pumpkin Muffins

Author Melanie Heuiser Hill believes that Gram, from her book Giant Pumpkin Suite, would be baking these pumpkin muffins this month.

The Book Box

Candice Ransom

For a fiction workshop, I asked participants to bring in childhood books that influenced them to become a writer. Naturally, I did the assignment myself. Choosing the books was easy, but they felt insubstantial in my hands, vintage hardbacks that lacked the heft of, say, the last Harry Potter. When it came my turn to [...]

E.B. White

A couple of weeks ago I was in the basement of the Science and Engineering Library at the University of Minnesota getting a little writing in before work. It’s a good spot—there’s a nice coffee shop, nothing in the stacks is intelligible to me on that floor so I’m not distracted, and it’s quiet and [...]

Getting Inside the Head of the Long Dead

Pamela S. Turner

Don’t be alarmed by the ghoulishness of my title. Trying to resurrect the life of someone who turned to dust centuries ago is a challenge, especially if the person left behind no personal writings such as letters or diaries. But it can be done. In preparation for writing Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto [...]

To Bee or Not to Bee

Jackie:  It’s good to be back on this blog this month. We took a necessary break, but cannot be away from talking about books for too long. The pressure builds… Phyllis is busy writing in the North Woods, so I am bee-side myself with enthusiasm for doing this blog. We have a make-shift birdbath on [...]

Food for Thought

As the first month of a new school year comes to a close, I offer some food for thought about nourishing our teachers. Literally and figuratively. Years ago when I was working on my administrator’s license I discovered a gem of a book called If You Don’t Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students! Guide [...]

For The Beast in Us All

Maurice the Unbeastly

The theme of being yourself is familiar. Many books, movies, and plays are devoted to this idea. When it’s done well, we all sit up a little straighter, laugh more confidently, and dream about all the things we’d like to do to be true to who we are. Children need to hear this message often [...]


Lisa Bullard

I was planning a road trip to Northern Minnesota to teach at a Young Author’s Conference and decided to include a small detour to my past: the town of Bemidji, where we lived when I was in 2nd through 5th grades. So after the conference wrapped, I spent a couple of happy days traveling down [...]

Skinny Dip with Stephanie Calmenson

Stephanie Calmenson

Author of the beloved Dinner at the Panda Palace, Stephanie Calmenson has shared her love of literature with early childhood and elementary readers by channeling her enthusiasm for their experiences into her books.   Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? I loved my kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cogan, who taught with warmth and joy. [...]

Qualifying Credibility

I long for the good ol’ days when everyone agreed that facts were true and fiction was make-believe and made-up facts were lies. Several years ago, the disseminating of current events entered the truthiness zone—only to emerge in today’s surreal “alternate facts” parallel universe. It is understandably difficult for many people—and especially young people—to know [...]

Windward into Revision

Author Candice Ransom

In August 2016, I traveled to Vinalhaven Island off the coast of Maine to participate in a week-long festival honoring former resident Margaret Wise Brown. I gave a talk one evening, and, most fun of all, led a workshop in which attendees penned poetry and even a picture book in Margaret’s lyrical style. Back home [...]

Bless This Mouse

Over the last month or so, my nieces and I have been reading Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry. We started it on one scaryish night when I picked them up at the hospital emergency room. My brother-in-law had a mishap with a chisel in the garage resulting in a flesh wound that created an [...]

Adjust Your Mirrors

Lisa Bullard

You get a different view of the road behind you depending on which of your car’s mirrors you look into. And writers can direct readers to a different outlook on their story depending on which point of view they use as the “mirror” for the events that take place. I’ve found that point of view [...]

No Pigs in Space?

Rufus Blasts Off!

Some of my readers know that the very first story I wrote (in second grade) was Pigs in Space. I still have it. I still wonder whatever prompted me to write it. This was before the Muppets launched their pigs into space. And it was definitely before Kim T. Griswell and Valeri Gorbachev launched their [...]

Always the Weather

(originally written in October 2016) According to the real estate establishment in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, there are, on average, 242 days of sunshine. That is, they claim more shining sun than in Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles. That’s the way it is today: An absolutely clear blue sky, with not one cloud. [...]