Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Knock Knock

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Virginia Euwer Wolff: The Guys’ Clubhouse

I didn’t even ask why I was turn­ing into Hold­en Caulfield. I was fif­teen, a brochure girl for post­war inno­cence. And I was a farm kid, three thou­sand miles away from Holden’s Man­hat­tan; I took vio­lin lessons, rode my bike through orchards, mem­o­rized social stud­ies facts, picked straw­ber­ries to make mon­ey, earned Camp Fire Girl […]

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Planting Giant Pumpkin Seeds

As I write this, Min­neso­ta is in line to get hit with anoth­er Major Win­ter Storm. I know many of you in the north­ern lat­i­tudes can sym­pa­thize as we’ve all been hit, but it’s mid-April, and even by Min­neso­ta stan­dards, this is demor­al­iz­ing. Proms are being can­celled this week­end, the gro­cery stores are crazy, everyone’s […]

David LaRochelle

The Kindness of Teachers

I loved first grade. Fifty-one years lat­er, I still have vivid mem­o­ries of my teacher, Miss Fol­lett. She played the piano every day. She read to us from her giant book of poet­ry. She showed us pho­tos of her trips to exot­ic places, like Alas­ka and Hawaii. At Hal­loween we screamed in ter­ror and delight […]

Amanda Panda

Art and Words, Words and Art

Thir­ty years ago, I bought a poster of “Jun­gle Tales” by J.J. Shan­non (1895) at the Met in New York City. I took it to my favorite framer, but when it was ready, I was hor­ri­fied to see they’d cut off Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art, The Children’s Book­shop at the bot­tom, fram­ing just the image.  […]

Mary Casanova

Tiny House, Cozy Cabin

A few months ago, my hus­band and I sold our home of 30 years and decid­ed to live full-time in our cozy cab­in in the woods. We left behind greater square footage, a quaint and some­times bustling vil­lage on the water­front, and a home with lots of fam­i­ly mem­o­ries. But it was time for a […]

Marion Dane Bauer

On Growing Older … Old

Why is “old­er” an accept­able word and “old” almost for­bid­den? To answer my own ques­tion, I sup­pose it’s because we’re all grow­ing old­er, even the four-year-old next door. But old … ah, old smacks of incom­pe­tence, of irrel­e­vance. Even worse, old smacks of that tru­ly obscene-to-our-soci­e­­ty word … death. I am approach­ing my birth­day month. […]

Author Candice Ransom

Windward into Revision

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 […]

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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. […]

Author Candice Ransom

A Working Writer’s Life, Part 2

[con­tin­ued from Part 1] After sev­er­al months, I real­ized New York didn’t rec­og­nize I was the Next Big Thing. I’d actu­al­ly have to write my sec­ond book and sell it. Tim­ing was on my side. It was the ear­ly 80s, when paper­backs filled mall book­store racks. Series books with new titles each month, priced for […]

Author Candice Ransom

A Working Writer’s Life, Part 1

One Sun­day morn­ing in May, 1970, I sat on the mus­­­tard-col­ored sofa in our liv­ing room with the Spring Children’s Books issue of the Wash­ing­ton Post Book World. I stud­ied the reviews as some­one who intend­ed to have her book reviewed in that pub­li­ca­tion, prefer­ably the Spring 1971 issue. The back page fea­tured an ad […]

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Knowing My Own Mind

There are times when I don’t know my own mind. Worse, there are times when I think I know my mind per­fect­ly well and then find an entire­ly dif­fer­ent mind on a lat­er vis­it to my opin­ions. Which feels almost as though I have no mind at all. Some time ago one of my favorite […]

Mary Casanova

Babies and Puppies

What, real­ly, can be more life-affir­m­ing than a beau­ti­ful baby or cud­dly pup­pies? On June 26th, both arrived in our lives. One baby—our first grand­child, Olivia—born to our son and Kore­an daugh­­­ter-in-law. We received the news via Face­Time from Seoul, South Korea. Though they had Broad­way relat­ed jobs in NYC, they opt­ed to move to […]

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Behind the Poem, “What She Asked”

Lis­ten to Virginia’s poem, “What She Asked,” on Poet­ry Mosa­ic, the April 7th entry, and then read her descrip­tion of the real-life event behind the poem. In a rur­al Ore­gon high school where I taught Eng­lish more than 20 years ago, we had big teach­ing areas sep­a­rat­ed by screen-wall things, but they came nowhere near […]

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In Draft

He was always chas­ing the next draft of him­self.”  Amer­i­can crit­ic Dwight Gar­ner, in the New York Times Book Review on Feb­ru­ary 16 of this year, was describ­ing the child­hood of Hen­ry James. An expand­able list comes to mind, some of our mem­o­rable fig­ures mov­ing toward the next draft of them­selves: Anne Shirley, Hold­en Caulfield, […]

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My Work-Study Internship

The first col­lege I attend­ed was Anti­och Col­lege in Yel­low Springs, Ohio. It had a work-study cur­ricu­lum in which half your year was spent work­ing off-cam­­­pus on some job relat­ing to your pro­fes­sion­al aspi­ra­tions. At that time, being inter­est­ed in the the­atre, I was offered and took a job at a Cleve­land tele­vi­sion sta­tion. A […]