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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Knock Knock

bk_FallenAngels

At the Dying of the Year

by Vir­ginia Euw­er Wolff Now win­ter downs the dying of the year, And night is all a set­tle­ment of snow…  —Richard Wilbur, “Year’s End”   We all have our cir­cles of par­tic­u­lar­ly mourned lost ones. As our hemi­sphere dark­ens down in this ele­giac sea­son of the win­ter equinox, and death has been so relent­less­ly in the […]

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Mary Casanova: Cultivating Quiet

by Mary Casano­va Eudo­ra Wel­ty wrote in One-Writer’s Begin­nings: “Long before I wrote sto­ries, I lis­tened for sto­ries.” The more I write, the more I find that writ­ing is about lis­ten­ing to sto­ries that need to be told. Lis­ten­ing at a deeply intu­itive lev­el, how­ev­er, demands shut­ting out a fre­net­ic world in favor of a […]

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The Power of Fiction to Help Kids Grow

by Eliz­a­beth Fixmer The years I spent in pri­vate prac­tice as a psy­chother­a­pist spe­cial­iz­ing in work with chil­dren pro­pelled me to become a children’s writer. My use of books as a ther­a­py adjunct evolved over time, as did my respect and even­tu­al awe for the pow­er of fic­tion as a change agent. My young clients […]

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Marion Dane Bauer: Animals in Stories, Animals in the World

by Mar­i­on Dane Bauer Who doesn’t love a pup­py? Well, admit­ted­ly there are some folks who don’t, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing how dif­fi­cult both ends of such crea­tures are to keep under con­trol. So let’s rephrase the ques­tion: Who doesn’t love a pup­py in a children’s sto­ry? Or even a frog or a toad, for that mat­ter? […]

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Jen Bryant: The Writing Apprenticeship

by Jen Bryant Sev­er­al months ago, I was asked to be on a pan­el for a new-writ­ers work­shop. Dur­ing the ques­tion and answer peri­od, one woman com­ment­ed: “I keep hear­ing that writ­ing is a craft that requires time and prac­tice to mas­ter. I get that … but as some­one who’s eager to be an appren­tice […]

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Liza Ketchum: Serendipity

Serendip­i­ty is one of my favorite words. I love its dance­like sound and the way it trips off the tongue. Accord­ing to my dic­tio­nary, serendip­i­ty means “the fac­ul­ty of mak­ing for­tu­nate dis­cov­er­ies by acci­dent.” I find the ety­mol­o­gy of words fas­ci­nat­ing. Even as a child, I liked to study the maps that show the rela­tion­ship […]

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Avi: Bags of Cement

For rea­sons both bor­ing and com­plex, I cur­rent­ly find myself under oblig­a­tion to deliv­er four nov­els before the next twelve months are out. Two are writ­ten, but under­go­ing revi­sions. A third has start­ed. The fourth has noth­ing on paper; only in my mind. Is it an acci­dent that my shoul­ders have been aching, as if […]

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Melissa Stewart: A Different View

Recent­ly, I spent sev­er­al weeks strug­gling with a work in progress. Day after day, the words just wouldn’t flow. Over the years, I’ve learned that there’s no way to force a stub­born man­u­script. I just have to focus on some­thing else until my mind some­how sorts things out. Some­times I begin work on a dif­fer­ent […]

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Debra Frasier: A Series of Mistakes

Fif­teen years ago my ten year old daugh­ter came home with a sto­ry. “Mom, “ she said, “today I fig­ured out that “mis­cel­la­neous” is NOT a per­son.” I burst out laugh­ing. “So who did you think it was?” I asked. “I thought she was that woman on the green spaghet­ti box…” I saved her gift-of-a-mis­­­­­take […]

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Candice Ransom: Being Ten

Every sum­mer I wish I was ten again, the per­fect age for the per­fect sea­son. At that age I was at the height of my child­hood pow­ers. And as a read­er, books couldn’t be thrust into my hands fast enough. Every morn­ing I’d eat a bowl of Rice Krispies, with my book at the table […]

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Lisa Bullard: My Superpower

When I do school vis­its, the stu­dents treat me like a super­hero. The time with them is exhil­a­rat­ing, and it would take a much more hard­ened heart than mine to resist the curios­i­ty and imag­i­na­tion these young peo­ple exhib­it. But my class­room days also leave me bone-deep exhaust­ed. One after­noon, mid­way through a week­long res­i­den­cy, […]

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Lynne Jonell: Justice in Another World

by Lynne Jonell I just met a woman who lived through hor­ri­fy­ing emo­tion­al abuse as a child. I had been told about her his­to­ry some years before; but when I met the woman, we didn’t men­tion it. We talked instead about books, a sub­ject of com­mon inter­est, and teach­ing, her pas­sion. I made an effort […]

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Virginia Euwer Wolff: Considering Flaubert

by Vir­ginia Euw­er Wolff For years I’ve tak­en prim­i­tive com­fort in Gus­tave Flaubert’s mid-nine­­­teenth cen­tu­ry remark in a let­ter to a friend: “Last week I spent five days writ­ing one page.” And Gar­ri­son Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac remind­ed us (Dec. 12, 2014) that Flaubert often put in a com­ma one day and took it out the […]

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Mary Casanova: Three Questions

A year of school vis­its has just con­clud­ed, but I can’t unpack quite yet. I’ll soon head out on a book tour to sup­port the release of my lat­est titles. The ques­tions I get when I meet read­ers depend on the book—whether it’s a new release I’m pro­mot­ing or an old­er book a class has […]

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Elizabeth Verdick: A Look at “Autism Fiction”

by Eliz­a­beth Verdick I spent the month of April read­ing children’s fic­tion fea­tur­ing char­ac­ters with Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der (ASD). April was Autism Aware­ness Month, but that wasn’t my only moti­va­tion. I love children’s lit­er­a­ture, I have writ­ten non­fic­tion about ASD, and I’m rais­ing a son who’s on the autism spec­trum. I won­dered, Which mid­­­dle-grade sto­ries […]