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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Knock Knock


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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? […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]