Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Knock Knock

Mary Casanova

Unexpected Visitors

As writ­ers, we learn to expect the unex­pect­ed and be ready to cap­ture expe­ri­ences in words. One such moment stands out from this past win­ter for me. My hus­band and I were sleep­ing in our cab­in loft, on 60 acres where we keep our hors­es. I woke at 3 am to crunch­ing snow below our win­dow.… more

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Molting Advice

Lev­el 1 books teem with action. Illus­tra­tions match the nar­ra­tive. If the read­er has trou­ble decod­ing the text, the art pro­vides nec­es­sary cues.

Lisa Bullard

Lisa Bullard: My Not-So-Overnight Success

Ear­ly on, when peo­ple would ask my kid self what I want­ed to be when I grew up, I’d answer “Shoe Sales­per­son.” But then I dis­cov­ered that feet some­times smell, and I moved on to a dif­fer­ent dream: Book Writer. I could invent a great sto­ry and tell you that I craft­ed a long-term plan to real­ize my dream.… more

Lynne Jonell

Lynne Jonell: Accessing Childhood Emotion

They say that, if you’re a doc­tor, it’s not some­thing you want to admit to at an event where you’re going to have to make small talk with a lot of strangers. Because invari­ably peo­ple will want your opin­ion on their rash, or the fun­ny flut­ter in their chest, or the odd bump on their knee.… more

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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 air dur­ing 2015, I wave my own lit­tle flags of grat­i­tude to some of my men­tors and acci­den­tal teach­ers.… more

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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 qui­eter life — one that sup­ports and nur­tures cre­ativ­i­ty — and writ­ing.… more

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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 intro­duced me to mid­­dle-grade and young-adult nov­els.… more

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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? Some­thing hap­pens to a sto­ry when it is pop­u­lat­ed by ani­mals, some­thing easy to feel but dif­fi­cult to define.… more

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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 but has nei­ther the time nor mon­ey to enroll in an MFA pro­gram, how — exact­ly — do I go about find­ing some­one who’s qual­i­fied, will­ing, and avail­able to men­tor me?”… more

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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 and ori­gins of Indo-Euro­­pean lan­guages.… more

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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 I had been car­ry­ing bags of cement up a lad­der? … more

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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 book, but in this case, I decid­ed to tack­le a long-neglec­t­ed task — orga­niz­ing my dig­i­tal pho­tos.… more

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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 in my lit­tle jour­nal and end­ed up unwrap­ping it in a lone­ly hotel room in south­ern Wis­con­sin after a par­tic­u­lar­ly mis­er­able book sign­ing of three peo­ple.… more

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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 (my moth­er wouldn’t let me do this at sup­per, though I often kept my library book open on the seat of the next chair).… more

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