Monday, February 14, 2011


Today, my thoughts are with Les Ann Halvorsen who passed away last week. Some people do great things in their lives, and shout it from mountaintops, in newspapers, on Face Book and any other avenue where they can gather an audience. Other people do great things quietly, and smile from the wings as they see how their accomplishments have affected others. Les Ann falls into the second group. She gave so many gifts to our community, all given gracefully and selflessly.
I would not be surprised if many of you reading this have never heard her name. Les would be OK with this, but, when you drive past Holiday House, next December when you buy your Christmas wreath from the disabled workers there, if time you see people conversing in sigh language, or witness
the success of an English as a second language speaker, think of Les Ann. These are just a few of the contributions she made...always a champion of the challenged minority! What an inspiration!

*****Two weeks ago, I received a little card from a former student, now a friend, named Kari. Kari has started an appreciation blog. Each week she sends out a card to someone and writes a bit on her blog. Kari plans to appreciate someone each week for year. I was week #22. You can check out her blog at This is great idea and got me thinking about how I don't thank people enough, either publically or privately. So, I'm stealing this idea from Kari. I'm not sending a card to Kari, since I know she reads this blog.

So, I begin. Week #1. Kari, thank you. Thank you for reminding me to pat people on the back. Actions deserving praise don't have to be grand or flashy. Most often, I forget to thank people when they have brightened my day by making me laugh, or diverting my attention from what may have been the whine of the hour. Your note, for example, showed up just when I needed it, and I hope that my messages will do the same.

Why not give it a try. If you want to do the same, and are not sure of how to set up a blog, I would be glad to help you.

***I haven't written too much about books lately, but I promise to re-focus in the coming weeks. Last week, Casey Martin, publisher of Home Brew Press, asked me to write a cover blurb for this soon to be published collection of Justin Isherwood essays. If she chooses to use it, it will appear on the cover with other endorsements, including one by award-winning Wisconsin writer, Jerry Apps. Now, don't go thinking I'm blowing my own horn here. It makes me giggle, and would love to see the puzzled looks when people read the back of the book. Maybe Casey will change my name, and give me an exotic sounding title in hopes of adding credibility to the blurb.

I started a book-clubbish novel called The Weird Sisters which, as the title suggests, draws heavily on Shakespearean themes and quotations. So far, I like it.

HAPPY VALENTINES' DAY! (Help! Is that where that pesky apostrophe belongs?)
(Don't you just love those people who say Valentimes Day?)

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