What's In a (Starbucks) Name?

Amoeba. Armenia. Ambibia. Ar-na-by...what's your name, baby? It's rare for someone to say my name correctly on the first try. It happens, but it's rare. I've been called all of those above and a few others that make less sense. And by less sense I mean less sense of a seemingly normal person who thought Amoeba could be correct. ...more
My kids friends ask them if their mom was a hippie because of their names:  Chip, Seth, Cecily, ...more

You Know You've Been Blogging Too Long When ...

Remember when the whole idea of "blogging" was fresh and new? When you had to explain to everyone around just what the heck "blogging" is? And when "blogging" always had quotes around it, because no one knew what to make of it? ...more
When your kids laugh at your ten followers on your blog and are "twitter Famous" and have ...more

Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
@Heather Haley I'm glad your community took care of you when they needed it.more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
@sayitrahshay Yay showtunes!more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
@sayitrahshay It's always better with a song!more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
Barbecue. My family loves grilling and barbecue is a big deal.more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
Oh yes. I left high school behind long ago. But I also lost a lot of friends in doing that. I ...more

Who Do You Want To Be?

When we first met Lissy Ryder in Jen Lancaster's novel Here I Go Again, she didn't know who she wanted to be. She was still focused on who she had been. Her high school days has been her glory days, so why should she want to be any different than she was in her teens? During the course of the novel she learns that if you stay who you were, you'll never become who you are supposed to be....more
@megandemo One of the tips I hear repeated the most to aspiring writers is to read widely. ...more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
@Karen Ballum  @MommyRachelle yes i think so tomore

Is My Willpower Challenge Over Now?

When we first starting talking about Kelly McGonigal's book The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It, I was intrigued but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about actually doing my willpower challenge. What would I learn? Would be be scary? What if I failed? Well, I've learned and I've struggled. Does that mean I'm done now? ...more
@vstembridge Not cheesy! I like it.more