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

Little Earthquakes: A Good American

If you are like me, when you turn the last page in Alex George's novel, A Good American, all you'll be able to think is "Wow!" You'll find yourself in a bit of a fog as you stop and think back on the journey that you just finished. Of course, I mean all this in the best possible way. ...more
Interesting how big an "earthquake" feels at the time it's happening but when future generations ...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

Music Tells Your Story

One of the things I probably identified the most with in Jen Lancaster's Here I Go Again were the discussions between Lissy and Brian about music. When you are teenager, few things feel bigger than the music you listen to in high school. It becomes the soundtrack for that part of your life, and you carry it with you going forward....more
Anything from Culture Club, Madonna, Duran Duran, or Wham! brings me right back to high school.more

The 10 Year Plan

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic....more
I need to read this book!  Planning is in my blood!more

What's Your Perfect Moment from November?

Perfect Moment Monday, a bloghop that began in 2008, is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:...more
@Kathy Benson Thank you! I really liked the new Elf on the Shelf tradition in your post.more