Posts Tagged ‘writing’

WRITING & BULLYING

February 22, 2018

Lara medium

Tomorrow I’m off to Columbus, OH, for the weekend to speak at a convention of teachers of English and Language Arts–wonderful people who still believe in our kids and want them to love reading and writing and to excel in both in an atmosphere of kindness, compassion, and safety. I’ve never met a teacher–or a student–who hasn’t witnessed bullying. Then one night about 3 AM, all of these concerns came together for me when I woke up and could almost hear this tough girl saying, “This is not about me. This story, I mean. So already you got a reason to hang it up.” I got up, crossed the hall to my office, and began writing what may be the most surprising (to me) book I’ve ever written. I had no idea where the story was going, and I usually do when I begin writing. In the end, it came to be about the effects of bullying, the promise of returning kindness for meanness, and the possibility of touching and changing lives in school and out. Plus, the book contains, in real time as action proceeds, just about everything I know about writing, with chapter titles like: Character; Villain, Setting, Dialogue, Opposition, Conflict, Details, Rising Action, Climax, Resolution.

If you’ve read about Lara and Laney, I’d love to hear from you. You can learn more about the book at http://www.dandibooks.com.

 

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WITH LOVE, FRANK’S PHOTOS

January 25, 2018

write table vittel fr (2)

My last post showed a picture Helen sent to Frank. On the back of that photo, Helen wrote: “Don’t miss the background–someone always close.” The background showed her pictures of Frank. I wish this photo were clearer, but it’s evident that Frank had the same idea. On the back of this photo, he wrote: “my writing table.” The last years of Mom’s life, first in Missouri, then in Ohio with us, on her dresser she had pictures of Frank. And on the window ledge beside her bed sat their wedding picture, the framed photo above, on the right, the couple in their Army uniforms on their wedding day. It was the last thing she saw every night. I’m looking at it now, as it’s on the wall just to the right of my computer screen.  What special pictures do you keep close?

WITH LOVE…WHEREVER YOU’RE GOING

January 18, 2018
train

Lt. Frank on a German Freight Train

My last post was of Mom (Helen) in her helmet, so I needed to post this one of Dad (Frank) in his. He hated to cover his curly black hair, but he definitely needed to wear his helmet. Here, he’s on a “captured” German train that had carried prisoners to concentration camps. He and a few other doctors are heading to Alsace-Lorraine, and then he’ll move into German battlefields. In case you’re wondering what’s with that odd expression, the only words on back of the photo are: “I’m sucking on a piece of hard candy.”

WITH LOVE…WHATEVER YOUR BAGGAGE

January 16, 2018

baggage (2)

I love the smile on Lt. Helen Eberhart’s face here. This photo doesn’t give her location, but I’m guessing someone snapped the picture early in her WW2 service as an Army nurse in England and France. Look at those un-Army shoes, which soldiers weren’t to wear, and this must have been one of the few times she wore her helmet (She hated all Army “hats.”). And yet . . . look at that smile.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE continued

January 12, 2018

Helen and Frank (2)

Guess what! I thought I’d have to rely on photos I posted last year, but I discovered some new ones–if you call pictures from 1944 new. They weren’t in the Army trunk, but in a very small photo album I discovered while searching for something in the attic. The photos are a bit faded and blurry; but if you’ve read the book, you’ll recognize Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley and Lt. (later, Capt.) Frank R. Daley, Army nurse and doctor in WW2, my parents.

MERRY CHRISTMAS #5

December 21, 2017

christmas-4.jpeg

Tradition! I’ve been reading up on the history of wreathes, and most accounts credit the ancient Persians for using the wreathe as a symbol of wealth and success. Later, the Greeks placed wreathes on the heads of winners of the Olympic Games. And in ancient Rome, rulers like Caesar wore wreathes as crowns. So why do we hang these things at Christmas? I try not to get too caught up in the origin of our traditions because we can claim traditions for ourselves and use the symbols to take us deeper into the meaning of Christ’s birth. We can use an evergreen wreathe, long-lasting and circular, never-ending,  to tell our children about the everlasting life God’s promised us through Jesus.

In this photo, it looks like my sister and I are holding hymnals. So, what are some of your favorite Christmas hymns?

MERRY CHRISTMAS#3

December 14, 2017

Christmas 5

Merry Christmas, once again! True, this is a pretty funny card, pasted together by my dad. But it makes me think about the way my multitude of Christmas memories bounce around in my mind. At the time, this was my family (minus Santa): Mom and Dad looking much as I picture them in their WW2 days, young and handsome; my sister, Maureen, urging me to be quiet; Sugar, our first and beloved horse; Susie, our Dalmatian dog (I think that’s Susie at Santa’s feet.); a hint of house and fireplace; and a book. I’m not sure how much I understood about the true meaning of Christ’s birth, but that would come. Merry Christmas!

I would love to hear about your favorite Christmas memories!

FRANK THE STORYTELLER

November 14, 2017

Dad and Dandi

My dad, Captain Frank R. Daley, M.D., told me stories before I understood what he was saying. I remember that when I was very young, Mom would read me a story at bedtime. Then Dad would come in and make up a story. My favorites were part of a “Big Foot Dan” series, where Dan always beat Superman and Mighty Mouse in races. It wasn’t until a decade later that I figured out the amazing similarities between Dan’s feet and mine.

When I was a bit older, I got to partake in the story creation. Dad: “Once upon a time, there were four horses grazing on a hill. Their colors were. . .” Dandi’s turn: “Um, brown and brown and brown and brown?” Thankfully, my answers grew more sophisticated as time went on.  http://www.dandibooks.com

 

INHERITED STORYTELLING

November 7, 2017

Schnapps (2)

This is my mom, Lt. and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley, holding Schnapps on the steps of my grandparents’ home in Cissna Park, Illinois. Maybe because Grandma Eberhart was such a good storyteller, Mom was too. Even Grandpa Eberhart, never too talkative to the grandkids, told me stories of buying horses at auction and training and trading them.

When Mom was 3 years old and the Depression descended on America, she was sent to live with her aunts, away from her parents and siblings. She loved it! As the only child in residence from age 3-6, she received first-class spoiling. When she had to return home for the start of school, poor Helen saw her trunkful of lovely toys and dresses divided by her 10 siblings, who told her she wasn’t really one of them, but had been left on their step by the gypsies. Maybe that was good training to prepare her for serving in WW2, where she was called upon to speak German and care for German POW’s, causing some of her fellow nurses to whisper that she wasn’t one of them either. http://www.dandibooks.com

 

DAD’S STORIES

October 17, 2017

Dad Dandi

I remember sitting in that chair and listening to Dad’s stories until someone would make us quit–usually, a phone call from a sick person who needed a house call ASAP. Dad made his WW2 buddies come alive for me: Anderson, Lartz, colonels and majors, privates, doctors, and patients. He told me stories about his family–how my Uncle Jack ended up a spy in WW2, or how he quit his restaurant job in Columbia, MO, so that Dad could work there and put himself through school at Mizzou. And if I pressed him, he’d tell me about the beautiful nurse he met in Army training and married after only a few weeks–Helen Eberhart, my mom. http://www.dandibooks.com