My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

*&%# sink and two great nonfiction reads by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

I had a great writing day yesterday, and I was starting to get on top of the whole crazy house mess thing. Caught up on some correspondence, the whole thing. I just LOVE a good routine, and I was happy as can be. I planned to have a similar morning this morning, except for one small detail. My stupid kitchen sink got clogged (by a well-intentioned child who accidentally poured dog food into the dog's water dish, so he dumped it in the sink to make a fresh bowl, and guess what happened? IT swelled up and clogged the sink.), and I cannot unclog it. It's disgusting and smells like dog food. I've tried everything (okay, but a plumber, smarty pants). And while I was working on it just now, my dog stood there and stood there watching me, which was totally annoying. Then she finally just pooped right there on the floor in front of me, and I was, like, well, duh, I haven't even let her out. So then I had to clean THAT up. It has sucked up the last hour and a half (okay, and I did glance at Garnet Hill's online sale,too), so only NOW am I beginning to work. And let me say, the sink is still not unclogged. I just closed the door, so I don't have to smell it or think about it. Hopefully, it's unclogging itself as we speak. Which would be great. I mean, does Katherine Paterson deal with this? I haven't even eaten breakfast. Or looked at the paper.

Okay. Deep breaths. Deep cleansing yoga breaths. Chakras all asunder. Gather up and breathe.

(In a peppy convincing voice) I'm so glad you visited the blog today because I have two awesome books to talk to you about. I've been playing around with some nonfiction picture book material, and I was searching for some good examples. My friend told me about an author she had met at Highlight's ROOM TO CREATE (a workshop I aspire to one day attend). Her name is Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and I am so glad to find her. Her nonfiction work is amazing. It's complete, thorough, well-researched and (gasp) fun to read! I was completely sucked in by both books, KIDS ON STRIKE and BLACK POTATOES. KIDS ON STRIKE was a fascinating look at the child labor issues of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The first protests were led by children working in mills, mines and factories. Here's a warning, though: If you ever think your child is spoiled due to lack of hard work, this book will blow your mind. These kids worked 60 hour weeks; some of them as young as 6 and 7 years old. I would highly recommend this book to adults and children alike. (middle grade and up) A great fiction accompaniment to it is Katherine Paterson's BREAD AND ROSES,TOO. BLACK POTATOES gave an intense look at Ireland's great potato famine (1845-1850) and the way it impacted the Irish worldwide. You will never look at a potato the same way again.

It is Grateful Wed, and in the midst of all the craziness, I do want to take a moment and count my blessings. I encourage you to do the same.

I am grateful for:
1. healthy, kind, employed husband
2. healthy, hilarious, endlessly entertaining and awesome children
3. great friends
4. healthy extended family--parents, sibs, etc.
5. hope and faith and grace
6. my faithful readers!

Have a great day!

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