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I spent most of the day with the camper-writers of GreenRow Books' WordPlay camp. If you're in or near Ellicott City, Maryland, check out this charming independent bookstore. The cookbook selection alone is something else.


The faintest of rainbows...

...over my garage the other day. But as my friend said to me, even a faint rainbow is a rainbow.



Finally, finally, spring is enough of a certainty that people around me are mulching. Winter, I am grateful to see you gone.


Skype in the Classroom

I just finished a week of World-Read-Aloud-Day Skyping, Quito to Ontario--fourteen virtual visits in total. I glimpsed Wisconsinites and Virginians in spirit-week pajamas, Ecuadorians in school uniforms, and the really cool reading bunk (actual bunk beds) of a New York State fifth-grade classroom. Technology and books, teachers and librarians, students and reading--they're all pretty magical. Thanks to Skype in the Classroom for serving as a sort of literary matchmaker between schools and authors. Thanks also to my dog Lulu, for not being grumpy that I woke her up fourteen times to wave at the camera. 


Chambers of Wonders

One of my favorite places in Baltimore is the Walters Art Museum's Chamber of Wonders. In a series of rooms overlooking the Mount Vernon neighborhood, museum curators have assembled what a seventeenth-century nobleman from what was then the Southern Netherlands might have gathered in a space of his own--objects of curiosity and beauty, kept on permanent display.

I love looking at other people's work spaces--at the small chambers of wonders we all create routinely, without much forethought or deliberation. Next to laptops and graphics tablets and calculators I've seen, among other items, cicada husks, kindergarteners' pinch pots, sea glass, and long-dried-out fountain pens. Though clutter normally makes me kind of antsy, my own work space's chamber of wonders gets fuller every year. Just this month, my newest acquisition came along: a wood block that my great-aunt, a graphic artist, created for a Methodist church association decades ago.

For me, the wonder of this block is not just the grace of the lettering and design, but the fact that she achieved that grace while carving into wood--and working backward, to boot. (It's kind of like that quote about Ginger Rogers--dancing backward and in heels.) My great-aunt probably thought nothing of this wood block, but I think it's a marvel.