1 – Level Up!

April 1st, today, is the beginning of National Poetry Month. Here is a great poem from blogging friend, Jen Payne.

He was a giant black dog

wooly from toes to eyes

— if he had them —

and every morning

on my way to school

at the end of the street

he would race down his driveway



……………full speed

………………..and full bark

full enough to scare anyone

most especially my 11-year-old self

who hadn’t quite figured out

what to do with her monsters yet

except run, run, run.

Then His name is Sam,

a voice yelled from a dark, dusty window

in the gray house set back from the road,

Sam, it rolled down the driveway

and across my path, a magic coin,

a power token, password — SAM

and I knew exactly what to do!

The next morning, I bravely stood,

hands on hips and waited

David me for Goliath he

at the end of his driveway

waited and waited and…

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Rest in Peace, Tomie dePaola


Carla Loves To Read

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Sad News. Tomie dePaola, groundbreaker in the field of children’s literature, artist, storyteller, mentor to a generation of children’s book artists died on Thursday as a result of a head injury.
Perhaps best known for his telling of Strega Nona, Tomie also wrote and illustrated the groundbreaking Oliver Button is a Sissy. Generations of families coped with grieving sharing Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs. His early chapter book memoir 26 Fairmont Avenue is the perfect mentor text for emergent readers and writers to tell their own stories. We ask that you share a story, light a candle, read one of his books aloud.

Thomas Anthony “Tomie” dePaola was an American writer and illustrator who had created more than 260 children’s books such as Strega Nona. He received the Children’s Literature Legacy Award for his lifetime contribution to American children’s literature in 2011.

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THE PASSION OF ARTEMISIA by Susan Vreeland(2002) : A Review

One of my bucket list reading goals is to read all seven novels Susan Vreeland wrote. She is a sublime author who has taught me so much fact in her fiction, ranging from the treatment of women in Italy in the 1500s to how to make stained glass windows and Tiffany lamps. Her detail is amazing, but never boring. Her sentences flow with a poetic vibe that strikes a chord in any sensitive reader.

I did not know there was a female painter in Italy in 1500 whose fame rivaled Michaelangelo, and indeed, her paintings were greatly influenced by him. Her name was Artemisia Gentileschi, and the multitude of things she achieved during her  lifetime in spite of a vindictive, jealous, uncaring father, whose friend raped her, arranged a marriage of convenience to an “adequate” painter in order to save his own reputation, and a daughter who disappointedly had no interest in painting. She embarks on a “lifelong search to reconcile family life, passion, and genius.” The book itself is a work of art. She is definitely a pioneering woman, ahead of her time and because of this suffered for her art. A sensitive story, including a search for meaning and peace on a spiritual level, Passion is one of Vreeland’s best novels.

Coping Tools

I hope this blog post finds you safe and healthy, with a good selection of coping tools at the ready. Goodness know we need them right now.

My coping tools include reading escapist fiction, keeping creative, taking long naps, and maintaining some semblance of a normal routine with my business and my writing. If you’re like me, work offers a familiar place to settle into when the world outside is swirling too fast and crazy to recognize.

While we wait in this holding pattern, I’ll be posting regularly here on Random Acts of Writing, trying to share words of wisdom, coping strategies, and the saving grace of humor when possible.

Like this. This lovely piece of wisdom I saw online this week. During this time of social distancing and quarantines, ask yourself:

  • What am I grateful for today?
  • Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
  • What…

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Books That Made Me Smile, Laugh, Inspired Me & Gave Me Hope…

Hooked On Bookz

This month has been chaotic with all that’s been going on with Covid-19; so many people are either directly or indirectly affected by it. To those risking their lives to help, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You are all heroes! As for the rest of us, we can help them by staying home and practice social distancing. Annnddd….WASH WASH WASH YOUR HANDS!

During stressful times like this, I usually go for light, entertaining reads and/or inspiring ones. So here are some of my recommendations!


The Hike‘ came highly recommended. Ben goes on a business trip in Pennsylvania, checks into a hotel, then he decides totake a short hike, which leads him into the woodsbehind his hotel. And that’s when his hiketook a bizarre turn, one that he’ll never forget. In his journey, we meetman-eating giants, bizarre…

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First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books, and many of my blogging friends participate. Here is my Firstliner from Susan Vreeland (I am trying to read all seven of her novels about art.). Clara and Mr. Tiffany is in large print and was obtained from my local library (which is now closed).

“I opened the beveled-glass door under the sign announcing Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in ornate bronze. A new sign with a new name. Fine, I felt new too.”

Yes. Clara, newly a widow, got the job she applied for and her adventures in making glass decorations and windows began. I am now on p. 184 and learning about the making of glass objects, stained glass windows, and the submission of Tiffany windows at the World’s Fair of 1900. This novel is wonderfully researched in addition to being a darned good read.