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  • Entering the resolution-free zone

    For all I know, the Twilight Zone marathon (original 1950s-60s iteration) on Syfy Channel could still be broadcasting. It certainly underscored many of our household activities on New Year's weekend. As I stirred blackeyed peas, unhooked tree ornaments, and dragged boxes of lights back up the attic...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 01-03-2012
  • The advantages of being two-faced

    The second day after Christmas--time for two annual post-Yule pursuits: eating cookies and confronting my holiday hypocrisy. I have no qualms about scooping up epic post-season markdowns mere hours after The Day, yet I choose to be deeply offended by the sight of a discarded tree consigned to the curb...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 12-27-2011
  • We believe Yule love these

    Our family's new holiday ritual: If the Christmas lights are on when you pull into the driveway, proceed to the row of aging candle lights outlining the flower bed. Twist the bulb on the fifth candle from the end. It will come back on, which means that its neighbor will stop flickering, thus encouraging...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 12-19-2011
  • Mary had a little stereotype

    At our house, It's a Wonderful Life is only the third most popular Christmas movie, after the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol and Love Actually . It's a very solid #3, though, and we happily anticipate the 2011 viewing. My husband and daughter never miss an opportunity to laugh and...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 12-13-2011
  • ...And a squirrel in a live oak tree

    I have elected not to heed the holiday gift suggestions from major advertisers (i.e., buy everyone on your shopping list a car, big-screen TV, or smartphone.) But here's a prime reading tip for you or for a guest who arrives at your house having already finished all his/her bestsellers while languishing...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 12-06-2011
  • Writing for amateurs, bowling for vampires

    Should I go with the classic "You like me, you really like me!" or the even more classic "Thank you, thank you very much"? Of course, my novel will deservedly never see the light of day, so my National Book Award acceptance speech is not a major concern. (However, if I ever need a...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 11-28-2011
  • Book groups are like snake oil

    Both sound tempting and address issues other than the one you intended. Of course, snake oil only answers the question of what to do with a portion of your money. The right book club can update you as efficiently as the internet (but with no ads and no Kardashian stories). As menu planner/cook/host for...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 11-21-2011
  • All the good ones are taken

    And wh at's worse, the most popular and compelling ones have been matched up numerous times with others who are more glamorous and successful, so what hope is there for me? I'm referring to fiction plots, naturally. You've probably heard the argument that only seven plots can describe the...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 11-14-2011
  • An immovable feast

    At the library, we're accustomed to folks looking less confused after we provide an answer. Last Wednesday, however, our response seemed to generate more questions. We'd publicized our annual City employees' lunch in the usual ways, but a number of customers were still caught off guard. "You're...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 11-07-2011
  • You can never have too much candy--or knowledge

    I awoke today in a state of terror, which, given that it's October 31, sounds appropriate. Potential visitation by hordes of zombies, ghouls, and sparkly princesses doesn't frighten me. (Running of out treats would be ghastly, but I always overstock.) No, it's National Novel Writing Month...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 10-31-2011
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