Riddles are an important feature of my Gabriel Finley novels. Each book has over thirty of them. My hero bonds with a raven by answering a riddle. Riddles get him out of danger, riddles enable him to defeat the villain. Children love riddles. I think the reason is obvious, but I'll lay them out for … Continue reading Riddles
My ten lb dictionary serves as a door stop, an extra step on the ladder, a weight for gluing things, and a handy tool for flattening out wet crumpled mail. These days, I search for most definitions online. I still keep the real item handy, however, to remind me of the extraordinary variety of the … Continue reading So Many Words . . .
I'm talking about writing. How does one begin without an idea? I hear this question from students all the time and I understand. Although I've been writing for forty years, I begin many days without an idea. A bare page is formidable. It taunts. It teases. It can send you running from a keyboard. Here's … Continue reading How To Begin.
What makes us different from all other species? When I was a boy, I recall being told that humans had the biggest brains, which made them the most intelligent creatures. Another sign of our exceptionalism was sentience, being able to perceive or feel, to have consciousness. Scientists cite plenty of evidence that mammals, birds, … Continue reading Our Special Gift
Supermen of Yesteryear During my school visits I encourage students to imagine living thousands of years ago, and I ask the question, "Do you think children long ago had super heroes?" This usually draws a blank from the assembly. So I mention the myths. Every ancient culture had myths and heroes to go with them. … Continue reading Ancient Super-Heroes