a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by TWO WRITING TEACHERS

When I first started teaching, the young adult librarian from our public library would visit my class to do book talks a few times a year. 

When she stepped into the room, it was as if magic fairy dust surrounded her and cast a book-loving-spell over my students.  The toughest thug of a kid would instantly shoot his hand up and strain in an effort to be noticed, to be chosen to have a book placed on his desk or to gain the privilege of selecting the next book to be talked.

I wanted to be her friend.  She was my people.

Eventually, she had a child, and went back to school to get her school librarian certification. 

Suddenly, a new librarian was visiting my room. 

It was not the same.  No magic book fairy dust accompanied the new librarian. 

The book talks became painfully long and boring.

During those visits, I had lots of time to think.  I thought about what it was that made fairy-dust-spreading Tasha different.  As a result of this thinking, I created a book talk template modeled after Tasha’s book talks. It is a foolproof formula.  It is magic. In fact, I think there might be some book fairy dust embedded in every copy.
What I Learned about Book Talking from Tasha

And I sought Tasha out to solidify a friendship based on a mutual love for books, for talking about them, and for (most of all) putting them in the hands of young adults.

This morning, I had breakfast with Tasha (and some new friends she has connected me to). We talked about teaching.  We shared titles.  We gushed about authors. 

We talked books. 

I went home surrounded by magic book fairy dust.


  1. Tasha sounds like an amazing librarian. I love the magic book fairy dust that settles into the room when she walks in. Great book talk form! Today some of that dust will settle into your class as you bring in your new titles. Have fun!

  2. You are blessed. I love the template; it brings the best in a book out to hook another person. Glad you were able to connect and talk - about books. What fun!

  3. Magic fairy dust....what a wonderful way to describe it. Your template is awesome. Great ideas for a book talk

  4. I like how you took Tasha's craft -- her art of talking about books -- and made it accessible to anyone.