C's bookshelf: read

The Peculiar
Maggot Moon
The City and the City
The Road
A Certain Slant of Light
The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Brown Girl in the Ring
Well Wished
The Innkeeper's Song
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
American Indian Myths and Legends
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Return of the King
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers

C S Peterson's favorite books »

Monday, March 3, 2014

It’s Monday - What are you reading? Housekeeping

I’ve been reading Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
It is a poem of a book devastating and beautiful, about life and loss and beauty. It has brought me to tears more than once. In Idaho, in the town of Fingerbone, two little girls grow up. Abandoned by their parents, they are raised first by their mystified grandmother, then by two dithering maiden great-aunts and finally by their mother’s transient sister who is incapable of housekeeping in a life so fragile and awash in the waters of memory. 

I’m also reading the first Harry Potter with my youngest son, who is ten. A different genre, of course, but he is also an orphan and threatened by wasting away, looking at his lost parents in a mirror.

This has got me to thinking - how many protagonists are orphans? I’ve counted quite a few. Why do you think this is?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Working on One Sentence in My Book

The flame haired man turned into a raven
His flaming hair sprouted black feathers
The flames of his hair shot into feathers of black
His head sprouted sable feathers that gleamed blue and green
sheen, light scattered, reflected blue, in the dim light, gleamed...
Arrrg! (I will not look at facebook, I will not look at facebook)
His flaming hair congealed into feathers
Hmm...potential, like blood? sour milk? He is a bad guy...I like the word purple
zersflj09r 23*& G (Molly the cat walks across the keyboard on her way to the windowsill)
His flaming hair congealed into sable feathers that reflected the dim light in a sheen of blues and greens and scattered purples that shimmered and gleamed
Too long…sigh...Oh look - It's snowing again. 
His flaming hair congealed into sable feathers. The dim light scattered over them in a sheen of purples, blue and green.
Hmm...but the color shifts - a shifting sheen…
Good enough for now, come back to it later.
O.K. next sentence -

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March First

Today March comes in like a lion
Silent, it stalks in behind the fog
No roaring no flash
But the big cat, crouched 
Its baited breath draws
Precipitates from the mist
When I look again
Grains of snow dance without sound
The house cat walks across my hands 
to sit on the window sill
and stare, wide-eyed, at the world.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Day Bike Ride

Today's bike ride: Two large raptors with white band on back of their tails so maybe Northern Harriers? One large raptor with a rosy tail. One smaller raptor - looked Kestrel like. Many canvasback ducks, American coots who move their heads like chickens, canada geese, many pairs of Mallards, doves, pigeons, robins and crows. Redwing blackbirds perched on cattails at regular intervals sounding like spring. Lots of praire dogs and bunnies.  No swallows in the mud nests yet and still waiting for the beautiful migrating pelicans. I like living in a healthy ecosystem.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Beppo aleppo 
Boppo avoom
Frap-Trap a’chinos
Likkitty lakatty loom
Shim sham abingno
Arigno Sadoon

Holy moly poly 
rolly ka’ching
Vabba vabrissa 
Marrisa fah-ling

Zing zong zappaty 
papa tea tree 
Prissy siss sap-a-tee
Tizzy ring ding

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keeping Time

One of my students wanted to study time. So today we went to talk with a gentleman who repairs clocks.  We opened the door to his shop and walked in to the quietness of soft ticking.  It smelled of old wood, varnish, dust and oil.  He showed us how he repairs clocks, the tiny tools, the lathe.  He took out the works of a clock and we learned about energy transfer, gear chains, the escape wheel.  

We learned that the period of a pendulum one meter long is one second.  Coincidence? I think not!  The oldest clock in the shop, 1780, had an ‘equation hand’ so that you can set it by referring to a sundial.  My student made the connection that what we need for keeping time is a way to store energy, releasing it at regular intervals and that could be a wound spring, a quartz crystal or an excited bit of Cesium 133.  

Who would have thought - history, physics, tools and time? I’m a happy teacher!

We were deep in conversation about the eighteenth century race to make a clock for ships so they could calculate longitude.  The grandfather clock behind me struck 11 am, then the coo-coo.  We stopped talking and just listened to all the ancient time keepers strike the hour.

Baby Shoes for Sale

Stories abound about Hemingway.  In one he famously said any author worth their salt could craft a short story in six words. His example:

Baby shoes for sale, never worn.

On the radio this morning I heard about the Race Card Project ( where people share their experiences with race in six word sentences.

I thought I try my hand at six word stories and came up with two. I gave them titles, a little bit of cheating as it sneaks in an extra word:

For sale: widows home, fixer-upper.

Cardinal thinks, "I AM choosing Pope."

I love all comments, but I encourage you to play too and leave a six word story as a comment!