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Reading Jean: A 100th Birthday Celebration

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Today would have been Jean Craighead George's 100th birthday. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 92, but even if she didn't make it into the triple digits, her booklist did. George was a prolific author, writing over a hundred books - mostly for kids and mostly about nature and animals. 
As a child, animal books were all I ever wanted to read. E.B. White's stories were an early favourite and still sit on my shelf, alongside titles like The Wilds of Whip-Poor-Will Farm, Misty of Chincoteague, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Beautiful Joe, and Where the Red Fern Grows. When most girls my age were reading The Babysitter's Club series - well, I was reading those too, but I was also devoted to The Saddle Club. I went through a Jim Kjelgaard phase and a James Herriot phase, accidentally learning a lot about the American wilderness of the 40s and 50s and life in rural England in the process.  

Another Twenty-Four Hours, Another Really Random First Draft

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Today I sent a brand new play out for some strangers to read. I had not read the lines out loud, or sent it to a trusted friend, or reviewed it any way. I hadn't even read the whole thing myself, start to finish.

This is not, of course, the recommended way to do submissions. But such is the nature of entering 24-Hour Playwriting Contests, at least for me. It had been two years since I took on a play-in-a-day challenge, so at the last minute I decided to pay my fee and sign up for this year's Toronto Fringe contest.

A Big Year of Small Encounters #1: The Subway Pigeon

(Cross-posted from my iNaturalist journal)


Last week a former co-worker dropped by the Arboretum and, just before he was about to leave, mentioned that one of his plans for 2019 was to do a personal “Big Year”, trying to see as many different bird species as he can in the province of Ontario in a single year.

“I was thinking you should do it, too.”