"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Saturday, April 18, 2015


P is for:

THE PROMISE by Chaim Potok

I will refer back to my high school English class and a required reading list. From this wonderful list, I discovered Chaim Potok. I read THE CHOSEN first and then THE PROMISE.

Both books opened my eyes to a world far different than my own and helped me understand that there was more to the world than my rural culture and Baptist religion. Exciting!

First Line: The county fair was Rachel’s idea.

End Line: Clouds, he said.


THE CHOSEN by Chaim Potok

First Line: For the first fifteen years of our lives, Danny and I lived within five blocks of each other and neither of us new the other’s existence.

Last Line: Then he turned into Lee Avenue and was gone.

And this my friends is what reading is supposed to do. Open our eyes. 

Love this author. Love these books.

Friday, April 17, 2015


O is for:


A story based on the famous newspaper strip.

First Line: "Little Orphan Annie sat down wearily on a big stone at the side of the little mountain road, dropping down beside her the big bandanna handkerchief which held her few possessions."

End Line: "So, busily planning ahead to a far-off time when she could return, she went back, for the short time she was sure was left, to the little white house that in a few days more than a week had come as close to being a home as any place she had ever been, and to the kindly white-haired man whom she had come to regard as her very own uncle."

That was one long sentence to type and to read. I read this book in grade school and still get an weird independent feeling, in my gut, each time I read the first chapter. You would think I would feel sad or lost. Nope. 

It's awesome how rereading old friends takes you back to good old feelings. 

(I changed my mind and decided to use Little Orphan Annie instead of another of my short stories.) 

Thursday, April 16, 2015


N is for:

THE NIX OF MILL POND by no one important

This is my favorite short story-child from Grim Tales (until tomorrow when I write about Odds and Ends). I changed the ending of THE NIX OF MILL POND, to make it more suspenseful. I like this baby because it’s deep in rural flavor and reminds me of my brother and cousin (as children) IF they would have gone somewhere they shouldn’t have—and they probably did.

First Line: “The boys watched the early morning fog lift in etheral patterns, floating above the ground.”

Next to the last (End)Line: “George stopped too and faced his friend, wide eyed.”

In contrast to the last line of a novel, a short story last line COULD tell you the ending.  Therefore, you get the second to the last line.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


M is for:

MADELINE by Ludwig Bemelmans

MADELINE is another book from my childhood. 

First line: “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in twelve straight lines.”

End line: “And she (Miss Clavel) turned out the light and closed the door and that’s all there is there isn’t anymore.”

Madeline tugs at my heart. She brightened the world of everyone around her. When she was absent from them, there was a hole. Madeline was fearless--not scared of mice. ME EITHER! She stood her ground with a caged tiger and said “Pooh, pooh.” ME TOO! Not really, but one time at the zoo, a black panther eyed my newborn son, from his enclosure and licked his lips. I didn’t say “Pooh, pooh”, but I did say to the cat, “No!” And I removed my baby from the big cat area. 

So, I've pondered this question for years. And yes I could Google it. Does Madeline live at a boarding school or does she live in an orphanage? Either is fine with me because (the child) Teresa felt like the girls had a safe environment. 

To the adult Teresa this matters.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


L is for:

THE LONG WINTER by Laura Ingalls Wilder 
THE LONG WINTER is my favorite of Laura's books with THE FARMER BOY (because it has food, lots of food in it) being second and LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE as third in line (they sew up a storm).
If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that I’m a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but not just Laura, I enjoy her daughter Rose’s writing, as well. I go to the Laura Ingalls Wilder festival every year and visit both houses, in Mansfield, Missouri. For years, there’s been scuttlebutt (gossip) about Rose being the writer of Laura’s books. I say to that, hogwash (gibberish) and poppycock (nonsense, absurd)!  
First Line:The mowing machine's whirring sounded cheerfully from the buffalo wallow south of the claim shanty, where bluestem grass stood thick and tall and Pa was cutting it for hay.
End Line: The sun was shining warm, the winds were soft, and the green grass growing.
Here is a silly thing. When I am sad, my go to book (after my Bible) is THE LONG WINTER. It makes sense to head for a depressing book, when you're depressed. Right? Like using fire to hold back a forest fire. Makes sense to me.
The other night, I get a phone call, late-ish, during the hours when I don’t normally get phone calls. 

"Hello?" I say, wondering if it's my daughter or her potential kidnapper, on the line.
“Guess what?” Dr. Lovely Daughter says.
“They are finally building the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum!” 
We had recently discussed the alleged claim to build a museum. I think DLD said something like, would it be in her lifetime. Here’s the link to the news feature about the museum's groundbreaking, if you're interested.
I'm expecting there to be a plaque on the museum's wall, maybe as you enter the front door. The plaque will read: This spot on the wall is dedicated to Teresa Coltrin for the 5-10 dollars she stuffed in the collection pot, over the years, for the Laura Ingalls' Wilder Museum.

My speech is forming in my head, as I write this.