Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Time Travel?

In California, where I live, we’re having a lot of power outages and they make me realize how much we rely on electricity.

I suppose if I were to time travel to the 1800s before people had electricity I could have gotten by, as long as someone else cut and brought in the firewood and milked the cows. I’ve gone camping and, as a kid, I once lived in a cabin with an ice box instead of a refrigerator for a while.

But, what if I were to time travel to hundreds of years ago? I’d have a difficult time fitting in because the English language has changed so much since then, not to mention how people lived.

If I were to go back to around 1000 years ago and landed in the Roman Empire area I couldn’t possibly survive even though I took Latin in High School.

Once a litle girl told me she had figured out the history of the world. She said, “There were Bible times, kings and queen times, long dress times, and now.”

Tech problems or not, I think I prefer to stay in now.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Blogging About Blogging

I started blogging in 2009 when my first book was published because it was supposed to be good publicity and help them sell. 

I was very hesitant and doubted that I would be able to think of anything to say twice a week for very long.

Well, I’ve managed to write posts about words, books, and kids around 500 times and haven’t run out of ideas yet.

Since I share all my blog posts on Facebook I get comments there, but very few on my blog page itself. And none of my books have become best sellers as a result of blogging.

But I enjoy doing it, and will probably continue for a long time.

If you are reading this on Facebook I’d love to have you go over to my blog page, and leave a comment there.


Saturday, September 28, 2019


According to the United States Constitution the president must be at least 45 years old because “Wisdom cometh with age.”

So forty five was considered old back then.

I remember when it would make the news if someone lived to be 100 years old, but that’s not even unusual today.

My husband used to work at a nursing and retirement home. When he started working there most of the residents were in their 80s and a few were in their 90s.  When he retired 20 years later most were in their 80s and some in their hundreds.

And, when I was a kid, puberty was expected to begin in the early teens. Now it’s not unusual for girls to reach puberty when they’re only nine years old.

So, if lots of people start to reproduce before reaching their teens, and lots live more than a hundred years, our planet will sure be crowded.

And, if people predicting that the oceans will rise are correct, there will be less land so humans - and animals - will be so crowded we can hardly move.

Will we be wise enough to deal with that?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


“Oh, Janet, you have SUCH an imagination,” my mother used to say.

Of course my imagination has been useful, since I’m a writer.

But people use their imaginations for all sorts of other things, like getting ideas for inventions or figuring out how to solve conflicts.

I wonder if animals and other creatures have imaginations.

Many of them obviously figure out how to solve problems, but what about
thinking up stories?

Can gorillas imagine things that don’t exist? Can dogs?

And, what about other creatures like cows, birds, frogs, whales and insects?

Most of them probably can’t, but we can’t be sure.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Mystery of the Haunted Heater

Most stories have a similar pattern. There’s a problem and the main character tries three things to fix it. The first thing they try doesn’t work, the second one doesn’t work, and, unless it’s a tragedy, the third thing they try does work.

A couple of weeks ago we had one cool evening and I turned my heating system back on. The next day while the air conditioner was going, it turned itself on again, so I turned the system off.

A few days ago we had the first cold, rainy day and I tried to turn the heater on again, but it wouldn’t work.

I called the manufacturers of the control unit, and everything seemed to be working fine, but the heater still wouldn’t turn on.

I had my handyman come over and he tried everything he could think of, but it still wouldn’t work, and the house was cold.

I called a heating repair company and they sent someone out to repair it. He spent nearly an hour trying to figure out what was wrong, and finally got it!

During the summer I’d had new flooring installed in part of the house and the people who did it had turned all the floor vents in those rooms off. That  had caused pressure to build up inside the heater when it was turned on, so it wouldn’t work. 

All I had to do was open all the floor vents and it worked!

The mystery was solved and the story had a happy ending.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Conch Bearer

I often read Middle Grade fiction because I’m still a kid on the inside.

I just read Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

As you can guess by the author’s name, the story takes place in India.

The book about a poor boy, Anand, who is given the responsibility of caring for a conch shell that has magical powers.

The plot is so exciting that I read all 265 pages at one sitting. 

I also learned something about the culture of India.

I hope to read more books by this author in the future..

Saturday, September 14, 2019


I’ve always been fascinated by languages.

When my baby brother was learning to talk I could understand him when the grown-ups couldn’t. 

When I was four years old we moved from the East Coast to California and I was surprised to discover people here had different words for some things.

I decided I wanted to learn every language in the world, but I had no idea how many languages there are.

I did study several languages in school, but the only one I’m fluent in besides English is American Sign Language.

The way languages change and develop over time has always fascinated me, and I took elective classes in Historical Linguistics in college.

I still wish I could learn more languages, but, since I’m officially old, I don’t have the time or patience to do that.