“This is Polly. She’s from Romania and she just moved here today.”


Emmie’s best friend


Emmie O’Brien

Teen girl  Red hair Green eyes Short, thin

Loves to sing, write, draw, ride bikes, explore, detective shows, cook, go to church & school

Friendly, smart, curious, imaginative, helpful, good

Small group of good friends

Loves her sisters, mom and dad, people, going to school

Moved from suburbs to inner city Different type of people

Feels a bit lost and insecure Mom’s drinking

Sees Dad only on Saturdays Not much income

Evil people


Create Beauty With Words

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami, Kafka On The Shore

“I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.”

― Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation


“Dance with me.”

He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet her saw her like the sun, even without looking.”


Anna: If you have any thought for me, you will give me back my peace.”

Vronsky: “There can be no peace for us, only misery, and the greatest happiness.”

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy     https://www.amazon.com/Anna-Karenina-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0198748841/


“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Elie Wiesel



“Travel is the best way to be lost and found at the same time.”







“You may think I’m small but I have a universe inside my mind.” 

   Yoko Ono


Write a self-help book, psychology text, or an inspirational blog.

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” 

“Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home beaten defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak beauty out of sorrow.” – Sylvia Plath


 “We never always saw eye to eye but we were always looking at the same thing.”  William Faulkner



“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist



‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ –William Butler Yeats




You Can Write A Book About Teaching!

Out Of Our Minds by Ken Robinson

Visible Learning & The Science Of How We Learn by John Hattie and Gregory Yates

Developing Minds by Art Costa

 What Are People For? by Wendell Berry

Teaching What Matters Most  by Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, Matthew J. Perini





Let’s all go to the theatre!

n. a writer of plays; dramatist.

n. a writer of dramas or dramatic poetry. 

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

Victor Hugo

Les Miserables




“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”                Blanch DuBois             A Streetcar Named Desire




“All the worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”                William Shakespeare      As You Like It

Biography: an account of someone’s life written by someone else. Similar: life story life history life memoir profile account bio                 

   “Every life is worthy of a novel.”
Josh Steimle  


Write About Yourself

Frida by Frida: Selection of Letters and Texts

Frida Kahlo, the writer? In this new expanded edition of the painter’s writings, art critic Raquel Tibol gathers letters, poems, notes, protests, confessions, brief messages and longer texts written by Kahlo to her friends, her lovers and others. In her writings, Kahlo employs, in Tibol’s words, an “unreserved, imaginative language, heart and intimacy laid bare,” that reveals her taste for neologisms, colloquial turns and the crossing of linguistic boundaries. The freedom of her language is a path towards sincerity, the origin of Kahlo’s pictorial universe, with its recurring motifs: the tramway accident that left the artist physically maimed at the age of 18; her anguished and demanding adolescent passion for Alejandro Gómez Arias; her complex and fascinating relationship with Diego Rivera; her illness as destiny; her political engagements; and her uncompromising quest for liberty. Here the reader will find Kahlo “swinging back and forth between sincerity and manipulation, self-complacency and self-flagellation, with her insatiable need for affection, her erotic upheavals, her touches of humor, setting no limits for herself, with a capacity for self-analysis and a deep humility.” By gathering this material, until now scattered in archives and various published sources, Tibol offers us “a tacit autobiography and the placement of Frida within the intimate, confessional literature of the twentieth century in Mexico.” This is a Frida Kahlo far removed from the distorted image so often found in films, plays and supposedly serious writings and studies–a beautiful book about Frida, by Frida.   https://www.amazon.com/Frida-2nd-Expanded-Kahlo/dp/9685208468/

Or I Could Write About Me

The title of my first novel is Emmie of Indianapolis. The idea for this book came about when my nieces were visiting me. They were teasing me about living in the last century. Casey, who was eight at the time, wanted to know if refrigerators had been invented yet and did I have one way back then. Ten-year-old Frankie asked me about vacuum cleaners and stoves. Jamie, thirteen, wondered how I did my hair. Did they have hair dryers and even shampoo? The list went on and on until the subject of popcorn came up. Microwaves weren’t invented yet, so my mom, their grandmother, cooked popcorn on top of the stove in an old metal pot. Their eyes became very big and were so amazed as I demonstrated with my hands how you had to shake and keep the pot moving over the flame or the popcorn would burn. The girls were thrilled that they caught me with evidence of being old.

I told them other stories about when I was a young girl in Indianapolis. Even though they lived in the suburbs of Indianapolis, they’d only been downtown a few times for football games and Christmas shopping. I think it’s important for people to know their family history and the place where they live. I began by writing down a list of names, birth dates and other information of our immediate family members. As I created the list, the idea of turning the list into a book became something I felt called to do.