His question was pretty great. Ken Bone: the man, the meme.

October 9, 2016. The Austin City Limits Music Festival was in full swing. Thousands oogled bulbs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. A full house watched the Blue Jays score a walk-off win. But 66.5 million Americans were watching screens.


The second presidential debate monopolized social media.  Promises were made, insults traded.

It was another Stygian evening for American politics.  But amid all that gloom was a robustly fetching red sweater.


Trevor Noah says Ken Bone is “a one-man basket of adorables.”

I say he’s just a regular guy.  With a Plan B.


Toni 10/12/16


Lignum Draco, a street photographer in Australia  offers this week’s challenge: Share a photo that features H2O, the element of water.

A few years ago I visited Trapani. I still dream about the caldo freddo.



The velvety dark-chocolate topping slowly melts through layers of sweet cream to the coffee and hazelnut gelato underneath. At the bottom of all this, in the underbelly of the bowl, is rum-soaked cake. The generous-sized dish is topped with chopped hazelnuts. And it’s available day and night.

But Trapani is not just about the caldo freddo.  It’s about l’acqua.  The Tyrrhenian Sea spills around the rugged coastline of Sicily’s western edge, deep blue-green and as pristine as the South Pacific.




Nature is the art of God. – Dante Alighieri

Toni 10/9/16


# Middle kids like me need accreditation for their yens. So, thanks Tana French for confirming Eva Ibbotson is fab. (Maybe even a middle kid?) (a 140 character tweet from Patty)

And a 420 character 9-liner on the same topic!

Middle kids like me need validation of their ideas.

Thanks to Tana French for her shout-out on Eva Ibbotson.

I book-talked this author to scores of school kids,

putting her “Secret of Platform 13” into their hands in 1994,

3 years before doing likewise w/ Harry Potter on platform 9 3/4.

I quoted Eva in my writing lessons as an example of how all authors

borrow from each other.

Maybe more so if you’re a middle kid?


(I may even have used her words in the book-talk:) “It’s true that adventures are good for people even when they are very young. Adventures can get in a person’s blood even if he doesn’t remember having them. ”
― Eva IbbotsonThe Secret of Platform 13



(see Tana French interview column in NYT books for today.) Tana French says that Eva Ibbotson’s “A Countess Below Stairs” is the “literary equivalent of a really good ice cream: all the comfort factor of junk food, but way tastier and more satisfying, and not bad for you…a quirky, lovely, extravagant, funny romance.”  We love you, Eva.

The web is full of her readers: