A book review for World Book Day

World Book Day is a modern tradition.  It is (today) 6th March in the British Isles.  I had to send my children to school dressed as characters out of books.  It began in 1998, so they may even have been involved the first time it was marked.

I remember designing and making a soft toy whale; my daughter took it to school as Jonah.  It couldn’t possibly have swallowed her!

I am very excited to be able to include a book review in this post.  A whole series of events led to a book, which will not be on sale in the UK until 13th March 2014, dropping through my letter-box.

“The Shepherd’s Song: A Story of Second Chances” is by Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers, @WritingSisters.  It is published by @HodderFaith.

The shepherd in question is King David, who wrote one of the best-loved passages in the Bible, Psalm 23.  The words of the psalm were written in a bygone age, but this is a book with a contemporary message.  Below the title on the front cover are the following two lines:

One piece of paper
Twelve lives changed forever

Although it is a work of fiction, it is based on truth – the truth that the words of the Bible are powerful.  The twelve main characters are as different from each other as possible.  A different part of the psalm is particularly meaningful to each of them.  The stories are well-crafted and drew me in.  More than once I found my eyes filling up as I read.  For me the story of the farmer in the olive grove in Italy was the most moving.

By the time World Book Day arrived, I had been transported to many different countries and been caught up in the lives of the characters in this book.  I hope you will read this book and make your own journey.  It is a book for the head and the heart.

Daily Prompt: Time After Time

by Krista on March 6, 2014

Traditions: we’ve all got ‘em. They might be family dinners on special occasions, or having a particular kind of cake on your birthday (Jeanne Cake, natch), or popcorn at the movies, or meeting your friend for a 5k run in the park, rain or shine, every Sunday morning. What are your favorite traditions, large and small? What is it about your traditions that keep them going strong for you?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us RITUAL.

Band or banned?

In my earlier post about music  I mentioned some of my musical activities.

I do not currently play in any music groups, although I sing in two choirs.

I began playing music in groups around the age of eight, once I had become sufficiently proficient on the descant recorder.  I learned to play the treble recorder in a group when I was ten years old.

At my next school, I played the recorder in the school orchestra from time to time.  I had group violin lessons for a year (aged 12), but did not get the hang of it at all, although I was expected to join in with the school orchestra on it.  Having to watch the conductor, read the music and attempt to play an instrument, which had a mind of its own more or less defeated me.

(I had been lent an instrument, which was particularly difficult to tune.)

After the year, I reverted to playing the recorder in the orchestra.

I really liked the sound of the clarinet and persuaded my parents to allow me to have lessons on it while I was in the Sixth Form (16-18 years old).  Before my first lesson, I could not get a sound out of it.  However, my teacher remedied that and the notes require similar fingering to descant and treble recorders, so I made rapid progress.  Soon I was able to join the orchestra playing 3rd clarinet.  I may even have progressed to second clarinet.

I remember playing a lively piece of music called Schwanda the Bagpiper.  By this stage I was better able to cope with the multitasking required of orchestral players.

As an adult I have been involved in children’s recorder groups as a helper at a local music centre.  I am a member of the village orchestra, which plays about three times a year in church services. I have also played with groups of adults on recorders of whatever size has been appropriate and occasionally I have been allowed to play the piano. The music has ranged from Early Music through classical and more modern music including jazzy arrangements.  The worst music for becoming an ear-worm is Jingle Bell Rock.  I have played all the parts at various times and it stays with me for days!

While I enjoy making music in groups, the piano is still my favourite instrument to play.

Just a day late for:

Daily Prompt: We Got the Beat

by Krista on February 25, 2014

Have you ever played in a band? Tell us all about that experience of making music with friends. If you’ve never been in a band, imagine you’re forming a band with some good friends. What instrument do you play in the band and why? What sort of music will you play?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PERFORMANCE.


Twelfth birthday

On my twelfth birthday I had a party after school.  I had invited the group of girls I was friendly with.  They went home with me after school.  I paid all the fares on the bus.  We chatted on the journey.  Mum let us in and we all went to the bedroom I shared with my sister to change into our party clothes.

One of my friends had brought cotton-wool to put in her ears as she did not like pop-music.  I can’t remember whether we played party games.  I think not – we weren’t little children anymore!

My sister must have invited a friend as well, although I cannot remember which one.

It was my worst birthday party ever.  I saw some of these girls in their true light!  One of them went through my belongings without permission.

The friend with the cotton-wool in her ears was the only true friend.  We are still friends nearly half a century later in spite of living hundreds of miles apart.

I stopped playing with most of the other girls in the group soon after my party.  It was nearly the end of the school year and we started the new academic year with different sets for our lessons, so there was plenty of regrouping going on in any case.

The fathers of my friends collected them from my party.  They would not have been allowed to travel home by public transport in the evening even on a light summer’s evening.

I don’t think I had any more birthday parties after that apart from one I shared a few years ago with a new (younger) friend who celebrates her birthday on mine!

Written in 10 minutes for the daily prompt.  Editing out the typing errors and tidying up took a little longer!

Daily Prompt: Shake it Up

by Krista on February 24, 2014

You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory. GO. Photographers, artists, poets: show us RECKLESS.