Happy to have syndicated humor columnist Dorothy Rosby on today to answer some fun questions.
I first got to know Dorothy when I lived in South Dakota and we were members of the Black Hills Writers Group. I'm excited to share her new book with you today.
Tell us about your new book!
I call Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off About part comical call to arms and part tongue-in cheek tirade. The tirade part is my ranting about all sorts of things that annoy us in our modern world--intrusive technology and noise, spammers and scammers, litter and clutter and so on. No mention of toilet paper shortages, Zoom meeting hackers and some of the other hassles we’re dealing with now because somehow I didn’t see those coming when I wrote the book.
The call to arms part is that, in some cases, I offer my opinion on what I think we should do about these “hassles of our time.”
What inspired you to write this book?
When things strike me a certain way, I always feel compelled to jot down a few notes about them. I think it’s that way with most writers. This book is about all sorts of things I’ve been annoyed by, ranted and raved about, written a lot of notes about and probably given way too much thought to. I’ve written humor columns or done humorous talks about all of them too. And finally about three years ago, I started expanding those into full length essays and putting the book together.
Where do your column/book ideas come from?
Everywhere--every conversation, every experience, bad and good, everything that gets under my skin or makes me smile. Unfortunately, the things that get under my skin make the funniest stories. I’ve written about speeding tickets a few times. They’re not funny at all when I get them. I’ve written about appliances dying, foot surgery and my difficulties with math, and now I’ve written at least three columns or blog posts about COVID-19. Definitely not funny. But in the retelling, those kinds of things can be very funny, in part because as a humor writer, I write about my own foolish or overly dramatic reactions and other people can relate to that—hopefully anyway.
You talk about clutter in your book and on your blog, so I have to ask…did you get any organizing done during this time? Did you tackle those closets? In all fairness I will say I’ve been locked down since March 12th here and if good intentions cleaned closets then I’d have the sparkly-est closets on earth. However, they don’t.
I’ve done a little, but not as much as I’d like. It took a global pandemic to make me realize that it wasn’t my busy social life that was keeping me from cleaning my closets after all.
So what have you been doing during your quarantine time? (Note: hope Dorothy doesn’t ask me the same question because there’s no good way to make watching old Murder She Wrote episodes sound productive.)
Having my book come out in the middle of this mess has provided me with a ton of marketing and business tasks to do—as well as a good excuse for why I haven’t gotten my closets clean. So I’ve used my time pretty well—mostly.
Having said that, I have to admit to watching a few episodes of Murder She Wrote myself. Also Monk, Castle, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Midsomer Murders. I’m not just a mystery fan; I’m a mystery fanatic. If I were stuck in bed recovering from illness, I’d spend my days reading mysteries. And when I got tired of reading, I’d watch the Hallmark mystery channel, and during commercials, I’d mute the TV, stare out my window and imagine suspicious activity in my neighborhood.
We ran into each other at an Erma Bombeck event, so who are some of your favorite humor writers.
So many. I follow the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop Facebook page and I’m a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnist which also has a Facebook page. Both of those are great places to take a “humor” break anytime and read the latest column or blog post from a variety of humor writers from all over the country. It’s my way of avoiding actual work when I’m at my computer.
What other authors do you enjoy?
Naturally, a lot of mystery authors. I’m slowly making my way through Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series and Anne Perry’s William Monk series. I LOVE them both.
I love to write humor and I love to read humor. But my favorite books to read are mysteries (surprise!) and those with a spiritual theme. I just finished reading Thomas Keating’s Open Mind, Open Heart and loved it.
Here’s a question I love asking: what book (that’s already published) do wish you could have written?
Well in keeping with my theme, I wish I’d written not just a book, but a whole series: Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series. I love her main character, private detective, Kinsey Millhone. I want to be like her.
I write a series about a girl getting to date her music crush. Do you have a music crush now or from your teen years?
It’s a toss-up between Justin Hayward, formerly of the Moody Blues and Steve Perry from Journey. I still love their music and I love their voices and I’d be terribly tongue-tied if I ever met them in person.
If you weren’t a writer, what would your dream job be?
I’m blessed in that I actually had my other dream job. For 31 years, I did the public relations for a wonderful nonprofit that supports people with disabilities. It’s always been important to me to work for a purpose, to feel like I was using my talents, such as they are, to make the world better in some small way. I worked for a company with a big, beautiful mission—the kind of place that changes you for the better. For 24 of those years, I was also writing my humor column for publications in the West and Midwest. And much of that time, I was raising my son and caring for my mother who was 80 years older than my son. I was busy and tired. And it was my dream to eventually just focus on my humor writing. A little over a year ago, I was finally able to resign from the other job. I’m not sure it’s the best omen that I started my life as a fulltime writer on April Fool’s Day.
I lived in South Dakota for a while and I actually enjoyed snow days inside! What is your favorite snowed in activity?
I love a snow day. If I didn’t get tired of shoveling, I wouldn’t mind a lot more of them. I can do some of my favorite things on snow days: write, read mysteries, watch mysteries, make soup and eat soup.
I write a lot about funny (and cringe worthy) middle school and high school moments. What’s a moment from either middle school or high school that you wish you could go back and do over?
Here’s one that still makes me cringe. I used to do a little sewing when I was in middle and high school. And I once sewed what I thought was a pretty stylish skirt. It was fairly short, but not so much that my mother wouldn’t let me wear it. It was made from a heavy white denim fabric and it flared nicely, like a cheerleader skirt. What can I say? It was cool then. But the fabric was a bit stiff. One day my skirt was apparently folded under me as I sat and when I stood up, it stayed folded. I heard refrains of “I see London; I see France” up and down the hallway for months after that.
Did you always want to be a writer when you were growing up? Was there another career you considered?
I wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl and I journaled and wrote bad poetry and worse short stories as long as I can remember. But I spent too many years being too practical about my writing. I got a major journalism and minors in communication and English. And I did short stints at a small town newspaper and in radio news. I also did a lot of writing in my public relations career, everything from commercials and video scripts to newsletters and press releases. It was fine and it was good practice, but the kind of writing I do now is the kind I really love—the kind I was meant to do.
Find Dorothy's website here: www.dorothyrosby.com
Buy the book here:
Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off About:
Humorous Essays on the Hassles of Our Time
This time we read chapters 28-31 and finished book one in the series! We will start book two in the series, Best Friends…Forever? next.
Landry mentions at the start of chapter 28 that she once shared a short story she was working on with Tori, but Tori’s response stopped her from ever sharing her work again. What did you think of how Tori reacted to reading the story?
This chapter has Landry dealing with up and down emotions with Devon. Once again Landry has a friend who she’s walking on eggshells around and worried she’ll upset her in some way. In the end, Landry winds up apologizing to Devon to calm things down. What do you think about Landry’s apology to Devon? Write about what you think about Ashanti and Peyton’s response to this.
In chapter 29, Landry and Peyton go to the movies and then the mall together. How is this outing with Peyton different from when she hangs out with Tori or Devon and India? Why do you think this is different?
In chapter 30, Landry and some of the girls exchange gifts before school is out for the holidays. At the start of the book, Landry was desperate to find new people to hang out with after her two best friends (Tori and Ericka) freeze her out. How have things changed in this scene with the Christmas cards and Christmas/Hanukah gifts that are exchanged?
In chapter 31 we see a lot of things have changed for Landry. She has different friends, a side career she’s embarking on, some slowly emerging confidence, and she’s beginning to speak up for herself. Think back on what has changed to cause her to do this. How did stepping out of her comfort zone work for her?
Now that we’re at the end of the book we’ve seen a lot of different aspects of friendship and traits in friends. Make a list of the Landry’s friends (or use the one from a previous session if you have it) and write down some of the traits you see in them. Here’s some to think about: loyal, generous, supportive, caring, jealous, sympathetic, helpful, compassionate, understanding, self-centered, greedy, and protective.
Some of the characters have both good and not so good aspects. We all have our moments where we aren’t so proud of how we act, but people can often redeem themselves. Sometimes it’s important to look at why they’re acting the way they do. Why do you think Landry’s friends act the way they do? Why does Devon often change on Landry? Why did Tori turn on Landry? Why does Ericka act the way she does toward Landry? What about how Kyle and some of the others act toward Thalia?
Behind the scenes: I used a lot of situations I either witnessed or lived firsthand to write this series. I’ve learned a lot about both making and being a friend since then. I’ve had a mix of friends like these in my life and used some situations to create what they call, “character composites.” That means the characters are all made up (fictional), but I used experiences and attributes of people and situations I’ve run into before. It’s easier for me to create my own characters than trying to recreate someone I knew years ago into a book!
Even though a lot of time has passed since I went through some similar things as Landry, I admit sometimes rereading these things can still sting! Did you see yourself or any of your friends or people in your classes in these characters? Take some time to write about that. Maybe you saw yourself as getting pushed around or not feeling like you could speak up for yourself. Or maybe you even realized you might be a little bossier than you realized in your friendships.
I had a parent tell me that she gave copies of True Colors to her daughter’s group of friends because she and her daughter both thought her friends were treating her like Ericka and Tori treated Landry. The mom told me all the girls read the book together and then sat down to discuss it. She was thinking (and hoping) that the girls would see how they had been acting and change their ways. Here’s the thing—they saw themselves as being more like Landry and shared with how their other friends had been making them feel like they couldn’t speak up and didn’t have control. In the end, it turned out to be a valuable experience because they got some things off their mind that had been bothering them and they wound up being more open to hearing how their actions had hurt their friend. People often don’t see themselves the way we do. And remember what I said about how hurting people hurt people.
I hope these sessions in True Colors have helped you to see your own friendships in a new light and will help you make good choices, strengthen good relationships, rework some not so great ones, and be strong enough to walk away from the ones that might be hurting you.
I can’t wait to start the next book with you! I’ll post session one for Best Friends…Forever? next week. Read chapter 1-4.
The previous sessions can be found here:
In this session we read chapters 24-27. Chapter 24 has Landry feeling left out by Devon and feeling very lost. Write down some of the things Devon does in this chapter that throw Landry off balance. Why do you think this is happening? What’s the motivation behind Devon’s actions?
Landry goes to Ashanti’s house and there is a section talking about their clothes and hair styles. As they talk about these things, Landry thinks to herself about past comments that have left her with insecurities. I mentioned before to pay attention to how color is used in the story. What do you notice here about the way it’s mentioned in sweaters in the story?
In chapter 26 Landry mentions she had to ask the janitor for help when someone stuck gum in her locker. Throughout the book she has had some people intimidating her or being mean to her whether it’s girls talking loudly about her so she can hear the rude things they’re saying or someone trying to trip her. It’s not the outright kind of bullying where someone gets physically hurt, but it’s the beneath the surface bullying that still hurts and that adults often miss because it is more subtle. Sometimes the adults question if something is going on, but often times the person that it’s happening to doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Maybe the person going through it worries it will get even worse if they speak up. Sometimes they might be in denial about it and not wanting to admit that it’s happening by someone they consider a friend. Have you ever been in a situation like this or witnessed something like it? How did it make you feel and what did you do? How would you handle it if you saw it happening to someone else?
Landry is feeling overwhelmed and she’s walking on eggshells trying to keep all her friends happy. She ends up having Ashanti, Devon, and Peyton over, but things don’t go as planned and it gets tense.
Those BFF bracelets Devon and Landry have keep coming up. What started as a symbol of Landry belonging and fitting in somewhere is now creating different feelings. How does Landry describe the bracelet in chapter 27? What do you make of the bracelet situation?
At the end of chapter 27 we see everything overwhelming Landry. Even her lunch and the weather aren’t going her way! In literature classes they call that, “pathetic fallacy.” List some of the ways Landry is being overwhelmed and what you think would help her situation.
Behind the scenes: Even though years have passed since I went through friend drama, reading through these scenes still gets to me! It’s like middle school was yesterday. One of the things I’ve learned since those days is that hurting people hurt people. Read that again. Yup, hard to believe, but the reason people lash out are because they’ve been hurt themselves. If you had told me that back then I wouldn’t have believed it, but now I can see it. It takes some time, but you can actually feel sorry for the very people causing you pain once you realize there’s a reason for the way they act. You’ll see more of that in the next session and in the next book in the series.
I hope as you read these scenes that you’ll pay attention to if things like this are happening to you or a friend. Maybe you might even see yourself doing some of these things without realizing it. The important thing to note is there is a reason behind why people act a certain way, so pay attention to things the girls are dealing with along the way to see if you can tell why they might be acting a certain way.
Read chapters 28-31 as we’re finishing book one up this time! The previous sessions can be found here: www.krystenlindsay.com/teacherparentbook-club-guide.html
This past week we read chapters 21-23.
In Chapter 21, Landry gets to be in a fashion show for a kiddie store called, Wee Fashions, which she thought was a fancy store called, Oui Fashions—whoops! But being in the show has brought out some different behavior in Devon. The next school day, Devon notices Landry not wearing the BFF bracelet and has something to say about it. Write about your reaction to that scene. How do you think Landry should have handled it?
Thalia gets bullied in this chapter, but there’s also the way she’s treated by others that is more subtle, but still hurtful. Write or discuss your feelings on what happens to Thalia in the hallway.
Chapter 22 features Landry’s birthday party and sleepover. There seems to be a clash of the old friends, the new friends, and also between the new friends. What do you notice about the way the girls all act at the party? Write down how you feel each one comes across and who you think is being a true friend in this scene.
The final scene in chapter 22 between Devon and Landry has a lot of emotions going on in it. What do you think is really going on with Devon and why she is acting the way she is? How do you feel toward her? Does she remind you of any friends you have or had in the past?
In chapter 23, Landry hangs out with Peyton and spends the night at her house. The situation is very different from the sleepover and her time at Tori’s as she’s able to talk to Peyton about her concerns with her parents and other things going on. What do you think of Landry’s friendship with Peyton?
Landry deals with what feels like friendship wars between her new and old friends as well as between the new girls. Landry is changing and her friendships are, too. Based on what you’ve read in the book so far, which of the girls would you want to be friends with and why?
Behind the scenes: I used a lot of my own experiences for these chapters from that fashion show (I was thirteen at the time), to that birthday party (in 6th grade), to many of the other situations. At the time I was confused and worried about stepping on someone's toes and getting them mad at me. I look back at that time as the years I spent walking on eggshells. Yup, I said years. It makes me cringe now to think how I held back because people got mad at me when I did speak out. Have you ever felt that way?
Although I did hold a lot of things inside from that period, it did help me to learn how I did and did not want to be treated and I used those experiences to write this book to help others going through the same (or similar) experiences. Those experiences helped me to recognize how a true friend acts and how to be a better friend myself. If you are going through something like that, please find a trusted adult you can talk to and share your experience. You might want to journal about it and then show them what you wrote if that's easier for you than talking about it.
Read chapters 24-27 for next time! We're getting close to the end of book 1! The previous sessions can be found here:
I'm excited to have author Sarah J. King on today to tell us about her new online literary journal called Finding the Birds.
Tell us about your new online literary journal!
We are an online journal featuring flash fiction, poetry, and fiction up to 8,000 words. We hope to offer our readers quality storytelling in easily digestible sizes. Our hope is to publish six issues yearly, each with a specific theme in mind. This issue, The Gemini Issue, focuses on two-sidedness, duality in nature or character, abrupt personality change, and surprise shifts or twists. The next issue, Vox Tacet, will center around the voices and stories of the otherwise marginalized. We hope to receive fiction and poetry about animal rights, poverty, mental illness, and other forms of oppression.
Additionally, we have added a blog to our site, Writer’s Blo[g]ck. This blog should be a place where writers, and readers alike, can come to find articles and posts that give writing tips, publishing advice, and highlight authors and new books.
What made you want to start a lit journal?
I have been an English Teacher since 2009, and I’ve been a writer and prolific reader my entire life. I truly enjoy reading fiction, and I enjoy giving writing guidance as well. Also, every time I have something published, or I win a writing contest, I am absolutely thrilled. I supposed I started this journal for two reasons: first, to put together a solid collection for readers to enjoy, and second, to help give more authors a place to showcase their work.
What types of submissions are you looking for from writers?
First and foremost, we look for quality writing. We want the fiction and poetry that we select to connect with our readers. We want to provoke thought and elicit strong feelings and emotions. Also, it is very important that the work we publish not promote hate, violence, or discrimination. We want our readers to feel included, and never intimidated.
Who are some of your favorite writers?
As for more contemporary writers, I love Kazuo Ishiguro, Wally Lamb, John Green, & John Krakauer. Of course, and an English teacher, I love classic and contemporary classics as well. Among my favorite authors are J.D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, and John Steinbeck.
What is your favorite book from childhood?
From early childhood, I was both plagued by and enamored with, The Giving Tree. It made me terribly sad. Even in adulthood, I can’t get all the way through it without crying, and motherhood has only deepened its effect on me. In my middle grades, I loved Tuck Everlasting and Flowers for Algernon. Again, the tears shed while reading those books as a young girl are uncountable.
If you could have coffee with any writer (living or deceased), who would you pick?
Wow, what a nearly unanswerable question. Now if it were a drink, I’s say Hemingway without hesitation. His propensity for excitement and competition at bars among friends would be such an amazing thing to witness. As for a cup of coffee, I would have to say Salinger. He was such an unknowable creature, and Catcher in the Rye has had such a lasting impact on my life. If you and I had coffee, I could tell you a story or two about all the silly things I have done, and that have happened to me due to my intense love for that book.
Some other facts about Sarah:
My novel, The Ways of After, was published by Willowbird Press in 2015. Since then I have been published by a few Literary Journals and Magazines. Most recently, my work was featured in the March Issue of La Piccioletta Barca, and in April I won a fiction writing competition held by Retreat West, and was featured in their magazine.
I also am married with two beautiful daughters (Summer and Keira)
Check out Finding the Birds online here:
True Colors Reading Worksheets Session 7
This week we read chapters 18-20. In chapter 18, Landry gets to do a modeling photo shoot, but it’s way less glamourous than she expected. Have you ever been excited to do something you’ve dreamed about, but it isn’t as great as you imagined in reality? Write about or discuss your experience.
It’s Thanksgiving and Landry’s parents and grandmother are there for dinner. Things are uncomfortable with Landry’s mom being on edge, her grandma being a bit critical, and the fact things are a bit uneasy between her mom and dad. Write about why you think everyone is feeling tense and awkward around each other.
Later, Landry opens up a bit to her dad and grandma (separately) about how difficult it’s been on her with her dad living apart from them while he’s still working back in Chicago. Things feel different the next day when they go shopping. There's a lot of mixed and confusing feelings going on for Landry here. Write or discuss how this scene makes you feel.
In chapter 19, we see Landry and another friend (Peyton) discussing their looks. Reread this section: “Peyton was also having hair problems in class. “I hate my hair,” she said. “Are you kidding? I’d kill for your hair. I’d love to have dark red hair, and it’s so thick—”
“It’s like wire.” She wrapped a strand around a pencil, and it was curled when she unrolled it. “See? I wish I had blonde hair like yours. It’s always silky like the conditioner commercial where the girl keeps whirling around.”
Landry is shocked Peyton likes her hair and repeats something mean Ericka said about her hair color. How does Peyton react to hearing what Ericka said about Landry? Do you agree with Peyton that Ericka is jealous or Landry or do you think she really doesn’t like Landry’s hair? Have you ever had someone make fun of how you look? How did you handle it? Did it change how you felt about yourself?
Landry is invited to Tori’s house for a birthday sleepover with her and Ericka. Things feel different than their past sleepovers though. Reread this section:
“Landry, your hair looked good braided last week,” Ericka said.
“Thanks. Peyton did it on the bus,” I said. “It was so much prettier than just lying there like usual,” she said.
I hated how she insulted me, but she did it in a fake sweet voice so I couldn’t get mad at her. Well, at least to her face. Sometimes she said mean things I didn’t even catch until I get home, and then it was too late to do anything about it. Ericka has always gone after my hair since last summer when we played this dumb game called “I Wish.” The three of us all had to say stuff we wanted, and I wished my hair wasn’t so light and straight. I said I wanted dark, thick, wavy hair, and ever since then she’s attacked my hair. Why had I been sad when she stopped talking to me again?”
How do you feel after reading this? Why do you think Ericka acts this way toward Landry? Have you ever been in a situation like this?
Landry decides to go home the next morning instead of going to the movies with the girls after the sleepover. She ends up going to hand out with Peyton instead. Why is her time with Peyton so different than her time with Ericka and Tori? How does Landry act differently around Peyton than her old friends?
In chapter 20, Devon begins to act strangely around Landry. Why do you think that is?
Behind the scenes: Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t outwardly insulted, but you walk away from a conversation not feeling good about yourself? Maybe you even question if the example your friend used to make fun of someone was somehow really directed at you.
It was years before I heard the words, “passive aggressive,” but once I learned that it is a subtle way to insult someone, I realized I had encountered it many times. It never feels good to question a friend’s true motives. The, “I Wish,” game that Ericka, Landry, and Tori play is one I played in the 6th grade. I grew up with very dark hair, so I used the example of something mean I had overheard on the playground about a blonde girl for my example. Sometimes people pick on things someone is sensitive about and use it to control that person. I remember a girl I used to shrink around because I knew she was always on the lookout for something to attack someone on. Even now, I have people whose calls I avoid for the same reason.
After True Colors came out, I had both readers and mothers of readers reach out to say that they (or their daughters) realized they were dealing with similar friend issues after reading these scenes. Is this something you’ve gone through as well? Write about how it’s made you feel and find a trusted adult you can speak with and share your concerns. You can always ask them to read what you wrote if you’re more comfortable sharing it that way than talking about it.
Read chapters 21-23 for next time! The previous sessions can be found here:
This week book 2 in the series, Best Friends...Forever, is also on sale for 99 cents if you want to pick it up for our future sessions.
Best Friends...Forever? is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time and you can pick up True Colors for 99 cents, too! This award winning middle school series is close to my heart and perfect for preteens and young teens.
You can find the book here:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074CH4WVM
I'm doing reading guide sessions for the entire Landry's True Colors Series. We're still on Book 1, but we'll be starting Best Friends...Forever? soon. You can find the info here:
Excerpt from Best Friends...Forever?:
I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that's when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.
My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a close‑knit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the "ʺThree’s Company"ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, "ʺWish you were here,"ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.
“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.
“Yeah, just signing off.”
“Okay, sleep well.”
I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.
True Colors Reading Worksheet Session 6
This week we read chapters 15-18. In chapter 15, Devon suggests to Landry that they buy best friend bracelets. After that the girls go shopping and out to eat. Reread this section and write about what Devon suggests they do during this trip and how Landry responds. Does anything feel one-sided here?
In chapter 15 there is a focus on colors again. Write what you notice about that and why you think that’s in the book.
All of a sudden, Ericka and Tori are acting like nothing happened and talking to Landry again. Why do you think that is? How would you respond if you were Landry? Take a look at Devon’s response to Landry talking to them again and the fact Landry forgot to put on her best friend bracelet. Why do you think she’s acting this way?
Ashanti, Devon, and Peyton all have different reactions to the way Landry handles the situation with Ericka and Tori. Why do you think each of them acts the way they do?
At the end of chapter 16, Landry learns that her friendship with Devon has caused some friction/issues for India. There’s a lot of emotions going on with all of the girls right now. Write down or discuss who you feel is motivated by fear, anger, jealousy, hurt, or if you feel something else is going on here.
In chapter 17, Landry is dealing with a very different situation in the lunch room. Instead of trying to find someone to sit with or hiding out in the bathroom with a sandwich, she’s having to pick between friends at different tables. She feels pulled in different directions and doesn’t want to upset anyone. Who do you think she should sit with and why?
At the end of chapter 17, Landry has both Ashanti and Devon over after school and it’s awkward. Write about why you think that it is uncomfortable for her seeing as she’s friends with both girls.
Reread this section: “There were so many weekends when Tori and Ericka were mad at me and I had nothing to do. I would sit home all weekend before and finally I had a life, and now I had to work. Part of me wanted to be a big star, but part of me just wanted to have a best friend. Oh well. It would all be worth it when I got my big break.” Take some time to discuss or write your feelings about Landry’s thoughts on this.
Behind the scenes: I used a lot of my own experiences with friends to create the relationship tensions Landry faces in these chapters. It wasn’t until I was starting high school that I began to realize there was a pattern with how I was being treated and how I was allowing myself to be treated by friends. I moved away from some unhealthy relationships because of that, but for a long time I didn’t know why these things were happening. I remember going for years feeling like I was walking on eggshells and trying not to make someone mad at me. Have you ever had a friendship where you had to constantly be careful or the other person would get upset with you? How did you handle it?
Once again, find someone in your school that you don’t know as well and send them a message to find out how things are going for them while you’re all out of school. Ask them how they’re handling everything and spend some time getting to know them.
Read chapters 18-20 for next time! The previous sessions can be found here:
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting by Karen Swallow Prior
Being and English major, I’ve dealt with Jane Austen in previous classes, but I don’t remember reading this one although I’ve read a modern version of it by another author. And, yes, seen the movie! This version of the book includes an introduction that shows how Christianity influenced Jane Austen and her work. It talks about how she wrote with Christian themes and influence without being preachy. It talks about the themes in the book and there are footnotes throughout the novel. At the end of each section/volume, there are discussion questions that help you understand the book better in particular in the Christian context.
The book is very well done with the introduction being extremely well thought out. I can see myself back in college using the ideas in it as a theme for a paper in class. The questions are great for helping to explain the book and themes, but would be great for a book club as well.
Lately, showing off pretty classics online is becoming all the rage, so that’s why I’m going to mention the classic elegant appeal of the cover. This would be a great gift for a high school or college graduate.
Overall, whether or not you’re new to this classic or a fan of the book (or the author) already, this would be a great edition to your bookshelf. I think the introduction alone makes it worthwhile even if you already own a copy of the novel.
* I was given a review copy by B&H Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review
Welcome to ALINTA BAY
I’m happy to share with you the second book in Iris Blobel’s series,
which is set at the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
If you love small town romance, be sure to get your copy today!
About Book Two
TELL IT TO MY HEART
Confronted with the choice to care for his friend’s family on the other side of the world or to return to Alinta Bay to be with his own newfound family, how will Noah choose?
Following the death of his grandmother, Noah Fielding returns to Alinta Bay and the first thing — or person — he finds is the next-door neighbour in his nan’s bathroom — naked no less. Still jetlagged, he doesn’t hit it off with Molly at first. Yet, over the next few weeks, as his past uncovers itself bit by bit, she becomes is anchor, his friend, and his lover.
Molly Reid had the world at her feet, happily married with a young son … until a tragic car accident took everything away from her. With her heart broken, she moves to Alinta Bay to escape the memories of the past. Her peaceful existence, however, is interrupted after a heavy storm floods her house and she temporarily moves into her recently deceased neighbour’s house next door.
When Noah’s friend and partner goes missing during a routine flight, Noah returns to Alaska to help, but will he come back for Molly?
Add TELL IT TO MY HEART to your Goodreads TBR !
Get your copy of TELL IT TO MY HEART today!
Book One in the Series
Sometimes one has to break rules in order to find happiness…
Widower Logan Hendrix is puzzled by the recent series of small crimes against his son’s new teacher. It’s a mystery to him, and he offers her his help. There’s an instant attraction, and Logan wants to take their parent/teacher relationship to a more personal level.
It doesn’t take Addison Ryker long to fall in love with Alinta Bay, the small town she’s moved to for her new teaching position at the local primary school. Her newfound haven is threatened, however, when her house is broken into and she is relying on the unbelievably stubborn but very sexy Logan for help. Although captivated by him, Addison worries her career could be compromised, because there are rules about dating a parent.
Add DEFYING RULES to your Goodreads TBR !
Get your copy of DEFYING RULES today!
Where to find Iris:
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/
Author of funny, charming, and irresistible dramas.