MAKING ROOM . . .

After my first YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, was released I, with deep humility, slid it next to my favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, on the top shelf of my bookcase. On the opposite end of the bookends is a copy of Mary Oliver's Upstream. And when my MG-novel, Marble Town, was released, it found its own spot next to Honeysuckle Holiday. The works keep close company with The Catcher in the Rye and A Christmas Memory. And after a lifetime of reading timeless classics and contemporary works of fiction and poetry, I did not slide -- for more than a few years -- in between these treasures another work that holds for me the overwhelming joy that these select few hold -- until today. As

. . . A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

In addition to the melodic list of favorite things that Maria sings about in The Sound of Music (which just happens to be one of my favorite things), I'd like to add: Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" Dark chocolate-covered cherries from Holl's of Parkersburg, WV Family & friends near and far The alphabet and its mix of twenty-six letters that form words that form sentences that form stories Tamarack and its passionate staff Memories . . . Bookstores and booksellers who invite readers to read Honeysuckle Holiday and Marble Town and Please Close It! J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works Natalie & Nicholas, Julia & Max, James & Charlie & Timmy The Book Loft of German Village John Derian's work Aunt

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