Notes from Candice Ransom

catbird nest

Catbirds, Owls, and Kids’ Books

The catbirds come north from Florida to our house in April. The male declared from our cherry tree that our yard was his. Pilgrim-gray, catbirds sing a very loud, varied song. They are mimics like mockingbirds and thrashers, tossing patched-together bits of other birds’ songs punctuated with a crisp bzzt. Most people prefer melodious mockingbirds,

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quote journal

A Simple Quote Book

Like most writers, I have a ton of journals, yet if I’m in Barnes and Noble, I study the journal section like I’m trying to pass the bar exam.  I don’t need any more yet I’m drawn to them like filings to a magnet. I have bullet journals, Moleskine notebooks, and a shelf of hand-covered

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Platform for a Ghost

    Recently I signed up for a webinar on creating an author platform and developing an author brand. This was an attempt to tether me to the real world, which has sped up and left me in the dust. The first part of the webinar focused on websites. I already have a website. I

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Polaris board game

Cancer and the Game of Polaris

Some years ago I bought a game board at an antique show because I loved the graphics. The board was designed and signed by A.R. Meissner, 1923. It’s an odd game-“Polaris: The Great 254 Trillion Mile Aeroplane Race,” patent applied for (don’t know if it was ever granted) by Chas. S. Muir, to be produced

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What I Miss This Summer

“Summer Aunts” I miss the aunts who gave us summers. Kitchen-steady, radios tuned to country and western. Racing bikes. Bactine unstinging skinned knees. Beaded pitchers of cherry Cheeri-aid in the fridge. Tuna fish, Fritos for lunch. Don’t slam the screen door! Lazy hammock afternoons, Little Lulu, Scrooge McDuck, chewing Juicyfruit till the sugar fades. Carload

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Young Candice with cat

Trying to Find My Way Out

Once, a girl read a lot of books and wrote stories and drew pictures and wanted to be a writer. At fifteen, the same age as Sleeping Beauty when she pricked her finger on the hidden spindle, this girl decided to write children’s books. She told her mother she needed a typewriter to be a

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Long Road of a Long-hauler

It’s been a month since my first symptoms of Covid. My doctor has declared me a “long-hauler.” This was a group I truly did not want to join. Long-haulers have been around since the first outbreak in March. They no longer have Covid. They are not infectious. But they retain the symptoms. Their stories are

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Skeleton Window - (c) Candice Ransom

Covid’s Ghosts

You won’t find us in the daily Covid statistics. We test negative–more than once–or we’re too sick to be tested at all. Our symptoms are usually atypical. We’re often dismissed by the medical community who are overwhelmed with real Covid cases. I’ve read about us. We don’t have the flu or bronchitis or pneumonia or

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Charlotte Huck Book

The Big Green Textbook

My first inkling there was a thing called children’s literature came at a yard sale.  I picked up a thick green textbook, Children’s Literature in the Elementary School, by Charlotte S. Huck.  I marveled at the idea that people discussed and studied the books I loved and planned to write, that children’s books were literature,

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Hubble's Bubble

Our Public Libraries and the New Normal

I’ve been delving into my home library since March.  Just yesterday I chose a vintage children’s book, an ex-library copy of a book I’d read (from a public library) when I was a kid.  Look at the regulations pasted on the inside cover—particularly the last paragraph.    As much as I’m enjoying my private library,

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Miss the Library? Not So Much.

I could stand almost everything about this pandemic except the public library closing. The library is essential! We bought property to build our house based on proximity to the library. I stopped on my way back from exercise class four and five times a week. Some library systems let people know in advance of closing,

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My Truck Office

Over the years, I’ve often had a tote bag on the passenger seat of my little red truck that held a pen, notebook, and current reading book.  But cloth tote bags are too flimsy and usually become grungy.  Then I bought a canvas garden tote from Cracker Barrel because it was sturdy, had several pockets

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