Notes from Candice Ransom

The Winter of Our (My) Discontent

Inauguration Day.  Except for exercise class, I stayed home.  We have no TV and my husband took the newspapers with him to work.  But the Internet sprayed me with the day’s events.  People would not stop talking.  Talk, talk, talk.  By the time I went to bed, my stomach was in knots. Saturday I left

Read More »

Tooth Fairy’s Night: The Story of One Book

Today is the launch day of my newest–and first 2017–book, Tooth Fairy’s Night.  It’s a Level 1 Step into Reading, written for the newest readers.  And here is how it came about. In the spring of 2015, I was restless and in need of “filling the well,” as most long-term career writers must do from

Read More »

Flipping the Switch: 2017

I’m late putting up a New Year’s post, owing to the fact I had a book due, I was hospitalized, and there were all those holidays.  Being in the hospital for three days (and three mostly sleepless nights) gave me plenty of time to think about the coming year and change.  A new year usually

Read More »

Angels in the Woods

It starts in late October when I pick up special-issue Christmas magazines.  Something fires in my brain.  Visions of cut-out sugar cookies, homemade breads for neighbors, our house turned into a picture-perfect vintage winter wonderland . . . For Type-A control-freaks like me, Christmas represents the pinnacle of overachievement.  Pull out garland, lights, and mistletoe! 

Read More »

Go Out. Report Back.

Last week I wrote about being “between selves,” referencing an essay by writing teacher, Heather Sellers.  I’m still mining that essay, “The Wizard in the Closet,” which is about how Sellers’ FSU writing mentor, Jerome Stern, shaped her into a writer (and a person). As Stern’s grad assistant, Sellers often ran errands for him: “picking

Read More »

Between Selves

Recently I attended our regional SCBWI conference.  It was a great conference, as always, and like old home week.  Lots of people came up to me:  Hollins students, retreat attendees, critique clients, workshop attendees, even someone who heard me speak at a romance writers panel in 1982 (“You were a girl!”).  I was pleased that

Read More »

Why I Went Back to Jazzercise

As you grow older, you realize there are a great many things you can’t get back:  your childhood home, your size two body, your mother’s moonstone pendant you lost in the front yard and never found no matter how many times you raked through the grass.  In this era of ever-facing forward, you may think

Read More »

Cleopatra’s Robe

When I think about the stars and how far away they are and how many, I get so I have to sit down. And then I remember that matter cannot be created or destroyed, which means nothing ever leaves.  Not dogs or fleas or mockingbirds or Jefferson’s eyelashes.  The dust stirred by the hem of

Read More »

Strawberries in May

No tuna for the cats this week.  These are the first of the season and Social Security only stretches so far.  Time for homemade strawberry shortcake with real cream. Fifty years ago you kissed Estee Lauder Swiss Strawberry off my lips.  When all the kids had measles, you picked tiny wild berries and put them

Read More »

“The Way Mama Could Peel Apples!”

Something was wrong. Sick of being buttoned-up, jammed-up, grown-up, I tore out in the Little Red Truck, down a wide-open highway, windows down, eating a Twix bar, CD player blaring Waylon and Willie in “Good-hearted Woman.” It wasn’t too long before I met the girl who used to drive barefoot down tree-dappled backroads, sipping the

Read More »

Are You a Hummingbird or a Jackhammer?

Last fall, social media buzzed with Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creativity.  Gilbert, who has led workshops on finding your passion, presented the flipside at Oprah’s event.  While she herself has followed her passion all her life, she understands that not everyone is cut out of the same cloth.  She divided people into jackhammers—those who doggedly

Read More »

Not-So-Secret Source: My “Paper Man”

At the writing retreat in Luray a few weekends ago, participants wanted to know where I got the variety of ephemera I use in writing-related art projects.  “My Paper Man,” I said. Since I’ve been collecting–well, anything, I’ve had a source.  Bottle Man, Postcard Man, Teddy Bear Woman, Depression Glass Man.  Right now the “man”

Read More »