Notes from Candice Ransom

Wheels on the Pavement

My new planner set the course last week: work, two trips to the library, three trips to the gym.  Time to crack the whip!  Get back in the harness!  But by Thursday, I was sick of my own dictums.  I needed to get away from my desk, my office, my house.  The wheels of the

Read More »

Chicken, No; Donuts, Yes: A New Year’s Day Journal

Is it Saturday?  Every day the last few weeks has seemed like Saturday.  Or a holiday fixing to get ready to happen.  In grocery stores, I squint over lists of special food for Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, Christmas day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day breakfast, New Year’s Day. Today when I woke up, I

Read More »

It’s Coming on Christmas

You are ten in 1962 and it’s coming on Christmas.  At W.T. Grant’s you buy a one-inch tall plastic nativity scene for a quarter.  It looks like the nativity your mother has only much smaller.  You don’t think about the religious connotation.  You want to shrink and slip inside the manger scene. At Drug Fair,

Read More »

Happy Thanksgiving . . . from Atticus!

Read my face: disgusted.  I’ve been living in this house almost a year but if the people here don’t shape up, I’m leaving. First Mama got sick.  They say cats love sick people, and it’s true to a point.  Nothing better than a warm body in the bed, somebody bringing food.  But Mama kept emitting

Read More »

Tell Me About Your Book . . .

This past weekend, I went to our regional SCBWI conference, a happy gathering of children’s book writers and illustrators.  I believe there were 265 in attendance, not counting the faculty.  The ballroom at the Holiday Inn Dulles was comfortably packed and energy crackled. I always love waiting for this conference to begin, the year-long work

Read More »

Pumpkin Day!

Welcome my latest book!  Pumpkin Day is my first pre-K reader, about a family that visits a pumpkin patch.  Erika Meza did the cheerful, autumn-perfect illustrations. I never went to a pumpkin patch when I was a kid.  We raised our own!  Pie pumpkins (smaller, for cooking) were grown next to the corn in our

Read More »

Atticus: All Grown Up

The last time I posted about Atticus, he was heading into the record books as The Worst Cat in the World.  When I left for Hollins this summer, I gave my house one fond final look, knowing it wouldn’t be the same when I came back. Amazingly, the house was the same when I returned

Read More »

Farewell, Summer

Lots of people crowd the beaches Labor Day weekend.  We prefer to put a stamp on summer’s end by going to the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia. I will be on an Internet sabbatical for the month of September.  This is not “Farewell, blog,” but just “so long for a while.”

Read More »

Dateline: Saltville, VA

Friends have had enviable summer vacations to Italy, Myrtle Beach, Ireland, L.A., and Hilton Head.  On the eve of my husband’s retirement, we took an overnight trip to Saltville, Virginia.  Don’t rush to the map—I’ll tell you how to get to this fabulous place.  Drive down I-81, following the mountainous spine of Virginia until you

Read More »

Summer Reading

Though summer is fast coming to an end, I’m cramming in as many thrillers and other “beach” reads as I can.  At the beginning of this month, Bookology published a short essay of mine about children’s summer reading.  I’m one of the magazine’s many contributors, happy to be among writers like Avi, Virginia Euwer Wolff,

Read More »

Making Magic

We heard their piping, excited voices as soon as we walked through the door.  My friend Donna and I had planned a Friday morning pause between exercise and errands.  After meeting at a downtown coffee shop to talk shop, we’d sandwich in a gallery-hop at Liberty Town Arts Center.  And now there were kids.  We

Read More »

Missing: The Children of Summer

It was a place I often thought about.  I located a lot of my imaginings in it.  ~~ Wendell Berry As I cruised through my neighborhood last Thursday afternoon, I felt like an extra in a Charlton Heston sci-fi movie, “Soylent Green,” perhaps, or maybe “The Omega Man.”  When I left for Hollins University back

Read More »