Notes from Candice Ransom

That Kansas Air

Sometimes we’re not ready to leave home, go on a business trip, or even go to the grocery store.  We’re that involved with spring chores or our work.  But sometimes we feel misaligned, out of plumb, ripping out rows of work to get back on track.  Those times we’re eager to get away, breathe different

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Why I Blog . . . and Take Pictures

Sunday arrives and I remind myself, lugging a basket of laundry as dust mice scuttle ahead of me, Must post to blog.  On Sundays I often grocery shop, do laundry, vacuum, go out for lunch with my husband, and try to sort out the coming week.  Thinking of a pithy blog post is often at

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Street of Lost Steps

Life is a child at play, moving pieces in a game; the kingdom belongs to the child.  Heraclitus Saturday. A beautiful day to drive to a library event.  My GPS guided me to a highway I hadn’t been on in over 25 years, Rt. 28 between Manassas and Centreville.  Good thing I had GPS because

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Why I (Still) Write for Children, Part II

I became a writer because of one book.  I was home sick from school one day in fourth grade.  Mama let me build a reading cave in the living room, a bedspread draped over the card table, furnished with a quilt and my bed pillow.  Bored, I investigated the bookcase behind the red glider rocker.

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Why I (Still) Write for Children, Part I

A little over a month ago, I was editing chapter seven of a chapter book I’d been working on, on and off, for five years.  I set my pen down.  The book was dead.  It had been on life support the last six months, but I could not pull it through the knothole. This was

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Atticus: Status Update

When we left off a few months ago, the kindly old man and woman who adopted Atticus were wondering when their “little kitten” would settle down.  The old man says the cat is calmer than he was.  There are actual whole minutes when the cat just sits.  However, the old woman, who stays with Atticus

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Footprints on the Porch

Wegman’s was Armageddon.  I went in with one woefully inadequate reusable shopping bag and met a wall of people at the check out.  Fueled by news of Boston’s blizzards and YouTube views of Yeti helping dig them out, everyone in Fredericksburg had been called to the barricades.  I pushed through denuded aisles, thankful we didn’t

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Alligators in the Swamp

Some 480 million years ago continental plates shifted, rifting apart the mountains of ancient super-continent Pangea.  The western foothills became the Appalachian Mountains of North America.  The eastern foothills created the Atlas Mountains of northeast Africa. After the seas retreated, the American alligator crawled out of the muck, a living fossil dating back maybe 230

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Winter Walk

To give my writing a kick in the pants, I signed up for two online classes through Story Circle Network, concentrating on writing nonfiction for adults.  My first class, “Animals Make Us Human,” taught by Elizabeth Brennan, was a wonderful experience. Elizabeth encouraged us students to take nature walks.  Sad fact, in the winter I

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A Leaf in Ice

This weekend I went to Richmond to visit my sister, get my hair done (“Lord, I can read in the dark by your roots,” she said), and, not the least, to remember something. All the way down I-95 I reminded myself, “Ask about the Mouse House.”  While my sister was putting my color on, I

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One Thing Leads to Another

A few years ago one of my Hollins students, who was also finishing up her degree at Longwood University, gave my name to the library at Longwood.  They invited me to speak in the spring of 2013.  During the Q&A, someone asked if I had any hobbies.  I replied, “Trespassing,” and then quickly explained my

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