Notes from Candice Ransom

“Go Where You Are Welcome”

The trees welcomed him. The bushes made way for him. George Macdonald, The Golden Key Years ago my career and I had a big falling out. I pouted for a while, then decided to leave children’s books and turn to writing adult mysteries.  It was not an unfounded decision— seven of my books were canceled

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Packing My Typewriter for Hollins

Yes, you read that right.  I’m taking a typewriter to Hollins University.  Not a display piece to hold photographs, but a working Smith-Corona Super Sterling in its original case.  Its walking papers state it was purchased new in December, 1967.  Now it’s mine. Two things spurred me to buy another typewriter.  One, a vague unease

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Wonder-Words: Catch Them Before They’re Gone

Is there anything worse than being flattened by sickness in summer?  An eighteen-wheeler virus Jake-braked through our house and left both me and my husband in the ditch.  During conscious moments, feet snugged under a hubcap of a cat, I read the latest issue of Orion.  The magazine subtitled Nature, Culture, Place invites the finest

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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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