Category Archives: Datebook

Happy Birthday, Jane Gardam!

Happy birthday to Jane Gardam, born in North Yorkshire in 1928, and still going strong at age 86. I’ve left plenty of traces of my own Gardam fandom, with a piece in Bloom and a note in Open Letters Monthly’s Year in Reading for 2013. But for years she felt a bit like a secret-handshake […]

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In Search of Lost Fireworks

July Fourth is one of those Rorschach holidays—it’s pretty much whatever you want to make it. If you’re patriotic, bless your heart, you can celebrate it that way. If you want to go to a party and drink beer and grill, there’s plenty of opportunity for that. You can just kick back and enjoy the […]

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The Resurgence of Poem in Your Pocket Day

I’m enormously gratified to be celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day once again on this bright and blustery spring day. Not that it ever went away—it’s been happening cheerfully every year, with or without my participation. But the stresses of academic life had distracted me for the past couple of years, and I managed to […]

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Yes, D.E.A.R.—Drop Everything And Read Day

You didn’t actually have plans for the weekend, did you? Saturday is the birthday of Beverly Cleary, author of Henry Huggins, Ribsy, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and the Ramona the Pest books, among many, many others. And yes, she’s still with us—going strong at 97, and an honest-to-goodness national treasure, if you ask me. […]

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Take Note(s): National Handwriting Day

P.S. The parts underlined in green are links… there’s one thing that doesn’t translate too well from paper to pixel. (Paper: Field Notes FN-01 graph paper notebook. Pen: Lamy Safari.)

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Each Day is Valentine’s Day

Well, OK. It was Valentine’s Day. But I’m not going to feel too bad about missing most of it because I’m fully with Lorenz Hart on this one: Each day is Valentine’s Day. And that goes in both directions: If you have someone you love and cherish, no need to set aside one particular day […]

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The Language of Flowers 2012: “Gawd Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” Limited Edition

Back in the heat of the dog days, our roving correspondent Dena Santoro reported on finding an 1875 copy of The Language of Flowers in a London bookshop in 1988. And here, as a gift to all you fine folks who have stuck by Like Fire throughout the year, is her limited holiday edition, updated […]

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Something for the Fourth: The Artillery Book

Where once I was the kind of bad urban teenager who bought paper bags of fireworks from shifty kids in Chinatown dealing out of the back of their parents’ kitchens, now I’m the cranky kind of broad who worries about the neighborhood kids setting her roof on fire, and is just as glad if the […]

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Yes You Will: Happy Bloomsday, 2012!

Happy Bloomsday! I’m assuming everyone else is off at the pub, or having a little grilled mutton kidney, or knocking around Dublin in a white dress as is appropriate to the date. Me, I’m in Boca Raton primping for a family wedding—no stately plump folks in sight, just lots of sleek tans and frosted toenails. […]

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This Is What You Shall Do

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to […]

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