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Coconut

Author Carole Marsh's Blog
There’s a new dog in town.  OMG…it’s at my house. How did that happen?!

Meet Coconut, a pomegranate…what we are calling a Pomeranian mix.  She was found on a road near Charleston; so sad. We got her from Noah’s Ark Rescue; there’s a sucker born every minute, but really, it’s a wonder we didn’t leave with two or three dogs?

We went for an older, sedate dog as a companion for husband, Bob.

Instead we got a four-month-old, very happy, very unhousebroken, energetic wad of fur that weighs four pounds. How could we resist.

Daughter Michele found her for us; she is our dog whisperer. I hope she soon whispers to Coconut the secrets to going to the bathroom in the great outdoors instead of in my, well, in my bathroom. And bedroom. And living room. And, well, you get the picture.

I’m thinking of answering my phone like this: “Pee and Poop Central…Chief Scooperintendent Carole speaking.” (But I’m afraid it might be the preacher calling and not my grandkids.)

She is bonding with the wrong person. I now have Bob bribing her with the SDW, Secret Dog Weapon—bacon. She has chewed through my computer cord and the sequins off my new sandals.

We love her.

PS:  She’s a real character. Does that sound like a book’s coming? How could I resist! But first I have to buy her a bandana with pink flamingos on it.

PSS: Bob can’t remember her name, so he calls her Porcupine, Cucumber, and a few other names; of course she’s confused!

 

 

 

My Summer of Silo

Summer of SILO copyFor a couple of years I’ve been working on a cookbook called My Summer of SILO.  The reason is that a new farm-to-cook kind of concern opened in nearby Beaufort.  While they have a physical location, they also have a lovely website.  Each Sunday night I wait eagerly for their download of the new products for sale that week.

There’s everything from organic eggs to honey to stone-ground grits to things like these gorgeous red spring onions.  Best of all, you place your order and on Friday morning they deliver it at the end of my street at the community garden shed!

I love riding my golf cart with a hot cup of coffee down to the shed.  I bring my cute, insulated, black and silver SILO bag, which they take and replace with an identical one full of all the things I ordered, but have forgotten what was!  So I hurry home and unpack fresh strawberries just picked from the field, creamy sweet potatoes the size of a football, chocolate chess mini-pies, fresh baked bread, and kale so curly and green I don’t know whether to eat it or wear it as a hat.

I record the recipes I make from my SILO stash of wonders.  One day I will have a completed cookbook…but I hope not too soon.  This is just too much fun!

You Gotta Have Faith

Author Carole Marsh talks about faith in her writing. After all these years, someone just asked me, “Are your books ‘faith-based?’”

Hmm…

I once met a girl named Faith. I had no idea what “faith” she was.

That’s sort of been my approach to writing for children. After all, I write to the entire classroom—each and every child as personal as I possibly can. The classroom has changed a lot over the years. I realized this one day when I made my AME Baptist church pastor artist take a graphic of the Cross out of a book. We both looked surprised, even guilty.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because,” I said. “Picture your child’s classroom; what do you see?” He thought about it. “Black kids, white kids, lots of new Hispanic kids, some Asians, others.”

“Think harder,” I urged, and then the light bulb over his head went off.

“Baptists, like me, but also, yes, Muslims, Catholics, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists, and actually, lots of other faiths. I know because they studied religions recently and the kids took a poll of the variety of faiths represented in their class. I was astounded.”

From the time I started writing for kids, started Gallopade, I had a mental checklist that included words like: wholesome…unbiased…honest…Yes ma’m/No sir…respect…values…ethics—you know that kind of list. I knew I had a big choice to make: I could try to please all the parents, all the teachers, librarians, booksellers and others, or, I could write to the child.

I write to the child. I do not want them to know what I think or believe. I want them to learn what they think, what they believe. In fact, we teasingly call it “the Carole Marsh question,” since it so often appears in my books: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

When I ask this, I am asking, “Think hard about what you have heard, studied, learned, experienced, and decide what you believe is right or wrong.” After all, not every child comes from an unbiased background or the same faith community and such. And yet, they have to get along in this world, don’t they?

This is important. We adults think we have all the answers, but what our children choose to believe is the answer for their future. We don’t necessarily want them to agree with us; we want them to seek truth.

Is that faith? Well, I have faith that my books are indeed “faith-based.”

 

 

 

 

Tiny Books

TinyBooksImageHere are my tiny books—earrings gift from daughter, Michele; I wear them on special occasions, especially to school visits and autographings.

The Tiny Book Show!

If you love all things miniature (well, uh, many things?), here’s a fun one—a traveling caravan of 300 miniature handmade books, collected in a vintage 1965 covered wagon trailer called MAUDE (Mobile Art Unit Designed for Everyone.)

Books are 1-3-inches square, crafted by all kinds of folks from around the world on a wide array of topics. This red/white/blue trailer is basically a Tiny Book Musuem and will made 40 stops around America late spring and summer. They are even hosting tiny book workshops! Visit the site to learn a lot more.

If you love Lilliputian, this should be your cup of tiny tea!

Lady Lowcountry

LL CoverI’ve been fortunate to garner many accolades over the years for my writing, speaking, and such, but recently being deemed a Lowcountry Lady sort of hit the spot!

It’s nice to be considered a lady in this era of media filled with so much non-ladylike activity. And to be a lady of the Lowcountry (my favorite place in the world) just feels like it harks back to an era where I might be wearing a white lace dress, pretty hat, and sipping tea and nibbling cookies. Well, those days are long gone, however…

 

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The Warmth of Other Suns

Blog 6 - Warmth of Other Suns

When my book club said we were going to read this for our next book, I thought, “Good!  A book on Tahiti or Miami or anywhere warm!” But it is a book on The Great Migration. Ever heard of that?

No, most of us have not, at least not by that name. Astounding author, Isabel Wilkerson, means the epic story of the migration north and west by African Americans during the Jim Crow era, and beyond. “Beyond” turns out to be on up into the 1970s!

Her first book, Wilkerson won a Pulitzer Price, and with good reason. I write history for kids all the time; I try to tell the truth. But truth is in the eye of he beholder? No, it’s more in the mind, heart and writing soul of someone smart enough and brave and perceptive enough to suss it out and share it!

I have written “black history” for kids for 30 years and only now found a kindred spirit!  While I knew something about this indeed great migration, Wilkerson tells it best. Although I loved her tales of half a dozen real-life characters, it was her interspersed explanation of the truth behind the story that was so awesome.

In a time when standards simplify (and sanitize?) history, how important it is for us to read the truth, tell the truth, share the truth. I don’t often devote my life to 800+ page reads, but this one was worthy (Thanks Lucy for choosing it!)  At book club, we had an invigorating three hour discussion about this book. Honestly, I think young readers, when given worthy, truth-telling-warts-and-all material…would do the same.

Now doesn’t the thought of kids animatedly talking about history for THREE HOURS straight (and no wine) just give you cold chills!