The Secret Life of Book Club Review

secret_life_of_a_book_clubAs a longtime member of a book club (my current one is made up of moms from my town), I was intrigued by the premise of Heather Woodhaven’s new novel, The Secret Life of Book Club: women in a neighborhood book club take a break from reading books to try a series of new experiences—adventures that force them out of their comfort zones.

While the idea is unorthodox—a book club that doesn’t read books?—the idea of trying something new, something unfamiliar, with a group of friends is appealing. After all, it’s easy to talk ourselves out of doing things—things that we find scary, intimidating, or different—but, as the women in The Secret Life of Book Club find, taking the leap with others gives you someone to whom you’re accountable, which makes you less likely to shy away from the challenge. Perhaps it’s easier to take a risk or be open to change when you know someone is looking out for you.

As the novel opens, each woman in the book group featured in The Secret Life of Book Club is facing some kind of stress or uncertainty, some of which becomes more apparent as the adventures develop. The experiences they share (which I won’t tell you about so as to not leak any spoilers) help them clarify their life priorities and learn more about themselves. They also have a good time together and strengthen their friendships.

I read The Secret Life of Book Club while on vacation with my family, pulling it up on the Kindle app after I completed my latest book club book. I enjoyed the friendships between the women in the story and the journeys they go on together, which cement their connections.

I was invited to review The Secret Life of Book Club by the book’s author Heather Woodhaven. I’ve never had an author write to me directly about reviewing his or her book on Red Shutters, and, at first, I was worried: what if I didn’t like the book? But, fortunately, it was not a concern with The Secret Life of Book Club; this is an enjoyable book that will resonate with book club members and those considering joining a book club.

I was intrigued by both Heather’s experience in a book club and her writing process. She kindly answered some questions for Red Shutters readers, and I hope you appreciate learning more about Heather and The Secret Life of Book Club.

Red Shutters (RS): What do you think is the appeal of book clubs? And how did that inspire you to write this book?

Heather Woodhaven (HW): When I moved… a few years ago I found book clubs to be a great place to make new friends…or deepen friendships that were already there. When talking about a story you love, there’s a vulnerability there because usually it impacted you in a personal way. Stories can also broaden your perspective and break down walls. Preconceived judgments go out the window and that’s when real growth starts to happen. That combination (along with heavy doses of chocolate and coffee) made it a great setting to begin my story. The inspiration came from hearing other women consistently long for a little of what the characters experienced in whatever story we were reading—a closer family, more romance, going after a dream, more adventure, etc.

RS: I understand you are a member of a book club. What’s the one activity you’d like your book club to do (that you didn’t write about in the book!)?

HW: Oooo….a road trip. (We’ve talked about it. Scheduling is the hardest part.) And, I’m gonna try to get them to an Irish Dancing class with me someday.

RS: How do you balance a writing career and family? How do you carve out time for writing—and keep yourself motivated?

HW: Um…I’m not there yet. Although I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve found the perfect balance. I always lean toward family. Now that my kids are all in public school (with staggered schedules), I have exactly five and three-quarters hours to myself. I try to fit in a workout and the inevitable errands and cleaning while they’re gone. Add in a hefty dose of blogging and social media, and I have to set the timer to write fiction. Because it’s always hard to start. But once I’ve put a few words on the page, I love every minute. My motivation? I have a list of stories I can’t wait to tell!

RS: What advice would you offer to someone who is thinking of writing a book and/or starting a writing career? 

HW: Devour some writing books (or podcasts). I love the balance of K.M. Weiland’s focus on structure (books and podcasts) on one side and Story Trumps Structure by Steven James on the other side. I’m more a story girl, but I need to keep both things in mind. Find what works for you and then don’t give up. Ever.

RS: Do you have another book in the works? If yes, can you tell us about it? 

HW: Yes, lots of books in the works! I write in two different genres so most of the ones releasing now are romantic suspense—though, I can’t help but add in doses of humor. If you read The Secret Life of Book Club you might recall a description of the chick flick movie they watched: A female headhunter with no sense of humor is losing business to automated…programs and online services. She signs up for a class on being witty led by a humor columnist. They strike a deal. He’ll coach her in humor if she helps him understand the female mind as he tries to break in to fiction. That’s the next romantic comedy/women’s fiction I hope to finish. No title yet.

Thanks, Heather, for sharing your insights!

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy of The Secret Life of Book Club to review, but the ideas presented here are all mine. This post also contains affiliate links; learn more here.


What’s in your Easter basket?

easter basketDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links; learn more here.

Shhh! Don’t tell my kids, but I’m the Easter bunny in our house.

There: the secret is out.

I keep my duties on the low-down. I don’t “hop on down the bunny trail,” but I do load up the Easter baskets and find the perfect hiding spot for these treasures so my little people can search for them on Easter morning.

Having pulled together the goodies for the kids’ baskets, I thought I’d share what R and G will be opening up next Sunday—in case you’re taking on the bunny duties in your home and are feeling a bit stuck.

My Approach
My general philosophy about Easter baskets is that less is more. The traditions of the holiday are, for us, about being with family, going to church, and (ideally) welcoming spring (though, this year, who knows when spring will really come to New England). The kids get a basket of carefully curated items—and some candy (of course). Extravagant, it’s not, but that’s fine; it’s the holiday that matters after all.

So what will R and G get in their Easter baskets this year?

For My Son
My son, R, is seven, and loves all things Lego, as well as books and sports. He’s also working on perfecting his joke telling skills. So, for my budding comedian, I’ve selected Easter Eggstravaganza Mad Libs, guaranteed to dissolve him into giggles (and a great distraction for the car ride to Nana’s house for Easter dinner). He likes Playmobil, too, so his basket will include this red (his favorite color) egg with a pirate and rowboat inside (arggh, matey!). He’ll have a new book, too, LEGO City: Follow That Easter Egg! Finally, a big Star Wars fan (do you know a kid who isn’t?), R’s basket wouldn’t be complete without this Disney Star Wars Milk Chocolate Stormtrooper Bunny (he’s going to love it!).

For My Daughter
G, my five-year-old firecracker of a girl, loves writing stories, skiing, and playing with her brother. For her, there will also be Playmobil; she will get a princess in a pink egg (I also found this egg with a Native American Girl with forest animals, which I would have purchased had been available). G, too, loves books, so Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter will be waiting for her. She’ll receive an activity book, Invisible Easter Magic Picture Book, and a chocolate bunny (which she won’t have to share with her brother).

For Both
Bowing to convention, both Easter baskets will have jellybeans (which my kids adore) and mini chocolate eggs (delicious!). Each child will also receive a new set of markers and a blank notebook, which they will use for drawing, writing, and passing each other notes.

The Cost
The items total about $30 for each basket, a bit more than the $25 budget I had originally set, but still within my let’s-not-go-crazy approach to Easter.

Other Ideas
Some of the other items I considered adding to the kids’ baskets included: band-aids (the kids love the ones with their favorite characters on them), a coupon for a trip to the local frozen yogurt place, Easter-egg shaped chalk (spied at the Dollar Store), and practical things like underwear and socks (I know, such a Mom idea, right?). No cost items were also on my list such as a coupon to select the movie during our next family movie night and a date with Dad to go bike riding.

Final Thoughts
If you’ve noticed that we have a Peep-free Easter, yes, you’re right. I’ve never liked them, preferring good old-fashioned, never-lets-you-down chocolate instead. Being the Easter bunny means you get to pick the candy, right? It’s my favorite perk of the job.

New Addition to My Library: Cape Cod Modern

One of my most favorite things to do is to read interior design magazines, blogs, and books. After sleep, it’s my favorite stress management tool. When I am overwhelmed with all I have to do, I can be found standing at my kitchen counter in front of my laptop, scrolling through blog after blog of dazzling light-filled spaces, stunning homes, and unusual buildings. On Instagram, I follow interior designers, museums, and artists so my downtime is filled with beauty. When the work-a-day life is too much, I dream about a new career as an interior design. I hoard Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Domino, and other shelter magazines in my guest bathroom, stacking them up in a tall pile that threatens to break the countertop on which they rest. When my husband once innocently suggested I recycle the ones I “didn’t need anymore,” I looked at him, aghast. Having never forgiven myself for getting rid of the original Domino magazines, I hold on to these new ones like they are solid gold.

Interior design books are a new addition to my collection. Not only do they fuel my wishful thinking, but they are gorgeously published, perfect for displaying in color-coordinated piles in my living room and den. The newest addition to my library arrived at Christmas, a gift from my husband (and a gift I gave my brother for the same holiday, our family’s twist on The Gift of Magi). The book is Cape Cod Modern: Midcentury Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape, written by Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani.

cape cod modernThe book first piqued my interest because of its focus on two things I love: Cape Cod, the place where my husband grew up and where we were married, and midcentury design. For the past four years, I have lived with my family in a home designed in 1959 and built in 1960, at the height of midcentury movement. (For a quick primer on midcentury modern design, see this summary.) I have long gravitated to this period and was looking forward to exploring Cape Cod Modern to expand my knowledge and to find inspiration as we prepare for renovations to our home.

It’s a fabulous book. Stunningly photographed and rich in history, the book captures a time of artistic expression that is not especially well known. Consulting archives from libraries, universities, the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, and other sources, McMahon and Cipriani uncover never before seen stories, personal photographs, and information about the rich midcentury architectural legacy of the outer Cape, with a focus on Wellfleet and Truro.

In a fortuitous stroke of luck, I was able to attend a lecture about the book given by the authors last week. Sponsored by the Friends of Modern Architecture in Lincoln, the talk was held on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the Lincoln Public Library and had a great turnout. Everyone present had a real appreciation of modern architecture, with enthusiastic support for the book and its goal of capturing a special time in the field of architecture and design.

What I love best about design and architecture is that they speak to more than just pretty spaces. They capture the philosophy and asethetic of a time and place. They tell the story of people who may no longer be with us, giving us a window into our shared past. And they inspire and encourage new ways of thinking and living.

My homework now that I have read the book is to take one of the modern home tours sponsored by the Cape Cod Modern House Trust; it’s on my 2015 bucket list!

If you’re interested in architecture, Cape Cod, or midcentury modern design, I encourage to check out Cape Cod Modern: Midcentury Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape.

Disclosure: I love this book and just wanted you to know about it! This post does have an affiliate link; learn more here.

Shades of Sound

When the invitation from the Boston Ballet arrived, it took me about a nanosecond to decide. “Would you like to be our guest at the opening of Shades of Sound, the Ballet’s brand-new show?” the message read. Yes!

View More: http://nikkimyersphotography.pass.us/2015-03-08-bostonballet-dressrehearsalPhoto Courtesy of Nikki Amara Myers of Nikki Myers Photography

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The Puppet Showplace Theater and a Giveaway

Recently, my kids and I were invited to attend a performance at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline, MA. We took in “Raccoon Tales,” a series of three short pieces about a wily raccoon and his adventures tricking other animals he encounters in the woods. The show was performed by Brad Shur, the Theater’s Resident Artist.

As we approached the Theater, which is tucked into a side street in Brookline Village, across from the subway stop, I realized that I had never taken my kids to a puppet show before. They had seen puppets in school, of course, but we had never taken in a professional show. That may have explained their excitement!

Puppet Showplace Theater

Who knew puppets were so small?

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Hello Friday (and some great reading!)

Daylight Savings Time

Ahhh… Friday. I don’t know about you, but the arrival of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday threw off my week. I was more tired than usual, going to bed at 9:00 and 9:30 PM two nights! Despite my exhaustion, going to bed early felt…luxurious. What a state my life is that going to bed early equals luxury! (I’m not alone in that, am I?)

Sunday was also International Women’s Day, and coincidentally, it’s also when I started a new book, “Personal History” by Katharine Graham, an autobiography of the woman who led The Washington Post for two decades, including during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. I’ve wanted to read it for a while, and so far, even only a short way into her story, I’m finding it fascinating.

In other reading news (and, thankfully, there is always other reading news), I’ve been gathering items from around the web to share with you. I hope you enjoy them and, as always, thank you for reading for Red Shutters!

1 || Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your house? Although I’m part Irish, my celebrating has typically included wearing something green (if I even remember!) and eating some green vegetables. However, now that my kids are getting older, I may have to up my game to make the holiday a bit more special. Thankfully, the Internet comes in handy on this front. I may make this fun treat for their lunches, give the kids these printables to do, make my own (healthy) version of the Shamrock Shake, or make our dinner “green.”

2 || Do you play Monopoly? Ever think about who created the game? The story may surprise you.

3 || As a parent, I am always intrigued by the stories of other parents and how they shepherd their children through life. This one is especially moving.

4 || The ViewMaster is back! (Confession: I still have mine from childhood.)

5 || Are you a Wes Anderson fan? I loved “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” so this “what-if-Wes-Anderson-had-directed-X-Men-short” had me laughing.

6 || Did you know there’s a new Frozen short–and that Frozen 2 is in the works? My five-year-old is going to flip out when she hears the news!

7 || Vaccines save lives. And the US Surgeon General is taking questions from parents about the MMR vaccine in an effort to encourage parents opting out from vaccinating their kids to rethink that choice.

8 || I recently came across this piece about the healing power of toast (no joke there) and it’s profound.

9 || And, finally because we can never, ever have too much Star Wars in our house…

Happy Weekend!

Photo Credit

We Need to Do More Than Apologize

In a recent article on Fortune.com, titled “I’m sorry to all the mothers I used to work with,” Katharine Zaleski, a co-founder of a start-up that matches skilled female executives with positions they can perform from home, laments her younger, insensitive self. The commentary has since gone viral, provoking an array of responses, including this one from me.

I read the piece when it first came out, having discovering it via a post on Facebook. Friends subsequently sent me a link to the article. “Thought of you when I saw this,” they wrote, referencing the working parent bit, not the selfish twenty-something Zaleski describes as her former self.

At first, I hated this piece.

Portraying herself as a successful professional, Zaleski recounts stories of showing up at work at 10:30 AM, hung over from an evening of fun with colleagues (which is not my definition of a successful professional), and of judging other women negatively just because they were parents.

“I was there to meet with Time.com’s then managing editor and pitch a partnership idea, but once I took a seat and surveyed the endless photos of her small children spread across the airy space, I decided this editor was too much of a mother to follow up on the idea…She wasn’t the first and only mother whose work ethic I silently slandered.”

She gives examples of how she was a selfish and self-absorbed manager and colleague, without an appreciation for coworkers who had lives that were very different than hers.

 “I scheduled last minute meetings at 4:30 pm all of the time. It didn’t dawn on me that parents might need to pick up their kids at daycare. I was obsessed with the idea of showing my commitment to the job by staying in the office “late” even though I wouldn’t start working until 10:30 am while parents would come in at 8:30 am.”

As a working parent, I found Zaleski’s actions short sighted, frustrating, and, unfortunately, not at all, surprising. I’ve been there. I know people who thought I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take on a big job because I was a mom and others who made assumptions that, because I’m a parent, my career was unimportant to me.

As someone who was once (but, thankfully, no longer) in my twenties, I understand the complete self-absorption that befalls a person who really wants to get ahead in her career and will put in the long hours to do so. She plays the game the way the game has been written, not questioning if it’s unfair. She is likely too junior to do so. That was me: I regularly worked 12-hour days in my twenties because I wanted to advance and face time at the office was the way to do that.

But that was (gulp!) 20 years ago and the world of work has changed—though there’s still much to do to make the workplace as supportive of working parents as it could be.

As Zaleski shares in her article, since her twenties, she grew up, too: she had a kid and she changed her thinking about working parents, largely due to her own experience. She accepted that becoming a parent doesn’t mean you became a failure at work. In fact, she now understands that it’s often the opposite:

“I wish I had known five years ago, as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team. There’s a saying that “if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.” That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now.”

And

“Moms work hard to meet deadlines because they have a powerful motivation – they want to be sure they can make dinner, pick a child up from school, and yes, get to the gym for themselves.”

It’s her apology, though, and the general tenor of the piece that I felt was so self-serving. While Zaleski might very well have felt compelled to share her mea culpa publicly, she’s doing so to promote her new company and its embrace of the challenges of the working parent. She’s selling flexibility and achievement, an attractive combination that entices working parents (like the women she writes about who used to commute to a job in London from Bulgaria, but who now can happily work from home thanks to Zaleski’s company) and companies looking to cut overhead (we’ve paid our workers more than $1 million, she writes, portraying her company as a successful entity that should be hired to help others). This isn’t a thought-piece about advancing working parents (and I use parents advisedly; it’s not just moms who struggle with balancing career and family) as much as it’s an advertorial with a “make me feel better for once being a jerk” bent. Shame on Fortune for not seeing through that.

(Interestingly, the article now includes a short interview with Zaleski in response to the widespread interest her piece has received; in it, Zaleski comes across as defensive and impatient more people don’t agree with her.)

But, after the fifth (or sixth) read of Zaleski’s piece, I found myself agreeing with her—in some ways.

Managers do need to be open to hiring people who are different than them. This means hiring working parents and people who come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and perspectives. That diversity enriches and expands our ability to achieve our goals—and have successful lives. To that end, Zaleski makes an excellent point in which I am in complete agreement:

“There are so many ways we can support each other as women, but it starts with the just recognizing that we’re all in different positions at different times in our lives.”

I’d tweak it only slightly:

“There are so many ways we can support each other, but it starts with the just recognizing that we’re all in different positions at different times in our lives.”

Women and men need to take up the call to change the view of working parents in today’s workplace. We need to do more than apologize; we need to work together, we need to think differently together. That’s the only way real change will happen and will be sustainable.

A Day That Didn’t Go As Planned

Today was one of those days that didn’t go as planned.

working parent

It started off well for this pulled-in-too-many-directions working parent. The kids made it to school before the late bell rang. I got to work on time, despite unexpected traffic. I snagged a parking space right away, which, in snow-covered Boston, is a notable accomplishment. I had a positive meeting with a colleague, and then settled down at my desk to plow through my to do list. I had, in fact, scheduled myself into a two-hour cross-things-off-the-to-do-list meeting with myself. I was planning to stay late to get my email box down to zero. It was one of those days that are all about getting stuff done; I was on my way.

Then, I saw the email. From the principal of my kids’ school, it said the school had been evacuated because a large “crack” had been heard in the vicinity of the roof. After the authorities inspected, they determined the roof was fine, and staff and students returned to the building, though everyone stayed in the gym. And we could come get our kids early. If we couldn’t, they would remain in the gym for the rest of the day. We were asked to email in our questions; the phones, the school department reasoned, would be too busy to speak with every parent.

I immediately became suspicious. If the building was safe, why couldn’t the kids go to class? (Officials later disclosed that an extensive check of the school had continued on throughout the day. Having the kids in one place made it easier to ensure their safety in case something was wrong.)

What should I do? Leave the office to get my kids? Let them stay in the gym for the rest of the afternoon and then take the bus to afterschool? My husband was more sanguine. “They wouldn’t let them back in if it wasn’t safe,” he assured me.

But I’m a mom and those are my babies. I fretted (should I go or stay?), worried (are they ok?), and complained (what aren’t they telling us?). I did all of this in the sanctity of my office, though I shared my complaining with my non-parent coworkers who were kind to listen, with bemused, indulgent smiles and nods of their heads. They had their own to do lists to focus on, and they didn’t share the push/pull of being a working parent. I was torn. I didn’t want my kids to be the only.kids.left.in.the.gym. How awful—and too reminiscent of that time I left my son at school.

I was sitting at my desk, staring at the principal’s email, wishing for divine intervention, when my phone rang. It was my neighbor and friend, P. “I’m at school. Do you want me to get your kids?”

“Yes!” I cried. There it was: go home. The to do list could wait. I emailed the principal giving P permission to get my kids, grabbed my coat, and flew out the door (after gulping down two Advil brought to me by one of my lovely coworkers).

On the drive home, I realized how grateful I was to P for reaching out and offering her help. She left her office, too, to get her daughter, reasoning, as I did, that while our careers are incredibly important to us, our kids needed us (or, at least, we were in an unusual situation that called for our attention). When I arrived at her house, she was on a conference call, our children playing quietly in the next room. She had fed them lunch, set them up with games, and gotten back to her work from the comfort of her living room sofa.

The kids and I walked home, holding hands. They gave me the highlights of their day (on the roof situation: “we waited outside; it was cold” and on being picked up early: “it was fun to ride in P’s car!”) and raced down our driveway, skipping over packets of ice and crunching snow under their feet. They grabbed a snack and went off to play together, behaving wonderfully.

While they played, imagining themselves to be knights with long, sharp swords, I sat at my kitchen table, eyes on my laptop with work in front of me, relieved that everything, in the end, was okay. Everyone was safe. The roof didn’t collapse; the “crack” has been attributed to snow and ice shifting and melting. School is on for tomorrow (though more snow is coming tonight so that’s up in the air, too, I guess). I was able to leave my office and get to my kids; I know of others who were not able to do so. I have people who look out for my family. It may not have been a day that I had in mind when I woke up this morning, but days that don’t go as planned can be just as good as the ones that do.

Photo credit: road of life via photopin (license)

6 Lessons from Being a Field Trip Chaperone

chaperoneI joined an exclusive club this week. A very special club.

The “I-am-a-Field-Trip-Chaperone” club!

Jealous? Maybe a little bit jealous?

The story is this: last year, my then-kindergarten son had a Field Trip to a local children’s science museum. His teacher asked for parent chaperones, and by the time I volunteered, all of the spots were taken. I was disappointed. My son, however, who didn’t even know it would have been an option for me to join his class, never mentioned missing me.

Jump ahead to this year. My daughter is now a kindergartener, and when her teacher (the same one my son had last year) asked for volunteers to accompany the class to the museum, I emailed back my “me, me, me!” response immediately. And, I was in.

This week, the Field Trip arrived. It turned out to be a rough workweek to be out for a Field Trip. I felt torn about not being in the office, worrying I was dropping the ball on work commitments—the quintessential working parent guilt setting in. Additionally, my daughter didn’t even seem excited about the Field Trip; why was I going? I wasn’t so sure, and approached the trip with a bit of why-am-I-doing-this? My husband, ensconced at his office, reminded me that actions like this—the being present in different aspects of our kids’ lives—make a difference. Our daughter would remember it, he said, even if only subconsciously. Buoyed by his pep talk, I smiled widely and embraced my role.

My daughter’s class was split into small groups, with children assigned to a parent chaperone, teacher, or aide. I had three girls to look after during the trip: my daughter and two of her classmates. They behaved beautifully; I was impressed, in fact, by how well all of the kids behaved. They followed directions, sticking together in the museum. My girls explored the space with great energy, looking out for one another, always conscious of where I was.

Much to my surprise, it wasn’t just the kids who did some learning on the trip. I gathered a few lessons along the way, including:

  1. If you chaperone, bring Advil. OK, this is a little bit of a joke. (Well, actually, not really.) Kids are loud. Many kids together in one place are really loud, so bring something to address the headache you’re bound to get.
  1. Be ready for anything. Those kids are fast, jumping around from exhibit to exhibit, from one spot to another. They run and they dash about. So, wear comfy shoes and bring a water bottle. You need to keep up with your group! Make sure you have a fully charged phone, too. After all, you never know when you’ll need to call for back-up or make a break for it.
  1. Little kids can get nervous in new places, so they may want to hold your hand. A lot. They need the reassurance that someone is looking out for them and that they are safe. Bring hand sanitizer. And throw some tissues or wet wipes in your purse; kids are sticky.
  1. Remember the parents who can’t be there. While chaperoning isn’t for everyone, it is an activity many parents would like to do but work or other commitments prevent them from doing so. I sent photos of my daughter’s friends to their parents who would have wanted to participate; they appreciated seeing the good times their kids were having. (Note: This might not be kosher with every school or teacher, so check first for permission.)
  1. Don’t sit backwards on the school bus. (Just don’t. Trust me on this.)
  1. Have fun. My kids aren’t big on sharing their days (“How was school?” I ask every day. “Good,” they answer, adding, “What’s for dinner?”), so the perk of being on the Field Trip was the chance to see my daughter interact with her friends and witness her enthusiasm for new adventures and learning.

Despite my uncertainty that my presence made an impact, my daughter was happy I came along on the Field Trip. The day after, as we walked to school, she slipped her rainbow-stripped mitten into my hand, saying, “Mama, I’m so glad you came on my trip.” She looked up at me, smiling, with her face lit up. I smiled back, pleased with my decision to be there. And, it got me thinking that perhaps I should volunteer for the next Field Trip… maybe…

Ease on Down the Road with The Wiz

Yesterday, my son, R, and I attended the Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “The Wiz.” We were guests of the company, the resident theatre group of Dorchester’s historic Strand Theatre, and it was such a pleasure to introduce R to Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, and the other residents of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

(L to R) Damien Norfleet as “Lion,” Quiana Holmes as “Dorothy”, Carl-Michael Ogle as “Scarecrow” and Justin Raymond Reeves as “Tin Man” | Courtesy of Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©mattmckeephoto.com

(L to R) Damien Norfleet as “Lion,” Quiana Holmes as “Dorothy”, Carl-Michael Ogle as “Scarecrow” and Justin Raymond Reeves as “Tin Man” | Courtesy of Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©mattmckeephoto.com

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