All Reading Is Good Reading

Fourth grade classroom, 2010. The carpet hadn’t yet arrived.


When I taught, I always made sure to have a “cozy” library corner — pillows, stuffed animals, and hundreds of books.  Because I’m a firm believer that all reading, however it’s done, is beneficial.

I have always loved to read (you can find me on Goodreads, by the way), and I’m proud to say that my son, Ryan, also loves to read.

You can click here to read one of my latest personal essays “All Reading Is Good Reading – Even Comic Books” on

Playing Tourist

The external tank on view at the California Science Center

One of the reasons I appreciate living in Los Angeles is the sheer number of experiences I can provide my son.  We are a museum-going family and visit several of our favorites on a regular basis.

Last week, we saw the only external tank on the planet, and then a few days later, we saw the fossils for the state dinosaur, the Augustynolophus. 

Unfortunately, I think locals sometimes forget to take advantage of all their city has to offer.  So here’s a suggestion for the new year — play tourist.  Visit the California Science Center or the Natural History Museum.  (We were at both last week).  Check out the Petersen Automative Museum or the GRAMMY Museum.  (We were there fairly recently).  And, if you’re still unsure about where to go, check out some of the guides I’ve written for You’ll find guides to the L.A. Zoo, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and more.


My Year’s Focus

A new year is upon us, but I no longer make new year’s resolutions.  Because, like I told my son, I believe people can make a change, a fresh start, at any time. 

And, like I saw from last year, there really is too much I don’t have any control of.  Last year, I got sick within the first couple weeks of the new year — a mystery illness that was just the beginning of a very health-challenging year.

So this year, I’m trying to stay flexible, or as my son likes to say, “go with the flow.”  Because, really, no one knows from one day to the next.

In lieu of a resolution, I am designating a focus for the year.  That focus is my writing — the personal writing I do here on this blog, as well as the personal writing I send out into the world.  (I’m very proud that one of my personal essays will be included in an anthology titled Chronic Illness Truths that will be published later this year).

Barbara Abercrombie, an author and fantastic instructor in the UCLA Extension Writing Program explains it well: 

“… we all go through strange and painful periods in our lives and one of the reasons we read is to find out how other people, real or fictional, navigate the hard times.”
(This quote is taken from Barbara’s book A Year of Writing Dangerously).

That is one of the reasons I read.  And why I write.