If you are between 8 and 108 years old and like to read middle grade books, then you are especially welcome here!

Movie magician

Posted: May 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Master special effects artist Ray Harryhausen passed from this world to the next today. He excelled in the animation technique known as stop motion, where physical models are moved very slightly and photographed many, many times, so that when the film is played back, the models appear to move on their own. Mr. Harryhausen’s creations never failed to steal the show. Here he is at various stages in this career with a few of his stars.

And here is a wonderful compilation of the master’s movie magic. Thanks for showing us that anything is possible, Ray Harryhausen!


A stellar adventure

Posted: July 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Last week I was privileged to visit the historic 60-inch telescope at Southern California’s Mt. Wilson Observatory. At its installation on December 8, 1908, it was the largest operational telescope in the world. Today, the telescope has taken on a new role as the largest telescope in the world made exclusively available for public viewing. Here’s a video I made about it! NOTE: Although I did see Saturn, a globular cluster, and the Ring Nebula that night (among other celestial objects), the photos in the video were culled from the webosphere. The real thing was even more amazing!



Rad wrapping

Posted: February 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone carefully unwrapping a gift, trying not to tear the wrapping paper in order to save it for later. And I’ve always wondered WHY? To me, wrapping paper is no big deal. I tear it to pieces in two seconds flat.

But I have come across some homemade wrapping paper that is better than any gift it decorates. It’s by printmaking and bookmaking artist Alison Yates, and I would spend as much time as it took to get it safely into a frame, to hang on my wall. Because it is RAD!

Alison’s art is influenced by myth and folklore (visit her website here.) The wrapping paper she has created definitely has an epic feel, and would inspire the storyteller in anyone.

Images (c) Alison Yates

The story that comes to my mind when I look at this awesome wrapping paper ends with three words:



Griffin’s Gold

Posted: February 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Sam and Andy from Chicago, IL write:

Dear T,

We finished Griffin’s Gold, our story about the legendary Griffin, and we printed copies. Here’s one for you. You can share this excerpt. It’s from the part where Griffin and Dragon fight to the death for Griffin’s gold, only Griffin lets Dragon live to see another day. That’s good because later on they have to join forces to battle an evil Giant. What do you think?

Drawing of a Griffin by Sam and Andy

Drawing of a Griffin by Sam and Andy

From Griffin’s Gold by Sam and Andy:

Griffin and Dragon were face to face with each other. Warily they circled each other. Griffin twitched his wings in eager anticipation of the battle to come, while Dragon snorted plumes of smoke into the chilly air.

Despite the cozy fire he had built, Griffin’s lair was almost as cold as the frozen mountaintop. Dragon lifted his mighty tail and slammed it down hard, pounding the rocky ground. The metallic scales of his impenetrable body armor glistened in the fire’s glow.

“Give me your treasure,” he told Griffin, “and you can avoid a good beating.”

Griffin’s razor-sharp claws drew sparks from where they scraped the rock. “It’s you who are going to get beaten, Dragon,” he replied. “I’ll give you ten seconds to skedaddle on out of here. Otherwise, you’re in for it big time.”

“I ain’t leaving here without that gold,” said Dragon.

“Suit yourself,” said Griffin and lunged at Dragon’s vulnerable throat with his fearsome eagle’s beak. The battle for Griffin’s gold had begun.

T replies:

Wow, Sam and Andy! I am thoroughly impressed. The adventure was gripping, the suspense was unbearable, and I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I can say that Griffin and Dragon are a force to be reckoned with. Great job!