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

Celebrate and remember

Posted: January 18th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »


A holiday letter

Posted: December 15th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

This is my second cousin once removed, composer Cornelius Power.

Composer Cornelius Power (April 1, 1821 – July 4, 1915)

Cornelius loved writing letters, and every year at holiday time, the Power family turns to one of them in particular, which has been handed down through the generations. It is dated December 17, 1856, and I’d like to share it with you.

Greetings, Holiday People!

You’ll never guess what I’m doing right now. I am actually dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh. Contrary to expectations, I am not laughing all the way. It is far too cold here in this winter wonderland for that. As it is, I am bundled up from head to toe in warm clothing, but I think I’ll burrow down deep into the cozy quilts and blankets that my sleigh driver has so thoughtfully provided.

Sleigh driver? Ha! It is my BFF, James Lord Pierpont, the famous organist and composer and my comradely rival in all musical endeavors. James has got a thing about one-horse open sleighs. The only thing he cares more about than composing catchy songs is dashing through the snow. He is working on a new song about it now, but I can’t see it going anywhere. He calls it “Jingle Bells,” and it’s fairly simpleminded, not at all up to the high standard he set with “Ring the Bell, Fanny.”

How I long for a cup of hot cocoa! We brought a whole lake of it in a thermos, but it spilled all over the floor of the sleigh thanks to James’s erratic driving. He’s up there now on the absolute edge of his seat, cracking the whip and singing at the top of his lungs. I’m burrowing further into the blankets and quilts. It’s a well-known fact in these parts that survivors of sleigh crashes are nearly always found closest to the floor of the vehicle.

I can only imagine how wondrous one-horse sleighs will be one hundred and fifty or so years from now, but I daresay holiday wishes will have remained exactly the same. By then, no doubt poor James’s simpleminded ditty “Jingle Bells” will have been long relegated to the dustbin and some other songwriter will have come along to better describe how fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. I am far too humble to be referring to myself, of course, although some say my sleigh song “Horsey Snow Ride” is the catchiest number they’ve ever heard.

Darn it, James! That turn was much too sharp. Ohhhhhhhh!!!!

(At this point the letter ends in a series of jagged marks.)

Of course, as history shows, Cousin Cornelius was wrong about “Jingle Bells.” James Lord Pierpont’s sleigh-ride song went on to become one of the best known and most commonly sung winter songs in the world, whereas, sadly, Cornelius’s own sleigh song “Horsey Snow Ride” has been completely ignored. But he was right about holiday wishes. They’ve remained exactly the same.

Give thanks for blessings.

Say a prayer for peace.

Give a donation where it’s needed.

Resolve to be a little more patient, a little more forgiving, and a lot more helpful.

Amen to that!


Yes, please! (THREAD)

Posted: June 10th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »


Dinos ahoy!

Posted: September 26th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

Why would a T. Rex swim when it can travel in style? These dinosaur replicas are being barged to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. They seem to be enjoying the ride!


Ageless art

Posted: June 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Australian Aboriginal artist Loongkoonan was born in a time and place where births of native people were not recorded, but estimates she was born somewhere around the year 1910, which makes her 105 years old or so. She took up painting in her 90s as a way to keep busy!

Her art is inspired by her Aboriginal upbringing and the many years she spent exploring her country on foot. Traditional Aboriginal art uses dots of paint to record memories and knowledge.

Loongkoonan has created around 380 works, using acrylic paints on canvas and linen, during her career and shows no signs of slowing down. Bringing beauty and joy into the world is an ageless pursuit!

To learn more about Loongkoonan and her Aboriginal heritage, visit mashable.com, where these pics are from!



Forever green

Posted: May 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

In a field in Danvers, Massachusetts grows the oldest cultivated tree in North America. The Endicott Pear Tree was brought over from England around 1630. “I hope the tree will love the soil of the old world and no doubt when we have gone the tree will still be alive,” proclaimed John Endicott to his children when he planted it on his Danvers farm. The pear tree took to its new home like nobody’s business. Here’s a pic of the Endicott Pear Tree in 1879.

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow praised the tree, saying, “To those who ask how I can write so many things that sound as if I were as happy as a boy, please say that there is in the neighboring town a pear tree, planted 200 years ago, and it still bears fruit not to be distinguished from that of a young tree in flavor. I suppose the tree makes new wood every year, so that some parts of it are always young. Perhaps this is the way with some men when they grow old. I hope it is so with me.”

Here’s the Endicott Pear Tree today.

It is still producing sweet, sweet fruit!

To learn more about the Endicott Pear Tree, visit wimp.com That’s where all these pics came from!


It’s Martin Luther King Day

Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed that children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. He hated bullies and violence and worked for change through peaceful means. Today we take time to remind ourselves that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Thank you for your work and wisdom, Dr. King!


THE BOY WHO HOWLED is number one!

Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Tut uncommon

Posted: September 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Sarah from Seattle, WA writes:

Dear T,

I am writing a story about an Ancient Egyptian girl named Tibby. She is the secret daughter of the famous Boy King, Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The Boy King Tut wasn’t really a boy when he died under mysterious circumstances in 1323 BC. He was nineteen years old, which was plenty old for a father in those days.

When her father, King Tut, dies, Tibby goes to live among friends of the former Pharaoh. She grows up as happy and content as a girl can be. However, the day soon comes when she must sacrifice a bull to the God Osiris to ensure the fertile crops, and she cannot bring herself to perform such a bloody deed. She is given a chicken to sacrifice in place of the bull, but she can’t bring herself to do that, either. So the High Priests decide to sacrifice HER to Osiris instead.

Needless to say, Tibby must flee for her life. Luckily, she befriends the handsome son of an Egyptian slave and together they sail down the River Nile to live out the rest of their days in peace and happiness.

I have drawn the cover for my book, which I have entitled Daughter of Tut. Here it is in all its glory.

Book cover for Daughter of Tut, drawn by Sarah

Book cover for Daughter of Tut, drawn by Sarah

P.S. King Tut didn’t really have a daughter named Tibby. I made her up!

T replies:

Your story about Tibby, the secret daughter of King Tut, sounds like a real page-turner, Sarah! And I really like your book cover. I have always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt. It’s thrilling to imagine the excitement archaeologist Howard Carter must have felt in 1922 when he discovered King Tut’s glamorous tomb, with all its golden treasures. Of course, poor Mr. Carter was later struck dead by the Pharaoh’s Curse. Oh, well! I’m sure it was worth it.