Asked any stupid questions lately?

I’m not a genius. If you really think about it, do you know any real geniuses?

Well, anyway, I say dumb things all the time. So, since most of us are not immune to saying stupid things, perhaps we ought to be more understanding of the stupid things other people say. Maybe?

But that is hard.

And there is a scale of dumb.

I teach adults from other countries, so keep that in mind.

The other day one of my students said–after a discussion about a controversial Supreme Court ruling–“At least it is better than in Mexico.” She is from Mexico and her family has experience criminal violence firsthand. Well, yeah. Sure. But I didn’t think that should be the standard.

She insisted that even our bad laws were better than Mexico, so we should not complain.

What? So, as long as things are better than Mexico, we’re good?

The next day this student said, “What I said yesterday was stupid. I can’t believe I said that.”

Well, I would’ve said illogical. (Are stupid and illogical the same thing?)

But then there was the student in another class. We watched the first episode of the BBC’s Sherlock. Have you seen it? A student asked if Sherlock was hypnotized.


Then she asked if the serial killer’s deadly game was a real game.

I should hope not.

This same student once had to be told the tiny men in the tea leaves in a short story were not real men. It is not real?


But we’ve all asked stupid questions. Asked or been asked any good ones lately?

My Most Beautiful Thing (A Blogsplash)

What is beauty?

Don’t we seem obsessed with beauty in all the wrong ways?

When my mother would tell me I was pretty, I didn’t believe her. “You’re my mother. You have to say that.”

Now I’m a mother, and I look at my son and think, “Wow. He’s beautiful.” I don’t know if the rest of the world sees him that way, but his beauty is all I can see.

my son

But all children are beautiful to me. I see how I failed to appreciate this when I was young–how beautiful young people are. We should waste less time worrying about beauty when we are young. Well, when we are any age.

It’s a cliche for a mother to say how beautiful her child is. What is that expression? A face only a mother could love. Perhaps. Though I think there is enough evidence that for some mothers even beauty isn’t enough for love.

My son is beautiful. A few months ago he saw a movie where an orphan boy’s dog died. My son cried. “Mom,” he said. “That dog was all that boy had.” He went over to our oldest dog, then 15, now 16, and hugged him. “We have to let him now we love him,” he said, crying. My son wouldn’t let go of the dog for a long time. I was so upset that I’d stupidly allowed my son to see this movie, but…isn’t it good to see that our children feel? I knew that. I’d seen him feel many times of course. But still, my eight year old felt compassion.

That was beautiful. Don’t you think?


I’m participating in a My Most Beautiful Thing blogsplash. It seemed like fun. The idea comes from Writing Our Way Home. If you go there, you’ll find other links, other people, worth following. You’ll find other beautiful things.

How can they be so nice?

We went to pick up our house key today. You see, we’ve bought a house. It’s our first house. The sellers have been leasing back from us for over a month, but soon the house will be ours.

One reason we went to the house was to have the sellers explain the washing machine. The husband is worried that the movers will drop their washing machine, so he’d rather buy a new one and let the old one stay with the house. Well, it isn’t that old. It is a nice machine, and we saw it work, and it is good. Because the sellers are blind, the washing machine is also in braille. I think it is cool to have a washing machine in braille! (There is writing too, so we won’t be lost, by the way.)

They’re also giving us their lawn mower. We’ve used it once and it works well.

Then the husband asked us if our son liked remote control cars. Oh, you bet he does.

So, the husband said he was going to leave our son two remote control cars. He’s going to put one in the bedroom closet and the other in the living room. They’ll be a surprise.

You walk into the house and it has a good feeling. A good vibe. That is probably mumbo jumbo, but still… The sellers are very nice people.

We are going to love our house.

Kids, Art, and Plums

You may have read this over at writing in the water, but I’m covering all my bases.

My art at The Plum Tree

I’m now Head of Art for Youth-Tube at Plum Tree Books. We’re calling for submissions for art by children under 12.

If you’re interested in knowing more, email me at

marta (at) youth-tube (dot) co (dot) uk

We’d also love for you to visit the site, follow it, tweet it, fb it, or otherwise show your support. Thank you.

Remember, art is cool. And so are kids.


P.S. Please note the Plum Tree has several other projects in the works–poetry, fiction, music, and photography. Go see for yourself.

The House Crazies

Next month we move into our first house. Over 40, this seems late, but maybe now our families will see us as grown ups.

Do you own a house? Words of warning?

In grad school I had a final exam that was one word. Home. I wrote for two hours and got an A.

I’m having trouble balancing my life with about-to-move-into-a-house, but it will be worth it…right? Home. The original asylum.

Where’s my time machine?

When you think time machine, don’t you imagine the chance to go anywhen. And probably anywhere, but there’s no promise that a time machine will move through space as well as time. (Unless, you know, you’re a Time Lord.)

But why is that our idea of a time machine? That the machine would move us from one point to another. Like a Delorean.

Maybe a time machine could be fit on a desk, and when you need that extra hour in your day, you turn it on, and presto! Out comes your hour. Maybe you could feed time you don’t want into it too. Is that hour dragging by? Let the machine handle it. You could get that time back later when you want the party to last a little longer.

Would you want your own time machine?

Though it may cause trouble with different machine creating different amounts of time. There might be huge time differences from one house to the next.

Now there’s a story idea…