penny's pages

purposeful ponderings

Page 2 of 125

I started taking piano lessons in November. This has been a bucket-list item of mine for several years. From ages six to eleven, I gained an elemental knowledge of piano from my maternal grandmother. I retained knowledge of treble clef because I started playing the violin. As a violist, I move fluidly between the treble […]

Five Stars The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites tells the generational story of a Jewish family’s survival from patriotic heroism in WWI, during social and political changes in Europe, through heart-rending loss and separation in WWII, and into an era of unexpected reunions. The link to all they endure is a silver music box […]

As I’ve studied my genealogy, I’ve learned more than the names and dates of births, weddings, and deaths. Certainly, I’ve heard about relational ties between individuals, which will be a future topic to explore. More intriguing to me are the contributions my ancestors have made and how those skills have been passed on to me. […]

As I write this blog post, I am sitting at my grandmother’s desk. I didn’t inherit it from her originally. My cousin did because it matched the bedroom set from my grandmother’s youth. But, she wanted me to have it. She thought it might inspire me to write. It has. Many items in my office […]

Four Stars I found the character sketches and development intriguing in the book Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout. As with other books by Strout, all the characters possess flaws that shape the community and affect the lives of the other characters. I think the spiritual aspects of this book interested me most and contrasted […]

Setting is a story element we tend to ignore sometimes. It makes sense. After all, it’s the backdrop, the shuffling of props on a darkened stage, the tugging of ropes on pulleys behind the scenes. Yet, wise writers know that setting isn’t only a story element. Setting also reflects character. Sometimes setting is a character. […]

“What sort of place would you want to come home to?” After twenty years of living in the same house, here is what I have grown to appreciate most about this place I call home. Silence Moments of silence are becoming more important to me in my middle-aged years. Perhaps this is because raising boys […]

Five Stars I wish I could express everything I appreciate about This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. To say too much would spoil the book for others. As subtly as possible, I will say this adventure set in the Midwest during 1932 resonated with several touch points from my own personal journey, especially the […]

We moved at transitional times in my growing-up years. This topic and the theme of home have shaped my writing since I was fourteen. That was the year I began writing poetry. That was the golden year writing refined part of who I am. Since then, there have been other refining moments. I consider those […]

What is the best road trip or vacation you have ever taken? When I was a little girl, my family took several road trips. A few of these trips centered around traveling from where we lived in St. Louis to where we considered to be home in Minnesota. After we moved back to Minnesota, we […]