Here are lists and links for some of my favorite things, plus resources you might find helpful or enjoyable:


Books I Love

Movies I Love

Websites I Love

For People Who [Think]They Don't Like Poetry

For Teachers

For Women

For Writers



  • Anything ever written by Louisa May Alcott, Leo Buscaglia, Leif Enger, and Fannie Flagg; most things written by Diane Mott Davidson, Pamela Duncan, Elinor Lipman, Lee Smith, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Anne Tyler, and Katherine Valentine
  • A Land Remembered, by Patrick Smith - A riveting, grueling account of the domestication of Florida. After reading this, I understood why my ancestors decided to homestead in Jacksonville instead of Miami!
  • As It Is in Heaven, by Niall Williams - A beautifully written, tenderly romantic story in which the boy finally gets the girl and the whole village lives happily ever after
  • Nevil Shute wrote a number of intriguing books, including On the Beach, A Town Like Alice, and The Checquer Board. For synopses of all his books, plus reviews, movie adaptations, insights into this prolific author and more, click here.
  • The Reivers, by William Faulkner - Road trip! Poignant and laugh-out-loud funny coming-of-age tale about a young boy and his two companions who "borrow" Grandfather's spiffy new car for a few days. Despite the fact that brothels and gambling figure prominently, this should be required reading list for high school and college English classes--and should certainly be the first Faulkner book anyone ever reads!
  • Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn is an amusing little book that will introduce your students to a vast array of new vocabulary words and offer wonderful discussion possibilities on the subjects of censorship, government control of private lives, and freedom of speech. For poetry, Carl Sandburg's The People, Yes should be on every high school reading list.
  • How Now, Brown Cow?, by Alice Schertle, published in 1994. Schertle's charming poems and Amanda Schaffer's absolutely glorious illustrations make this one of the most delightful picture books ever. If there's a child in your life, you owe it to them to find this book.



  • Anything with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. The definitive odd couple--with chemistry that ignites like a Roman candle!
  • Buster Keaton movies, especially The General
  • Ball of Fire, with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. A movie for English majors, with its funny exploration into American slang
  • A Song is Born, with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. Hilarious plot, great music, and it's so much fun to see all those classic musicians on screen together. This, by the way, is a remake of Ball of Fire!
  • Ladies in Lavender, with Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. Two of the world's best actors, a bittersweet tale, magnificent cinematography.
  • Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, with Joan Plowright. I love ALL of Joan's films, but this one is pure bliss.
  • Music Man, with Robert Preston. Fabulous music, fabulous cast, and the hysterical "Ode to a Grecian Urn." This might just be my favorite movie of all time.
  • The Whales of August, with Bette Davis, Ann Sothern, & Vincent Price - Vincent Price is the consummate gentleman, and Ann Sothern coming up the path with her blueberry bucket is in my "Best Scenes on Screen Hall of Fame."
  • White Christmas, with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. I never, ever get tired of this one. And I never fail to be astonished by Vera Ellen's tiny waist!



  • Alzheimer's Research Forum - My family coped with our mother's Alzheimer's for ten long years. This is an excellent site offering the latest news on this tragic disease.
  • Book Crossing - The most clever idea for spreading literacy and good literature since the printing press! Thanks to Ron Hornbaker and his lofty-minded software development company, the world is now just one giant book club.
  • Fellow Earthlings Wildlife Center - Save the meerkats! Better yet, VISIT the meerkats!
  • Helen Keller - Details about my childhood heroine and her home. What an incredible woman she was!
  • Louisa May Alcott - Official site for the woman I credit as my greatest inspiration
  • Plugged In - Christian, family-oriented movie reviews that tell you exactly what to expect



If you think you don't like poetry, you just haven't found the right poet. Honest! There's as much difference in poets as there is in cars--and you surely agree there's a big difference between a pick-up truck and a Lamborghini. Next time you're in a library or bookstore, take a look at what these poets write. You may be surprised.



Book That Poet - Great place to discover new poets, and useful if you're looking for speakers or classroom presentations

Children's Book Council - great ideas for celebrating Children's Book Week

Civil War Poetry - Unique collection of poems and songs from Civil War soldiers on both sides

Columbia Grangers World of Poetry - Access this comprehensive poetry database with your library card

Creative Writing Prompts - Inspiring ideas to help your students (and perhaps you?!) get those words flowing freely

International Children's Digital Library - A site dedicated to presenting the best in children's literature from around the world

Library of Congress Center for the Book - Information about literary events and competitions all over the country

March Madness Poetry - Poetry meets basketball in a teachable moment 

Poetry for Children - A wonderful blog by Texas Woman's University professor Dr. Sylvia Vardell, chockful of information

Poetry 180 - Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins' wonderful project to get poetry into our nation's high schools--one a day, for the full school year. Start a movement in your own school district and urge principals at every level to have a poem read aloud every day during morning announcements--either these, or poems students write or select themselves.

Poetry Out Loud - Get the scoop on how to get your school and students involved with this annual competition. Check the sidebar on the right for poetry activity PDFs.Poetry Teachers - Lessons and ideas for teaching poetry, mostly for younger grades

ReadWriteThink - Resources and clever lessons from the International Reading Association

Two Writing Teachers - A blog by, yes, two writing teachers designed to enrich, enlighten, and inspire.

Writing Fix - Interactive prompts and lesson ideas from the Northern Nevada Writing Project

Your Daily Poem - A different poem every day, from both classic and contemporary poets. Includes a brief bio of the poet. This website is an outgrowth of my "Poetry Parade" project that I started in 2001.


GREAT WEBSITES FOR WOMEN - Need something good to read? This search engine makes recommendations based on your choice of everything from plot twists to time period. There's a search option for movies, too.

Persimmon Tree - A literary ezine by women over 60, featuring fiction, nonfiction, and poetry

Women's Hall of Fame - site that recognizes the contribution of women from all walks of life



How a Poem Happens - established poets answer questions on how specific poems come to fruition

Long Story Short - e-zine featuring meaty interviews, neat contests, plus plenty of worthwhile tips and resources

North Carolina Writers Network - Terrific resource and writers' advocate, even if you don't live in the Carolinas.

Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form - A wild and crazy international writing project, this attempt to define every word in the English language with a limerick manages to be hilarious, challenging, and enlightening all at the same time.

Plot-O-Matik - Writer's block? Drawing a blank on your next chapter? This site generates random characters, settings, problems, and irrelevant details.

Poets & Writers Magazine - in-depth articles and great classifieds

Poetry Kit - a wonderful site with info about poetry websites, publications, competitions, and events all over the world

Publisher's Lunch - industry newsletter that arrives around noon every weekday, chockful of all the news you need to know to be an informed member of the literary community

Radio Interview Tips - from expert Bryan Farrish

Twentieth-Century Poetry in English - A wonderful resource for work and biographical information, plus a gazillion links to great poetry sites.

Wit's End Poetry - Promoter of poetry readings, slams, and other poetic events in the Upstate SC/Western NC area.

Write On! Online - Originally a newsletter for a California writers' group, this has grown into a terrific resource for any writer, with interviews, writing prompts, and creative assignments to keep those juices flowing. - wonderful source of helpful, informative articles about various aspects and genres of writing

poetry, poems and poets at   - Good place to track down classic poems, plus a "haiku generator" that's great fun

Your Daily Poem - My website devoted to sharing the pleasure and diversity of poetry.


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