As I approach the publication of novel #2, The Lost Torah of Shanghai, Lost Torah coverI’m constantly in catchup and explanation mode. Yes, it’s done,  but no, it’s not quite ready. The formatted manuscript sits in a drawer (to keep it together) awaiting my final proofread before it goes to press, cover and all. It’s coming, it’s coming…

What am I doing that takes the time away from this? Well, there’s HIPPY USA, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, of which I’m board chair, and that takes tons of time. Why? Because I’m passionate about this program that coaches parents to give their kids school-readiness skills, and it does so through paid home visitors, the parents’ socio-economic and cultural peers, “trusted messengers” who deliver HIPPY’s curriculum to the parents and trains them in using it with their kids. Many of these home visitors are working their first-ever jobs. HIPPY is now in 23 states and DC, and we’re trying to expand it. 

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Sooner or later, it’s all about IRAQ! 

It’s been a few months since ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq) became a household word and the debate about what the US should do about Iraq began—again. Then war between Israel and Hamas and the crash in Ukraine of Malaysia Flight #17 pushed Iraq off the front page for a while. But it’s back! With President Obama’s decision on air strikes, Iraq again became the crisis du jour. Or should I say the ISIS du jour?

Ok, Iraq is back in the news, but what makes it a Ripped From the Headlines topic for this blog? 

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Pronunciation: ˈzhän-rə, ˈzhäⁿ-; ˈzhäⁿr; ˈjän-rə
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, kind, gender — more at gender
Date: 1770

1 : a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content
2 : kind, sort
3 : painting that depicts scenes or events from everyday life, usually realistically

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