day 20: Bonny Glen is 12 years old

January 20, 2017 @ 8:35 am | Filed under:

Here’s something I can celebrate today: twelve years of chronicling my family’s reading life, homeschooling adventures, and deep-dive interests. Our high tides and low tides, our passions and problems. When I look back through these archives, I find stories I would never have remembered (and books I really want to read again).

To all of you who visit me here, reading quietly or chiming into the discussion: Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading. It’s the absolute nicest thing you can do for a writer.

I was trying to figure out what photo to post today, and it struck me to just go into my media library and pull up a bunch of images from years past. So here’s what let’s do: give me a word in the comments and I’ll type that into my image library’s search bar. I’ll come back throughout the day to post the pictures your suggestions pull up. 🙂


First suggestion! Thank you, selvi, for suggesting: delight.


I love his quiet delight in riding the park tram

Karen E’s suggestion: Stone House. Aw, Martha’s house! 🙂 Huh—I got nuthin. I tried Glencaraid too and nope, no photos. Closest hit is for just plain “stone.” No idea why I have a picture of Stonehenge in my archives. I’ll have to track down the original post and see what the reference was. [Found it! It’s from my interview with Stephanie Spinner about her Lady of the Lake novel, Damosel.]

(But Karen, I love your prompt and got a wave of happy nostalgia. I loved writing about that house.)


Heather’s word, celebrate, brings up a photo of author Kiersten White at the San Diego Central Library grand opening celebration in 2013. She was my boothmate at the author signing. That was the day I met one of my favorite fictional heroes in real life—Miss Rumphius!

Kiersten White at San Diego Central Library grand opening celebration


And my dear friend Sarah H. chimes in with the word joy. One of my favorite words, and a recurring theme of this blog. I’m excited to see what it pulls up. Here’s the first hit: Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices—a much beloved book in these parts.

Joyful Noise

Here’s another photo tagged joy—this one gives me a smile for sure. It’s my drama-program classmates from Loretto Heights College at our mini-reunion in Denver a few summers ago. We snuck into our old theater and struck poses to emotion words, just like in the old days. This was the “joy” pose.


Ellie’s word: friendship. (Back atcha, my dear.)


giraffe and friend

owl friend

owl friend




animal friends

animal friends (by Rilla in 2012)

Quasimodo and friend, San Diego Comic Con 2008

Quasimodo and friend, San Diego Comic Con 2008

Kmom’s word: sketch. 🙂

filling my sketchbooks, 2016

filling my sketchbooks, 2016


November 2014 sketchbook page

November 2014 sketchbook page (and the beginning of my fountain-pen mania)

My Jan 1, 2017 sketchbook page

My Jan 1, 2017 sketchbook page


Sketch of me by the amazing Fiona Staples, 2010—still makes me grin.


trio of backyard sketchers, 2009

trio of backyard sketchers, 2009

From Susanne Barrett: peace. This photo got a chuckle out of me, because when I first posted it, it was to note that Rilla, just learning to read, thought it was a message to Santa: “Please be on this house.” 🙂

Peace be on this house.

Peace be on this house, our lovely Small Meadow Press banner

Worth noting that the only other photo to pop up with the “peace” search was another Small Meadow image—the Wild Simplicity Daybook. So Lesley, there you, that’s your legacy on this sight. Peace.

Susanne also asked for a Brave Writer search. That one turns up the Brave Writer logo and the Arrow graphic I made for my sidebar. When I first started writing about BW—in the very first month of this blog!—I wasn’t using many images yet. But I raved about The Writer’s Jungle quite early on. I had met Julie Bogart on a homeschooling moms’ list some years earlier (late 90s) and then joined another yahoogroup for homeschooling moms who write. Julie is the only person I remember from that list. Her name jumped out at me when Brave Writer launched a while later and I was eager to see her materials. And promptly fell in love with them.

Finally got to meet Julie in person at the Brave Writer Retreat last summer. She’s the absolute best.


Posted earlier:
Heh—I figured I’d start the ball rolling with the word “thanks.” It seems I’ve only got one image with that word in the title or caption. It’s from the author panel at the Deep Valley Homecoming (a Betsy-Tacy event, obviously) in June 2015, in which I am apparently crushing someone’s tiny little head. Hit me with some better keywords so I can push this image down the page!

Discussing our writing processes at Deep Valley Homecoming. Photo swiped from Nancy Piccone, with thanks!

Discussing our writing processes at Deep Valley Homecoming. Photo swiped from Nancy Piccone, with thanks!

P.S. Happy Birthday to The Wine-Dark Sea, which shares this twelve-year mark with Bonny Glen. 🙂

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18 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. selvi says:

    (asterisk for different endings of the word if you like)

  2. Karen Edmisten says:

    Happy birthday, Bonny Glen!

    Word suggestion: Stone House. 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    Happy birthday to one of my most favorite blogs! I love the increase to my TBR list that visits here brings. 🙂
    Word suggestion: celebrate

  4. sarah says:

    Happy Birthday! Word: Joy

  5. Ellie says:

    My word is Friendship — because that was the first word that came to mind, thinking of you blogging these dozen years!


  6. kmom says:

    My word: sketch

    I enjoy your sketching as well as your writing!

  7. Susanne Barrett says:

    Happy Bloggiversary!! I haven’t been around since the beginning, but I did start to read about two years in. 😉

    Word suggestion: Peace.

    And if I can post a second: Brave Writer. (I’m curious about your first encounter with Julie and/or Brave Writer.)


    Susanne, Groovin’ with Grammar this rainy morning 😉

  8. sarah says:

    Congratulations and thank you so much for all the years of inspiration! My word for you to search is “laughter”.

  9. Kortney Garrison says:

    Oh Lissa! 12 years! So glad to have found you!

    Totally random memory…I happened to be sitting at the Padres Park in the Park during ComicCon in 2009. I sat nursing my new baby and searching the faces of the ComicCon folks heading home for the day, looking for Bonny Glen folk.

    So,my word’s got to be my home town, my heart town, San Diego.

  10. Melanie Bettinelli says:

    Hip Hip Hooray! 12 Years! Our blogs are almost teens….

    We spent most of the day celebrating a different birthday. Lucy’s best friend was born three weeks after her and so we had a joint birthday celebration for them. Somehow that seems apropos too, though.

    Since I first found your blog while trying to learn more about homeschooling, I’d like “school” to be my word. Bonny Glen has been so much a part of our homeschooling adventure, beginning in those early days when I was nursing Bella and planning for the future and wondering what it would be like. You gave me a vision of what adventurous learning could be like, a lilting house (though that came a bit later) full of poetry and art and good books and a mom learning alongside her children, low tides and high tides and going with the flow and figuring out what works for you.

    You wrote about Tidal Homeschooling in January of 2006 and I linked to that post in May of that year (just three days before Bella was born!) the earliest mention I can find of you and The Bonny Glen in my archives. So you’ve been around from the very beginning, part of my motherhood journey, part of my dreams and hopes and plans for the not yet born baby who is now a giant ten year old girl, soon to be eleven!

    I wrote: “Today I’ve been feasting on homeschooling blogs. They make me so hungry ‘cause I can’t wait to get started. And so far the only offspring I have is still firmly in utero. Am I jealous of these moms with five and seven kids who spend their days reading and doing nature walks and science projects and so on and so on? Maybe just a wee bit.

    But soon enough I will be more than full with my own little one to hold and enjoy. I know she’ll fill my world and more than fill it. And I will be able to enjoy her every step of the way. And we’ll eventually get to all that stuff…. Still, it’s fun anticipating all the years we have ahead of us. Seeing the world through the eyes of my little one. Everything looks new and golden and full of the hopes of spring.”

    Here’s to many, many more years!

  11. Manalion says:

    How about ‘Road Trip’? 😉

  12. Penny says:

    Long live Bonny Glen!!!

    Cheers to you!! 🙂

  13. Stephanie says:

    Happy birthday to your lovely blog!

    How about ‘Deep Valley’? You introduced me to Betsy-Tacy and many other gorgeous books. I loved your visit to Deep Valley.

  14. Emily J says:

    Happy anniversary! I can’t decide between two words: your blog always seems bright and happy to me, so maybe “happy,” but I also always come away with good suggestions of things to read, so “reading” is my other suggestion.

  15. Tabatha says:

    How about “costume”? Or “music”?