Tomorrow is the First Day of National Poetry Month!

Yes, indeed! April is National Poetry Month and I know just how to celebrate it -- by playing Haikubes! 🙂 A few months ago I bought Haikubes while shopping for my children's clothes. It was an adorable little box sitting all by itself on a clearance shelf of men's ties, Paw Patrol socks, and scented … Continue reading Tomorrow is the First Day of National Poetry Month!

Jamaica’s Chinese community offers aid

Repeating Islands


A report by Mark Cummings for the Jamaica Observer.

Amidst growing concerns over the hardships being created by the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Chinese community in Jamaica says it has donated food and personal items valued at several million dollars to State agencies and needy communities.

“This is our home, too, and especially in this time of crisis, in which people are losing their jobs and there is an increasing need for food and personal items, we have come together as the leaders of commerce, to support our Jamaican brothers and sisters,” prominent Montego Bay-based Chinese merchant Yangsen Li told the Jamaica Observer.

“We share the concern of the heavy toll that the onset of the coronavirus is having on everyone, and feel compelled to play our part to minimise the negative impact that it is having. Our contribution is also our way of expressing…

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Lessons from the 1918 Flu Pandemic, When Many Schools Closed

History. Do with it what you will, but I hope that what you will to do is wise.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I was recently contacted by a journalist who asked me if there was any precedent for the current school closings in response to a health crisis.

My first impulse was to say “no,” based on my knowledge of history, but I started googling before responding.

I googled “school closings” and “1918 flu epidemic” and found this excellent article by Alexandra M. Stern, Marin S. Cetron, and Howard Markel, published in 2009.

The authors wrote in 2009, in relation to an outbreak of the A/H1N1 influenza of that year:

”Nine decades before our current encounter with a novel strain of influenza virus, the deadly second wave of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic struck the United States. In response, most urban communities closed K–12 public schools for an extended period of time, in some locations for as long as fifteen weeks. Typically, the order to close schools came late in the epidemic…

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How To Craft a One-Page Synopsis Using Story Beats

A Writer's Path

by Sue Coletta

The dreaded synopsis. Anyone who’s chosen the traditional path into publishing know that these pesky buggers are enough to drive a writer to drink…literally.

I have good news and bad. The good news is I’ve found a solution to help keep your liver intact. The bad, no matter how much you might hate writing these little darlings, a synopsis is the only way of selling your book to a publisher. You will have to learn.

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Cuban doctors head to Italy to battle coronavirus

Repeating Islands

cubaNelson Acosta (Reuters) reports that Cuba has sent a brigade of medical personnel to northern Italy:

Communist-run Cuba said it dispatched a brigade of doctors and nurses to Italy for the first time this weekend to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy.

The Caribbean island has sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution. Its doctors were in the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s.

Yet with the 52-strong brigade, this is the first time Cuba has sent an emergency contingent to Italy, one of the world’s richest countries, demonstrating the reach of its medical diplomacy.

This is the sixth medical brigade Cuba has sent in recent days to combat the spread of the…

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