Bedtime Stories

As I grow older, it is often more difficult to fall asleep. I know I'm not alone in this. Age brings with it more anxieties and activities than the sheep we might otherwise be counting and, honestly, the only cure I've found (aside from melatonin) is to return to reading bedtime stories. As I recently…

Non-Writing Writer

I was inspired this morning as I walked to practice piano for an upcoming recital... this would have been great, had I been inspired to practice. Rather, I was inspired to set the opening of Wordsworth’s The Prelude to music.  My roommate (bless her) stopped me just in time: “Ryanne, if you write a melody and…

Ray Bradbury: a reflection 

Yesterday was the birthday of renouned American author, Ray Bradbury. Three more years and we can celebrate his 100th birthday. But even in 2017, Bradbury's birthday is special to me because his stories provided the kick-in-the-pants I needed to take my writing seriously.  Before entering high school, my family and I made a trip to…

Unexpected Hero: Winnie-the-Pooh

The world is a mess. Whatever your political views, we can all agree that it's a rough world out there. However, while the news is increasingly depressing, I found an unlikely hero to cheer me for a few hours: Winnie-the-Pooh.  Somehow I grew up reading everything in reach yet missed this classic! So I decided,…

Misshelved: Winnie the Poe

Went to the children's classics section in search of some light reading...now I am just wondering how many poor young Winnie-the-Pooh fans have been traumatized by Poe instead...  Perhaps Eeyore likes Poe's stories. "Nevermore" seems like his type of vocabulary.  Still, "Welcome to your nightmares" is a daunting phrase to put on a book beside…

Miss Darcy

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman having read or seen Pride and Prejudice, must be in want of a Mr. Darcy." - Jane Austen and Ryanne McLaren* *Note: The above quote does not actually represent the entirety of this post, but I did think it rather apt in capturing the feelings of Austenites…

Melanie’s Lemon-Berry Muffins

It seems that every year around the beginning of summer I reread or at least skim parts of Gone with the Wind. I even venture to take the 959-page tome into the pool, to the horror of bookworm friends who doubt my ability to keep from dropping it into the water. (Seriously, people, I am an…

Jill of all Trades or Renaissance Woman?

I am what one might call a "Jill of All Trades," the female counterpart of a "Jack of All Trades." I quite liked this phrase until I saw a quote on Pinterest (seriously, Pinterest? You're supposed to be my social media happy place!) that reads: "Jack of all trades, but a master of none." Well stink.…

Literary Tourism

Don't be a tourist. I don't mean don't travel; by all means, see the world and explore new places! But don't be a tourist, defined as "a person who travels for pleasure, especially sight-seeing and staying in hotels."   That doesn't sound so bad, but can one really experience a place through simply seeing sights and…