Tender Lies

Before You School

Math readiness and reading readiness can be learned when your child reaches certain developmental stages. Fortunately, these skills can be tried and practiced for months or even years before school begins. Gaining certain flags of readiness is not only relevant and required but fun for you and your toddler or preschooler. At approximately 10 months of age, your child will be attempting the pincer grasp. Thumb touching index finger is the main sign to watch for. Then you can give your child dry macaroni, or pieces of cereal (pay attention to watch for choking) or small cubes of cheese to ...
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July News

In July, Belinda Bruner will be giving a reading and leading a discussion concerning the issues of gender and race that arise in her novel in progress, This Is Why We Sing. Here is the blurb for the discussion, which will take place Thursday, July 5th at the Stillwater chapter of Pflag. This Is Why We Sing A Reading and Discussion Racial and sexual diversity are foundational to the development of narrators in Belinda Bruner’s novel-in-progress. A published poet and accomplished scholar and singer, Dr. Bruner’s fictionalization of real family history explores the legend of Pancho Villa and his female ...
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Before Books, There Was Belinda Bruner From Broken Bow

Before Books, there was Belinda Bruner from Broken Bow, singing from the tops of trees. The urge to narrate is pre-linguistic; we’ve listened and repeated stories with our bodies in dance, with our mouths in song, with pictures, gestures, and marks along trails. I come from a long line of story-tellers who, in multiple languages, presented me with my history. Long before my conception under the chinaberry tree (just out of sight behind the lilac bush) my grandmothers fought wars, crossed rivers, drank dirty milk from a five-gallon bucket, and dragged themselves bloody over ice in order to ensure the ...
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Playing church, we baptized the kittens in the rain barrels, over and over. They never wanted plumbing, my grandparents, even after their children were grown and able to pay for it. Six gallons of water per flush, my grandma would say, and shudder, and shake her head. Boiling rain water on the stove for our bath in the metal tub, she carried the kettle out behind the smokehouse, making ten trips or more. Watching the steam rise from the gushing spout, we wanted Mr. Bubble but instead we got Pine-sol added to our bath water. No bubbles, but a hypnotic, ...
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When his daughter was one he babysat by letting her eat the parts of the paper he had finished, and the mother would come home to find them both on the floor with newspaper, wet smudges of contentment around the open baby mouth, two faces marked with newsprint ink, a proud, self-sufficient father. Back then he read every tiny word, but with faltering sight comes a fondness for headlines. He can see the large, bold letters and he likes the way writers use words to capture his attention. If the caption pleases him, shows promise, he will slowly polish his ...
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