Why, 25 Years After Its Invention, My Gibberish Childhood Language Doesn’t Feel So Silly Anymore

When I was five, I invented a gibberish language. It was only spoken, with few rules. Just lots of sonority—a melange of short vowels and palatal and bilabial consonants (“Jabashow oum abishish?”). The language was less about communicating messages, and more about communicating emotions. I never spoke the language as myself, but as my alter ego. I assigned characters to my parents and brother (my brother’s character was named Starlings), and insisted that whenever one person prompted it, everyone else spoke the language in character. And I was not the…

How Books Form The Spine of Human Connection

“The most beautiful thing about a book is that you bring it to life — the characters, the emotions, the arc, the resolution — every single time you open it.” Though it was nineteen years ago, I still remember the exact moment I heard this romantic notion. I was in my seventh grade classroom, second row from the front, and my English teacher, Mr. Gelineau, was lecturing from the left corner of the room. The same way we can relive any book by turning its cover, I can relive this…

How I made the decision to write a book

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. Enjoying my first taste of the day while the sun’s rays, still warming up, stream in through the kitchen window, the aroma of fresh espresso swirls around me, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. For me, breakfast is a time for reflection, for planning, for learning more about the world around me, for reminding myself that today is a new day. Unfortunately, my breakfasts aren’t nearly this romantic on a daily basis. During the workweek (especially as the week goes on),…

All the Right Friends in All the Right Places

In elementary school, everyday after lunch was Silent Reading Time. Each classroom was endowed with an extensive collection of genres from science fiction to mystery to fantasy. When it came to books, we had the world at our fingertips and complete freedom to explore. Books were a big part of my life back then (reading them, mostly, though watching the Wishbone rendition on PBS counts too). The best part of Silent Reading Time was that there was no pressure of teachers keeping tabs on my progress, no stress over an…

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Old friends are like good books that you have relished thousands of times. Those novels you can open up to any page and know exactly what has just happened and exactly what is about to happen (but you continue reading anyway). You know every word, every sentence structure, every punctuation mark. And yet, every single time you read, there are surprises. Thematic elements that had been brimming beneath the surface now bubble to the top. Happenings that were once just happenings now symbolically foreshadow. You never pick up the book…