If Tenderness be Gold

If Tenderness be Gold
by Eleanor Albanese - Can be ordered from the publisher Latitude 46. $20

Monday, January 13, 2020



ENTER THE NOWW 2020 WRITING CONTEST 
Five Categories - Five Incredible Judges: 
Madeleine Thien (Short Fiction) Gwen Benaway (Poetry),
Russell Smith (Creative Nonfiction) Steven Beattie (Art Review) 
Amy Jones (Bill MacDonald Prize for Prose)
Prizes: 1st Place - $125, 2nd Place - $75, 3rd Place - $50 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Sunday Morning
By Siobhan Farrell

Snow slants down
an unwrinkled fresh sheet on
the roof I face pillowed grinning 
waking, unblinking, rested smooth,
curled sideways snug cocooned
inside my flannel sheets.

Even this morning’s sullen
sky does not stifle savouring
this cozy indulgence of Sunday morning,
listening to the earth breathe in and out.

Lazily, I stretch with feline claws
ousting by fat black cat toasting
my feet, who gets all huffy,
then slowly stalks up the bed
to purr beside my face.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Big Hole. This story won me first prize and was first published in 'Canadian Shorts" by Mischievous Press. Lucky for me, part of the prize was a week fishing at Factor Lake. A reviewer called The Big Hole "an example of the perfect short story." Wow.
The Big Hole
By Joan M.Baril
 “What the hell?” my father said. “Those little guys are still digging that hole.” My dad, in his police uniform, had just arrived home from his shift and joined my mother, my sister and me at our kitchen window which gave a good view of the yard next door. 
We all stared at the big hole, roughly coffin-shaped but much larger and deeper. Even though it was raining lightly, the two neighbouring kids had been at it for hours. Eight-year-old Andrew (Popcorn) Marrin, a square muscular red-head, knelt on the edge hoisting up a bucket of soil with the aid of a rope. After trotting a few feet to the end of the lawn, Popcorn, with a casual underhand toss, shot the contents onto a small mountain of dirt that had been growing ever larger as the summer progressed. 
Over the twin poles of a ladder scrambled ten-year-old Robert (Rocky) Marrin, covered in dirt from head to runners. Like his younger brother, he was built like a boxer and just as strong. He motioned with his thumb for Popcorn to take his place in the hole and in a few seconds the bucket sequence recommenced.
“One of these days,” my sister said, “the sides of that hole are going to collapse and those kids are going to be buried.” Her voice held a happy note of anticipation, which she could not suppress. When my father glared at her, she changed her tone. “Why doesn’t their mother stop them? Isn’t that a parent’s responsibility, the safety of the little ones?”

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Reverberations by Marion Agnew

 Reverberations, according to the dictionary, are after effects, echoes, events that have continuing effects or delayed reactions. 

Marion Agnew’s mother, a brilliant scientist, slowly showed signs of that dreaded and implacable disease: Alzheimer’s.  

In this book of essays, Marion describes her struggle to come to terms with her mother’s illness and death but they also  reveal the reverberations: her  complex feelings towards a sometime testy mother, her memories of the past, her father’s inability to handle the situation. 

The place she and her mother loved the best, the camp on the shores of Lake Superior, puts these reverberations into focus for her as she searches for clarity and love.



Tuesday, December 10, 2019

News from NOWW (Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop)


POETRY RHYTHM WORKSHOP


PresenterHolly Haggarty

Holly Haggarty, author of Dream Dad and Summer Dragons, will lead the presentation/workshop.
Watch the NOWW website (http://nowwriters.ca) for registration information. Or watch this blog.



Holly Haggarty

Free for NOWW members and for the public
Thursday January 23, 2020 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Mary JL Black Public Library
Contact: admin@nowwwriters.ca to register.


.........

It's almost your favourite time of year! 
The Northwestern Ontario Writing Contest is opening soon! We've changed a couple things: the contest will be open from January 1st to February 28, 2020.

This means you only have two months to get your entries in!
Our categories are:


The Bill MacDonald Prize for Prose (in Nonfiction)
Poetry,
Short Fiction,
Creative Nonfiction, 
and our surprise category is ..Art Review
    • Judges are all lined up! Wait until you see whom we've got this year!
      Time to get writing and stay tuned to the NOWW website (http://nowwriters.ca) or visit this blog and we will post all the details. Writers! Start Your Computers!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

My Top Books for 2019


In 2019, I read fewer books than usual, only eight–nine rather than the usual hundred or so. In November, I made a major change in my reading habits when I switched from paper books to the iPad. Several years ago, I tried using the Kobo but found it annoying at times. Once it lost a big chunk of text; another time, it refused to move me to the footnotes and then refused to let me get back to the story.

But this year, I determined to use an e-device when I travelled, so much lighter than a couple of books. I became hooked. The ease of getting exactly what books I wanted immediately and the improved technology have made me a fan.

This year, sadly, Thunder Bay lost poet, painter and philosopher Douglas Livingstone. I often sat in the Scan Café listening to him and literary scholar, Maynard Bjorgo, talk about literature. Insightful conversations about literature and art are one of the great joys of my life. 

We also lost another philosopher and insightful reader: Charles Leitrants. Of his death, “It is as if an entire library burned down.” I have added his obituary to the end of this piece as a tribute to a great thinker and a great reader.

Here is a personal list of the ten most memorable books I read in 2019.

1.    Lear’s Shadow by Claire Holden Rothman   Bea Rose, depressed after losing her business and boyfriend, joins a theatre troupe putting on King Lear in various parks in Quebec. She meets Artie, a childhood friend who protected her from bullying when she was a child. The actor playing King Lear is old, decrepit and a lush. Bea’s father is in the first stages of dementia. As Bea enters into a love affair with Artie, her father becomes deranged and stabs her. This is the story of a woman bowed by circumstance who manages to pull through. I found the novel so mesmerizing and lovely that I regretted every time I put it down.       

2.    Becoming by Michelle Obama. She had a loved and protected childhood with good parents and a loving extended family. She always was a striver working her way up the ladder to Harvard Law School, a top Chicago law firm and from there into working for the city and later for progressive agencies. The book is a bit repetitious as her thoughts always return to members of her family and her own work-a-holic nature. After she has children, the book is taken up with her desire to protect and nurture them, as her husband becomes a senator and then president. I found the description of the security around the first family alarming. As First Lady, she took up the task of combating childhood obesity. Her work on this cause was inspiring in its scope and professionalism. It was as if she were running a large social agency, which tackled the problem on many fronts. 

3. Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland Peppy, quirky writing sees fat, lonely Liz find happiness when her son, given for adoption years ago, turns up. She nurses him through MS and after his death sets out to meet the young man’s father who she encountered years before in Europe. Before she leaves Canada, she sees a meteor fall and takes home the small hot rock which lands near by. The rock will have dangerous consequences. A fun book but with lots to think about.

4.The Barefoot Bingo Caller by Antanas Sileika. Charming memoir pieces told with humour and compassion. Antanas reveals his childhood, his fishing and camping experiences and his return to Lithuania where he was born. And his job as a bingo caller.

5. Punk: The Journey of a 60’s Delinquent. A brutal true story. A young Peter Panetta joined a tough Thunder Bay gang by buying the correct tough looking clothes etc. The gang did robberies and cruised to pick up “chicks” which they often abused or beat up. A sickening book. He says he wrote the book to help youth, read male youth. Not much help for females here. Accounts of fights take up a lot of print. But this is a very readable book with a good insight into the darker areas of the city’s recent past. Later Panetta organized the Underground Gym on Simpson Street which unfortunately had to close recently due to fire and water damage. A sad day for the kids he is helping. 

6. The Dead Celebrities Club by Susan Swan. A funny, perky, romp of a book about a financier who goes to prison. Dale Paul is a great character  and I enjoyed every moment  of his debased life. The guy was always looking for an angle even in jail. I think the character was based on the Conrad Black and his time in the slammer. I laughed so much reading this book, that on one occasion, I almost fell off my chair.

7. In Other Words: How I Fell in Love with Canada One Book at a Time.Anna Porter, a refugee from Hungary, worked with McClelland and Stewart in the 60’s just when Canadian fiction was on a roll. A great part of this was due to Jack McClelland and his publishing company with its love of Canadian books. Eventually Porter moved on to manage Seal books and other houses but it is when she sets up her own publishing house, Key Porter, that she is able to publish wonderful coffee table books, and eventually fiction. But the conglomerates move in and take over the industry with their disdain for Canadian books and then Chapters arrives and dominates. Chapters, now called Indigo according to the sign outside the local store, do carry Canadian books, and some local books, but they could do a lot more for Canadian literature.  

8.  Frozen Woman by Annie Ernaux– A brilliant writer with a brilliant translator. Her take on marriage and housework outshines both de Beauvoir and Freidan as she describes how the burdens of childcare and housework erase her personality. A masterpiece and a controversial sensation in France where it was originally published.




9. Sir Wilfred Laurier and the Romance of Canada by Laurier LaPierre. In between reading fiction, I read a lot of history as well as historical novels. Every once in a while, Canada gets pulled apart by people of differing beliefs. This book taught me a lot, not only about Prime Minister Laurier but also about the fraught fragile nature of Canada during his tenure. I learned about the francophone “Castors” and their leader, Bourassa, whose hate-filled, religious fanaticism was inspired by the church. They disliked stronger links to the empire because they felt that the imperialists would drag them into British wars. Thus Laurier saw his province’s loyalty to Canada disintegrate during his lifetime. 
On the other hand, I also learned about the power of the Orange Order especially in Ontario. Dalton McCarthy wanted an English-speaking Canada with no rights given to Quebec. The Orange Order hated Catholicism and wanted stronger links to Britain and even an Empire parliament. They denounced separate schools and this view animated Manitoba to abolish its Catholic and French schools. In Quebec, the Castors, the church and Conservative party as well as many Quebec Liberals feared the hate and racism of Ontario.
      A nation divided by fanaticism. 
            This background made me understand the anti-conscription feelings of Quebec and their refusal to get  involved in  both WWI and WW II, which they saw as British wars.. Times change of course. Religion is no longer the dominant point of conflict but nationalism or a sense of grievance can always take its place. 
            Laurier held the country together against two opposing forces. He was one of our greatest prime ministers.
  
10. I’ll Read That for You: A Bluffer’s Guide to 101 Books You Should Read before Your Die.This is a book about books, written by the great book reviewer, Margie Taylor. I published many of her reviews on this blog. Margie puts her finger on the pulse of a book and, in her own breezy, clear, insightful way, guides you into its heart. Here she discusses some of the greatest literature ever written both modern and classic, from Alice Munro to Edward St. Aubyn; from Hunter Thompson to Ali Smith.  Margie, who is a native of Thunder Bay, is now a Canadian treasure.

As usual, I read a lot of short stories over the year and a lot of history and a lot of mysteries and thrillers, notable Thomas King’s sly, clever mysteries about his Aboriginal detective Thumps DreadfulWater and Andrea Camilleri’s joyous books, set in Sicily. They feature detective Salvo Montalbano who is always caught between the inept Sicilian bureaucracy, the Mafia, and the local criminals. It is said there are two types of readers: people who love Camilleri and those who haven’t read him yet. 

Thomas King


Of his death “It is as if an entire library burned down.” Charles Leitrants, April 17 1951 ~ July 14 2019
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Charles Leitrants on Sunday July 14. He passed away quickly while working in the garden with his adored wife Margaret. Loved and respected by all who knew him this lovely gentle man brought innovation, humour and often unique perspective to every part of his life. He attended Lakehead University majoring in history and later became a master carpenter and there are many examples of his craft gracing Thunder Bay homes to this day. As a young man he joined Kam Lab Theatre, an experimental theatre troupe, as an actor, performing at local theatre houses and touring throughout Ontario. He happened to arrive in Vancouver in time to join the then nascent film business and continued to work in it his entire life. 

Charles took great pride and loved his work whether coordinating the scenic carpenter and paint crews or working as an art director. His professionalism, competence and intelligence ensured outstanding success in this his chosen field. Charles was a man of intellect and curiosity always ready with a book recommendation and an erudite analysis of it. Of his death, “It is as if an entire library burned down.” Travel, art, fine food and exploring life to the maximum, always engaged, caring and interested. Charles felt fortunate in love, in friendship, in family and work. All who had the privilege of having this man in their lives profoundly feels his absence.



Peter Panetta



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A poem to usher in the new year, 2020.


A TALE BEGUN   

By Wislawa Szymborska



The world is never ready
For the birth of a child.

Our ships are not yet back from Winnland
We still have to get over the S. Gothard pass.
We’ve got to outwit the watchmen on the desert of Thor,
fight our way through the sewers of Warsaw’s centre,
gain access to King Harold, the Butterpat,
and wait until the downfall of minister Fouche.
Only in Acapulco
Can we begin anew.

We’ve run out of bandages,
Matches, hydraulic presses, arguments and water.
We haven’t got the trucks, we haven’t got the Minghs’ support.
The skinny horse won’t be enough to bribe the sheriff.
No news so far about the Tartars’ captives.
We’ll need a warmer cave for winter
And someone who can speak Harari.

We don’t know whom to trust in Ninevah,
what conditions the Prince-Cardinal will decree,
which names Beria has still got inside his files,
They say Karol the Hammer strikes tomorrow at dawn.
In this situation, let’s appease Cheops,
report ourselves of our own free will,
change faiths,
pretend to be friends with the Doge,
and say that we’ve got nothing to do with the Kwabe tribe.

Time to light the fires.
Let’s send a cable to grandma in Zabierzow.
Let’s untie the knots in the yurt’s leather straps.

May delivery be easy,
may our child grow and be well.
Let him be happy, from time to time
and leap over abysses.
Let his heart have strength to endure
And his mind be awake and reach far.

But not so far that it sees into the future.
Spare him
that one gift,
O heavenly powers.


Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish poet won the Nobel Prize for her work in 1996. She died in 2012. She was a fearless champion of human rights and a great poet.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Local Books by Local Authors


Reverberations: A Daughter's Meditation on Alzheimer's
by Marion Agnew


Marion Agnew

Most people think Alzheimer's Disease is the same as memory loss, if they think about it at all. But most people prefer to ignore it, hoping that if they ignore it hard enough, it will go away. That was certainly Marion Agnew's hope when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Yet, with the diagnosis, Marion's world changed. Her mother — a Queen's and Harvard/Radcliffe-educated mathematician, a nuclear weapons researcher in Montreal during World War II, an award-winning professor and researcher for five decades, wife of a history professor, and mother of five — began drifting away from her. 

To keep hold of her, to remember her, Marion began paying attention, and began writing what she saw. She wrote as her mother became suspicious on outings, as she lost even the simplest of words, as she hallucinated, as she became frightened and agitated. But after her mother's death, Marion wanted to honour the time of her mother's life in which she had the disease, but she didn't want the illness to dominate the relationship she'd had with her mother. This moving memoir looks at grief and family, at love and music. It is a coming-to-terms reflection on the endurance of love and family.

The book is published by Signature Editions and is available at their web site.

 Meet Marion: informal hangout/signing at Calico Coffeehouse on Saturday December 14, 2019, from noon to 5 p.m. I won't be selling books there, but I'm happy to sign anything someone buys, either from the publisher (http://www.signature-editions.com/index.php/books/single_title/reverberations_a_daughters_meditations_on_alzheimers) or another bookseller. 

I'll Read That For You:A bluffers guide to 101 books you should read before you die.
By Margie Taylor 

Margie Taylor, book reviewer extraordinaire, wrote many wonderful reviews for this blog. Now she has collected 101 of them in a book called I’ll Read That For Your: A bluffers guide to 101 books you should read before you die. It is available at Amazon and the Amazon site lets you peak at the table of contents. Readers, you will be bowled over. Below is the Amazon review.



Margie Taylor

So many books and so little time! If you're too busy to read all the great books but want to be able to hold your own in literary conversations, this book is for you. In 1500 words or less author and journalist Margie Taylor tells you what the book's about, what you need to know about the author, and offers up her own personal evaluation. Her random sampling of books, taken from the 2010 edition of "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die", are engaging, lively, and informed. Read the reviews and decide if you want to read the book yourself. And if you don't, at least you'll know what you're missing.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Short Fiction by Joan M. Baril





  Mock Wedding
by Joan M. Baril
Corporal Jamie Sorenson, fast asleep in his childhood bedroom, finds himself leaping to his feet, and for a half second he’s back in Kurdistan reaching for his weapon. The noise that woke him, an erratic clunk, clunk, clunk, is barely audible above the unending prairie wind. 
No dawn yet but the July heat is already moving into the small room under the eaves. Outside the crow tribe is in full voice, loudly celebrating another day of drought. 
He pulls on his jeans, boots and tee and careful not to wake his dad sleeping in the next bedroom, heads down to the back door. Under the yard light, the dust flows on the wind, a dark unending wave. Inside the stable, his horse, Cody, the last animal remaining on the farm, is kicking at the sides of its stall. 
As he soothes the frightened creature, talks to it and calms it, he sees the problem. A dead rat, probably killed by Cody’s hoofs. He takes the shovel and lifts it out. It’s the skinniest rat he’s ever seen. Even in Iraq, the rats are bigger but then, it sometimes rains in Iraq. It hasn’t rained in this corner of Saskatchewan for three years.
He walks the horse outside into the light to make sure it wasn’t hurt in its frenzy. He smooths the wet flanks, checks the hoofs, rubs the velvet nose. Cody always hated rats. This isn’t the first he’s killed.
Jamie decides to saddle up and take a dawn ride around the farm. As he moves the animal through the dust, he does not look down at the thousands of rows of wheat plants, all small, stunted and dying. At the flat-line edge of the world, the sun appears slowly, wrapped in gold. Not one cloud accompanies it.


At the same time as Jamie is easing Cody along the familiar roads of the Sorenson farm, near-by, in the town of Whistle Creek, sixteen-year-old Dot Hexwan stands waiting as her granny unlocks the front door of her coffee house. Dot is carefully holding a pile of flat boxes containing scones, tarts and muffins for the morning coffee crowd. 
Behind them, the perpetual wind tears along King Edward Street, lifting dust, paper cups and assorted garbage along with dry leaves from the dying trees. 
“They say,” her granny says pushing open the heavy door, “if the wind ever stops in Saskatchewan, the people will fall over.”
It’s an old joke. Neither of them laugh.
The street lights disappear. Now the only light comes from across the road at the Keefer apartment above the Keefer Drug Store. The family’s having an early breakfast, Dot figures, to get the work underway before the heat. The business is closed and they’re packing up everything to move to Regina next week. Laura Keefer, the school librarian, is leaving with her parents and so the school library is closed until there’s enough money to hire a replacement.
            As they prepare the coffee house for another money-losing day, her granny says, “Are you sure you want to be here, Dot? Is this worth missing school for?”

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Letter from Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop

Great news. If you are not a member of NOWW, this letter might make you want to join. Such. great organization.  Joan M. Baril.

Happy Friday NOWW Members,

I’m writing to share some wonderful news and offer some reminders about upcoming NOWW events that I think may interest you.

1)    This upcoming Wednesday, the 23rd, we will be hosting our second Write-In Wednesday gathering. We will be at Seattle Coffeehouse in Thunder Bay from 7-9 PM. This is a low-key, relaxing kind of event. It’s an opportunity to chat with other writers and work on your own writing projects. There’s no agenda, no expectations, no projects – just a time to gather and write with new friends. If you’re not sure what to write, we will have some writing prompts on hand. We hope to see you there!

2)    Marion Agnew is hosting a workshop at Waverley Library on Saturday, October 26th from 1-4:30 PM. Her topic is Creative Nonfiction and the workshop is described as: 

“’Creative nonfiction’ is an umbrella term that offers writers many opportunities to make choices. Whatever you’re writing – your life story for your grandchildren to keep, the history of European architecture in the 1990s, a scientific treatise on the role of insects in combating climate change, brief descriptive scenes from your daily life, or anything else = you’re welcome at this workshop. Through discussion and practice, workshop participants will look at how choices in form can support and amplify their purpose, how to think about the kinds of research that might help them, and how to gain the perspective you need to revise content you know well.”

Pre-registration is required which can be done on our website at: https://www.nowwwriters.ca/workshops.html

3)    NOWW is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with The Walleye magazine to publish NOWW writers previously unpublished work in “The Beat” section of their magazine. Your work, if chosen by The Walleye, will be paid upon publication. What an excellent opportunity to professionalize your work and be compensated as a writer!

As a NOWW member, you are being provided with this opportunity to have your work published and distributed throughout the region. To read the guidelines and to learn how and where to submit your work, please email Don at admin@nowwwriters.ca and he will get you started on your journey towards publication. Good luck members!

4)    Lastly, our first Peer-to-Peer Review commences this November 1st! This is an opportunity to receive feedback on your own work and provide feedback on another member’s work. Take some time to review the guidelines posted on our website at:

We look forward to receiving your submissions and to facilitate the review process to help you grow as writers. Wishing you all the very best!

Take care and happy writing,

Jodene Wylie
NOWW President


Don Parsons
NOWW Administrator

NOWW 
Box 425, 1100 Memorial Ave.,
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 4A3

Monday, October 14, 2019


When I was a teen-ager, I read The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. I did not know it was one of the greatest Italian novels ever written. I knew nothing about Garibaldi, Italian history, the changes that ushered in modern Italy leaving behind traditional Italian culture and customs.
            I read it for the sentences, long beautiful sentences full of life and meaning.
            Now I’m reading Lampedusa by Steven Price, a book about the writing of The Leopard. And once again, the sentences pull me into the story and I can’t put the thing down. Some books open a door to another world. This is what The Leopard did many years ago and this is what Lampedusa does now. 
            Thank you,  Steven Price. Lampedusa is short listed for the Giller Prize.


Friday, October 11, 2019

New Book Club Books from our Public Library.

Hello Joan
I am happy to let you know that we have added quite a few new titles to our Book Club in a Bag Collection. Also, if you have been to the KitKeeper site recently, you may have noticed a new highlighted collection "Indigenous People Collection". These titles are written by Indigenous authors or are dealing with Indigenous subjects/issues. As always, you can put any of these titles on hold by visiting  Kitkeeper
As always, a big thank you to the clubs that donated all the great books.
Helen

New Titles:
Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames
Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
Educated by Tara Westover 
The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin donated by the Tea & Trifles Book Club
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay donated by the Beaches Book Club
Becoming by Michelle Obama donated by the Club Au Vin Book Club
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara Lipska donated by the Choc-Lit Book Club
Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood donated by the Silver Harbour Book Club

New Indigenous Titles:
This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
Moccasin Square Gardens by Richard Van Camp
#Indian Love Poems by Tenille Campbell
Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Nitisanak by Lindsay Nixon

Helen Cimone
Community Hub Assistant - Collections

Mary J.L. Black Library
901 Edward Street South,
Thunder Bay, On P7E 6R2
TEL: (807)-345-8275
FAX: (807)-475-7855

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Price of Charity, short fiction by Patrick Peotto

Patrick Peotto
The Price of Charity
As the judge took his seat on the bench, Connor glanced over his shoulder at his client in the prisoner’s box. The man was vile, undoubtedly a murderer, but Connor knew that if he won this motion, he’d be set for life. He’d be considered one of the preeminent criminal trial lawyers in Toronto. 
He fingered the two-dollar coin in his hand, trying to quell his self-doubt. Where was Plutus this morning? he thought. How could he abandon me? 
Connor took his seat as instructed by the judge’s deputy and held his breath as he awaited the decision. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wicked Storm by Peter Fergus-Moore

           


                                                         
            "Mom, where's dad?"

            Tessie flinched. Turning slowly, she lied as casually as she could,

            "He's out right now, Edna. He had to work another shift at the plant."

            "No, he's not!"

            "Yes, he is, Bradley Pangborn, and I'll have you mind your tongue!" Tessie spoke more sharply than she had intended. Her son's eyes spurted anger light, but he said no more. Edna stared at her plate.

            "Now, we'll see about some supper."

            "There's no food!"

            "Yes there is, Brad."

            "Yeah? Where?"

            "Right here!"

            Tessie limped to the counter, where she had put the day-old bread. She knew there was just enough margie in the fridge for a few slices, and they  had a half quart of milk left. Maybe they could put some sugar on the margie and pretend it was a treat. 
            
            "Sugabread!" Edna smiled.

            "That's right, Eddie," Tessie smiled. She looked over at Brad. He was staring at his plate now.

            "I'm hungry," he muttered.