Who’s That Blogger? Norah Colvin

:  Norah Colvin

Blog names:  Norah Colvin and readilearn


Type of blog:  NorahColvin: education focus; readilearn: early childhood education teaching ideas and resources

Where in the world?  Australia

Blogging since when?  Norah Colvin August 2013; readilearn August 2016

What’s your story?  When I started thinking about self-publishing stories and teaching resources, I did a lot of online research and attended many writing seminars. The collective intelligence promoted blogging as the primary avenue for writers to make connections and establish audience, and insisted on the importance of doing so prior to publication. Social media was also important, but secondary to blogging. At that time, I didn’t know much about social media and had no idea about blogging. Some of the course presenters suggested bloggers to follow, so I quickly got started and developed an understanding of what blogging was about. I was then keen to get my own blog started, and haven’t looked back. While I began with a particular purpose in mind, and that purpose is definitely still there, what keeps me going is the feeling of community, of connection with others, that I have established through my blogging with my blogging friends.

What types of blogs do you follow? My choice of blogs to follow is quite eclectic, but reflective of my interest in education. Education is rather a broad topic after all. I read blogs with any connection to education including early childhood education, children’s literature, psychology, neuroscience, general science, writing, and literature. It is impossible to list all the types of blogs I read. But the ones I follow are those that engage in discourse, who are interested in developing a relationship and being part of an online community. I am very fortunate that I have met many wonderful bloggers who fit this description. A few years ago I coined a phrase to describe us: S.M.A.G. Society of Mutual Admiration and Gratitude. Anyone can join. You just need to be supportive, kind and encouraging.

Early bird or night owl? I’d love to be a night owl and an early bird, but my candle doesn’t stand straight if I now try to burn it at both ends. I am fortunate that I no longer need to work full time for another employer so, although it doesn’t actually feel like it with the schedule I create for myself, I have the luxury of a little more time to devote to my writing. I have maintained a schedule of posting twice a week since I began blogging in 2013. Since the launch of readilearn last year, one of those posts is now published on the readilearn blog, and reposted on NorahColvin.com. I prioritise writing the blog posts and creating the teaching resources which are explained in the readilearn post, so this generally comes first in the morning – but not too early; usually after breakfast and housework if I can’t think of a good excuse to delay the housework for one more day (week or month).

Coffee or tea? Peppermint tea for morning tea, coffee after dinner.

Most recent binge watch: My grandchildren playing! 😊

Check out these recent posts on Norah Colvin and readilearn:

Easter holiday wishes – Readilearn
But why?
Can you guess:  Who am I?

Hey bloggers!  Are you interested in expanding your blogging world?  Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com to be featured on Who’s That Blogger!

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot
Liane Moriarty


If a bump on the head causes you to forget the last ten years of your life, can you make some changes before those memories return? It’s an interesting concept and similar to the ideas expressed in Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer, in which characters try to get things right in alternate lives. In What Alice Forgot, Alice Love knocks her head at the gym and wakes up thinking she is ten years younger and pregnant with her first child. Much has changed in Alice’s life, however, and many problems loom.

This story is a light, feel-good read, set in suburban Australia. When she awakens, Alice learns that her marriage has crumbled and discovers that, in the past ten years, her own personality has undergone a dramatic change. Her easy and happy ways have been replaced by a drive and aggression she can hardly recognize. Her husband Nick has moved out. Her oldest daughter is angry and having problems at school. As the circle widens, Alice realizes that she and her sister, Elisabeth are barely speaking and her best friend, Gina is dead. In addition, she wonders how she can be friends with the other “power women” in the community. Alice sees all this through her younger, carefree eyes and struggles to understand.

Alice’s younger personality starts to fix some of the problems, and there’s hope her marriage can be saved. As the anger between Alice and Nick recedes, Nick worries that the modern Alice will return and all will be lost. He’s sure he will know by the look in her eye which Alice he’s seeing. At the same time, Moriarty introduces the parallel stories of Elisabeth and Alice’s “adopted” grandmother, Franny. Interesting memory triggers, particularly the sense of smell, cause Alice to remember painful events.

Moriarty threads the themes of love, marriage, parenthood and family through these side stories. The plot is well-constructed, and keeps the reader interested in what will happen when Alice’s memory returns. A crazy giant lemon meringue pie-making event somehow works to bring the story to an upbeat and happy conclusion, with a few surprises.

If you are looking for an entertaining read, check out What Alice Forgot. While not too weighty, it’s fun and enjoyable.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

For more Moriarty, check out my audiobook review of Truly Madly Guilty.

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

the light between oceans picThe Light Between Oceans
M. L. Stedman

I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who live alone on an island off Western Australia. They discover a boat that has washed ashore, carrying a dead man and a crying baby and their decisions on that day shape the rest of their lives. Despite being isolated from the world, it’s no surprise that Tom and Isabel Sherbourne’s choices ultimately affect a great many people and a complicated story emerges. But simply put, this is mostly a story of marriage and family.

I think Stedman presents a terrific plot with great metaphors and believable characters. I liked reading about the town of Partageuse and of light houses and the Sherbournes’ solitary life. I also did not know much about Australia’s involvement in World War I and the losses they suffered. I like the way she tells the story of all her characters, with flashbacks and a gradual filling-in of details. I think this type of story-telling resembles the actual way we get to know people when we meet them.

There are many likable side characters, such as Bill and Violet Graysmark, Ralph Addicott, Bluey, Gwen Potts and my favorite, Septimus Potts, who has learned from his own experiences and mistakes and knows just what to do and say. To me, this sort of character development is the type of technique that enriches the story even more.

I think this is the kind a book that lends well to discussion and its ending provokes a lot of “What if” kinds of questions. I thought it would end differently. Did you? No spoilers from me, but tell me what you think!

Like movies?  Click here to read about The Light Between Oceans film adaptation.

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