The Scamp and a Mockingbird

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Today the world lost a literary great. One of the great American novelists, Harper Lee has died at the age of 89. Lee rose to literary fame in 1960 with the publication of one of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird. The book would win her the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and be adapted to the big screen with Gregory Peck as the great Atticus Finch. Lee was never comfortable with the fame that came with her literary masterpiece, and for more than 55 years, it remained her only published work. In 2015, Go Set the Watchman was published, much to the dismay of diehard Lee fans. The novel was meant to be a sequal to TKAM, and featured Scout as an adult, and what happens when the illusions of childhood are stripped away. (I’ve written about it here

Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama in 1926, and spent most of her life guarding her privacy. It is clear that the novel served as the backdrop for her novel, and that she was deeply affected by her life there. Although she moved to New York in 1949, she always remained a small town Alabama girl. She had a deep and powerful friendship with another great American author, Truman Capote. He served as the model for her character Dill, and she served as an assistant of sorts while he researched and wrote In Cold Blood. She all but disappeared from the spotlight until President Bush honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. He called her novel a gift to the world.

He was not wrong.

Harper Lee has always been one of my favorite authors. To Kill A Mockingbird is a book I read over and over, and every time I do, I learn something new about myself, and about the characters I love so much. While I no longer have the naive hero worship of Atticus Finch that I did when I was younger, I am now better equipped to appreciate  what Lee did with her characters, and with the story that she was trying to get across. Her death is a huge loss for the literary world, but her novels will continue to make people think, make people talk to one another, and hopefully, make people have a greater appreciation for what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes. She may not have really believed in her ability, and the good she did, but millions of people all over the world would tell her otherwise.

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
― Harper Lee

The Scamp and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thank you to Dear Kitty for the nomination! I love reading your blog, and I am honored that you have decided to share this award with me.


The rules of this award are:

1. Show the award on your blog.
2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice.
5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

Seven fun facts about me….well, this is a tough one. Let me see if I can share some fun things.

1. I have  gypsy soul. I am the happiest if I am traveling and visiting new places. For the last ten years I have yet to live in a place for more than four years. I’ve lived all over California and spent the best year ever working on an MSc in Edinburgh, Scotland. I live my life by the trips that I have planned.

2. I am an identical twin.


The best part of this is that people ask us all kinds of strange questions. The best question that we have ever been asked is if we look in the mirror and ever forget which one we are. Yes, clueless person, I constantly look in the mirror and wonder if I am Kim, or if I am Kelly. Happens all the time.

3. I collect rubber ducks.

Every time I visit a new place, I buy a rubber duck that looks like the flag, or something fun from the place. I have a Beefeater, a leprechaun, a bagpipe player, a German beer wench, a Tennessee cowboy, the list goes on. I love these little ducks. The collection started when I moved to my first apartment after college. I was given a zebra print devil duck for my bathtub. The collection of ducks has just progressed from there. I’m excited for my upcoming trip to Boston, and my trip this summer to Spain and Portugal to collect some more ducks.

4. I’m obsessed with cats.

I love my cat. He is my favorite. I have cat shoes, cat pajamas, a dress with cats, and I mention cats and cat videos as often as I can. It is only week three of the semester, and I think my students are already sick of me using cat videos on the internet as my example for everything.

5. I collect vintage travel posters.

Old United Airlines posters of Hawaii and Cuba cover my walls. I love vibrant colors and travel, so combining the two is a bonus for me. I am starting to worry about how I am going to get those shipped to the UK should I have the chance to move back. I’d be gutted if something happened to them.

6. I think I am the funniest person on the planet.

I am the only one that laughs at my jokes though.

7. I’m a college professor.

I love my job. I spent a long time working as a librarian, and while I loved the places that I worked, and the people that I worked with, I can now say that I love my job. I feel like that is a rare thing, and I am very happy that I am good at teaching grammar, and that I get to spend my days teaching people how to write. I’m still trying to make grammar cool, and while I do not have high hopes for that catching on, I am going to do my damnedest to make it happen.

I must now nominate 15 of my favorite blogs to pass this award to. They are:

1. Biblioklept

2. Storytime with John

3. The Truth Warrior

4. Katzenworld

5. My Little Life’s Journey

6. Lost Tails

7. Ed Mooney Photography

8.  The Bippity Boppity Beautiful Blog

9. Talin

10. Nathan

11. Chris Martin

12. Poems and People

13. The Duck and the Owl

14. The College Girl’s Guide to Study Abroad

15. Jade

Enjoy! If you do not already read some of these awesome blogs, you should check them out. Totally worth it.

The Scamp and Some Music

I’m trying to draft Chapter One of my dissertation….trying being the operative word. I needed a book from the library and was thwarted by mother nature. The earthquake a few weeks ago has closed the side of the library with all of the useful books in it, thus, I have to wait maybe another 24 hours before I can get my tiny hands on it. Part of it is my fault for not buying the book last semester, and assuming it was easy to get to today, and part of it is the little patch of bad karma that follows me around to keep me humble. I’ve been writing the paper in stages, and while I only need 4 pages before I have met the page limit, I am having some serious trouble with some of the key sections of the paper. The background of my topic and a general introduction to the paper should not be hard to write, but those few pages are giving me fits. While I try to get them sorted, I have been letting my music play in the background.

The first song that caught my attention was Adele’s version of the Sam Cooke’s “That’s It, I Quit! I’m Moving On”. I have been playing this song (both versions) on repeat lately.


The second song is a new addition to my playlist. One of my favorites turned me on to this week. I’d like to think that if I had a theme song, this one could be it.

I’m a sucker for a stand-up bass.

The next song is one of my all time favorites. I am in awe of her voice, and it is on an album that I listened to on repeat my first few days wandering around Scotland.

The last song is an oldie, but goodie. It has a fun beat, crazy lyrics, and sneaks in one of my favorite dirty words of all time (although in this video it has been edited out)

After this song it started to rain….while my kitty was still outside. This meant a long pause on the work and the music to try and track him down before he got soaked……needless to say, we are both wet now. I think that is a sign that it is time for a hot shower and some mindless entertainment in the form of Netflix.

The chapter will keep until tomorrow.