Sunday Dinner at Caterpickles

Cassandra Austen's portrait of her sister, Jane. (Image via JASNA)

Cassandra Austen’s watercolour portrait of her sister, Jane. (Image via JASNA)

Mommyo: “The Eight-Year-Old actually accused me this week of geeking out over Jane Austen.”

Uncle Phil: “She’s not incorrect.”

(I would like to note for the record that at this point, Uncle Phil had no idea what had actually prompted The Eight-Year-Old’s accusation. He merely assumed that whatever the context for the comment was, The Eight-Year-Old was fully justified in making it.)

Mommyo, indignantly: “It’s not geeky to adore Jane Austen.”

Daddyo: “Uh… you’re gonna need a dictionary.”

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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