My musical education was cursory. I am still amazed that anyone can read music. Writing music seems to me like something that wizards would do. So, you can imagine my surprise when my son took paper from my desk, drew a musical staff, and wrote a song like it was a list of groceries.

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Almost twenty years ago, I was a hard worker at a bookstore that no longer exists. While tidying and alphabetizing the shelves one night, I noticed a sneaky character scribbling in our books. As I approached him, I recognized him. He was one of my favorite authors, and he was surreptitiously signing all of his own books. I let him continue of course, but I introduced myself. He confessed that he was in town for a signing at a bigger bookstore down the street, but he was signing our books also because… if I remember correctly… he liked our store better. We talked for at least five minutes about his short stories and his comic books. He was friendly and generous with his time. I enjoyed every word. Then my friend, Emily, noticed us and ran to join our conversation. “Rama!” She exclaimed, “You’re talking to NEIL GAIMAN!” I knew it of course, but her enthusiasm sent me into another state of mind. I was suddenly tongue-tied and starstruck. He excused himself as efficiently as he’d arrived. My fondness for him endures.

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When I was in ninth grade, I did something at a computer once a week. I honestly didn’t even know what I was supposed to be doing. My son, on the other hand, is in first grade and is already learning how to code. How’d that Wonderful World song go again?

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