Come and Visit Marsha's English Classroom on YouTube

Here's my first video! In the summer of 2021, I began posting videos of radio interviews that I did in April and May. In the future, I'll be adding teaching videos to help readers learn better pronunciation and grammar. After that, I'll see which topics are the most popular and explore different possibilities.  Leave a comment and tell me what you need help with. 

Remembering Anna

I lost a dear friend this week. A close friend who understood me. I will miss her. We shared a love for Jesus and an appreciation of knowledge. We laughed and cried about many things together. We had a desire to translate books into Italian - I was going to do the translating and she would have made sure the Italian was correct and beautiful. She was an English teacher and loved my language, and I enjoyed talking to her about her lovely country over a delicious plate of pasta with home-made sauce. She listened to people and gave good advice if you asked her for it. Praying for others was second nature - she prayed for everyone. She really tried to identify God's will so that she was sure to live according to his plan for her life. Teaching and encouraging others were both her secular job and her normal way of interacting. She lived by both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Anna was 56 and this was her third bout with cancer. The first two rounds had ended over a decad

Ken Follett in Milan

This week Milan has enjoyed a series of interesting events about all sorts of topics. The magazine Panorama  (sorry, no English page here) is organizing a tour of Italy and it was our turn. I signed up to hear Ken Follett speak and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's a pic I took at the event. It's important for writers to hear other writers speak. We can learn a lot. However, that's not really the reason to go. We need to remember that we are in the world and we have to stay connected. I don't write only for myself - I write for my readers. Now, I have a very small fraction of the readership that an author like Mr. Follett has (thanks to all 5 of you), but I am interested in hearing what you would like to read. This is why I put an email list sign up on the page. You can type in your address now and be notified when I post. In the comments today, let me know what you're interested in finding when you come by to see me.

October Reading List: Yard Sale Books

Don't you love yard sales? All those things priced so conveniently. All those treasures changing houses. It's a lovely tradition that not all countries share. Italy, for example, does not do yard sales. So I guess you can imagine that I don't go all that often. For those of you who have never heard of a yard sale, these are sales that people hold privately to sell their own belongings at a 90% markdown. Some people set their stuff up in the garage, and call them garage sales. The unofficial verb would be "to go garage sale-ing". You don't need a permit or other type of authorisation. Outside the US, I'm sure you have second hand shops, or maybe you just donate your used items in good condition to charities. Maybe you could find a bookcrossing  point to get something to read free. I've been to several sales already this year, and here are a few of titles I picked up. Mad Merlin: garage sale. When I started it, I thought it was just another tak

September Reading List: Wattpad and Goodreads

I like to read different types of media, and I love to try out different platforms. So I have accounts on both Wattpad and Goodreads. For those who don't know, Wattpad is a platform for writers to share what they've written and create content for their readers. I posted the Italian version of the Coma short story I wrote two years ago because it is no longer available on the Giallo Milanese website. You can find the English version here on my blog. I'm working on a new story and today I wrote 640 words. Goodreads , on the other hand, lets you write reviews about books that you've read, and you can keep track of what you are reading - and what you would like to read in the future. As usual, I'm currently reading three different books: two paper books and a digital version on my phone. I also have another ebook on my tablet that I have barely started. Here they are: The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane This year, I've read quite a bit on Chri

On Being Discontinuous and Busy....

Sometimes it happens. You interrupt an activity that you like (blogging) just for a bit, you think. And then months pass before you get into it again. Well, I'm back. In the past year, I've become a grandmother, I've worked a lot, I've learned how to paint (sort of), and I've started working on my novel (again). I want to sound encouraging because it can be frightfully depressing to think about the things that I want to do, but never get around to. Time management is one of the keys. I've started using a site called Toggl to keep track of what I really do during the day. I'm discontinuous and distracted, almost the point of being jumpy if I hit the coffee pot too hard, and from a business angle, I'm tracking the hours I spend on projects and other important activities. I have found that I can, after all, find time to write so please check back in a week or so. I'm putting together a new reading list. Too many interests can also cause errat

Summer Reading List - Homework

Stories and summer go hand in hand. Teachers assign summer reading, vacationers cradle novels as they bake on the beaches, and airport bookstores offer all sorts of options for passing the time after take-off. It was summertime when I read my first novel in Italian, The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. My approach was to sit down with a book and a pencil and underline the words I didn't know. If I could understand the gist of the story without these words, I would continue reading, but if I was missing too much. I would put the book back and get another one. Finally, I found one that was OK. I could understand enough to figure out what was going on. However, when I started looking for a dictionary, I was appalled! We were staying with my inlaws in a house that belonged to other relatives who did not own any sort of reference books - and this was long before Internet and wifi - so I had to ask the mother-tongue Italians I was with to define words that I didn'