Love is in the Air

ShirleyIconLove.  It’s a word which has inspired hope in the hearts of young suitors, revenge for those spurred on by jealousy, and inspiration for many a poet.  I too have been thinking about the word as Valentine’s Day looms.  The things I love are family, friends, and my career as a teacher and writer.  The freshman composition course I am currently teaching deals with survival as seen in literature, and I am constantly gratified and motivated by my students when their “lights go on” and they comprehend the meaning of a metaphor, or make connections between the literature and their own lives.  Their responses and their questions  challenge me each day, and I love the challenge!

I recently was invited to the Blue Colt Book Store at Middlesex County College for a reading, discussion, and book signing of The Music Makers.  I enjoyed seeing friends, colleagues, and students, and was gratified by all your comments.


I am also happy to announce that my poem, “A Summer’s Evening” won the second place award for excellence in the Dream Quest Summer 2015 poetry contest.  Please check out my blog for further announcements on new publications and book events.  Till then, as we brace ourselves for the cold days ahead, let’s remember the immortal words of Percy Bysshe Shelley, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”


About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
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