I Googled myself and found ... reviews!

I've been working on a movie review assignment for my AP Spanish class. Each student is watching a film from their Spanish-speaking country of interest and writing a movie reviews. (I offered them the opportunity to videotape their reviews. When I told them they could be like Siskel and Ebert in Spanish, their blank stares reminded me of how freakin' old I am.)

I had the idea of sharing a review of the movie "Erin Brockovich" that I wrote (in English) so long ago that I don't even remember where I lived when I wrote it. I typed my own name into Google and found several reviews I'd written in the early 2000s.

Back in the day, I really wanted to write reviews. I got my feet wet with a few reviews of books, movies and restaurants. I loved getting free books and relished the idea of eating on someone else's dime. I dreamed of getting into movies and concerts without paying the hefty ticket prices and of having a free CD collection so large that I would have to categorize it by genre. .

Yes, I was cheap and looking for freebies. But, looking back, I am reminded of how much I enjoyed the writing.

I wrote several reviews for a now-defunct online magazine called Crescent Blues. I don't remember getting paid. If I did, it certainly wasn't much. But what I do remember and appreciate most from my Crescent Blues experience was the editors' requirement that forms of the verb "to be" show up sparingly in the brief reviews. Writing a 300-word critique without the words "is," "was," and "were" proved no easy task. The assignment pushed me as a writer -- and I loved it.

Thankfully, the magazine editors kept the online archive of their reviews on the Internet. Here are my  Crescent Blues submissions:

Candice Poarch: Lighthouse Magic

Don Bruns: Jamaica Blue

Laura Castoro: Crossing the Line

Kristin Hannah: Between Sisters

John Kisch & Edward Mapp: A Separate Cinema: Fifty Years of Black Cast Posters

Erin Brockovich: Winning Spunk


Readers' favorites

Planning for an international field trip during Spring Break

Remembering bell hooks: She signed my books but wouldn't let me take her coat

Why my kids need to know "Lift Every Voice and Sing"