Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Since I’m in France, I’m planning on celebrating the day by speaking only French Pirate. So, frisson m’a bois (shiver me timbers) and marcher la planche, coquin sales (walk the plank, dirty scoundrel)! My children will be very impressed, don’t you think?

If I were in San Francisco, I’d love to pop in to 826 Valencia. Part pirate shop and part writing center for kids aged six to 18, it’s yet another brilliant project by Dave Eggers. Their mission gives me goosebumps; that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. So true.

826 Valencia has chapters all over the US: New York, Seattle, Washington DC, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, and Boston. There are so many ways to contribute, or you could just buy something from the pirate shop. I have a feeling that the Mermaid Bait and Belly of the Whale Escape Kit really work! Wouldn’t those be perfect gifts for the pirate in your house today?