A Glimpse into the Philosophy of Reading

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I think, “reading is such a game changer. With every book I read, I feel changed somewhat, meaning, I have been added to or subtracted from some thought or notion. Beyond that notion, I have learned something important.  I am never filled up—nor am I ever emptied.”  The following are a few great quotes on reading and why reading is important – it helps one think and often great things are the result – like Democracy and our constitution, as well as the sciences, humanities, and literature. We are what we read and ergo—what we think.

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy – which many believe goes hand in hand with it – will be dead as well.” Margaret Atwood 

“I did the traditional thing with falling in love with words, reading books and underlining lines I liked and words I didn’t know. It was something I always did.” Carrie Fisher

“Expand the definition of ‘reading’ to include non-fiction, humor, graphic novels, magazines, action adventure, and, yes, even websites. It’s the pleasure of reading that counts; the focus will naturally broaden. A boy won’t read shark books forever.”Jon Scieszka

“Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.” Mark Haddon

“By reading Huckleberry Finn I felt I was able to justify my act of going into the mountain forest at night and sleeping among the trees with a sense of security which I could never find indoors.” Kenzaburo Oe

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” Ray Bradbury

“Reading was very important to me as a kid. It was very inspirational to me. I went to a school where that wasn’t encouraged so much, but my parents encouraged that, and it has made me part of who I am.” Sasha Grey

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” Joseph Addison

 

 

 

What Book Would You Visit?

Professor Charles French, asks, “what book would you love to visit, if you could?”

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As readers and writers, we create new worlds and engage with places built by other writers. Our imaginations inform our lives and give us gifts of wonder. I have often considered what it would be like if it were possible to enter into the world of a book, if it would be anything like I had imagined as I read it, or if that place would be entirely different. What would it be like if we found a key that allowed us to unlock a sealed door, behind which was the world of a book?

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If I could visit any book, I would choose J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of  The Rings. This work has been deeply important to me for most of my life, since I discovered it as a young teenager. I never cease to find the tale compelling, complex, and humanistic. Tolkien’s treatment of mythology…

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Tips For Proof Reading and Editing!

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Use ‘was’ only twice per page. This includes ‘were’ and ‘is’.

Limit adverbs. Search for ‘ly’ endings and get rid of as many as possible.

Watch out for bouncing eyes–He dropped his eyes to the floor. His eyes roved the room

Use gerunds sparingly. Search for -ing endings and eliminate as many as possible.

Eliminate ‘very’.

Eliminate ‘not’ and ‘n’t’–switch them to a positive. Rather than ‘he couldn’t run, he was so tired ‘. Instead say, ‘he stumbled forward, his legs so tired they refused to obey’.

Eliminate dialogue tags as often as possible. Indicate a speaker by actions. Those you keep should be simple, like said.

Be specific. Not ‘the car’, but the red Oldsmobile convertible’.

Eliminate but, the fact that, just, began to, started to. Rarely do these move the action forward.

Use qualifiers sparingly. This includes a bit, little, fairly, highly, kind of, mostly, rather, really, slightly, sort of, appeared to, seemed to–you get the idea. These make you sound unsure.

Run your manuscript through an auto-editor like Autocrit. It’ll find problems like sentence length variations and repetition of words so you can fix them.

Run your manuscript through a grammar checker like Grammarly or Hemingway.

Don’t have too many prepositional phrases in a sentence. There’s no set rule, but if you get lost before the sentence ends, you have too many.

Secure each chapter in place and time. A quick reminder of where characters are and whether it’s in the present or past is good enough.

Don’t repeat yourself. It’s tempting to retell events when a character is talking to someone who didn’t live through the last few chapters, but summarize instead–briefly. Your audience already knows this material.

Verify that time tracks correctly in your novel. Make sure the day is correct and that characters have enough time to get from here to there in the timeline.

Verify that your characters are wearing the correct clothing and have the right reactions for their position in the timeline. For example, if they were in a car accident, when they appear again in the novel, make sure they act accordingly.

Describe with all senses. Add what your character smelled or heard along with what s/he saw.

Don’t tell what you’re showing. Use one or the other, preferably showing.

A great way to find these miss-writings is with Ctrl+F, the universal Find short key. It will highlight all instances of whatever you’re searching on the page.

What these don’t address is character development, plotting, or living scenes so you’ll still have to deal with those prior to sending it to your editor.

What are your secrets to self-editing? I’d love to add it to this list.

Source:  I don’t remember exactly where I found these tips, but probably Writer’s Digest.com & Writing Forward.com

 

THE GIRL IN BLACK by Kathy Lauren Miller

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This review of this novel is definitely worth reblogging. The writing is superb, the mystery is  compelling and very scary. The Girl in Black” by Kathy Lauren Miller, is a hauntingly taut murder mystery as well as an awesome page-turner! The mystery begins with high school senior, Kate Mckenna who happens to live in an old Victorian manor that is also the Mckenna Memorial Funeral Home. Her father, Dr. Brendan Mckenna, happens to be the county’s Chief Medical Examiner.  Shy Kate, whose social life as always been nearly non-existent until she is thrust into the limelight when the promiscuous prom queen, Ashley, is found tortured and murdered.

Accusations run rampant in Kate’s High School concerning several male students that were involved with Ashley.  To make matters worse, Ashley’s remains now reside at the funeral home where Kate lives. Kate and her best friend Cooper, a computer nerd, and Kate’s unattainable heartthrob, handsome Shane, all become involved in Ashley’s murder.  Suddenly, Kate finds herself in the cross hairs of the sadistic killer and the vengeful ghost of Ashley, the murdered prom queen. What happens next is beyond Kate’s worse nightmare.  The Girl in Black is a fascinating and terrifying murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. I highly recommend this book.

 

 

 

Meeting Phrike: Feminist Theology and the Experience of Horror by Jill Hammer

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Jill Hammer, Guest blogger

Myself, I saw the numb pools amidst the shadows; myself, the wan gods and night in very truth.  My frozen blood stood still and clogged my veins.  Forth leaped a savage cohort… Then grim Erinys (Vengeance) shrieked, and blind Furor (Fury), and Horror (Phrike), and all the forms which spawn and lurk amidst the eternal shades.

Seneca, Oedipus (trans. Frank Justus Miller)

Horror is not a cognitive but a physiological or affective extra-discursive state of being. Not unlike the state of, say, feeling nausea, horror is a state of being, whose manifestation, based on the etymologies of the Greek φρiκη [phrike] and the Latin horror, may be described, as Adriana Cavarero writes, as “a state of paralysis, reinforced by the feeling of growing stiff on the part of someone who is freezing,” and further, through her mythological reference to the prototypical figure of horror, Medusa, as a state of “petrification”…

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In Honor of Horror Fiction: More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps

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Yeah, We’re Talking About R.L. Stine By: Zachary Petit Something about R.L. Stine freaks me out. It’s not that he acts nothing like you might assume, though he is wearing all black. He’s funny and charming, and his amiable character throws kids off on school visits: “They expect someone with fangs, wearing a cape,” he says.

It’s not that nobody calls him “R.L.” except book jackets. (He goes by Bob.)  Its not even that he has written some 300–400 books (!), and has sold more than 350 million in his Goosebumps series alone, making him at one point the bestselling children’s series author of all time. (He’s now No. 2, right behind J.K. Rowling.)

No, it’s how he writes the things that freaks me out: He begins with the titles.“That’s the inspiration!” he says with a laugh. “You want to know where ideas come from—for me, they come from the title.”

For instance, he was walking his dog around New York City, and he thought, Little Shop of Hamsters. It just popped into his head. He liked it, so he came up with a story to bring it to life—What can I do to make hamsters scary? OK, a boy goes into a strange pet shop. It’s all hamsters, and there’s something wrong with one of them …

“Most authors I know work backwards,” he says. “I can’t do it.” So, I decide to conduct an experiment: I’m going to be like Stine. I’m going to work backward, and I’m not going to write a word of my article about him until I’ve got the perfect title, one I can build a story around. Simple enough for a little profile, right? And without knowing it, I’ve fallen into the trap of R.L. Stine, the trap of writing for kids, maybe the trap of writing anything: It all looked so damn easy.

 

 

The Importance of Imagination

Thoughts matter, they stimulate imagination and as written in this post by Jennie, “A Teacher’s Reflections”, the classroom gives voice to young minds.

A Teacher's Reflections

Imagination is the most exciting, and the most powerful tool I have when teaching children. It’s the foundation for learning, and for wanting to learn. The best learning that takes place in my classroom is rooted in imagination; from reading aloud to linking Einstein and Mozart… well, this blog post says it best. It captures the essence of why imagination is important. And, it is!

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Imagination is one of the most important aspects of life and of writing. We should cherish it and help develop it in others.  Here are a few quotations for your consideration:

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“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

                                                                     Albert Einstein

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“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”

                                                                         Carl…

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Don’t give in the earth needs you

Fauxcroft’s wise words of understanding, hope, and belief tell us that we are better than we know, more enlightened, and we are essential and needed as voices of caring – each and everyone one of us!

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Do you ever get the feeling that what you do is not enough.

Do you ever feel youare fighting battles you can never win.

Do you ever think yourself so worthless that no one really cares.

Do you ever feel like screaming but you just don’t dare.

If this is how you feel know that there are other people who care.

People who feel the same as you, who wish they could repair,

The wounds in our humanity

And the harm done to this earth,

Who love and care for animals and everything else here

And understand how much it’s worth.

You cannot quantify it in monetary terms,

You cannot put a value, though they try, on our world

And you like me, have the empathy and the love for creations gifts

And we will keep on fighting for it, as long as we live.

So don’t give up the…

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