Common Core. Such a simple term. Should we care about it?
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts & Literacy is a culmination of an extended broad-based movement to create a level of standard in schools across the United States. This new standard, now adopted by 46 states across the country, is an effort to help ensure that all students are career and college ready in literacy no later than the end of high school. Continue reading →
Women and men often look at life through completely different lenses.
So, it really should come as no surprise that the way men and women view the same novel after reading it is sometimes as different as what can be seen through a set of eyeglasses and a microscope.
That became apparent after I recently met with members of two book clubs – one all male and the other all female – that had read my novel.
One club hails from Attica, the rural community about 30 miles north of Metro Detroit, not the infamous prison in New York state. The Attica Ladies have been reading a wide variety of books and meeting regularly for more than 10 years. Noteworthy. Continue reading →
Apparently, even someone who claims he isn’t a writer can get writer’s block and I was stymied for a post topic. Nothing on my short list of post ideas was sparking inspiration, so I threw it out to a group of friends for suggestions. One proposed I write about “violence in books.”
Recent events in the US brought out the normal contingent of “experts,” blaming real violence on pretend violence in movies and video games. Although seldom mentioned, should books get a free ride? Was this idea a trap? An attempt to get me to go political at Indies Unlimited, which seemed like the second quickest way to get The Evil Mastermind to return the post with the message, “Nah, I don’t think so.” (The quickest way is saying BigAl’s favorite word deleted by EM.) Continue reading →
In the next few days, intrepid teens in a variety of towns across the US will bust into a variety of flash mobs. They won’t be break-pop-locking or singing parodies of “Call Me, Maybe.” (Even though this one was kind of cute.)
They plan to recite poems and stories by Edgar Allen Poe.
Kids will also roam graveyards, armed with flashlights and blankets. They’ll hold mock book-burnings. Without force, bribery, or threat of a failing grade, they will gather in groups to discuss the social ramifications of To Kill a Mockingbird. And in New Hampshire, they will debate the possible exoneration of Lizzie Borden, and if she did or did not take up that axe and give her mother forty whacks. Continue reading →
Once again, and as usual, I feel the need to preface the following by saying that I am of course just offering opinion, not defining any Universal Truths. This is just some stuff I think about some other stuff. This week, the “other stuff” is the Antihero.
First off, I need to define what I mean when I even use that word, as like many terms relating to anything literary or artistic, the idea of an “antihero” has undergone some changes through the years. Continue reading →
Two spaces or not two spaces? That is the question…
Right, time to get something straight. This whole two-spaces-after-a-full-stop thing needs a proper airing. After the comments that developed on this post by the lovely K. S. Brooks, I have to admit that I lost the plot (and not for the first time, as I’m sure my readers would agree). Fortunately, the Evil Mastermind had the good sense to chain my legs properly to the dungeon floor, and was kind enough to let me snack on a few of his beloved, prized piranhas while I calmed down enough to write this. Continue reading →
I have been approached about reading at a large, literary hippie-fest in San Francisco (and I mean that in the best sense). I said yes. With trepidation. It is a huge event. And it is an honor that they thought of me. I have a story that would be perfect. There is, however, one giant-ass issue. I hate to read.
Let me clarify a little. I hate to read out loud. More specifically, I hate to read things I have written out loud. Hate it. I usually refuse. That’s why I write for heaven’s sake – so people don’t have to listen to my stupid voice.