Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quote for the Day

I'm a great lover of quotes of all kinds.  Here's one I received through email--it's Gretchen Rubin's Moment of Happiness for today.

"Let us decide on the route that we wish to take to pass our life, and attempt to sow that route with flowers."
— Madame du Chatele

Happy writing!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Banned Book News

I ran across this information in an issue of Publishers Weekly online and thought it might be of interest.

"The ALA has released its list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 326 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. The most challenged books were as follows:

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle (offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa (nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins (anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence)

4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler (nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)

6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint)

7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit)

8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones (nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit)

9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar (drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit)

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (offensive language; racism)."

I'm glad to see To Kill a Mockingbird still in there, mixing things up and making people THINK!  It's my favorite book of all time.

As a public librarian I always encouraged parents to read the books their children are reading, preferably before their children read them, so that they can provide guidance if need be.  I once had to tell a mom that just because her 10 year-old could read on a college level that didn't mean she was ready for Twilight!

The Daily Beast published a terrific interview with Lauren Myracle, author of ttyl, ttfn and l8r, g8r here.  Moms, if your daughters are reading these books for instruction instead of entertainment, it's probably because you're not talking to them.

I encourage you to read banned books and to talk about publishing and censorship when and where ever you can.  Your mind will thank you for it!

Happy reading.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I'm back on my feet--or I guess I should say, my seat--and writing again.  Still not as one with my desk chair, though.  It has a hard spot right where it meets my tailbone (ouch!) so I'm wandering around the house, trying to find a good spot with a view of the back yard. 

The porch was great until I let a mosquito in from the yard and in a matter of seconds I had several painful bites on my right leg.  Based on the amount of Hot Shot I sprayed around out there, that sucker should be dead by now.

While I was on the porch this morning I started thinking about cutting down the Magnolia that hosts the bird water station and the Hummingbird feeder.  Right at that second a Ruby Throated Hummingbird flew up and fed.  It's been back two more times.  I haven't seen a Hummer for almost two months (okay, I was flat on my back for part of that time, but I did manage to keep the feeder clean and filled) so I have to admit to being completely confused by Hummer behavior.

I got the new squirrels I was expecting--two babies.  Saw one of them taking a sand bath the other day.  It was cute but still annoying.  I'm not sure where the tipping point will be.  The squirrels are messy and eat so much more than the birds it's hard to keep seeds in the feeder.  I've asked the squirrels nicely to go away and they just ignore me.  It's illegal to shoot them.  It's a puzzler, alright.

I missed a month of CFRW's 250 words-a-day challenge, so I've got some catching up to do.  I spent my off-time reading and enjoyed some books on homesteading, small-scale farming and eating locally.    Barbara Kingsolver (another Kentucky writer) wrote an amazing story of her family's year of eating locally in Animal Vegetable Miracle.  Kristen Kimball's A Dirty Life was fun, but neither book made me long  for the farmer's life.  I wouldn't last a day once the bugs started biting.

So, I'm still not sure if A Trick of the Light's young Julia will learn how to cook on her pot-bellied stove or not.  She will definitely be gardening, though, and growing flowers (because I adore flowers...).  I'm not Julia, and she isn't me, but if you're going to write a book you should be able to sneak in a personal passion every once in a while, if you want.

Happy writing.