Friday, February 25, 2011

Pay it Forward, Part Deux

Thank you, to Jeannie Moon, one of the nicest people in the writing world. Jeannie gave me the "Stylish Blogger Award." The award is stylishly designed in sparkly gradient text for a writer to "pay it forward," part of supporting our own, and please, check out some of these lovely writers. Some are Already There, some are Almost Ready, but read them and follow them and comment on their posts. I know they have inspired me.

Part of paying this forward means that I also have to tell you some things about me, so, er hmm, here goes:

1. Unless the thermometer ticks toward 90 degrees, I cannot write without socks on my feet.

2. I have most of my MBA, just not the part that got me the degree. Oh, and the 5-year window Loyola gives you to complete the degree after you have those babies? They're serious.

3. Though I don't write about them, I love zombie books and movies. Rule #2 in Zombieland? Double Tap!

4. My musical career path was derailed when Mr. Hinman, eleventh grade, told me it "was join marching band or quit orchestra" all together. I studied journalism.

5. My dad was an engineer and an ambidextrous caricature artist; not about me, but if you know me, it explains a lot. :)

6. I don't have a tattoo, but I know a writer who got one when she turned forty. :)

And now, I'm paying it forward to these blogging writers. Check them out; I think you will find their words inspiring, too.

K. Marie Criddle C'mere
Michele Shaw
K.M. Weiland Wordplay
Ian Sandusky
Megan K. Bickel
Julie Cross
Kendra C. Highley
Julie Lindsey Musings From the Slushpile
Jody Sparks & Butterflies
Elizabeth Cornwell Literary Misadventurer
Denise Grover Swank
Eisley Jacobs
Lara Ehrlich
Crazy Writer Girl
Roni Loren Fiction Groupie

And, always, the lovely Jeannie Moon, to whom I am re-paying it forward.

Stop by the virtual homes of these lovelies and see why they are all, indeed, Stylish Bloggers. And, should you choose to accept this highly coveted Stylish Blogger award to handsomely display on your own blog shelf above your actual wood-burning fireplace, simply pay it forward: select a few not-so-cringe-worthy tidbits to share about yourself and link to other bloggers. Hopefully these writers will provide you inspiration in their words, and bring your attention to someone else, by paying it forward.

Monday, February 21, 2011


To live at all is miracle enough.
The doom of nations is another thing.
Here in my hammering blood-pulse is my proof.

Let every painter paint and poet sing
And all the sons of music ply their trade;
Machines are weaker than a beetle’s wing.

Swung out of sunlight into cosmic shade,
Come what come may the imagination’s heart
Is constellation high and can’t be weighed.

Nor greed nor fear can tear our faith apart
When every heart-beat hammers out the proof
That life itself is miracle enough.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There are Zombies in La Chaux-de-Fonds! I know, right?

One of the fun by-products of creating a novel is the seemingly very un-Kevin Bacon related bizarre facts and events one discovers during research.  For example: you probably don't know that a small part of my novel in progress is set in Switzerland, in a small town called La Chaux-de Fonds. You haven't been? Well, sacre blue!  Neither have I, but thanks to the internet and YouTube we can travel across the ocean and beyond without removing our butt from chair. So it happened, that while researching this small French speaking town in Western Switzerland I discovered something amazing:  Zombies. Yes. Zombies. And I do love me some zombies (though I don't write about them, I do like to be scared about them).

So, merci, and thanks, YouTube, for allowing me to witness a mash-up of two obsessions: La Chaux-de-Fonds, a blink-and-you miss it village across the world; and, the undead.  Here they are below, mashed up for the win. And hey, who knew: zombies speak French.

New Limbs and Radiohead, Saturday, on my iPod. Word.

You're welcome, Thom, and please make The King of Limbs full of awesome.

Now, come to Chicago on your tour, please.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: The Movie Trailer, and Who is John Galt?

I am so excited. I adore Ayn Rand.  In Atlas Shrugged, Dagny Taggart is one of the finest female heroines in modern literature: intelligent, courageous, and as beautiful as she is strong. She is a rare screen example of life lived on one's own terms, for one's own values.  April 15th can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What They Really Want, is to Learn to Build Rockets.

In fourth grade social studies, my child is learning about many events that happened in the 1800th year of our state, including Indiana's fledgling ordinances and treaties. Since third grade we have read about Indiana's fur trading and boundaries. About the Wabash River and canoes and longhouses. I understand that we need to know how many years Corydon was our first capital, and why in the early 1800's we moved the capital to Indianapolis (because they have the Colts, of course).

I will never dispute that the land treaty of eighteen whenever-something-something was important then, and it may matter to you (and it should matter to you), that Jennings helped put Indiana on the map because he authored the Enabling Act that propelled us into statehood. Our history, dates and our past: these are things that every student must learn. 

And, if nothing else, I do understand that we teach history so that history does not repeat itself.

I shall, however, offer this: put fourth grade state level social studies in synopsis form, like we're proposing a novel. Short sweet and to the point; state-level fourth grade social studies curriculum in yellow and black Cliffs Notes form. A month, tops, and we're done with Indiana and moving right on up to bigger things like China, and what the heck's going on in Egypt, the world and the universe. And California and Texas. And beyond.

I want my children to learn about social studies, but also about subjects they will use today and tomorrow, in this lifetime, like why they can absolutely build rockets someday and why aviation science can be so completely cool, or beginning theory of the universe and I want them to spend way, way, more time on math.  Because, here in the Hoosier State, we spend months and a whole lot of pocket change per child to teach them about the Land Treaty of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance and why Tecumseh totally did not have Harrison as his BFF.

In essence, I would like traditional curriculum schools to spend our precious tax dollars teaching these living, breathing sponges more science and more math, how to compose a letter, and to speak and read a foreign language, like Chinese or Spanish--heck I'd be happy with German, or even French. All so that we can open up our big world for them, and find a way for these children and their children's children to make a living outside of this dying rustbelt--a living that does not include re-stocking foreign made toys and televisions at the local Walmart.

But I know my wishes are in vain, because I have a feeling my old friends--Harrison, Clark and Jennings--will all live again, in a different Harcourt hardcover textbook, entitled Fifth Grade Social Studies.