• Spider-Man leaning on concrete brick while reading book
    Special Topics,  Thinking,  Writing and Reading

    What is Banned Books Week and Why You Should Care

    How often do you think about censorship? Banned books? I tend to think of censorship as it pertains to history — something that hasn’t happened much since the McCarthy era, right? So would you be surprised to find out that the American Library Association maintains a list of challenged (and sometimes banned) books by year? I was. I am disgusted by the concept of censorship. It’s not difficult to connect dots between banning certain books and trends in discrimination. Besides, learning to sort through ideas with which…

  • Social Media,  Thinking,  Visiting Authors & Artists

    Greetings from Your Weekly Tweet -er

    Greets, tweets! Remember how much we all looked forward to the Weekly Reader? Well here’s your Weekly Tweeter! Relax, I know that not all of you are in Twitter. I find it a pretty good way to satisfy my curiosity and to connect with new people and their thoughts. I thought it might be fun to share some tweets that have piqued my interest in the past few days. Oh, and if you are on Twitter and want to connect there, here’s where you can find…

  • group of people during daytime
    Special Topics,  Thinking,  Writing and Reading

    Gun Violence and Passive Voice

    What do you see when I say “passive?” Hankie-totin’ Southern ladies on their fainting couches? Perhaps a heroine, reenacting The Perils of Pauline, tied to the railroad tracks, waiting for rescue? The endlessly complaining, hand-wringing, opinionated non-voter? Or is it the teenaged lump, tethered to this earth by those ever-present headphones? When one is passive, there is no active resistance or response. We can see “passive.” For writers, there’s that pesky passive voice. When using tools to check my work, I sometimes encounter the software’s dreaded…

  • Thinking,  Writing and Reading

    “What If” is for Writers

    “What if…” It’s the beginning of a question that can lead to a big goal or a daydream. It’s also an incredibly useful question for creative people is “What if…”  It is an important tool that can be used to open up the mind to possibilities and stir the creative pot. Novelists might ask questions about character and plot. “What if I change the gender of my main character?” or “What impact would this setting have on the story?” Writers of non-fiction might ask “what if” questions…