Wednesday, January 30, 2013

American Writers Museum

Right now, The American Writers Museum is only a great idea, but I hope that it is an idea that comes to fruition.

This info comes from their website. Find out more at: www.americanwritersmuseum.org

Join the movement to establish the first national writers museum in the United States.

There are more than 17,500 museums in the United States. Among these are museums that focus on art, history, sports, pop culture, science, technology, race and ethnicity.
Although there are many wonderful small museums that commemorate the lives of individual writers, almost unbelievably, there is not a single museum dedicated to the history of American literature and to American writers.
Today, the American Writers Museum Foundation is addressing this profound omission through its commitment to establishing The American Writers Museum™

Mission

The mission of the American Writers Museum Foundation is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives.

The American Writers Museum will:

  • Educate the public about American writers – past and present
  • Engage visitors to the Museum in exploring the many exciting worlds created by the spoken and written word
  • Enrich and deepen appreciation for good writing in all its forms
  • Inspire people of all ages and from all walks of life to discover, or rediscover, a love of reading and writing
Through innovative and dynamic state-of- the-art exhibitions, as well as compelling programming, The American Writers Museum will educate, enrich, provoke and inspire the public. We invite you to join us in this movement!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Work-in-Progress Update

When time allows for it, I've been working on typing the second draft of my novel (novella?). Today was a good day for the project. I had a little over two hours and typed about 4000 words. Those typing skills are coming in handy! I'm revising as I go, although I have yet to make any huge revisions. I've been doing mostly minor changes - getting rid of overused words and phrases, changing words when necessary to emphasize meaning, verifying facts (as I was working in my notebook without the internet handy I'd write big notes in the margins saying "Check this!"), etc. I think there is an additional chapter I'll need to write and add near the end of the book.

I had no idea how many words I had written because I was writing longhand. That's both good and bad. I just wrote the story without concern of how many words I had, which is remarkably freeing. I really enjoyed the writing process. I'm not enjoying having to lug my laptop around so that I can type (although, yes, I am thankful to have a laptop because if I didn't have one, this project would never get done). The bad part of writing longhand is that I didn't know I had many words I wrote. I hit the 25,000 mark today (24, 995 but close enough). I don't think I will hit the 50,000 word mark that I was aiming for, but we shall see. So, it is quite possible that this is (only) a novella, but I'm okay with that. I enjoy reading shorter-length stories, so it makes sense that that is what I would write. I write what needs to be told of the story - to add words just to add them would be superfluous.

I'm enjoying how this story is coming out. I think that I have made some decent progress as a writer since my last work of fiction in terms of craft and understanding story structure, building interest, etc. which is good. I look forward to sharing the story with others and finding out what they think of it. But first . . . I need to finish typing. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lego Library

You can build just about anything out of Lego bricks, yet I am still amazed when I come across some incredible Lego creations. Yesterday, I was waiting to check-out at the library. They have a TV there that runs a scrolling series of announcements and images. One of the images was of a Lego library! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the same image, but a Google search turned up quite a few Lego libraries. I liked this one that I found from http://madscientistnz.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/the-discworld-in-lego/ 


Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Review: The Lonely Book

The Lonely Book
by Kate Bernheimer
illustrated by Chris Sheban

The Lonely Book is a charming picture book about the life-cycle of a much loved book. "Once there was a brand-new book that arrived at the library." This story about a girl in the forest was a favorite on the new shelf and was taken out often. Then, its newness wore off and it got moved to the regular shelf, but it was still taken out often and it was still happy. In time, however, the book was forgotten, and became very lonely.

Until one day, a little girl picked up the book and fell in love with it, even though it was missing its last page. She took it home and read it over and over, imagining different endings. But then, she brought the book back to the library and, in her excitement over a new book, forgot about it. When she remembered it, she went back and searched, but couldn't find it. Meanwhile, the book had been tucked away in the library basement where it was very, very lonely. But, then one day, the library held a book sale and the little girl found the book and took it home forever.

The Lonely Book is a beautiful book, both in its story and its art, perfect for any one who has ever loved a book.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

On the End of Newsweek

To be honest, I haven't read a whole lot of issues of Newsweek in my life. Only in the past few months have I had a subscription, and that is because it was free. But, I am still sad that it will no longer be issued in print form, if only because it is indicative of a larger trend of moving all information on-line.

I am not a technophobe. I blog. I work as an editor for an on-line publication and am immensely thankful for that opportunity. I can't imagine life anymore without the internet (although some days I long for its simplicity. Unfortunately, we didn't realize it was simple at the time. It's hard to imagine that we may also look back at these days as "simpler" times.) Still, I like to read things in print. I like to curl up with a magazine or good book. I like the tactile sensation of turning pages. I like the smell of paper.  It hurts my eyes to read anything too long on-line.

I look forward to reading my newspaper every morning spread out across my kitchen island. And, if I don't get to read it in the morning, it is still there for me later in the day. I scan the articles - reading what interests me. I enjoy the comics. I eat while I read it. I won't be doing that with my iPad anytime soon.

I like to have books that travel with me. I always have one in my purse. I like to mark the pages with little slips of paper if there is something that interests me or that I want to blog about later. I like being able to flip through the pages to find something. Ebooks have a place in this world, but searching for things in them makes me crazy.

The same holds true for magazines. I read them in all sorts of places. I fold down the pages and rip out articles. I cut out pictures I like. Yet, I see my favorite magazines getting thinner. Like Newsweek, I see others closing up shop or going completely digital. I know it is a transition and life is full of changes. But, this one makes me very sad.

I don't think real-life books will disappear anytime soon - there are too many features of them that don't translate easily to electronic versions. But, I also hope magazines and newspapers continue in this world. If they don't, I will miss them terribly.