Add a twist to your reading list and complete these fabulous reading challenges!
It’s a new year and the perfect time for reading goals! I’ve set my Goodreads goal for this year. It’s only twenty-four books because I will devote most of my time to writing. Whether you want to read one book a month or seventeen, I have some fun challenges to add some variety.
This last school year I took on a new endeavor: homeschooling two elementary kids. Overall, it went really well, but there was one area of frustration. My kids hated answering lists of questions and didn’t always want to discuss the chapters they’d read. My solution? I wrote a book.
Drawing on my two and a half decades of classroom experience teaching literature–I came up with several prototypes using my kiddos for guinea pigs. Don’t worry no harm came to any children. ;o)
My kids both love making lists and drawing pictures. So, I incorporated what not only my children like, but also what worked in my high school classroom.
There’s room to log 10 books chapter-by-chapter. And, you never have to chase a bunch of papers around! All their notes stay in this easy to use workbook.
Have you noticed the growing number of articles that offer a reading time? Recently, I’ve even seen some people put a reading time on FaceBook posts. You may have wondered about the easiest way to add a reading time to your blog posts and articles. Or, maybe not. Ha. If you did, here are the easiest methods to calculate reading time.
First, how fast does the average person read?
The average person reads 200 wpm (words per minute). So, base your calculations on this.
I’m super excited to announce the release of Prompt Me Romance. This creative writing workbook and journal is clean enough for teens but sophisticated enough for adults. Whether you are just starting out or have a string of published books, there is something in here for you. All new photo prompts, first person, third person, fill-in-the-blank, master lists, and much more.
I was thrilled when it debuted on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” and may have done a really awkward dance in my living room (but there is no way to prove it–all video mysteriously “disappeared”). So check it out. I have samples and a freebie master list below. Enjoy!
Dialogue is an integral part of any novel. Here are eight ways to upgrade your dialogue and avoid some newbie pitfalls.
Every conversation should move the plot forward. No empty fillers, please.
Pick a punctuation style and stick to it. If you are going to query a major publisher, you may want to use Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). Regardless of what you choose to use, consistency is key. For example: if you use an en-dash when a character is cut off in a conversation, do it every time.
People rarely use each others’ names in conversation after an initial greeting.
Here is an example of overuse: “Heya, Eric.” “Hello, Nora.” “Eric, how has your summer been so far?” “Well, Nora, it has been rather busy. I’m ready to slow down for a bit.” “I totally understand, Eric. I have been busy too.”
Besides the fact that the dialogue is a yawn fest, people don’t naturally use one another’s names that much when talking. I makes your characters sound like game show hosts. “Yes, Vanna.” (more…)
Last night a received an avalanche of emails from my beloved students trying to format their papers. Now, some of this is because they have given themselves “permission to forget” between papers, but that is another issue. So here is my quick reference, for you and my lovlies:
Font, Font Size, Spacing, and the dreaded Widow/Orphan Control
What is the meaning behind flowers? Check out this Symbolism of Flowers list to add depth to your writing and more Woo to your bouquets.
Adding Depth to Writing and Understanding
I am currently preparing to teach The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Before I begin the unit, I spend some time going over the symbolism of flowers (and colors), since Fitzgerald beautifully threads this information through his novels. I tell my students that this will help them understand the literature with more depth. If you are a writer, why not go for that added layer of meaning?
Commence with the Wooing (fanning self)
Then, I address the class and say, “Lovelies, take special care with this information. I am helping you effectively woo. Giving a someone flowers is one thing, choosing specific flowers and being able to tell your intended why–is priceless.” [insert girls giggling and sounds of agreement here]
Older Meanings Rock!
I have gathered the meanings and symbolism over the years and compiled them on this list. Most of the meanings listed are from older texts, especially from the Victorian Era, thus some of the meanings have changed in recent years (I blame the florists), but I stick with the older meanings.