Thursday, August 30, 2012

Write Place, Write Time: Lee Woodruff

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Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant, has this hanging in her office where she writes her novels. Many writers find comfortable places either at home, at a cottage or even in public places to work on their manuscripts.

Some writers find that the best place to write is a place with little to no distractions: no mobile phones, no loud talking, no television. This might be a hard place to find, particularly for writers who cannot afford to get away to a cottage or office. No matter where you are, though, you can easily turn off your mobile and television. 

Writing requires intense concentration at times. Having a comfortable place in which you are familiar can start the creative juices to flowing. Soon, you are absorbed in your work, momentarily forgetting about everything else.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teaching Your Child Honor Through the Alphabet

Watch the TV news or read a newspaper on any given day and you are almost guaranteed to find examples of scandals and unethical behavior in any profession. 

Parents who want to teach their adolescent or teen-age children about values and honesty can take these stories and turn them into teaching opportunities. For younger children, however, parents may want to consider something more age-appropriate, such as the  book, Alphabet of Honor by Ann Warkentin.

This book, available through MANA, can serve as a catalyst for key discussions in families as well as in the classroom. Alphabet of Honor encourages discussion to help parents and teachers instill a child's development of ethics, a clear sense of right and wrong and a sense of honor. Warkentin does this in a unique way: By using the letters of the alphabet.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Need a Writing Resource? Consider Process & Voice in the Writing Workshop

Writers have plenty of questions before they begin a writing project:  "How do I get started?" "How do I convey this action to the reader?" "How do I describe a character?"

While most writers know what they want to write about, knowing how to write it is a different story. The anxiety over starting a manuscript can be paralyzing. And, if you're paralyzed in your thinking, the thoughts on how to develop your story will not flow. 

If this sounds like something you've experienced as a writer, you may want to take a moment to read Gregory Shafer's book, Process & Voice in the Writing Workshop. 

Shafer, an English professor, initially wrote this book to help his students who were overwhelmed with books and instruction on the writing process. What Shafer shares is solid advice that is beneficial to all writers. 

Shafer starts by giving a few suggestions to "awaken the writer" before the process begins: