Tag-Archive for » literacy «

Celebrating Black History Month!

Billie Holiday, black history month, African-American, people of colorBillie Holiday, jazz singer,one woman cast,segregation      A Tribute to Billie Holiday, in celebration of Black History Month.  It’s always a joy to hear Billie’s music again.

Scent of Magnolia” by Trisha Sugarek.……’tells the story of a young woman who rose above poverty, rape, bigotry, prostitution and imprisonment to become one of the most memorable and celebrated artists of the twentieth century. The one woman show portrays the life of a black jazz singer in America during the 30’s. The script does not dwell on the sensationalism of her addiction to alcohol and drugs but chooses, rather, to celebrate the whole woman and her music.

Billie tells not only her story, but our nation’s story. She interjects her tale with her most famous music as well as some of her more obscure songs. In her own words, she talks about her struggle to succeed in spite of the segregation of that time and the billie Holiday, black singers, musicians, jazz,difficulties she experienced singing with the great bands, most of which were white musicians. Without self-pity , she talks about the

(Note: Original song written by Gary Swindell, for this stage play.) daily slings and arrows that are a part of bigotry. Billie takes complete responsibility for her life, her choices, and her actions. Her triumph was her music and her songs that will live on forever.’                                          

Billie Holiday, jazz, stage play, one act play,

Latrelle Bright as Billie – 2004

black history month, billie Holiday, people of color,…….Ben Rafuse as the ‘piano man’

 

We have much to celebrate this year with people of color serving our country in the   military abroad, serving the community and nation in the political arena.  The many musicians who gave ‘birth to the blues’.

The giants and philosophers, playwrights and politicians…..authors, writers, Walter Mosley

It’s taken us over eighty years to evolve to this point, t williamssince Billie Holiday struggled as a black woman to survive in this country. …….we still have a way to go but we, as a nation, have much to be proud of. Did you miss the post about Savannah’s black orphan kids

James Baldwin, writers, authors

(Hank Aaron,  Kamala Harris, Corey Booker,

Tennessee Williams, Walter Mosley,Martin Luther King, Jr., Spike Lee,   James Baldwin, ) and thousands of others who fill our world and our history. 

 

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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS! March: Olivia Hawker, April: Dan Sofer 

 

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

Your Child’s Next Book!

Thomas the sea turtle isn't certain he approves of BertieExcerpt from “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys  (c)  A very large, beautiful sea turtle came down the path.  He wore a bright red kerchief tied at his neck and a captain’s cap on his head.

“A-hoy there, mates. ‘ Tis a fair wind at my back that blew me to my home port.”
Donald and Emma rushed forward and hugged Thomas almost knocking him over.
“Steady as she goes, mates. You’re about to knock me off me’ pins.” Thomas laughed.
“Oh, Thomas, we are so happy that you are home.” Emma cried.
“How was your voyage?” Donald asked.
“Rough seas around Cape Horn but that’s the way the ’horn’ is.  We came back with a hold full of spices and teas from the Orient. I have to tell you that I miss the constellations in the southern hemisphere. But, all in all it’s good to be at anchor and  to see my friends again.”
“We could have a reading circle about the stars in other hemispheres.” Bertie said.
“Oh!  Excuse me, Bertie, for not including you.  Do you know our friend, Thomas the sea turtle?”
“I can’t say as I’ve had the pleasure, Emma.”
“Thomas, this is our dear friend and teacher, Bertie, the bookworm.” Donald said.
“Well, blow us over and wet me sails.”
Thomas looked Bertie over. “You’re an old one, ain’t ya?”  Thomas declared.
“I’ve lived some years, it’s true,” Bertie replied.
“Thomas! I know you didn’t mean that as rudely as it sounded.
Bertie is a respected elder of the forest. He teaches all of us how to read and spell better.
He introduces us to many new words. It’s very exciting.” Emma scolded.
“No harm done, Emma. I know that Mr. Thomas didn’t mean anything by that. It’s true, I am old.”
“It’s Captain Thomas, if you don’t mind.” Thomas told him.
“Sorry, of course, Captain Thomas.” Bertie smiled.
Thomas turned to Emma. “So, Emma, what brings you so far? You’ve set your sails a far league from your home port.”
“Slam and his gang took Bertie’s eye glasses more »

FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,

A story book with full color illustrations

FREE!!  Have you got a child, grandchild or great grandchild under the age of ten??  FREE audio-book of “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”  (Five lucky winners and One per family)

And I would like to share this with you…..first come, first serve.  Sign up for my blog and leave a comment on my site Code: ‘Bookworm’. and I will send you the code and the instructions on how to get your copy.

Listen to Sample of the book by clicking here

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures.
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An Interview with Sue Monk-Kidd

While Sue was too busy to give me an interview, they did send along this fascinating narrative of how she came to write The Invention of Wings  (click here to read my review of the book)The Invention of Wings

Q. How did you approach writing an enslaved character? How did Hetty Handful Grimké come about?

SMK. From the moment I decided to write about the historical figure of Sarah Grimké, I was compelled to also create the story of an enslaved character that could be entwined with Sarah’s. In fact, I felt that I couldn’t write the novel otherwise, that both worlds would have to be represented. Then I discovered that at the age of eleven, Sarah was given a ten-year-old slave named Hetty to be her handmaid. According to Sarah, they became close, and she defied the laws of South Carolina by teaching Hetty to read, for which they were both punished. Nothing further is known of Hetty except that she died of an unspecified disease a short while later. I knew immediately that this was the other half of the story. I wanted to try to bring Hetty to life again and imagine what might have been.

There’s an aphorism in writing that says you should write about what you know, more »

Slavery Isn’t Such an Ugly Word….

Rape, pedophile, shit, faggot, nig–r,….now those are ugly words.  You can taste the filth in your mouth if you say them.  You are repulsed when you hear them.  Slavery‘ doesn’t sound ugly enough.  The word is bland, safe, and doesn’t make us sick in the way that other words do. Dear Reader, please understand that I’m not writing about what the word represents….I’m talking about the actual word. What happened in this country, during the 1800’s,  when a whole people were enslaved is emotionally unimaginable…..unless and until you read,  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk-Kidd.  Available now.

A Review    reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing5 out of 5 quillsThe Invention of Wings

The story is of the Grimke sisters; Sarah and Nina, high born, white, plantation girls.  Based upon a true story, the author tells how the slave owner’s lives intertwine every day with their slaves.  The very slaves who are a part of the family if you talk to the owners.  A prison full of punishment if you were to speak with the slaves.  more »

Researching Fairy Tales

fairy tales, books for children, children's books,bullying, literacy   When I decided to add some of the classic characters (from fairy tales we all grew up with) to my fourth fable,  I was amazed at the fascinating information I found….

I had so much fun researching characters like Little Red Riding Hood (Rhonda Rider in my story).  Where she originated..oh yes, way before Walt Disney was a twinkle in his Daddy’s eye.

While creating  “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys  I wanted to pay special homage to the classical fairy tales, by having some of the characters appear in my story and chat briefly with my friends in the Fabled Forest.  As seen here in this illustration, Druscilla, Cinderella’s stepsister, has stumbled into the Fabled Forest’s clearing. more »

‘Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bullies’ FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow!

children's story books, fairy tales, bullying, literacy, new books for kids    FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!!!  Click here to get yours: 

Available on your Smartphone, Kindle, Nook!

 

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures. Pansy, the pixie is a new character in this third of the Fabled Forest series. She is a defender of reading, truth, and Bertie. Cheets, our beloved elf from past books joins the wrong crowd and his friends are worried that he will become the newest member of the Bully Boys.

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My momma always said, Life is Like a Box of Chocolates’….or words (part 6)

words, dictionary, writing, writers               My Random House Dictionary weighs at least seven pounds and  it takes both my arms to lug it around.  Its copyright date is 1966 and I think I bought mine in about 1970. Forty three+ years ago.  Its pages are ‘paper-thin’ (pun intended) and very fragile.  It is my reference book when I write this series:  Words being my box of chocolates.
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Writers! Do You Know the Basics of good grammar?

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Are you like me?  Even though I know it’s ‘its‘ that I want, my fingers type ‘it’s‘ when what I really meant was  ‘its’.  Just this morning I caught myself using ‘whose’ when what I really meant to say was ‘who’s’.  Thank goodness for grammar check!  It surprises me every time I see someone who doesn’t know the sometimes subtle differences between nouns, verbs, and adjectives and the infamous dangling participle.  For writers who want to present themselves as professional this is the kiss of doom.  Your reader will be jarred and thrown off  ‘the cadence of reading’ by your goofy grammar.  I loved this article and graphic offered by copyblogger.com.  Really a good one to save!
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  DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!    Join us at the Writer’s Corner! I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Caroline Leavitt, Sue Grafton, Karen Robards, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is November’s author and  slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year.
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

Crawl Inside the World of Vampires…Interview with author, Robert McCammon (part 1)

interviews, authors, ,best sellers, writers       Robert McCammon has a huge fan base and even though he is trying to meet a deadline, he was kind enough to contribute to The Writer’s Corner by sitting down and letting me interview him.
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Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

A. I have a regular office, my books and research materials all set up neatly…yeah, I wish! They start out neatly and somehow get all over the floor. Otherwise, it’s a pretty ordinary space. A poster of the “Night Scotsman” train on the wall, a black-and-white Escher print…that’s about it. Oh, and I keep my joystick plugged in so I can play airplane and racing games when I need a break.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

A. Hmmmm…I guess I do have my cup of coffee at hand. Sometimes it’s a glass of wine, just depends on the mood.  Sometimes depending upon what I’m writing,  it’s a glass of whiskey, too!

Q. What is your mode of writing? (long hand? Pencil? Computer?)

A. Computer.

best sellers, writers, interviews, authorsHis newest book to be released in May, ’13.

Don’t miss Part II of my interview with Robert McCammon May 7th

 

This is a wonderful video from Robert and he goes on to tell what writing means to him.

 

        http://www.robertmccammon.com/

A fan (Ben R.) writes:    ‘Many people mark significant events in their lives based on where they were when they heard “the news.” Where were you when Kennedy was shot? Where were you when the Twin Towers fell? Where were you when you read the latest Robert McCammon book? Yes, that fits in my timeline perfectly. I can still remember where I was the first time I read “Blue World,” or “Mine,” or even “Swan Song.” I can even tell you exactly where I was both times I sobbed during “Boys Life,” and where I was sitting the day I played hookie from school so I could read “Speaks The Night Bird.” I can even tell you what I drank the night before when I stayed home sick and read “Night Boat.” Robert McCammon has been my favorite author since I was in high school reading “Mine” while I hid behind my tuba during band practice. I never hesitate a second to recommend any of his works.  His writings are so diverse there’s always something for everyone. Whether it’s aliens, vampires, parasitic twins, or LSD crazed baby snatchers, no one will be disappointed by this fine author.’

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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS.  The NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as:  Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Childress, Robert McCammon, Rhys Bowen, Sue Grafton, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, Amber Winckler,Jeffrey Deaver  and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress is our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled this month. Caroline Leavitt is June’s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August‘s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander. Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter.
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”.  You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ .  Thanks!