Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do Women Write Better Than Men?

First of all, I wanted to tell you about Grammarly. Not only do they have a fun Facebook page that is educational as well as entertaining, but they also have a website that can check your writing for grammar errors. How cool is that? If you write for any reason, blogging, schoolwork, correspondence, etc., take a peak at this grammar checker and get a 7-day free trial.

Grammarly recently conducted a study with 3,000+ participants to settle an existential question that has been plaguing mankind for centuries: “Which gender has the better writers?”

Well, here are my thoughts--

I have favorite writers in both genders.

There are exceptions to all of the polled questions; James Patterson wrote as a teen girl in the Maximum Ride series, Diana Gabaldon wrote as a 16th century Scottish man in the Outlander series, George RR Martin, and Charles Dickens wrote long descriptive sentences. Amy Tan and  Nora Roberts (as JD Robb) write short clipped sentences.

The first sentence of a good book will sweep me off my feet and carry me into the character's head or into a scene. While reading, I don't ever think about the writer, let alone their gender. I often wait until I've finished a book before reading the author's bio.

If anyone thinks that women are better writers than men, or vice-versa, I would say they haven't read enough books and authors.

What are your thoughts on this poll?


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oops! I forgot to post...

I've been busy. I just got back from a mini-vacation with a friend. I had so much fun but came home to an overload of chores and work. I promise I'll be back next week with lots of photos of my adventures.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tag! I'm it!

A few weeks ago, (okay, maybe it was longer than that) I was tagged by Courtney Rene to take part in a blog hop. Thanks, Courtney! I was asked four questions:

1. What am I currently working on?--After emerging from a three-month-long, self-imposed hiatus, I'm finally back to work on my second novel, Halcyon Dream. After I wrote the first draft, I decided to make some big changes, but now I'm floundering. In between persuading my characters to behave and beating my head against my desk, I'm working on short stories.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?--I like to write in multiple points of view. I want to get inside the heads of the antagonist as well as the protagonist.

3. Why do I write what I write?--I write contemporary short stories, poetry, children's stories, young adult, and adult fiction. I haven't found one genre that I prefer over another. I write what is in my heart and my head. Not all of it is fit for publication. 

4. How does my individual writing process work?--I'm a pantster. The only time I've ever outlined a story was while I was a student at the Institute for Children's Literature and last year, right before NaNoWriMo. When an idea comes to mind, I write it down, along with any dialogue, character sketches or scenes that immediately come to mind. I spend a few hours or days thinking about the story. Sometimes, it doesn't get any further than those original notes, so I file them away in a box. Other times, I can't get it out of my head. That's when I know the story wants to be written. 

In order to keep the hop going, I am to tag two other writers to answer the same questions.  I have chosen:

Please take the time to stop over and say hello to them.  This is a great opportunity to meet and greet writers you may not know of.  Have a wonderful week!  


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Everyone Has a Story

"Human Library: Don’t judge a book by its cover.” 

What is the Human Library?

In 1993, a young and idealistic youth organisation called "Stop The Violence,"was self-initiated by five youngsters from Copenhagen after a mutual friend was stabbed. The brutal attack on their friend, who luckily survived, made the five youngsters decide to raise awareness and use peer group education to mobilize danish youngsters against violence. In a few years the organisation had 30.000 members all over the country.
The Human Library is a mobile library set up as a space where visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”--a group varied in age, sex and cultural background sure to enlighten.
The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a way of promoting tolerance and understanding.

Why Become A Reader?

How often do you get the chance to interact with someone who has a completely different story than your own? 

Transgender book with two female readers

Reading in the Human Library is unlike any kind of reading you've ever done. Becoming a reader gives you information  that can help you understand things and people better.

Readers at the counter in Budapest 2005

Read to learn

You read to gain knowledge and maybe even understanding of the other. In return, you can ask what you've always wanted to know. A session with a 'Living Book' can be a real eye opener, or just another day in the Library, it depends on the eyes that meets the book. 
Police Officer Helen with reader in London.

A unique opportunity

Becoming a reader is a unique opportunity for you to challenge your beliefs or face your fears in the form of another human being. 

Some of us tend to judge groups of people based on the actions of a few. Although I try not to believe everything I hear and read, there have been times when I've found myself judging others. The Human Library sounds like an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Awesome Things

So I wanted to share a few awesome things that I've been saving up to show you.

A while ago, I 'liked' a Facebook page called, Faerie Magazine.  I love their posts and their pictures and decided to browse their page. Call me stupid, but I never realized it was a real magazine. I couldn't resist. I love magazines, and I LOVE fairies. So I subscribed. What a beautiful magazine!! Every page is filled with captivating photography, enchanting stories, and a little bit of magic.

If you want to add some beauty to your life, you must visit their website. You can subscribe to the magazine or order back issues. Download a PDF of the summer issue for free! Click here

Check out their handmade jewelry:

and don't miss their Sweet little gifts:

On another note--Here's a website that everyone should visit: Streampebbles

Streampebbles offers a showcase for promoting and sharing stories, blogs, and memories. Check it out, and contact them to share something of your own!

You can also join their Facebook Group.

PS You may see a familiar face if you click on the website's 'Blogs and Memories' tab. :)

What awesome things have you found lately?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Autumn: New Beginnings

Labor Day has come and gone. In my town, that means that the children will be starting school this week, Halloween candy and decorations will be on display in full force, and anyone wearing white shoes will be frowned upon by The Fashion Police. Summer is over. Thankfully, it wasn't too brutal for us here in The Garden State, but I'm still looking forward to hoodies, fall colors, and cooler nights.

As you may know, Autumn is when I feel more productive. Maybe it harkens back to my school days. Every September meant new notebooks, pens, and pencils, a new book bag and pencil case, and of course, new clothes. For me, September was more significant than the New Year. It was a chance to be more organized, to be a better student than the previous year, to make a new beginning.

Not wanting to waste a moment, I smuggled time during the past week to write and submit a short story to a contest. I decided to go all out and spend $10 for the entry fee and an additional $10 for a critique. I haven't written anything since April. To be perfectly honest, I'll be surprised if my story is good enough to earn an honorable mention. So then why did I do it? Because I needed to do SOMETHING. I needed to get back to putting words on a page, and most importantly, I really want the critique. I want to know how I'm doing--whether or not I'm growing as a writer. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait 2 whole months for the list of winners and the judge's notes on my story.

In the meantime, I don't intend to sit on my laurels. (What the heck are laurels, anyway?) I'm going to finish my second novel, dust off my first novel to send to publishers, and write 6 short stories. All before December 31, 2014. It sounds like a lot of work. Considering our repair shop has been steadily busy and leaves no time for writing during the day, it IS a lot of work! I'm prepared to make some changes in how I spend my time at home. I'm up for the challenge.

By the way, I HAD to research the 'laurels' thing. If you're curious, I found this explanation:
Rest on one's laurels

So tell me--do you find that you're more productive during a certain time of year?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm A Smart-Phone Virgin

Sunday afternoon, I went to Verizon and came home with this:

Exciting, right? 

I was like a kid trying to choose a piece of candy as hubby and I browsed all the techy gadgets. Since neither of us have upgraded our phones since 2003--(We both had flip phones which we both loved.) I figured they should have given us 5 free phones, but let's not get into that. We decided to be frugal and choose a model that was free to upgrade. The Droid Mini. It's not really 'mini,' but it's smaller than the 'Ultra.' Whatever.  

Choosing from the 'Free phone' counter is almost like an arranged marriage. Verizon is like a matchmaker who chooses a model for you. You either learn to love it, pay the cancellation fee (which is cheaper than a real divorce,) or you live in misery until the two years are over. In any case, hubby and I are still in the wedding-night stage with our phones. 

Anywho, I immediately downloaded VZ Navigation (for a $4.99/month charge, of course.) because when I'm driving alone, I can't find my way out of a wet paper bag. I like the turn-by-turn directions, and that my phone will talk to me as I drive. When I got home, my daughter informed me that Google Maps does the same thing. Oh well.

Then, I learned how to take photos. This phone takes really good photos, which will be great for my e-baying, sending Tweetpics and Facebook statuses. 

I downloaded Facebook and Twitter and set my morning alarm. I plugged my phone into the charger and plugged the charger into an electric strip by my nightstand. Unfortunately, I don't know how to shut off the alarm, because this morning, just as the song that took me about 10 minutes to choose, started playing, the phone shut down. Apparently, I had forgotten to turn the strip on. Not apparently--I just forgot. I should probably stay away from electronics.

Anyway, all day at work, the phone buzzed, booped, beeped, and vibrated, letting me know I had an e-mail, a Facebook notification, a Twitter mention, and texts. It drove me crazy. I tried to figure out how to turn off notification sounds. I'm still trying. 

In the meantime, I removed Facebook and Twitter until I can decipher it. Besides, I stumbled across all the things I was permitting Facebook to do with my phone. I wasn't too happy. Have you ever read those permissions on your phone? You should. I would've shared that with you, if I could have found it again. Sorry.

There's a long road ahead of me, figuring out this phone. It will probably take me another 11 years to love it. Do you think it'll last until 2025?

If not, I still have this one:

 just in case.

What kind of smart phone do you have? Are you in love or eagerly awaiting your next upgrade?